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"Castle's" Nathan Fillion on what the recast of OLTL's Joey Buchanan needs to possess!

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Last night On-Air On-Soaps was at the season three premiere of the ABC primetime series, Castle and caught up with its star Nathan Fillion to ask him what attributes the next actor that embodies the role of Joey Buchanan on One Life to Live needs to have, now that the soap has put out a “casting call” to find the next actor to play the key part.  Fillion played Joey from 1994-1997 and then made a brief return  in 2007.   Nathan offered insight into the role, the dwindling soap genre, and his love for his former castmates that he holds close to his heart to this day.

Fillion on what attributes the next actor to play Joey Buchanan needs to have:  “I just read that they were recasting.  You know,  so much has happened since I played Joey.  I think he even became a priest, I know, at one point.  I will say this, both for the character and for the actor playing the role; you have to be willing to learn.  That is the attitude I went into One Life to Live with and it served me very well. There is more than enough experience and amazing wonderful people on that television program. For a first job that was the most incredible experience I could ask for, that prepared me…. and I cannot even tell you…. and every day I use what I learned on that show.   Those people were so kind to me there; Erika Slezak (Viki) Robin Strasser (Dorian), Bob Woods (Bo), Jimmy (Max) and Kassie DePaiva (Blair), Phil Carey (Asa) and Clint Ritchie (Clint)… God rest their souls. I learned so much for those people and I am going to cry right now thinking about it.

Fillion on the amazing treat for fans of OLTL and his castmates when he returned for a few episodes in 2007  to reprise the role of Joey, after his stardom!  “Is it so amazing? I owe them so much and I know that all to well. I have never worked so hard and so much. In three years of working on a soap opera, I have probably logged more on-screen time than the rest of my career, except perhaps my last three years on Castle. That is a lot of on-air time. You have to be technically proficient, and you have to be able to act with distraction on soaps. There is a weakness in the soap genre, and that is not every show can be gold.  It’s an hour long a day and you can’t work it, work it, and work it, till it’s amazing.  You just don’t have the time for that.  There are not the man hours or the manpower.  There is a weakness in that sometimes you got to work together to take the best of what you have, and make into the best that you can possibly do,  And, sometimes it’s a matter of resources, We were in New York City in a small building saying, “OK. This set is the woods and it’s 15 by 25 feet… but this is the woods, buddy.” And that is all you got, and you gotta make it wok, and you gotta make it real and you have to let people indulge in the story, and in invest in the story.  You can’t just throw your arms up. I learned that and I learned that so incredibly well.”

Fillion’s thoughts on the dwindling soap opera genre.  “I certainly say that it is sad.  I certainly don’t want to be an end of era, and even just for young actor’s like me coming up, and what an intense and incredible experience it was, but just for the audience sakes, as well.  Obviously there are people out there who still enjoy them.   I remember when I got One Life to Live and then the O.J. Simpson trial started, and every network covered it every day and broke that chain of investment for the audience, and the ratings never recovered from that and it slowly, slowly  dwindled.  Do they need to be reinvented?  I don’t know.   I hope it’s not a dying breed, and I hope it does not go out.  Maybe the networks should pool their resources and make what few soap operas are left stronger, and rather than let them slowly die, infuse them with energy and money and invest… so that other people can invest.  And if it was not for One Life to Live, I would not be standing here at the premiere of season three of Castle, that is for sure.”

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I liked your interview with Nathan, Michael. It’s too bad that he can’t make a guest shot on OLTL. I do enjoy him on Castle. He has come a long way. If fans haven’t seen Nathan on his prime time show they should. He is very charming and funny as a writer of crime story’s and then helps police solve crimes. I’m glad you caught up with him, Michael……

Nathan – I was watching OLTL during the days you were on the show. I have one word for you – “gracious.” So many people turn their noses down at daytime television, but it is obviously a true learning experience for young actors. That you give credit to the “roots” for your career start certainly says something about you. I admire you tremendously and can’t wait for Season 3 of Castle. Thank you so much to you, Stana and the rest of the cast for your hard work. You bring a lot of fun to this crazy world.

Wow! What a love letter to the soaps. He has nice memories and doesn’t shy away from it.

Guiding Light

Matt Bomer Reveals After Exiting ‘Guiding Light’ He Lost the Role of ‘Superman’ Due to His Sexuality

During the June 10th edition of the Hollywood Reporter Awards Chatter Podcast, former Guiding Light star, Matt Bomer (ex-Ben Reade) revealed the role that got away, and how his exit from the CBS soap opera was precipitated to accommodate his burgeoning movie career, only to have his sexuality wind up costing him the part.

Bomer was seemingly set to play the Man of Steel, Superman, in a motion picture version in the early 2000’s, and as he tells it to Scott Feinberg during the podcast, things went awry.

“I went in on a cattle call for Superman, and then it turned into a month-long audition experience where I was auditioning again and again and again, and flying out to New York and doing chemistry reads, an flying out to LA doing chemistry reads, flying back to New York, flying back to LA to do a screen-test,” recalled Bomer. “And it looked like I was the director’s choice for the role. This is a very early iteration of Superman, written by JJ Abrams called Superman Flyby and it never came to light.”

Photo: JPI

While Matt was going through the Superman audition process he was still under contract at Guiding Light. Bomer described how he was let go from the soap: “Concurrently on Guiding Light, there was a killer in town, and so I think they needed somebody to pin it all on someone. So, I think the executive producer very kindly wanted to free me up just in case this job came through and said, ‘Hey, you’re gonna be the killer. We’re writing you off the show. Go with my blessing.’ I guess, I basically got fired, but in a generous way.”

Photo: JPI

Bomer had good reason to believe he was on his way, and the role of Superman was his after he had signed a three picture deal with Warner Brothers. As to why the part of Superman never came to pass, Bomer believes it was due to his sexuality (Later, Matt would come out publicly in 2012).

During the podcast, Matt explained, “Yeah, that’s my understanding That was a time in the industry when something like that could still really be weaponized against you. How and why and who I don’t know. But yeah, that’s my understanding.”

While Matt has not yet played Superman, he has done stellar work in major projects including: Fellow Travelers, Magic Mike, White CollarIn Time, The Normal Heart to name but a few.

What do you think of Guiding Light making Ben that killer in order to free up Bomer to leave the CBS soap to go and become a star in Hollywood and potentially play Superman, only for his sexuality to take the role away from him by the powers-that-be? Comment below.

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Breaking News

Jason George Returning to ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Main Cast for Upcoming Season

Soap opera alum Jason George (ex-Michael Bourne, Sunset Beach) is rejoining Grey’s Anatomy as a series regular for its upcoming 21st season.

According to Deadline, Jason will reprise his signature role of Ben Warren. Previously, the actor played Ben since season 6 of the ABC medical drama. Later, George became a series regular for seasons 12-14 before departing to join the ‘Grey’s’ spinoff, Station 19.

With Station 19 now canceled, it paved the way for George to bring Ben back to Seattle Grey’s Sloan. Over the past seven years, Jason was a mainstay on the firefighter drama and would make appearances and crossover to “Grey’s’.  Both series are produced by Shondaland and ABC signature.

Photo: ABC

In story, the seventh season of Station 19 had Ben tapping leaning into his medical skills while questioning his future as a firefighter in light of his shoulder injury. Then, in the Station 19 series finale, Ben told Captain Herrera that he was going back to finish his surgical residency. The story all fits together because when Ben was a fifth year resident at Grey Sloan, he found a way to pursue his other dream as a firefighter without jeopardizing his chances to return to the hospital and medicine one day.

Photo: NBC

George was featured on NBC’s Sunset Beach from 1997-1999 as lifeguard Michael Bourne and his love interest, Vanessa was played by Sherri Saum (ex-Keri, One Life to Live) who is also the wife of the late Kamar de los Reyes (ex-Antonio, One Life to Live)

In a post on X, following the story of his rejoining Grey’s Anatomy, George posted a video with the music from “Welcome Back Kotter” and the words “Well … it WAS kind of hush-hush. But now it’s official. Where my scrubs at?”

So, glad to hear Jason George is returning as a series regular to Grey’s Anatomy? Comment below.

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General Hospital

Bryan Craig Teases ‘Who Could It Be’ in Response to General Hospital’s Returning Mystery Man

Since General Hospital’s executive producer, Frank Valentini dropped a major bombshell of what’s to come on the long-running daytime drama at the 51st annual Daytime Emmy Awards, the guessing games have begun of just what former GH actor is returning to the cast this summer.

Speaking with ABC’s On The Red Carpet, as previously reported, Valentini shared, “A former cast member is coming back. And I think that the audience will go crazy for HIM.”

That has led to major online speculation that it could be anyone from: Jonathan Jackson (ex-Lucky), Greg Vaughn (ex-Lucky), Ted King (ex-Lorenzo Alcazar), Nicholas Chavez (ex-Spencer), and Bryan Craig (ex-Morgan) among others, that might be the gentlemen being referenced.

Photo: JPI

On Wednesday, responding to a post on the subject from Soap Opera Digest, Bryan Craig commented, “Who could it be ….”  Now, clearly he can just be having some fun with the situation to throw fans off-track, or he might be giving us a tease of what’s to come.

Before exiting GH, the actor won two Daytime Emmys for his performances as Morgan Corinthos in 2016 and 2017.  Craig appeared on GH from 2013-2016 and made a return in 2018. Since departing GH, Bryan has appeared most recently in Freeform’s Good Trouble and ABC’s Grand Hotel, plus several independent films.

The character of Morgan was killed-off the show when Olivia Jerome set a bomb that exploded in the car that Morgan got into, but was meant to kill Olivia’s brother Julian Jerome. Morgan’s death caused a huge split in the relationship of Carly and Sonny.

So, do you think Bryan Craig is just having fun with the audience, or do you think it’s possible he is the big return Frank Valentini is talking about? Comment below.

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