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Dominic Zamprogna Talks Dante’s Torment, His Daytime Emmy Nomination, And If He Might Be Back To GH

Photo/ABC

If you caught last week’s episodes of General Hospital, you witnessed the heartbreaking goodbye (the second time around) between Dante Falconeri (Dominic Zamprogna) and his wife Lulu (Emme Rylan), after it had been revealed that Dante is suffering deeply and disturbingly from his time in captivity in Turkey, and the mission that sent him away from Port Charles in the first place.  Of course, GH fans know that leg of the story served to facilitate the exit of fan favorite, Zamprogna, who departed the ABC daytime drama series back in 2018.

But since his original exit, Zamprogna has popped up on the series a few times.  First, as bad Dante in the special standalone episode celebrating Maurice Benard’s (Sonny) 25th anniversary with the series, and then again, a few weeks ago with his ten-episode run that set the stage for what might become of the duo known as “Lante”.

In addition, Dominic also learned a few weeks back, that he received a Daytime Emmy nomination for his performances in 2018 in the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Daytime Drama category.

Michael Fairman TV spoke to Zamprogna while he was in Tuscany, Italy on the first leg of his three-week European trip with his family (which will also take him to France and Germany) to get his thoughts on: this just completed guest return on General Hospital, receiving the Emmy nod from his peers, and what the future holds for him in, or out, of the world of soaps.

When you came back for this ten-episode run, did you know what the story would be?

DOMINIC:  I knew it would be kind of a Brody from Homeland kind of story.  Frank Valentini (executive producer, GH) and I had a conversation, and he said, “Sonny is going to rescue you,” and I said, “With all due respect to Sonny, Dante got himself into this mess.  Let’s kind of help them, help each other get out of this mess,” and he was like, “I like it.”  That’s kind of how that came to fruition.  Then,  he said something along the lines of: how they were going to make it like Dante got messed while he was away, and that he had seen some crazy stuff, and that Dante had to do so some crazy stuff, and he brings it home with him.  So, we knew the story arc would be a little messy, for sure.

Courtesy/ABC

The impetus was to bring Dante back to Lulu, then to separate them again while you were off the canvas, because they left the character of Dante dangling out there previously, right?

DOMINIC:  Frank said, “We don’t believe that this guy would ever take off on his family in this way for this length of time,” and I said, “Oh, I agree with you, so let’s figure out a way to wrap it up.”  So, this is where we ended up.

I’ve been seeing many tweets from fans, like, “Dante’s the best,” and “You’ve got to bring Dominic back full-time.”   The story was very emotional, and I thought it was a good opportunity for you to remind everyone of your acting chops.  And, the writers made a point of making sure Dante said to Lulu, “Don’t wait for me,” which leaves her story kind of open, as well.

DOMINIC:  I know what I want, and that is a good story, and around the time that I left before, we didn’t have a lot of great stuff going on.  I think Dante needed a good shakeup.  Maybe this is a blessing in disguise for a lot of the fans, but I don’t know.  I know that there have been some negative reactions too … like, “Why bring this guy back if he’s going to leave again?”

Yes.  I have seen those reactions as well. 

DOMINIC:  I’d say that you bring this guy back because he did leave thinking he was going to come back sooner than he did, and stuff got a little too crazy, and maybe you can’t leave him hanging out there like that.  You do have to address that.  Dante wouldn’t have left his family for that long, knowingly.  It was ten months.  I think it is valid to bring him back and address it, and then realize that if the actor, or the show, isn’t ready to commit to what’s next, you do whatever creates the most drama.  Isn’t that why people watch these things … to yell at the TV? (Laughs) 

Courtesy/ABC

Let’s talk about the tears Emme Rylan shed in those goodbye scenes that just aired!

READ MORE
GH's Roger Howarth Chats On Shifting From Franco To Drew & The Stunning Story Twist

DOMINIC:  I think she was really angry at me! (Laughs)

Probably!  She was like, “What are you doing!?”  (Laughs)

DOMINIC:  She was like, “What the hell is happening?” (Laughs)  I think that’s what people watch GH for.  I went on twitter and saw the clip of General Hospital from 56 years ago in honor of their anniversary.  It makes you give pause and think:  “What are you watching this show for?  Are you watching it to feel resolve at the end of it?”  Probably not!  As much as people don’t want to admit it, you don’t really want to feel fantastic after watching the show.  Nine times out of ten, you want to feel conflict and unresolved.  Otherwise, why would you come back the next day?  I feel like we kind of achieved that.  Which is why when you posed the question on Twitter, “What did you think of Dante’s return story arc?”,  I responded by saying, “I thought it was pretty good,” because a lot of fans are going to be pissed off.  However, a lot of viewers are going to be happy with seeing some good drama and some emotional scenes, and a cool arc (because I thought it was a good arc for Dante).

Photo: ABC

When you played Dante on this recent return, he’s obviously been tortured.

DOMINIC:  Yes, he’s been tortured, and he’s had to torture people to prove his worth.  As easily as he killed Raj, he’s probably had to kill other people during this time.  I think that’s a big step for Dante, because he’s never really had to do that.  In the time that he’s been on GH, he’s always been very black and white. I thought it was very good for me to be able to play that, because maybe he’s been pushed to the limit, and in those situations, you have to justify things that you probably would never have had to justify before.

Right!  I thought it was really sad, because you see people with PTSD who have been tortured.  Did you do any research on how being in captivity and how the condition may manifest itself in cases such as this, or someone under mind control?

Photo: ABC

DOMINIC:  I think PTSD is a pretty wide-ranging thing.  There are people who deal with PTSD who haven’t had to kill people and haven’t been tortured.  I think there is PTSD that people deal with in everyday life.  I think for a lot of people, if you had to go back and examine things, you’d be like, “Wait a sec, maybe that’s what this feels like,” and it’s not a comfortable place to be, but for this role, you kind of do go to places like that.

I think there’s been a silver lining for you in a few things since your exit from GH last year.  1) Since you’ve left, you came back, and got to play a bad guy version of Dante in the “Sonny-centric” episode. 2)  You received a Daytime Emmy nomination in the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series category.  What do you think about what has happened since you have been away from Port Charles?

DOMINIC:  That’s also about betting on yourself …  because it’s kind of like rolling the dice.  It can go either way.  It can be: “Hey, if I step away and no one cares, that’s cool too,” but you have got to be okay with that.  It’s like when I first started the show, and everyone said not to read the message boards, because if you read the good stuff, you’ve got to read the bad stuff, too.  Well, if you roll the dice on yourself, you’ve got to be able to look in the mirror and say, “Hey, it didn’t work out.”  Fortunately for me, in this situation, I rolled the dice, and it worked in my favor.

Courtesy/ABC

Did you love the “Sonny-centric” episode when you got to play mobster Dante?

DOMINIC:  I did.  I thought it was great.  Honestly, Michael, I loved this story too.   It was an experience for me.  It was a cool journey.  I felt like it was a neat exercise as an actor.  It was a cool development for the character.  I had interesting scenes with Sonny, I had interesting scenes with Anna (Finola Hughes), and I had good scenes with Mike (Max Gail), and the stuff with Lulu.  I thought the end of the arc was interesting too, because I’ve already played these goodbyes.  So, as an actor you’re like, “Man, we’ve already done this,” but as the character you still have to protect something.  So, when people ask why he didn’t say certain things to Lulu that he did to Anna, it’s because it’s so much more difficult to say those things to the person who you’re married to, and go to bed with at night, who supposedly knows everything about you.  It’s almost more difficult to reveal that vulnerability that he realized that he had been brainwashed!  You don’t want to admit that you’re at your weakest to the woman who looks to you for all of the strength.  That’s massively important.  I thought it was really interesting.

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You received your third Daytime Emmy nomination. Previously you were nominated in 2014 and 2016 in this category.  I was so happy for you.  What scenes did you submit that have you going for gold on May 5th?

DOMINIC:  First off, this year felt kind of extra special.  I think because I left the show and only had four months of material that I could submit within the guidelines of the rules.  I sent the scenes with: Mike in the stables where he is talking with Avery, a scene where Nathan (Ryan Paevey) is dying, one scene with Peter (Wes Ramsey) in the interrogation room at the PCPD, and then the material where Dante says goodbye to Lulu to go off on his mission.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

You’re in with a good group of actors in the Supporting Actor category.  Max Gail is in there, too.

DOMINIC:  Yeah, and I’m so rooting for Max.  He’s one of those guys, like with Maurice Benard, where it just takes very little trying in a scene.  You’re in a place with a person and you’re just speaking, and good things happen.  The other guys who I’m up against, I’ve heard they’re all good dudes and good actors.  I’m not expecting anything.  I just want to go and have a fun night and enjoy being around everybody, and the group who is nominated from GH.  And … we’ve got Maurice, finally, back in the Lead Actor category which I am very happy about.

So, in terms of where you are now with GH, what would like to see happen down the line?

DOMINIC:  I don’t know.  When I left, Frank said, “Let’s have a chat about that future.”   However, I don’t know where I’m at as far as coming back goes.  I’ve been enjoying the freedom of being able to take a little control of my moves, so we’ll have to see.  I miss my friends and my family there, and we’re in a good place on both sides.  I think the story has been received well.

Photo: ABC

So, if GH gives Lulu a new love interest, how would you feel?

DOMINIC:  Oh, totally fine.  She’s dead to me at that point, but I mean, whatever. (Laughs)  Lulu better find somebody at some point.  I think in the long run whatever happens can only create more material for everyone to play, if we do revisit another appearance in town.

For the drama, Lulu will have had to have had sex with somebody by the time Dante reappears.

DOMINIC:  Oh, for sure.  If she doesn’t, I’ll be like, “What are you waiting for? (Laughs)  I told you forever is a long time,” but as long as it’s not like Peter, or Valentin (James Patrick Stuart), then I think Dante would fully expecting her to be with….

Photo: ABC

… Chase (Josh Swickard)?!

DOMINIC:  Oh, Chase.  Yeah, what about that jerk?  (Laughs)  I forgot about him.  You know, if Lulu did do that, it would kind of feel like almost like a “Top Gun” kind of thing … like if Maverick slept with Goose’s wife, or something like that.  Then, if Dante showed up and they were like, “Well, you were gone, and she needed help,” and Dante would be like, “Whatever Chase!  That’s low!”  It would be expected, right?  Chase is a good dude, and Dante left very messed up, so it’s kind of his fault, but I think in the long-run as a human being, she needs to have her needs met.  If it happened right away, then it’s like, “Wow! You didn’t wait forever at all.  Forever was two weeks for you? (Laughs)”

Photo: JPI Studios

So, what did you think of Dante’s return and the performances of Domininc Zamprogna? Are you rooting for Dom to take home the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series?  Who do you think Lulu might fall for while Dante is off the canvas?  Are you hoping Dominic returns on-contract with GH at some point down the line?  Share your thoughts and theories via the comment section below!

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Aki
Aki

Dom you bring such a tenderness and so much heart to Dante. I really hope you find a way back to Gh and eventually, after a bunch of drama, back to Lulu too. It’s just who Dante is. Best of luck!

su000
su000

Dominic Zamprogna, will, without a doubt, return to GH..
The vet actors and their characters Always return home.

He is a soap actor–he won’t be going to BB nor Y&R, he will, eventually, return to GH- Dominic Zamprogna is GH family.

I’d bet he’ll be back before fall..

Tina
Tina

Me too please I don’t understand he does have a life and a family to think about

Cheryl Kosnick
Cheryl Kosnick

Well,if Dantes not coming back a new character would be best,for Lou Lou.shes leaving for Paris good time to introduce a new character

Tina
Tina

I think if Dominic doesn’t want to come back they should recast him. Any suggestions on Who?

Patrick
Patrick

I’m still in a Lulu fix, after this good time; it’s a 3 years

the scintillating brought back sex.. with Lulu PLUS

Patrick
Patrick

thee – ONLY – couple that resonates SEX, and that’s Nina AND Valentin;

ADULT – FIRE

who’s on next

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

I just loved all his comments. He hit all the right notes. Shows what a conscientious actor–and great human being he is. I do hope he comes back. And I do hope he wins; he’s just so modest and unassuming. And a realist without an outsized ego. How very refreshing! I’m missing you, Dante–and Dominic! Good traveling!

Joe
Joe

I want Dante back with a vengeance getting the help he needs, Lulu coming back from Europe finding her strength and them working through their trials and tribulations. I love their love and strength. Let’s see Dante’ come back and face his demons

Tina
Tina

I would love that too they make for good story

Steve
Steve

DZ is very open in the conversation and definitely comes across as a nice guy.

He should only return if there is good story written out on a long term arc. Otherwise, the character could easily be recurring.

As for the Emmy, it’s Max Gail’s in a runaway.

Djlina50
Djlina50

Dominic was always the voice of reason. We need characters like that in the show. Nowing that Lulu was almost murdered and the killer not found, leaves the door open for Dominic to return soon to protect his family. He went after Raj to avenge his wife, but a an active murderer may be after her now. Dominic would protect his family.

Fanny
Fanny

I want him back… even if it’s a week out of every month.

Patrick
Patrick

“THEY” may as well not cut this cycle – Next man up ; Scotty Baldwin FIRE

let’s see him, NOW , sequestering Lady Ava.. for a good time

mid life
his pull on Ava.. they are the best bff go to comforting glue
why not try a get go @Lucy.. while Ava festers

it saddens me Lucy felt bad and/or stopped hearing the news of nuptuals of “Kevin” and Ava

I would love to see this “PLAY” out newget

Scotty “fires”

“I’ve got a gun and know how to use it” as he walks

Nicole
Nicole

So the big question everyone wanted answered wasn’t. Why is he leaving GH? Did Frank want him gone or was it a personal decision? Cause he is so loved by the fans that I can’t see them not figuring out a way to make it work. I mean he is adored. Fans love Dante. He needs to be on GH and it needs to be Dom

rebecca1
rebecca1

He left to do other things; as he said in this interview Dante didn’t really have much of a story. “He”didn’t.

As Dom said, “I know what I want, and that is a good story, and around the time that I left before, we didn’t have a lot of great stuff going on. I think Dante needed a good shakeup.”

Dom is such a good actor and they under utilzed him; he was back burner…there was nothing going on with him or Lulu for that matter. FINALLY, this short arc was worth his time and showed his chops; centered on him and made him interesting. I think if he had been more center all along with interesting stories he might have stayed. Now, we just have to see where it goes…

joanne
joanne

Love him 🙂

Kat
Kat

Yes, bring Dom back as Dante. Please don’t recast. Still getting used to a new lulu, even though it’s been 6 years since Julie left the show. Will be rooting for Dom in May.

Harry
Harry

I think Dom is diamond in the rough–we will never see his like again. Loved him the most with Julia Berman’s Lulu, and I will never forget their first date whereupon Dante took Lulu to the Opera. It was pure soapy-romantic magic.
Now, to you, Mr. Michael Fairman. I have seen links to your singing videos on your Twitter feed but the humble man that you are, you don’t afford fans the opportunity to comment. Maybe I missed it, but I could not find a comment section attached to your videos and I don’t comment too much on Twitter. Therefore, I shall respond here.
I have to admit I have been avoiding clicking on your videos despite the fact that I follow you on Twitter. I cannot lie about art–if someone is a poor writer, painter, poet, musician and singer, I can’t tell them otherwise. And you have been so kind to soap actors, the genre and their fans.
When I finally watched, I exhaled with relief. Why? Because you’re a really damn good singer. Oh thank God!! Who knew? Phew!

rose
rose

I was never much a Dante fan, but when writers finally gave him a more several-layered storyline in his recent re-appearance I was impressed. If they kept giving Dominic good lines to work with I wouldn’t mind seeing him. Back.

DMRR
DMRR

I never cared for the character, although, I think Dom had A LOT more chemistry with JMB. This version of Lulu annoys me, and grates on my nerves. I would much rather have Dom on my screen, than that Parking Lot FLOP who is creepy, stalker-ish, and has ZERO chemistry with his co-stars. #nepotism

Shay
Shay

Tell us how you really feel, DMRR!!! Lol…Having said that, I totally get your residual affection for “TruLu” over “NuLu!” They are like two totally different GH characters, and never shall the twain meet! However, I’ll still take either version over Peter Parking Lot…there is simply no way to make the fruit of Faison’s loins likable!

DMRR
DMRR

The PLP Flop can’t act, has zero chemistry with his costars, and is ugh/yuck! I can’t watch when he is on during the episode.

Tina
Tina

You have talent please come back we miss you. But I also understand you need to do what’s best for you. Maybe they work out a schedule that works for both sides.

General Hospital

GH’s Roger Howarth Chats On Shifting From Franco To Drew & The Stunning Story Twist

In one of the most intriguing plots of 2019, General Hospital’s Franco Baldwin was morphed into Navy SEAL Andrew Cain following a harrowing mind-mapping procedure. In all went down thanks to Shiloh (Coby Ryan McLaughlin) and Dr, Cabot (Time Winters), taking the life and memories of Drew (Billy Miller) from his flash drive and transferring them into Franco’s brain, wiping out his past and his present.  That followed the tearjerker moment, when Franco sacrificed himself to free his kidnapped stepson, Cameron (William Lipton) from the twisted procedure; that could have left the teenager with Drew’s memories or even in a vegetative state.

The recipient of this storyline – and who would be taking on another persona in his storied daytime drama career – is none other than Roger Howarth.  The Daytime Emmy- winning actor is no stranger to changing fictional identities on GH.  Howarth, played OLTL’s Todd Manning over in Port Charles, later switching to Franco (previously played by James Franco) following the legal dispute between ABC and Prospect Park.

Last week, viewers got their first glimpse of Howarth taking on the traits of Drew circa 2012, and in short order, it has caused emotional upheaval for Franco’s wife, Elizabeth (Rebecca Herbst), Drew himself, Jason (Steve Burton), and Kim (Tamara Braun)… and that’s just for starters.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Roger as he started his journey transforming his work from playing Franco to Drew and the challenges it presents, plus the ripple effect the change will have on the canvas for many of the characters.  In addition for One Life to Live fans, Roger chats about his appreciation for his time on that iconic series in a candid, self-effacing, and special conversation.  Here’s what Howarth shared:

Courtesy/ABC

When you were told that they were going to put Drew’s memories into Franco, what was your initial reaction to learning that news?  Did you think it was a great twist?

ROGER:  Yeah, I think it’s a great idea.  I really do.  Good story needs a lot of things, and this checks a lot of the boxes.  It brings people together; it provides obstacles.  There are a lot of places this could lead to.  I just think it’s really smart and interesting.  I look forward to it a lot, and I can already tell by what I have shot thus far that it’s going to be fun.

If this story is written well, what has happened to Franco will be life-altering and crucial to so many people’s lives in Port Charles.

ROGER:  What I like about it, and this isn’t lip service, is that it’s a great story because it affects a lot of people.  Those are the good stories.  Elizabeth has got to deal with this, the boys have to deal with this, Scotty’s (Kin Shriner) got to deal with it, Jason is confused by this information, and now this person in interacting with Drew, and Kim, and Shiloh.  All of the sudden, the canvas is interacting completely differently.  So, I think the writers are having fun with this as well.

Photo: ABC

Then, there is also the character of Kim played by Tamara Braun, who Drew shares a past with.  It will be interesting to see how that relationship plays out, we already witnessed Franco’s Drew instantly smitten and attracted to her.

ROGER:  Yes, the person in this body is running under a certain set of assumptions that no one else shares.  So, yes, it’s confusing to everybody, I am sure, including Kim.

Do you see Franco eventually flipping back and forth, and having personality traits of both he and Drew?

ROGER:  No.  One hundred percent, no, and that provides a real obstacle with a couple like Franco and Elizabeth.  They are always looking for obstacles to prove to the audience that these two people really do care about one another, and that’s the purpose of a story like this.  I’m guessing and hoping that it will provide the character of Elizabeth with a particular objective because it would be nice to see Becky be able to play all of those beats.

Right, and to have to fight for something…

ROGER:  Yes, it’s very tragic.  This is a character that is accustomed to tragedy, and to see Becky play the role of Elizabeth dusting herself off, trying to get what she wants is going to be really cool.

Courtesy/ABC

The tragic twist had Franco saving Cameron from winding up with Drew’s memories and being the vessel for Shiloh to use.  What did you think about how Franco sacrificed himself in order to protect Elizabeth’s son?  It was quite heroic.

ROGER:  I think the other beautiful part of this is that this was motivated by love.  I don’t see it as heroic.  I think as an actor, you’re always looking for the heart of the story, and the writers made it really simple.  He does this because he loves this kid.  Yeah, they’ve had their ups and downs, and they are struggling to figure out how they can get along, and they have a lot of things that they feel about one another, but push actually did come to shove, and I think that the character of Cameron is going to be deeply affected by that.

Courtesy/ABC

This now puts Franco deep within Shiloh’s storyline and past with Drew, because Shiloh desperately wants a key piece of information locked in Drew’s memories.  So, in theory, this kind of ranks among one of the better stories you’ve probably ever gotten to tell in your daytime career.  Everyone is hoping that it lives up to its expectations in the execution of it on-air.

ROGER:  It is certainly a high concept story.  It’s asking a lot of the audience.  So far, we’re all in.  It’s a good cast.  I work with really good actors, so I’m not worried.  It is asking the audience to suspend disbelief for sure.  The good stories do.  I think Erika Slezak (Viki) on One Life to Live, getting to play Dissociative Identity Disorder as Niki and Viki that was a large ask.  She never blinked.  She did everything that was asked.  I’m trying to follow her example.

Exactly, and she played more characters.  She had more alters after that.

ROGER:  (Laughs)  Yeah!  She’s better at this than I am.  I’m having trouble with the one. (Laughs)

Photo: ABC

What do you think about how Scott and Franco’s relationship will be affected, now that he is in essence “Drew”?

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ROGER:  There’s no part of that relationship that hasn’t changed because there is no Franco.  Franco is not around … Franco has left the building.

He is a completely new person for all intent and purposes.

ROGER:  For sure.  This soldier doesn’t appreciate being called by somebody else’s name.  He is not compassionate to the people who mistake him for this somewhat tortured art therapist that he no longer is.

Photo: ABC

What is also interesting is that this should put you right into conflict and scenes with Steve Burton, because now you are essentially playing Jason’s twin.

ROGER:  Yes.  For me, as an actor, to get a chance to work with Steve, and to play a like-minded person, is intimidating frankly, but it’s exciting.

Also, the audience knows how Franco and Jason are such enemies, and now, he is really in his mind his twin.  

ROGER:  Yeah, Franco sees in many shades of gray and other colors, and from what I can tell, Franco as Drew sees the world much simpler.  He thinks more clearly, he finishes his sentences, he thinks before he speaks, he knows what he is going to say.  His point of view does not waiver.  He is determined.

Courtesy/ABC

That’s got to be so exciting for you to get to play after all of Franco’s psychological baggage and issues.

ROGER:  I’ve got to say, it’s been a bit of a challenge for me to play someone with a different set of speech patterns and who stands differently.  Because Drew thinks and feels differently about everything; his body is the same, but his body is behaving differently, and it speaks differently, and he thinks at a different tempo.  They’ve been very patient on set giving me chances to do it badly, so far. (Laughs)  It’s not uncommon for me to get halfway through a scene and to have to start over.   I am essentially figuring it out as we go along.   I am very appreciative of the fact that they have been giving me a few extra takes to try and figure out how this guy stands.  He relates to people with a different set of space and time.  It’s cool.  It’s a cool set of puzzles.  It’s been really fun.  I’m a lucky guy.

When I first learned of the story twist, I was like, “Oh! Roger will be great in this.”  

ROGER:  I don’t know, man.  I could be stinking it up pretty badly. (Laughs)  I think there’s a trap as an actor who has been asked to play twins, and the trap is that this guy is only acting the way that he acts.  The trap is frankly to act too much because the audience is being told that he is a different person.  If I go too far to try to demonstrate that he is a different person, then it slips into parody or overacting.  Over the years, I have definitely been guilty of overacting, so, I’m a little frightened of it. (Laughs)  I don’t like the way it feels.  I know how it feels to go too far.  I have been getting notes like, “You could pull it back a little bit.”  (Laughs)  It’s pretty funny.

Courtesy/ABC

In the past, I have heard you say you’d rather go to work and feel unsettled about what you are asked to play.  Does that still hold true?

ROGER:  For sure!  I’d rather go to work and leave my job knowing that it was terrible and that I get to come back the next day and make it a little better.  The best thing about daytime is how much it will stretch you and pull you and ask as much of it as you are willing to put in.

Now speaking of Franco, what did you think about the wedding reception on the yacht with Elizabeth?  Did you think that was a nice payoff for Friz fans? 

ROGER:  Yes, for sure.  I thought it was a really sweet culmination to a sweet story about these two people finding one another.  I’m glad they incorporated a large part of the cast.  It was a really good idea.

Photo: ABC

What did you think of how all of Elizabeth’s boys (Cameron, Aiden and Jake) performed a song for Franco and their mom at the reception, and how Franco relates to all of them?

ROGER:  I think it was a really important story point, and it was nice, and it was easy to play.  They’re really good kids, and they’re also terrific people.

Franco really stepped up as a stepdad to Aiden, who had been bullied at school.  I loved the cooking scene, where Franco was baking with Aiden.  What do you think about their relationship?  I love that Franco is being very understanding.

ROGER:  I think he’s trying to be understanding.  I don’t think he’s really great at it.   I think he’s a human being just trying to figure out how to make the best use of his time here, just like the rest of us.

Photo” ABC

General Hospital needed a big jolt with an umbrella story like this that turns the canvas a bit upside down.  How does it feel to be at the epicenter of it?

ROGER:   I really don’t think I’m the center of the story.  I’m not even kidding.  The story is that this piece of information is worn on the shoulders of Franco, but the people who are most effected by that piece of information are Kim and Elizabeth.

It will be interesting to see what the reaction is like from the GH audience.  You’re not on social media.  Will you check out what they are saying … or the feedback?

ROGER:  I’m not on social media.  But, I believe there is a guy whose job it is to track that initial criticism/support.  I think it is kind of cool that we will get real-time reviews, you know what I mean?  I actually thought about that because with the character of Franco, it took us a while to figure out who the guy was.  There was a lot of blonde hair and some missed cues, and we weren’t sure which relationship would be featured, whether it would be Franco and Ava (Maura West), or whether he would wind up in Carly’s (Laura Wright) arena again.  It took a while to figure out the best way to put that guy in the canvas, and I imagine that it will happen again.  I didn’t dye my hair for this, but I did cut it. (Laughs)

Photo: ABC

How was working with Billy Miller in this storyline twist?  Were you there on his last day on set?

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ROGER:  Yes, I worked with Billy not on his last day, but on his last show.  He was remarkable with dignity and with class, and I wish him all the best.  He did a great job.  He is a good actor.  I’m sure he will find somewhere to go be an actor.

Throughout your soap career, has there been a story that you initially pooh-poohed, but when you did it, you thought, “Oh, this is great!”

ROGER:   There was a story when Carly and Franco were together, and they wrote a story where Franco gave Carly a gift that wound up being a camera…

Photo: ABC

The evil-eye necklace!

ROGER:  Yes, this small seeing rye.  I just thought, every time Franco would come in and say something like, “Oh, you’re wearing the necklace.  It’s so beautiful,” while we were doing it, I was like, “Wow.  The audience is really going to hate this.” (Laughs)  However, my real-time Twitter is the subway, and while it was airing, I got on the train and sat next to this really amazing fan, who just told me how much she loved that story, and I was honestly surprised and pleased.  I am often wrong, and it doesn’t surprise me now when I am wrong  … because I was really wrong then.

You mentioned Franco with Ava which was a potential pairing. I think you and Maura West have always had great chemistry together on screen.

ROGER:  Yes, she’s a pretty great actor.  She’s great with everybody.

She is.  You knew Maura’s work first when she was at As the World Turns, while you were there, also?

ROGER:  I didn’t know her well at As the World Turns, but I knew who she was.  She’s a hard worker, and Jack (Michael Park) and Carly always had a lot to do.  She was pretty focused when she was there, but I spoke to her.  I didn’t feel like I got to know her until I got to work with her on GH.

Photo: JPI

Last month on July 15th would have been the 51st anniversary of One Life to Live. I saw a lot of people commenting and remembering the show on social media that day. I put together four photos on a post I made about that show featuring some of the remarkable actors who were a part of it.  From there, I received hundreds of comments of how people were just missing the series, the characters, and actors they loved in it, including you.  When you look at the list of people from yourself to Judith Light, to Robin Strasser, Bob Woods, and of course Erika Slezak – it’s such an unbelievably talented group who spent time in Llanview.  Do you ever think about what an incredible experience that was, and how the fans still miss that show so much?

ROGER:  All the time.  I mean, I’m a lucky guy.  I think it really was a special building to work in, and the people who we are talking about: Erika (Viki), Bob (Bo), Robin (Dorian), and Phil Carey (Asa), and Clint Richie (Clint), and John Loprieno (Cord), the people who made it possible for me to work there set an environment and a tone that made it a really special place.  It was a really good cast, like you said, and there was a lot of opportunity for them to write a really cool story.  I wasn’t a part of the AIDS quilt storyline, but to realize that they told a story like that and incorporated that into our show was wonderful.

Photo: JPI

Such an amazing story and One Life was telling socially relevant and important issues of our time, always.

ROGER:  I can’t say for certain, but I do believe that the original concept of the Todd, Marty (Susan Haskell), and Powell (Sean Moynihan) storyline was kind of supposed to be initially an effort to bring awareness to a horrible, violent crime.  That was a long time before the #MeToo movement.  I think it was a show where the writers had a social conscious as well and really brought awareness to a lot of different things.  That’s a great legacy and something that show should be very proud of.

Once the character of  Todd Manning took off on One Life, and how they found ways to redeem him, and how it spoke to how much the network, the show, and the audience responded to your performances, did you ever feel you had a bit of a safety net as an actor, or were you like, “I’m going to be fired tomorrow?”

ROGER:  This is truth: I am so grateful to have a job, and I don’t take anything for granted.  I don’t think anybody is safe in this business.  I just don’t.  I just don’t think anybody gets to say that they’ve arrived.  I just did a roundtable, and I shared this with people who have a lot more clout and opportunity than I do – that actors are by nature, the good ones, are aware that every day that you get to go to work is a privilege, and don’t waste it.

Photo: JPI

In soaps, for the most part, when someone is stepping into someone else’s role as a recast, or actor who played one role is changing to another, there seems to be this reactionary period of adjustment, and then, there is acceptance from the audience over time … unless you really stink it up  … as you say. (Laughs)

ROGER:  Here’s the thing, and this is why I think this is such a great idea, it’s not about me playing this part, it’s about how Elizabeth, who has been on this show for twenty-something years gets to react to it, and giving her the ball.  It’s flashy that Franco is Drew, but it is really and Elizabeth/Kim story.  I may be the one overacting and stinking it up, but it’s theirs. Do you know what I mean?  It’s not my story.

Photo/ABC

What do you want to say to the fans about this new “role” you are taking on at General Hospital?

ROGER:  I want to say that I really do appreciate the fans.  Here is the thing, they’re down for everything.  I hope they’re down for this.  It’s a big ask, but I really hope that they like it.

So, what do you think of Roger as Andrew Cain thus far and how the storyline is beginning to take shape?  Are you excited to see how Franco becoming Drew (through the mind-mapping procedure) shakes up the canvas? Do you hope Drew returns to be Franco sooner than later? Share your thoughts and theories via the comment section below.

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General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Franco Looks In The Mirror … And Believing He Is Drew Kisses Kim

This week on General Hospital, viewers have seen that when Franco (Roger Howarth) awoke from his mind-mapping implantation  (thanks to Shiloh and Dr Cabot) he woke up saying that he is “Drew Cain”.  Thus, as far we know, Franco now carries the life and memories of Drew from 2012 and back, and as of now, has no trace of Franco’s memories.

When Elizabeth (Rebecca Herbst) and Drew (Billy Miller) try to make Franco understand in his confusion what transpired,  Liz brings a mirror to Franco to see his face, which makes this all the more terrifying for him.  Liz insists to him that she is wife, but he tells her that he is sorry but he does not recognize her.  Franco insists he is going to leave town and Drew asks him to please stay put, as Liz promises that they can reverse what happened to him.  But can Liz really promise that?

Later, Scorpio (Tristan Rogers) fills Sam (Kelly Monaco) and Jason (Steve Burton) in on what happened and how Franco now was implanted with Drew’s memories, which leaves them stunned.  That means Franco, who is one of the people Jason loathes most in the world – now believes he is Jason’t twin brother.

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Meanwhile, as Kim (Tamara Braun) and Julian (William deVry) prepare to leave Port Charles for Manhattan and start live anew, (so Kim can not be haunted by her life in Port Charles from the recent death of her son, Oscar) things are about to make a shocking turn … for her.

Back at GH, Liz is upset when Franco decides he must get out of his hospital room.  Liz is scared he will just skip town knowing he feels he has no ties there.  Drew reassures her that because he is a version of him, the pull will be way too strong for him to exit Port Charles.

Courtesy/ABC

Kim is now at the hospital getting ready to turn in her resignation letter and runs into Franco.  He recognizes her and calls her “Kim!” You can tell he is quite smitten with her.  Kim is not sure why Franco is acting that way.  She announces she is leaving Port Charles to which he says he is going to come with her. She sees he has a hospital ID bracelet on, so she thinks something has happened.  Just then, Franco tells her about the first time Drew Cain and her met up! This shocks Kim  … and the next thing you know … he moves in for a major kiss and lip-lock as Drew and Liz look on.

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So, what do you think of the story turn thus far that has Franco now with Drew’s memories and with no trace of Franco? Share your thoughts on the twist via the comment section below!

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Breaking News

Constance Towers Returns To GH As Helena Cassadine … But Just How Does She Appear?

Now, any General Hospital fan knows that if there is skullduggery and evil going down, Helena Cassadine (whether dead or alive) is usually somehow involved when it comes to the lives of certain people in Port Charles.

And … some major storyline news from TV Line reveals that on next Monday’s August 19th episode of the ABC soap opera, Constance Towers reprises her role as the evil one herself … Helena!

Apparently, look for Helena to appear in a flashback with none other than Shiloh (Coby Ryan McLaughlin) and about Drew Cain’s time in Afghanistan.  That scene might hold a key to just what Shiloh wants now that he has implanted Drew’s memories into Franco (Roget Howath), thanks to Dr. Cabot’s work.  But could what is revealed also relate to the story that will see Billy Miller (Drew) exit the canvas later this month? Stay tuned.

Viewers last saw Helena alive in story until November of 2016, but then she was part of Jake’s hallucinations that were a part of the chimera storyline that climaxed at the Nurses’ Ball back in May of 2017.

So what do you think Helena’s presence in a flashback will reveal? And, who is ultimately having that flashback? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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GH icon Genie Francis chats with Michael Fairman about her return to the soap as Laura after being taken off-contract earlier this year. Leave A Comment

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  • aria: “who is Kim Nero? who are her parents? hmmm, how bout her dad is a doctor as in…
  • Mark Y: “I can't imagine any news with less impact than a new talk show!
  • Trisha: “NO, PLEASE DON'T!
  • Trisha: “I agree! Don't know why they took it off!! I wish ABC would STOP TRYING TO MAKE STUPID PEOPLE FAMOUS!!…
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