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GH Casts Chris Van Etten As Amy’s Brother, Chet!

Photo: ChrisVanEttenTwitter

He is a war vet, model, and motivational speaker, and now Chris Van Etten has been cast on General Hospital! Van Etten will play the much talked about brother of Amy (Risa Dorken) Driscoll, named Chet.

Although Chris shares the same name as GH co-head writer, Chris Van Etten, this Chris lost both of his legs — and one of his closest friends — in an explosion while serving for the Marines in Afghanistan. After receiving prosthetic legs and being medically retired from service in 2013, Van Etten turned to exercise as an outlet for mental strength and stability, as well as physical health and is a successful fitness model including for Jockey underwear.

Chris told SOD he is very excited for the opportunity with GH noting: “This has been an awesome opportunity for me.”

So, what do you think of GH casting Van Etten as Amy’s brother? Excited for his debut? Comment below!

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Soaphound
Soaphound

Far be it from me to begrudge the addition of a heroic veteran (and a majorly hot one, at that), I resume my previous argument of adding yet more characters to a show which already can’t juggle the existing ones fairly. And why saddle this poor Chris with the annoying Amy? Does that mean she’s staying, too? Ugh! Now, if we deep six Amy, I’ll remain open to giving Chris a break. He deserves that much.

Harry
Harry

Thank you for saying it for me.

brian
brian

I think GH is on the right track with the addition of Chet. Of course Amy is annoying, but don’t we want her to be ? I feel she is similar to OLTL’s Marcy and have grown fond of Amy. And no mob ties to boot !

I still think Frank Valentini is doing GH good. And lets not forget he wasn’t around when all the Quartermaine’s were killed off. I feel that GH is worth my time. Would be sadly disappointed if it stopped airing. It is a great dinner companion five days a week when i get home from work.

Francesca Bruno
Francesca Bruno

Soaphound, what a beautiful sentiment.

Shay
Shay

@Soaphound…How about giving Chet a break and pairing him with Kiki to nurse him back to health instead of his overbearing sis? That is if Ms. Jerome can escape the suspicious clutches of Dr. Bensch! (But yes, “deep sixing” the overly-perky Amy is an excellent notion….can we please just send her off on a one-way book tour?)

Jimh
Jimh

probably a new love interest for KiKi???

Annalee
Annalee

Awesome!

Tomas Torquemada
Tomas Torquemada

This is America’s longest war. And it hasn’t been acknowledged in any meaningful way IMHO (and not just by soaps) – whether it’s prime time or movies or water cooler conversations. National disasters get more news coverage.

I welcome the opportunity to hear a story from a member of or armed services. I hope its not the last. And I hope the stories look the composition of the armed services. In 2014, 24% of the civilian workforce was made up of racial minorities while 33% of active duty service members were racial minorities. Active duty service members are male and female, white and racial minorities, Christian and non-Christian. And they each deserve our respect.

Tell their stories with truth and dignity. Take pages from Sonny to do this and a grateful nation will thank you

Rhonda
Rhonda

Wow, what a great post, Tomas.
You’re right, of course.
I will give it a chance.

vinman
vinman

AWESOME NEWS!!!!
……Hopefully he’ll get a good storyline.

dmr
dmr

WHY? The cast is already bloated, and many viewers do not care for the character of Amy. Why give her an on-screen family? As with many of the newcomers, we’ll see Chet for a day or a week, and then it will be a month until we see him again.

dmr
dmr

P.S. I think it would be wonderful to introduce this character, a real-life Vet; however, I just do not have much faith in the writers as to how the character or story will develop. Best of luck to Chris Van Etten in his new role.

Shay
Shay

As do I, dmr, since I’m also all for supporting our vets and think this is an excellent opportunity for GH to salute wounded warriors, in particular!Hopefully, the writers will do them proud with this storyline! Now, if the show could only demonstrate the same respect for our brave ICE agents! Yesterday’s episode was the second time this year (at least, as far as I’m aware….) that a character has taken it upon themselves to boldly lie to the face of a government officer who is simply trying to perform his sworn duty and then act like they’ve done something wonderful in preventing said agent from accomplishing their legal task at hand. In other words, we again had an individual–and a supposed law enforcement professional, no less!—taking liberties to break federal statutes whilst aiding and abetting others who were doing likewise. Why is this offensive message being repeatedly conveyed to viewers who actually believe in upholding the rules of our land? It was bad enough the first time this happened with that Samira travesty, but to repeat such an irresponsible stunt was not something that added any entertainment value whatsoever to this program. In fact, it was downright shameful and utterly unnecessary!!!! It’s time for GH to knock off the socio-political propaganda and get back to storytelling…they finally have some decent tales to tell with Mr. Van Etten’s admirable introduction and Steve Burton’s exciting return to the canvas and yet, they still felt the need to squander audience goodwill these developments have brought to once again promote a notion that many Americans find wholly unacceptable, if not downright, wrong!

su0000
su0000

OK–
New guy– ”Van Etten turned to exercise as an outlet for mental strength and stability, as well as physical health and is a successful fitness model including for Jockey underwear.”

That fit man does not sound as described by Amy.
Her brother is needy/helpless and needs care that she needs to pay for.

I dunno.. Chris, a handsome muscular hunk vet does not seem to be the be withering needing care brother of Amy’s ..
And why hasn’t VA provided help for the vet and put it all on Amy, some sure but all no.

Shay
Shay

Excellent point, su. However, my guess is that in recent years, the VA has become a clearinghouse for far too many very costly non-service related procedures of certain elective varieties and has thus been less able to focus upon its actual original mission of providing comprehensive care for combat-caused injuries and illnesses? At least that is what I have heard from vets in the know….with only so many government resources to go around, this agency has been overburdened with budget-busting medical cases that they never envisioned years ago, and this is causing its more traditional functions to be spread beyond thin. I believe this is one of the main reasons for the current administration’s recent executive order to bring cost controls more in line with reality so that they can provide the medical aid earned and deserved by those horribly affected during their time in service to our country. At least that is the hope….

Rebecca1
Rebecca1

su0000…

the fact that this guy is good-looking and in shape is not contradictory to story. there are many injured vets who get regular physical therapy and build up their upper bodies…that’s almost a given. that doesn’t negate the fact that in real life and in the story that he was severely injured and needed operations and/or prosthetics….. Amy never said he was withering away, dying, emaciated or not attractive. just that he was severely injured (and not necessarily too recently.)

I think ye doth protest too much.

Soaphound
Soaphound

Oh, Rebecca, I’m so upset over the Burton return and shafting of Billy Miller (and the audience) that I’m now really looking forward to seeing Chris begin his run. Maybe he’ll help me forget the debacle this show has become. All bend to the almighty Steve “Mediocrity” Burton and the fools in charge that are allowing him to take over GH once again.

James R. Poissant
James R. Poissant

It took long enough but Chet finally has a face. And Amy gets more story which could also bring Nathan and Maxie into the mix. I want to see where this goes.

AJ
AJ

Good for GH for casting an actual vet and actual amputee!

Yvonne
Yvonne

Wonderful! Wishing Chris the best and thanking him for his service.

Patrick
Patrick

I so – hope – Amy and Chet have an easy going rapport

with all of Amy energies on overdrive… I wish these two characters the best

Chris Van Etten : “Thank You” for your service.

Sincerely

Robert L
Robert L

Awesome! Its great GH used a real vet to protray this character. It will give it an authentic feel and not forced. Reminds me of when All My Children did the same with the character Brock. That actor too was a war vet who sustained serious injury in real life. They were able to incorporate him into the AMC fold and he fit in perfectly!

Too bad Amy is such an annoying character! Maybe this will soften her irritating nature!

KM
KM

The AMC story was actually amazingly well done and has a pretty hilarious backstory. The real life war vet totally blew his soap vet co-star out of the water (and totally unintentionally I’m sure) because his intended short term role was so relatable and likable while his rather brittle and full of herself co-star whined about being expected to do Shakespeare against someone who wasn’t a “real” actor. Guess which one the audience related to and who “exited stage left.” Oops.

This is a totally different story set up though and the only way I see it working is if it turns out Amy character is actually a scammer using her poor, helpless brother who ain’t actually that helpless to enrich herself.

Just as an aside I’m pretty sure the AMC actor’s name is JR Martinez and if I’m not mistaken he went on to win Dancing With The Stars. I don’t usually follow it but I did that season and cheered him on all the way. I’ll sheepishly admit I even signed up to vote for him.

If I’m not mistaken the actor/motivational speaker playing Amy’s brother character was on DWTS as well. But this sounds like a kind of manipulative ass backwards story set up here.

There are only two ways for this story to go. Either Amy is a total grafter or her “helpless” brother is.

There’s a new HW sheriff in town, though, and I kind of like that the stories so far aren’t entirely predictable.

Guess we’ll see…

Jimmy
Jimmy

When I read the article title, I though GH was pulling a stunt and casting it’s new head writer in a cameo role! But this sounds like it will be worthwhile, if even for a short story arc – which I hope it is, considering GH’s cast is already too bloated as it is, and they need to be getting rid of characters (like Amy!) instead of adding new ones.

vinman
vinman

I think a”pairing” with Valerie; would be awesome

Rebecca1
Rebecca1

I actually like Amy; I think she’s adorable. Bringing her brother on board will lend authenticity to the Ask Man Landers story…interested to see how they’ll incorporate it all. Kudos to GH for bringing on an actor who actually went through the experience his character is based on instead of getting an actor to play an injured vet.

I congratulate Chris Van Etten for getting the role, look forward to the story and thank him for his service.

rose
rose

I like Amy as well. And yes her perkiness can sometimes get to you. But it’s her quirky, tenacious creative personality that made ManLanders happen so she could help her brother. And better to include a GH story that offers advice in civil , personal way instead of seeing Laura holding a gun on Valantin. Or ending yesterday with Steve/Jason and Sonny pointing guns at each other, which we will probably see again as part of the the opening tomorrow. Or Jason showing how to put his pistols together, or Finn showing how you shoot up. Enough guns. I don’t think any other soap has used them as much, or at least very little compared to GH, unless you think of a brief time with Kevin recently in Y&R.

And I am so glad they are going to have a vet play Amy’s brother. A very positive statement.

su0000
su0000

It doesn’t mention how long he will be with GH– I’d guess a short say.
Also.. I think his screen time will be not enough to get excited over..
Looking forward to his scenes.

Timmm
Timmm

Great for Chris but bad for us viewers. I wanted Paul Hornsby to kill Amy back when he went nuts! She is super annoying and is shoved down our throats just like Sabs was!

Shay
Shay

@Timmm….I had a long list of cast members I wanted Paul Hornsby to bump off before he was unceremoniously sent off to Pentonville, and yes, Amy was most definitely one of them. (I’m sure you can guess at least a few of the rest…LOL.) However, at least he managed to rid our soap screens of the sugarcoated Sabs, so for that I shall forever salute Richard Burgi and his still missed character! From the bottom of my heart, thank you, Paul!!!!

Steve
Steve

I, too, appreciate that GH hired someone authentic for this role and admire him for his service of this country. However, it’s time for this storyline to end. Hopefully, this signals an end to the Man Flanders fluff and deals honestly with the medical struggles of veterans.

On a separate note, on Monday’s episode, Andre finally has a purpose on this show. Is he now going to transition into a mastermind criminal? Now, only Lulu and Dante need a purpose.

Shay
Shay

Congratulations to this real-life American hero on his new GH role! I have no doubt Chris Van Etten will honorably and poignantly represent the struggles far too many of our brave veterans are currently facing, so whilst I’ve (thus far) absolutely loathed the character of Nurse Amy and often seriously doubted the true existence of “Chet,” cheers to the writers for making good on this mysterious storyline promise that will hopefully reflect upon much-needed decency rather than the usual lawlessness that’s so prevalent in today’s Port Charles! Hence although I am usually the first to grouse when a new—and normally unnecessary—character is introduced to this already overloaded cast, I happily make an exception for this worthy representative of the “Few and the Proud” and say, “Welcome to GH, Mr. Van Etten!”

toscanti
toscanti

I think this is great! Thank you for your service!

Marty
Marty

That’s a great story line. It fits right in with today’s life and what many families are facing.

Alice Salley
Alice Salley

I think this is great, the vets who served us really need to be recognized for what they have given for us and they need to know they can still be a productive member of society. They need to know they are accepted disabilities and all. Thank you for you service.

Satan
Satan

If this is a short term storyline it could be interesting enough, as long as this isn’t a case of another newbie on contract, with a cast that’s already bloated with the likes of his sister Amy, Frodd, Nina, etc.

And when Chet leaves town he can take them with him.

Mateo
Mateo

Kudos to GH for celebrating veterans. Kudos for using a physically challenged actor to do it. All good things but seriously, do we need another nothing character on the canvas? Let me guess, it turns out that he is the real Jason and Amy is really Helena’s grand daughter that was kidnapped by the fake Jason who is really Jason until he finds out that he is Sonny but had amnesia caused by Jason Morgan who really is Faison hired by Julian who wants to uncover the real Jason Morgan played in a dual role by Steve Burton who is extending his contract by six years to portray four characters all named Jason.

Breaking News

Brandon Barash Replaces Tyler Christopher At DAYS

According to reports from Soap Opera Digest and Daytime Confidential, former General Hospital favorite Brandon Barash has temporarily replaced Tyler Christopher, in the role of Stefan DiMera at Days of our Lives.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Brandon played mobster Johnny Zacchara on GH from 2007-2016.

Because DAYS tapes well in advance; look for Barash to hit the air sometime in early 2019.

What are your thoughts on Brandon as temp replacement for Tyler as Stefan O? Comment below.

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Breaking News

GH’s Maurice Benard Takes On Role Of John Gotti In Upcoming Lifetime Movie

Who better to use their mobster experience playing the iconic role of Sonny Corinthos on General Hospital, and put it to good use, when taking on the role of a real-life mobster than Daytime Emmy winner, Maurice Benard?

As revealed over the past weekend, Maurice Benard is hard at work filming a Lifetime Movie based on the life of Victoria Gotti called “The Victoria Gotti Story”.

Sharing the news via his social media, Benard expressed: “Thank you lifetime and everyone involved 4 a Beautiful opportunity.”

Recently, John Travolta played the notorious New York mobster in the movie Gotti released earlier this year.

The infamous Gotti, had a wife and a daughter both named Victoria.  So as to which point of view the film is focusing on is yet to be released.

So what do you think of the casting of Maurice as John Gotti? Intrigued to see the Lifetime Movie when it debuts? Comment below

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General Hospital

General Hospital’s Max Gail Opens Up On Portraying Mike’s Battle With Alzheimer’s & Making A Difference In People’s Lives

“What happens the day I wake up, and you guys are the strangers,” says Mike to his son, Sonny and his wife Carly (Laura Wright). “I left you before to my everlasting regret, but it’s going to happen. I’d do anything if I didn’t have to do it again, but it’s going to happen – one way or the other.  At least this way I could leave some good feelings, instead of disappearing before your eyes.”  Those words were said during a gut-wrenching scene on Friday’s episode of General Hospital, as Mike tries to come to terms with his deteriorating mental state in his battle with Alzheimer’s, and the hard realization that he may be better off in a care facility, instead of at his son’s home.  These scenes, as all the scenes in this storyline, have been exquisitely played by Max Gail (Mike) and Maurice Benard (Sonny).

When Max Gail arrived on the GH canvas as the recast Mike Corbin in a role made soap-famous by Ron Hale, viewers did not know what to initially expect.  What they did know was that Max is an accomplished actor with a body of work from primetime dramas and comedies, film, and the stage, and that if he is coming to GH, he must be coming on board for something major.  Before GH, suffice to say, Gail is most remembered for his role as “Wojo” on the ABC sitcom Barney Miller that aired from 1975-1982.

In story on GH, Mike, who abandoned Sonny as a child, once again re-enters his son’s life, but soon we learn that he is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and that the soap is tackling a story that is an important medical, social, and familial issue of our time.

Gail has been a revelation in this role.  A clear frontrunner for an Emmy, playing the facets, the levels, the characteristics, and the heartbreak of a person who is slowly losing everything they know near and dear to them, as in the end they are ultimately stripped of their dignity from this most horrific of diseases.

On a personal note, and as part of this conversation with Max, it was important for him and for me to share, that I lost my mother at the end of April of this year to Alzheimer’s.  So his work hits close to home, this story hits close to home, as it has also resonated for many viewers who have shared their stories on social media and when Max makes personal appearances.

Here now is this very special interview for Michael Fairman TV with an actor whom we can all agree is touching all of our lives.

You’re portraying a person suffering from Alzheimer’s and play the progression of the disease.  Do you feel pressure as an actor to get it right for those who have loved ones, or person’s afflicted with it?

Courtesy/ABC

MAX:  It’s more like an urge, or a calling to find some kind of truth in it that I can connect with.  One of the things I’m inclined towards showing is someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia often just drifts off somewhere else.  “Where am I going?”  This has happened to me many times in life.  For instance, when I was a youngster, I can remember getting in my car, and I’d driven a long way from some party or something like that, and I’d been drinking, and I didn’t remember it.  I knew I’d gotten home somehow.  So, it’s not out of my realm.  I’ve learned that there are no set behaviors really… other than that it usually ends up being really difficult for caretakers, and seemingly really painful for many, if not most people suffering with Alzheimer’s, and losing connection and losing the ability to just function.  We are kind of on the cusp of that in story at GH.  I think it was originally proposed that I would play the part for just a few months, and to give me an out if it wasn’t working.  Maybe, there was a placeholder idea to ship Mike off to a home or something, but the storyline has touched so many people that it has been continuing.

The story has been so effective.  You’ve done such an amazing job, and the fans love Mike and what you’re doing with the character, and they’re on board on this journey.  It’ll be interesting to see how far they will take this with Mike.  Will we actually see him not being able to communicate anymore?  How far will the writers go to show the horrific aspects of Alzheimer’s? 

MAX:  I’m not sure.  You know, I’ve had times where I’ve got the scene, I get the writers, and I get the heart of it.  Other times, I find where that transition is from where Mike is lucid and clear, and other times what that state of mind is and that switch is, and what that is in behaviors and energy level.  I think there’s an ongoing downturn for Mike, and for me as an actor finding something in the moment and finding how it works with things that he does remember.  They’re trying to find a place for Mike within all of the interwoven drama of General Hospital.  I, frankly, had no idea how complex the range of storylines was.  Mike doesn’t really have control over his story.  I don’t want that as an actor.  Mike has some intentions that are really important to him.  I’m trying to find that balance where there are times when he has a pathetic, very sad remorse about what he has missed.  I think that underlies his feelings for his son, who he never could quite reach, because of his own failings as a father.  Sonny’s formative experiences growing up were then with his abusive stepdad.  Finding all of that is really important to do in a way that doesn’t make Mike just this sweet older man with Alzheimer’s.   It’s a wonderful challenge to be presented with.

Courtesy/CBS

You brought up that Mike is seemingly very sweet in his demeanor now.  My mother, who I shared with you died a few months ago from Alzheimer’s was a strong-willed, feisty woman.  As the disease took hold of her, she became very sweet.   She became almost childlike.  The fire had gone out of her eyes.  You knew she didn’t know who you were, and so, all of that, as you know is so tough to witness as her son.  In terms of Mike and his ultimate care, everyone says they love him and want what is best for him, but that he needs to be taken care of because he gets confused, doesn’t know where he is sometimes. etc.  Sonny has been grappling with putting him in a care facility to be looked after, or to keep him with the Corinthos family under their roof.  However, Mike has come to a realization that he may need to be in facility all on his own, and doesn’t want to burden his son by living with him anymore.  That was a poignant moment, and another one of the best scenes has been when Mike couldn’t remember that Sonny was his own son. 

MAX:  Right and he doesn’t know if he’s around friends or around enemies.  This can be true of Alzheimer’s patients.

I had that happen with my mother when she came out to Los Angeles to see me for the last time.  She was out of her element, she was confused, and she broke down and cried in the hotel room.  She asked my father, “Why did you bring me here?” and he told her, “We came to see our son.”  It was heartbreaking.   Later, she had a moment of clarity and realized more of what was going on.  I think it’s those in-and -out moments that you portray so well on-screen.  I feel that they are very realistic to what I, and others, have experienced.

Courtesy/ABC

MAX:  I appreciate that and sharing that with me, because you never know as an actor.  That place of “Where am I?  What is this?” makes me think of that “Summer Wind” moment from the Nurses’ Ball when it wasn’t just, “I’m embarrassed.  I don’t remember the words.”  It was, “I don’t know where the f**k I am.  I thought there was a band there, but there’s not.”  So, in a way, I just had to be there on this big soundstage and just feel this big space around me.  I could barely see that there were people out there.  It’s kind of a terrifying thing to a lot of people, but I think Mike has something in him that makes him want to be okay with all of this.  He doesn’t have to freak out and get accusatory.

Courtesy/ABC

What has it been like working with Maurice Benard as your on-screen son?  Do you watch back your scenes together and ever go, “Oh, that was great!?”

MAX:  Yes, there have been a lot of those!  There are some scenes that are so emotionally focused, and we get a lot of delight in each other.  He has been playing this character in this situation for so long, so it’s just kind of in him.  Maurice has presence.  I think when I went in to read for the part of Mike, I had gone through pilot season and had gone in for some interesting pilots.  I didn’t feel like I was really connecting in the readings, because most things are by tape these days, anyway.  When this part came up, a soap hadn’t really been on my radar.  I knew I’d be going in to read with the actor, so I said, “Okay,” and I looked at the material, and then I checked out Maurice on IMDB.  One of the things that got my interest was that he has been diagnosed and takes medication to deal with bipolar disorder, and that’s become a part of his life, and it’s become part of his character.  I thought, “Wow, that’s really interesting.  This is a survivor, and he’s risen to something that takes a certain kind of balance and courage.”  I watched some clips, and when I went in for the reading of this kind of an amalgamation scene of what the story elements were going to be, I felt like we connected before we’d even started the dialogue.

Well, Maurice certainly loves working with you! He has been very supportive and vocal about that.

MAX:  It’s mutual.  We can take really little simple moments, and we can find something deeper in it, and it doesn’t have to be an, ‘I’m going to start crying now’ moment.  Although, I would love for Mike to have a moment of self-observation where he goes, “Gee.  I cry a lot more than I used to.”  I think there are people who are like that, and it’s okay for certain people to cry, and for other people it is not.

Courtesy/ABC

There was a part of my mom that knew something was wrong.  She’d go, “Why am I crying?  I don’t know why I’m crying.”  She got confused as to why she was feeling that.  She couldn’t connect it all, and at times she kept saying, “I don’t understand.  I don’t understand.”  Those were the things she would try to express.

MAX:  I have a feeling that Mike has those moments too, but he finds a way for it to be okay.  There may be a point where someone with Alzheimer’s can’t pull it off anymore, but how we find those and those specifics, I don’t know.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Working on a classic sitcom such as Barney Miller is vastly different than working on a daytime soap opera.  While now being at GH, have you found any commonality within the experience?

MAX:  If I can take a moment and reflect on Barney Miller, because it was a great experience and one that I found was not so easy to find again over the years.  One of the things that really resonates is that when we started shooting the studio audience laughed too easily.  We would end up retaking the scenes.  Sometimes, we didn’t have the end of the show written, because they tended to let certain things start to show up in the earlier parts of the script.  Danny Arnold who was the writer, creator and producer of Barney Miller would always take over the way Frank Valentini (executive producer, GH) does in a way … looking to be respectful of the director, but still seeing things on his own.  Frank has a really wonderful eye.  He’s much more connected into the overall storylines, the motivations that went into the writing, and what he sees in the moment.  I always welcome him on the set because the directors, who have a range of talents and sensibilities, are tasked with coming up with a whole lot of shots to cover, a whole lot of tricky angles, and all of that.

Courtesy/ABC

Vernee Watson has been amazing as Stella, who is also Mike’s social worker.  Does Mike have romantic feelings toward Stella?

MAX:  Vernee is wonderful.  I didn’t know Vernee had been on the show when I came on board.  She won an Emmy, and I’m not surprised.   She is so present and so specific, and she’s very bright and gets what all of these elements are, and so, I think they have a connection.  For whatever ways Mike has lived in his like, there isn’t some strange, exotic draw that she is black, and Mike is white.  I like that because both my first and late wife, and my second wife, with whom I’ve had children (and we’ve been separated for awhile, but have a great relationship) are African-American.  So, in my world that is not a big deal.   I think there’s an affinity there between Mike and Stella.  You know, he’s alive.  He’s old, but he’s not dead.  There’s an ease with women he likes.  I think there are a whole lot of reasons for them to not get involved.  One is just professional, and she’s a social worker.  We just shot something where I say something to somebody else about, “back when I still had all my marbles,” you know, he’s in another stage of life, which many people go into gracefully, while many don’t.

 

What do you think about how Mike knows about who was buried at Charlie’s Pub?  He was trying to keep the truth about Charlie Delaney from coming out, which turned into a gas leak that blew up the bar!  This storyline ties in to Sonny’s mobster dealings as well.

MAX:  Well, this is where they put this effort in the storytelling to connect Mike in some way and be intertwined with Sonny.  Of course, it reveals certain things about Mike that he’s never revealed to anybody before.  So, that’s kind of cool.  I think when he knows what and how much sometimes is not clear.  That’s why I started talking about Barney Miller because the other thing was a lot of times when we go together for the table reads, they didn’t have the end of the story.  They had a first draft, maybe. Dan would talk about it, and they’d say, “Next week, the main story is going to be this man in his fifties who is coming to terms with the fact that he is gay,” or whatever those underlying themes may be with the different characters reactions.  So, we knew elements going into it and that sometimes I  didn’t know what the writers are really intending.  In terms of Mike, he’s kind of back and forth in certain moments.  I have to resist the idea that they trap me by just being careless.  I’ve learned that just trying to fix the script often gets you into a place where you “rehearse yourself out of it,” as they say.

Courtesy/GoodDayLA

You appeared on the morning show Good Day LA  a few months back with Laura Wright (Carly), and Maria Shriver, who has founded the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement.  What was that like meeting Maria, and helping get the word out about the effects of this disease and the work Maria is doing?

MAX:  It was great to do.  Maria had sent out a tweet that is was wonderful what was going on, on General Hospital.  On Good Day LA, she talked about her work, particularly focusing on the fact that more women are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s than men.  So, then Laura and I sat down and did an interview alongside Maria.  We actually had a nice conversation before.  They did a web interview also as a follow-up.  That was very cool, because Maria is very smart, and I’d never met her, but it was great to see what she was doing.  Whatever we are dealing with in the show is sort of my opportunity in the real world to bring awareness and shed light on the subject.  I’d love to see an ongoing conversation online amongst people who can share their stories with each other.  That’s a lot of what they’re doing.  They’re raising money for research, but people need to be able to talk to each other when you’re a caregiver.  Coming out of the early sixties and early seventies when I was playing a cop on TV, I never was a fanatic activist.  I certainly got the behavior of the Chicago police at a certain time in terms of the energy and conflicts of the time.  There was something to think about, but at the same time, I had opportunities to kind of share that all cops aren’t bad, just look at the show, Barney Miller.

Courtesy/ABC

You were my favorite character on Barney Miller as Detective Wojciehowicz!  I think for many who watched the show you were, too!

MAX:  I think “Wojo” ended up being the heart of the show.

Max, you’re helping people through your beautiful performances including me.  Congratulations on that.   I’ll continue have to have a box of Kleenex handy as I watch how it all unfolds for Mike.

Photo: IMDB

MAX:  Well, I really appreciate your questions.  I’m just planting that seed.  That is really what I would like to do after talking to you and so many people.  That’s something I’d like to put out there.   We each have our own domains and responsibilities and all of it overlaps, and you can kind of get in touch with that; if you just go around the circle and share it, and then go around again.  I’m looking to help people out there in the world who are watching and are looking to share in the conversation.

So, what did you think about the heartbreaking scenes on Friday’s episode of GH between Mike and Sonny?  What have you thought of Max Gail’s performance throughout his GH run?  Have you experienced the loss, or are watching someone you love, or care about slip away from Alzheimer’s?  Share your thoughts via the comment below.

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Video du Jour

This weekend we mourn the loss of General Hospital’s beloved Susan Brown who played Gail Baldwin. Here is her final scene from 2004 when Gail and her husband Lee (the late Peter Hansen) showed up at Lila’s funeral and had an exchange with Alan and Monica. Share your thoughts on Susan’s passing via the link below. Leave A Comment

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