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GH Nurses’ Ball 2019 Part One: Nina’s Red Carpet Arrival Commentary And Locking Eyes With Jax

Photo: ABC

On Friday’s first installment of the 2019 GH Nurses’ Ball episodes, it was red carpet time in Port Charles as all of the most famous and infamous residents got dressed to the nines and to impress.

This year, Nina Cassadine (Michelle Stafford) is back for her on-camera hosting duties covering the arrivals on the live-stream, but is joined by Crimson’s New York fashion editor, Sydney Val Jean played by guest star Chandra Wilson of Grey’s Anatomy.  And as you’d expect, these two fashionistas battle it out at times on the carpet for attention.

Throughout the arrivals, and through this episode, this one really belonged to the talents of Michelle Stafford, who through her comedic, romantic, and dramatic timing, made for some of the best moments.  In a surprise, when Nina begins to choke after interviewing Peter (Wes Ramsey), Maxie (Kirsten Storms) and Lulu (Emme Rylan),  she excuses herself and ends up outside where Jax (Ingo Rademacher) appears and offers her some champagne.  The two seem to be clearly smitten with each other! Nina accepts his drink, and thanks him, and then goes back inside to her hosting gig, while Jax looks very intrigued by Nina.  Previously, Nina gave a major kiss to Valentin (James Patrick Stuart) when he appeared on the red carpet.

Photo: ABC

Some of the more shocking …. or interesting red carpet arrivals included: Shiloh (Coby Ryan McLaughlin) showing up with Sam (Kelly Monaco) on his arm, and then getting into words with Sonny (Maurice Benard), who tells the cult leader that family means everything to him and that there is nothing he wouldn’t do for the people he loves.  Shiloh is convinced Kristina (Lexi Ainsworth) will come back to “Dawn of Day”.

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GENERAL HOSPITAL: Will Franco Wake Up As Drew & Become The Next Victim Of Mind-Mapping?

When Anna (Finola Hughes) and Finn (Michael Easton) stroll down the red carpet, they get distracted when a dapper Robert Scorpio (Tristan Rogers) shows up, clearly intent on wooing back Anna, to which Anna looks caught by her feelings for both men while Finn is pissed at the game’s Robert is playing.  Later, Finn confronts Robert about his ring.

Photo: ABC

Everyone was shocked when Kevin Collins (Jon Lindstrom) showed up arm and arm with Ava Jerome (Maura West).  We later learn that this is an attempt to smoke out Ryan, who Ava believes will show his face at the ball.   Lucy (Lynn Herring), the hostess with the mostess, comes up with a plan to get Kevin away from Ava, not knowing they are not romantically together and tries to, perhaps, rekindle their romance up in a Metro Court hotel room.  Meanwhile, Scott (Kin Shriner) wants to get Ava away from Kevin, so he heads up to Lucy’s room with Ava to show her and to catch Kevin and Lucy together, but we don’t know what they saw when the door opened!

Photo: ABC

Meanwhile in Toronto, Canada, Curtis (Donnell Turner) and Laura (Genie Francis) come to realizing they have been tied up and there is a gas leak in the cabin.  Laura realizes Ryan is trying to kill her in an explosion just as he was supposed to have perished in at the fun house years ago.  It appears Ryan set a trap for Laura and Curtis and fled the scene.  The two extricate themselves before running from the cabin just as it blows up!

READ MORE
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Back at the ball other notable couples have arrived from: Chase (Josh Swickard) and Willow (Katelyn MacMullen), to Michael (Chad Duell) and Sasha (Sofia Mattson), to Franco (Roger Howarth) and Liz (Rebecca Herbst), to the GH nurses crew.

Photo: ABC

The episode ends with an announcer telling all the guests to take their seats as its just about showtime!  And of note:  Is the opening title sequence music changed to a new theme for GH, or is it just for the Nurses’ Ball episodes? That’s one of the buzziest questions today.

So, what did you think of the red carpet arrivals?  Michelle Stafford’s performance?  Jax meeting Nina? What do you think will happen next with Ryan?  Comment below

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Ash
Ash

Franco and Elizabeth were the best thing about the red carpet. Roger and Becky can do so much with the little material they’re given, I wish this show would invest in them and use them as leads.

Looking forward to the Ryan reveal at the Ball, more Friz, Cam performing, Ava performing and hopefully some unexpected performances.

Harry
Harry

Franco sure has become the little joiner, hasn’t he? Not a dark bone in his entire, goody-two-shoe body.

Steve
Steve

The episode also debuted a revised opening credits with slower pictures and the hospital image as the final shot. Kudos for those two points.

The new song, if it’s permanent, doesn’t seem to fit as it is missing the classic 3-note Jack Urbont intro that has been part of every GH opening since the ambulance version of the late 70s.

Two steps forward, one big step back.

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Steve, I caught that also!

Marianne
Marianne

Love Robert Scorpio always! I hope he’s not the baddie in this story. Love Michael Easton as well, just not paired with Anna. The photo of the three of them looks like a family photo. Dad, Mum and son!

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Like I said, Marianne! Robert Scorpio forever! He can do more with a cocked eyebrow than most actors can do with 5 pages of dialogue. Such a pro!

aria
aria

omg why o why did they put Nina and Jax in scenes together knowing full well that they are changing actresses? seeing Michelle w/ Ingo and the chemistry they obviously have will now have to be reset when the new actress playing Nina takes over. the show should of waited for the new access to debut so she could establish her chemistry w/ Ingo . its already going to be difficult no matter how talented the actress is. just saying.

Jason Loves GH
Jason Loves GH

I agree 100%. I adore Michelle Stafford and am very disappointed that she’s headed out soon. What a bummer!

I’m unfamiliar with the actress taking over the role but I hope she has similar chemistry with Jax.

I don’t think even Mr Valentini and Co knew just how instantly mesmerizing that chemistry would be until it happened. I literally moved to the edge of my seat during that scene. Wowsa! It’s feeling like a huge opportunity missed. Time will tell.

Long live GH! ❤️

Harry
Harry

Right? And I could really do without Stafford’s goofy, gummy, freaky expressions. Please make her go away.

Shay
Shay

Patience, Harry! Patience! We shall soon be rid of her….but will Nina 2.0 be any more palatable? I have my doubts….and bringing in an old favorite like Jax to prop up NuNina only reinforces this belief.

Violet Lemm
Violet Lemm

Hi Shay
I definitely think the new Nina will be great. I watched Cynthia Watross for years on GL, and if anyone can be mean and snarky, she can match Michelle Stafford any day of the week. As Patrick mentioned Robert Newman from GL, he was the one C.W had the insane, crazy obsession with. I only hope there will be some fire between she and Ringo/Jax,
and that it will lead to the end of Valentin. I would be very glad to see the end of him and his snippy daughter. I had the distinct feeling that he and Jax already knew each other, but will have to wait and see. Hope I didn’t bore you too much.

Shay
Shay

Not at all, Violet…it was good to hear from you! Although I never watched GL, per se, I am familiar with Watros from her work in an eons-ago sitcom featuring comedian Christopher Titus. Besides being boyishly cute, he was quite offbeat and funny…she played his straight woman as the exasperated girlfriend/wife(?) It was there I suppose I formed a lack of appreciation for her…I simply found her not at all engaging, but that’s just my own take! Having later read of her soap history of portraying a total whackadoo, I could not fathom her being any more appealing for me in that particular mold. Then again, I will admit that I was hoping for a kinder, gentler and more balanced, mature Nina 2.0….someone for whom the term “temporary insanity” could have been suitably applied to her past antics…emphasis on the word “past!” Given the choice of recast, me thinks Nina 2,0’s mental problems have just begun, which may prove highly entertaining for those like yourself with fond memories of “Crazy Annie,” however, I was desirous of someone who would immediately erase all notions of that “Nutty Nina” who we suffered not so gladly over these last five years. In other words, I didn’t want a match for Stafford’s highly strung loonytune, but as you have stated, it appears that is what we—and Port Charles—are in for…To those who will enjoy that scenario, I say God bless, although I doubt I will be counted amongst them. Regardless, at least we can agree upon our less than sparkling opinion of the current Nina…considering many of your hilarious comments about the character, I think I can safely surmise that we both found her to be insufferable and will not miss her one bit!!!! As for Jax and Valentin’s prospective previous knowledge of one another??? It certainly wouldn’t surprise me when you look back at how many times there have been incidental inferences to Jax’s shady doings, whether in tandem with his brother Jerry or all by his lonesome. It also often seems that Valentin has been lurking in the GH shadows for many, many years prior to his onscreen presence, hence he thusly no doubt has the goods on just about everyone with a connection to Port Charles!!! Perhaps our answer to the Jax-Valentin question will be shortly forthcoming! Later, Violet, and thank you for your reply!

alic
alic

IMO, Nina’s reaction to seeing Jax was a little over the top. She was behaving like a giddy, young fangirl. I’m not sure if that demonstrates chemistry; her bedazzlement was certainly obvious.

Patrick
Patrick

GOD – ALL it took was one pic… and heart splatters everywhere

Jax AND niNA !

I Miss Michelle Stafford LOVE Michelle Stafford

I have to be excited about Cynthia Watros cause it got me ALIVE Valentin AND readymade to bear w/Charlotte. two exquisite being

I cheered from the mountain top for Nina.. AND my love of this girl, MIchelle Stafford

yeah, it was “No Matter…” how long it took to Valentin to snare Nina

I LOVE you with Jack Abbott .. that was a long time ago

after Valentin; come back

AND I’m beside assuming because of – RED – TURN @Jack many times will keep excited’ because it happens so MANY time

enter a new snare; new show ‘up’

bye Nina… Hello ‘New Actress’ MS w/Eva Larue

Patrick
Patrick

I LOVed right’ along w/ Robert Newman drives Joshua Lewis’ “yum”

su000
su000

They gave us a coveted Cassidine that is the opposite of every Cassidine, shameful..
Valentine is nothing more than a Johnny Peachy.
Disgrace what was done to a Cassidine!
Nikolas should have been brought back so Valentin and he could fight for the power while trying to off each other!

Anna is waaaay too old for Finn, she is a Grandma to a teenaged granddaughter.
they are ridiculous together, not to mention totally Boring!

The cult story has no teeth..

The couples are all sleepers, everyone one them.
(no cheating, no betrayals, no dirty deeds, as soap couples are infamous for, the couple all come off as senior citizens on an AARP dating night fling.)

Sonny and Julian have been disassembled and recycled into empty cans.

Carly being pregnant has no purpose unless she loses the baby and freaks out/ old plot.

Jordon and Curtis suck as a couple and her transplant is uneventful-
her kidney will come from the Ball dead guy.

The Willow baby story is a total fail.
Nothing to get excited over its simply BLAHHH, not even a twisty plot to speak of.

Maxie and Lulu have become valley girl annoying..

Back to Ball-
eeehhh .. it’s looking at dresses, couples wearing the dresses and tuxes, this year has little entertainment value..
Hopefully, it will turn it up on Monday..
((the Coldplay song, I’ll get back to that one
bwaa electronic music thing chainsmockers are Awful bad!

All in all– I still love GH, a whole bunch !!
but it needs help, lots of help..

I feel GH will be the 1st of 4 to be cancelled!

Aria
Aria

Anna is not to old for finn, how insulting she’s beautiful and Finn is no spring chicken. Nobody is bother when the male actor is older then the female actor but god help the women if she’s a few years older, that’s old way thinking so you must be very old.

alic
alic

Furthermore, at one time, it was sort of hinted at that the trouble between Finn and his father had to do with father’s wife. Although that story was never fully developed, it made me think that Finn might have had an affair with her and Chase was the result. In fact, there’s only about a 7 year age difference between Hughes and Easton.

Violet Lemm
Violet Lemm

Hi suOOO
I love your comments, mostly because you say things I wouldn’t dare. You are so funny, the way you put things just crack me up. I would really love to know you.
As far as Anna and Finn go, you’ll have to be a little patient, Hayden is returning to take Finn out of Anna’s clutches. I think Carly’s baby was written in because of her real life pregnancy. I don’t see another reason either. Originally, I thought the Wyley Willow thing was to get she and Michael together, but now I can’t figure where they are going with that SL. Ah yes, the valley girls drive me nuts too, but at least we don’t have to see hula hoop Lulu with that God awful dress this year. I am kind of looking forward to Ava and Kevin’s performance, which will get Ryan’s knickers twisting!
Whom are you referring to as the ball dead guy? Funny, no matter how you phrase it.

su000
su000

Violet Lemm, how you be?
I meant by the Ball guy lol
The person that will be killed during the Nurses Ball (someone always gets killed during the ball, it seems..)
So- Jordon will get the dead Ball guys kidney..

Anna and Scorpio need to hook up again and not necessarily in a hot sexual way (please no!)

Aahh Ava and Kevin’, what a match-up made in hell LOL and that’s what makes them intriguing and Hot!
As you said- watching them in action will be a good thing, indeed.

I didn’t know Laura/Carly was real life pregnant.
So- they will have a need to play this one out to the delivery and then after the baby tragedy will be played out..

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Hey su!
No cancellations with Robert Scorpio aboard! He and Anna will sizzle as they did in classic times of GH, IF the writers and TPTB are smart at all and IF they give Tristan a contract and revive his love story with Anna.
Can’t they see he can act circles around everyone? Isn’t it blatantly obvious?

su000
su000

heeey nancy!
I’m a Tristan/Robert Scorpio lover!
It would be great to have him back but- doesn’t he live outside of the USA?
if so- that’s quite a trip back and forth lol ..

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Thought he lived in LA but I could be wrong, su!
I do know that Jax (Ingo Rademacher) has a home in Hawaii but I think he moved to LA when he got a contract on another soap opera. “Jax” said Fri: “I’m here for a long time.” So, here’s hoping Ingo will stay on GH.
We need these two men, don’t we? 🙂

su000
su000

Hi Nancy- Tristan’s wife (facebok) tells she lives in;
Palm Springs
California
So, apparently so does Tristan lol ..

yes, we need those two men 😉

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Yes!!!!

Shay
Shay

Amen, Nancy!! Seeing the dashing Robert Scorpio on the NB red carpet was alone worth the price of admission! And Finola’s Anna looked fabulous in her evening frock…both the cut and color were simply perfect for her!!!! These two legendary legacy characters definitely belong together!

Jimh
Jimh

part of the show were well done but the intro on the red carpet was laughable…introducing the characters by name like well known celebs to me was a joke…Nina lusting at the site of Jax-MS may have her fans but her campy acting style and scene chewing is a real turn off to me(ya, its a soap but the writing is the reason why the rest of Hollywood treats soaps like low entertainment!!!

Violet Lemm
Violet Lemm

Jimh
So happy Iam not just a party of one at this “ball”. I did love K.S/Scott’s entrance. He always leaves me laughing.

Shay
Shay

Amen! You said a mouthful there, Jimh! With no scenery chewing required…unlike the aforementioned Nina!

pamala glover
pamala glover

love the new opening for the show.

Deborah Halas
Deborah Halas

Michelle Stafford did an awesome job on the red carpet!!!

Violet Lemm
Violet Lemm

Could not stand M.S/Nina and her antics, but I had the distinct feeling that Jax and Valentin know each other.
So was the flirtation with Nina real, or did Jax already know she’s with Valentin? Time will tell.
Speaking of antiqs, whats with Anna acting so silly about Robert? So she thinks he wants to propose. So what, she’s supposed to be in love with Finn. Hopefully, she’ll spare him and run off with old Bobby.

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Like I said, Violet–Robert and Anna forever!

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

And I think the best things on the carpet were dashing Robert Scorpio and his twinkling eyes and sardonic smile. keep him forever! Please! And Robert and Anna forever, also. Please!
And Jax–aaah, Jax! Those blue eyes can take one away! How handsome. And his dazzling smile, to say nothing of that nice head of hair. Keep him forever, also. PTB, are you listening?

DMRR
DMRR

No Alexis, but, we have Peter at the Nurse’s Ball. This flop ruins every episode for me.

Shay
Shay

No Alexis is always a good thing for me, DMRR, but I totally get your aversion to Pete…the only role he should be fulfilling at this event is as a parking valet.

DMRR
DMRR

Hahahaha!!!!!

DMRR
DMRR

I was mistaken, saw Alexis. I watched 10 minutes and turned it off. Sick of Mr. Laura Wright, the cult, and Oscar.

Shay
Shay

Me, too, DMRR….Given my aversion to so many current GH players, I only watch the highlight reels featuring the characters I can abide, hence today I caught Anna, Scorpio (and yes, Finn…) along with Dr. O and her deliciously diva-esque performance of “Guilty,” where Alexis was clearly seated in the audience!

DMRR
DMRR

Loved Dr. O! Now, she has talent!

Shay
Shay

She has “UBER-talent!!!” Kathleen Gati’s radiant Liesl owned the NB with her very tongue-in-cheek performance of “Guilty!” Not to mention, she was absolutely resplendent in that royal blue showstopper of a gown…a star is “reborn!” (And how nice was it that Dr. O didn’t need to “steal” the stage this time around?….Now that’s progress!)

DMRR
DMRR

Just watched the red carpet. It was cringe-worthy. Maxie was awkward. Although, I loved seeing the fashion. Nina’s reaction to Peter is similar to mine, rolling the eyes. Although, I mute and fast forward the boyfriend, too. YUCK.

DMRR
DMRR

Not sure who salivated more over Jax, Nina or Peter.

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!!…
  • Beatrice: “I also agree with Loretta. Wish Billy was staying, hate ABC didn't find a storyline for him, before his exit.
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Scott Clifton as Liam

The Bold and the Beautiful

Airdate: 7-31-2019

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