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GH's Dominic Zamprogna Interview: "There is Good Stuff Coming For Lante Fans!"

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

Next week on General Hospital Lante fans, and those of Dominic Zamprogna (Dante), will find several things in Dante’s world may have turned upside down, in particular with the women in his life.  His mom Olivia finally wakes up after a medically induced coma as a result of Heather Webber giving her a whopping dose of LSD.  Meanwhile, Lulu isn’t feeling well!  Hmmm.

On-Air On-Soaps recently caught up with the talented and popular Dominic Zamprogna to get the lowdown! Will Lante fans finally get to see some major story for their favorite duo, after the couple seemed to have been back-burnered for some time? What does he think of the other men who have been circling in Lulu’s life, namely Patrick and Johnny, and if they pose any real threat to the couple’s future happiness? Dominic shares his thoughts!

Meanwhile on the real life homefront, Zamprogna is about to be a proud papa for the second time! His wife, Linda is expecting their second child due around Christmas time.  Having been a co-host on our On-Air On-Soaps Podcast, Dominic’s direct tells-it-like-it-is attitude is refreshing and he can be hilariously funny and charming all at the same time. He’s the real deal.  So with that, here’s our chat with Dom!

So let me put this out there to get your opinion on this.  I interviewed Jason Thompson (Patrick) and I suggested that perhaps the powers-that-be at GH were considering putting Lulu in Patrick’s future as a potential love interest.  And then, the Lante fans went off on me! (Laughs)

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

DOMINIC:   I agree she could be in his future!  I watched their scenes and I thought Julie had really nice chemistry with Jason, to tell you the truth! (Laughs) They are two fantastic actors.  I thought they worked really well together.  It’s a soap.  So whatever happens … happens.

But wouldn’t you like something to happen to Dante and Lulu? They can’t just be on the air as a boring happy couple, that never seems to fly on soaps.

DOMINIC:  Well, we haven’t really been anything lately!  If she is with someone else, that would certainly get us back on and some airtime.  I think it comes in waves. To me, that’s the nature of soaps. And yes. I think I would like that threat in their relationship.  But that threat exists between Lulu and Johnny, because they are business partners again.  We are going to see just how much of a jealous person Dante is, even though he tried not to be.  You can see he can’t help it   Johnny slept with Dante’s mom and is his father’s enemy.  Plus, he slept with his wife years ago.  So they have a past.  So you are going to see that drive a bit of a stake between them … and that is going to bring us back into the forefront a little bit more.  But honestly, whatever stirs things up is good!  Obviously, Frank Valentini (executive producer, GH) and Ron Carlivati (head writer, GH) are into stirring things up all over the place from what we have seen so far!

I kind of thought; what if they had a triangle with you, Julie Marie Berman (Lulu),  and Jason Thompson.  That would be giving the fans three great actors to watch interact with each other in this situation.   And again, this would all be temporary until Kimberly McCullough (Robin) comes back to the show! (Laughs)

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DOMINIC:  You know that would be interesting though.  If you have a Dante/ Lulu/ Johnny triangle, you have a bad guy, a good guy and her in the middle.  With Patrick and Dante, here you have two good guys which could be interesting, and again their scenes together are phenomenal.  So again, fans should not get angry at the threat of that. It would be story and legitimate story and conflict, no matter what happens.

Courtesy/ABC

Here is my thing:  I have loved your performances on General Hospital the entire time you have been there.  You had such great story, and you were on all the time and then you were back-burned. Were you concerned that the new regime did not want to write for you?

DOMINIC:   No, no, not at all.  I think everyone gets their time in the sun. Sure, compared to the first two and half years I was on the show, I was on non-stop everyday.  I think these guys (Frank and Ron) like me too, but they like to spread the stories and the action out a little bit.   I don’t think that is a bad thing.  And at the same time, it’s nice for your fans to say, “We want more Dante” instead of saying, “We are sick of seeing him!” I also feel in the last month the story has been there. Now it’s just starting to air though!

So there is big story for Lante fans isn’t there?  Lulu isn’t feeling so good next week.

DOMINIC:  Honestly the story is there and it’s coming.  I have worked a ton since we had the dark weeks. There is a lot of great stuff coming up in scenes with me and Julie. Like awesome!  So, if Lante fans are looking for some good stuff, they are about to see a lot of good stuff coming up!

How would you have liked to have seen the former writers lay out story for Dante and Lulu?  Do you think they got married to quickly?  Do you think it was done at the right time?

Courtesy/ABC

DOMINIC:  The problem when you have two people like me and Julie is when you have written a big build up to our relationship, and then you finally had us have sex, and then we got together,   it did well. There also was the Brook Lyn thing and all of that.  I do think with Frank and Ron it wasn’t their story to have us married.  If they had their way, they wouldn’t have had us marry.  And I think if Jill Farren Phelps (Ex-EP, GH) and Garin Wolf (Ex-head writer, GH) had their way, they wouldn’t have married us so soon either.  There was supposed to be a bunch of things that was supposed to happen. But time and the threat of the show being canceled, forced them to push up story.   So we got married in December. Then it was like, “OK. What do we do with them now?” And then the new people came in and said, “Oh, they are happy.”  But they were breaking up all these other couples.  So the thought was, “let’s not break them up.”  I think at some point you have to have a real threat of a breakup, or a massive crisis or conflict of something between the two.  Not outside forces, because then that feels contrived such as Lulu opening a club with Johnny.  I do like the conflict they are having because Dante being jealous is a real problem that happens in real relationships.   People who become insecure in their relationship because of an ex, that can cause a lot of problems.  I think that is one of the first legit concerns that they have had since they have been married.  I will say again that there is so much great stuff coming!

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

Next week, Dante has a lot going down; there are some developments with Olivia after she awakens from her coma and her LSD trip!  And it may not be good!

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DOMINIC:  Yup.  Mom’s in danger, but it’s a different kind of danger. There are a lot of people in different kinds of danger. Patrick is in trouble.  Luke is in trouble.  Olivia is going to be in trouble, but actually it’s going to play out much more interesting than you think!

What happened to the scenes between Dante and his father Sonny?  It seems like you and Maurice Benard (Sonny) hardly work together at all anymore.  What is up with that?

DOMINIC:   We had some scenes the other day.  Whether we are going to see more on top of that, I don’t know. Whenever Sonny and Dante get together on screen for to long people are like you can’t be too happy either, and you can’t be to angry either.  There are fans on both sides of that fence as well.  There are fans who really want Sonny and Dante to get along, and fans who really don’t want Sonny and Dante to get along.

I never knew where their father/son relationship ended up!  I was confused if they liked each other, loved each other, or still couldn’t stand each other.

Courtesy/ABC

DOMINIC:  It didn’t end up anywhere definitively.  I think their relationship is always going to be influx and that is what is interesting about it.  It’s kind of like a train wreck where we have a conversation and it’s kind of like a rubbernecking experience, where you don’t really know if its going to end with a harmonious moment and a hug, or if its going to be like, “Good seeing you,” or, “F*** U, Dad.”  I think it’s interesting no matter what they write for Maurice and me.

Alright Dom and Lante fans, what do you think of his remarks in the interview? Are you excited about what is to come for Dante and Lulu? What do you think should be the dramatic conflict between these two? Are you liking Lulu and Johnny being in each other’s orbit again? Let us know what you think will happen coming up in the story as previewed and hinted at by Dominic!

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Christine
Christine

Being Italian-American myself, I am a bit biased, 🙂 but I really LOVE Dominic Zamprogna too. He does a great job as Dante. I am only somewhat regretful that I stopped watching GH during the middle of Vanessa Marcil’s last return because it was doing nothing for me. I love Brenda and the story was horrible, in my opinion.

Sadly I never got to see Dante and Lulu get together, but they make a great couple. The writers/producers should be happy that they have such great chemistry because it seems like they are hellbent on this Corinthos-Spencer union.

I admit I would not be crazy about a triangle for them, but I also know that happy couples = boring. You have to have some angst every now and then to keep the spark alive.

One other thing before closing, I think Dante and Lulu were put on the backburner because I believe Lulu was supposed to become an alcoholic and the new team did not want that so they had to cut a lot and that didn’t leave much airtime. They just have had so much of a mess to clean up after the former regime, but it seems like they are running on all cylinders now.

Chris
Chris

Dom Z. is Canadian, not Italian!

Manny
Manny

Sorry, but he’s both… Canadian and Italian origin.

pink
pink

Dom IS Italian because his dad is from Italy.But he is also Canadian because he grew up in Canada.He is also part British because his MUM is from England.

Christine
Christine

I was referring to the ITALIAN part! Alla famiglia. 🙂

Suzie
Suzie

I don’t see a triangle with Patrick/Lulu/Dante working. There needs to be a
bad boy element and we’ve got that ad nauseum with JZ. But I do think JT
and JMB worked well together. Would love to see a friendship between
Scrubs and Lante evolve. Especially if Dante were the one that helped
Anna discover that Robin is still alive. Of course, FV would have to let
Dante be the “hero” instead of John McBain and THAT’S not very likely.
Karoake night with Scrubs +Lante + Luke and Anna would be a blast.

Todd
Todd

I am a new gH watcher, but I don’t find the appeal in the character of Dante. I agreed with what was written in Heathers forged letter. I liked how Lulu got the taste for danger after surviving her kidnapping. She has so much more chemistry with Johnny, or Patrick. For some reason GH fans like the dull status quo and like couples to be happy. I like Lulu alone. Perhaps she can explore being a PI with Sam and Spinelli.

Erick
Erick

You should really You Tube the scenes from Sept-Nov 2009 when Dante and Lulu first met, when people didn’t know he was Sonny’s son and a cop. It was hard not to root for him. And there actually was danger back then, because Lulu found out he was a cop before everyone else did, and knew Sonny & Jason would kill him if they found out.

Evelyn riley
Evelyn riley

Good interview! Big no to Patrick-lulu but
I’m completely psyched for the good stuff
Coming up for Lante!

I have to respectively disagree w Dz on the fan
Piece. Fans are super invested in the couple
(d/Lu) so of course they will be upset at a potential
Triangle what not – fans are invested in the couple

Hoping Lu is pregnant!

Glad the marriage happened when it did – thx to
Jfp/gw – bc in all honesty fans might never have
Gotten wedding if it wasn’t done then

Melissa
Melissa

I so can’t wait for the Lante scenes, s/l and of course Dante and Olivia scenes! I am a huge Lante/Dom and Julie fan

Philip
Philip

Dom is a terrific actor and he’s one of the GH regulars who’s made watching the show fun. Looking forward to seeing what happens to him and his GH loved ones. LOL

Janeway
Janeway

Thanks for the interview! I love and adore Dominic!!!! He brought me back to watching GH. I think he is incredibly talented and GH is lucky to have him. His chemistry with everyone is great, but his chem with Julie is phenomenal! They are the sweetest, cutest, hottest couple I have ever seen. I am soooo happy they are back on the front burner where they belong. I want to see them have exciting and challenging stories and angst is good, but I DO NOT want to see a TRIANGLE! To me that is lazy writing and soap cliche’. I LOVE that Lante are married. I love to see them solve problems together, they feel very real. I would love to see them both involved in helping expose Johnny and helping Patrick ( finding Robin?). Patrick and Dante both need a male friend. I want to see them explore what it means to be a married couple ( and a family?). I like that they are exploring issues like Dante ‘s jealously ( although I see it more as him being overprotective-what would he have to be jealous of? LOL) and Lulu’s insecurities. I want them to be the exception to the soap rule and stay together (Iike some soap couples did in days of old). One question, what does the new regime have against physical affection? Afterall it is a soap. I miss the love scenes/afterglow/pillow talk that was always part of Lante. I am glad the kissing and touching is coming back, hope they will give us some of that too.

MissEllie
MissEllie

Completely agree with these comments. Love Lante!!! Love Dante!!! Love Lulu!! Don’t see how Patrick is anything more than friend and would love to see a friendship between Patrick, Maxie, Lulu, and Dante. Triangles are very soap cliche and I am sick to death of them. They make me want to turn off the tv — why alienate the fans??

dee
dee

now that Kristin Storms is coming back loved her as Maxie but Jen Lilly has really done a great job keeping Maxie alive and still around so great going , and will be sad to see her go but glad that our Maxie is back woohoo!

dee
dee

i was going to try not write one more word, but you had it all great, to me the abc soaps and yes i am putting back amc and oltl because this happened to them too, NO Passion and ADVENTURE on soaps, why??? Is it Disney???

Cathleen
Cathleen

Love DZ and can’t wait for the amazing stories coming up for him and Julie. Michael, always enjoy your interviews. It was good meeting you at the FCW two weeks ago.

Linda
Linda

I may be in the minority but Lante is sooo annoying. They never should have gotten married. I wish the writers would have gone with the Lulu drinking problem. At least that would be more interesting.

Jules
Jules

NO to Lulu and Patrick! ZILCH chemistry. They have as much heat as a wet match. Don’t care about Lante, but Patrick belongs with Robin, and there’s no “interim” relationship he can have that will fill the spot for her until she returns. Throw Lulu with Johnny, have Dante be jealous and be done with it. Don’t bring Patrick into it.

Veronica
Veronica

I really like Domnic. He keeps it real and is very genuine and complimentary of his co-stars. I like that Dante grounds Lulu and gives her the stability she never had but he also has a dangerous job so he and Lulu’s need for adventure and risk is not that different when it comes down to it. I agree that Johnny makes a very interesting conflict for the couple because of his past with Lulu and because he appeals to that part of Lulu that craves danger but I’d still want Lante to win out in a situation like that.

The Patrick scenario seems really forced to me and while JMB excels at any scene where her character Lulu is badgering another character into submission, it just didn’t feel organic at all.

It honestly baffles me that while the viewers know that Robin is alive and making the most of her connection with Patrick, we’re supposed to root for him to get over her and go along his merry way to be the interloper in a couple he’s never given the time of day before three weeks ago. But the writers are going to do what they’re going to do.

Kels
Kels

I am glad they don’t have Dominic on every day like his first two years. Now I actually enjoy his scenes instead of roll my eyes in frustration with him being in every story whether it made sense or not. I also got frustrated with Dante and Sonny having the same conversation every time they shared a scene. It went like this… Dante: You’re a mob boss and a lousy father. Sonny: I am not going to apologize for who I am. Blah-blah-blah! I have no problem with them sharing future scenes but please dear writers, don’t repeat the same conversation we have heard for the last 3 years! I am looking forward to a Dante/Lulu/Johnny love triangle. Sorry but Lulu doesn’t fit with Patrick and she already has amazing chemistry with Johnny. So I vote for them to go with that angle and write a really messy triangle for them!

dee
dee

now we see todd every day do you do the same, just curious??? I love Dom, so it was not hard at all, plus at that time they were only showing Jason,Sonny,Dante all of them were on every day, he was new back then but for me he gave the show some extra fresh air , with Lulu. just curious about Todd?? no offense just asking???

Kels
Kels

Todd has only been on every day for two months. Dante was on every day for two years! Check back with me in a couple of years if Todd is still on every day and I’ll let you know.

ghfan4evr
ghfan4evr

I am playing catch up with this past weeks epi’s and just finished watching Wed/Thurs shows. I can’t tell you how happy I am to see Lante on my screen again and I am super excited to see where RC and FV take them.
Thank you Michael for doing this awesome interview with one of my favorite actors.

DomSmythe
DomSmythe

Dom Z is an excellent actor, and sort of under appreciated. He’s never been nominated, for one. His acting is very down to earth and real. I love that.

As much as I like Dante, I never ever saw chemistry with Julie Berman/Lulu. And Lulu and Patrick is really boring.

I’m gonna put this out there: I want to see Patrick with Alexis. And I loved Dante and Brenda, thought the writing was horrific. Dante needs to be with someone new — who, I’m not sure….

Daisylover
Daisylover

As Maurice said in an interview he did, Dominic is a working man’s actor and greatly underappreciated. I completely agree. Dom was unknown to the world of soaps when he came to GH 3 years ago and became the fastest climbing actor in popularity in the history of soaps. That must mean something. He and Julie Berman have magnificent chemistry. They are great friends and love working together.
I understand what Dom means about conflict and angst. As much as I love to see Dante and Lulu happy we also need to see them struggle. For so long we’ve been missing that sparkle between them because they haven’t been on screen, but finally we’re beginning to see that Frank and Ron are finally “getting” Lante. It’s been confusing because we were seeing a Dante and Lulu we weren’t used to. But gradually TPTB are recognizing what Lante was all about, and fans are getting the real Lante back. Bravo.
Personally, I love this couple, I love these characters, and I love the actors that portray them. I could watch them forever, separately, together, any way I can get them.

Christy
Christy

ha! when I read “Lante” fans, I totally thought he was talking about Llanview fans! ha

Beth
Beth

Very good interview with Dominic. I’m definitely ready for something that will shake up Lulu and Dante’s relationship, and I’m hoping that comes in the form of Johnny. There is so much history between Lulu and Johnny: planning to take down Anthony, Lulu killing Logan and Johnny covering for her, Johnny facing the death penalty for a murder that Lulu committed, Lulu facing her fears of becoming her mother in Shadybrook, Johnny’s own fear of turning into his father, etc. Given the situation Johnny is in right now, there is a lot of potential for Lulu to revisit her past and have that conflict with her marriage.

On another note, I’ve always wondered how Dominic feels about the fact that most soap characters have multiple relationships while his character has only had one relationship. I’m curious to know if he’s thought about his character in a different relationship and if there is any character/actress currently on that he’d like to work with. Thanks for a great interview.

dee
dee

on your question about Dante only being with lulu that is basically incorrect well sorta remember brooklyn, and they even tried with Brenda, fans had nothing to do with putting a split between lante, it is kinda like with luke and laura it really never work!
Very good interview, first i want to congratulate Dom with the next baby coming. Imo i think Lante has so much chemistry, that they just do not explore it imo. ABC soap is far cry from the days of romance and adventure, i am not sure when it stop but i have a feeling it has something to do with Disney i could be so wrong, but really do not see passion like you would see back in good old days of soap, which that why a lott of ppl watched soaps. Whatever bring Lante back on my screen more than 1 day a week i am all for it, plus i want more adventure plus romance, not talking about just sex but real, well soap real romance, bring it on it would be amazing if you do it right!

Christy
Christy

every time I see Dante…. all I can think of is when he was on Stargate Atlantis and that episode. 🙂

Lisa
Lisa

Personally, I’d like to see Lulu’s aplastic anemia come back into play during her pregnancy. Even though she had a bone marrow transplant, she can relapse especially with being pregnant. This might be an interesting arc to the current storyline and of course, will provide lots of drama and angst.

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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Recent Comments

  • Not too crazy about the storyline but I’ll keep wa: “Not too crazy about the storyline I think it’s kind of silly. I liked Franco’s character and that he and…
  • Lynda: “Waiting anxiously for storyline unfolding. Have loved Roger's acting since becoming familiar with him on General Hospital.…
  • Tam Taylor: “JI completely agree. Roger is Franco and Drew is Billy Miller. I also truly wish that Billy Miller weren't leaving…
  • Eileen: “I hope the Drew and Franco bit is just temporary although it is fun for a change. I myself I'm…
  • Becky: “I hate it because I’m afraid there will be as many Drew’s as there are Sonny and Carly weddings. And…
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