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GH's Dominic Zamprogna On His First Daytime Emmy Nomination, Emme Rylan, Maurice Benard – Daytime Emmy Spotlight Interview!

Courtesy/ABC

Courtesy/ABC

If there is a sentimental favorite in the Outstanding Supporting Actor category at this year’s upcoming 41st Annual Daytime Emmy Awards to be held on Sunday June 22nd, it’s General Hospital’s Dominic Zamprogna (Dante Falconeri)!  A first time Emmy nominee, Dominic scored a spot in the final five with his touching portrayal of a husband desperately trying to hold on to his wife when things go south after losing custody of the child they thought was their biological daughter.  But even more touching is the fact that Dominic’s beloved mother passed away late last year and more than anything, as he shares with us, he would have loved to celebrate this honor of a nomination from his peers with her.

In addition, On-Air On-Soaps chatted with Dominic to get his thoughts on: the Emmy hoopla surrounding his nomination, why he ultimately chose the scenes between he and his on-screen father, Daytime Emmy winner Maurice Benard (Sonny) to go for the gold, how he feels he and Emme Rylan (Lulu) have fared with the fans now that they have gone through an emotional ringer of a storyline, and post Julie Marie Berman’s departure (Ex-Lulu), plus what he would like to see happen for Dante at the PCPD cop shop and more!  Here’s Daytime Emmy Nominee … Mr. Z!

So, you are a first-time Daytime Emmy nominee!  What do you think about that?

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

DOMINIC:  I feel really good about it.  It was funny, because my dad woke me up with a text message two days before the nominations were announced, because a good friend of mine from Hamilton was nominated for a Tony Award.  And then the morning of the Daytime Emmy nominations, I am waiting for a text from my dad and it did not come.  So I sent him a text like, “Sure.  You send me a text for someone else but not your son!” (Laughs)  So he goes, “What are you talking about?”  He didn’t know.

How did you find out you scored a Supporting Actor nod?

DOMINIC:  I found out because my kids are up everyday a 5:30AM and so after I took care of my kids, I knew there was a rumor that the nominations were coming out around 9AM on the east coast.  So I checked on Twitter and someone had posted on my feed that I had been nominated.  I thought they were confused and talking about the Pre-Nom.  (Laughs)  Then I followed the Daytime Emmys twitter feed and link, and lo and behold, I was listed there!  It was a very ecstatic moment, and then I immediately thought of my mom.  I really wish she was here for me to be able to tell her about it.  I feel like she has been a part of this whole thing, and win or lose, it’s just great to get the nomination and just happy to be invited to the party.

You submitted the scenes between you and Maurice Benard (Sonny) in the boxing gym as Dante is lamenting over the disintegration of his relationship with Lulu (Emme Rylan).  How come you decided to go with those scenes for your Emmy submission?

Courtesy/ABC

DOMINIC:  My dad really liked those.   I never get a phone call from my dad crying because I did something on TV, but with these scenes he did.  I figured if it’s good enough for him, then it’s good enough for me.

Those scenes definitely told a story that had a beginning, middle and end to it!  Good recipe for an Emmy reel.

DOMINIC:  Yes!  Dante and Lulu’s marriage is on the outs, and Dante thinks their marriage is kind of over because of what happened to Lulu losing baby Connie in the courts.  So he goes to the boxing gym and Sonny walks in.  It’s just a nice sequence of scenes with Maurice. What I liked about the episode, which I initially did not realize, was at the end of the show it was not one note.  There was a bit of an arc for my character in it.  What I liked it about it was in the end of it, Dante walks back into his apartment and says to Lulu, “I want us to try and have another baby.”  It was a complete shift from where he was at the start of the episode.  When you’re submitting for an Emmy, it’s nice to have material where the character goes on some journey.

One of my favorite scenes of yours from the past Emmy season was when you and Lulu (Emme Rylan) found out in the church via Brad (Parry Shen) that Maxie (Kirsten Storms) and Spinelli (Bradford Anderson) were the bio-parents of then baby Connie.  Was there ever a moment were you thought perhaps submitting those moments would be the way to go?

Courtesy/ABC

DOMINIC:  I looked at those scenes.  I enjoyed those scenes and thought everyone was stellar in those.  Everyone had such good material with everyone finding out the truth about baby Connie.  But the guidance I got in selecting scenes was that the scene with me and Maurice was just a better choice, because there were not a lot of beats in the other scenes where I am waiting around for other people to say something.  I was told go with your gut!  Lisa LoCicero (Olivia) and Maurice both felt that the boxing gym scenes were stronger.  But I did love the scenes in the church, and my wife and I watched those and liked them.  My wife said, “You go with either one, really.”  But for the Emmys, you almost have to put yourself out there in the best possible way in the shortest amount of time.  It’s almost like an actor sending in a demo reel.  I think the judges want to be woo’d as quickly as possible.

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General Hospital was completely snubbed in the Outstanding Drama Series, Writing and Directing categories!  Many felt it had to do with their submission of one of the episodes of the Nurses Ball that cost them a nod; others feel something else might have been at play.  Any thoughts on the omissions?

DOMINIC:  I think the show is doing well, but this time it was just one of those things that doesn’t go your way.  There might be no rhyme or reason.   But I don’t watch the other soaps, so I don’t know what’s out there, but you do.  I am sure you could see why the other shows were nominated.  I am pretty happy and proud of what GH has accomplished in terms of our ratings throughout the year.

Maurice Benard (Sonny) also did some fantastic work this past year and was not nominated in the Lead Actor in a Drama Series category.   Were you surprised?

Courtesy/ABC

DOMINIC:  I was surprised!  Knowing Maurice, and knowing the material he had been nominated before in the past, I thought for sure he would be nominated this year.  I just respect the hell out of anyone who gets in there and plays the truth of real moments and that doesn’t always happen.   He is not afraid to go there with anyone.  And this is the case where I think someone should get in for an Emmy nomination not for just one scene they did, but for an overall body of work.  But that’s not how it works, and I know that.

You are in a very tight race in the Supporting Actor category along with your former GH cast mates Bradford Anderson (Spinelli), and Steve Burton (Ex-Jason, now Dylan Y&R), Scott Clifton (Liam, B&B) and Eric Martsolf (Brady, DAYS)!  Do you think you have a shot at the gold?

DOMINIC:  By all accounts it sounds like I am very good company.  I know for a fact I am in good company with Steve Burton and Bradford Anderson.  It’s a very competitive category.  When I saw how many pre-nominees there were in my group, I went, “Well that’ friggin great!” (Laughs)   Burton has won an Emmy, and Bradford has been nominated at least four times since I have been at GH.  Scott Clifton I know has won twice, and Eric Martsolf has never been nominated, either.  I am honored to be there with my friends and two other great actors.  I have always said that when I am watching the Oscars too! It’s not the road to the Final Four here.  People do remember the nominees, and even if they don’t, this is about what you accomplished.  I feel like I set that goal for myself, and I have accomplished that goal and that feels like a victory.

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

Did Emme Rylan (Lulu), and your former on-screen partner Julie Marie Berman (Ex-Lulu), reach out to you after you received your Daytime Emmy nomination?

DOMINIC:  Emme texted me.  Julie wrote something nice on Twitter like she had witnessed my talent for years and she was happy that I finally got recognition which was cool.   Now she could be full of shit completely (laughs), but it’s still nice to hear it.

What did your wife Linda say when she learned of the big news?

DOMINIC:  She was pretty stoked and she was half asleep when I told her. She just kind of raised her arm and gave me a high-five!  She was super excited though and she knew how important it was to me.  In the past, I have not wanted to submit anything for the Emmys because I didn’t feel I had the material for what it takes to get in.   But this year I thought I had the material to hang with these guys in my category.

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As we have discussed before, Emme Rylan took a lot of heat from fans replacing Julie Marie Berman as Lulu.  How do you feel the on-screen pairing is working now between you and Emme? 

Courtesy/ABC

DOMINIC:  I feel the connection with her and it’s a tricky thing.   I still feel you can’t erase a four year history.  I think a recast is the toughest thing in the world for fans to accept, but I think she is really won a lot people over, especially over the last five months and the way the storyline has been written.  I believe that people are really warming up to the new “us”.  We have been given more stuff now then I had with the Julie.  But now you get fans saying, “Well, why they didn’t do this material when they had Julie?”  It is important to remember, and I think a lot of people are still confused as to why Julie is not on the show anymore.  Julie left because she wanted to leave.  So the show had no choice but to recast.  I think the more people realize what went down behind the scenes they come to understand.  And Emme is good!  She is really, really good.  She is not Julie, and Julie is not Emme.  I am never, ever going to take anything away from what Julie and I had, or what we went through together in those four years, and how much love the fans gave to us, but Emme and I are pouring our heart and soul into what is happening now.

Also, I would like to see Dante solve a case for the PCPD!  What are the chances of that happening?  (Laughs)

Courtesy/ABC

DOMINIC:  I would like to do that! (Laughs) Finola Hughes (Anna) was so funny. Five months ago she was like, “Oh! I think we are going to get some stuff we are going to solve!” And I go, “Hmmm. Maybe…”   Then a little time past and we are like: “We don’t get to solve friggin anything!” (Laughs)  When I first came on the show I never solved the crime either. It was other cops, etc and Sonny was getting off the hook.  I think we do it and don’t look dumb.  Finola is such a phenomenal actress.  I don’t know how she did not land an Emmy nomination!  That does not make any sense to me. The chance to work with her, and to be a part of what she makes real every day at work is amazing.  The scenes she had with Jason Thompson (Patrick) and Kathleen Gati (Obrecht) were great, and the stuff with Kimberly McCullough (Robin) of course, all of that was worthy.   But I think working with someone like her in solving things give us credibility and we are never going to look like bumbling idiots, as long as she is in control.  Finola just commands so much respect as Anna.  She is such a strong powerful woman.

Do you think there will be a moment coming when Dante will have to arrest Sonny and throw him behind bars for murdering AJ Quartermaine (Sean Kanan)?

DOMINIC:  That remains to be seen.  I know after he finds out his mom, Olivia has been cheated on it could lay the groundwork for him.   I sort of believe that will be the impetus for us to continue to be odds with each other.   I talked to Frank Valentini (executive producer, GH) and maybe that will happen.  I like when they are butting heads when Dante is investigating Sonny.  I think there could be potential for Dante arresting Sonny and it would be really interesting to see, because I don’t know how Sonny can get out of it.  But there has to be away for him to get out of it … otherwise, they won’t do it! (Laughs)

Courtesy/ABC

Maybe Sonny goes to jail and has a claustrophobic attack and Dante gets in there with him, and talks his dad down.  How’s that for a story point?

DOMINIC:  I don’t want to get in a jail cell with Maurice!  I will hang out outside the bars! (Laughs)  I will bring him coffee.

Now below watch Dominic’s nominated Emmy reel!  Then let us know: what you thought about Dominic’s sentiments on working with Emme Rylan, Julie Marie Berman, Finola Hughes and Maurice Benard?  If you are pulling for Dominic to win the Emmy in honor of his mom?  If  you would like to see Dante put Sonny behind bars for a long time?

 

 

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Greta
Greta

I love Dominic so much as an actor. He was fantastic this year. I do think Bradford will probably win this time, but I’ll be happy either way.

Timmm
Timmm

Dumbnte and Nathan are the two worst cops EVER! Those two should get a job in a paint store. Secondly, the only thing about Spumneli’s recent appearance is that it was only two days! STAY AT THE POND WITH YOUR FISH Spinelli!

Liz
Liz

Well, Greta was referencing the actor, not the character. There is a vast difference between the two.

dmr
dmr

I hate how the PCPD cops/detectives are written; I really do. It’s not the actors or the characters fault; it’s the writers who write this garbage. I’ve said for a long time that the PCPD is full of keystone cops who have never solved a case. Now, that seems to be true for Commissioner Devane, as well. It’s beyond comprehension for us viewers.

Timmm
Timmm

Your right and even the writers have problems because you paint a popular cast member into a corner, you have to have them off so they can continue to be on the show so the cops never really are allowed to get their guy EXCEPT Johnny and Blackie!

diana
diana

Love the interview and really believed he deserves this emmy Love Lante with JMB and Emme just like Dom said JMB is not ER and ER is not JMB but we do have Lante

Erick
Erick

And they didn’t actually catch Johnny…. His guilty conscience caught up to him and he confessed….

su0000
su0000

Dominic and Bradford, both were given great material to showcase their talents..
It’s a toss-up ..

RC and writing team deviled some excellent material for all of the GH cast that highlighted their talent..
(good writing does that, gives the actors material/stories to shine a brilliant light on them, their skills and abilities to wow us ! .. ..

Silver Farr
Silver Farr

There is something raw, and real that Dominic brings to the screen. And the dynamic he has with Maurice is beyond anything I’ve seen from any other two characters. He ABSOLUTEY deserves to win.

Tina
Tina

That clip should do it! I will be very happy if Dom wins in honor of his mom! Like him, I know Brad and Steve are worthy too, but this clip is hard to beat! I remember when we went to the dinner after the Emmys, in 2010 I think, Dom invited us to come by the GH table! He is so nice! Looking forward to doing his and Jason’s event again this year!

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

If GH cops actually solve a case…especially Sonny killing A.J…and he went to prison for it …that would be a shockingly unexpected plot twist…but if it did happen im sure he wouldnt stay in prison for long…he’d get out before he spent two seconds behind bars!

MC
MC

Happy for Dom.

Wouldn’t hold my breath for Dante to arrest Sonny. He’s already watched him hold a gun to AJs head and be a hairbreadth away from pulling the trigger and never really mentioned it during the whole investigation. Not to mention letting Luke off for killing Jake, or once again Sonny off for shooting him. Dante is a crappy detective.

dmr
dmr

I was never a huge fan of Dante and Lulu’s; but, I did like Julie Marie Berman. I don’t think I would have minded a recast of Lulu; but, I don’t think that Emme was the right choice; of course, it could also be the writing and storyline they are involved in, as well. I think that Dante and Lulu have gone very stale. I find most of their scenes very boring. Due to the onslaught of recurring characters and endless new faces, I feel as though we do not see the core, legacy characters very often, which is probably why I have lost interest in the couple, as well.

dmr
dmr

I also agree with Dominic about how inept the PCPD appear to us viewers since they have yet to solve a crime or send a criminal to prison. Also, how an incredibly talented actress like Finola Hughes is not nominated for an Emmy; but, Kristen Alderson gets nominated is beyond me. It seems as though the writers do not know what to do with the ridiculous character of Kiki. Send her back to NYC to meet and live with grandmother at Ryan’s Bar, ha!

Cathy Borruso
Cathy Borruso

I would ♥ to see him win but my choice is still Bradford good article

Blaze
Blaze

Thanks for the article…I disagree with Dom saying that they had to recast the role of Lulu because Julie left. I still think it would have been better for Lulu to “die” and then recast after a year or so or perhaps JMB would decide to come back. That would have given DZ awesome material and a potential pairing with a different character.

I hope DZ wins. He has great chemistry with MB, FH and LLC. I would live to see him in more cop scenes perhaps an undercover assignment with the character of Jordan.

rebecca1
rebecca1

I don’t see the logic to that. Soaps have run for years. Many actors/actresses have stayed on one show…others have left to pursue other genres and have used soaps as a stepping stone. But you don’t kill off a character on a soap and interrupt storyline…it’s like an understudy in theatre. The show must go on…

Personally I like Emme. I don’t even think of JMB…the couple either has an interesting storyline and it will keep me interested. If the story sucks…then it would regardless who played it.

missellie
missellie

I agree with Blaze although I thought that, given a proper auditioning process , GH might have struck gold again if they went with a recast. That was not the case and now I would like to see Dante move on with either Jordan or Liz.

I also think that even if the story “sucks” some actors can bring out the best of it. JMB was gifted in doing just that.

rebecca1
rebecca1

Well missellie…since I assume you were addressing me with the “sucks” comment…you missed my point.

My point is I LIKE Emme. I think she can bring it to any scene…whether it “sucks” or not. But if the story does indeed…wait for it…suck…I don’t blame the actor…I just am bored with the storyline. In the case of Dom and co…if his/their story isn’t compelling I don’t care who’s playing it.

But as for he and the ‘new’ Lulu…she is Lulu for me. I’ve, LOL…moved on from JMB. It’s a soap. I adjusted.

Beth CP
Beth CP

The best result I could wish for would be a tie for Mr. Zamprogna and Mr. Anderson for this years Best Supporting Actor as happened last year with Billy Miller and Scott Clifton. Both gentlemen deserve recognition for their work in plot point heavy story that had them digging deep to pull out the emotional stops. Their respective work was outstanding and both validates and vindicates them as fine actors capable of even more challenging material. As regards the recast L, I continue to believe she is miscast and the role has been almost completely rewritten to where this viewer doesn’t recognize her. If others have no reservations and are fine with this young woman’s portrayal that is their choice and I’m happy they have made the transition. I reiterate my reservations are about character and acting, not about her personally.

missellie
missellie

Thanks for this insightful interview. This nomination is long overdue. This material is very good but my all time favorite Dom scene was the scene where Sonny ends up shooting him. It was an intense scene and a story that had been built for a very long time. I am very happy for Dom.

I wish that GH did more doctor/hospital stories and more cop/PCPD stories. It is high time for the PCPD to solve cases. Going forward, I would like to see scenes between Anna, Dante, Nathan, and the uncover DEA agent (TJ’s Mom).

Finally, I would like to see Dante move away from baby stories and into a new romance.

Janeway
Janeway

Thank you Michael for this excellent interview and congrats to Dom Z for this long overdue honor. The reel was a great choice and I cannot watch it without tears. I know he must have been thinking of his mom and his own beautiful daughters when he did those scenes.

It is clear that Dom is a down to earth, sensitive, charismatic, warm, loving and talented person ( aside from being a sexy hunk). He reapects his peers, his co-workers, his friends and loves ones. He respects strong women. All these qualities shine through in his very natural acting style. DZ’s acting has touched me since the first day Dante arrived in PC and made me a huge fan.

Loved hearing his thoughts on his leading ladies ( both of whom I love) and the great work he has been doing as well as what he would like to see from the PCPD ( along with a lot of us) Wished you had asked him about how it felt for Dante to have a son and fans reaction to the name Rocco. Ha. Ha. ( I love it)

His wife Linda is a very lucky lady, ALL THAT and she gets to sleep in too. LOL. Hope they have something to celebrate on Emmy night. Win or lose, we’re the lucky ones because we get to see DZ on GH.

tskyent
tskyent

I think they are Wonderful together! ( Emma & Dom) I agree The PCPD storie is so long overdue!

BARBARA CODER
BARBARA CODER

CONGRATS ON YOUR NOMINATION..YOU ARE A GREAT ACTOR.AND,I WOULD DEF.VOTE FOR YOU..REMEMBER EVEN THOUGH YOUR MOM IS NOT HERE,SHE IS WATCHING HER WONDERFULL SON FROM HEAVEN..GOOD LUCK DOMINICK…

Lynn
Lynn

I just pretend that Dante remarried and that Emme plays his new wife. The character of Lulu was very intertwined with Luke and there is barely a relationship there. I’m not saying that Emme isn’t a good actress, just that she isn’t Lulu.

Christy
Christy

Dominic and Brandon are my favs for the category!

sure Sonny deserves to go to jail for many things, but think the only way he will is if he’s leaving the show for a while. or forever (think Blackie!)

Christy
Christy

I mean Bradford! 😀

smoochie
smoochie

I have enjoyed Dominic ever since he joined the GH cast. Silver Farr’s earlier comment “there is something raw, and real that Dominic brings to the screen” was right on- I would add that it’s with anyone he plays off of, no matter how little the amount of dialog he is given. Dom’s leading ladies are so lucky to have him as their love interest because he exudes sensuality and emanates true loving and caring not only in romantic scenarios, but with his whole onscreen family as well.
I too would so like to see PCPD’s finest solve some crimes,(though in the soap world the police seldom if ever do) especially since Anna D is at its helm. A real crime and down right insulting is that a truly powerful female character like Anna has been so diminished – Her power of deduction has been all but obliterated so it makes her seem dumbed down, relegated to someone who works off her emotions because she has lost her objectivity. Anna’s experience and talents as a trained super- spy,( the original La Femme Nikita) from whom the likes of an Obrecht would have yelped and run away with its tail between its legs, have been totally discounted and forgotten. And t’s just not good enough to hear a reference made about her super class capabilities as did Nathan West did on a recent episode- I need to see her flex her muscle again. using her uncanny skills. This is one crime that would be easily solved by the writers- Then, the PCPD would become a tour de force and perhaps Dante would get the recognition he so richly deserves for his hard work and dedication to his profession.

Charday
Charday

He seems to be a nice guy based on the interview, but this nomination I just do not get. There are so many better actors on daytime!

Nananes
Nananes

This man is a gem…as an actor, as a man, as a co-worker, but, most importantly as a son, father, husband and friend. Thank you, Michael, for an interview that illustrated all those qualities. I have felt he’s been deserving of an Emmy nomination before, so I am thrilled that he has been recognized this year. Win or Lise, he’s a winner in my book…always!

Daisy
Daisy

I could not have said it better Nananes. An Emmy is based on an actors performance, a portrayal of a character, the ability to stretch their creative muscle. Dom’s talent is obvious, no matter who he is in a scene with or the material. He has the ability to speak volumes without uttering a word, simply with a look, a gesture or the simplicity of a single uttered sound. Maurice once said of Dominic that he was a “working man’s actor”. He believes in and values his craft. I believe his abilities as an actor shine as brightly as they do because of the personal qualities you spoke of. His love of family and friends ground him and keep him centered.
I am thrilled that he is finally being recognized for the outstanding talent he is, and regardless of any awards now or in the future, he is now and always will be a winner to me.

Karen
Karen

Another thoughtful interview given by Mr. Z. Best of luck to him on Emmy night. I while I respect Mr. Zamprogna’s comments – he disappoints me. In that his continued comments regarding the Recast are from his POV only. While part of a couple, the character was Lulu long before her relationship with Dante with a somewhat “storied” history. The character has been complex, passionate, fiesty, stubborn – many qualities that attracted DZ’s Dante to JMB’s Lulu. Qualities and Traits missing from The Recast’s portrayal of Lulu. Ms. Rylan has managed to make Lulu a very vanilla, boring, forgettable character. Besides Dominic and Julie were “lightning in a bottle”. Something truly that special that kept a fanbase engaged for 4 years – through thick and thin. Material, no material, breakups, sorrow happiness. What I think Mr. Z forgets is that the fanbase “didn’t warm up” to Julie and Dominic’s Lante – they captured our hearts. It was immediate, instantaneous. They had the “IT” factor – nothing that had to be justified or explained. Unfortunately Lante 2.0 is just a very dull sequel to the Original. Many sequels can never capture the heart of the original. Much in this case.

It is time for Dominic Zamprogna’s character to move on into a different realm and /or relationship. .. Jordan? ..

The hard truth is and perhaps something Mr. Z is afraid to admit. That if Lante 2.0 with the Recast had debuted 4 years ago – we would NOT be having this conversation in 2014.

Caitie
Caitie

“… win or lose, it’s just great to get the nomination and just happy to be invited to the party.”

Dom’s fans join his former co-star, Julie Marie Berman, in saying how happy we are that he has been invited to the Emmy party – and how deserving he is to be there – not just for those great, well-chosen scenes with Maurice, but also for the body of work he has shared with us on GH. (And thanks to Dom for sharing a moving piece of his personal story as he tells us about these scenes.)

As for the perennial question about fan reaction to the change in Lulus, I guess the fact that this keeps coming up is a tribute to the indelible mark Julie left on Lulu and on Lante. However, these conversations also seem to point out that perhaps the hardest job is NOT being the recast – but being the romantic screen partner of a recast actor or actress. Making this more difficult is that recast adjustment goes beyond the on-screen couple relationship and is, as others have said here, more rooted in many fans simply not seeing Ms Rylan as suiting the role of the Lulu they had come to love. As Lynn said above, “I’m not saying that Emme Rylan isn’t a good actress, just that she isn’t Lulu.” Yes, Dom has done, and continues to do, an amazing job of portraying a man devotedly in love and in providing the core of the Lante love story for the past year. But no amount of work or commitment on his part makes his present screen partner the individual character Lulu that some of us had hoped she would be. That’s on what Ms Rylan herself brings to the role.

But, back to the Emmys: I hope Dom continues to enjoy the party and I’m wishing him great success on Emmy night – and in the future as well!!

rebecca1
rebecca1

I was thinking of an analogy when it comes to Emme’s Lulu vs. JMB’s.

Emme is to Natalia Livingston

Julie Marie Berman is to Amber Tamlyn.

Emme and Natalia have a refined…prissy…girly demeanor. I think Emme would have been fine (even though they don’t look alike) to replace Natalia.

JMB and Amber are both rather tomboyish in their demeanor. I think either one could have replaced the other…JMB as the new Emily (replacing Amber at the time) or Amber (had she still been in soaps) replacing JMB.

But as said above and on other posts…I’m just fine with and have gotten used to Emme as Lulu. Different than JMB…but just as fans adjusted to a prissier Emily after Amber left…many have done the same here.

SUSAN M.
SUSAN M.

I was in the supermarket today and saw ABC soap digest and on the cover it said: one of the favorites will die(meaning GH). And had a picture on the cover of four popular guys on GH.. One was Sonny, Luke (if it is the real one & not the imposter), Rick and one more I can’t remember who it is now.. Who will it be???

Patrick
Patrick

Julian is the 4th I dont like that Julian has so many cover ups, loopholes, gapes, to plug. it seems this doesn’t bode well for him. Ric Lansing, is my guess… as he was brought in for this specific purpose… which is not to my liking… because once again… FANS of Liz… are left scratching their head… what’s it going to take… for a mutual pairing… for Liz… all her own… even tho (reformed) it’s Sonny brother… I was really taking to him… for this pair… I liked his comaraderie… with his son… by Liz. Rick Lansing.. has so much presence of belong… a natural vibe in mixing with the cast…. that’s no small feat. for once I want Alexis to get on her high horse… black robe… and gavel him out of this. I wonder how long FLUKE and the orig. Luke are going to be off canvas… I was surprised… and laughing… how easy is that! to laugh with fluke derision…. ” I’m stuck married to tracy on a honeymoon…. ” LOL that’s funny… I will point out… It leaves a little distaste that it’s at JE’ Tracy expense… no one buys her stupidity. but… as orig. LUke straight jacketed biding his time… knows… what’s burning ps: I have to acknowledge their work… Michelle Stafford Maurice Bernard for this genre… they are inarguably HUGE it would have been amazing… to have showcased.. Michelle Stafford… featured… coming out of the coma… physical therapied… psychiatried and then some… feelings returned… with Kevin! and steered what’s going on… now… after the fact… a slower build up… I am not truly yet… buying… the cause and effect : with Silas and Nina. even with Nathan… but that’s perhaps on Nathan… it’s like with all the goings on … so fast… the writers are depending on her name only… to carry forward this story… but… as an introduction of new character… to show her in bits and pieces coming together… doing her homework… strategizing… her make .. and power load her intent…. silas, kiki, nathan…. not exactly strong show and support for Nina it’s a new character and development is vital…. so i’ll take leave Sonny : he’s so lucky Morgan and Dante drive story… helping to forget the rest of this part of the GH pie. I have to think… that FLUKE command that he’s on to do Sonny OUT… will wreak havoc… and turn Sonny around…. I don’t knkow what can? Kelly Sullivan sure carried him… and he in turn… it’s funny to watch Sonny mob out… and feature what ignited.. or now because of age… is laughable.. at best… and once again… is the writing that ‘s painting corners? I certainly think theres no going back.. or coming back… for Carly and Franco… it’s just too darned bad… and unbelievable… that (for all the fan press) about the chemistry between these two… and they have it in spades.. but doesn’t come across as adding any thing… to the GH canvas…… Read more »

SUSAN M.
SUSAN M.

Who do you think is going to be killed?

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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Kelly Monaco Addresses Billy Miller's Departure From GH

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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