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GH's Michelle Stafford Speaks On Becoming Nina And Working with Michael Easton & Kelly Monaco!

Photo Credit: DuffImages.com

Photo Credit: DuffImages.com

This week, Michelle Stafford will become more a part of the General Hospital canvas as Nina wakes up from her coma and then begins the road to reclaiming her life and reconnecting with those she loves and those who have wronged her!  Just how will it all play out?

Stafford spoke with noted soap journalist and columnist Carolyn Hinsey in a new interview out today about her arrival onto the Port Charles scene, where she talks about being the new kid on the block, working with Kelly Monaco (Sam) and Michael Easton (Silas) and working with head scribe Ron Carlivati and executive producer Frank Valentini to make Nina come to life!   Here are a few excerpts below!

Michelle on being a hit character on one soap (Y&R’s Phyllis) and then coming to another soap and creating a new character and the challenge of it: “Sometimes an actor makes a splash on one show and then comes onto a new show expecting they’re going to make another splash. But you have to start each new job anew. I’m the new kid on the block. I am at GH to aid story.”

Michelle on what are her thoughts on working with Michael Easton:  “Amazing. I took his parking place one day and I want to publicly apologize for that. They gave me his spot; I think they just saw the ‘M.’ He’s really smart. He’s a writer himself… God, there’s so much I want to say about our conversations but if I tell you it will give away the character. There’s so little I can say.”

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Michelle on the story with Sam (Kelly Monaco) and Silas:  “It’s OUR story, not my story. It’s important that they kick ass and I kick ass. I already told you about Michael, and Kelly is amazing. I really like my scenes with her. I haven’t seen them yet. I hope they’re good.”

Are you looking forward to seeing Michael Easton, Kelly Monaco and Michelle Stafford in scenes together?   And what happens when the the character of Nina causes some major problems for her loved ones and family?  Weigh-in below!

 

 

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Kim Huck
Kim Huck

Well I think Phyllis should not come back to Y&R at all . That part has been played out. Nick does not need that

Mia Denise
Mia Denise

The role of Phyllis was recast last week.

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

What we need is flashbacks to twenty years ago showing Silas and Ninas relationship from its beginning, their marriage and when she fell into coma…cant feel for her good or bad unless i know more about their relationship and why Silas cheated on her…flashbacks would help immensely. But im ok with this storyline…we know Silas and Sam…we just dont know Nina!!!

Iakovos
Iakovos

I would think as this mystery unravels, we will see some staged flashbacks, but for now, they are leaving us guessing. For a major plot devised outside the core GH world, it is really working.

andrew hass
andrew hass

I also hope GH does flashbacks of Silas and Nina’s relationship.That way we can see how they were back then instead of just hearing them talk about it.Plus it could be interesting if Silas and Nina remember things differently.

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

Is this really Nina or Natalie Buchanan in a rubber mask…kidding aside how long has she been out of a coma…did she just wake up and know everything…could she even function normally: walk and drive a car after being in a coma for so long…or has she been out of coma for some time now…just curious!!!

Timmm
Timmm

She woke up for the I Phone 6.

k/kay
k/kay

@ jmh not real impressed with the entrance of the character I have a feeling she is going to turn out to be a little bit on the creepy side! I am going to reserve judgement to be fair but right now not sure MS is going to have the chemistry with ME that KM does.

andrew hass
andrew hass

I can’t wait to see Michelle Stafford full-time on GH.Plus as much as Michelle knows she was great on Y&R she knows been on GH is a whole new ball game so to speak.Plus it sounds like she wants to be a team player on GH and not be the star or try to take it over.

Timmm
Timmm

More Michele less Rafe, TJ, Jordan, and that annoying Zen dude that hangs with Maxi!

Robert
Robert

I love your idea of flashbacks to twenty years ago,so that we can feel invested in their relationship. I would go even further and suggest flashbacks to when they met in College but then they may have to hire actors in their late teens early twenties to portray them, I hate when they use the same actors but they film it hazy so you are supposed to believe you are seeing the younger versions of the characters.

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

Well in the case of GH, for flashbacks they can always use Spenser as Silas, Emma as Nina and the new Jocelyn as Ava…i just had to say it before someone else does…lol…but seriously i wouldnt mind whoever would play them in flashback…i would love it if D.M. came back as Madeline as well to do the flasback…i think flashbacks to tell the story of their relationship would make for some high entertaining drama as well help us invest in their relationship…just a thought!

Timmm
Timmm

At least flash them back twenty years. Both actors look good for their age. They could pull it off. What I would do is go back twenty years and rehire a former actor that was on GH and have him or her have history with these two characters and then bring that old GH character back to Port Charles in 2014. No one comes to mind but you can look up what happened on GH in those days and write someone back into the show that was a fan favorite.

Melissa
Melissa

Now, Sam’s husband Jason needs to come back and be played by Michael Muhney. Talk about a four way love triangle. HOT, HOT, HOT

Patrick
Patrick

THAT would put the kibosh on so many things, perhaps

and solidify a quantum leap… for GH

doesn’t it seem… it needs to be a part of the conversation…. that RC/FV are trying to encompass long time fans and newbie… with surcharged euphemism… that change is imminent in this genre of 2014. this crap shoot.. juggling of demographics

I don’t know… imagine

Michelle Stafford
Michael Muhney.. YES.. in any platform… he’d culls his all and be
Michael Easton
Kelly Monaco

this is right up there with superlative

as reiterated…

if Carly and Franco left the canvas…

would they be missed?

for all the bait and hook/switch… and on going derision of cast miss

I don’t think so…

heck i’ve even thought… would Roger Howarth and Laura Wright
not… be a good EJ and Sami for Days of OUR Lives

even tho.. i’d love Trevor St. John… Michael Muhney… Brandon Barash… even Josh Kelly.. as the new EJ

and Kelly Sullivan as the nuSami

all being temporary recasts.. should James Scott and Alison Sweeney want to be home.

it’s a wrench to be sure

TPTB has us in a headlock

LOL… yet I’ll soapbox… with

Timmm
Timmm

MM in a black leather jacket. Cool.

k/kay
k/kay

No offense but SB is Jason leave the character dead unless SB wants to come back. Just like Phyllis on Y&R should have stayed in the coma we have now deaged her character almost a decade. You hear me RC leave Jason dead.

Laura
Laura

I’m looking forward to Siam overcoming the obstacles and hard times Nina will bring them. I truly believe Silas and Sam’s love will overcome NIna. Silas loved Nina 20 years ago. He’s a changed man now and in love with someone new. For myself, I am invested fully in Silas and Sam not a couple that happened offscreen 20 years ago, flashbacks or not. I do believe Nina will try to wreck as much havoc on their lives as possible though.

andrew hass
andrew hass

I’m also looking forward to seeing how Sam and Silas deal with Nina’s arrival.Plus as you point out the Silas Nina knew 20 years no longer exists.Silas moved on with his life and fell in love with someone else.What happened to Nina was not her fault and she was robbed of 20 years of her life but she’ll have to accept that she can’t go back and recapture what she lost.I do think Nina will be a villain but she might also have parts that could get sympathy from the fans.

Ashley
Ashley

Guess I’m weird. Not familiar w/the actress that plays Nina ~ but not liking the Nina character at all. It’s way too crazy and silly ~ the writing, the plot line, think they should have left Nina dead !!!!

Mia Denise
Mia Denise

I knew GH would cast Michelle Stafford as Nina Reeves-Clay, she is one of my favorite soap actresses.

Jenny Brooks
Jenny Brooks

I wish her luck on GH. Loved her on Y&R. I just hope the show doesn’t cram her down our throats now. That never goes over well with long-time fans.

k/kay
k/kay

Michelle is a very smart lady I think she knows bringing on a new character is a tough sell I am for one curious to see how all this plays out and I hope RC writes a good story for all three of them. She is right just because you are a hit on one show does not mean you will be on another I think we are seeing that with SB on Y&R!

carol
carol

I didn’t care for MS on Y&R, and I’m not looking forward to her on GH. There are enough actresses on the show now. What they need are a few more single men.

Patrick
Patrick

THANK YOU

that’s why I already posted…

what if… : Carly and Franco leave Port Charles and go to Holllywood
Yeah, right?

LOL

and this salary cap… is left to Brandon Barash.. and Ingo Rademacher… ex’s Johnny and Jax.. return to mix, fire, whet, and drive it ALL home

I’d rest and go with

dmr
dmr

I really just don’t care. Ugh-more montone Sam and Silas time. The only part of the storyline that I like is Madeline and Dr. Obrecht’s scenes as sisters, making digs at each other. They are a great comedic team!

Patrick
Patrick

you have a lot of point.

please do NOT show ME Silas in a tank top any more
try to reinvigorate Kelly Monaco’ Sam… with energy surplus

in a lot of ways… this does not bode well… for a powerhouse.. to mow shovel… and push aside… a big part of RC/FV trying to forge new ground

I am certain… MS’ Nina… will not break any new ground… and crack Silas and Sam… she should just gun for… any one else.. to whet her stimuli… and Franco isan easy but HOT target.. thereby giving LW’ Carly some unnerving drive… she could lose all her vigor

Donna Mills has never looked good… till .. Kathleen Gati happened on the scene… if she rocks it… and pulls… Madeleine and Nina.. then.. it’s a whew… OK…

it really amazes me… that the GH production.. hasn’t offered Kathleen Gati.. a contract… she’s expressed her wish

it’s with reservation… as I don’t think they have the cast pull off to begin… Michelle Stafford…

she’s magnanimous… delivers… rocks… salivates… satiates… ON FIRE : PULLS

I hope

Shay
Shay

Amen to that, dmr. I am actually dreading the entrance of Nina….I don’t care a whit about her character and having MS portraying her makes that disinterest ten-fold. I do not like her style of acting and I truly hope she doesn’t end up detracting from the already established dynamics of Dr. O. and Britt, plus Madeleine and Nathan. Just exploring that newly discovered family unit was more than enough to provide new blood and angles to an already existing drama, plus, I am totally in for Sam and Silas….which means not only do I express a distaste for Nina’s return, but Jason’s, as well.

NINAPHAN
NINAPHAN

I am so happy Phyllis, er, I mean Nina, is awaking from her coma and coming back to reclaim her family. I have missed Phyllis so MUCH! I mean, I have missed NINA so much!

rebecca1
rebecca1

I’m a bit late in this discussion but I agree with you Shay. I like Sam and Silas together and prefer that neither Nina nor Jason come between them. Obviously we all have history with Jason…Jason and Sam…so I think depending on the recast the fans will be split as to whether they’re on team Silas or Jason.

As for Nina, I found her a bit more interesting the second episode and a bit more sympathetic…but I’m sure she’ll be trouble moving forward. Her mom responsible for her coma…supposedly killing her baby (which I think will turn out to be Rafe), her husband having a child with Ava and in love with Sam. Yep…she’s gonna be one vengeful chick as the days go by…

mfarris70
mfarris70

Love love love Stafford! I hope this is the kind of soap triangle where I can’t decide who Silas should be with!

Paula
Paula

I do not like Nina – wasted space IMO – I FF all of her scenes – she is a crazy person and knows everything that has gone on in Port Chuck – total deceitful person – get her gone quick please

KM
KM

Sam and Silas definitely need something to liven them up IMO.

I do have some problems though with how Silas first cheated on the wife he claims to have loved and then just left her comatose self to rot in a nursing home for the next 20 years.

I know the backstory is that it was all the mother Madeline’s doing but it doesn’t seem like Silas did much to enforce his own rights to act on her behalf as her husband. That could make it a little hard to find Silas rootable in a triangle or quad.

su0000
su0000

Donna Mills/Madeline will be involved in the story..
this story holds some really powerful actors!
Looking forward to this story!!!

Patrick
Patrick

GOOD points

did Silas medical field “expertise” lend itself credibility..

and he left home… after being supported.. by… and paid for.. his doctorate

altho… the banger… up… is he didn’t know he was a father…

I hope ME and MS chemistry “together” is a must

if not… they have to bring back ex’s… Johnny and Jax.. to bring so much energies to : Nina… Carly… especially LW.. as it seems i’ve given her the let go… but… Olivia needs change… even AVA… with that lustful…. charged amped up … Johnny (with any one).. just to be near…

I still believe… that the writers need to delve in to a potential Sam and Patrick pairing… the missing in action… supposed better half… they have so much in common.. it’d tear up and guard this paring

Fans have so much enervating ideals

I stand by… that we are to be acknowledged

rebecca1
rebecca1

Sam and Patrick are great together…but she’s in love with Silas who’s on cavnas…Jason will be coming back…I think she’s got enough love for now. LOL. And, I think no matter how she tries to understand, she’ll be pissed at Patrick for not telling her Jason is alive.

aria
aria

welcome to GH Michelle, looking foward to seeing this story unfold,and looking forward to you interacting with other cast members. let the fun begin.

boes
boes

And did you catch that picture of Silas and The Nina? (At another board they are refusing to treat Nina as anything other than a plot point so are calling her “The Nina” which I like).
The Nina is supposed to have been in a coma for 20 years, right? They might have filmed Michelle Stafford through three closed doors but she STILL looked at least 40ish in that picture. And Silas looked like his own grampa. So did The Nina suffer from rapid aging syndrome, and did Silas catch it from her, or did Silas sneak into her room over the years, tape her eyes open, put clown makeup on her and pose for pictures?
No matter what, she looks a lot more like Alexis’ older sister than the resurrected wife of Silas McBain whateverthehellhisnameis.

Patrick
Patrick

“… And Silas looked like his own grampa. ”

I never laughed so fast and readily…. LOL… I so agree

that’s why I emphatically state…

Nina… with : ex-johnny
Nina… with : ex-Jax

perhaps… with Patrick
perhaps… with Franco

I just don’t see it yet… on the canvas

why not… Kevin… tnis is my best bet

MBmomof3
MBmomof3

I was thinking the same thing! A twenty+ year old picture? C’mon, use a little PhotoShop or something. Geesh! Next thing you know she’ll awake from her 20 year coma, grab her smartphone and check Silas’ Facebook status. Puhleeese.

Shirley
Shirley

Love Michelle Stafford so excited for her joining GH wishing her the best of luck❤

MBmomof3
MBmomof3

I really liked Michelle Stafford on Y&R. I hope she can bring some interest to this incredibly boring storyline. I’ve been FF through the Sam & Silas scenes since they came back from Ryan’s in NYC. ZZZZZZZZZZ.

Maybe she’ll liven up the rather wooden Nathan West too. He’s grown on me since his scenes with Maxie and Britt. (Not to mention he’s very easy on the eyes.) I’d like to keep him around to see his relationships develop with Maxie and his family.

Shay
Shay

My only hope is that the launching of “The (Good Ship)”Nina” is not as overdone as the previous ones featuring “The Ava” and “The Santa Sabrina.”

k/kay
k/kay

I watched Thursdays episode best part Liz & Patrick!

dmr
dmr

I have to say, that I liked the end of Tuesday’s episode where Sam and Silas walk back to Danny’s party and see Nina playing with Danny. I like how this was not drawn out, having Nina alive, following Sam and Silas around town or in hiding. I like how they wrote her to be out in public at a public outing. Obviously, Nina has been doing her homework behind the scenes. I think she will be an interesting character, looking for the life she lost with a lot of resentment for those that left her behind. As much as I don’t care for Sam or Silas, Nina could be what makes them interesting to watch.

Patrick
Patrick

Michelle Stafford is LOADED with EVERYthing

her embodiment – her being… is FULL of EVERYthing

I thought, like you… that it was a good entrance…

there was no acting… over acting… or downplaying… just there….

her presence

you could here her voice… as Silas walks towards the “party” and she turns

scene end

it’s not like it was “ITS Phyllis”

it was… there SHE is

Michelle Stafford

Nina’ ON

I feel a riveting… a bubbling… an ease… of FUN… dare… play with… play out… there she goes

an anticipation

I’m glad Michelle Stafford is back

ps: WITH Kevin!

till johnny or jax return

Tsuds
Tsuds

I have to say.. she was good today.. did not watch her on previous soaps… There is something about her that is keeping me intrigued…….Time will tell…though I was suprised how she was brought into GH storyline … thought it would have been different… .. I was thinking it was a dream for the for 15 mins.. then realized.. she really is at the Birthday party..

Gentry Ashmore
Gentry Ashmore

So sorry but Sam/Silas and/or Nina/Slias not working for me. Every time, I see Michael Easton. I only see John McBain. Silas Clay doesn’t hold a candle to John McBain. It’s painful to watch. ABC settle the lawsuit and get the rights back to OLTL.

As for Kelly and Michelle, both are lovely ladies; however, no one has better on screen chemistry with Michael Easton than Melissa Archer. Watch online videos of them. I haven’t ever seen a better soap couple, including Luke and Laura.

For Jolie fans, some great fan fiction out there to resolve the mess that GH and Prospect Park made of John and Natalie’s love story. Frank and Ron, perhaps you should take a read. Ratings gold.

KansasGuest
KansasGuest

If a viewer can’t get over an actor playing a different part, that’s on them. It’s not the writers’ responsibility to cast parts, or create characters, because one fan can’t suspend their disbelief. Even if the lawsuit was settled, you still wouldn’t be satisfied until your favorite couple was replaying their old storylines ad nauseum. Did you ever think maybe these actors are glad to be using their talent to create different characters? That is the definition of acting, after all.

smoochie
smoochie

I’ve only seen Ms, Stafford act occasionally because my Mom, (who got me hooked on all the ABC soaps back in ’69), had switched from ABC to Y&R ,B&B and all the other network soaps on TV; I became familiar with the actors and storylines but not on a regular basis.
I cannot say MS would have been my choice as Nina and I don’t know really know enough about her acting chops except for watching her portrayal of Phyllis from time to time on Y&R where I thought she was good to better on a sliding scale.
I was not impressed with her first real appearance ( Danny’s birthday party)because she didn’t act as someone who just came out of a 20 year coma (had I not known I never would have imagined that )and frustrated at the less than tepid acting job done by all in the scene but especially ME and KM, after realizing it was Nina sitting there. (and I am a huge fan of ME and KM but especially ME). Here was an opportunity to really use their acting skills -not over the top, but captivatingly. The same lackluster, forced conversations between ME and MS continued at Sila’s apartment. MS seems to be forcing her words and her smile is as well; regardless of whether she may have something up her sleeve, she is annoying. Me is completely flat. I understand he is shocked and not in touch with his feelings, but he needs to modulate. I hope this gets better .
It also strikes me that I don’t know why soap actresses who are in their late 40’s early 50’s think that it is ok to act as if they are in their 20-30s and that it is flattering to themselves- do they actually think they look that young enough to pull it off? I don’t, no matter how much botox, fillers or plastic they get. I couldn’t stand it with Susan Lucci and feel that way about quite a few actresses on GH including Maura West, Jackie Zeman, and Kristina Wagner and now Michelle Stafford. Yes I know Nina went into a coma 20 years before, but that still would have made her 29 and not 19 or 20. jmo

k/kay
k/kay

Just a thought here MS is trying to come off as someone that mentally is still in their 20’s remember she was in a coma for 20 years and yet her body looks like she has been working out at the gym every day for the last 20 years. Lol! I watched for three days now I am done nothing left to see. Amazing that I read the daily updates on the soaps see I am missing nothing so my DVR is still not recording. I feel like my Dad who use to tell me they don’t make cars like they use to they don’t make soaps like they use to either.

smoochie
smoochie

I agree with you that soaps (particularly ABCs ) aren’t written or produced as they were back in the early days. They all became practically unrecognizable after a head write named Megan McTavish systematically destroyed AMC ( breakdown writer 87-92, Head-writer ’92-95, 1997 – early 1999, 2003- 2007, OLTL ( Head-writer 1999 – January 2001 and finally GH (Head-writer April 2001 – June 12, 2002) I mentioned that I’ve been watching all ABC sudsers since ’69 so I recollect and compare as you do. The reason I originally loved the ABC shows so much was that individually they were trendsetters, edgy, pioneers and models in story treatment and production for other soaps (i.e super-couples, location shots, controversial topics of the day, great writers created character driven stories whose histories and integrities were kept in tact no matter what .until Mctavish changed that with a vengeance. My mother switched to all the other soaps particularly to Y&R, B&B and DOOL while I kept/keep hoping things will get better on GH. Wasn’t surprised that AMC and OLTL were canceled but GH is the last hurrah and I would be sad to see it go down the drain- I do think we need a miracle.

Adrianne
Adrianne

I can’t wait for Nina to leave GH

Maria
Maria

I agree. I don’t like this character at all, and since the storyline is so sudden, I don’t know her or feel connected to her. I don’t care about her. Besides, instead of helpless and “fragile,” she seems manipulative and sneaky. Like her mother.

smoochie
smoochie

I think the writers are insulting our intelligence to expect us to believe their version of someone who just came out of a 20 year coma. That being said, in a comment I made earlier I wasn’t positive about MS or Nina. I still don’t like Nina, but I softend my opinion MS after watching her scenes on the second day.

Erica
Erica

Michelle Stafford adult (female) at one point in her life, lived and functioned as a (male). John aka Michael Easton shared kisses with Nina aka Michelle Stafford…Is Michael Easton Bi-Sexual or was he even aware that she once was A man??? Many of us want to know?

rebecca1
rebecca1

huh?

DiAnnwalter
DiAnnwalter

I will never watch grneral hosp I cant stand michelle staffords acting now or when she was on yand r

jim
jim

I love MS, but don’t they have psychiatric therapists at GH,
for people who have been in long-term comas? You know,
to help Nina adjust to her new surroundings & all the years
she lost.

Really, shouldn’t Nina be in professional counseling rather than
running wild all over PC, thinking she’s still an ingenue ?? lol

Frances
Frances

There is absolutely no one who can play RED but Phyllis I’m so sorry for the lost of Y&R!!!

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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