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James Franco on the art of soap acting and more!

Courtesy/NY Festival

Courtesy/NY Festival

I have to say, James Franco is doing a fantastic job bringing attention to soaps right now, not only with his acting, charisma, and performance art connections, but also his writing.  Check out his entry in a new piece out today by the actor entitled, The Limits of Control which is on Lapham’s Quarterly website.  In the piece, he details the control actors have in certain parts of the medium they work in, which adds to their performances or possibly subtracts.  Franco wrote these words below, which to soapers, means he completely “gets” the soap actor’s style and what they have to work with.

Franco, Recently, I performed in the soap opera General Hospital. It is easy to make fun of soaps, with their melodramatic plot lines, constant exposition, unnatural lighting, swelling music, and lack of action. Most of these aspects are due to the extreme speed at which soaps are produced. With five episodes a week, at least sixty pages need to be shot in a day. That’s a feature film’s worth of material shot every two days. This pace allows for very few takes, usually one. Soap acting is generally considered inferior to other acting, with the lack of takes cited as the reason. However, there are many fine film performances that are made up of just a few takes: Clint Eastwood is famous for doing one or two takes when directing; Robert Altman was very loose with his direction, always looking for spontaneity and truth; Gus Van Sant does very few set-ups, and very few takes. Innumerable directors of Oscar-winning films have used such techniques. The reason that soap actors look the way they do is context—how they are filmed, what they are saying, and how they are blocked. There is absolutely no way to act in a soap and pull off a performance like Daniel Day-Lewis in There Will Be Blood, Robert De Niro in Raging Bull, Meryl Streep in Sophie’s Choice, or Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront. These incredible performances are supported by the incredible filmmaking that is behind them. They are given the time, dialogue, space, and aesthetic of films made by great directors.

This isn’t to say that soap opera performers are worse than film actors, or that their performances are inferior. The soap opera performance should always be perceived in context: it involves actors working in a tradition that soap audiences have come to expect and love. Soap actors are delivering exactly what they are supposed to—they are in tune with their audience and they are not attempting to transcend it. If Brando had tried to play Terry Malloy in a soap, he wouldn’t have had the time to sculpt the performance into the brooding, tortured, nuanced emotional force that won him an Oscar. The contender wouldn’t have been a somebody, instead he’d just have been another mumbling dope with bad eye makeup.”

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So what do you think of Franco’s thoughts on soap acting?

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bottomchef
bottomchef

James franco is so full of it. This whole article is somehow “justifying” his film star self going into soaps. And it’s quite backhanded. Can’t he say “I went to soaps so I could try all kinds of mediums. Period.” and then he could shut up abt it forever. He’s saying that soaps are crappy bec that’s what the audience expects them to be. Certainly majority, if not all of the soaps are in bad, crappy states, and the ratings reflect that. There’s a lot of disatisfaction now bec of the bad writing and worse performances. But most probably nothing (at that time) was more addictive and dramatic and edge of your seat exciting than Bill Bell penning Y&R’s Sheila escaping to B&B. The acting, writing, directing were all engrossing. It was the definition of great soaps, it was gripping and the audience kept coming back for more. Soaps don’t know how to do that now. And what the hell is james franco saying abt characters not beinf fully fleshed out? Soaps have the luxury of creating storylines for the same characters for years, so the character evolves over long periods of time. B&B’s Felicia may not be the best ex., but the character evolved not bec of Brad bell’s neglectful writing, but bec Lesli Kay was able to develop the character bec of her performances. Here’s hoping Nancy Grahn delivers a verbal smackdown thru twitter directed at pretentious james franco again. His movie star presence did not even translate in the ratings.

General Hospital

General Hospital Releases Extended Promo “We Have To Lean Into Hope”

As the ABC daytime drama series, General Hospital, continues to be preempted by the impeachment hearings of President Donald Trump, and episodes are not being made available on any other platform at this time, two videos were posted in last 24 hours to the official General Hospital social media accounts.

To tide you over (while you are clamoring for all-new episodes of GH) the soap released an extended promo featuring the folks in Port Charles filled with lots of joy, hope, and love.  It’s main message, “We have to lean into hope” – as the series tells us to “sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.”

Courtesy/ABC

Take a look at some of the reunions, hugs, and special moments featuring the Q’s, Corinthos, Cassadine and other clans in the promo below.

In addition, Finola Hughes (Anna) and Michael Easton (Finn) along with Jophielle Love (Violet) were featured in another video, where the key messaging to fans is that they are currently taping all-new episodes of GH, and that viewers should keep tuned ans posted to GH’s social channels for updates on when new episodes of GH will return.

As of late, GH has been on the upswing in the ratings, too.  So, it’s always frustrating for everyone when weeks of preemptions hit the daytime viewers  experience to enjoy the on-going stories of the soaps.

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Let us know … your favorite moment in the GH promo … your hope for the return of all-new episodes soon, and what you hope happens next for the characters you love in Port Charles, via the comment section.

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General Hospital

Brooklyn Rae Silzer Making A Return To General Hospital

As General Hospital continues to surprise its viewers with some notables from the show’s history, look for another fan favorite, Brooklyn Rae Silzer (Emma) to make her way back to Port Charles for an appearance coming up next month.

Excited to finally be able to announce she will reappear on GH, Silzer tweeted: “Dreams come true! Thank you so much @GeneralHospital @valentinifrank for having me back!”

Emma Scorpio Drake’s return is scheduled for Thursday, February 6th, but due to coverage of the President Donald Trump impeachment trial and current episodes being pushed back, this date may change.

The last time viewers saw Emma was back in 2018, when she came to town to visit her grandmother, Anna Devane (Finola Hughes) for Christmas.

Would you like to see Emma stick around Port Charles? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

 

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General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Nikolas & Spencer’s Reunion Leaves Ava Attempting To Bring Peace: What Did You Think Of The Key Scenes?

The long-awaited and highly-anticipated reunion of Nikolas (Marcus Coloma) and his son, Spencer aired on Monday’s episode of General Hospital.  And it reminded us all how much we love Nicolas Bechtel as the young Cassadine.

While Ava (Maura West) first talks with Spencer in order to prepare him for his father’s appearance and that he is alive; when Nikolas shows up and receives a hug from Spencer, it appeared all might be OK between them, but how could it be? Nikolas let his son believe he was dead for over three years!

Next, Spencer lays into his father for choosing claiming the Cassadine fortune and keeping hidden over telling him that he was alive; leaving Spencer alone with two broken legs, in a boarding school in Europe, and grief-stricken.

The best scenes were actually shared by Maura West and Bechtel, when Ava tries to reason with the disappointed and disillusioned young man over his father’s return, which has a double meaning for her.  She says, “The person you love most in the world just came back to you. That makes you the luckiest boy on the planet. Can’t you see that?”  For Ava, she is obviously drawing a parallel to her losing her daughter, Kiki and wishing she was alive.

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Kudos to the actors in these scenes.  Watch them below.

Then, let us know what you thought of Spencer finding out that Nikolas was alive via the comment section below.

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DAYS Eric Martsolf and Stacy Haiduk chat with Michael Fairman at Day of Days 2019; during their conversation the on-screen dup talk about the latest developments of Brady and Kristen within the series time-jump and more. Leave A Comment

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