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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.”

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

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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… Read more »

General Hospital

ABC Previews General Hospital’s Halloween Episode

Fight Night will definitely have an impact on the lives of the citizens of Port Charles, on the upcoming Thursday, October 29th episode of the ABC daytime drama series.

Announced by ABC today, along with primetime’s Dancing with the Stars, The Conners, Supermarket Sweep, and America’s Funniest Home Videos, GH is having some ghoulish goings-on for the trick or treat holiday.

According to the GH preview: “As an impending storm approaches Port Charles, Trina and Joss decide to meet up with Cameron and Dev at Charlies before heading off to a Halloween party for the night. Unbeknownst to them, Julian notices the kids are being watched a little too closely by a masked individual. Uneasy and unable to shake the feeling that something is off, Julian confronts the man. Meanwhile, Carly is stunned when Cyrus brings a familiar acquaintance to dinner at the Metro Court. And elsewhere, Finn and Anna’s plans to take Violet trick-or-treating are hampered when Finn is called back to GH, leaving Anna alone, unaware that a particularly evil threat awaits her.”

So, excited to see what goes down on Halloween on GH? Comment below.

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General Hospital

GH’s Ingo Rademacher Shares Insight With His Son On Parenting & Anger On Maurice Benard’s “State of Mind”

Maurice Benard has brought his State of Mind  to You Tube, and his guest for this week is none other than Sonny Corinthos’ longtime nemesis Jasper Jacks, Ingo Rademacher.

Rademacher decided to appear on State of Mind along with his son, Peanut, to talk about the incidents of parenting and anger when raising his children, and the effects discipline can have on the kids.

There are some very emotional moments within the segment, as Peanut opens up about his feelings when his dad was upset with him and how he dealt with  it

Ingo also shares how over the past few years his relationship with his son has approved, while Maurice offers key moments from his past with his father and his own son.

Per Maurice on the concept behind the show and his ongoing website: “State of Mind to me means being 100% present, feeling completely at peace inside of you, not letting your thoughts control your life and always looking for ways to be the best that you can be.”

Watch Ingo, Maurice and Peanut below and then let us know what you thought about this heartfelt conversation via the comment section below.

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General Hospital

Gregory Harrison Is The New Gregory Chase On General Hospital

General Hospital just got hotter as it beef’s up its storyline featuring Kim Delaney as Jackie Templeton.  Now comes word that TV veteran, Gregory Harrison has come to the ABC daytime drama series as the recast Gregory Chase.

The character of Gregory Chase was previously played by DAYS James Read, who plays the treacherous Clyde Weston now and then on the NBC soap.

With Harrison taking on the role of Finn (Michael Easton) and Chase’s (Josh Swickard) father, that makes things a little juicier in the romantic department.

According to EW.com who broke the casting news, Harrison begins taping today Wednesday at the ABC studios for General Hospital and fans can look forward to his debut on-screen in a few weeks.

As to the storyline: “Fireworks could be on the horizon for Harrison’s character.”

TV fans remember Gregory from the hit series Trapper John M.D., then later on Falcon Crest, Judging Amy, One Tree Hill and more.  He also has frequently appeared in Lifetime and Hallmark Channel movies most recently.

So, what do you think about the Gregory Chase recast with Gregory Harrison? Intrigued? Comment below.

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B&B’s Jacqueline MacInnes Wood deliver the Power Performance of the Week as Steffy’s drug addiction leads to a confrontation and intervention by her loved ones with dire consequences.  Here is the last seven minutes that featured Emmy-winner Wood at her best. Leave A Comment

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