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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 »

Breaking News

DAYS and GH Director Joe Behar Passes Away at 94

Joseph Behar was heavyweight director in daytime drama having worked on both Days of our Lives and General Hospital and now comes word of his passing. Behar passed away on June 26th at the age of 94.

According to his obit, he died at his home in Manhattan Beach, California.

Joe spent the the bulk of his career directing Days of Our Lives and General Hospital.  He actually directed the pilot episode of General Hospital back in 1963, then came back the ABC daytime drama series 30 years later to direct it for more than 10 more years,.

Along the way, he won 5 Daytime Emmys for his work on GH, and had won six overall throughout his career. He continued directing until his retirement back in 2005.

Behar’s career started on the Ernie Kovacs Show and he also directed Let’s Make a Deal. and more.

Photo: JPI

He is survived by his wife, Carolyn and his sons, Jeffrey, Steven and Greg Behar and his grandchildren, Alex, Mallory, Niko and Lydia.

Watch an interview with Joe via the TV Academy on his career including working with Frances Reid (Ex-Alice, DAYS), the pace of directing in daytime and more below.

Share your remembrances and condolences for Joe and his family in the comment section.

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General Hospital

GH’s James Patrick Stuart Releases His New Album ‘Clean Slate’

On Thursday, the highly-anticipated nine song set from General Hospital’s James Patrick Stuart (Valentin Cassadine) dropped  on Apple Music

The album entitled “Clean Slate” features the tracks: “Look Out Below”,  “My Funny Friend”, “Can U Feel Me?”, “World of Good”, “Don’t Tell Me”, “I Burn For You”, “Always Love You”, “Another Time”, and “My One and Only Love”.

Photo: japastuTwitter

Fans of General Hospital, always love when James performs at the Nurses Ball’ but now here, Stuart delivers several original songs with his unique vocal style that make it unmistakable JPS.

Check out a preview of the album below.

Now, let us know if you will be adding “Clean Slate” to your playlists and more via the comment section below.

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General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Austin Reveals His True Identity

Leave it to many GH fans who guessed right as to just who Roger Howarth’s new character of Austin will turn out to be!  On Tuesday’s episode of the ABC daytime drama series, we learned the last name of the character who is related to the Quartermaine’s.

For weeks, Austin has seemed to be fixated on Michael Corinthos (Chad Duell) and the Q’s and now with this cliffhanger of a reveal we know why.

At a key family business meeting at the Q’s, Scott (Kin Shriner) who now seems in cahoots with Austin for a piece of the Quartermaine pie, brings Austin to the gathering.

 

When Austin arrives, Brook Lynn (Amanda Setton) looks none-to-pleased!  She clearly knows the guy.  When Michael struts up to Austin asking who he is and what is he doing here … Austin introduced himself as Austin Gaitlin-Holt.  Michael and everyone else look a bit perplexed as we fade to black.

However, GH history buffs know that Jimmy Lee Holt was the son of Edward Quartermaine and his mistress Beatrice LeSuer.  Jimmy Lee did some pretty reprehensible things while he was in Port Charles.  When he left he married Charity Gaitlin.  Upon the death of Edward Q. back in 2012, Jimmy Lee was left out of his inheritance.  Therein must lie some of the story…. and now Roger Howarth fans eagerly await to see how this new doctor in town and Quartermaine turns out to be.  Will he be a bad boy, or a misunderstood good guy?  We shall see.

So, what did you think of Austin being revealed to be Austin Gaitlin-Holt? Share your thoughts in the comment section, and also cast your vote in our poll on Roger’s new character below.

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GH’s Kelly Thiebaud (Britt) chats with Michael Fairman about Britt being on the run with Jason, their burgeoning romance, working with Steve Burton and her other co-star and Britt’s diagnosis of Huntington’s Disease. .Leave A Comment

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