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Marine Vet Chris Van Etten Talks Tackling The Role Of GH’s Chet, Life As A Double-Amputee, And How He Hopes To Inspire Others

Photo Credit: Jason Marshall

In a two part video interview released today on The Michael Fairman Channel, Chris Van Etten, the actor/model/war vet who plays GH’s Chet Driscoll, and who shares the same name as GH head writer, Chris Van Etten, chatted with Fairman in an very inspiring and enlightening conversation.

Van Etten talks about: being cast as Amy’s war vet brother, Chet, filming his first scenes on a soap opera, and working with GH cast members: Kirsten Storms (Maxie), Risa Dorken (Amy), Ryan Paevey (Nathan), and Michael Easton (Finn) in key scenes where fans were introduced to his character.

In story, Amy pulled off the “Ask Man Landers” stunt to pay for Chet’s medical care, since the VA was not taking care of all his medical bills since he came home from the war. In real life, Chris was enlisted with the Marine Corps, and in 2012 was deployed to Afghanistan.

On one harrowing night, Chris stepped on an IED (improvised explosive device) and the explosion caused Chris serious injuries resulting in him losing both of his legs.  The blast also killed his best friend in the battalion.  In a candid moment, Chris recounts the details of the event that would change his life forever, and the weeks and months that followed as he tried to cope with his new reality.

Courtesy/ABC

There are so many war veterans and people who live every day with chronic pain and PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder) and Chris talks about how he has managed on a daily basis, when some days are not as easy as others.  Chris reveals how his service dog, Harley who began as a bomb dog in the war, has been by his side through his whole ordeal and beyond, and been a constant ray of light and support.

Before his appearances on GH, Van Etten first became known to the mainstream when he was chosen for Jockey Underwear’s ad campaign, “Show ‘Em What’s Underneath”.  Through fitness and facing any challenges thrown at him, Chris has made great strides in turning his life into an inspiration for others, who have suffered great personal tragedy, loss, or have an undergone a significant change to the life they have known.

We hope you will take the time to watch the two-part interview after the jump, and learn more about Chris’ real life story, and his successes coming out of his numerous challenges.

Would you like GH to write a larger story for Chet? What did you think of Chris sharing his struggles and war story with us in our interview?  Post your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Max DaddeeMichelleblakeSoaphoundJovin Recent comment authors
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Jimh
Jimh

I kind of like Chet and i believe he will get a major story with him attracted to Maxi…but the character of Amy just doesnt work for me on GH but i believe the actress would be better suited for a prime time comedy show appearances…other characters not working for me are Nina, Nathan, Franco…Dr,Brandt…Alexis…The two Jasons-story was done twice on OLTL with Jessica/Natalie and Todd/Victor…twin stories were done on Dark Shadows and Return To Peyton Place…Edge Of Night had lookalike Laura Hillyer/Julie Jamison-Laura was killed off after murdering lover Rick Oliver…Julie was her lookalike Riverboat singer accused of murder too…married laura’s husband Orin and she later died in a plane crash…then her cousin Elly Jo came to take care of Orin with plans to kill his pregnant daughter Liz hoping to inherit the Hillyer fortune…miss EON-daytimes only crime/mystery soap!!!

vinman
vinman

SO VERY RIGHT Jimh….EON….BEST CRIME/MYSTERY DAYTIME DRAMA EVER….

Jimh
Jimh

I wish those early episodes had survived…bugs me they wiped those and reused those tapes and it never will be seen again ecpet for the episodes from 1979 to its last episode…the 60s to mid 80s was its golden era and when the show was at its best!!!

Jimh
Jimh

meant to mid 70s-not mid 80s

Shay
Shay

@jimh…..I like Chet, too….I would love to see him become a regular GH character, provided Nurse Amy doesn’t come along for the ride! She…is…just…too….much!!! The “Man Landers” storyline so overexposed her and highlighted all of her annoying qualities that even small doses of her are impossible to handle. Quite frankly, Kiki would make a perfect mate for Chet, especially since her relationship with Dillion has hit the skids. Given Ms. Jerome’s emerging medical interests, it would make total sense for her to get together with this brave vet as he continues his rehabilitation at GH.

Jimh
Jimh

You know i mentioned that two under a different post…Kii and Chet…this Kiki has actually grown on me…well some so i dont mind her at all!!!

Jimh
Jimh

Sorry for typos…trying not let CFS get the best of me…Chronic fatigue is horrible-i feel like im constantly sedated!!!

rebecca1
rebecca1

I love ALL the characters you don’t like, jim…except Dr. Brandt. It’s not that I don’t like him…he just hasn’t been on enough or fleshed out. Perhaps his only purpose was to mentor Kiki and show interest in Alexis. Either way I think they did a disservice to James DePaiva who was so great years ago as Max Holden on OLTL.

Love Amy. Not her introduction…too obvious an attempt to recreate Amy Vining which was a fail. But once they gave her her own personality I just adore her. She’s too cute…and heart of gold.

Jimh
Jimh

I think her intro was a bit turn off to me..it might have been easier if she was somehow related to the original Amy…now i like the actress and think she could work greatly in prime tie comedy shows but i just cant get into her Amy character…i also like Nancy G but i dont like Alexis…James is just a filler moment to keep Alexis and Julian apart-i wish he had played Jeff Webber instead since i doubt Richard Dean Anderson would reprise the role…im sure Dr.Brandt isnt all he appears to be and will have a dark side…my opinions could change…wasnt too big on this Kiki and now i like her!!!!

Jovin
Jovin

Can we cut to the chase here?? Chris Van Etten is hired as co head writer of GH. Then a completely different CHRIS VAN ETTEN is cast in a role in the show. I’m not sure about Hollywood, but where I come from, Van Etten is not a very common last name. John Smith….sure!!! Frank Williams…okay! Chris Van Etten…two of them, both being hired by soap opera General Hospital?!?! Not a chance!!! Lol.

blake
blake

GH would be smart to keep Chris Van Etten and Chet on the show long term. He’s a good actor, very good looking and sexy!

su0000
su0000

Vet Chris Van Etten is a Marine , he is a survivor.
The journey he had, losing both legs, is unimaginable.
For him to become what and where he is, that folks is a hero in itself..

He has fought his battles and won his war, he will do well in all he does..
Hope to see him again, in GH .. He did very well !

Shay
Shay

Amen, su!!!!! Mr. Van Etten represents “The Few, The Proud” with honor and dignity!

Jovin
Jovin

You’ve lost your edge bro!!

blake
blake

I agree su0000, very impressed by Chris Van Etten!

Charday
Charday

What a beautiful person he is!

blake
blake

Agree!

rebecca1
rebecca1

Fantastic interview, Michael! Chris…you are beauty and grace. Your candid talk was so incredibly real, your smile so warm and your feelings so beautifully expressed. You truly are an inspiration…not to mention quite the looker! 😉

Soaphound
Soaphound

Agreed, and I want more of Chet. Sure beats more of this depressing drug story (despite the excellent Jessica Tuck). Kiki is free again, or soon will be.

blake
blake

You are right, more of Chet would be great for GH!

brian
brian

I really like Amy ! I wish people would just appreciate her more ! I find her quite funny and a welcome addition to the show…..

rebecca1
rebecca1

I agree, Brian. I’ve said so on other posts as well as above.

JK
JK

REFRESHING TO SEE A REAL PERSON AND A REAL HERO ON A SOAP!!!! HOPE A GOOD STORY LINE WILL DEVELOP….GH IS ON FIRE RIGHT NOW…..JUST DROP THE LATEST NEW SAVE THE NEIGHBORHOOD STORY.

blake
blake

Thank you so much for interviewing Chris Van Etten, a true hero! It also doesn’t hurt that he’s very handsome! So glad GH has had him on, I hope to see more of him and Chet on GH, how about on contract?

Michelle
Michelle

I LOVE the idea of Chet and Kiki together! He’s a refreshing character, please write more for him GH. I also really like the dynamic between he and his sister, love Amy too.

Max Daddee
Max Daddee

I appreciate his story, but GH pretty much skipped over his PTSD story and has moved him aside, it seems. I didn’t see signs of good energy that I like to see in an actor. Perhaps his GH role hasn’t been the best of fits for him. I’d like to see James DePaiva get more camera time and get in the forefront of some storylines. He’s my kind of actor.

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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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