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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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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!!!

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

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!!!

meant to mid 70s-not mid 80s

@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.

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!!!

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

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.

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!!!!

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.

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!

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 !

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

You’ve lost your edge bro!!

I agree su0000, very impressed by Chris Van Etten!

What a beautiful person he is!

Agree!

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! 😉

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.

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

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

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

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.

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?

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.

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.

General Hospital

‘General Hospital’ Reignites Scott’s Feud with Sonny Over His Past Misdeeds of His Late Daughter, Karen Wexler

In what now seems like many moons ago, Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard) was a small-time mobster who owned a strip club in Port Charles. He enticed a young Karen Wexler (Cari Shayne) to work as a stripper at the Paradise Lounge.

But things got worse from there! Sonny convinced Karen that stripping was her idea, and he eventually got her hooked on drugs and into his bed!

Karen’s father, Scott Baldwin (Kin Shriner) has never forgotten what Sonny did Karen and for years wanted to take him down when he was the D.A. Fast-forward and on Wednesday’s February 28th episode of GH, Scott visited Karen’s gravesite on her birthday.

Courtesy/ABC

However, Scott had a visitor at the gravesite when John “Jagger” Cates also showed up to pay respects to his ex-wife.  This was the first time Scott laid eyes on the new incarnation of “Jagger’ on-screen as played by Adam J. Harrington.

Scott realizes he might have an ally to put the screws to Sonny after John reveals the pain and sorrow he still has over what Sonny did to Karen. Speaking to his former son-in-law about the break-up of his daughter’s marriage to him, Scott pipes up that Sonny, “walks around like he’s the mayor.” Then, Scott shouts to John, “Make him pay! Take him out!”‘

Photo: ABC

In Karen’s backstory: after getting help, Karen was reunited with “Jagger” and left Sonny. The two married and left Port Charles. Karen returned as medical student and had divorced “Jagger” in 1997, and the character landed on the General Hospital spinoff soap opera, Port Charles. Eventually, Karen was struck by a car and died. Three actresses played the role during Karen’s history: Cari Shayne, Jennifer Hammon and Marie Wilson.

Watch Scott and John talk about their vendetta against Sonny Corinthos in key scenes from GH below. Now let us know, do you think Sonny should pay for his manipulation of Karen Wexler many years ago? Comment below.

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General Hospital

General Hospital’s Kate Mansi on Her First Scenes with Eva LaRue: “It Was So Tense and Uncomfortable, Which Was So Fun For Us.”

This week, General Hospital viewers have witnessed the arrival of Eva LaRue as Blaze’s (Jacqueline Grace Lopez) mother, Natalia. When Natalia blew into her daughter’s life, she also caught Kristina (Kate Mansi) in bed. The next moment, Mansi and LaRue played the awkwardness of the scene.

In the story, and at that point, Natalia apparently didn’t have a clue that her daughter is gay, so finding Kristina is her daughter’s room was puzzling to her.

Kate Mansi spoke to Soap Opera Digest on her introduction to soap veteran LaRue, who has appeared on All My Children as Maria Santos and won a Daytime Emmy for her role as Celeste Rosales on The Young and the Restless.

Photo: JPI

“She just came in like such a freaking pro,” shared Kate on LaRue. “She was so good. It was such a funny first introduction for our characters – it was written so well and it was so tense and uncomfortable, which was so fun for us.”

The two actresses instantly created a bond. As Mansi explained, “Right away, we were doing these funny one-liners back and forth (between scenes). Blaze said something like, ‘Kristina is more than my friend, she’s my partner,’ and then they’d call, ‘Cut!’ and Eva and I would look and each other and we’d be like, ‘She means writing partner,’ or she’d be like, ‘Yeah, yeah, she means producing partner, right?’ We were just dying laughing.”

Photo: ABC

On Wednesday’s episode of GH, Natalia learned Blaze was gay, but isn’t quite believing her, thinking she had been somehow influenced by Kristina.  In the key scenes, Blaze tells Natalia that Kristina is more than her friend. She’s her girlfriend. Blaze asks if her mother heard what she truly said, and Natalia claims she did, but then starts cleaning up the place as a method of trying to cope with what she just heard.

Things get testy when Blaze says, “Kristina and I…” Next, Natalia cuts her daughter off, firmly saying, “There is no Kristina and you!”

So, did you enjoy the tension-filled scenes between Kate Mansi and Eva LaRue? Are you liking where GH is heading with the story of a disapproving and religious mother, trying to come to terms with her daughter and her girlfriend’s sexuality? Comment below.

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All My Children

Maurice Benard Reveals All My Children’s Lee Meriweather and Daughter’s Alzheimer’s Diagnosis

At the beginning of the latest episode of General Hospital star, Maurice Benard’s (Sonny Corinthos) State of Mind series, he delivered some heartbreaking news with a purpose.

Kyle Oldham, the daughter of former All My Children star, Lee Meriwether (ex-Ruth Martin), who previously made a guest appearance on Benard’s show, returned for a new interview which will be coming soon.

During their conversation, Oldham shared that her beloved mother has Alzheimer’s. Sadly, according to Benard, Kyle also revealed she has been diagnosed with the disease as well.

Photo: JPI

Maurice expressed, “We talked about her mother and having Alzheimer’s and it was an amazing interview. And then Kyle said, ‘I gotta tell you something. I have Alzheimer’s.’”

Apparently, Kyle has agreed to come on State of Mind, periodically as the effects of Alzheimer’s take a hold of her to help educate others. “We decided that she was gonna come in … she was gonna call me and tell me as she progresses,” Benard shared. “She was going to come in again so the audience could see with their eyes what Alzheimer’s does to someone.”

Benard’s guest for this current episode of State of Mind was Vernee Watson (Stella, GH), who along with Maurice, was part of the Alzheimer’s storyline on the ABC daytime drama series that saw Mike Corbin (Max Gail) eventually pass away.

Photo: JPI

As for Lee Meriwether, not only is she known for her role on AMC, but also for her roles as Catwoman in Batman: The Movie, and The Courtship of Eddie’s Father, and for the television series, Barnaby Jones, the New Andy Griffith Show and The Munsters to name only a few.

In soap operas, Meriwether was cast in The Young Marrieds years prior to her time on All My Children where she replaced Mary Fickett in the matriarchal role in the Martin family. She played the role from 1996-99, 2002-03, and 2007-11.

Meriwether’s daughter, Kyle Oldham, has been an actress and spokesperson herself through the years. She appeared on The Price is Right for over 14 years until she couldn’t anymore after going through multiple surgeries in her adult life.

You can check out the full episode of State of Mind with Maurice an Vernee below.

Share your thoughts on the sad news of both Lee Meriwether and her daughter Kyle Oldham, battling the effects of Alzheimer’s disease in the comment section below.

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