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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.

General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Should Drew Get The Flash Drive Back, But Lose The Last Five Years Of His Life In Doing So?

On Friday’s episode of ABC’s General Hospital, Drew (Billy Miller) is faced with a dilemma that could change the course of his life forever.  It all comes down to DA Margaux Dawson (Elizabeth Hendrickson), and her vendetta against Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard), and how she is leveraging her possession of the flash drive that holds all of Drew’s memories and the key to his past.

In a confrontation at the Metro Court, Drew comes over to talk to Margaux, where he says he is not sure why he hasn’t taken it upon himself to turn her into the cops.  She adamantly points out that she is an attorney, and that he has no evidence that could be used against her in a court of law.  While she goes on about making Sonny pay for what he did to her father, she tries to get Drew to come along with her in her vendetta.  Drew refuses, not because of Sonny or Jason (Steve Burton), but he does not want to do this to Sam (Kelly Monaco) and have Danny be without his father.

Drew then stands up to her and tells he he knows she has been manipulating him for months. Even knowing she has the key to his life with the flashdrive that hold all of his missing years, Drew tells Margaux that she can hold this over his head, but even if he had the flashdrive there is a chance that the procedure to restore his memories could go wrong, and the sad fact that in doing the procedure, he will definitely lose the last five years of his life and all of those memories with Sam and more.  He says to Margaux that those memories mean everything to him.

A confident and irritated Marqaux tells him she is sure he will want the flash drive one day and that he knows her terms if she was to give it to him – helping her bring down Sonny and Jason for the murder of her father.   Drew is left with a difficult decision, while Margaux gets into an elevator and begins to cry over wanting to avenge her father’s death.  But little does she know, that evidence could prove that he was not the man she thinks he was.

So this begs the question to GH fans: Would you like to see Drew retrieve all of his memories as Andrew Cain, at the cost of losing the last five year of his life since being in Port Charles …  or should Drew leave his mind and memories alone and just go forward keeping the last five years in tact, and foregoing what other important history in his life that he may need to know now, or in the future? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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Dancing with the Stars Juniors

LISTEN TO THE REPLAY: Soap Nation Live! With Special Guests: Y&R’s Joshua Morrow, DWTS: Juniors & GH’s Hudson West & B&B’s Joe Lando

Photo Credits: CBS, JPI, ABC

Listen to “Soap Nation Live! October 2018” on Spreaker.

If you missed Thursday night’s broadcast of Soap Nation Live! with Michael Fairman you can now listen to the replay right here in audio player above!

This episode was given to the gents in soaps as Michael welcomed his very special guests: The Young and the Restless Joshua Morrow (Nick Newman), Dancing with the Stars: Juniors and General Hospital’s Hudson West (Jake), and The Bold and the Beautiful, and One Life to Live and Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman favorite, Joe Lando (Judge Craig McMullen).

During this fun night of chat, Joshua weighed-in on the Shick wedding that went bust, when Sharon told Nick at the altar that she knows he had sex with Phyllis.  Morrow, who will celebrate his 25th year as Nick Newman in early 2019 chimed in what the future for the stat-crossed couple may hold, and how he has enjoyed showing Nick’s dark side of late, plus he revealed one scene he felt uncomfortable with that he would not play, the ladies over the years in Nick’s life, and when asked by a listener of his memories of the late, great Jeanne Cooper (Katherine Chancellor), Joshua shared some fun and poignant remembrances. He also addressed the status of Doug Davidson at the CBS daytime drama, and hopes that the writers will find a way to utilize the Y&R vet in the future.

Next, Hudson West’s joined the podcast where he gave listeners the inside scoop on what it has been like to be one of the 12 celebrity kids competing in the first-ever Dancing with the Stars: Juniors, which debuts Sunday at 8PMEST in a two-hour season premiere on ABC.  Hudson talked on how he has been learning the dance moves with his young pro dance partner and Dancing with the Stars pro mentor, how he deals with nerves before performing his dance routines and more.  General Hospital fans who know of Hudson’s Daytime Emmy-nominated performance of Jake Webber, Elizabeth and Jason’s son, got some interesting tidbits when he talked about working with Rebecca Herbst, Steve Burton and more, and how much he loves being on the show.

The final guest of the night was Joe Lando.  Prior to bringing Joe on the air, Michael played a classic clip from Megan’s death on One Life to Live from the 90’s, where Joe as Jake Harrison performed one of the saddest and most memorable scenes in soaps with his then acting partner, Jessica Tuck.  Joe then revealed when he was on Soap Nation Live that it has been over 20 years since he had heard the scene, and was still moved by it.  Lando who is now appearing as Judge McMullen on CBS’ The Bold and the Beautiful teased there could be a love interest around the corner for the judge, as well as some retribution for his ruling in the custody case of Will Spencer, because of a favor called in by Ridge.  Lando also talks about his time on the hit primetime series, Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman as Byron Sully, and shared more about his time on One Life to Live working with the likes of: Erika Slezak, Bob Woods, and Tuck.

Last, during out Game Show segment, a lucky caller won two VIP tickets to the Star Struck Fan Event Fall Festival in Alexandria, Virginia featuring members of the cast of Days of our Lives, as well as a Y&R goodie bag; which includes a personalizes autographed picture of Joshua Morrow, after answering correctly some Nick Newman trivia!

For archived and past episodes of Soap Nation Live, you can go to the official show page on Spreaker.com here.

Now, listen to the broadcast with Joshua, Hudson, and Joe above, and then let us know via the comment section below what was your favorite moment in the broadcast.

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Breaking News

General Hospital Honored With Sentinel Award For Alzheimer’s Storyline

This week, ABC’s General Hospital was one of the recipients and honorees at the 2018 Sentinel Awards.

The awards honor storylines that inform, educate, and motivate audiences to make choices for healthier and safer lives.

Now in their 19th year, the 2018 Sentinel Awards were presented by Hollywood, Health & Society (HH&S), a program of The Norman Lear Center at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

The 12 outstanding Sentinel Awards honorees for 2018 spotlighted topics that included: nuclear safety, maternal health, HIV/AIDS, autism, sexual assault, mental health and disabilities.

One of those programs to receive the award was ABC’s General Hospital for “Sonny’s Dad storyline” which as viewers know shed a light on the progression of Alzheimer’s disease for those afflicted and their loved ones.   The story is beautifully played by Max Gail (Mike) and Maurice Benard (Sonny).  Accepting  the award on behalf of the series was EP, Frank Valentini.

Other series, notably Empire was recognized for their abortion storyline, and Grey’s Anatomy for their Hemorrhage cart storyline representing Maternal health were two other popular shows that also received recognition for their work. among others.

So, proud of GH for receiving this honor for the work they are doing in telling the emotional tale of Mike’s battle with Alzheimer’s and how it affects Sonny and his family? Comment below.

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Video du Jour

This weekend we mourn the loss of General Hospital’s beloved Susan Brown who played Gail Baldwin. Here is her final scene from 2004 when Gail and her husband Lee (the late Peter Hansen) showed up at Lila’s funeral and had an exchange with Alan and Monica. Share your thoughts on Susan’s passing via the link below. Leave A Comment

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