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The Dominic Zamprogna Interview – General Hospital

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It will be the shot heard around the soap world. Today on General Hospital, Dante gets a bullet from the barrel of a gun when Sonny pulls the trigger. And as the blood soaked Dante lays on the floor, secrets and lies begin to unravel and are revealed. For month’s the General Hospital powers-that-be have formulated a story of Sonny’s biological son by Olivia, Dante (known to most in PC as Dominic), who originally comes to town working undercover for the Feds to put Sonny away for his crimes. As the story has played out, we have seen a closer bond develop in a very interesting way between these two strong titans from opposite sides of the law. It’s mostly due to the fact that Dominic saved Morgan and Sonny’s lives, which elevated the young cop in Sonny’s mind as someone who can be trusted! Oh boy!

Newcomer Dominic Zamprogna has proved his mettle in the role of Dante (AKA Dominic). With high praise from fans, his cast mates, and the show’s producers and writers, he has stepped into a very high-profile soap opera role and done it justice. Zamprogna has the right mix of tough guy with a heart; the edgy look that makes him a modern day soap hero, and the acting chops to pull off this very complex and compelling role.

In this revealing interview, Dominic Zamprogna talks about working with his GH co-stars, Maurice Benard (Sonny), Julie Berman (Lulu) and Lisa LoCicero (Olivia) in the high stakes February sweeps storyline that is set to play out over several weeks, and previews the fallout when Dante actually realizes that the man he has sought out and worked to have arrested, is actually his real poppa!

Listen to the audio: The Dominic Zamprogna Interview


MICHAEL:

Dominic, first off, did it ever get confusing that your character is also known undercover as Dominic and your real name is Dominic? Or was that an easy part, even though now you are also known as Dante? Confused? I am. (Laughs)

Courtesy/ABC

DOMINIC:

The only confusing part was when I first started and I got my first script. They told me my name was going to be Dominic and I was going up for the part of Dante. I called up Bob Guza (head writer, GH) and went, “What is my character’s name?” (Laughs) He said, “You are undercover. It’s Dominic!” And I go, “Oh. Ok, then.”

MICHAEL:

Has this role turned out the way that it was promised to you, since you were going to end up being Sonny’s biological son? Did it live up to the hype?

DOMINIC:

Probably more. I did not know what to expect. We treat things very different in Canada. (Laughs) You see, I am from Hamilton, a city outside of Toronto, and I had been living in Vancouver for the last eight years before I came to LA. You get a different kind of attention down here. As far as the role goes, GH definitely held up their end of the bargain. They told me what it was going to be, how crazy it was going to be, how demanding it was going to be, and how important it was going to be, and hopefully, the way things have played out they seem happy with me.

MICHAEL:

Yes. You have been so heavy in story, and working with Maurice Benard in many of the episodes. How is working with him? Other GH actors tell me, “You have to be on your game with Maurice.”

DOMINIC:

Courtesy/ABC

Maurice was in my corner from day one. I feel like I had him on my side, and I did not need to win him over or impress him. We had a good audition experience together. Working with him is awesome! Maurice really gets into it, and he is an amazing actor. I am a bit out of my mind right now; because I just watched our big reveal show with Lisa LoCicero…

MICHAEL:

…Oh, you got a Sneak Peek. What did you think of it?

DOMINIC:

I thought it was awesome. Laura Wright (Carly) always says, “You are never as bad as you think you are or as good as you think you are,” and I think that is a very fair statement. I felt really awesome on the day we did it. You always pick things apart in an unfair way when you watch it as an actor who is looking back at their performance. You can’t dictate when the producers are going to cut to what shot, or really know how you are going to look. You just hope it turns out well. I am having a hard time putting into words what it is like working with Maurice, because I just watched our big scenes and it worked so great. He came up to me before we taped these pivotal scenes, and he said, “Let’s do it. Let’s kill it.” And we did, and the scenes were written so well. And Maurice is the kind of guy that if you stay with him throughout the scene it will be a roller coaster, and that is what it’s supposed to be. When I first came on the show, because our characters were feeling each other out, as well as we as people, like, “Who is this guy that can just walk into my house and tell me how it is?” So, I don’t think Sonny has ever had to deal with a character like that. So it’s kind of interesting to be in a kind of fake position of power, because in reality, I am scared out of my pants going up against this guy. He could pull out a gun any second and shoot me. But as an actor, I felt like this was my best way to play it, even if it’s false bravado. I was to be able to come in and be the tough guy with Sonny.

Courtesy/ABC

MICHAEL:

It’s been great to watch, because you are one young actor who can actually go toe-to-toe with Maurice, and the character of Sonny Corinthos.

DOMINIC:

I have heard that, and I thank you for saying that. Over the course of seven months, it’s been my character working sort of underneath this guy. Maurice is such a supportive, amazing person who truly wants what is best for the show. So when you are working with him that is what you get, someone who wants to do well and wants you to do well, and sparks will fly.

MICHAEL:

Going into Friday’s episode, Sonny’s is supposed to be going to Jocelyn’s christening and Dante does not want to put him away yet. Why is Dante conflicted? And, what is driving this guy?

DOMINIC:

Basically, the knowledge of what he is about to do is going to crumble a lot of lives and he does like Sonny, and that is the truth of it. He is trying to not like Sonny, because he does not want to be compared to the guy, but Dante kind of sees himself as the same type of guy. They do behave alike. One is on one side of the law, and one is on the other. Dante knows he has a job to do, but he really does not want to do it. He wants to give another peaceful moment to the family before he lowers the boom, because it’s going to be an earthquake…

MICHAEL:

He is going to have Sonny arrested?

DOMINIC:

Yes, that was his goal. Dante is going to arrest Sonny, that is for sure. But it happens prematurely and it all goes awry.

©JPI Studios

MICHAEL:

So, are we going to be on the edge of our seats?

DOMINIC:

The way they cut it is… it’s juxtaposed against the christening of baby Jocelyn where Sonny and Dante are supposed to be at. But, Dante is at Sonny’s and so the build up to the christening and the build up to my getting shot are dramatic. And that is not why I am at Sonny’s at that moment. Sonny calls me over to do a job and I go, not really knowing that I was going to have to pull my badge at the time, but you have to wait and see!

MICHAEL:

Have you even shot the big emotional Sonny/Dante father/son come to terms scenes? If that’s even possible! (Laughs)

DOMINIC:

I don’t think we have shot that yet, because I am still technically in the hospital in bed. And Dante does not do too well. He is shot in the chest and it’s going to be a battle for him.

MICHAEL:

How is working with your on-screen mom, Lisa LoCicero?

DOMINIC:

Lisa and I have been tight since day one. She showed me around the first day I got here, and I live five minutes away from her. She is unbelievably supportive and she has got Beatle’s Rock Band, which is cool (laughs). Working with her is great and we generally have fun together. From day one, Lisa and I working together was natural, even though people were saying we looked more like lovers than mother and son. We still felt really good about the mother and son relationship and we worked really hard to shape it.

©JPI Studios

MICHAEL:

Not only is Sonny going to be devastated that Dante is his own son, but when will Dante actually realize Sonny is his father?

DOMINIC:

One of the first things that happen when I wake up in the hospital is I talk to Lulu and she tells me, “All may not be well.” (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Then do you have a talk with Sonny?

DOMINIC:

There is, but it’s not going to be one of those, “Oh, that’s what you meant? It’s cool.” It’s a mess, and unfortunately, the way Sonny is, he would not dream of harming anyone who is his own kid. Even though I am someone who betrayed him, when he finds out I am his kid, all of a sudden I am under that umbrella… you know, the really protective thing. So, Sonny is coming at it from a wonderful nurturing place and is really torn up by what he did. But for Dante, he feels, “This just proves to me who you are. And whatever we had before, friendship and possible palling around, is going to be null and void.”

MICHAEL:

Can you see Dante ever working for the mob?

DOMINIC:

He will always be on the other side of the law. I think my character has such strong principles and values, that I think something would have to go south in his world or in his life for him to not be a cop. If he was not a cop, I don’t know what that would be to bring him into the mob. I have been thinking about this for a long time, because this is the great debate: would I ever kind of flip and decide to work for the bad guys? However, I don’t see a scenario where he would do that, unless it was like between a rock and a hard place and there was no right answer to something, and he was forced into something that no matter how you look at it, this would be his only choice.

Courtesy/ABC

MICHAEL:

And Lulu becomes unhinged when she finds out Dante has been shot, and that he is Sonny’s son! Why do you think you and Julie Berman are working so well together on-screen? Do you think the Dante/Lulu romance works?

DOMINIC:

Oh, it works, totally! Julie and I have a ridiculous amount of fun together. We laugh in the hallways. Julie is a talented actress as well. I am blessed in my storyline to have three ridiculously talented people to work with. Each are ridiculously talented and soulful people who give a ton and more, in every scene they are in with you. Regarding Dante and Lulu’s romance: at first you feel pressure to make the chemistry work because everyone is going, “Oh, this is going to be your love interest on the show.” So you really want it to work. You feel you are pushing hard on the gas to make sure it works so everyone is happy. And then what you realize, “It’s out of my control!” You just have to play these scenes and have fun. Julie and I have a mutual respect for one another.

MICHAEL:

Lulu is going to be a mess over you!

DOMINIC:

Not necessarily a mess, but freaking out over what happened. The nice thing about Dante is that he has someone who has got his back, and he trusts that she has his back. With Olivia, his mother, he thinks that she does not really have his back. He knows she loves him, and he knows all the things she did; not telling Sonny or Dante, and even telling her lover Johnny, who knew Dante was undercover. Olivia always has a reason. Unfortunately, this is the first time you are going to see the bending or shift in their relationship because of how he was deceived by her. He thinks she was coming from a place of concern and care, but it might be misguided. Dante is going to look at it that way, no matter what. With Lulu, the first thing he is going to do when he wakes up is ask for her. She now is the only person that Dante trusts. She has proven it and will continue to prove it.

MICHAEL:

Should we expect to see Michael Corinthos continue to be a thorn in Dante’s side? After all, it was he who blew Dante’s cover to Sonny. In other words, Sonny’s biological son, Dante, and adopted son, Michael, fighting for their father’s approval, and with each other?

Courtesy/ABC

DOMINIC:

We actually see a different side to Michael. He tries to be real with Dante for once. It’s tough because when I see him after the shooting, instead of him coming to attack me, which is what I expect him to do, he actually seems like he is coming from a genuine concern for his father, Sonny…. who is now both our father!

MICHAEL:

So will Dante forgive Sonny? Does he still want Sonny arrested after this reveal that will change the course of their relationship?

DOMINIC:

There is so much confirmation for Dante that he goes back to what he came to town to do and the final few days when he goes to arrest Sonny, it gets wiped away. Any kind of progress he made in the enjoyment of being undercover and getting to know these people, pretty much gets wiped away by the fact that he gets shot. Dante is not a bad person or an insensitive person. He is a sensitive person. He will listen to you and let you speak, and take in what you have to tell him. He is a stubborn person, and it’s probably not going to change his mind if you just shot him.

MICHAEL:

How much of Dominic Zamprogna is Dante?

DOMINIC:

Originally not so much, but as you play a character and the writers see you in the character, things become a bit more blurred; where a lot of you become more like the part you play. I also think that is the nature of daytime soaps and how they are written for actors.

MICHAEL:

Will you be submitting yourself for Supporting Actor this year in the race for a Daytime Emmy nomination?

Courtesy/ABC

DOMINIC:

I was talking about that the other day. I don’t know. I guess I will.

MICHAEL:

You have plenty material.

DOMINIC:

That is the thing I am happiest about. I did not think I would be in 130 some episodes. I am definitely blown away with that. And going back to your earlier question, the people that make the decisions are obviously happy with the way things are going and utilizing me, and I am very happy the way things are going.

MICHAEL:

You were involved a bit in the Co77x storyline with James Franco. How was the James Franco experience for you?

DOMINIC:

I did not have a lot of experience working with him. The story was always going to be James Franco’s and Steve Burton’s (Jason) story. There was an association between “Franco” and Dante, but it wasn’t anything more than that. I think it works out better for my character and the story. I think it worked out better for Dante in this story for having his cover get blown with Sonny. So I am happy how everything shaped up. But I think James Franco is a great guy. He did great work, and from what I hear he had more lines than anyone would want to dream of having in a day. James came in here and kicked-ass!

Courtesy/ABC

MICHAEL:

To sum this all up, why should GH fans not miss Friday’s’ must-see episode and the weeks to come? Will we need hankies?

DOMINIC:

You will be blown away, and you will need hankies if you care about Sonny, Dante and Olivia. If you don’t give a damn about them you won’t care. (Laughs) You may need to get in front of the TV with a drink and some popcorn for this. (Laughs).

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Doe
Doe

I just finished wtching GH and I thought the episode was written really well. The climatic scene that I knew was coming, was acted pefectly and nicely underplayed by both actors. There was no yelling and screaming at one another which most scenes are in that situation. I think there will be great upheavel coming up, and I think the scenes between Carly and Jax should be very interesting especially, if she finds out how duplicitous he was in the Sonny plot. Will be watching……

susan
susan

Thank you for this interview. Dominic Z. is amazing. Just finished watching the reveal episode. GH and soaps in general have not seen a talent like this in a long time. The is a tremendous actor and GH struck gold with him.

m
m

DZ is the best thing that has come along in a loooong while–every facet of him is a gift–completely compelling to watch. I adore him.

Tara
Tara

Dominic Zamprogna is the find of the century as far as I’m concerned. This is a very special actor. I’m stunned at how utterly flawless and gifted he is. I have not been on the edge of my seat like this in years! The reveal was so powerful I felt goosebumps watching it unfold. I pray that the show does not change a thing about Dante. Not his hair, his attitude or anything else we have come to love. This is a rare find here. Please hang onto this guy! He’s pure gold!

Marilyn
Marilyn

I saw the show on TV today, but had to see it again. The acting was great and I was on the edge of my seat. The scene between Dominic and Maurice was off the charts, can’t wait to see what come’s next. Dominic was a great addition to the show, wow!

Lisa
Lisa

SO proud of DZ, he is from my hometown & that ep today of GH was one of the best I have seen in years on this show!

DZ was masterful & amazing!

Maria
Maria

I have loved Dominic Zamprogna since he first arrived on the show…he is the much needed addition to an already great soap opera. I must admit I was never aware of this actor before now and after some research I am more and more impressed, not only is he an amazing actor, but the sincerity and slight humbleness he brings to the screen just makes him a character you really feel you can relate too. Of course, being from an old-fashioned Italian family (get the whole respect thing) from Brooklyn probably contributes a bit but non-the-less, I haven’t been this addicted to a series in a looooong time. Thank you GH for choosing Dominic Zamprogna to join the cast and thank you Dominic Zamprogna to adding much needed excitement to my world!

Mary
Mary

I watched the scene twice today too! Never do that. It was fantastic. Loved the way Dante was so nervous, you could hear him breathing hard and the dryness of his mouth. It was brilliant. I am a huge Sonny fan too, so it was totally great to see these two masterful actors with so much intensity but not overdoing it.
Thanks for the interview! Love how articulate and down-to-earth Dominic Z is!

Linda Dowell
Linda Dowell

I love his character so much that I feel GH is revived for me – I look forward to it again.

It was instant for me – I immediately liked Dominic/Dante and have watched every scene, sometimes many times, since he’s been on.

He is a wonderful, truly great, actor, and I’m grateful for him.

Bridget
Bridget

GH is on fire right now and part of that is because of Dominic Zamprogna! The producers have his pay dirt with this guy! He’s an amazing talented actor and knock your socks off sexy!! I also love the Lulu/Dante romance. It’s something we haven’t seen on soaps in a long time..so sweet these two. I hope the writers have big plans for this couple and keep them together for a looooong time! Congrats Dominic!! Now the hard part will be waiting a whole year to hear him accept his emmy! 🙂

Pat
Pat

The instant Dominic Zamprogna played his first scene on GH, I was hooked. I have been watching GH since it started. DZ is the most dynamic actor to ever hit the streets of PC. After watching the reveal episode, I had to watch it again and again. I was mesmerized. Maurice and Dominic played the scene so realistically that I was crying. DZ is a fantastic addition to an already fantastic cast. Thank you GH.

W.J.
W.J.

I’ve watched GH for many years, mostly for the Sonny and Jason storyline. They’re great. Dominic’s arrival on the scene really pumped new energy into the story. Friday’s confrontation between him and Sonny was heart-stopping. I could alternately feel Dominic’s fear, and Sonny’s conflicted emotions as he pulled the trigger.

I just started watching a new Canadian series a week ago called “Edgemont” on CW. I immediately recognized one of the young actors, a high school student in the show, as a young Dominic. I’ve been enjoying watching him there as well.

kiran
kiran

Now i have watched the scene between Dante and Sonny for the umpteenth time. i am still at the edge of my seat waiting to find what will happen on monday. Both Dominic and Maurice were great, the show was written well and acted perfectly.
Dominic is the best thing on gh right now. I wait to watch Dante scenes on GH. Dominic is really an amazing actor.

keep it up!

Lante JaSam lover
Lante JaSam lover

I am loving Dom on Gh. I love even more is him and Lulu together. i hope they give a a deeply devoted romance for these two. I hope to keep Lulu and Dante together for a long time.

L
L

I have been watching GH since the early days & this is definitely one of THE best story lines; Dom is a talented actor/artist & it’s such a great break in the day to watch his work. You are drawn in & your emotions run the scale…it’s like watching a movie every day. The Dante/Lulu story line is like that of a modern day ‘Luke/Laura’; 2nd generation! Love it! Please stay – often when excellent actors join a cast, they don’t stay too long: please stay!

Christi - Massachusetts
Christi - Massachusetts

Dominic Z. is a wonderful addition to GH. He is very talented…. I looked @ his bio and will see everything he acted in…. I love how sexy he is…..

Good Luck Dominic I hope you are on for years to come…..

Michelle Lee Martin
Michelle Lee Martin

I was at the edge of my seat when Dante went in for sugery to remove the bullet. Was he going to live or die? I’m glad that he lived, and I hope his and Lulu romance blossoms, and they end up together.

Page
Page

I have been watching General Hospital since my kids were little and they are in their 40’s now. After reading all the previous comments,anything I would say about Dominic would be redundant. But I will say that HE DEFINITLEY IS THE BEST THING THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED TO GENERAL HOSPITAL. I “also hope” that the Lulu/Dominic story line lasts indefinitely. They could be BETTER than Luke & Laura.

Terry
Terry

Dominic Zamprogna has put the zest back in General Hospital. He has amazing on screen chemistry with Maurice Bernard and many of the other characters. I think he is worthy of a Best Newcomer or Outstanding Supporting Actor Emmy. Plus he is very easy on the eyes for us ladies!!!!

baby_fat221@yahoo.com
baby_fat221@yahoo.com

will dominici will get merry to Lulu

jasam&luante>3
jasam&luante>3

I have been watching GH since I was a little girl with my mother, now that I am 40 years old and my daughter is watching with me, wow, that is how speachless I am over Dominic! The seen when Sonny shot Dante was so real and convincing that I forgot I was watching a soap! I watched it over and over I could not stop watching it, it was so breath taking that I was just in tears! I have always been totally in love with Jasam that I stopped watching GH when the whole Liz and Jason thing happened, I thought it was cruel, but I couldn’t help myself and started watching it again when I knew it wouldn’t work out. Then I saw Dominic for the first time and I watch the show at least 2x’s a day and then the next morning while I’m drinking my coffee before work I am so taken by Dominic. I love his acting, he is so beautiful and his character is so refreshing. I love the sweetness between him and lulu, please do not hurt this couple like you did Jason and Sam. They were loved and they didn’t even sleep together that was so intense but when she couldn’t have children Liz became pregnant with Jason’s baby, how cruel. Please do not ruin this couple, they are and can be the next Luke and Lura. I have both of my couples that amaze me in completely different ways, but there is something so special about Dominic that we have never seen before on GH or anyother soap, trust me your ratings will keep going up if you keep up the great storylines with Dante and lulu and Sonny!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love you to death and know you will win every award that is coming your way!

Chelly
Chelly

I do not usually like short guys, but I love Dominic as Dante. It is kind of funny that I say that because I’m only 5’3 1/2″, and Dominic would even tower over me. If I ever get married someday any guy will be taller than I am. I love Dominic, and I think it is something how much he looks like Maurice who plays his father on the show. They picked a good one to play Dante, and I’m not just saying that because Sonny and Dante look a like, but Dominic is a wonderful actor as well.

Moriah
Moriah

Dominic melts my heart, because he is such a sweet guy. I love his character Dante, and he is the best thing that has ever happened to General Hospital. He is not tall, but I’m sure that he would still tower over me since I’m only five feet tall. I hope that his romance blossoms with Lulu, because they are so sweet together.

Francheska
Francheska

My sister in law watches General Hospital and so do I. I must agree with her that Dominic rules. He is such a sweet guy, and I hope that Dante and Lulu end up together. They remind me of my husband Michael and I, except for the height difference. My husband is 6’1″ and I’m just barely five feet tall. Dante is just barely taller than Lulu. Thank you for the interview Dominic, and I hope that you stay on General Hospital, and I hope that Dante and Lulu make it. They belong together.

Angelique
Angelique

Dominic is a wonderful addition to the show as Dante. When he first came on I did not think that I was going to like him, but then I fell in love with his character. It should be interesting to see what Dante does next. Will he find out that his own brother is the killer of Claudia, and what will Dante do about it. I’m also wondering if Sonny is really responsible for killing that cop when Dante was little who he thought of as a father. The truth will come out soon, and hopefully Dante becomes a wonderful older brother to his siblings, especially to Michael and Kristina, who are the most troubled.

Jennifer Theoret
Jennifer Theoret

I love Dante and Lulu together. I think that they are my favorite couple on the show. I really hope that Johnny and Olivia don’t end up together. He is such a jerk, and I think that there should be an Olivia and Sonny reunion. Afterall these two have great chemistry together, and Dante will finally have the family he always wented.

Evelyn
Evelyn

This is old, but I would like to comment on it. I have been married for a long time now, over forty years. I have three children and eight grandchildren, and another grandchild on the way. I have been watching General Hospital for a long time now, and I must admit Dominic is a wonderful addition to the show. The fact that it took Sonny to shoot Dante in the chest to find out they are father and son took the wind out of me. I was afraid that Dante was going to die, and thank God that he didn’t. I loved it when he stuck up for Morgan in court, and as illegal as his move was, I think that Dante did the right thing, even if he did get arrested for it. Then when he found out that Michael actually killed Claudia, Dante finally made the right move and came forward with it. I don’t know where this will lead, but I’m curious to find out what happens with Michael, and I hope he will look up to Dante, and learn to admire his older brother for doing the right thing.

M.L.M.
M.L.M.

I was watching Dying To Dance, and I noticed Dominic right off. He is such a talented actor, and is a wonderful addition to General Hospital. I can not believe how much Maurice and Dominic look a like. They even look like they could be father and son on the show. Dante does not like Sonny, and I don’t think he will ever like him. A Mob Boss for a father and a cop for a son, boy that is some combination. I hope that Michael does not have to go to jail, and I hope that others see that Dante is just trying to help. Dante has been the only honest one in this case, and I feel that Carly, Sonny, Jax, Sam and Jason need to go to jail more than he does, but I just don’t see that happening. Dominic is the best thing that has happened to General Hospital, and I hope that he stays for years to come.

W.W.J.D.
W.W.J.D.

Dominic is so sweet and I simply love him on General Hospital. He is such a good guy so far, but I have a feeling the darker side of him may pop out. He is so much like Sonny and Maurice and Dominic even look like father and son. I’m glad that Dominic was picked to play Dante, because of that. I love you Dominic and I hope to see you on General Hospital many years to come.

tayla
tayla

you are so fuckin hot i watch you r sow and seee you everyday i luveeeeeeeeeeeeeeee you foever

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Cassandra James Set To Appear in Second Season Of GH Alum Vinessa Antoine’s ‘Diggstown’

In another exciting bit of casting on the Canadian drama series, Diggstown, General Hospital’s Cassandra James (Dr, Terry Randolph) will soon be seen alongside former GH star, Vinessa Antoine in the second season of the CBC series.

Cassandra first announced the news on her Twitter, expressing “Surprise! “Shooting DIGGSTOWN with my GH sister Vinessa Antoine.”

Antoine responded in kind sharing a photo fo the two together on the set of the show relating: “Just a couple of gals making history.  First black person to lead a dramatic show in Canada and first trans woman on a soap together. Wow! Welcome, sister. So proud to have you here.”

On GH, Vinessa exited her role of Jordan Ashford back in September of 2018, and was later replaced by Briana Nicole Henry, after making Canadian TV history when she landed the lead role of Marcie Diggs on Diggstown.  James first came onto the Port Charles canvas as Liz’s childhood friend, back in June of 2018.

Now shooting Diggstown’s second season, no details yet on what role Cassandra will play, or when her episode will air, but MFTV will keep you posted when that Intel becomes available for Canadian fans, and how U.S. fans may be able to view it.

So, what do you think of Cassandra and Vinessa appearing together on Diggstown? Would you like to see more of Cassandra on GH? Missing Vinessa Antoine? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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GH’s Roger Howarth Chats On Shifting From Franco To Drew & The Stunning Story Twist

In one of the most intriguing plots of 2019, General Hospital’s Franco Baldwin was morphed into Navy SEAL Andrew Cain following a harrowing mind-mapping procedure. In all went down thanks to Shiloh (Coby Ryan McLaughlin) and Dr, Cabot (Time Winters), taking the life and memories of Drew (Billy Miller) from his flash drive and transferring them into Franco’s brain, wiping out his past and his present.  That followed the tearjerker moment, when Franco sacrificed himself to free his kidnapped stepson, Cameron (William Lipton) from the twisted procedure; that could have left the teenager with Drew’s memories or even in a vegetative state.

The recipient of this storyline – and who would be taking on another persona in his storied daytime drama career – is none other than Roger Howarth.  The Daytime Emmy- winning actor is no stranger to changing fictional identities on GH.  Howarth, played OLTL’s Todd Manning over in Port Charles, later switching to Franco (previously played by James Franco) following the legal dispute between ABC and Prospect Park.

Last week, viewers got their first glimpse of Howarth taking on the traits of Drew circa 2012, and in short order, it has caused emotional upheaval for Franco’s wife, Elizabeth (Rebecca Herbst), Drew himself, Jason (Steve Burton), and Kim (Tamara Braun)… and that’s just for starters.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Roger as he started his journey transforming his work from playing Franco to Drew and the challenges it presents, plus the ripple effect the change will have on the canvas for many of the characters.  In addition for One Life to Live fans, Roger chats about his appreciation for his time on that iconic series in a candid, self-effacing, and special conversation.  Here’s what Howarth shared:

Courtesy/ABC

When you were told that they were going to put Drew’s memories into Franco, what was your initial reaction to learning that news?  Did you think it was a great twist?

ROGER:  Yeah, I think it’s a great idea.  I really do.  Good story needs a lot of things, and this checks a lot of the boxes.  It brings people together; it provides obstacles.  There are a lot of places this could lead to.  I just think it’s really smart and interesting.  I look forward to it a lot, and I can already tell by what I have shot thus far that it’s going to be fun.

If this story is written well, what has happened to Franco will be life-altering and crucial to so many people’s lives in Port Charles.

ROGER:  What I like about it, and this isn’t lip service, is that it’s a great story because it affects a lot of people.  Those are the good stories.  Elizabeth has got to deal with this, the boys have to deal with this, Scotty’s (Kin Shriner) got to deal with it, Jason is confused by this information, and now this person in interacting with Drew, and Kim, and Shiloh.  All of the sudden, the canvas is interacting completely differently.  So, I think the writers are having fun with this as well.

Photo: ABC

Then, there is also the character of Kim played by Tamara Braun, who Drew shares a past with.  It will be interesting to see how that relationship plays out, we already witnessed Franco’s Drew instantly smitten and attracted to her.

ROGER:  Yes, the person in this body is running under a certain set of assumptions that no one else shares.  So, yes, it’s confusing to everybody, I am sure, including Kim.

Do you see Franco eventually flipping back and forth, and having personality traits of both he and Drew?

ROGER:  No.  One hundred percent, no, and that provides a real obstacle with a couple like Franco and Elizabeth.  They are always looking for obstacles to prove to the audience that these two people really do care about one another, and that’s the purpose of a story like this.  I’m guessing and hoping that it will provide the character of Elizabeth with a particular objective because it would be nice to see Becky be able to play all of those beats.

Right, and to have to fight for something…

ROGER:  Yes, it’s very tragic.  This is a character that is accustomed to tragedy, and to see Becky play the role of Elizabeth dusting herself off, trying to get what she wants is going to be really cool.

Courtesy/ABC

The tragic twist had Franco saving Cameron from winding up with Drew’s memories and being the vessel for Shiloh to use.  What did you think about how Franco sacrificed himself in order to protect Elizabeth’s son?  It was quite heroic.

ROGER:  I think the other beautiful part of this is that this was motivated by love.  I don’t see it as heroic.  I think as an actor, you’re always looking for the heart of the story, and the writers made it really simple.  He does this because he loves this kid.  Yeah, they’ve had their ups and downs, and they are struggling to figure out how they can get along, and they have a lot of things that they feel about one another, but push actually did come to shove, and I think that the character of Cameron is going to be deeply affected by that.

Courtesy/ABC

This now puts Franco deep within Shiloh’s storyline and past with Drew, because Shiloh desperately wants a key piece of information locked in Drew’s memories.  So, in theory, this kind of ranks among one of the better stories you’ve probably ever gotten to tell in your daytime career.  Everyone is hoping that it lives up to its expectations in the execution of it on-air.

ROGER:  It is certainly a high concept story.  It’s asking a lot of the audience.  So far, we’re all in.  It’s a good cast.  I work with really good actors, so I’m not worried.  It is asking the audience to suspend disbelief for sure.  The good stories do.  I think Erika Slezak (Viki) on One Life to Live, getting to play Dissociative Identity Disorder as Niki and Viki that was a large ask.  She never blinked.  She did everything that was asked.  I’m trying to follow her example.

Exactly, and she played more characters.  She had more alters after that.

ROGER:  (Laughs)  Yeah!  She’s better at this than I am.  I’m having trouble with the one. (Laughs)

Photo: ABC

What do you think about how Scott and Franco’s relationship will be affected, now that he is in essence “Drew”?

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ROGER:  There’s no part of that relationship that hasn’t changed because there is no Franco.  Franco is not around … Franco has left the building.

He is a completely new person for all intent and purposes.

ROGER:  For sure.  This soldier doesn’t appreciate being called by somebody else’s name.  He is not compassionate to the people who mistake him for this somewhat tortured art therapist that he no longer is.

Photo: ABC

What is also interesting is that this should put you right into conflict and scenes with Steve Burton, because now you are essentially playing Jason’s twin.

ROGER:  Yes.  For me, as an actor, to get a chance to work with Steve, and to play a like-minded person, is intimidating frankly, but it’s exciting.

Also, the audience knows how Franco and Jason are such enemies, and now, he is really in his mind his twin.  

ROGER:  Yeah, Franco sees in many shades of gray and other colors, and from what I can tell, Franco as Drew sees the world much simpler.  He thinks more clearly, he finishes his sentences, he thinks before he speaks, he knows what he is going to say.  His point of view does not waiver.  He is determined.

Courtesy/ABC

That’s got to be so exciting for you to get to play after all of Franco’s psychological baggage and issues.

ROGER:  I’ve got to say, it’s been a bit of a challenge for me to play someone with a different set of speech patterns and who stands differently.  Because Drew thinks and feels differently about everything; his body is the same, but his body is behaving differently, and it speaks differently, and he thinks at a different tempo.  They’ve been very patient on set giving me chances to do it badly, so far. (Laughs)  It’s not uncommon for me to get halfway through a scene and to have to start over.   I am essentially figuring it out as we go along.   I am very appreciative of the fact that they have been giving me a few extra takes to try and figure out how this guy stands.  He relates to people with a different set of space and time.  It’s cool.  It’s a cool set of puzzles.  It’s been really fun.  I’m a lucky guy.

When I first learned of the story twist, I was like, “Oh! Roger will be great in this.”  

ROGER:  I don’t know, man.  I could be stinking it up pretty badly. (Laughs)  I think there’s a trap as an actor who has been asked to play twins, and the trap is that this guy is only acting the way that he acts.  The trap is frankly to act too much because the audience is being told that he is a different person.  If I go too far to try to demonstrate that he is a different person, then it slips into parody or overacting.  Over the years, I have definitely been guilty of overacting, so, I’m a little frightened of it. (Laughs)  I don’t like the way it feels.  I know how it feels to go too far.  I have been getting notes like, “You could pull it back a little bit.”  (Laughs)  It’s pretty funny.

Courtesy/ABC

In the past, I have heard you say you’d rather go to work and feel unsettled about what you are asked to play.  Does that still hold true?

ROGER:  For sure!  I’d rather go to work and leave my job knowing that it was terrible and that I get to come back the next day and make it a little better.  The best thing about daytime is how much it will stretch you and pull you and ask as much of it as you are willing to put in.

Now speaking of Franco, what did you think about the wedding reception on the yacht with Elizabeth?  Did you think that was a nice payoff for Friz fans? 

ROGER:  Yes, for sure.  I thought it was a really sweet culmination to a sweet story about these two people finding one another.  I’m glad they incorporated a large part of the cast.  It was a really good idea.

Photo: ABC

What did you think of how all of Elizabeth’s boys (Cameron, Aiden and Jake) performed a song for Franco and their mom at the reception, and how Franco relates to all of them?

ROGER:  I think it was a really important story point, and it was nice, and it was easy to play.  They’re really good kids, and they’re also terrific people.

Franco really stepped up as a stepdad to Aiden, who had been bullied at school.  I loved the cooking scene, where Franco was baking with Aiden.  What do you think about their relationship?  I love that Franco is being very understanding.

ROGER:  I think he’s trying to be understanding.  I don’t think he’s really great at it.   I think he’s a human being just trying to figure out how to make the best use of his time here, just like the rest of us.

Photo” ABC

General Hospital needed a big jolt with an umbrella story like this that turns the canvas a bit upside down.  How does it feel to be at the epicenter of it?

ROGER:   I really don’t think I’m the center of the story.  I’m not even kidding.  The story is that this piece of information is worn on the shoulders of Franco, but the people who are most effected by that piece of information are Kim and Elizabeth.

It will be interesting to see what the reaction is like from the GH audience.  You’re not on social media.  Will you check out what they are saying … or the feedback?

ROGER:  I’m not on social media.  But, I believe there is a guy whose job it is to track that initial criticism/support.  I think it is kind of cool that we will get real-time reviews, you know what I mean?  I actually thought about that because with the character of Franco, it took us a while to figure out who the guy was.  There was a lot of blonde hair and some missed cues, and we weren’t sure which relationship would be featured, whether it would be Franco and Ava (Maura West), or whether he would wind up in Carly’s (Laura Wright) arena again.  It took a while to figure out the best way to put that guy in the canvas, and I imagine that it will happen again.  I didn’t dye my hair for this, but I did cut it. (Laughs)

Photo: ABC

How was working with Billy Miller in this storyline twist?  Were you there on his last day on set?

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ROGER:  Yes, I worked with Billy not on his last day, but on his last show.  He was remarkable with dignity and with class, and I wish him all the best.  He did a great job.  He is a good actor.  I’m sure he will find somewhere to go be an actor.

Throughout your soap career, has there been a story that you initially pooh-poohed, but when you did it, you thought, “Oh, this is great!”

ROGER:   There was a story when Carly and Franco were together, and they wrote a story where Franco gave Carly a gift that wound up being a camera…

Photo: ABC

The evil-eye necklace!

ROGER:  Yes, this small seeing rye.  I just thought, every time Franco would come in and say something like, “Oh, you’re wearing the necklace.  It’s so beautiful,” while we were doing it, I was like, “Wow.  The audience is really going to hate this.” (Laughs)  However, my real-time Twitter is the subway, and while it was airing, I got on the train and sat next to this really amazing fan, who just told me how much she loved that story, and I was honestly surprised and pleased.  I am often wrong, and it doesn’t surprise me now when I am wrong  … because I was really wrong then.

You mentioned Franco with Ava which was a potential pairing. I think you and Maura West have always had great chemistry together on screen.

ROGER:  Yes, she’s a pretty great actor.  She’s great with everybody.

She is.  You knew Maura’s work first when she was at As the World Turns, while you were there, also?

ROGER:  I didn’t know her well at As the World Turns, but I knew who she was.  She’s a hard worker, and Jack (Michael Park) and Carly always had a lot to do.  She was pretty focused when she was there, but I spoke to her.  I didn’t feel like I got to know her until I got to work with her on GH.

Photo: JPI

Last month on July 15th would have been the 51st anniversary of One Life to Live. I saw a lot of people commenting and remembering the show on social media that day. I put together four photos on a post I made about that show featuring some of the remarkable actors who were a part of it.  From there, I received hundreds of comments of how people were just missing the series, the characters, and actors they loved in it, including you.  When you look at the list of people from yourself to Judith Light, to Robin Strasser, Bob Woods, and of course Erika Slezak – it’s such an unbelievably talented group who spent time in Llanview.  Do you ever think about what an incredible experience that was, and how the fans still miss that show so much?

ROGER:  All the time.  I mean, I’m a lucky guy.  I think it really was a special building to work in, and the people who we are talking about: Erika (Viki), Bob (Bo), Robin (Dorian), and Phil Carey (Asa), and Clint Richie (Clint), and John Loprieno (Cord), the people who made it possible for me to work there set an environment and a tone that made it a really special place.  It was a really good cast, like you said, and there was a lot of opportunity for them to write a really cool story.  I wasn’t a part of the AIDS quilt storyline, but to realize that they told a story like that and incorporated that into our show was wonderful.

Photo: JPI

Such an amazing story and One Life was telling socially relevant and important issues of our time, always.

ROGER:  I can’t say for certain, but I do believe that the original concept of the Todd, Marty (Susan Haskell), and Powell (Sean Moynihan) storyline was kind of supposed to be initially an effort to bring awareness to a horrible, violent crime.  That was a long time before the #MeToo movement.  I think it was a show where the writers had a social conscious as well and really brought awareness to a lot of different things.  That’s a great legacy and something that show should be very proud of.

Once the character of  Todd Manning took off on One Life, and how they found ways to redeem him, and how it spoke to how much the network, the show, and the audience responded to your performances, did you ever feel you had a bit of a safety net as an actor, or were you like, “I’m going to be fired tomorrow?”

ROGER:  This is truth: I am so grateful to have a job, and I don’t take anything for granted.  I don’t think anybody is safe in this business.  I just don’t.  I just don’t think anybody gets to say that they’ve arrived.  I just did a roundtable, and I shared this with people who have a lot more clout and opportunity than I do – that actors are by nature, the good ones, are aware that every day that you get to go to work is a privilege, and don’t waste it.

Photo: JPI

In soaps, for the most part, when someone is stepping into someone else’s role as a recast, or actor who played one role is changing to another, there seems to be this reactionary period of adjustment, and then, there is acceptance from the audience over time … unless you really stink it up  … as you say. (Laughs)

ROGER:  Here’s the thing, and this is why I think this is such a great idea, it’s not about me playing this part, it’s about how Elizabeth, who has been on this show for twenty-something years gets to react to it, and giving her the ball.  It’s flashy that Franco is Drew, but it is really and Elizabeth/Kim story.  I may be the one overacting and stinking it up, but it’s theirs. Do you know what I mean?  It’s not my story.

Photo/ABC

What do you want to say to the fans about this new “role” you are taking on at General Hospital?

ROGER:  I want to say that I really do appreciate the fans.  Here is the thing, they’re down for everything.  I hope they’re down for this.  It’s a big ask, but I really hope that they like it.

So, what do you think of Roger as Andrew Cain thus far and how the storyline is beginning to take shape?  Are you excited to see how Franco becoming Drew (through the mind-mapping procedure) shakes up the canvas? Do you hope Drew returns to be Franco sooner than later? Share your thoughts and theories via the comment section below.

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General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Franco Looks In The Mirror … And Believing He Is Drew Kisses Kim

This week on General Hospital, viewers have seen that when Franco (Roger Howarth) awoke from his mind-mapping implantation  (thanks to Shiloh and Dr Cabot) he woke up saying that he is “Drew Cain”.  Thus, as far we know, Franco now carries the life and memories of Drew from 2012 and back, and as of now, has no trace of Franco’s memories.

When Elizabeth (Rebecca Herbst) and Drew (Billy Miller) try to make Franco understand in his confusion what transpired,  Liz brings a mirror to Franco to see his face, which makes this all the more terrifying for him.  Liz insists to him that she is wife, but he tells her that he is sorry but he does not recognize her.  Franco insists he is going to leave town and Drew asks him to please stay put, as Liz promises that they can reverse what happened to him.  But can Liz really promise that?

Later, Scorpio (Tristan Rogers) fills Sam (Kelly Monaco) and Jason (Steve Burton) in on what happened and how Franco now was implanted with Drew’s memories, which leaves them stunned.  That means Franco, who is one of the people Jason loathes most in the world – now believes he is Jason’t twin brother.

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Meanwhile, as Kim (Tamara Braun) and Julian (William deVry) prepare to leave Port Charles for Manhattan and start live anew, (so Kim can not be haunted by her life in Port Charles from the recent death of her son, Oscar) things are about to make a shocking turn … for her.

Back at GH, Liz is upset when Franco decides he must get out of his hospital room.  Liz is scared he will just skip town knowing he feels he has no ties there.  Drew reassures her that because he is a version of him, the pull will be way too strong for him to exit Port Charles.

Courtesy/ABC

Kim is now at the hospital getting ready to turn in her resignation letter and runs into Franco.  He recognizes her and calls her “Kim!” You can tell he is quite smitten with her.  Kim is not sure why Franco is acting that way.  She announces she is leaving Port Charles to which he says he is going to come with her. She sees he has a hospital ID bracelet on, so she thinks something has happened.  Just then, Franco tells her about the first time Drew Cain and her met up! This shocks Kim  … and the next thing you know … he moves in for a major kiss and lip-lock as Drew and Liz look on.

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GH's Roger Howarth Chats On Shifting From Franco To Drew & The Stunning Story Twist

So, what do you think of the story turn thus far that has Franco now with Drew’s memories and with no trace of Franco? Share your thoughts on the twist via the comment section below!

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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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  • Que for you: “Abc would be crazy to cancel Gh there’s no way they’d give up all these loyal fans?! They have to…
  • Que for you: “I personally never liked RH as Franco he just didn’t fit for me. I like the actor and this new…
  • Petro: “Great interview. Love the story line. Wonderful actor Roger is. Watched him in As the world Turns;…
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