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THE MEGAN WARD INTERVIEW – GENERAL HOSPITAL

megan-main.jpg“On-Air On-Soaps” sat down with the phenomenal Megan Ward, who plays Port Charles most fashionable citizen, Kate Howard AKA Connie Falconari from Bensonhurst for an in-depth look into the actress and the character she plays. Megan reveals what’s ahead in this pivotal week for Kate, as Carly threatens to ruin Kate’s comeback in more ways then one! Hear the audio, and read the transcript below for all the scoop.

Listen to the audio:

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MICHAEL

So Megan Ward and I are sitting at Café Mauro at Fred Segal’s because where else would I be with Kate Howard?

MEGAN:

That’s right… that’s because we’re ‘fabulous’!

MICHAEL:

Now, where would you go shopping for yourself since Kate is so all knowing with regards to fashion? Are you like Kate anyway, fashion-wise?

MEGAN:

I am, but I described Kate this way, as very ‘uptown.’ She is very ‘business mogul.’ She has learned and appreciates the culture of fashion, and made a career in the business of fashion which is different than the funky fashion of the street. I am much more downtown and more eclectic as a dresser, and more bohemian. Actually, Fred Segal is one of my favorite places to shop. Kate is a little more glossy because she’s walking into board rooms, making multi-million dollar deals and snagging advertisers. She needs to wear their clothes. So she very much appreciates the avant garde nature of fashion, but as a dresser, she is more conservative. She is a grown up, unlike Megan, who is still a child. (She laughs.)
megan-glamor1.jpgMICHAEL:

Do you have any say in what Kate wears on air?

MEGAN:

I am a team player. I really believe in collaboration, and it has evolved greatly since I first started. Originally, Kate’s fashion was dictated to me, in regards to the more conservative look of her clothing. Since I have been there, there has been a change. Now, Kate is dressing a bit more youthful, but it’s still a very elegant, clean line and not flamboyant fashion. If it was my choice exclusively, it would be ‘tune-in to see what Kate’s wearing day’ because I would wear the craziest things. I see it as an expression of pure fashion. Maybe Kate could get hit on the head and think she is Maxie for a day. That would just make my day. (She laughs.)

MICHAEL:

What about how Kate treats her ‘fashionistas’ in training, Lulu and Maxie? She is kind of mean to them, don’t you think?

MEGAN:

I struggle with it. I am generally not a confrontational person, but Kate is. Kate is really trying to teach the girls, how to do a good job. There are deadlines. Those girls are mess ups and, to some degree, they deserve it, but you like them. So, you really don’t want them to get yelled at. You never really see the back end as to why Kate is bossing them around. You don’t see what it takes to run a magazine. You don’t see the cutthroat nature of the business and the demands of issues being turned around on deadlines that someone needs to perform.

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kate-maxie.jpgMICHAEL:

The film, “The Devil Wears Prada” starring Meryl Streep, is this what the character of Kate Howard on “GH” was inspired by?

MEGAN

I think so, but “The Devil Wears Prada” was inspired by a real person, Anna Wintour. Now, I don’t know if she was an Italian girl from the Burroughs, but I think what’s interesting, for me, playing the part is, Connie wanting to be Anna Wintour, like I want to be Anna Wintour. It’s life imitating art. I am actually trying to take on this posturing and attitude that comes with the job description. On my first day of work on “GH,” I had to march in there and demand to use the phone from Sonny Corinthos. I was a little nervous doing it with no rehearsal.

MICHAEL:

Did you know Maurice Benard (Sonny) before acting with him?

MEGAN:

I had read with him. I knew he was a big deal, but I did not know. I really did not know the degree of the expectation, and that was good, because it is very intimidating. If I had known how fast production went on soaps, I don’t know if I would have taken the job. It’s just so foreign to me. Now I am accustomed to it, and I actually thrive on it.

maurice.jpgMICHAEL

Did Maurice ever throw you in a scene?

MEGAN:

Sure, he does. You never know what he’s going to do. What’s great about Maurice is he is active and present. He really knows who he is and what he wants in a scene, meaning, what the character wants in a scene. So, as an actor you can’t say, “I am going to say my line this way, and that line that way.” You have to know what you want in the scene as your character. And, if you know that, you thrive together and do a dance. It’s almost improvisational. You have to be on your toes because Maurice does not always say the lines the way they are written.

MICHAEL:

To get the part of Kate, you read with Maurice in the audition process. What did you come away with from the audition?

MEGAN:

Well, my experience was like my first day on the set. Maurice sat back. He was the king. I did not see the invisible crown around his head (She laughs.), but I knew he would have a part in the casting. I knew he would be the man I would be playing opposite of, and was the lead on the show. So, I went in like a normal audition. We started to read and, after a few lines, he took a pause, and stood up and then he said another line to me, and I said, “I guess I got your attention, huh?” I just went with it. It didn’t throw me, so the more he threw at me, the more I threw it back at him. His face transformed from being very stoic, serious, and judgmental to engaged, interested, and wanting to do the scene again.

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s-k-wedding.jpgMICHAEL:

The wedding dress Kate wore recently in her nuptial debacle was beautiful, of course, that is, before she got shot in it! I really liked how both you and Maurice looked at the wedding.

MEGAN:

“GH” costume designer, Mary Anelli, picked up some stunning and appropriate wedding dresses. I liked them, but I wanted something very Grace Kelly. I wanted something very classic and timeless and fashionable and something couture, and I saw it, and I fell in love with it. I said to Mary, “What do you think of this one?” It’s Italian, and it’s fashion forward, and it just would have been her pick, if she thought we could go a bit more provocative. So we took the more classic, and the more couture one, and we presented them to executive producer,
Jill Farren Phelps. She approved it.

MICHAEL:

The confrontation scene between Kate and Olivia as Kate was just about to walk down the aisle, before she was shot, was some of your best work. How did you feel about those scenes? Did you watch them back?

MEGAN:

I did. Those scenes made me really nervous. Kate is a very complicated character. If you are paying attention as an audience, you value those complications, but if you just look at her on surface value, you have a tendency to judge her. I feel the writers have done a good job by showing the life and the identity she had created for herself, the one she is obligated to inhabit. Leading up to the wedding, she could have made different choices. That’s all part of her story with Sonny. One of the bigger things is that she made this choice to leave her home. She did not have the family support, and she is honest about it. Olivia represented the version of Connie that she felt she wasn’t and that was a person who would stay home. But Olivia does not see it this way.

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olivia-kalce.jpgMICHAEL:

The fight between Olivia and Kate was centered on a piece of jewelry that Kate would not put around her neck.

MEGAN:

The whole thing was, Kate wanted the necklace, but it didn’t go with her dress. The problem was not that it didn’t match, or was ugly. The problem was Olivia never respected her choices and for accomplishing something
great.
That was a family fight
about Kate not feeling Olivia
respected her and Olivia feeling
that Kate disrespected her family.

MICHAEL:

How has it been working with Ingo Rademacher as Jax and Maurice as Sonny?

MEGAN:

Ingo is a doll. Maurice is great too. They are very different. Mo is dark and brooding and he is a bad boy, who you want to make good. This is every girl’s fantasy and he puts that into Sonny. Ingo is fun-loving and carefree and does not take anything too seriously. He rolls with the punches, and he has a very positive attitude. They are both little boys by the way! (She laughs.)

kate-jax.jpgMICHAEL:

I really like Kate with Jax. Now this week, she and Jax seem to take their friendship to a new level, but things are not what they appear. What happens?

MEGAN:

On paper, they look right together, right? They are a perfect couple. They are successful, social and cosmopolitan, and lead this certain kind of life. But what’s interesting in this circumstance and their relationship is that it had been easy and comfortable. They get on each other about their choices and their mates. Here, they found themselves where they are saying, “I told you so,” to each other. They are a bit drunk. In their wisdom, they think, “This means we’re single,” because of Sonny and Carly, and they end up commiserating. They are at Kate’s fabulous house where she has lots and lots of champagne. Then Sonny comes over and they have a big fight. Jax keeps Kate from running after Sonny, and another bottle of champagne gets consumed. They say, “Let’s not think about what’s wrong,” and then one thing leads to another. Do I really need to fill in the blank for you? It’s sexy. They think they are alone and they are not. Carly is there and she is not happy.

MICHAEL:

How did Carly get into Kate’s house?

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MEGAN:

No one apparently locks their doors in Port Charles! Carly discovers them and she has a gun, but doesn’t use it. Instead she dumps a bucket of water on them. The scenes then become about Jax and Carly, and about, “Why did you do this?” Kate keeps interjecting, “This is my house,” and it basically ends with Carly swearing revenge on Kate.

MICHAEL:

But this is just the tip of the iceberg! Later in the week, Kate throws sort of a comeback party for herself for her peers, to let them know she is still a vital fashion ‘mover and shaker’. However, then all hell breaks loose, thanks to a vengeful Carly.

MEGAN:

Jax leaves Kate after their evening together, and then tells Kate, “We need to worry about Carly.” Kate says, “What am I going to do about Carly?” Then Jax sees Kate at the office, and says, “You know, we need to worry about Carly,” and Kate says, “What I am going to do?” Kate is planning a party for herself. Poor Kate, right? She put everything on the line. She lost her job at Couture for Sonny. She has started a new magazine. She got shot twice because of Sonny. Her wedding was a disaster, and it was a public humiliation in a business that is very competitive. So, she decides, “Look at me. I am out of the hospital, and the magazine is fabulous,” thanks to Maxie. Whether she wants to admit it or not, she knows that Maxie has helped her greatly. So, Kate has this big party and flies in her peers to Port Charles. Carly thinks it’s more important that she humiliate Kate. She tries to hit Kate where it hurts the most, and gets a dress just like hers. She then gets Kate stuck in an elevator so she is late to her own party so Carly can “wow” all the guests before Kate arrives. Carly steals her thunder, thus, ruining Kate’s chance to remind her peers that she is still an important woman in fashion.

MICHAEL:

What do you think about the dynamics of the powerhouse opposing forces that are Kate and Carly?

kate-carly.jpgMEGAN:

When I first came on the show, I thought Carly and Kate would become friends. Little did I know that would never be possible. I think it’s an interesting relationship if they choose to explore it, because in some ways they are similar. They both made something of themselves. They both stand up for what they want.

MICHAEL:

But Kate is very much about being in control as opposed to Carly.

MEGAN:

The thing I like about Kate is that she pretty much is an upstanding person. She is very much in control and not messy. Of course, that is Carly’s nature, which is great. Kate is really a grown up.

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MICHAEL:

I hope they don’t change Kate into the villain.

MEGAN:

I think there is a point where Kate can only take so much. I think we are at that point right now. She may not always do the right thing. She is so up against the wall and she may need to lash out to get out of the corner. I would not be surprised if we see more circumstances with her making controversy just to rebuild who she is.

MICHAEL:

When Sonny proposed to Kate on one knee in Bensonhurst, she turned him down. Both you and Maurice were fabulous in those scenes, by the way. What was the rationalization for her walking away and leaving him destitute on the street?

MEGAN:

Those were really hard scenes for me to do, because I did not want that to happen that way. I believe in romantic love. I believe wholeheartedly that Kate wanted to say, “Yes.” At the time, there was story being generated that there was a big reason why she could not say, “yes” to him. Things had changed over at “GH” during the writer’s strike and since then, a lot of things have happened. A secret had come out, that her cousin had a baby with Sonny. That was not the secret at that time. So, I had to play something else, that was, she was holding a truth from him.

MICHAEL:

How did you feel about the shooting of Michael Corinthos?

dylan.jpgMEGAN:

I hated it. I thought it was awful, because I am a mother in real-life. I have two children. My son looks very much like Dylan Cash (ex-Michael). So, it was tough for me. But it’s soap opera and I understand why we do have these tragedies.

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MICHAEL:

You watched soaps before you were on one, correct?

MEGAN:

I did. I watched “ATWT” since I was nine years old.

MICHAEL:

Who is your favorite actress on that?

MEGAN:

Well, it was Martha Byrne. I wanted to be Lily Snyder like nobody’s business. Now, I watch the show once a week and I miss her. At the same time, I want to encourage her to do something else. The political surrounding of daytime has gotten very complicated. The actors have less and less control over their own jobs and careers, and Drake Hogestyn (John) and Deidre Hall (Marlena) over at “DAYS” being let go, blows my mind.

MICHAEL:

I hear you also like Elizabeth Hubbard (Lucinda). She is a legend, you know.

MEGAN:

Elizabeth Hubbard, Lucinda, isn’t that fabulous that ‘divas’ still exist? Please interview her. I want to hear and read it! To me, the most interesting interviews and actors on soaps are the ones that have been around forever. The stories they have! I mean Leslie Charleson who plays Monica Quartermaine on “GH” was working one day, and I just ‘hanged’ in the make-up room. I was ready to go on set, yet, I wanted to hear the stories. That’s the fun stuff. I hear stories about Tony Geary (Luke), and how much he has been through in life and as an actor. They are the best stories!

MICHAEL:

Have you worked with Tony?

MEGAN:

I have had one scene with him, and one line. He’s awesome. And in the one moment, I was like, “Yes. I am yours. What do you want from me? Yes.” Tony’s got it! He’s the man. But Tracy Quartermaine is truly my hero on the show. Jane Eliot, what an actress! If, Kate could be one ounce of that…. Oh my God! Kate could be the junior Tracy Quartermaine, were Kate given the right circumstances.

megan-nancy.jpgMICHAEL

I always got the biggest laugh when it first aired, Kate’s catch-phrase of her alter ego, “Connie Falconari from Bensonhurst.” I laughed about it for so long. Did you think it was funny?

MEGAN:

Yeah, I did not think much about it till my first day on the set, with everybody pronouncing incorrectly, and then pronouncing it in a way that could not be on broadcast television. In fact, we had to redo some takes because it was not pronounced within the guidelines of decency. (She laughs.) I don’t know whether it’s Constance or Constanza. (She laughs.)

MICHAEL:

Megan, you have such ardent fans. We hear you are doing a “Kate takes Manhattan” fan event in the New Year!

MEGAN

Yes. On Sunday, January 18th, 2009, I am having a fan event in downtown Manhattan called, “dim sum and then sum” at the Chinatown Brasserie in the Koi Lounge. It’s a brunch, and you can find info on it at www.Meganward.tv. I had to have a fabulous event, at a fabulous restaurant, at a fabulous location, just to suit Kate. So it will be fun. I was going to go for a week to the Big Apple, but I can only go for the weekend, because I have a big story taping in January.

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MICHAEL:

What can we look forward to from Kate in 2009?

MEGAN:

What I hope for Kate in 2009 is that someone loves her back. She makes some friends. She puts Carly in her place, and she finally gets married.

MICHAEL:

Do you think Kate’s ultimate guy is Sonny?

MEGAN:

I do, and in my subjective personal opinion, I think they are fabulous together because they make each other better people. sonny-kate.jpg

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General Hospital

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

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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Constance Towers Returns To GH As Helena Cassadine ... But Just How Does She Appear?

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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Longtime General Hospital Fan Identified As One Of The Victims In El Paso Shootings

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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Breaking News

Constance Towers Returns To GH As Helena Cassadine … But Just How Does She Appear?

Now, any General Hospital fan knows that if there is skullduggery and evil going down, Helena Cassadine (whether dead or alive) is usually somehow involved when it comes to the lives of certain people in Port Charles.

And … some major storyline news from TV Line reveals that on next Monday’s August 19th episode of the ABC soap opera, Constance Towers reprises her role as the evil one herself … Helena!

Apparently, look for Helena to appear in a flashback with none other than Shiloh (Coby Ryan McLaughlin) and about Drew Cain’s time in Afghanistan.  That scene might hold a key to just what Shiloh wants now that he has implanted Drew’s memories into Franco (Roget Howath), thanks to Dr. Cabot’s work.  But could what is revealed also relate to the story that will see Billy Miller (Drew) exit the canvas later this month? Stay tuned.

Viewers last saw Helena alive in story until November of 2016, but then she was part of Jake’s hallucinations that were a part of the chimera storyline that climaxed at the Nurses’ Ball back in May of 2017.

So what do you think Helena’s presence in a flashback will reveal? And, who is ultimately having that flashback? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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GENERAL HOSPITAL: Kim Drugs Drew, Hayden Returns, Liesl Overboard As Secrets Mount
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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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  • aria: “who is Kim Nero? who are her parents? hmmm, how bout her dad is a doctor as in…
  • Mark Y: “I can't imagine any news with less impact than a new talk show!
  • Trisha: “NO, PLEASE DON'T!
  • Trisha: “I agree! Don't know why they took it off!! I wish ABC would STOP TRYING TO MAKE STUPID PEOPLE FAMOUS!!…
  • Beatrice: “I also agree with Loretta. Wish Billy was staying, hate ABC didn't find a storyline for him, before his exit.
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Scott Clifton as Liam

The Bold and the Beautiful

Airdate: 7-31-2019

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