April 25th, 2009  |  Leave a comment

THE BRADFORD ANDERSON INTERVIEW – GENERAL HOSPITAL

bradfordMain.jpgGeneral Hospital’s Damien Millhouse Spinelli, better known as “The Jackal”, also known as actor Bradford Anderson, has been a scene-stealer for quite some time now on the long running ABC Daytime soap opera. Working alongside “GH” veteran Steve Burton (Jason) as his partner in crime, “Stone Cold”, no one in the town is safe from his “Spinelli-isms” (nicknames for the shows characters). The loveable charm that Bradford brings to his unique role, as a geek who solves crimes via his uncanny and savvy computer skills, has landed the actor in soap infamy! In fact, Spinelli rates high as one of soaps most recognizable characters, something it has taken other actors and their alter-egos years to pull off.
But what about Spinelli’s current on-screen love life? Will he end up with his “Maximista” who shows signs of interest in Johnny Zacharra? Or, will he somehow be paired with the female version of him, Winifred? In this new On-Air On-Soaps chat, Bradford reveals his sentiments on some of the confusion and plot points that he feels may be tough for fans to swallow if the powers-that-be aren’t careful, and working with his favorite on-screen partner Steve Burton. We also go a round of “Spinelli-isms”, which at one point I just tapped out…out of confusion! Always a completely entertaining interview… here’s Bradford!

Listen to the audio:

Play

MICHAEL:

One of the recent plot points that was quite upsetting is that Spinelli sees his “Maximista” (Maxie) kissing Johnny? What happened? What’s going on there?

BRADFORD:

He just walks in on them kissing on the docks. He had been there earlier and had lost his PDA on the little wooden bench that resides on the docks, and sure enough, there they are kissing. It’s a mixture of hurt and anger over what they are doing to his friend Lulu, too. I am sure 75% of it is the hurt he experiences from it. So the way it first came out was, “How could you two do this? I mean really! We are two people who care about you. Don’t you see? Don’t you see what you are doing, not only to me, but to Lulu?” I think Spinelli is just in awe of how they seemingly care little about the people they say they care about.

brad_kristen_top.jpgMICHAEL:

The audience feels bad for Spinelli, because we see him not quite connect with Maxie the way he seemingly wants to. He loves her, right?

BRADFORD:

Yeah, I think he does, and who knows if they are soul mates or not? But there is something about each other that makes them able to bring out the best in each other, most of the time. And, that by itself is pretty neat. They may not be a perfect pair, but there is something about that. (He laughs)

MICHAEL:

I loved the little SOAPnet Christmas promos with you and Kirsten Storms (Maxie)! They were really funny!

BRADFORD:

Oh, those were really fun!! It’s been really neat that our two characters caught on, because it has given Kirsten and I other opportunities to do promotional stuff, and what not. It’s fun to be a part of a popular couple, as it were. I never knew I would
be part of a popular couple, but the funny thing is we are not even a couple. We are a popular non-couple!

MICHAEL:

What about Winifred? When they said to you, “Bradford we are going to bring on a geeky girl character,” was your first instinct to go, “Are you kidding me?” Or, “Oh, cool?”

BRADFORD:

brad_confusion.jpgThe initial storyline was not what it turned out to be. The initial idea was this girl Winifred was an FBI agent who was putting on this character to get into Spinelli’s inner circle. That is how they were going to get information. So, there were actually scenes written that when she was with Spinelli she ‘talks the talk’, but then there were scenes where Winifred comes to Maxie and says, “Look! Don’t get in my way. I have a job to do.” Then there were scenes with Maxie and Spinelli going, “Oh, my God! She came over to my house. She does not talk like that at all, and she threatened me.” When Senta Moses (Winifred) and I did those first scenes, everybody enjoyed what happened and they were all like, “Oh, my gosh! She is great. We have to do more of this!” So then they kind of dropped the fact and the idea that she was putting on that persona. Then the producers and writers thought, “Well, what if she was just like that?” That immediately became slightly problematic, because there were scenes that were already written where some of the onus fell on Kirsten to try to make sense of the dialog that had been written to support the previous take on the storyline.

MICHAEL:

Yeah, I was confused. I thought wait a minute, is Winifred putting this on, or is she a geek head?

BRADFORD:

Right! That scene I just mentioned where she said, “Look! She came over here and she threatened me. She is not who she says she is,” we had to shift things a little bit in playing that. So, now Maxie had to be a little nervous about her, but more subtle. So we went with that. She is exactly like Spinelli, and I think it’s interesting at times, but there are not many places we can go.

MICHAEL:

So, she is a geek? Final answer?

BRADFORD:

bradSenta.jpgSo, what ended up happening is she is the female version of Spinelli, which at times I think can be really fun and really interesting. What I was nervous about is that I know Spinelli is a lot to handle, and having two Spinelli’s they might begin to hate both of us. I think as it is now, her being in love with Spinelli and him not needing anything from her, is tough. It’s tough to have active scenes where Spinelli is oblivious to Winifred, when there is not a whole lot for Spinelli to be doing in those scenes. He is supposedly oblivious to her feelings right now, but down the road I am not so sure how that will work. I am not sure what they have in mind. Senta is a really talented actress and we enjoy working together. It will be interesting to see what happens, but the initial concept of, “Hey Look! We can put two crazies in the same room and just watch them,” I think it was cool for a couple of days. Now there has to be something that actually happens, or it’s going to just drive people crazy!

MICHAEL:

Ok Bradford, let’s run though the infamous “Spinelli-isms”? Let’s begin. Tell me who “The Unworthy One” is?

BRADFORD:

“The Unworthy One” was Logan.

brad_johnny.jpgMICHAEL:

“The Valkerie”?

BRADFORD:

Carly…

MICHAEL:

…And then who else? Take it away!

BRADFORD:

Well, the “The Mob Prince” is Johnny Zacharra, and “The Demented One” is Jerry Jacks, “The Unhinged One” was Anthony Zacharra, and “The White Knight” is Jax.

MICHAEL:

And who is Samantha? Didn’t her “Spinelli-ism” change?

BRADFORD:

Well, she was initially “The Goddess” and then she was offended that I called her “The Goddess”, and she felt I was objectifying her. Of course, Spinelli was horrified that he thought he offended anybody, so “Fair Samantha” is Sam, and “The Original Blonde One” is Lulu, because she used to be “The Blonde One”, and Maxie used to be “The Bad Blonde One”. And of course now, Maxie is “Maximista”.

MICHAEL:

So, here you are handed a script for the day and you have to say a bunch of these. How many times in doing scenes does this get twisted-up for you?

BRADFORD:

You know it’s funny, it happens sometimes. I am trying to think of certain names that I have mangled, but it doesn’t happen too often, because generally they are pretty clear-cut. I mean, “The Original Blonde On”; that’s pretty straightforward and there is nothing too crazy that doesn’t fit with their characters.

jason_spinelli.jpgMICHAEL:

Do you and Steve Burton (Jason) laugh a lot?

BRADFORD:

We do, but not over nicknames.

MICHAEL:

He is your bud on the show, right?

BRADFORD:

Well, yeah. I would say the times we find each other amusing is not really what happens in a script. It’s usually when, we as actors are connected in a scene, and then something that is unplanned happens and kind of catches us both off guard. When they say, “Cut”, that’s when we enjoy ourselves, because we realize something came out of something we just did. Either we think we are clever, or Steve thinks I am stupid. Of course, Steve is doing it in good humor, and it’s usually when I put a twist on something at the end of a scene. And he will go, ”Gosh, you are so stupid!”

MICHAEL:

Spinelli just recently found out that Jerry Jax is alive and he was instrumental in discovering about the siphoning of money from Ian Devlin’s account. So, will he become more active in the current plot of finally getting the truth to Sonny and Carly about Claudia, Jerry, and Ian’s involvement in Michael’s shooting?

BRADFORD:

We had seen actions on Ian Devlin’s account, so I tracked that down and found out that Jerry Jaks had been doing this. I assume I will be instrumental in the next phase, because people can’t seem to find or locate anybody without Spinelli’s help. With Jerry Jaks, for example, he is either in the hotel, on the docks or at the diner. There are three places you can really look in Port Charles to find anybody! I mean, where do people go in Port Charles? They either go to Kelly’s, The Metro Court, or the docks, or maybe a random place in the park, or I guess, we could throw in a random warehouse, too. I mean there are only a few choices.

MICHAEL:

Are you aware of the enormous popularity of Spinelli? You have to be, because he is such a different character for the soaps that has caught on like wildfire with the audience.

abcfanevent.jpgBRADFORD:

When people recognize me they always have nice things to say, and whenever we go to events, I always have a good time at them.
I am assuming they are having a good time, too. Whether they like my character, it’s kind of about that we are all having a good time. I mean, I don’t think I have had any death threats lately. So, in that sense I think I am doing Ok. (He laughs) It’s wonderful to hear nice things, and its good news in these tough economic times that I have a little job security. I just go to work and have a good time every day. I guess people recognize that, and that is great.

MICHAEL:

If you were to say a few words to describe working with Kirsten Storms, what would you say?

BRADFORD:

She’s hilarious! She’s incredibly talented, and she has such good humor. We have so much fun together, and she is a pistol. She really is! She has a lot of fun energy. The most fun actors to work with are the ones that when you are in a scene, that it’s exciting that anything can happen with them. But, you also trust them enough to know that nothing is going to happen to completely throw you off. You feel safe, but also that it could go in an adventurous way. So, it’s safe, but fun.

MICHAEL:

Of course, all these years many feel that Sonny and Jason are the true super-couple of “GH”. Do you think Jason and Spinelli are the true super-couple?

BRADFORD:

You know, I have heard people say that… and hey, any pairing with Steve Burton is good. So get rid of Sam. Get rid of Elizabeth! (He laughs)

bradford_forward.jpgMICHAEL:

I mean, they work so closely together that we should really call them a “Super-Team”!

BRADFORD:

Well, yeah. One of the reasons I enjoy playing the emotional turmoil of the chararacter is being able to talk to Jason. So, for Spinelli to be able to talk to him about stuff creates really fun scenes. As much as Jason pretends he doesn’t care about Spinelli, he does. I think when Jason says, “He doesn’t care,” that’s just because he feels uncomfortable. For a while I did not work with Steve. Now we are starting to work together a fair amount again, which makes me very happy.

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