June 11th, 2009  |  Leave a comment

The Drew Garrett Interview – General Hospital

michaelMain.jpg

One of the most sought after roles of the soap season, was the casting of the newly SORAS’d Michael Corinthos.  As Sonny and Carly’s son, (although his biological father is the deceased A.J. Quartermaine) Michael is a pivotal and key character tied to so many families and Port Charles mainstays.  For the powers-that-be at General Hospital, choosing the right actor to play this role was crucial to its success.  After all, the show went from a cute little red-haired actor, Dylan Cash, to an older actor of great emotional depth and range, Drew Garrett, to handle the new dramatic story load.

On-Air On-Soaps got the opportunity to chat with Drew about playing the brain-injured Michael.  In this feature, Drew details the audition process and landing the role, working with General Hospital veterans and icons, Maurice Benard, Laura Wright and Steve Burton, and gives us some insight into what’s coming up with his sort-a-sis, Kristina (also SORAS’d to sixteen years old, as of last week’s air shows).

And what of step-mom Claudia and the Quartermaines?  Remember, they are all seemingly trying to take advantage of the young man, who is desperately trying to get his life back on track after being in a coma for over a year!  Drew fills us in on Michael’s monumental struggles, and much more.  Now, we would like to introduce you to Drew…

Listen to the audio:

Play

MICHAEL:

You are doing a great job on General Hospital! Your first scenes were just lying in bed comatose, while you had all these heavy hitter actors coming at you… like Maurice Benard (Sonny) and Laura Wright (Carly).  What was that like for you?

DREW:

It was great way to start being in a coma!  To have the opportunity to be able to just show up and get in the swing of things, and to get acquainted with the schedule and the whole process of the show, was great.  It was easier on me, because my first few weeks I did not have any responsibilities in terms of dealing with dialog.  So, in that way it was interesting. It was also exciting and intimidating.

MICHAEL:

When Michael finally woke up, I felt so bad for him.  He was so confused, lost, and upset!

sonnyCarlyMichael.jpgDREW:

That was great and for me, it is when it really got going.  I was having a
blast, but trying to focus.  Both Laura and Maurice were very supportive, and very helpful with getting me comfortable and acquainted on set.

MICHAEL:

When Michael awoke out of his coma, I liked that you were so emotional, in the scenes.  It was a great pay-off.  We, as viewers, also got to watch the emotional reactions by Laura and Maurice.  I thought it was all great! Now there are problems here, because there is something wrong with Michael’s brain.  He is acting weird and he is having outbursts!

DREW:

He was in a coma for a year.  He lost a year at his life at an important time in a young man’s life.  When he wakes up from the coma, Michael does not know the reason why he is there and why he is reacting the way he is.

MICHAEL:

What is that about?  What is he reacting too?

DREW:

It is a brain disorder, not a specific diagnosis of any sort.  My head is messed up and I got shot in the head.  It’s not like my brain is ever really going to be the same.  I would not use the word “bi-polar”, but I am not able to gage my emotional reactions.  I have no control over the way I am reacting… I just am.  It’s difficult for me to handle that, because after I have these outbursts towards my mom, and whoever, I take a second and try to figure out what it’s coming from.  That is what really perpetuated the trouble, because I don’t know. I genuinely don’t know why.  I know what fuels it, the lack of information, and that they are evading my questions.  In reality, the way I am reacting is so extreme at some points that Michael can’t help but wonder and worry.

upsetMichael.jpgMICHAEL:

Why is he mad at Carly?

DREW:

I think it’s a culmination of things.  First of all, I have been in a coma, so as a default, I am already disgruntled with that, and then the fact that she was not there when I woke up doesn’t make it any better.  It’s one more thing on the plate that makes him worry about his life when he was in a coma.  Did they care?  Were they around?  I don’t know if they were around.  All I can sort of remember is Claudia’s voice, vaguely.  Sonny took me under his wing, and did his best to help me understand and figure out why I am what I am.

MICHAEL:

Does Michael know yet that Claudia was behind the shooting?

DREW:

I do know at this point.  But where you are on the air shows, I do not know.

MICHAEL:

Is Jason Michael’s bud more so now, because Jason had brain damage at one point, too?  Are those two going to have a stronger bond?

jasonDrew.jpgDREW:

We share a lot of similarities.  He has been where I am, in a way.
That will help for us to have a strong relationship.  He is a father figure to me, or the next best thing aside from Sonny.  I am aware he has gone through some stuff similar to what I have gone through. Obviously, I turn to him to vent, and for questions and support.  Once again, for Michael,
he is there more than Carly is. People say, ”Is Michael going to be the next Jason?”
That very well could be, but in his own way, obviously.

MICHAEL:

How is working with Mister Man, Steve Burton (Jason)?

DREW:

I love the guy.  It’s great!  He is a nice guy.  He is very supportive and always on his stuff. You can tell he has been doing this a long time.

MICHAEL:

In upcoming episodes next week, Michael storms out on Carly and has a joy ride with sis, Kristina.  Are they going to put Michael and Kristina together?  After all, they are not really blood relatives!

DREW:

kristinaMichael.jpgInitially, no.  We are brother and sister, but technically we are not… but for all we know we are.  With time, and some scenes where we realize we are not exactly blood, things could happen.  I think from the get-go it won’t be that way. Kristina, in my eyes, is my sister.  She is a little trickster and a little smarty-pants!  I think if anything, she would have feelings for Michael first, than the other way around.  I think he is too preoccupied with everything going on around him to be interested in her.
But, yes there could be a possibility of that in the future.

MICHAEL:

You then end up in a bar room brawl!  Not a good week for you.

DREW:

It has not been a good year and it does not start well.  It’s pretty messy, and I am all over the place.  There is also a great scene where Steve and I get in a physical exchange and it turned out really well.  I am all over the place… from lashing out at my mom to lashing out at Jason who didn’t deserve it, whatsoever.  That, once again, is to display that Michael doesn’t really have the ability to control himself yet, and the fact that there is so much going on around him. It doesn’t help.  It should be very exciting.

MICHAEL:

This is an awesome role you have.  How did you get picked for the role?  When you originally auditioned, did you know it was going to be this?

DREW:

I didn’t.  I had been auditioning for a long time, and I have been going to theatre schools ever since middle school through high school.  I went to LA County High School of the Arts, after I moved here from Florida.  It was your typical audition, just showing up and doing my thing.

drewGarretHoodie.jpgMICHAEL:

And you had not watched “GH” before?

DREW:

I did know “GH”.  I was not a viewer, but I was familiar with it.  I got to be familiar with what I’m going in for. The name Michael I did not associate with Corinthos.  I saw the “Michael” side and I went in and did my thing.  It was great material.  The scene that they gave me was a great scene with a lot of stuff to play.

MICHAEL:

Against who, or about what?

DREW:

It’s kind of a little secret!  It’s interesting and it will be coming up.  It was opposite Laura Wright.  I went out for the first call, and did not hear anything for three weeks.  So I had to put it out of my mind.  But, I was into it, because the scene itself was so great.  And then three weeks later Mark Teschner, the casting director at “GH”, called my agents and said, “Hey, we want to bring Drew in for a producer’s session.”  So, it went from me putting it out of my mind and to just move on, to a couple days later I really have a producer’s session! And from then on out, it was a pretty fast moving process.  And one of the greatest parts about this story is I did the chemistry test with Laura Wright, with all the execs and the head writer… the whole crew….and it went really well.  Laura was giving me these looks like, “Keep it up, keep doing what you are doing” without saying anything, which made me feel good.  So once I leave that chemistry read and I get a call that said I test next week, and the whole week goes by with me eating myself up from inside out.  I still did not realize what the role was in relationship to the show, and then I get a call from my agent, the day before my test, and he said, “Hey Drew, where are you working at?”  I said, “I work over near Magnolia and Lake in Pasadena,” and he said, “You are going to have to quit because you are the new Michael Corinthos and they canceled your test.”  So that was crazy, crazy!  My blood pressure was out the roof!

MICHAEL:

Did you ever see little Michael, Dylan Cash?  I had to laugh, and laugh, with the switch… but they had to do it.  They had to SORAS Michael!

carlyDrew.jpgDREW:

For the sake of the storyline, and the summer shows going for the young audience… with all respect to Dylan Cash… there is only so much you can do with a 13-year-old actor, in reference to an interesting and volatile storyline.  People want to see some stuff go down. And with a younger character, what’s it going to be, skipping class and not doing homework? They want some bar brawls!  And for that reason, it will add a lot more interest and attract the younger audience for summer time.

MICHAEL:

The scenes with Laura Wright, where she was waiting for you to wake-up and not wanting to admit defeat… that the surgery did not bring Michael back, was so tough to watch.  The audience felt this horrendous pain for a mother over her child.  Then, when Michael wakes up and he does not want much to do with her, it is another kick-in-the-pants to Carly.  How is working with Laura?

DREW:

It’s great!  I respect her a lot.  She is fun and friendly to work with.  She is consistent, and it is not easy to reach those emotions multiple times per day and multiple times per scene.  For Laura, her character people might say, “She cries so much,” but with what her character has gone through, of course, it’s going to be crazy emotions, back and forth constantly.  You have to realize she is also pregnant, and women get more emotional when they are pregnant.  It’s all those emotions you have to consider.  She does a great job, and I think we have some great chemistry, considering she was the one I read with for the chemistry read.  She is always giving one hundred percent, even if it’s a pick up shot and the camera is not on her.  Laura is great to work with.

drew garrettMICHAEL:

Are the Quartermaines trying to get you back?

DREW:

Are you kidding?  It’s like I am a piece of meat and everyone is trying to get at me.  The Quartermaines want me back for good.  They don’t want to see anything bad happening to their little grandson ever again.  They need an heir once they die off, and they need a strapping male…

MICHAEL:

….Which will be soon, because they keep killing the Quatermaines? (He laughs)

DREW:

Right? (He laughs)  The Quartermaines are few and far between now!  They want me in the house, and not only do they want me for themselves, but they want me away from Sonny. They not only want me for their personal gain, they hate Sonny.  They would do anything to get that guy killed in a second.  For them to see me wake up, and for Sonny, in their eyes being the reason I was shot, is just hard for them to deal with.  He comes out on top, and they hate that!

MICHAEL:

Does Michael like the twisted Claudia?

claudiaMichael.jpgDREW:

Yeah!  It’s ironic, because she tells me what I want to hear, and it’s not necessarily a manipulative thing.  I mean, it is, but only to a certain extent, because in reality Claudia, aside from her ulterior motives, she does have feelings for me.  All of a sudden those motives are covered by some genuine love.  She cares about me.  I see that.

MICHAEL:

Do you think his brain will be fixed up? Or, do you think they will let it play out for a while?

DREW:

The word “fix”, I don’t think so.  But heal or semi-heal, I think character-wise it’s what fuels the drama and the action.  So to say his brain is fixed now, I don’t think that would happen. But with time and with experiences for Michael, I think he will be able to gage his reactions more and control himself.  As of now with the sensory overload and relationships and people around me, I can’t handle it.

MICHAEL:

What does your family thinks about you getting this coveted soap role?

drewRed.jpgDREW:

Oh, man!  Both mom and dad were ecstatic!  They were thrilled one hundred percent!  My dad lives in Florida.  My mom moved out here for me.  She is that crazy single mom all about breaking rules and going for it.  She always said, “If you don’t go for it, you won’t know what happened,” and it did happen.  So, it’s incredible!  It has not been easy, and for her to see her son reach success must be 100% satisfaction.

MICHAEL:

In closing, what can we expect and look forward to from Michael Corinthos 2.0?

DREW:

Michael is going to be exploring and crossing the lines, and will be stirring up trouble and crossing boundaries…
but living life to the fullest!

  1. Melinda says:

    I love this show i was so mad though when they got rid of Drew and put this other fellow on the show. WHY??? did they do this???

    Reply

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