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40 July 27th, 2015 Constance Towers and Tristan Rogers: Two Of Tony Geary’s Most Memorable Scene Partners Share Thoughts On His GH Exit, Their Scenes & His Contributions To The Genre!

Courtesy/ABC

Today General Hospital fans watched the final episode of Anthony Geary as Luke Spencer, as the one of a kind character, and actor left Port Charles for good.

While so many tributes and interviews have been printed or posted over the last few weeks to honor Tony for what he has meant to the soap opera genre and its viewers, there have also been so many memorable scene partners along the way during Geary’s 37-year run, some more delicious, playful, wicked, and original than others!

Two standouts to On-Air On-Soaps are that of Tony’s on-screen chemistry with Constance Towers as the villainess Helena Cassadine, and Tristan Rogers, who played Luke’s partner in crime and best friend, Robert Scorpio.  We spoke separately with Constance, and with Tristan, to get some insight about working with Geary: the indelible mark and the legacy the eight-time Daytime Emmy winner leaves behind, some of their favorite moments and scenes with him over the years, and what they thought of Luke’s ending, and how GH wrapped up his story in Port Charles.  While Tristan is busy over at The Young and the Restless these days as Colin Atkinson, he took a few moments to honor his former colleague and their history, as did Constance, who is always elegant and thoughtful in every way.  So here are some of the comments that they shared with us as we put a capper on #FarewellTony!

Constance, you came back for these final key scenes between nemesis’ Helena and Luke, where she basically steps aside in her vendetta against him, and rights the wrong by coping to having Little Jake Spencer (James Nigbor) being held on Cassadine Island all of this time, while Luke believed he killed the boy.  What did you think about your final scenes with Tony?

Courtesy/ABC

CONSTANCE:  GH had called and asked me to come back.  I heard that Tony was going to leave, and of course, I had heard that so many times before that you don’t believe it.  But this was touching to me to have these scenes, because he really was leaving. I thought the scenes were very simply and nicely written.  It was just about two people who had quite a history, but still had affection for one another.  It was a farewell, and it was a goodbye.  We finished the scene, and I had kind of forgotten that it was our last scene together!  Tony ran after me, got me and said, “You didn’t say goodbye.”  So then we did have a big hug.  I had the opportunity to wish him well.  We both feel we will see each other again, whether I go to Amsterdam, or he magically returns.  Who knows?

Tristan, were you aware that Tony was truly going to leave GH this time for good?

TRISTAN:  Tony started talking to me in earnest at Christmas time about leaving.  I heard it mentioned prior to that, but now he was being more specific.  I guess he had made up his mind, and all it all, it came as no surprise.

When you look back, what are some of your most memorable moments filming scenes with Tony?

Courtesy/ABC

CONSTANCE:  One of my favorite scenes was early on, because Tony has a delicious sense of humor, and I’m a giggler!  I think it was within the first three years that we worked together, so we didn’t know each other that terribly well.  Luke came on to Helena’s yacht.  He was wearing a black leather jacket, and he was going to crawl into Helena’s bed, and he was going to stab her.  Luke had one of those knives where you push a little button and the blade pops out.  We were shooting, and I was in the bed and I could feel he was on the bed.  But I heard the knife, and then I heard it go “pop”.  Then I heard this “Ouch”!  Tony had stabbed himself by mistake.  He started to laugh, and I got hysterical.  The two of us had to go take a walk around the studio, and then come back in a half an hour and shoot it again, because we just couldn’t do it.  That was one of my favorite moments.  I loved the time Helena was in jail and Luke brought her a hamburger.  She was being starved, and so he took a big bite of the hamburger!  Later Helena ends up eating one little piece out of it, and then she is writhing in pain for like a week!  We just enjoyed that immensely, and made fun it when we were off camera.  We had a lot of fun together.

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TRISTAN:  One of the best scenes that really sums up Robert and Luke’s relationship was back in 2006 when I went back there, and Luke hadn’t married Tracy (Jane Elliot) at that point, and Emma Samms (Holly) was on the show.  We were in a scene at a bar and I said, “Let’s just totally wing it,” and we did, and it summed the two of them up perfectly.  I have spoken to a lot of guys in the business who said, “The work that you two did opened the door for a lot of people to take liberties with the script.”  In my case, I opened the door for accents, and we had a studied looseness about us that just worked!

Tony had this incredible on-screen repartee’ with Constance as Helena and Tristan as Robert.  Much seemed, and was known to be ad-libbed!

CONSTANCE:  The thing I loved about Tony is that you could rewrite a little word here and there, and find a joke in your lines.  He would get it immediately, and he would then rewrite his lines to make it even better.  Tony had the right to do that, which made it even better.  So, I was able to slip in a lot of things that I wanted that were funny, charming, so we had more things to play with.  Tony is such a good actor, and so sensitive to his fellow actors, that he reacts to what you give him.  He will take it and play with it. That is how we found this unrequited sexual tension between the characters.  One day I blew a little extra air in his ear in a scene, and Tony went with it.  The writers went, “Ooh, what was that?”  And from that point on, they always wrote that sexual tension that we were always able to play.

Courtesy/ABC

TRISTAN: We had taken the basic script, and we had a producer who allowed us to ad-lib.  We demonstrated right from the start that we could do it, and do it in a very entertaining way.  Gloria Monty’s (former GH executive producer) role in this was to give us some order for it to make sense. She would say, “OK guys, I need these pieces of information to come out, because they are involved in plot down the road, and a part from that … have fun with it.”  And we did!  Ultimately what we established was a very unique and interesting relationship between two guys.

What are your thoughts of what Tony meant to daytime?  Where he goes from here?  And, how he is being written-off the show as Luke makes his exit?

CONSTANCE:  He had so many years with the show, and now he has some free time, and not having to be getting on a plane going back and forth.  Tony also told me that, “New York is not that far away from Amsterdam.  Maybe the theatre will call me, and I will return to where I started.”  It will be interesting to see what Tony does.  Luke left the show now being a sort of likeable guy.  They kind of cleansed him in the end, and explained why he never did anything that somebody might have objected to, and gave it a reason.  He came from a dysfunctional home, and then he had all these psychological reasons for doing the things that he did.  They sent him off having been forgiven for everything.

Courtesy/ABC

TRISTAN:  Tony’s contribution to daytime was priceless.  He was a commanding figure with a very unique and penetrating acting style that really struck a chord with a lot of people. You could not ignore him.  He had a presence in that role that is something you don’t forget easily.  He is not a person that could be easily replaced.   I was curious to see how GH was going to write him in his final scenes.  At least they didn’t kill him-off.  But I can imagine if they would have come to Tony and said, “We’re going to kill you!”  Tony would have gone: “Terrific! I am all for it!” (Laughs) And that didn’t happen.

Do you agree that Constance and Tristan were two of the more formidable and dynamic scene partners of Tony Geary’s? What did you think of the stories they shared on working on scenes with him? What were your favorite Helena and Luke, or Robert and Luke moments through the years?  Share your thoughts below! And sure to come back later this week for more with our chat with Constance Towers.  Could there be a Helena Cassadine sighting in the near future on GH?

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  1. lellingw says:

    Robert was a big hit from the get go and I loved the scenes Tristan had with Tony. Loved it with Laura and Emma Lutz especially. Really enjoyed them together.

    Reply

    nancy dillingham replied

    Tristan is great! You can tell from the interview that HE (unlike Tony) doesn’t forget what happened with the characters/storyline–his specific example proves that.
    ROBERT SCORPIO SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE AT THE END TO SAY GOODBYE AND TO TAKE PART IN ENDING STORY.

    Reply

    Marie replied

    When Luke, Robert and Laura were stuck on Cassadine Island in 1981: Laura became sick with fever and it was looking scary for a while. Luke was crazed with worry and he was frustrated at Robert for being so calm. Robert snapped at Luke and said: “I happen to LOVE her! I love the BOTH of you!” I will always cherish my memories of that trio and 1981 will always be my favorite year of GH. I prefer the first half of 1981 when most of the scenes took place in Laura’s apartment with the sticky door. Once they got onto the Cassadine yacht and onto Cassadine Island I wasn’t 100% in favor of the Science Fiction vibe. But I will always love the chemistry the three of them shared in spite of the absurd theme(s). I loved their freedom to ad lib. Anytime the actors are having fun, it shines through and I just enjoy it immensely as a viewer.

    Harry replied

    Marie, love your vivid memory recall–I could see it through your words and yes, I remember that scene now!
    Nancy, I do so agree with you.
    I wish they could have found a way to have Tristan come back to bid adieu to his old mate. After Luke bid Laura a tearful and poignant goodbye on a foggy pier, Luke and Robert (who is wearing his classic Long Fog raincoat) could walk off into the fog together with Robert saying, “Luke this is the start of a beautiful friendship.”
    Oh what it could have been!

  2. su0000 says:

    ohh goodness!

    All the greats were involved with Tony/Luke..
    I wonder what will become of Constance Towers/Helena without Luke..
    I hope the new writers hold onto the past and bring Helena back in often..
    It’s hard to imagine GH without Tony/Luke..
    He was not killed-off and now always open for a stint comeback..
    I’m sure that is why killing Luke off was not allowed by ABC, also his fans would be hell unleashed if they had killed him..
    I just feel sometime someday we will see Tony/Luke again ..

    Tony and General Hospital are synonyms ..
    (( I think Tony and GH had a love affair going on .. lol

    and-
    Tony and Constance Towers! They were thunder, lightening and roses !

    Thanks for interviewing Constance and Tristan !!

    Reply

    davlestev1 replied

    Wow is this a soap actor leaving or a tribute to the likes of Cary Grant..Jimmy Stewart..John Wayne..enough already he’s gone..it almost makes you think someone has a secret room with an outrageous memory wall in their basement..LOL

    Reply

    Timmm replied

    Well for daytime, he was an icon.

    Aden replied

    Simmer down. Your check is in the mail bro.

    Reply

  3. margie Dalton says:

    Spending 37 yrs loving Tony we will somehow some way see him again. Beautiful memories…thinking of Helena’s nude painting at Luke ‘s . Crazy loveable actor just being real. Guess WSB mission coming up. We’ll be seeing you again. Sonny needs his best man Luke! God willing

    Reply

  4. Harry says:

    Oh Mr Fairman, thank you so much for this great interview with Constance and Tristan.
    It’s just what the doctor ordered, and I suspect you knew this.
    Robert Scorpio and Luke Spencer were things of beauty together and yes, their humor came through without disrupting the storyline. These two men invented the idea of bromance and God, how I wish Tristan could have come back to GH to bid his old mate a fond adieu.
    I also just love Constance and her sado-masochistic, somewhat kinky love-hate relationship with Luke made me want to page Dr Freud.
    Thank you for posting something which actually triggered a positive response from me as it gets tiresome always playing the cantankerous Negative Nellie.

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    Shay replied

    Well said, Harry! ‘Twas a true tragedy that TR’s Robert Scorpio couldn’t take his rightful place in Luke’s (and AG’s) swansong. I would have much preferred witnessing Mr. Spencer bid his sentimental adieus to his old spy game cohort than fellow partner-in-crime, Sonny, during those last precious onscreen seconds amidst the familiar fog-filled docks. As for Miss Towers’ freaky femme fatale, Helena, she is, quite simply, Old Hollywood glamour personified. Her cool, classic, Kelly-esque presence never gets old….thus, I am hoping that just because Queen Cassadine’s arch-enemy has thrown in the towel, his absence doesn’t portend a similar fate for her….she’s far too valuable a villainess for GH to also retire her to the ash heap of Port Charles history.

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    Sprite replied

    Hear, hear. If only Constance could continue on GH and bring on her gorgeous husband, John Gavin, to play opposite her! That would be divine. I loved him in BACK STREET with Susan Hayward and IMITATION OF LIFE with Lana Turner. If he still has his health like the indomitable Constance, he’d make a great GH on-screen partner and keep Helena around despite Luke leaving town “for good” (time will tell).

    Reply

    nancy dillingham replied

    Harry, just what I wrote above–ROBERT SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE.
    How great those times were–for us–and, apparently, for the actors. I have heard TG in interviews say that he was “jealous” of Tristan Rogers at first–afraid he would take the “lead” away from him–but soon they became great pals and loved the ad-libbing and fun on-and off-screen.
    Tristan was great with Genie also–Scorpio and Laura even went on a date once–remember? And Luke was jealous. Remember the scene where Luke has a bad cold and he comes to Laura’s (stuck) apartment door and asks Laura about the date the two had? Fun times, indeed. I really long for and miss those halcyon days, don’t you?

    Reply

    nancy dillingham replied

    Harry, I so like your vision of the ending as it should have been written–like Casablanca, with Scorpio and Luke walking off in the fog with that classic conversation of “the start of a beautiful friendship”–how perfect that would have been. Maybe we could also have seen the twinkle in their eyes as it used to be.
    Gives me chills. I thought of that myself the other day. Oh, what might (and could easily) have been! A great lost opportunity by the writers and actors.

    Reply

  5. Bonnie says:

    Those two couples were always magic together!! I was a little disappointed on the way they treated the last times Tristan and Tony worked with each other, but always friends. I will miss Luke a lot, and hope one day that Robert can come back and work with Anna. I know Constance will be back…at least in a few weeks.

    Reply

  6. maddiehayes says:

    If Tristan ever retires, THAT is when I will cry. GH will do just fine if they can get him back as Robert Scorpio. Helena loves to torture Robert, too. :)

    Reply

    Myssy replied

    I hope they can get Tristan’s back on GH..He’s truly missed..

    Reply

    Harry replied

    I want his entire body back on GH, not just his back.

  7. Lin says:

    Thank you, Michael Fairman.

    Reply

  8. Timmm says:

    You see there Luke haters, he came up with Gloria Monty as EP and Tristan confirmed that they were given a lot of rope in those days to ad lib so he always had the ability to add or subtract lines and as he got older his status let him have control of his character. Dont crucify the guy for doing what he was allowed to do for so many years! He earned his stripes from an early age.

    Reply

  9. nancy dillingham says:

    Yes, thanks, Michael F.–now THAT’S the kind of interview I love to read. Wish you could interview Genie again (ask her what is in the letter Luke left to his “Angel”–lol). Oh, I’m getting nostalgic again–just thinking on the word “Angel.” (Sigh!)

    Reply

  10. Carlee says:

    Two extraordinary talents and two extraordinary class acts. It doesn’t get much better than this. Tristan has always given Tony tremendous praise and their working relationship and onscreen chemistry is unmatched to this day. Constance, is class personified and is an amazing actress. A combination of any of these 3 if pure gold.

    Reply

  11. Allen saint james says:

    Tristan deserves a shot at male patriarch lead of the shoe now!

    Reply

    maddiehayes replied

    When Tony left in 1985, Tristan did just that! He was a great male lead for GH, a very strong, charismatic presence. He dominated GH for 7 years until he decided to leave, that’s when they brought Tony back. Now that Tony’s gone, they can afford to put Tristan on contract. He’s always been good for the ratings. He’s wasted on Y&R.

    Reply

    Allen saint james replied

    Yes i remember that fondly. It makes sense they do that now with Finola back on the show. Finola, Tristan, and Genie should rule the roost.

    Donna replied

    Robert sure wouldn’t be afraid to drop the hammer on Sonny. And with Luke out of the picture, Robert wouldn’t have to deal with any friendship conflict there.

  12. Myssy says:

    2 True class act..Loved the interview.

    Reply

  13. Les says:

    I really enjoyed the interview. Luke and Robert were an incredible pairing – right behind Luke and Laura. Luke’s exit short changed both these critical pairings!

    Reply

  14. mark says:

    there just is no one like him!

    Reply

  15. KJ says:

    Great interview! Remember when Constance and Tristan had a scene together a few years ago? It was when Faison was wearing the Duke mask. Robert was trying to convince Helena that Faison was alive and it was a hilarious scene. Of course, Helena knew Faison was alive but she wasn’t about to let Robert know she knew.

    I really wish we could have seen Robert in Luke’s farewell storyline. I loved the scene with Luke and Helena.

    Reply

  16. Brian says:

    Very enjoyable interview. Even though I thought Luke’s exit storyline was poorly written and sloppily thrown together for the most part, I did love the final scenes he had with Helena and the incomparable Constance Towers. They always had a tremendous chemistry over the years, and it was on display in those last scenes.

    I’ve said it many times since it happened, it’s a damn shame GH allowed Tristan Rogers to walk away. I don’t watch Y&R, so I don’t know what he’s involved in there. I just know that Robert Scorpio is sorely missed, and especially for Luke’s farewell.

    Of course, for all we know, even if he had been on the show, the writers might not have even bothered writing a final scene between Luke and Robert, since they couldn’t be bothered writing one for Luke and Laura, which should have been the easiest and most obvious slam dunk.

    Reply

  17. Rose says:

    It’s a bit of a long stretch to say Tristan is busy over at Y&R. Haven’t him go rages, and his name wasn’t even mentioned on the CBS questionnaire.

    Reply

    Rose replied

    Correction…” Haven’t seen him in ages.”and his name, etc.

    Reply

  18. Mary McDaniel says:

    Thank you for the nice article about 3 of my favorite actors. I have watched Luke be Luke for the last 37 years. A lot of people will not understand Luke choosing to leave as he did. But Luke never cared much about what people thought of him unless he was scamming them. There are no words strong enough to say how fortunate I have been to watch Anthony Geary act for all these years when he was definitely talented enough to have been hidden away in exotic movies or on Broadway.

    Reply

  19. Kyle says:

    I absolutely love Constance Towers & Tristan Roberts! Two of the greatest Actors in Daytime! I hope we get to see Helena, Robert & for Tony Geary to return in the Future! Love them all!!

    Reply

  20. Teri says:

    I was very disappointed that they didn’t have Tristan come back for a final scene with Tony. The least they could have done was have some flashbacks to their time together on the show. With all of the scenes they shared, and story lines that they were involved in, I think GH missed the mark. Thanks for interviewing him to get his feelings on Tony Geary’s departure. I’m glad someone was considering what the fans would have wanted to know.

    Reply

  21. Timmm says:

    I guess if your getting paid a pretty penny it doesnt matter much but Tristan hasnt been on Y&R in months. What does he do work for craft services! I hope when his contract expires he comes back to GH and puts Sonny away OR rids Port Charles of the mob identity for good. A lot of you want Constance back. Yes, have Robert rescue a recasted Robin from Helena. Then I would like Robert to kill Helena once and for all!

    Reply

  22. kelly says:

    I just loved seeing Tony Geary and Constance Towers work together. Luke and Helena were so much fun.

    Reply

  23. Lou says:

    I would like to see a Genie/Tristan/Fiona triangle romance to see which one wins Robert. Robert and Laura were good together back in 81. Tristan was really good with Genie. Very convincing. The best pairing after Luke and Laura.

    Not sure what to think about Anthony(wouldn’t dare call him Tony and offend him!) Geary watching the montage and reminiscing backstage with cast and crew but didn’t want his fans to have the pleasure. I get the feeling he disliked his fans. Too bad. He is famous and rich because of them.

    Reply

  24. RAN says:

    I would like to see Holly and Robert back on GH. Best couples EVER…

    Reply

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