GH’s Tristan Rogers Reveals More About Maurice Benard’s SOM Than Ever

There are people in your life who can read on a milk carton and give you goosebumps, just remembering to breathe while doing so. They are the storytellers. Maurice Benard’s guest this week on his video podcast, State Of Mind, is such a storyteller. Daytime Emmy Award-winning actor and General Hospital icon Tristan Rogers shared the many roads he traveled from outback Australia to London nightclubs, before landing in Los Angeles , to land a role in a soap opera telling one of the greatest stories of the genre. all time… the love story of Luke and Laura.

Tristan Rogers: Humble Beginnings

Benard (Sonny) set the mood for the latest episode of SOM, a little different from other shows focusing on mental health issues. “It’s going to be a different mindset today. A more narrative mindset. More fun.”

And it was fun! GH co-star and friend Tristan Rogers (Robert Scorpio) talked about how he grew up in Australia. “I had a very good childhood. We lived, at the time, in what was then considered a pretty lousy neighborhood. Nowadays, you couldn’t get an addiction there for less than three million dollars. dollars. At the time? No.

“I was just the worst scholar you can imagine, you can write on a wall. I cracked up,” he admitted. “But, after I left school, I wandered around for about two years, basically pissing off my parents. I teamed up with this group of guys I was in school with, who basically said, ‘We’re not doing anything. What are we doing?’ I said, ‘Well. Let’s start a rock band. One guy said, ‘I can play guitar,’ another said, ‘I can play bass,’ and I said, ‘I can play drums.’ That’s how it started. After about two or three years, it became clear that we weren’t going to make any money.

“So, I started supplementing my income by doing commercial work, modeling work, commercial work in front of the camera,” Rogers explained. “I was around 21 years old. And I started making a lot of money. We had a big industry then that did that kind of stuff. It lasted a while. The group fell into oblivion. Then I decided one day that I wanted to act. Having no idea what I just said to myself. I didn’t understand what the ramifications were, the commitment you had to make. For me, it was a way to earn some money.

After an audition that took place in a hallway in front of a janitor, Rogers landed his first show, The Link. After that, there was no turning back. He ended up trying his luck in England when he met a producer he had worked with before and landed a new gig on a show called Paul Temple.

“They said it was the best episode they’d ever done. So that was my start in the industry there. And I realized one thing, ‘Tristan, you can’t go through this like that. You have to commit to it.

A mysterious man in Port Charles

A decade later, Rogers was called up for a two-day role at General Hospital. He described his early days on set. “I didn’t have a name. I was brought in, expressly, to beat the hero, Luke [Anthony Geary], then disappear. Half a day passes and I am summoned to Gloria’s [Monty] Office. And she said, ‘We really like what you’re doing. Would you like to stay?’” [His expression feigned speechlessness] And then he said, ‘Yes.’

“She said, ‘We’ll find something and talk to your agent.’ About three days later I get a call to come in. They hadn’t written anything. They had nothing for this character. I was told that Gloria wants you in scenes. You have nothing to say. You might be reading a magazine, a book, or snooping around suspiciously.

The Aussie signed for three years, which didn’t mean much back when storylines could have a shelf life of 13 weeks, but he became hugely popular very quickly as the mysterious Robert Scorpio. It wasn’t long before Gloria was considering expanding the character, even considering him a possible love interest for Laura. [Genie Francis].

During a dinner at the Beverly Hills Hotel, she asked his opinion. “What do you think of Robert and Laura as an object? Two Martinis, Rogers replied honestly, “Well, I don’t think that’s going to work.” He’s a totally different character. He is older. He is more sophisticated. You’re going to have to change her before she works on changing him and the two become an item. She looked at me and it was never mentioned again.

Elizabeth Taylor and the wedding that almost didn’t happen

Rogers shared the story of how big screen legend Elizabeth Taylor (Helena) changed the landscape of General Hospital. “There really wouldn’t have been a wedding at all if Elizabeth Taylor hadn’t called and said, ‘I’m not going to appear on the show at all unless there’s a wedding. Unless that Luke and Laura don’t get married.

“What really happened after the wedding was that Genie Francis quit,” Rogers revealed. “She went to CBS to do a new primetime series. [Bare Essence]. Tony started making noise to do other projects outside of General Hospital, and Gloria had Movies of the Week lined up on ABC. So everything was in danger of breaking apart completely. Elizabeth Taylor changed all that. She put it all out there. After the wedding, Laura left. Tony didn’t leave until later.

Benard wanted to know what it was like to work with the Grande Dame. Rogers recalled his first day. “She walked into makeup and said, ‘Hi everyone. I’m Elizabeth. She came over and introduced herself to everyone. And then she said, ‘Where’s Rogers?’ and they told her I was in the booth at the end. So she came in and said, ‘Hi! Do you think we could do lines together? and I said, ‘Hell, yeah!’ She was in Gloria’s office. They’d cleared out Gloria’s office and it was her dressing room. The aquariums, all that.

The lyrical waxed actor with special details. “His eyes were purple. Her favorite flowers were Sterling roses and the whole dressing room was filled with Sterling roses. And stacked on the ceiling Dom Perignon Pink Champagne. I had never seen Dom Pérignon champagne before, but back then it was $180 a bottle, and that was in 1981. Today it’s $300 a bottle.

“About 20 minutes later, I knocked on the door and walked in. She slammed the door and said, ‘I know all about you.’ I’m going, what does that mean. She’s like, “You’re a notorious ad libber. And I said, ‘Well, yeah…’ and she pulls out the script and says, ‘What can we do? What do we do for some of these lines here? I’m not too crazy about that. So, we sat down together and rewrote his script, putting in some sharper dialogue.

More about Tristan Rogers

Every fan’s favorite Aussie from General Hospital shared many more stories with Benard. Rogers shot more of his adventures in London, including being a bartender and DJ at underground nightclubs, seeing Elton John and Kiki Dee share the stage at one of his gigs, consulting at a radio station, the moment he chose from getting serious about acting, adjusting to stardom, more behind-the-scenes stories on the set of GH, dating Elizabeth Taylor for a short time (yes, you read that right) and thoughts on her award-winning Daytime performance Emmy Award as Doc in Studio City.

Watch the full episode here. Follow Tristan Rogers on Twitter and Cameo. Follow Maurice Bénard on Twitter, instagramor State of mind.

General Hospital (GH) airs weekdays on ABC. Check your local listings for airtime. For more on what’s going on in Port Charles, check out all the latest General Hospital spoiler posts, and for an in-depth look at the show’s story, click here.

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