In early April it was announced that former “All My Children” star Cameron Mathison (ex-Ryan Lavery) would be joining the cast of “General Hospital” in an as yet to be revealed role. The news came just weeks after the cancellation of Hallmark Channel’s “Home & Family,” which he co-hosted alongside Debbie Matenopoulos and concluded its run after nine seasons today, August 4. With Mathison looking toward a future in Port Charles, fans will soon finally learn who he’ll be playing on the soap even though Mathison himself is still unable to say who that might be.
On July 2, Mathison reported for duty at The Prospect Studios in Los Angeles for the first time as a cast member of “GH.” In a post on Instagram, he said, “Here we goooooooo!!! See you soon Port Charles.” With the show’s tape to air schedule the way it is, Mathison is expected to first air sometime this month.
In advance of his debut, the actor and host spoke with Soap Opera Digest in its newest issue, on newsstands now, telling the magazine of his new gig, “I am loving every second of it.” He added, “I’m having such a good time. It feels in many ways like coming home… Even though I’ve never been on ‘General Hospital,’ but just coming back to daytime after 10 years.”
Since the cancellation of “AMC” in 2011, after portraying the role of Ryan Lavery from 1998-2002 and again from 2003 through the show’s final episode, Mathison has kept himself quite busy. He’s starred in a multitude of Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries TV movies, including “Murder, She Baked,” working alongside “Days of our Lives” star Alison Sweeney (Sami Brady), was a correspondent and weekend co-host of “Entertainment Tonight,” a contributor for ABC’s “Good Morning America” and has appeared on numerous occasions on “The Talk” and “Live with Kelly and Ryan,” among others.
Following the cancellation of “Home & Family,” however, Mathison felt that his next adventure would be a return to daytime soaps, which is why he approached the producers at “GH” to gauge interest. He tells Digest that before word came of “Home & Family” getting canceled, the show “was going to be reduced to two days a week; we were going to shoot all five of our episodes in those two days and I was going to have three days off.”
Recalling the conversation, Mathison says, “Something I’ve always wanted to do was work on ‘General Hospital,’ and I kind of reached out to Frank Valentini, who is, of course, the executive producer over there, and I just said, ‘Listen, Frank, I’m going to have three days a week [free] and I don’t know if there’s anything, I don’t want to be presumptuous, you know I’ve always been a fan of yours and the show.”
Revealing that the conversation came about through text message, Mathison noted, “I didn’t even practically finish the text or whatever it was. He just took it and went with it and it’s amazing! Like, the whole thing has just been way beyond what I was sort of like secretly having, like, kind of fantasy hope for, you know what I mean? [And] then ultimately, ‘Home & Family’ got canceled, and so I have more than three days a week available [laughs]! Which is working out just great.”
A few years before “AMC” and sister soap “One Life to Live” was abruptly canceled by ABC, the network worked in conjunction with its cable offshoot SOAPnet to devise a plot of “What If…,” wherein characters from all three daytime dramas interacted with each other in ways that wouldn’t likely have happened on their respective shows. As such, viewers saw the concepts materialize with one being what would happen if Ryan Lavery were to have met “GH” character Carly Corinthos (Laura Wright). The project was directed by Valentini who was EP of “OLTL” at the time. With his having had such a great experience working on the project, it just made sense to Mathison to reach out to Valentini for a gig at “GH.”
Without being able to reveal who he’d be playing, Mathison told Digest that he’d been given decoy names of characters and storylines so that even he wouldn’t know much about his character, although he can say the character is “different” from Ryan and the role plays to his strengths.
For more from Mathison’s interview with Soap Opera Digest, make sure to pick up the latest issue of Soap Opera Digest or visit their website.