GH Star Josh Swickard Talks Preparing for Gregory’s ALS Story

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The actor had to dig deep to play his TV dad’s ALS diagnosis on GH.

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Josh Swickard drew on real-life experience for this storyline.Photo bySoap Hub

Josh Swickard has played his share of emotional stories on General Hospital. Recently, the actor has had to dig deep as his character, Det. Harrison Chase, has grappled with his father Gregory’s mortality in light of the senior Chase’s ALS diagnosis. Swickard’s talking about the challenges he’s taken on to play this story convincingly.

Josh Swickard: Chasing Authenticity

In a recent Coastal Entertainment Zoom chat with fans, Swickard was asked about scenes he’s shared with Amanda Setton (Amanda) and Gregory Harrison (Gregory) about Chase dealing with the news of his father’s ALS diagnosis (read what Michael Easton had to say about this storyline here).

Around the time of this story developing, Swickard revealed in the Zoom that he also learned a loved one was going through a health issue, but fortunately, that loved one will be okay. “I’m not normally a method actor,” Swickard told attendees. “I like to separate my worlds. That one was kind of blurry.”

Acting is both a technical skill and one that requires summoning up emotions. The two sometimes aren’t always in sync. “We rehearse a scene and then tape a scene,” Swickard explains. “There were moments where [the emotions] smoked me in the rehearsals, and then, we go to tape it.”

Swickard raves about Setton for being an emotional anchor when they shot their material. “Amanda is such a generous scene partner,” the actor says, which is good because after they were done, he felt like “I was in a fight with a semi.”

The heaviness of the scenes resulted in Swickard taking a bit of a different tact in terms of how he executed those scenes. “My approach is more ‘What is this character feeling?’ and ‘What is the situation?'” He says. “This storyline was a little different in terms of how I work…I probably had a little less control over what was happening, and I went for it. They were heavy scenes, and I was grateful to have done them.”

Swickard’s emotional scenes did more than touch audiences. They reminded the actor of the importance of being there for someone else and how to do it. “I’m learning…the art of listening,” he says. “Sometimes that’s all that needs to happen. I’m here to be an ear.”


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