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The General Hospital Q & A Pages

General Hospital Interviews!

Catching Up with Graham Shiels (Cody)
By
Laurie Bedigian
November 19, 2008


(Photos courtesy of David Heisler)

Thereís been a lot of positive buzz out there about Graham Shiels (Cody, "General Hospital").  Graham was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  Around the age of four, he moved to Vancouver, British Columbia.  Graham earned his Masters of Fine Arts in Acting at the Yale School of Drama.  Recently I was fortunate to talk with Graham about his background and his acting career.  Hereís what he had to say:

Hi Graham, thanks for taking the time to talk with me.  Did you do any acting in high school?

I was in theater and drama in high school.  I did all the plays and musicals.  It wasnít until I was about 20 when I was like, this is what I have to do.  Thereís really nothing else that I can see worth living for.

You mentioned doing musicals Ė do you sing?

I can carry a tune, but I have no delusions that Iíll be stealing roles away from people on Broadway (laughs).

When you graduated from Yale, did you head straight to California?

I actually stayed in New York for about six months, and I was a bellman at a really trendy hotel called the Paramount.  I booked a play in California and then I moved out here.

You have a sports website you write for?

My two and I friends have a website called theloveofsports. com.  Essentially itís a sports blog site.  Our mandate is, itís all positive.  No drug scandals, no sex scandals, no swearing, no trash talking.  Itís all positive.  Weíre averaging about 7,000 hits a day.  Weíre trying to bring in a partner to try and bring it to the next level.

Iíve only seen you in dramatic roles but you like doing comedy as well, right?

I love doing comedy.  When you look like me, the challenge is to still get in the room and audition for comedy.  Itís just mildly challenging.  Hopefully Iíll be on a sitcom one of these days.  Usually when I get cast in a play itís because thereís a comedic element.  Pretty much every time Iíve been cast itís because Iíve brought some sense of humor to something that didnít necessarily have it. 

Do people recognize you when you go out?

Every once in a while somebody might say, ďHey, arenít you from that soap that was on at night?Ē  I get recognized now because of all the "True Blood" stuff.  I think probably once the Jim Carrey movie comes out, it will happen even more.  When "True Blood" came out, I was getting it about twice a day.   When youíre bald, you canít really change your look (laughs).

How different is it for you to do a soap compared to other television youíve done?

Itís totally different.  You get one take and maybe if you screw up your line, you get two, and theyíre shooting three cameras at once.  So as an actor you gotta bring your ďAĒ game and then let it go and just move on.  Because I was so new, and Kent (King, Lainey) had already been on the show for a while, she kind of brought me out of my shell by suggesting we run our lines. 

What kind of experience has it been working with Steve Burton?

The guy is amazing.  Heís a total card.  Heís hilarious.  Itís a true blessing.  Heís such a great guy Ö.  Iím just lucky to get to work with Steve.

Is there someone you havenít worked with yet  that youíd like to?

You know who I just love off camera is Sonya (Eddy, Epiphany).  She is just absolutely hysterical.  I donít know how that could ever happen Ö Cody and Epiphany (laughs).   I did actually have a little bit of an interaction with her on the very first episode (of "Night Shift").

Youíre sort of playing a different version of Cody this time around.  Before he was a drug addict with posttraumatic stress disorder and now heís kind of this quiet mob guy.  Do you have a preference? 

I would prefer the way it is now.  An actor lives on their imagination.  Itís very challenging as an actor, but if youíre asking me, if Iíd rather play a mobster or a drug addict, Iíd rather play a mobster.

Do you watch "General Hospital"?

I do watch it.  I kind of watch just randomly, but I will make a point to watch when Iím on.  But my TiVo is filled with stuff like "Talk Soup" and "Forensic Files."

So, in general, youíre not uncomfortable watching yourself Ė watching your own work?

Not anymore - after repetition.  Repetition is the mother of success.  Usually Iím trying to watch it from a critical standpoint. 

Was it difficult for you to do the nudity on "True Blood" and had you done nudity before?

It was totally difficult.  It was very hard to do.  I had done it before in a play, but Iíve never done it on film, and itís not something Iíd jump into either in a play or on film.  It wasnít full frontal (on "True Blood").  In the play it was full frontal (laughs).  It was hard to do, but it was this sexy new series for HBO Ė it was a pretty high profile gig. 

Tell me about the new Jim Carrey movie "Yes Man."  Did you work directly with Jim?

I had two scenes with him.  It was absolutely amazing.  It was the first time Iíve ever worked with an ďA-listĒ celebrity.  He is a genius.  Heís so gracious and so generous Ė such a nice man.  Itís not a huge role, but I have two pivotal and funny scenes. 

So, daytime has been a good experience for you?

Oh, of course, absolutely.  Itís a wonderful job.  Iím doing what I love, and Iím doing it with people who are exceptional at what they do. 

There you have it.  It was a pleasure talking with Graham.  Heís a very funny and interesting guy.  Hopefully weíll see much more of Graham on "General Hospital" before too long.  Be sure and watch for Graham in "Yes Man" with Jim Carrey, which opens on December 19.  Graham can also be seen on the season finale of "Nip/Tuck" in 2009. 

Laurie

(Click on the photos for a high-resolution version)

For more on Graham, visit his official website at http://grahamshielsonline.com/main.htm .


Read all of Laurie Bedigian's celebrity interviews:

Melissa Archer (ex-Natalie, OLTL)  10/21/12
Sean Kanan (Deacon, Y&R)  11/20/11
Greg Cipes (JT, GH)  9/5/11
Colin Egglesfield (ex Josh, AMC)  9/4/11
Brad Maule (Dr. Tony Jones, GH)  12/13/09
Tim Gibbs (ex-Kevin, OLTL)  11/7/09
Louise Shaffer (Rae Woodard, Ryan's Hope)  10/23/09
Tobias Truvillion (Vincent, OLTL)  8/14/09
Brian Gaskill (Rafe, Port Charles; ex-Bobby, AMC)  7/24/09
Catherine Hickland (Lindsay, OLTL)  4/12/09
Senta Moses (Winnifred, GH)  2/15/09
Blake Gibbons (Coleman, GH)  12/5/08
Brad Maule (Dr. Tony Jones, GH)  11/23/08
Graham Shiels (Cody, GH)  11/19/08
Bradford Anderson (Spinelli, GH)  4/5/08
Bradford Anderson (Spinelli, GH)  1/11/08

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Page updated 7/23/12

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