General Hospital Interviews!
with Blake Gibbons (Coleman)
December 5, 2008
Blake Gibbons plays the
interesting and colorful Coleman on “General Hospital.” Coleman became
a favorite character of mine almost immediately. I’ve often wondered
about the man behind the role. Recently I spent some time talking with
Blake about his life and his career. Blake is from Bakersfield,
California and started acting when he was in college. He has
appeared in commercials, films, and numerous television programs. Over
the years, Blake has proven himself to be a talented and versatile
actor. He’s also an incredibly funny and well-spoken person. Here are
some of the highlights of my talk with the man who plays “General
Hospital’s” favorite bartender.
Did you act at all when you
were in high school?
No. I was active in sports in
high school, and you wouldn’t be caught dead in the theater department
(laughs). I always knew I was gonna come to LA to be an actor – from an
early age. But I was too “cool” at that point to go into my theater
department in high school, because it was just a “strange” group of
kids. I guess I just didn’t admit that inside I was probably just as
“strange” (laughs). I didn’t make a move on it (acting) until I was in
college. I ended up majoring in Communications.
Have you done any professional
Yes, I have. I’m not a big fan
of theater, oddly enough. There are many actors who love “the
theater.” I’m not one of them. But I appreciate and respect those that
do, and I understand why they do. On the other hand, if something came
up tomorrow that was a great part, I’d be there. I’ve had some really
great experiences in the theater. But being on stage isn’t feeding my
soul (laughs). I’m thankful that I did it, and I’ve been exposed to it,
and I appreciate and respect it. But I have no personal longing to do
You’ve been on “General
Hospital” since 2002. Was it originally a short-term part?
It was a six-week part, I
think. I was running a strip club. I was very fortunate that it just
kind of kept going.
Coleman is a sort of guilty
pleasure that people have come to really like. Do you get approached
much by fans of the character?
Yes, and people are very
generous. They’ve been very kind, and they seem to like Coleman. It’s a
good feeling to know that people seem to get a kick out of what you’re
There’s confusion about whether
Coleman has a first name. I’ve read his first name is Mitchell – is
No, I don’t know how the name
Coleman came about, but I’ve never, ever been given a (first) name. I’ve
never had a name other than Coleman, and it’s never been “Mitchell” or
Tell me about working with
Jason Thompson (Patrick).
Jason is a great guy and a
great actor. I think he’s really solid. It’s a pleasure to work with
him. You can’t ask for more than that. We have some laughs and go in
there and do the deal. I enjoy working with him. He’s a really, really
good solid guy. And I mean that in the best sense of the word. I just
can’t say enough nice things about the guy.
Do you prefer being on
recurring status so you have the freedom and opportunity to audition for
I think soap opera actors have
a great schedule. You’re not working crazy hours, and you have time to
be with your family. From that point of view of just being steadily
employed, I think it would be great. On the other side, if I had been
on contract, I probably wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do some
other things that I find equally fulfilling. I’ve been very fortunate
to play some eccentric characters in commercials. I have fun with that
– I get to play things I wouldn’t normally get hired to play. I feel
very blessed and fortunate, and I have a great situation. I love doing
“General Hospital,” and yet I get to do all these other things.
Do you get nervous during an
No, but you do get kind of
“jacked up,” for lack of a better term. At times, nerves creep in.
Auditioning is kind of a skill in itself. I think after you’ve done it
so long, it allows you to keep your eye on the ball and not let those
nerves get the best of you. I go in and do the best job I can do, and if
they’re digging me that day, great. If not, that’s ok too. Sometimes
you may not be the “best” person for the role. That’s just the way it
rolls. You usually know immediately if a part speaks to you.
Tell me about your experience
Unfortunately I didn’t get
“into” the show until later, so I didn’t realize what a coup that was to
get on that show. I didn’t watch it at the time, so I didn’t get the
full impact. After I became a fan, it kind of hit me, “Wow, I was on
“Seinfeld.” Jerry was really great and the girl who was my girlfriend
was Amanda Peet. I just remember it being a really cool, well-oiled
show. I remember there was a scene when Jerry comes over, and he’s
coming to pick up my girlfriend to take her out, and I’m telling her
goodbye. I thought it would add to it if I gave her a little peck on the
mouth. So I asked the director, and they had a mini conference about
it. I realized that’s why the show is so successful – because there’s
no detail that isn’t given thought. Because my reasoning was sound – it
wasn’t just arbitrary, they went with it. They knew their “product,” and
they were very attentive to every detail.
Weren’t you in a towel in that
“Seinfeld” episode? Was that uncomfortable for you and was it the
closest thing to nudity you’ve done?
I remember pulling the towel up
high, because I wasn’t used to taking my shirt off (laughs). I probably
had some love handles that from a vanity standpoint I felt I needed to
cover up, so I hiked the towel up a little higher than normal. To me
that wasn’t nudity, because I had shorts on underneath. I’m not big on
taking my shirt off and all that – unless it’s part of the deal where
you’re doing a full on love scene.
Tell me about the episode of
“Dexter” you did recently.
I hadn’t seen “Dexter,” but I
heard it was a great show and people loved it. Working on something of
quality is always such a great pleasure. The role was kind of cool – it
was something I hadn’t done before. The scenes I did were with Michael
C. Hall (Dexter) and Jimmy Smits (Miguel) and that was a nice bonus.
People love this show – they’re intense about it. When I told friends,
you would have thought I’d said that Elvis is alive (laughs). It’s a
great show – I can see how you get hooked on it.
Do you normally watch your
work? If so, do you watch as a critic?
I do watch and definitely as a
critic. I still record “General Hospital,” because it lets me know if
what I’m doing is working. It’s an invaluable tool.
Do you have a favorite role or
something that stands out for you?
Years and years ago I did do a
show about Elvis called “The Elvis Series,” and I played a character
called Bill Black. That would probably be my greatest experience just
because I’m a huge Elvis fan. That would have to be my favorite acting
experience just because of the subject matter, and we weren’t in the
studio. We were filming on the sites where things actually happened. I
was playing a really great character in a time period I love and a place
(Memphis, Tennessee) that I love. It was all very exciting, and it was a
quality project. I was very fortunate.
If you weren’t acting, is there
something else you would be doing?
I’d probably be a trapeze
artist in the circus or a televangelist or something - out on the road
with Jimmy Swaggart maybe (laughs).
I hope you enjoyed my chat with
Blake as much as I did. Our conversation was truly one of the most
enjoyable ones I’ve had to date. I hope to bring you more from Blake in
the future. In the meantime, if you’re a “Seinfeld” fan, be sure to
catch Blake in season 8’s (episode 22) “The Summer of George.” Blake
also appeared in the season 3 episode of “Dexter” called “Si se puede,”
which can be seen on Showtime. Be sure to watch for more of Blake on
“General Hospital” around mid-January.
Read all of
Melissa Archer (ex-Natalie, OLTL)
Sean Kanan (Deacon, Y&R) 11/20/11
Greg Cipes (JT, GH)
Colin Egglesfield (ex Josh, AMC)
Brad Maule (Dr.
Tony Jones, GH) 12/13/09
Tim Gibbs (ex-Kevin, OLTL)
(Rae Woodard, Ryan's Hope) 10/23/09
Tobias Truvillion (Vincent,
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
Our Other General Hospital Interviews
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