Since stepping into Port Charles two years ago, General Hospital's Dr. Andre Maddox has been an upstanding and fairly quiet background player who often offered a helping hand but never raised an eyebrow. However, all that changed when it was surprise revealed that the therapist is secretly in cahoots with the Russians and played a leading role in the currently unfolding Tale of Two Jasons saga. Viewers' jaws dropped when the unexpected shocker hit the screen, and Andre's portrayer, Anthony Montgomery, was just as stunned. Soap Central spoke with the actor as he prepped for Halloween to get his take on Andre's sudden twist of fate and where the story will go from here.
soapcentral.com: Hi, Anthony! Happy Halloween! Are you and your son all ready to go trick-or-treating?
Anthony Montgomery: Well, actually, I think I have the rarest child in the world: my son is not really a candy-eater. He sits me down, and I have an incorrigible sweet tooth, but he sits me down last week and he said, "Daddy, I don't know if I want to go trick-or-treating." And I said, "What? Why not, buddy? I thought you had so much fun." "Well I do, but every year, I get all of this candy and then I never eat it. It just sits there, and you and mommy end up throwing it away." Which is exactly what happens! It literally sits in his Halloween bag for two or three months, until we see it and go, "Okay, we can go ahead and dump this out, right?" He never goes through it. He said, "I just want to go have fun, but I don't really want to go get all of the candy." And I was like, "God bless you, little man. Who are you?! Where did you come from?" Because I definitely would have not been that kid. Never! I would have been the kid that said, "I want to eat all the candy. I don't want to eat dinner. Can I eat a Snickers for dinner?" That was me. [Laughs]
soapcentral.com: God, me, too! So is the child in you disappointed because now you can't steal your kid's candy?
Montgomery: [Laughs] Nah. We didn't have a lot growing up, so I keep a little drawer that has sweets in it, and he knows that he can go anytime and grab something. He'll look at it and say, "Daddy, can I have a lollipop?" because I get the organic lollipops, and I try to get healthy treats for him. He'll take two or three bites of his lollipop or lick it for a couple of minutes, and then not want it anymore and throw it away. So he doesn't really care. It's pretty funny.
soapcentral.com: Do you get dressed up with him and play around with Halloween costumes, as well?
Montgomery: He gets dressed up, yes. He absolutely does. But I haven't for a couple of years. I'm from Indiana, so when we go trick-or-treating, I don't trust people. I need to be on guard in case people start acting up, so I can't just be walking around like a foofer or whatever it is and something goes down. So I'm usually the one who's the lookout. But he loves to dress up, and he's dressing up as Steve from Minecraft. We're in the Minecraft stage right now, so everything is about Steve. It's pretty hilarious.
soapcentral.com: You dress up all the time for work, so why do it again on Halloween, right?
Montgomery: Yes, so in real life, why would I actually want to dress up? "I'm going to put a suit on this year, and I'm going to go as a psychiatrist." "Um, what are you dressed as?" "I'm dressed as Dr. Andre Maddox from General Hospital. Haven't you seen that show? He looks just like this. You should check it out!" [Laughs]
soapcentral.com: When you put on Andre's clothes, does it make you feel smarter or more doctor-like?
Montgomery: You are hilarious! You know what, I do have to drop in to a different gear when I am stepping into the Dr. Maddox world. My degree is in performance theater and drama, and that's a whole different side of the brain that's being worked than a psychiatrist brain. But I was able to, going and doing some therapy myself early on, years ago, I was able to know how to drop into that Andre zone, just from watching. I never really shadowed anybody and said, "Hey, I'm going to be on General Hospital. Can I come and watch you be a therapist for a month?" But I just took from what I remembered from the couple of therapists that I saw years ago and how they were, and then I crafted my own version of him based on the background that I had constructed and the information that they gave me from General Hospital. And yes, the clothes do add a part to it, absolutely. I'm more comfortable in a T-shirt and jeans personally, but I also dress up. I've got suits in my closet. There's a different way you carry yourself when you have a suit on. And Andre wears a suit more often than not, so there has to be something else about him and it's not just the books -- it's the entire demeanor. And we saw a completely different side for that dance, when he and Anna [Finola Hughes] went dancing, so we know that there is more to him than just that. But yes, the transformation definitely comes from the clothes and everything.
soapcentral.com: Funny you said, "there's more to him that just that," because as we have recently found out, there's a lot more to Dr. Maddox than meets the eye!
Montgomery: Whoooooey! Yes, there is! [Laughs]
soapcentral.com: What was your reaction when you read some of those scripts and saw that he was making this turn, and he's not who we all thought he was this last two years?
Montgomery: For the last two years, exactly! He's not as squeaky clean. You know what? I got excited about it because nobody is one-dimensional. There were instances where we got to glean something more about Andre, like with the breakup with Jordan [Vinessa Antoine], that was the first time we had seen more depth to him than just being "the doctor" and the way we had seen him the other times. He's been more in a therapist role, unless he was being a friend to Anna, so for that part, the breakup, I felt like, "Okay, I can color him with some different layers." I don't know what the layers are that the writers are thinking of for down the line, but there has to be something to him that doesn't have him smiling all the time. Nobody's life is that great; he has to have his own secrets that he is fighting through. So when I read that this is where he's going -- still not knowing exactly where it's going, because you only see the script that you're working on at that particular time, and I don't know what's happening two months from now or a month from now or whatever it is -- so it really got me excited to be able to play a completely different aspect to him and try to figure out this jigsaw puzzle to make what I've been doing over the first two years mesh with and have a seamless mesh with where he seems to be going now.
soapcentral.com: Which, to be honest, sounds like a hell of a lot of work!
Montgomery: There's a lot that goes into it. Some say, "Well, anybody can be a soap actor." Absolutely they could not! Not everybody can be a soap actor; I never want to hear that crap! [Laughs] There is a lot of work that you've got to put in, and it's really hard -- I do not envy the GH writers. They have to write for thirty, forty characters. It's not easy to carve out all of those stories months and months and years in advance. So my hat's off to them. It's not easy writing at that breakneck speed and then having to maintain all of the consistency and continuity with every character from beginning to end.
soapcentral.com: And the best part is Andre is finally out of the shadows, so to speak. He's much more of a front and center character.
Montgomery: Right. Even though Andre was a big part, he wasn't as big as part, but now, obviously, he's huge in this storyline. He's the reason why there are two Jasons! So I can't even imagine where the writers' minds were going, trying to figure out how to put that puzzle together.
soapcentral.com: With all of this slowly coming out, the fans are suddenly re-examining everything Andre has done.
Montgomery: [Laughs] Yes, they are! I've been following my social media, and they're like, "Oh, my God, Andre!" Some of them are saying, "No! Not my baby Andre. I don't want you to be a bad guy!" And some people have written, "I knew there was something bad about him. You could tell in the beginning." And when I read those, I'm like, "What the hell did I do or did he do in the beginning to make you think that he was going to make this turn?!?" [Laughs] But okay, if you guys say so! So it's been hilarious for me to watch, oh man.
soapcentral.com: I'm sure it's really exciting to develop this new side of him, but is there a slight part of you at all that mourns the loss of the original, kind-hearted Andre?
Montgomery: You know what, no. Because I am that myself. I am a positive, eternally optimistic person myself. But I was raised in Indiana, so there is a complete other side to me that some people know, many people don't. I think it's so much fun for people to now get to see this other side of him, because now that we know it's there, now that we know that positive, light, optimistic good guy is there, then you don't have to wonder. If he just started out as a bad guy, then people would have been questioning, "Is he just literally a bad guy through and through?" And nobody wants to root for that person. But if he's a good person, and we're still figuring out why he did all of this -- I'm never going to be the one to say anything about future story points -- but the writers are still unveiling Andre's true motives in all of this. But him being a good guy, I can't believe that his true motives were because he wanted financial success or that he did it for financial gain. Or he was doing it to screw over Jason and his twin brother. There has to be more of a reason, and I think it's going to be a lot of fun to explore those reasons. So because of that, I don't mourn the loss of the "innocent," as it were, because we'll get more of why he had to have that face in the first place. Because when your life is really painful, and there are painful things that you experience in life, you can either take those things and let that destroy you, which I believe could have been the case for Andre; he could have gone one direction with it, but he took whatever that pain was, whatever made him say yes and do this procedure and do all of this stuff, that had to have been calling him to a higher purpose than just to be blatantly evil. So I'm excited to find out what all of that is, where is all of that is going and what the fans are going to think. Crazy, crazy, crazy. Daytime, baby!
soapcentral.com: Has your approach to playing him changed at all? Like, do you go into work feeling different?
Montgomery: Yes. It has. It absolutely has. Once I realized that that was the direction everything looked like it was going, then I had to take a decidedly different inner monologue for everything to come out on the outside and to be displayed and projected the right way. The way I played him for the first two years was with the innocence of not knowing that he had something this horrific in his past. Because this is horrible. Whatever the reasoning for him to do [all of this], when it does come out, it'll be a horrible thing that has happened. So I can't approach it the way I did before. I didn't know that he had this in his past. All I know, what I was told initially, was that I was coming on to play the police commissioner's love interest. That's all that I knew. So I had to create an entire backstory. They told me that he was a psychiatrist, he was the top of his field, he was the best in the business, and all of that. And that was just the initial introduction. I didn't even know that he worked for the WSB when I first got the job; that revelation didn't come until months later. So I had to change how I started looking at things and how I started playing different things once they gave me that information. So once this started to be revealed about the Jason Morgan situation, then all of a sudden I have to color Andre internally with a lot more layers than I initially had.
soapcentral.com: You mentioned that when you first started, you were told you were going to be the police commissioner's love interest. But Dr. Maddox actually hasn't had much in the way of love; he had a couple of brief moments that never really quite made it. What do you think about his lack of success in the love department?
Montgomery: He really only had two [romantic situations]. The relationship with the police commissioner, that went but it didn't really go, truth be told. I've had a lot of conversations with the fans, and the fans that didn't hate Andre and Jordan... said that they never really had a chance to see that love develop on-screen. You'd see them once, and then you wouldn't see them again for two months. And then you don't see them again for however long, and then you don't see them again and so on. So the fans never actually got the chance to fall in love with the two of them falling in love. And with Anna, which is the only other thing that had the chance to happen but hasn't, I think it would be a blast. I think it would be so much fun to explore where that could actually go. Depending on how this plays out, if he's not a bad guy, then there would be a way. [If he is a bad guy], there's a way to redeem everybody. Everybody can make choices to redeem themselves; nobody's above reproach. So if there was a way for this to come out, that there's a better reason [for his shady behavior] other than, "Well, you were just trying to get rich," and it made sense, I think it would be fun for the fans to watch Andre and Anna fall in love and actually move the doctor/patient relationship that they had to the friendship to the potential for them to be together. She's not really over Duke, but you eventually have to let people go. And that could be a perfect, beautiful blending I think of seeing how that could happen. So for me, I'm curious what the love is going to end up being, but I feel like it will be a lot of fun and could work perfectly for Andre and Anna to really make a go of it, if that's what the writers chose to do.
soapcentral.com: Actually, I think Andre's new shadiness could potentially make his and Anna's chances of becoming a couple stronger. After all, Duke was no angel! Maybe she secretly likes bad boys.
Montgomery: Yes, so that's the thing! Maybe it could work, because Anna, for the people she has loved, I was told there have been times over the years where Anna has made questionable ethical calls for someone she loves. So I feel like that could be one of those things, depending on the reason why he has done all of this with Jason. Now, if it comes out that he's just a crook who has this secret desire to rule the world, then no, that wouldn't work! But if he actually has an upstanding core like I've been playing him, and that's what it is, then okay -- he made a bad call for whatever that reason is to be revealed, and maybe that could be that thing that has Anna go, "You know what, I'm not going to condemn you, because I've done questionable things myself." And I actually remember having scenes that Andre and Anna had where she said as much. "I'm far from being perfect," or whatever. And it was her addressing those things. So this is something that actually could pull them together a lot more. The fans seem to want to see where it's going, especially after we did that fun disco dance and had the kiss -- the kiss heard 'round the soap opera world. [Laughs] So I'm really looking forward to where all of this is going to go.
What do you think about Andre suddenly being revealed as a shady character? Why do you think he got involved in the Jason saga? Would you like to see a romance between Andre and Anna finally develop? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.