There’s an old show business adage about performers not working with children but that’s not the case with soap opera fan favorite Cameron Mathison. His General Hospital character Drew Cain is reconnecting with daughter Scout (Ella Ramacieri) in the December 17 episode. Mathison says Scot is the reason his character made it back from two years of captivity.
“Scout’s a really, really, really important person in Drew’s life,” Mathison tells TV Insider. “She is the reason — I’ve [decided] — that Drew fought so hard to get out of captivity from Peter [August, Wes Ramsey] and Victor [Cassadine, Charles Shaughnessy].
“When you get a second chance at life, I know it sounds corny, but my going through my cancer journey a couple of years ago, you feel like you’ve gotten that second chance, and now Drew has that,” the actor continues.
Mathison says that Drew’s still carrying around a strong case of guilt over the fact that he survived the melee on Cassadine Island, but his twin Jason (Steve Burton) did not. But Monica (Leslie Charleson) wasn’t putting up with any of that and recently told Drew not to feel guilty as both he and Jason were her sons.
“That was a pretty big day for me to go into the Quartermaine house and work with Leslie and Wally [Kurth, Ned] and the whole gang,” Mathison says. “I’m very happy to have this character. We had a nice series of days. Leslie and I would sit and talk in between takes to get a bit of a comfort level with each other. I feel like it worked. She’s so wonderful and she brings you in so easily. We had an instant connection.”
Having spent years as Ryan Lavery on All My Children and bumping into GH stars at ABC Daytime events and the Daytime Emmys, Mathison already knew much of the show’s cast. “I’ve known Laura [Wright, Carly] since she was on Guiding Light [as Cassie],” the actor recalls. “Also, Kelly [Monaco], Maurice [Benard, Sonny]… Now, I’m getting to work with them. There are some iconic characters here. This is a show I’ve respected for many years for many different reasons. Working with them has been very exciting for me.”
For years Mathison was New York-based, so his joining GH has introduced him to some new actors. “I’d never met Donnell [Turner, Curtis] before, and I’ve really enjoyed working with him,” Mathison says. “Same with Josh Swickard [Chase] and Amanda Setton [Brook Lynn].”
Mathison says he’s also learned a few lessons over the years about sharing screentime with younger actors, especially after becoming a dad himself. “I think I made mistakes when I was younger,” he recalls. “The important thing is to get [child actors] to be relaxed so they can be spontaneous. Then, they can worry about their lines. You want them to have energy and be invested. Back in the day, I’d ramp the kids up and get them jacked! That’s never a good idea. It’s actually a bad idea.
“You might get some great energy but they’re more likely to forget their lines,” Mathison adds. “It’s a fine line. You want to get to know them and to have fun but at the same time make sure they’re able to listen and to react.”
Time will tell what role Scout plays in a possible reunion between her parents, Drew and Sam (Kelly Monaco). During the years that Drew was away and presumed dead, Sam has moved on with her life – and into a relationship with Dante Falconeri (Dominic Zamprogna).
“Of course, [Drew’s] got some massively mixed emotions – he’s glad to be back with Scout and have this nice relationship with Sam but it’s a little awkward with Dante around,” Mathison says. “It’s new to him but they’re working it out.”
General Hospital, Weekdays, ABC