Next Up for Chase & Willow on ‘GH’? Josh Swickard Weighs In

General Hospital Josh Swickard
Q&A
Todd Wawrychuk via Getty Images

Willow (Katelyn MacMullen) wasn’t counting on Chase (Josh Swickard) staying alive when she married him on his “deathbed” on General Hospital. Fortunately, thanks to Finn (Michael Easton) figuring out that Gregory (Gregory Harrison) was Chase’s biological dad, he was able to come up with another DNA-based treatment to save his brother’s life.

Will Chase have to be re-admitted if Willow breaks his heart? After all, she only married him because she thought he was going to die — her heart belongs to Michael (Chad Duell).

Today, Jordan (Briana Nicole Henry) and Dante (Dominic Zamprogna) throw Willow and Chase — who’s still in a wheelchair — an impromptu party to celebrate their marriage. Will Willow’s secret come out? TV Insider recently chatted with Swickard about his character’s near-death experience, how he feels about Chase’s true paternity, and shooting a sequel to last year’s Netflix movie A California Christmas opposite wife Lauren Swickard (who also served as the film’s producer and writer).

We actually didn’t know if Chase was going to make it or not!

Josh Swickard: We do our best to keep a story under wraps. That said, actors don’t know much more than the audience does. I know about three weeks out. I was getting scripts where Chase was having seizures. Then, Finn’s antidote didn’t work. I hadn’t gotten a talking to about being killed off but then, I read the script where Chase flatlines. I thought, ‘Oh, is this it?’

What was it like playing Chase’s condition worsening? He really thought he was checking out.

I was living in the moment with it and enjoying the process as an actor. It’s one of those love/hate things. I would come home and realize it had affected my body. I was spending 12 hours a day on set, working, playing someone who was sick, even dying. You chemically and emotionally put your body through that. By the end of the day, you feel like you’ve been hit by a truck. But that’s the stuff you get to bite into as an actor where it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. I love the physicality of acting.

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Playing those seizures looked very intense.

I think it’s a fun opportunity to commit and take all the way. I truly enjoyed the story. I feel blessed that the writers and Frank [Valentini, executive producer] gave that to me and let me play it.

From the minute viewers learned that Finn and Chase were brothers, there was a theory that Finn was Chase’s dad. That turned out not to be true but for a while, there was “proof” that he was.

It was a hard pill to swallow at first because Chase believed Finn was his brother. But I wouldn’t have played anything different because neither of us knew [for sure]. It’s kind of cool. There aren’t too many genres where they can throw these kinds of big curveballs at you — “He’s your brother! No, he’s your dad!” I was happy that Gregory stayed Chase’s father. I think that would be my personal viewpoint because I love the brother dichotomy with Michael [Easton]. But if it had gone the other way, we would have run with that and it would have been good, too.

General Hospital Finn Chase

Todd Wawrychuk via Getty Images

The show’s makeup artists made you look like you were gravely ill but I think it’d take a special effects team to make your hair look bad.

[Laughs] Thank you. Isn’t the makeup team phenomenal? I’ve heard so many comments about the makeup team. I sing their praises repeatedly. Somedays, I’d come in all tan after having been outside and they’d roll their eyes. “C’mon, man!” But they’d do their magic and Chase would look like he’d be knocking on death’s door. I give them so many kudos. They helped me believe I was doing what I did.

Is it ever confusing on set with Gregory Harrison playing Gregory Chase and your character’s name is Harrison Chase but he goes by Chase?

There is so much of that. We also have Hamilton Finn and Finola Hughes [Anna]. Oddly enough, it doesn’t get too confusing when a director will call out shots and give us our blocking. It works for some reason. But, yes, I would think it would get more confusing than it does.

Right now, Willow and Michael are lying to Chase because he hasn’t fully recovered. Is that parallel to when Chase and Sasha (Sofia Mattsson) lied about being together so that Michael could win custody of Wiley (Erik and Theo Olson) over Nelle (Chloe Lanier)?

That’s interesting…I don’t know how Chase will react but I can’t see that situation going over well for anyone regardless of their temperament.

There are similarities — people lying for love and the greater good.

Yes. It’s not the same particular history but it’s not totally different, either. You can definitely argue what Chase and Sasha did was different but Willow is doing what she is for the right reasons, too. Chase might handle it better than the average Joe would because of what he’s been through but he might not handle it all that well. That’s my guess.

Todd Wawrychuk via Getty Images

Who knows? Willow could fall back in love with Chase? Or Sasha and Michael could do the same, as well.

Yeah. There are a couple of options [the writers] could take. I think there’s always going to be something between [Chase and Willow]. I am wondering where the writers will take this.

We hear that Willow’s going to eventually choose to stay with the guy who has the better head of hair. Let the debates over your and Chad’s follicles begin. Kidding.

[Laughs] That’s funny.

Do you have any other projects coming up?

Yes. [My wife Lauren and I] are filming the sequel to A California Christmas. If all the stars align, it’ll come out this Christmas. The working title is A California Christmas 2: City Lights.

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