Wendy Riche on Casting Burton, Marcil and Sabato

We Love Soaps’ Damon L. Jacobs caught up with former General Hospital executive producer Wendy Riche to talk about her time at the show. In the must-read interview Riche shares how she came about casting Antonio Sabato Jr., Steve Burton and Vanessa Marcil in their popular roles.

We Love Soaps: Despite the turbulence we’ve described, you made some inspired casting choices. You chose unknown actors such as Anthony Sabato Jr, Vanessa Marcil, Steve Burton, all of whom made indelible imprints on the show. What was the key to finding and casting these young actors that would find such success on and off GENERAL HOSPITAL?

Wendy Riche: It starts with a vision of character. I would talk to the headwriter and with [Consulting Producer] Shelly Curtis. It starts with characters and archetypes of characters. Good girl / bad girl, but multi-leveled. Then there was the supposed bad guy who comes in with a good heart. We saw this when Jagger’s friends were going to steal from Kelly’s, and go after Ruby. It was designed so that we had a window into Jagger’s heart because in his stopping the violence, we knew he wasn’t all bad. We knew he was worth saving. From that moment on he was endearing to the audience and everyone wanted to save him, as did Karen and Brenda. So we designed the dynamic, and then I would sit down with Mark Teschner, because you need a brilliant casting director to work with to capture your vision. Casting is a very unique process. You cannot cast by committee. There has to be a clear vision, and Mark found this great talent. He knew what I was looking for and he found them.

Photo Credit: Phil McCarten

12 Responses

  1. Profile photo of Ryan-Scott

    Reading the interview made me remember how much of a HOT MESS she walked into.
    Gloria Monty tried her best but it didn’t work.

    The name Eckert just sends chills down my spine.

  2. Profile photo of alstonboy4315

    If Wendy were still around, something tells me that the Quartermaine family would be a LOT more plentiful right now….and the show would be far more well-rounded. Jill’s body count since taking over has been ASTRONOMICAL!!! Hell, she puts Franco to shame!! Talk about a SERIAL killer!!!!

  3. Profile photo of uofmichgrad99

    It’s funny how fickle soap fans are…LMAO…I remember the days when everyone called her Wendy Wench and hated her guts…now let’s induct her in the soap opera hall of fame and give her a lifetime achievement award??? For the record, I loved the Wendy and Claire days…but this is a classic case of be careful for what you wish for…trust it could actually get a lot worse that JFP/Guza.

  4. Profile photo of I♥GH

    I loved Jagger & Karen, they’re the reason I started watching GH. I loved Brenda as well.

    Wendy’s years doing GH were my favorite years – lots of good dramatic storylines, romance, core families like all of the Quartermaines, and a lot less mob. I think it could help GH if she came back.

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