Soap opera fans were first introduced to Graham Shiels in 2007 when he played Cody Paul, a hunky-yet-unstable war vet on SOAPnet's short-lived General Hospital spinoff, General Hospital: Night Shift. He later brought the popular character over to the flagship show and went on to appear on The Young and the Restless as Moran in 2012.
Shiels is one of our favorite suds alums to keep up with. He definitely keeps our score card busy. The Yale School of Drama grad has some 51 acting credits on IMDB, having appeared in such popular series as Arrow, True Blood, NCIS: Los Angeles and countless others.
Tonight, Shiels makes a guest appearance on The 100 on The CW. He's also doing a hilarious arc on Disney XD's Lab Rats and has a series regular role in Syfy's upcoming Olympus. I recently caught up with Shiels to find out how he juggles so many gigs and if he ever considers a return to daytime.
Daytime Confidential: What can you tell me about your gig on tonight's episode of The 100 on The CW?
Graham Shiels: I play a grounder named Quint who has a bad relationship and history with the lead Clarke, played by the wonderful Eliza Taylor. He's a captain in the grounder army commanded by the character Lexa. Quint is a fiercely patriotic and loyal warrior.
DC: You're also appearing on Disney XD's Lab Rats, playing the over-the-top Victor Krane. What has that experience been like?
GS: Playing Victor Krane has been the most joyful experience in my entire acting career. The writing team is so hysterical and prolific. Same writers as That 70's Show, Bryan Moore and Chris Peterson. Every day on set was a total giggle fest! the cast was so talented and funny and I got to work with a hero of mine, Hal Sparks, former host of E!'s Talk Soup. Playing Krane was an absolute blast. Most of my professional career has been spent entirely playing drama, so it was such a great change for me to play in a wacky comedy. Makes the hours fly by.
DC: You've booked a series regular gig on Syfy's highly-anticipated genre series, Olympus. What can you dish about that project?
GS: Olympus will air April 3 on Syfy in the U.S. and many other countries worldwide. Our first season has 13 episodes and will be available on Netflix. I play King Aegeus who is the king of Athens while under siege of King Minos from Crete. It's in the fantasy genre, much like Game of Thrones — swords, sandals, and sex; monsters, the supernatural, gods, betrayal and good old family bickering. This role required me to speak in a British dialect and I got to act opposite RADA [Royal Academy of Dramatic Art] grad, Sonya Cassidy. It brought me back to my theatre roots and my Shakespearean training at the Yale School of Drama.
DC: You keep rather busy playing a variety of different characters. What's your process for slipping into so many different skins so seamlessly?
GS: Well, no matter who you're playing, the process is always the same; it all comes down to what you want. How ever the make-up, costume or hair department envision the character is fine with me. Even if the big guys want me to do an accent, it still doesn't change the humanity I bring to the character. All I need to do is justify my want. Alien, monster, bad guy, good guy... at the end of the day it's the humanity that you bring to the character that the audience identifies with, even if they're operating out of evil intentions.
DC: These days so many A-list actors are doing serialized TV. Has that changed the game for working actors?
GS: The climate of A-list actors doing television makes it all the more competitive, because it then becomes a trickle-down effect. The "bigger" actors then take "smaller" roles and then the "smaller" actors are forced to take even "smaller" roles! [Laughs] You gotta do this for the love alone.
DC: General Hospital and General Hospital: Night Shift fans still remember you fondly as troubled war vet Cody. Would you ever return to daytime?
GS: I would love, love love to come back to General Hospital, whether it be as Cody or as something new. But that's entirely in the hands of the powers that be and the fans, so... but yeah, I loved my time on GH and would jump at the chance to come back into Port Charles in a major or minor way. Perhaps they need a new bad guy?
The 100 airs at 9/8C tonight on The CW.