General Hospital newcomer Dan White is having a ball...but not in Port Charles! Instead, his character, Elijah, is squaring off with an an amnesiac Sonny (AKA "Mike"), played by Maurice Benard, in Nixon Falls. White opened up about working alongside his GH castmates and jumping into a front-burner storyline.
This is certainly my first sustained role in daytime TV, so it’s super-exciting. I like to refer to it as the jackpot I hit. When I found out who I was going to be spending my time with, I was like, ‘Wow!’ To step into this role with Maurice and Cynthia [Watros, Nina] is just fantastic. Like many people, I watched soaps with my grandma, so I knew Sonny Corinthos as the gangster we all love. I knew that coming in, and that was really exciting.
I had heard wonderful things about Maurice’s work ethic and how much he likes to play with other actors. He’s so gracious and it’s been so cool to get a chance to work with him. And Cynthia is so generous, checking in to see if I’m okay, asking me if I want to run lines or discuss the scenes beforehand. She’s made me feel very welcome. She’s just a lovely person. She’s kind and giving and open and gives you a lot of energy in a scene. It’s wonderful to act with her.
White found himself thrown into the deep end storyline-wise, but he's more than held his own. He explained:
I was cast in January and I started shooting the second week of February. I had my first two scenes, when Elijah was trying to buy the Tan-O and it being foiled. We find out we’re on hold [to shoot another episode] about 10 days before, and we find out we’re booked about six days before. As soon as I got done [with my first show], I found out I was on hold for two more episodes. The audition said two episodes, maybe more, and I’ve already done episode 16! I’m so happy about it, and I feel like I have my training at CalArts and my wonderful acting coach, Gloria Gifford, to thank. I had a series on Showtime years ago based on the Barber Shop movies and we shot one episode a week. We had a lot of time —and several takes! So, stepping [onto a soap] with two big-time actors, it’s definitely been a challenge, but one that was welcome.