As the daughter of serial killer Ryan Chamberlain (Jon Lindstrom), General Hospital’s Esme (Avery Pohl) comes by her troublemaking tendencies naturally. The actress spoke about Esme and Ryan's bond and working with Lindstrom in an interview with Soap Opera Digest.
How did the teen star find out about Esme's biological daddy being a notorious Port Charles murderer? Pohl explained:
When I shot Esme’s first visit to Spring Ridge, where she has scenes with Alexis [Nancy Lee Grahn] talking about Ryan’s condition, I remember reading those scripts — and I had no context for anything, this was within my first 10 episodes of the show — and going, ‘I kind of feel like this guy is my dad!’ I believe it was Gary [Tomlin] who was directing that day, and when we were blocking, I was like, ‘Hey, is he my dad?’ And he said, ‘I don’t know, I’ll get back to you on that.’ So, he tried to find me before rehearsal but it didn’t work out, so literally right before taping, he goes, ‘Oh, Avery, by the way, yeah, that is your dad.’ So I was like, ‘Okay!’ Those scenes were really fun to do, but I was kind of flying by the seat of my pants! I was like, ‘Okay, that changes things!’
Pohl and Lindstrom played the scenes where Esme's paternity was revealed in a masterfully creepy fashion. Pohl mused:
The biggest thing Jon and I wanted to do was make the audience second-guess everything — and I think we’re doing okay with that! I did end up watching them, and I was like, ‘Oh. Wow.’ Jon was fantastic, and before [we shot them] we got some information on what our characters’ history was because I felt it was beneficial for us to be on the same page. On set, it was very interesting to do. I heard the director go, ‘Avery, can you, like, caress his hand a little more?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, sure,’ and at one point, Jon and I were like, ‘Okay, everybody, we need to get it out of the way, so on 3, we’re going to say, “1, 2, 3. Ewwww.” ’ I was literally sweating while I was filming them!
They are naturally make-your-skin-crawl scenes, and we switched some things around so that you got the reveal that he could walk at the end of the scene, which I think really added to the moment of him saying, ‘My beautiful, gifted daughter.’ And Jon is just hysterical, so every scene with him, I kind of have to try not to laugh. He’s a super-nice dude, and I think we made those scenes as comfortable as we could, but they were very interesting things to have to film, and a very questionable relationship to portray — to say the least!