ARTICLES and PHOTOS
from MATTHEW'S GH ERA
ASHFORD CHECKS INTO GH
a surprising move, former DAYS OF OUR LIVES star Matthew Ashford
(ex-Jack) will join GENERAL HOSPITAL in the recurring role of Tomy
February 17. The move reunites Ashford with fellow Salem refugees
Mary Beth Evans (ex-Kyla, now Katherine, Wallace Kurth (ex-Justin,
now Ned) and Lynn Herring (ex-Lisanne, now Lucy).
they started talking about the character of Tom coming back,"
GH Casting Director Mark Teschner explains, "I started thinking
about Matt. I knew him from his work on DAYS. We needed someone
who would be believable in the role of Tom, yet the kind of actor
who could immediately make the role his own and take it in some
exciting directions." Enter Ashford.
....Tom's current story was originally slated to last two days,
but when Ashford's name came up the brass got so excited they started
to expand Tom's story.
Soap vet Ashford (who got his start playing Drew on ONE LIFE TO
LIVE) won the part without reading for it.
Now that Ashford has been cast, immediate plans call for Tom to
confront his wife, Simone (Felecia Bell), about her growing relationship
with Justus (Joseph C. Philips), and to consider staying in Port
Charles for good this time. The character's long story has not been
unveiled -- yet.
Did Ashford's enormous popularity have anything to do with is cast?
"People here are aware of Matt's following," admits Teschner,
"but this decision was predicated on finding the most interesting,
compelling actor for the role. A good actor is a good actor,"
he states simply.
Tom Hardy: GH
Predecesssor: David Wallace:
[In this issue of SOW the editors grade the recasts]
Tom is Audrey's son who was adopted and
raised by Steve. (Dr. Tom Baldwin raped Audrey during
her brief estrangement from Steve.) He received -- but
ignored -- harsh criticism and prejudice when he fell
in love with Simone and they decided to marry. Although
he was practicing psychiatry at General Hospital, Tom
volunteered for a medical mission in Somalia, leaving
behind Simone andtheir young son, Tommy. Last winter
Tom returned from Africa and tried to persuade Simone
to accompany him back. She refused and asked Tom for
a divorce; he grudgingly agreed and then returned to
Africa. In early June, Tom came home again unexpectedly
to resume his life in Port Charles. Simone, now in love
with Justus, still wants a divorce.
Except for the name and backstory, Ashford
hardly qualifies as a replacement: His Tom is for all
intents and purposes a new character.... Ashford brings
his own well-established bag of tricks to Port Charles:
boyish charm and a mischievous twinkle in his eye, which
play into Tom's newfound edge and ambiguity. One cannot
always tell what is going on in Tom's head simply by
reading his body language -- and it is precisely that
ambivalence that has made him a force to be reckoned
(Tom) isn't too worried about what his 3-year-old daughter
thinks about the recentlove scenes between Tom and Felicia
-- she just doesn't care. "I was trying to watch
the show one day while Grace was hanging on my arm,"
explains Matthew. "She wasn't interested in atching
-- she was trying to climb on my arm. She was more interested
in in my being a tree, and I was actually having more
trouble watching than she was climbing. At that age,
she doesn't want any attention taken away from her,
" Matthew adds. "She knows what I do, but
every now and then she can't quite figure out what I'm
doing there on TV when I'm also in front of her. /I
say, 'That's a very deep philosophical question -- we're
all still trying to work that out ourselves,'"
Dr. Tom Hardy (GH)
As the son of Dr. Steve,
it was no surprise that Tom was a wonderful psychiatrist,
well on his way to becoming head of his department.
Then, he ran off to Africa, leaving his wife, Simone,
and their son, Tommy, behind. When he finally returned
two years later, everything had changed. He'd been replaced
byJustus at home and Kevin at work. Now facing trouble
with a new love Felicia, and trying to deal withhis
father's death, Tom could use a little therapy himself.
Tom and Felicia
Matthew and Grace