Articles and Interviews
Ryan Stops Felicia's Wedding- Talk about a Mac Attack! (by Carolyn Hinsey, SOD 3/15/94)
It's hard enough to shoot a soap opera wedding under normal circumstances. GH had to film Mac and Felicia's wedding (which was broken up by Kevin/Ryan and ended up with Jenny and Paul tying the knot) the week of the California earthquake. Costumes and sets were in disarray, there was major damage to the studio, and jittery workers were commuting on unfamiliar routes around broken highways.
"Luckily, we didn't have the church set up when the earthquake happened," sighs GH's supervising Producer Shelley Curtis. She had the unenviable job of reworking the entire GH shooting schedule to accomodate sets that needed repair and employees who needed to tend to their homes and families. "We were trying to shorten the days because there was so much cleaning up," Curtis explains. "Brad Maule's [Tony] whole roof had collapsed. June Lockhart's [Maria] house was condemned. Some people were living in tents in their backyards! We finally got back on our feet on Wednesday of that week [the quake was Monday, Jan. 17] and shot the wedding Friday and Saturday."
"Most people brought their kids to the set: Kristina [Wagner, Felicia], Lynn [Herring, Lucy], Jackie [Zeman, Bobbie]. it was a plethora of nannies and children." These were tough days. "People didn't want to be on stage because of the heavy lights. I'm fearful of that even when there's not an earthquake."
Part of this ceremony's difficulty stemmed from Jon Lindstrom's dual role- Kevin broke up the wedding, while Ryan tried to blow everybody up. "This wedding would have been tough to shoot anyway," Curtis confirms, "because we had to film Ryan's side, and then Kevin's side of it. We were doing every scene twice." Add a 6.6 jolt on the Richter scale, and it became nearly impossible. "I changed the schedule on Friday because people were just too rattled. [Filming was originally planned to go until midnight.] We worked Saturday until 8 p.m. and I dropped Jenny and Paul's scenes from that night and shot them a week later."
"My call time was 6:30 a.m., and I was out of there at 8:30 that night," chuckles Steve Burton (Jason). "I had two lines. The good thing is, I had no trouble memorizing them."
For Cheryl Richardson, the wedding was especially tough. Her character, Jenny, took up the slack left by Felicia and Mac's departure for the hospital, and married Paul (Paul Satterfield, Jr.) in a surprise ceremony. The newlyweds left Port Charles- and the actors left the show- immediately afterward. "When I read this storyline, it seemed so preposterous to me," Richardson confides. "Our characters waited so long to be together, and then went through this horrible diaster. [Jenny thought Paul was dead when he exited the church with Ryan's bomb.] It was weird because we had just had a disaster in real life, too. You see your life flash before your eyes. And then you're going to ask someone else's wedding guests to stay and be your wedding guests? And wear someone else's dress? I felt like a turkey."
Richardson actually donned the same dress that Wagner had sported in earlier scenes, and reveals that GH didn't even dry clean it because they were afraid the dryed lace would change color. "It was smushed with dirt, but it fit," she laughs. Richardson adds that she was wrong about her character's sudden wedding- the scenes worked. "When we were taping, everybody knew I felt stupid about this, so they ad-libbed, 'Come on, Jenny. Do it! Do it!" Their urging made it work. That's part of why I love these people. I'll really miss them."