Articles and Interviews
Rising- Tristan Rogers brings
Robert back to Port Charles (by Rosemary A.
Rossi, SID 2/28/06): The
six-week return of GH's Tristan Rogers (Robert)
has created quite a stir among fans. His stint
has only just begun, but they're already
clamoring for more. "I have an open mind
about it," Rogers grins. "But my first
priority is to do the best job I possibly can
for the next six weeks."
On a more personal note, stepping back into mythical Port Charles feels mighty good. "My first day back on the set, I stopped and looked around, and I said, 'You're home.' It all came back."
Tristan Rogers: In the early days, I was flattered that they'd want me back. As it went on, I became suspicious of it and thought it was being generated by a department somewhere in order to create interest for purposes other than my own. My cynical side came out. That's why I didn't take it very seriously when the offer came up before Christmas.
SID: Did the timing feel right for a return?
Rogers: When I sat down and thought about it, the character has been away for a long time, and I think there is a lot of momentum for him out there still. My wife watches the show from time to time, and she is the best barometer. As an individual in the industry, I'm not a good television watcher. I'm much too analytical and much too subjective. So I asked my wife what she thought. She said, "I think this is going to create quite a ripple." She said that the show is dark and that she really doesn't enjoy it a whole lot. So she thought it would be a good thing.
Rogers: He's much more abrasive. He doesn't suffer fools and idiots. He dismisses them. He's very focused on what he wants to get done, and anything else isn't all that important... and that includes his family. The audience is either going to like it or not like it. But it will create some controversy, and it will create conversation. I believe that's what the writers and producers want.
SID: The audience also wants to see the Scorpio family.
Rogers: I don't expect to see a whole lot happen within the six weeks. It will be wound up pretty quickly. Trying to anticipate the audience reaction, yeah, they're all going to watch it. That's the good thing. Whether they like it or not, I don't know. They're going to say, "Whatever happened to the old Robert?" Well, he's out there somewhere, but he's kind of buried right now. He's not that happy kind of person that he was when he left. But then again, Port Charles isn't a happy place either. It's a much darker place than it was. He comes back into this, and he's very comfortable within that darkness because that's the kind of life he's lived.
Rogers: When I turned my attention to GH, I [asked myself] why the show became the phenomenon that it did and then crashed and burned as quickly as it did. I discovered that it wasn't all about Luke and Laura. There was a whole flank of people that were engineering things. We had a unique story structure and a different sort of story management, which is not employed today. We were a very personality-type driven show. To bring a new person onto the show was a big deal. Now it's a weekly thing. Hence, people got to really associate with the characters. There were characters first, and the story came second, and the two merged together very, very well. I think there needs to be some introspection into what happened back then. Let's look at everything and go, "Hey, that can be made to apply today. And that doesn't work. But this here, we might be able to use that." Unless a show evolves, trust me, it will die out. Soap is doing to die if it keeps on this track.
SID: You, Rick Springfield (Noah) and Emma Samms (Holly) comebacks may be the catalyst for that change.
Rogers: We're opening a window of opportunity here. But unless they step in and aggressively seize the opportunity, it will pass.
The Demise of
Scorpio on GH (SOW or SOM?)
How Things Changed: Under the auspices of then executive producer Gloria Monty, GH brought daytime TV its first Australian character, Robert Scorpio, who became a popular figure in a matter of days. Played to perfection by newcomer Tristan Rogers, Scorpio was imbued with a suave and mysterious edge that made the audience stand up and take notice.
Unable to ignore the phenomenal popularity of the character- and actor Rogers- Monty scrapped her original plan to have Scorpio die on the Cassadine's island at the height of the Ice Princess saga. Further capitalizing on the wonderful chemistry between Rogers and Tony Geary (Luke), Monty chose to sacrifice the character of O'Reilly, who was the common denominator between them. As a result, Roger's position as GH's newest leading man was already secured by the time Geary left the show a short while later. Meanwhile, mystery men with appealing accents began popping up all over daytime in the wake of the frenzy Rogers had generated.
Billie Hayes (ex-O'Reilly) comments, 'I went right onto the show at the beginning of the Ice Princess story, but O'Reilly was only supposed to be on briefly. Then the character caught on, and they extended my appearances. After I left the show, I ran into Gloria and was curious why she would kill off a popular character like O'Reilly for no reason. Gloria said she had to have something powerful to bond Tristan and Tony, and I was it. Luke knew of the love Scorpio had for O'Reilly, so it made a bond between them,' she explains. 'Tony tried very hard to get me back on the show. And they kept telling me there were so many loopholes in O'Reilly's demise that it would be easy to bring me back, but it never came to be.'"
Tristan Rogers' Future With General Hospital (SOU, 9/24/90)
Tristan Rogers Wants
Everyone to Know: "I Don't Pick My Leading Ladies!" (either 1988-early 1989?)
Do you feel that your
character has changed over the years, as new writers come to the show?
Do you like him this way,
or would you like to see him change?
A few years ago, on an
episode of Cover Up, you played a villain. How was that different from playing
The show has never really
mentioned Robert's past life.
You've had plenty of
leading ladies in the past. Rumors always surface that you have something to do with
the fact of whether they stay or not. How do you feel about it?
Do you have any ultimate
goals as far as acting is concerned?
Reveals: The One Failure in My Life I've Yet to Overcome
One very interesting aspect of Robert is that he seems to have a hard time in the romance department. First he was with Tiffany, then Jackie, then Holly, then Autumn and most recently Cheryl. What happened with the Robert and Cheryl storyline? That really seemed like it was going to work.
Tristan: 'Well, I had no idea it was going to happen (Cheryl being written off). There's been a lot printed of late about how I've seemed to influence who's in my love life and who's not in my love life. As I would imagine, I'm probably going to cop a lot of flack, but believe me I had nothing to do with this. This came from out of left field. I was told one night, "We want you to read with these three girls," and I said, "Why? Well, one of them will be cast as your love interest." It came as a surprise to a lot of people. A lot of this I think is due to the new head writer, which quite frankly has been the only high point of what has otherwise been a totally lackluster, mediocre year.'
Do you think they'll ever resurrect Holly? After all, they never found her body in the plane crash did they?
Tristan: 'I don't think that matters. It's dead. It's finished. The public is sick of it. I think we've got to start to find new things. I think it's time we stopped living in the past and start to get on with the future. You can't bring Luke and Laura back. You can't bring Robert and Holly back. It's not going to work. I mean what we had going back then was a special time and it worked for that moment. Quite frankly, I don't want it to be known that the only thing I had going was when Robert and Holly were together. It seems to say, "Well, he can't do anything else." I'd like to think that I could go out and they could find someone else; let it be different. The aspect of daytime television which makes it exciting is that you create something different and not live in the past and do the same thing for six or seven years.'
Well, obviously you enjoy daytime television.
Tristan: 'I like it. I like the style. There's an immediacy about it that you don't get anywhere else. I see myself moving kind of out and about from General Hospital. I see myself doing other things. I still expect to have a contact with the show, however.'
Do you get the same kind of fan reaction in Australia as you do here in the States?
Tristan: 'No, fortunately I can walk around there in complete anonymity. They wouldn't give a damn. They're pretty blase about it back there. Even if I were to be recognized back in Australia, they're a lot more reluctant to come forward. They might look at you, but nobody would walk up and say anything to you. It is quite different.'
You said, 'Even if I were to be recognized.' You mean GH isn't as popular down under?
Tristan: 'Every state is different. It's not the same in two states. It's never on at the same place twice. They don't advertise it half the time and it's split up into half hours. It's a mess back there. They don't know how to deal with daytime televsion. But then a lot of other shows like Days of Our Lives, they treat a better. General Hospital gets shafted.
We've already discussed some of your professional goals; how about your personal goals. Is your life where you want it to be?
Tristan: 'Yeah, I think so. I'm not disappointed. I'd like to learn how to relax better. I flunked that earlier in life. Robert does it very well; Tristan is still trying to figure it out.'"
Rises from the Ashes... Burned out
when he left GH, Tristan Rogers is back- better than ever- and a new woman has
changed his life (by Alice Koenigsberg, Daytime TV
What made you come
What was your first
day back on the set like?
Is it different
being a guest star than a regular on GH?
Why did you leave
How did you spend
your 9-month vacation?
It sounds like you
had some wild times...
How did you meet?
Is marriage a
Will you tell us
your lady's name?
Tristan Rogers is back and
Scorpio is On the Loose and Looking for Love (Daytime TV 1987?)
No sooner had Gloria Monty hired Tristan Rogers to play dashing WSB agent, Robert Scorpio, than he became a heartthrob to millions of women. He had love affair after love affair, but until Holly Sutton came along, no one could really totally capture his heart. Their marriage and love affair (in that order) was one of the most popular in GH history. How does Rogers feel about his years on GH, his romance with "Holly", and the decision to kill her off?
When you first got to
America, was it difficult getting work?
Wasn't Scorpio suppose
to be just a short-term role in the beginning?
What was your reaction
to being paired with Emma Samms (Holly) in the beginning?
What did you do when
you left GH for the first time?
When you returned tot
he show, was it easy slipping back into the role of Scorpio?
Has GH been a
What do you do when
you're not working?
"sharing" that privacy with anyone these days?
How do you feel about
the decision to kill Holly off in a plane crash?
50 Fabulous Facts
about Tristan Rogers
1. His full name is really Tristan Rogers. With a perfect moniker like that, who needs a middle name?
2. Tristan was born in Melbourne, Australia on June 3, 1946.
3. He is an only child, who was doted on by his mother. ('My mother really spoiled me. I still don't pick my own clothes. You can always tell where I've been.')
4. As a student, Tristan left something to be desired. ('I was more interested in cars and music.')
5. Tristan described his decision to become an actor as 'a huge accident born out of laziness. Back in '64 I started a rock group with some friends. It only lasted three years, but I learned to love the good life so much that I knew a 9-5 job wasn't for me.'
6. His parents were vehemently opposed to his show business amibitions. 'They considered me a black sheep,' he says. 'My mother wanted me to be a doctor or lawyer. My father didn't speak to me when I decided to leave Australia for London to pursue acting.'
7. Tristan held several odd jobs before clicking as an actor. In London he was a deejay at Europe's largest disco, and in Los Angeles he was a bouncer at a nightclub.
8. His first show business break happened in Australia in 1966. 'Australian TV was only 10 years old then, and there was only one production office in town,' he recalls. 'I went into the filthy place and said, "I'd like a part." I was given two scripts to learn, and told to come back. The next day they sent me to the casting office, which was in the bowels of the earth. Then they sent me to wardrobe, and then I was given a contract and told to be on the set the next day at ten.'
9. The character of Robert Scorpio was created when former GH producer Gloria Monty was in Hawaii and met a self-made Australian millionaire. 'She loved his cavalier, soldier-of-fortune attitude and his sense of humor, so she filed it away,' says Tristan. 'When I tested for Scorpio, who was only supposed to be around for a week, she liked my interpretation and had a storyline written for me.'
10. Tristan is the first foreigner to make it big on a U.S. soap using his own accent. ('My accent suffered the abuses of local language. An Australian might accuse me of sounding decidely American.')
11. His pet peeve on the set is unprofession behavior. ('I'm professional, and I expect the same thing back. If someone is unprofessional in my scenes, I look for an opportune moment to embarrass them, hopefully, before the entire cast and crew.')
12. Since achieving stardom, Tristan has bemoaned his lack of privacy. He misses free time to tinker with cars, sail, surf, fish and play the drums and guitar.
13. The first luxury item Tristan bought after GH fattened his bank account was a top-of-the-line stereo system.
14. His favorite GH scene was the death of O'Reilly, who was played by Billie Hayes. ('We did our best work together that day.')
15. For a time, Tristan was romantically involved off-screen with Emma Samms, who played his TV wife, Holly. ('Now we're just friends.')
16. Kimberly McCullough, who plays his daughter, Robin, is his best friend on the show. ('Since I don't have any kids, Kimberly is my substitute little girl.')
17. Although he loves playing Scorpio, Tristan's dream role was played by Steve Railsback in The Stunt Man.
18. Tristan thinks Scorpio's best quality is his loyalty. ('He's also very reasonable unless pushed too far.')
19. Scorpio's worst quality is 'making awful coffee.'
20. Tristan admits to being a 'lazy actor. I've got to have someone pointing a gun at my head to really get the best from me.'
21. His favorite actor is James Garner.
22. Tristan's #1 actress is Jacqueline Bisset. ('I've always had a thing for her.')
23. When asked about his favorite film, Tristan quickly says, 'Any of the Star Wars movies. I love sure-fire, easy entertainment.'
24. Tristan's favorite rock group is still the Beatles. ('I'll never forget seeing them live and in person in Australia.')
25. Lots of Eric Clapton and blues are featured in Tristan's private record collection.
26. He gets around Hollywood in a 1970 black Mustang. ('I rebuilt it myself.')
27. There are no pets at Tristan's condominium. ('I love animals, but I don't have time to take care of them.')
28. When he does have some spare time, Tristan reads. He rarely watches TV.
29. The sport Tristan can't get enough of is race car driving.
30. What is Tristan's best virtue? 'My wit and comedic personality,' he claims.
31. His worse vice is pigging out on 'a really good hamburger. Food doesn't rate high on my list of priorities, but I do enjoy Cornish hens and garbage food.'
32. When Tristan pigs out, you can bet it's also with high quality ice cream. ('I can eat quarts of chocolate ice cream at one sitting.')
33. Tristan's most prized gift is a four-foot-high stuffed kangaroo, complete with pouch. He also loves the numerous toy koala bears his fans have sent him over the years.
34. How does he go incognito? 'When I don't want to be recognized, I put on sunglasses, but it never works.'
35. Tristan spends his time away from the studio relaxing, working out, doing public appearances, and serving as vice president of the American Cinema Awards. 'We organize fundraisers for the scholarships we give to aspiring young actors,' he says.
36. His favorite vacation spot is Hawaii. ('I love the sun and surf.')
37. Tristan's numero uno color is red.
38. He loves casual clothes, like warm-ups and jeans. He hates suits and ties, because he values comfort first. ('When I moved here from Australia in '78, I brought only one tie.')
39. At some point in the future, he'd like to star in his own primetime series, playing a Magnum P.I. or MacGyver type.
40. Although he is not a U.S. citizen, Tristan is 'thinking about it. You have to be here seven years from the day you get your green card, and I've got a few more months to go.'
41. Because of his difficult first marriage, Tristan has no plans to marry a second time: 'Marriage is not even in my vocabulary. I did it and screwed up. Why spoil a good relationship by getting married?'
42. Tristan, who recently broke up with a teacher, is currently playing the field.
43. Fatherhood may not be high on Tristan's list of priorities, but he does love children. ('If I visit a friend who had kids, you'll find me in the corner with them and their toys. I'm a child at heart.')
44. His pet peeve is lights burning in an empty room. ('I even walk around the studio turning off the lights.')
45. 'Few people know I have a quick temper,' he says. 'But as soon as it's over, it's gone- unless someone really screws me about. Then, I don't forget.'
46. Tristan is a list maker. 'I've come to realize the limits of my brain, so I'm learning to live with an I.Q. of 15,' he laughs.
47. Most of Tristan's friends are not in show business. ('I hate industry talk and gossip.')
48. How does he stay in shape? 'I go to the gym at least twice a week,' he explains. 'My weight has never been a problem. I weight about 160 and I'm 6'1".'
49. Tristan is handy around the house. ('I've always been good with my hands. I've done most of the remodeling on my condo.')
50. He lists the major benefit of his success as 'the appreciation I get from my fans.'"
Tristan Rogers Recharges His Career Batteries On GH (by David Church, Soap Opera Digest
DC: Are you excited with what's going on with the show right now?
TR: You know more about the show than I do. I haven't seen it since I left.
DC: Why did you decide to return to GH?
TR: I've got a lot of projects coming up at the first of the year and my agent suggested that a brief stint on GH [ed. note: 12 weeks] might be the best and quickest way for me to get my act together. He's right. You get so much dumped on you that you've got to sink or swim.
DC: But wasn't the whole point of leaving the show originally to take advantage of all the other offers that had come your way?
TR: I had a lot offers after I left the show, but I elected to keep myself out of the market until I found what I wanted. Unfortunately, I didn't find it this year. I did do the season opener of HOTEL which was a lot of fun to do.
DC: Is this another unfortunate case of a daytime star who hasn't been able to make the transition to prime timeor features?
TR: I know there are going to be a few people out there who'll be dying to misinterpret the fact that I'm going back to GH. My lack of work outside GH has nothing to do with the fact that I'm a soap star or that soap stars don't cross over. There was plenty of work to be done. The problem was in finding a piece of work that would enhance my career and give me a step up. Everything else would have been a step down or a step sideways and I wanted to avoid that.
DC: When the right project comes along, what will it be?
TR: I know I'm going to be cast in an image similar to Scorpio and that's all right because I can live with that- for a while. The problem is that I had the opportunity of doing a multi-dimensional character on GH but that opportunity is much harder to find on prime time because there are so many car chases and gun fights that there's not much room for an actor to be an actor. In fact, I've sat down and started working on some ideas of my own where I can get back into acting. I don't want to do a show where I have a machine or everything's special effects.
DC: Did the pressures of the show contribute to your divorce from your wife, Barbara?
TR: I'll make one comment on my divorce and it's that it would be very easy for me to blame Hollywood for the downfall of my marriage but I won't do that. Work was possibly a factor, but it wasn't the factor. There were other personal aspects that came into play.
DC: Are the two of you still friends?
TR: Unfortunately, Barbara and I don't see each other all that often.
DC: You developed quiet a reputation as a ladies' man.
TR: I moved around a bit. Yes, I was out playing the field for a while. Then I got bored with it. It's not my way. I'm not a person who needs to have a different date every night. That's not where I'm at. I'm interested in having one person who I can get to know and who can get to know me (a long pause and a big smile.) And then tolerate me.
DC: If you believe what you read, one would surmise that, for a time, that person was Emma Samms. What happened?
TR: It was never Tristan and Emma. It was always Holly and Robert. People couldn't differentiate that we were two different people apart from the characters. We would go out to the most obscure restaurant, drive for an hour and a half to get there, three cars parked in front of the place, two-thirds deserted, go to the nearest dark corner and... sure enought! They'd find you. In the end, we just couldn't go out anywhere. But what really tore the whole thing asunder was that we didn't have anything in common, except GH. And once you took the show away, there wasn't anything left. It's like having a shipboard romance. While you're on the water, it's great. But the minute that boat docks, it's bye, bye baby.
DC: Are you seeing someone now?
TR: Yes. For four months. She doesn't live in town. She's not in show business. And she isn't impressed with the whole idea of 'Robert Scorpio' in the slightest. Although I think she was a bit taken aback when she saw the reaction fans can have to me. We were in New York recently and she got a firsthand example of what it's like to be with someone who gets recognized. At first she wasn't sure if she wanted to become involved in that kind of thing, but I think she's rationalized the situation to the point of, 'If he's an actor and that's his job, then that's his job.' She adapting to it pretty well.
DC: During your time away from the show, what is the one thing you've missed the most?
TR: The camaraderie. I've got a lot of friends in front of and behind the cameras. My big thing is to talk to the cameraman, hang out in the prop room. Get down with the people. (A concluding smile.) Not people like me but, you know, real people."