Chad Duell not only stepped into the role of GENERAL HOSPITAL’s Michael Corinthos III at a crucial point in an ongoing story, he took over just in time to take the character to prison. Duell opens up about the challenges of a story that has been spiraling into a very dark place.Soap Opera Weekly: What was your reaction when the-powers-that-be told you what was going to happen to Michael in prison?
Chad Duell: I found out early, and I was looking forward to it — especially when I heard Jason would come into the cell with Michael. I saw the great storyline. I was excited to get into that environment, especially when Jason started teaching Michael how to fight. I saw it as a great challenge that would be exciting as an actor. It’s a very tough time that Michael’s going through.
Weekly: This storyline feels like something from the HBO series OZ, doesn’t it?
Duell: Yeah, that’s what a lot of people are referencing. That’s what happens in prison a lot of the time — especially if someone is young; they’re gonna be attacked. That’s what happens. It’s real.
Weekly: Is it difficult for you as an actor to go to the mental place your character has to go for this story?
Duell: Yeah, it was difficult. It made me feel uncomfortable. After [shooting] takes, you’re like, “Okay, I feel really gross right now.” You put yourself there, where this creepy dude’s backing you into a corner and you know he’s a dangerous criminal; you can’t really fight him off. You know he’s a killer; he’s a cold-blooded guy. Michael doesn’t have a chance against that guy; he can do whatever. After takes, I was telling everybody, “I don’t feel very good right now.” You get into the character and it’s pretty uncomfortable, but also challenging, like I said.
Weekly: Can you leave that at the studio, or do the emotions follow you home?
Duell: I feel a bit afterward, but I don’t carry it home. I try not to do that; I just wind down when I get home. I don’t want to have that haunting me.