Heavy Lifting With Rick Hearst

After GENERAL HOSPITAL’s Claudia poisoned Ric, Rick Hearst‘s problems were just beginning: The actor had to take quite a beating as the unconscious Ric became a pawn in Claudia’s game. Soap Opera Weekly: Was it difficult to shoot Ric’s unconscious body being hidden and dragged away by Johnny (Brandon Barash) and Maxie (Kirsten Storms)?
Rick Hearst: The funny thing was, poor Brandon had a herniated disc [already] — and here he’s got to lift my butt up off of the ground. And then you’ve got Kirsten, who’s like half-a-minute big, and she’s holding my feet. It makes for a good laugh.

Weekly: Could you help them?
Hearst: As much as I could. “Oh, guys, I wish I could help you, but I’m supposed to be dead weight here.” I’m trying to lift myself as best I can. It was our Weekend at Bernie’s moment.

Weekly: So camera angles were adjusted?
Hearst: Yeah. Otherwise, there was no way they could shoot it. Especially Kirsten — she couldn’t have picked me up and dragged me across the floor! So they shot from the waist up, and made it look like my body was completely resting on both of them. Brandon was literally bolstering me and having to drag me out.

Weekly: So playing lifeless is no walk in the park?
Hearst: No. You think, “Oh, just lay there,” but no. If they let go of you…. You’re still engaged in the scene physically, even though your body is supposed to be completely lethargic. So whenever one would let go, I would have to let them try to catch me. Hopefully catch me!

Weekly: Then you had to be unconscious in the car.
Hearst: They’re driving Ric to the hospital. I’m [positioned] between them, in the back seat, and they’re having an argument. And what happens — the driver rams on the brakes, so I go forward and fall right up against Maxie. And she’s like, “Get off of me! Get him off of me!” So it was kind of funny. The cameraman didn’t expect it. In rehearsal, when we got the cue, the car was supposed to lurch forward; I literally lurched right into the camera! He was laughing his butt off after that one.

Weekly: The week didn’t get any easier, from a physical standpoint, thanks to the fight with Johnny.
Hearst: We put in a punch. And, of course, every other scene we do [in] one take, but [for the punch], we have to do it five times. I’m snapping my head, and snapping my head, and snapping my head — it’s getting pretty sore [laughs]. And poor Brandon’s still got the back issue from having to carry me around, so we looked like two 60-year-old men walking around after this fight scene.

Weekly: Was it worth it?
Hearst: It came off pretty well.