ICYMI: Chloe Lanier Is Thrilled To Be Stirring The Pot On GH

Credit: JPI

Chloe Lanier can trace her performing ambitions back to a very early age. “I’ve known I wanted to be an actor since I was 3,” says the native Texan. “I don’t even know how I would have known what an actor was at 3, but I just knew!” At 10, she began actively pursuing a theatrical career, doing plays and taking film classes. While in high school, she landed an agent in Dallas, “which actually has a pretty good film market and auditions for shows that shoot in New Mexico, Georgia — anywhere in the South, really. And I was lucky, because I booked one.”

The job in question was an arc on ARMY WIVES, which shot in South Carolina. “I felt so cool,” Lanier recalls, “because I had never traveled anywhere for a job before and it was a beautiful place to work.” The gig couldn’t have come at a better time for the recent high school grad. “I was going to go to college and major in theater at the University of Cincinnati, which has a really wonderful program. I went to the orientation and everything — and then two weeks before I was supposed to go, my loan was declined. So, I had the choice of either being in an insane amount of debt for just my first year of college, or I could wait another year and work and try and save up money to go to school. In the meantime, I booked ARMY WIVES.”

Making her TV debut was a bright spot during what she calls “the worst” time in her young life. Her dreams of college fading, “I was so depressed for like six months, but I felt like, ‘I have a choice. I can either just sit here and be upset and cry, or I can do something about it.’ ” She decided to stay local and focused on intensive acting classes, and after a year, made the move out to L.A. with the blessing of her parents. Dad was in commercial real estate and Mom works in child nutrition, “but they’ve always helped me. They came to every show I did and watch everything that I do. They’re a great support system.”

Once in California, Lanier hit the audition circuit, landing episodes of NCIS and STALKER and, in 2015, the memorable role of Young Pat on GH’s Luke-centric anniversary episode. But mostly, she paid the bills with a series of odd jobs. “I worked in an Umami Burger for, like, two years, which was honestly one of the worst jobs that I’ve ever had. I also did kid birthday parties, where rich kids would have their nails done and pet manicures, pedicures, massages, facials, all this stuff. These parents would spend, like, thousands of dollars on their 8-year old’s parties!” Only after she rejoined GH this summer with a contract did she quit her last day job, at Plan Check, another burger joint.

Lanier was aware of the positive buzz her appearance on GH had generated, both on set and among fans (“She blew our minds when she came in and played Young Patricia,” is how Laura Wright, Carly, puts it), and after it aired, auditioned for YOUNG AND RESTLESS. But she wasn’t counting on a return trip to daytime. “I booked KINGDOM and I was playing a heroin addict for a while, so that was kind of my focus for about four or five months,” she explains. “Then GH came back around, and they told me about this character.”

GENERAL HOSPITAL - The long awaited truth about what caused Luke's mental break will be revealed when it is discovered what happened at the Spencer childhood home that fateful night on April 1, 1963. Current actors Anthony Geary (Luke Spencer) will portray Luke's father Tim, and Laura Wright (Carly Jax) will portray Luke's mother Lena. Additionally, Joey Luthman will portray young "Luke/Bill" and young Pat will be portrayed by Chloe Lanier. GH14 (ABC/Rick Rowell)


She cops to some hesitation about signing on GH’s dotted line, concerned that she wouldn’t be available for other roles. Enter her boss-to-be: “Frank [Valentini, executive producer] called me personally and he pretty much convinced me to do it. And I’m very happy that he did! We were able to work out a deal where I’m able to do other work on my time off, which is exactly what I wanted, and I’m so thankful that they were cool enough to give me that option.”

So, in August, viewers were introduced to Nelle, ostensibly a down-on-her luck aspiring schoolteacher whose kidney had been snatched up on the black market to save Josslyn’s life. Pretty quickly, though, fans got the sense that Nelle wasn’t quite the sweetie-pie she purported to be — and by now, it’s patently obvious that she’s got it in for Carly, big-time. Lanier has enjoyed fan speculation about Nelle’s motives and identity. “I see people tweeting that I’m Anna Donely [Sean and Tiffany’s daughter] or something, and I’m like, ‘I really hope not, because nobody told me that!’ And I don’t think I’m Carly’s daughter, because I don’t think she’s the type of person that would just give up a child, especially because that’s what happened to her. There are so many theories that I hear on a daily basis where I’m like, ‘I don’t know if any of this is true — but it could be!’ ”

Eden McCoy, Chloe Lanier, Laura Wright "General Hospital" Set The Prospect Studios ABC Studios 07/28/16 © XJJOHNSON/ 310-657-9661 Episode # 13621 U.S. Airdate 08/16/16


The actress herself is (mostly) in the dark about what is driving Nelle. “I have a few ideas, and I have a few clues that have been relayed to me, but other than that I’ve just kind of had to go off of my gut,” she says. Case in point? Nelle’s early, here-comes-trouble glower while secretly observing a warm Sonny/Carly embrace chez Corinthos. “Oh, that was so creepy,” Lanier gasps. Pressed as to how she knew how to play that moment, given her limited knowledge of Nelle’s agenda, she shrugs, “It’s all kind of from the backstory they’ve given me and clues in the writing. You kind of just have to read between the text. A lot of it has been instinct, too.”

Good ones, to hear Wright tell it. “She is just so incredibly talented,” her on-screen target praises. “She’s such a professional and she is chomping at the bit to get to the [meat of the] story, which is great. She has the dynamics to do it and she is just 100 percent ready to go. I adore her and I’m so thrilled to tell the story we have coming. I know it’s going to be incredible.”

Lanier shares her enthusiasm. “I’m having a really, really fun time on the show and I’m learning a lot,” she notes. “It’s almost like improv, without having to come up with the words on your own, because you have to work so fast. I’m definitely growing a lot as an actor by doing this show and I’m very thankful.”

Her success at GH is all the sweeter because she worked her way there. “I wasn’t born into a showbiz family. I don’t have my parents’ name to ride on. All I have is my hard work and my talent. So, I’m so happy that I’ve had to struggle. Even after moving to L.A., I’ve struggled, and I’m so grateful for that because I’ve become a better actor because of it.”

Just The Facts

Birthday: November 3

Hails From: Dallas, TX

It’s Pat: GH fans have yet to spot her on the street
as Nelle, “but I’ve been recognized as Young Pat
a couple times.”

Must-See TV: “VICE PRINCIPALS and SOUTH PARK are my favorite shows.”

Spare Me: Lanier spends her free time “going to the gym, watching movies and hanging out with my friends and my boyfriend. We’ve been going to Disneyland a lot, which has been really fun.”

Poster Child: Her first step toward personalizing her dressing room was to hang posters of Jack Nicholson from The Shining and Steve Buscemi from BOARDWALK EMPIRE. “I’m a huge fan
of Martin Scorsese and Stanley Kubrick.”

Celebration Time: “I’m obsessed with Halloween. It’s my favorite holiday —
no, it’s my favorite thing in the world!”

Close To You: While the actress has no pets of her own, “My roommate has a Siberian husky named Orion and he’s really, really cute.”

Wright Direction: Lanier credits Laura Wright (Carly) with helping her acclimate to GH. “I love her. We’ve become pretty close. She’s just such a warm and open person, so funny and easy to talk to. I really appreciate her.”


Her dressing room is directly across from Maurice Benard’s (Sonny). “He told me that in the past, he would kind of try to intimidate new actors, but never did any of that to me. I guess he just liked me!”

Thus far in her celeb-spotting experience in Los Angeles, she has made a bit of a fool of herself in front of THE OFFICE’s Co-Creator Stephen Merchant (“I’m sure he thought I was crazy”) and THE MINDY PROJECT’s Adam Pally (“I freaked out”). “I’ve come across so-called Hollywood heartthrobs, like Colin Farrell, and been fine. But when I meet comedians, I lose my mind.”

Chloe Lanier and her actor beau of nearly three years, Morgan McClellan, with whom she lives, along with several other roommates, in West Hollywood, were brought together by their former day jobs — and their shared sense of humor. Explains the actress, “We actually met when I was working at a burger joint called Umami and he was working next door at a restaurant called Mexicali. They share a dishwashing area, so we met washing our hands after slinging burgers and tacos.” She was struck, at first, by his looks (“This is terrible, but the first thing I noticed is that he’s beautiful”), but his personality sealed the deal. “He’s really funny. He started showing me these videos of this John C. Reilly character [from the cult sketch comedy series TIM AND ERIC AWESOME SHOW, GREAT JOB!] called Dr. Steve Brule and I was like, ‘Oh, my God, we have the exact same sense of humor,’ because we both have really dark, twisted senses of humor. That’s what really drew me to him to begin with. He’s one of the weirdest, funniest, most talented people I could ever hope to meet, and he’s so giving and thoughtful and just a wonderful person. I’m really happy to be with him.”