Soap Opera Weekly: How would you describe working on GH?
Derk Cheetwood: It’s a lot like family. You show up and get to work with the same people day in, day out. [It’s] like the circus that never ends.
Weekly: You really do work with family — your cousin, Tyler Christopher (Nikolas). What is that like?
Cheetwood: Tyler and I own a house and live together in LA. We always laugh about how it came to be. What are the odds that we would work with each other on the same show? Once in a while we see each other — not very regularly, because [he’s] not usually crossing the mob. We have a hard time stopping laughing when we do work with each other.
Weekly: What would be your dream story and love interest for Max?
Cheetwood: Everyone kids around that Leticia and Max got together and have had some kind of mysterious affair. That’s the big joke on-set — Michael is Leticia and Max’s kid. No, my love interest would be Tyler Christopher. Max has always been sweet for Nikolas (laughs).
Weekly: You, Tyler, and Steve Burton (Jason) are all Ohioans. Did you two know him before?
Cheetwood: When Tyler ended up working on GH, we met Steve. Steve was from Cleveland. We’re all [Ohio State University] Buckeye fans. Small world! We became instant good friends. The first time that Steve and Tyler met, Tyler broke Steve’s nose playing golf — with his backswing! That was a heck of a first impression. We still laugh about it.
Weekly: It’s dangerous for a soap actor to break his nose.
Cheetwood: Exactly. Don’t damage the moneymaker. Steve was a good sport.
Weekly: Do you get a lot of fan response to Max?
Cheetwood: Surprisingly, yes. A few people are really excited that I work with Sonny (Maurice Benard). People are so intrigued with him and Jason that to be part of that circle is a big deal. Without [the fans] we would all be out of work. They’re very passionate. I’m thankful that they’re that interested. The thing about Max that people always say they like is the humor that I bring to him. I think the mob is dark, so I try to bring a vulnerability to Max and make him funny and kind of oafish.
Weekly: Do you have any survival tips?
Cheetwood: If anybody asks you to warm up the car, you toss the keys to somebody else. Immediately. And always wear a bulletproof vest.