Evan Hofer, who made his GH debut as Dex in May, is having a blast playing Michael’s secret plant in Sonny’s organization.
A Kansas native, Hofer moved to L.A. “when I was about 14 or 15. My older sister was pursuing music and we moved out here so that I could pursue acting and she could pursue that. I got very fortunate and did some guest-star stuff and some recurring stuff on Disney when I was younger; I was on the Disney show KICKIN’ IT — I had long, swoopy hair and it was a lot of fun.” He lost the long locks (“I don’t think Frank [Valentini, executive producer] would approve that hair — and I really hope he wouldn’t want to!”), but stuck with the acting thing when his first-choice career didn’t work out. He teases, “I was going to be 6’5” and play in the NBA, and unfortunately that didn’t happen. So that’s how I ended up here!”
Before landing the role of Dex, Hofer reports, “I’d actually had a few auditions for some different soaps over the years and for some different roles on GENERAL HOSPITAL, and it just worked out this time. The stars aligned! And it’s been really cool to see all the people in my life who’ve come out of the woodwork and said, ‘I’m a huge fan of GH! I’ve been watching it for years!’ They’re so excited and they tell me stuff from the show that they remember from, like, 20 years ago when they started watching. I’m so grateful to our wonderful casting director, Mark Teschner. Because we’re still in the pandemic world of Zoom [auditions], I [booked this via] a self-tape, so I actually hadn’t met Mark in person. When I finally got to meet him probably a month-and-a-half ago, I thanked him so thoroughly.”
Hofer considers himself especially fortunate to have cut his Port Charles teeth in scenes with Maurice Benard (Sonny). “I am really grateful that so much of my stuff early on was with Mo,” he notes. “This is a new medium for me and I’ve been able to learn from him. Mo really took me under his wing on day one. I actually found out after I met him the first day we worked together that we’ve both worked with Frances Fisher [ex-Suzette, GUIDING LIGHT], who is a wonderful, spectacular actor that I learned a ton from when I worked with her a few years ago. She told me, ‘You’re working with Maurice! I know Maurice! We did a movie together [LUCY & DESI: BEFORE THE LAUGHTER]!’ It kind of became a great connection for Mo and me.”
When he began at GH, Hofer was in the dark that his character was in cahoots with Michael. “I really just knew that he wanted to work for Sonny,” Hofer recalls. “And then after my first week, Frank came up and told me he’s actually working for someone else and I was like, ‘Oh, okay, great, great. Well, I’ve got to start working on my double agent stuff!’ And that’s kind of how I’ve been learning about Dex — I get the script about six or seven days ahead of time, I start reading and going, ‘Oh, interesting! The plot thickens with Dex!’ Playing [the reveal of Dex’s involvement with Michael], my first instinct was that I had to create another layer for the character and kind of go,‘Okay, so we’ve seen what he’s like with the big boss, Sonny; what is he like with the guy who’d already hired him and is slightly more comfortable with?’ I wanted to show the fans that Dex was kind of full of it with Sonny, initially, and what his real motives are.”
Hofer says that working with Chad Duell (Michael) has also been a pleasure. “That’s been awesome,” he smiles. “It was so funny; the first day I walked in when we had our masks on, he goes, ‘Do we kind of look alike?’ I was like, ‘Oh, kind of!’ He’s been great. We always hang out in the GENERAL HOSPITAL hallways together. He’s a ton of fun and he kind of lightens the mood on set.” And even though Brando has been side-eyeing Dex, their portrayers get along great, as well. “Johnny [Wactor, Brando] is the nicest guy. He’s been so welcoming and just fantastic.”
While most newbies to the genre face a learning curve adjusting to the amount of dialogue soap work requires, “I’ve always been a quick memorizer. Since my first day memorizing for any audition, I’ve always run my lines with mom and still, to this day, every night before work, I run the stuff for the next day with her to make sure that I’m off book with it. I have a four-page monologue coming up and I memorized it in about 20 minutes. But sometimes I do get nervous!”
Reflecting on his GH experience thus far, Hofer enthuses, “It’s been really incredible. The pandemic was obviously really hard for a lot of people, and to be able to kind of start coming out of that and have work to go to every day with such wonderful people — the entire crew at the show is so fantastic and so lovely to be around, it just makes going to work every day a joy. During the pandemic, I had way too much free time to be sitting around, so I am more than happy to be doing all this work, to spend my weekends working on my scripts to make sure that I can do the best job possible for all the fans and for everybody else that puts in so much work on the show. I think as we move forward, we’re going to learn a lot more about Dex’s backstory — how he got here, why he is the way he is — and I’m excited for that, too.”