INTERVIEW

Meet GH's Avery Pohl

Daytime newcomer Avery Pohl is thrilled to have landed the role of Port Charles’s newest bad girl, Esme Prince. The Florida native reports, “I had never had a soap opera audition until quarantine, and then I had two, one of which my friend Madison Thompson ended up booking [the role of Y&R’s Jordan]. I think GENERAL HOSPITAL was my third soap audition ever, so I am very new to the world of the soaps; I had never even watched an episode of one. At first, it was a little overwhelming, but I’m definitely getting into the swing of things and I’m having such a fun time.”

Pohl submitted her first audition via tape, then was called back to read. “That was my first in-person audition post-Covid, so I was a little nervous,” she recalls. “I think everybody in that waiting room was!” Two hours after she finished, “I got a call that I was going to [screen-] test. I was like, ‘Oh, fantastic, cool!’ Testing for the soap was different from the testing experiences I’d had in the past. You actually get to be on set, you get your hair and your makeup done, you test opposite a character who is already established on the show. I tested with Eden McCoy [Josslyn] and she is such a sweetheart.”

Luckily for Pohl, she had a secret weapon to help her prepare. “My dad is a dentist and has no time for the entertainment industry whatsoever, but he was like, ‘You should talk to my friend Rodney Van Johnson [ex- T.C., PASSIONS et al],’ who he was on the track team with at the University of Cincinnati. So I texted Uncle Rodney and said, ‘I’m going in for a soap, I don’t know the world at all, is there any way you could help me?’ He said, ‘Yes! I’ll meet you tomorrow at this park and I’ll explain everything.’ So he went over my script with me and told me how soaps shoot and gave me some technical notes that were really valuable. He definitely eased a lot of my nerves going in because when I actually got to set, I knew what to expect. Eden was so great to work with immediately and we just had some very fun banter and chemistry right off the bat.”

Her first day on the job, she got to share scenes with GH legend Genie Francis (Laura). “Nick [Chavez, Spencer] was telling me, ‘She’s Laura, from Luke and Laura.’ I was like, ‘How do I know those names?’ And then I realized, ‘Oh, it’s only the biggest soap opera moment ever!’ So, that was super-cool, and Genie is such a sweetheart.”

The actress feels like she’s struck gold with her troublemaking alter ego, noting, “When I was given the initial character breakdown, I was told, ‘She’s charming and intelligent on the outside, and cool and menacing underneath.’ I think that ties everything about Esme up in a nice little bow! We’ll see more about her backstory as we continue to film, but she’s definitely one to watch out for. I don’t think anyone should trust her, ever. She is just so fun to play! I enjoy every second of it. I’m so happy with where I am at the moment. I love everybody I work with and it’s just really a great place to be.”

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