Dr. Mayes, GH’s bedside manner-lacking but entertaining neurologist, just became the latest victim in the streak of hospital murders. His portrayer, Matt Riedy, spoke to Soap Opera Digest about the end of his run — and for more, check out the new issue, on sale Friday!
Soap Opera Digest: I’m bummed that we’re losing the character. I thought there might be a little something brewing between him and Monica!
Matt Riedy: I was open to anything!
Digest: Did you find out Mayes was dying by reading it in the script, or did you get a heads-up from Executive Producer Frank Valentini?
Riedy: Frank told me in a little aside that we had in the second to last episode we were doing, so I had a warning before going in. We had a nice exchange and I told him how thankful I was for the gift [of the role].
Digest: How would you sum up your GH experience?
Riedy: Like I said, as a gift. It was fantastic. My mother watched the show, so I remember the Luke and Laura days, the Steve and Jessie and Audrey days. And the guest cast that is coming through the show is phenomenal. It really pays tribute to how good the show and the actors are that you get so many great guest stars coming through, and I’m not including myself in that group.
Digest: Are you thinking of Robin Riker (Naomi)? She mentioned that she ran into you on set and that you’d done a project together.
Riedy: Yes! We did a [TV] movie called HOLLY’S HOLIDAY that had Claire Coffee [ex-Nadine] in it and Ryan McPartlin [Kyle, DEVIOUS MAIDS; ex-Hank, PASSIONS] and we played Ryan’s parents. Robin’s talent goes deep, deep, deep, from drama to comedy. She is so free and expressive and ready to play. We had a terrific experience on that film and her first day of work at GENERAL HOSPITAL, we crashed into each other! We just sort of saw each other and our eyes went wide like saucers, like, “Oh, my God, I can’t believe you’re here!” It was a lovely experience to run into her and I have been watching her work. She’s a very nice addition.
Digest: I have to admit, you play such a convincing curmudgeon that I was a little intimidated to talk to you!
Riedy: It’s funny. People ask, “What do you usually play?” And I say, “Cops, doctors, lawyers, businesspeople, people in charge,” and they always go, “Yeah, I can see that!” I really don’t see it in myself so much, but from the outside, apparently there’s something about me that lends itself to those characters, and I love that. It’s great fun to be the guy in charge in the room.
Digest: Did you ever come up with your own theory as to why the character was so gruff?
Riedy: My thought is that his wife died and for her, not a moment too soon, because I didn’t make life at home too pleasant. And there’s a little bit of a drinking history and I have a daughter who I’m estranged from so my life is sort of bitter because I’m such a control freak.
Digest: Have you been recognized by GH fans — and if so, did they quake in fear?
Riedy: Once or twice. Not quaked in fear, but the eyes get kind of wide, like, “It’s that guy!”
Digest: Would you be open to reprising Mayes, or returning in some other soapy way, like as a twin?
Riedy: Absolutely. Having the opportunity to work with these people and — working! I want to work and they’re a great bunch and I’m thankful for it. So, at the drop of a hat, I would be back.