Earlier this week I interviewed James Franco about ‘General Hospital’s July 22nd special location episode at MOCA. I also had the opportunity to speak with Dominic Zamprogna (Dante) about his take on the location shoot, and whether Dante and Lulu’s (Julie Berman) relationship will be able to withstand a two prong assault from a scheming Brooklyn (Adrianne Leon) and the stress of being Michael’s (Chad Duell) guardian.
What’s Dante doing at this art exhibition?
He’s looking for Franco. This is where he’s supposedly tried to drag us, so we’re here looking for him.
What do you think of this whole location shoot and the various “layers of art” that are involved?
I think it’s pretty cool what they’ve done. They’ve really brought this thing to life. I think it’s going to get a little crazy here.
How does this compare to the primetime location shoots you’ve done, like when you were on ‘Battlestar Gallactica‘?
It seems the same because this is a bunch of equipment and crew members. The difference here is we created this whole storyline with the whole recreation of the sets which I think is pretty amazing, what they’ve done.
Do you like shooting on location?
If that’s what we were about, sure. If we had a balance of location and studio, that’s what it would be. But we don’t, so it’s kind of a different feeling from a show you do all on location. We’re a pretty well oiled machine when we’re at our studio. I think we do great on location, too. We’ve got an amazing crew. It’s costly to do locations and it’s not really what our show is about.
In your opinion, are soap operas an art form?
I think what we all do is an art form, so yes, if you look at it that way. I’m one of those actors who never considered himself much of an artist, so I’m probably the opposite of someone like James. I look at anything we do with this nowadays as art because if you’re working on your craft, and that craft is acting, and you’re doing it for a living, then that is art. It’s a job, like any job would be. If you’re a painter, you get paid for your artwork, you’re still doing a job.It just happens to be an artistic job.
What has it been like working with James Franco?
I haven’t really worked a lot with him. I’ve kind of been hunting him down the whole time so I haven’t really had a chance to have a scene with him but we’d been around on set a lot together. He’s a good guy. He’s a gentleman. He’s here to work. He’s here to see his vision come to fruition. It’s exciting.
Catch a Clip of James Franco on ‘General Hospital’:
Is it strange that he’s getting all this attention for doing what you and the rest of the ‘General Hospital’ cast do every single day?
I think it’s natural. He’s James Franco. He’s going to get a lot of attention.
Do you have any hobbies or interests you’d like to see the show incorporate into Dante’s character?
None whatsoever. I like the break between me and my character. I think it’s kind of an interesting balance and I like that separation. Maybe at some point in your life you’d like to do something like he’s doing and incorporate a little more of who he is into his art but I’m not at that stage. I don’t know if anyone’s going to pay to hear me play the drums anyway.
Brooklyn’s trying hard to get Dante to see her as more than a friend. Is he starting to get tempted?
I don’t know if he is because he’s so into Lulu. He sees her as this friend, like a sister. She’s hot,and he knows that, but he can’t try and work he, especially with the relationship he’s got with Lulu. He’s a one woman kind of guy. I think in the earlier stages of their relationship if they hadn’t been as in love as they are now, if this had happened then, maybe something different might have gone down. At this point, no.
Dante’s now Michael’s legal guardian. How is having to be a sort of father figure to a brother he barely knows affecting him?
He doesn’t think of himself as a father. I think the biggest thing for him is not to be that kind of controlling person in this situation where putting him in his house was the only way he could get him out. He’s going to try and make sure he doesn’t f— it up, but he’s not going to try and parent him. The key to him having a future brotherly love and trust with this kid is to not smother him and not try and control his life.
Is Sonny going to keep attempting to force his way into Dante’s life and ignoring the court order that bars him from seeing Michael?
Yeah. Dante has to realize that Sonny’s a father and he’s so adamant about loving his kids and being a father that he’s not seeing a couple things that are standing in his way. I don’t think you’re going to see a lot of confrontational things. You’re going to see maybe them hashing it out which might lead to more of a relationship between the two. You never know.
Will Michael’s presence kill the romance for Lulu and Dante?
The romance is going good but they’re going to have continuous interruptions from him. Because of all this stuff happening [with Franco], there’s going to be a few times where Michael might be walking around in the shadows and mistaken for someone else and that could pose a bit of a crisis to people’s health,too.