Although GENERAL HOSPITAL’s Brad has come a long way from the remorseless conniver that he once was — especially since falling for Lucas — his part in Nelle’s baby swap has him once again scrambling to keep it a secret. We might argue that he’s become another of the scheme queen’s victims, but not everyone see it — or the character — that way. “There are still plenty of people who find him despicable,” portrayer Parry Shen admitted to Soaps In Depth. “Online, I always see him called ‘Brad the weasel.’
“But,” he added, “he’s been around long enough that he also has a fan base that understands at least why he does what he does. There’s a percentage of people who’ve seen his heart. They know he’s very impulsive and easily swayed emotionally. He loves Lucas, and in his way, he’s trying to do what’s best for his family. But yeah, I was just in a restaurant a couple of months ago and a lady yelled at me to give back the baby!”
Though Brad’s felt the walls closing in on him since he decided to keep Nelle and Michael’s baby as his and Lucas’, the story has opened up Shen’s world on the show. Now, for instance, his alter ego gets to bond with father-in-law Julian. “Brad appreciates that he has someone to sound off to, and William deVry is great,” the actor raved. “The scene where I first unloaded on Julian was a heavy day. Wil called the evening before and asked if I wanted to run lines. ‘Oh my gosh, thank you!’”
Shen has also gotten to work more with Chad Duell, who broke his heart as Michael was mourning baby Jonah. “I was like, ‘Oh my God, stop being so good!’” Shen recalls. “It made me feel horrible. [But] Chad’s goofy, so every time before we roll, he’ll say things like, ‘Wait a second... this kid kind of looks like me!’” Shen was especially excited to see Willow show up in his scripts. “What’s funny is [portrayer Katelyn MacMullen] was born the exact day I came out to L.A. — so I’ve been acting for as long as she’s been alive,” he marveled. “It’s a cool full-circle thing. And it’s just fun to work with someone who is at the start of her career and doing such a great job.”
Amid the baby-swap madness, Shen and on-screen hubby Ryan Carnes (Lucas) are getting to play a happy modern family that even served as a positive example to little Aiden. “It’s always nice to see people just hang out with no heavy plot, share a nice human connection and help each other,” Shen says. “Moments like that are always nice surprises, and it’s a nice change of pace to work with something that’s realistic. And after Brad and Lucas helped Elizabeth, we got a lot of interactions on social media. An educator from Africa said she was able to educate some of her formerly closed-minded students after seeing the episode. That’s awesome to hear.”
While Shen is a straight married man, he says that playing Brad’s love for Lucas is “very simple. It helps that Ryan and I are on the same page in that we believe love is universal. It also helps that we like each other! So we just amp that up.” That said, the guys have worked at finding and maintaining their on-screen chemistry. “Ryan’s been my guy for six years now,” Shen notes. “We were thrown together real quickly, so we had to get to know each other very quickly. And to be responsible [in our portrayal of] a gay couple, we had to make sure the connection was there. Usually at GH, we work on scenes a couple of hours before we roll, but until we got into a good rhythm, Ryan and I would work days beforehand to be ready. And that’s still how we work a lot.”
For more on your favorite GH stars, keep reading the ABC edition of Soaps In Depth magazine.
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