Soap actors don't get much credit, but they do have the most rigorous acting schedule, so I've always thought they got a bad rap. They film at least one episode a day, with little to no rehearsal, and are asked to get it in one take.
James Franco (Spider-Man, Milk, TV's Freaks & Geeks), who in addition to starring in movies is pursuing dual master's degrees in writing and filmmaking at both Columbia and New York University, is now taking on the challenge of soap acting.
The actor reportedly phoned General Hospital and asked to be on the show. No dummies, they quickly obliged, and he'll be appearing in a handful of episodes spread out over two months beginning late November opposite two of GH's top stars, Steve Burton (Jason) and Kelly Monaco (Sam).
In other (shocking) casting news, Jonathan Jackson is returning to GH as Lucky Spencer. He grew up on the soap as the son of Luke & Laura and won three Daytime Emmy awards. He was once rumored to be the next Anakin Skywalker but the role went to Hayden Christensen instead. Sadly, this leaves the gorgeous Greg Vaughn out of a job (he and his wife are expecting their second child), but I can't imagine he'll be unemployed for long.
Sarah Brown is finishing up her storyline as Claudia on GH this November, but she'll be following in the footsteps of former co-star Rick Hearst (ex-Ric, GH) by going to The Bold and the Beautiful. Writer Bradley Bell has created a role for her. Let's hope she's paired up with Hearst!
And finally, The Young and the Restless appears to be without its biggest star -- at least for now. Eric Braeden (Victor) apparently couldn't come to an agreement regarding his contract and has left the soap. The same thing happened with Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki) and Jess Walton (Jill), but fortunately the two actresses returned after a brief absence. We can only hope the same happens with Braeden.