Actor Brad Maule admitted to Soaps In Depth he was a little bit nervous about bringing his much-loved alter ego, Tony, back to GENERAL HOSPITAL for his recent visit. “I shouldn’t have been after this many years,” he laughed, “but I had been gone so long, I was worried I would get up there and just panic and not know my lines!”
Having begun working as a lecturer at his alma mater, Stephen F. Austin State University, in Nacogdoches, TX, prior to exiting the soap, he now takes to that stage full time. “I’m teaching Acting For The Camera, Beginning Filmmaking and an introductory class into college life called SFA 101,” he revealed.
With more than 3,000 hours of television — including primetime as well as daytime’s GH, PORT CHARLES, THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS and PASSIONS to his credit — Maule has a host of experiences to draw from. One that he found particularly useful was from his early years playing Tony. “Before coming on set to do a scene, I always thought, ‘Okay, you’re gonna hit your mark, you’re gonna say these lines, then they’re gonna say these lines, and you’re gonna respond this way,’” he recalled. “And one day, I was like, ‘What would happen if you came out and actually listened and trusted yourself enough to go beyond just knowing your lines?’ And it was a revelation!” Maule now teaches his students that “letting the spirit enter you” leads to more natural performances.
While GH fans were unhappy to see Frisco’s upstanding brother become the kind of man who would have an affair with his wife’s daughter, the dark scenes associated with the fallout from that story were memorable. “Both Jacklyn Zeman (Bobbie) and Sarah Joy Brown (ex-Carly) are terrific. You never work with a net with good actors — you’re just out there flying,” Maule offered. “That was a wonderful time.”
Such memories were resurfacing for Maule even before his recent return because he’s been reconnecting with the cast at fan events. Reentering that world made him realize that viewers “absolutely know who Tony was to them.” But who was the character to Maule? “He was the shiny, bright good side of myself. Not the bad parts when he went crazy, but his overall character was what I would aspire to be.”
In truth, Maule is pretty darn happy with his current life in East Texas. Not only has he bought a house “deep in the Piney Woods,” but he’s also part of a historic community. “I do speeches as [Senator/Governor] Sam Houston in a country variety show called The Oldest Town In Texas Road Show about three times a year,” he shared. (You can catch it in San Augustine next June.) And “I write an article once a month for a little paper called Around The Town.”
In his free time, the talent who calls himself “kind of a left-handed person” also hosts shows and writes/produces screenplays. However, he still likes to act and will next turn up this winter in an episode of yA (the youth-oriented spin-off of THE BAY THE SERIES) as a teacher who finds himself in a dark emotional place.
As for any future returns to Port Charles, Maule would accept the invitation in a heartbeat (“I’d like to haunt everybody!”), although with a few restrictions. “Perfection would be if they called and said, ‘Brad, we don’t want you full time, but how about you come and spend the summer out here? Or your Christmas break?’ I’ve got a life here, but I’d love to tape two shows a year or something like that.
“It’s a significant part of my life,” he concluded. “I loved it then. I love it now. So it’s good to be back, even if it’s just one time.”
For more on your favorite GH stars — past and present — keep reading the ABC edition of Soaps In Depth magazine.
This story originally appeared in our print magazine