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Michael E. Knight Dishes His Future at GENERAL HOSPITAL (EXCLUSIVE)

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For daytime legend Michael E. Knight, joining GENERAL HOSPITAL as Martin is like entering a whole new world… one in which he knows just about everyone! “It’s kind of strange but wonderful,” the soap vet grinned to Soaps In Depth. “This is a really small business.”

The actor, who earned three Daytime Emmys for playing ALL MY CHILDREN’s Tad “The Cad” Martin from 1982 to 2011, revealed that his life has been “quiet” since he wrapped his run as THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS’ Dr. Simon Neville in 2016. Before joining GH last month, he was hanging with his dog, visiting his parents in Massachusetts and practicing his craft. “I’m part of an acting lab with Rebecca Budig (Hayden),” he said. “And Leigh Kilton Smith is one of the best teachers I’ve ever had! So I keep my hand in it. But I’m definitely of an age where things have slowed down. Work is hard to come by. I don’t mind that. As a matter of fact, I look at what they do on GH now, and I don’t know if I can keep up. They work hard!”

That said, Knight was thrilled when showrunner Frank Valentini was willing and able to find him a place in Port Charles — and he points to the daytime community for allowing that to happen. “The fact that at my age, I can go, ‘Frank, can you use me?’ and he would even consider it?” he marveled. “You can never underestimate the soap audience. If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t stand a chance. I could hug each and every one of you!”

All My Children Reese Bianca wedding

“Tamara Braun (Kim), who played AMC’s Reese, is just insanely good,” raved the soap-hopper. “It’s nice when they drop you into brand-new pools and see what happens.” (Photo Credit: ABC/Lou Rocco)

Though Knight spent decades as part of the ABC family, he’s still settling in at GH. “There’s a different personality to each show,” he explained. “ONE LIFE TO LIVE was totally scandalous. AMC’s Pine Valley was a small town where everybody leaves their back door open. Port Charles is more intense.”

With locals already lining up for his character’s legal services, Knight’s looking forward to getting to know Martin. “He’s such a mystery — and I’m not being coy,” insisted the actor, who got his first hint of what might be coming while joking around with casting director Mark Teschner. “He asked if I could ‘do scumbag lawyer,’ and I said, ‘I give great scumbag!’ But he was being overly simplistic. This guy is a total blank slate.”

While the soap star has friends all over Port Charles, he admits that he had some nerves about joining the cool kids. “AMC had our moment in the sun, but GH was the foundation of ABC’s daytime lineup,” he reminded. “I remember rolling with Kin Shriner (Scotty) and Steve Bond (ex-Jimmy Lee) back in the day. We went into McDonald’s, and I swear to you, they caused a riot. People just swarmed in!”

General Hospital Martin Nelle

Nelle’s portrayer, Chloe Lanier, really wowed Knight. “I’d heard such great things about her,” he said, “and she really lived up to it. She’s something special.” (Photo Credit: Howard Wise/jpistudios.com)

And these days, Knight added, “GH is so chock-full of talent, it’s ridiculous.” He’s hoping Martin crosses paths with anyone and everyone — but perhaps especially the new D.A., Robert Scorpio, played by fellow soap icon Tristan Rogers. “Dude, he’s one of those guys where you don’t know whether to shake his hand or genuflect. And I’d give my eyeteeth to read the phone book with Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis). There are so many people I’d give anything to work with.”

Knight teases that his future at GH lies entirely in the hands of his new exec producer and the show’s headwriters. “They’ll read the chemistry and the tea leaves and decide what to do,” he said. “If this works, great. But even if it’s just for a few days… this is pretty cool!”

For more from your favorite GH stars, keep reading the ABC edition of Soaps In Depth magazine.

This story originally appeared in our print magazine

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