Actors get to work with a lot of different people over the course of their career and sometimes they get to perform opposite people that they really admire. And a conversation on the GENERAL HOSPITAL set sent Johnny Wactor (Brando) reminiscing about the time he worked alongside the late Bill Paxton.
“Just yesterday I was talking to my on-screen boss, Jeff Kober (Cyrus) about some on-screen legends we’ve gotten to work with, and just as important as their work in front of the camera was their character off-camera,” Wactor shared. “This photo was from the set of television spinoff TRAINING DAY with rising star and super-talented Justin Cornwell and the absolute legend Bill-effing-Paxton.
“In my brief couple of weeks working on the show I got to see Bill act and how he was when the cameras weren’t rolling,” the GH star continued. “He was the kindest man and took genuine interest in people. He’d engage in conversation with everyone and treated everyone the same. He had the same respect for the other stars on the show as he did for the day players (which I was on this show).”
TRAINING DAY was a 2017 series based on the Denzel Washington/Ethan Hawke 2001 film of the same name. Paxton and Cornwell starred in the CBS police drama for one season of 13 episodes. Wactor appeared as Greg in episode four and recalled that even though his role was small, he felt like part of the cast.
“When you’re coming on to a set as someone who is only there for a day or a few days, it can be quite uncomfortable and intimidating,” he confided. “These sets are huge, with lots of people, fast-paced, immense pressure, etc… On my first day of work, it was lunchtime and Bill called me over by name and told me to join them. He was inclusive. He asked me about where I was from and about my family. He had a genuine interest me as a person that even the best of actors — which he was — wouldn’t be able to falsely emulate. Beyond all of his memorable work in endless classic films, it was Bill the person and not Bill the actor that will be most memorable and impactful for me. RIP, Bill, and thank you for the lessons.”
Wactor concluded by asking fans what their favorite Bill Paxton movie was before listing some of his own. “I think mine might be Weird Science,” he mused. “Or Aliens. Or Tombstone. Or Twister. Or… Dammit, this is tough!”