It was back in May of 2003 that GENERAL HOSPITAL’s Lt. Marcus Taggert walked away from both his vengeful pursuit of Sonny Corinthos and Port Charles. Just as surprisingly, he recently walked back into town when summoned by Jordan for a favor for an all-too-brief visit. For portrayer Réal Andrews, returning to the show was a wish fulfilled, so he’d put a lot of thought into how the character might have changed. “It had been nearly 17 years. What’s he been through? Where’s he been? How does he still feel?” the actor mused to Soaps In Depth. “I’d wondered all of those things.”
Back then, the cop had been all about exacting justice. But now? The actor says being involved in a wealth of storylines had made Taggert far more interesting. “When I got the scripts,” he confided, “I saw that the writers had done an amazing job in giving me so many different colors to play… They more than delivered.”
In the years that he’d been away himself, Andrews appeared on ALL MY CHILDREN, AS THE WORLD TURNS, DAYS OF OUR LIVES and in primetime. However, he’d also been through a lot of personal life experiences, all of which he says changed him as a performer. “Back then, I didn’t have the skills that I do now to color a character as well,” he reflected. “So I think how you’re finding Taggert now is much different, much more fun and much more interesting.
Case in point? From the moment that he shared a scene with Briana Nicole Henry’s Jordan, the sparks between them flew! “Once again, that was my growth as an actor. Whether it’s written or not, those are choices that you can make, and she responded,” Andrews maintained. “So that’s just adding layers and levels to your character.
Nevertheless, Taggert was still a lawman, and when the bullets started flying, his interest was piqued. In fact, he felt a pull to anything that puts him back in Sonny and Jason’s orbit. Behind the scenes, Andrews could relate, but for the opposite reason: He, Maurice Benard and Steve Burton are old friends, and as established family men, they share a lot in common. “Maurice, Steve and I took some photos, and we just could not be serious!” Andrews said with a laugh.“That would never have been a problem before. We could just stare at each other and be angry and pissed off.”
For Taggert’s portrayer, that change also comes from his current attitude of gratitude. He’s not only thankful to be working, but having successfully dealt with substance abuse, mental health and, most recently, prostate cancer, he’s also happy just to be alive. “So it’s not about, ‘Oh, I’m going to be a star’ or ‘I’m going to be rich or famous,’” he confirmed. “It’s just about being there and being able to have fun.”
For more from 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