Hunky, handsome Danny Arroyo wanted to be a superhero. Rather, he wanted to play one not only on TV, but on the big screen. He knew this from a very young age when he first watched a VHS of the movie “Superman.”
Arroyo was born in the Bronx, New York but grew up in New Jersey. It’s there he first knew he wanted to act. Seeing that tape of “Superman” for the first time was a revelation. “For me to think that I could one day become an actor and get paid to possibly play a superhero,” was a defining moment. “Today, I am very devoted to my craft and find inspiration in such actors as Ed Norton, Johnny Depp, Robert Duvall and Samuel Jackson,” Arroyo tells Soapdom. “But I still desire to one day put on those tights and play the superhero, Nightwing, for Warner Brothers. Keep your fingers crossed.”
In the meantime, Arroyo has starred or has been featured in quite a number of films including “Leathal Weapon 4,” “Death Row/Haunted Prison,” “Richard III” and “Chimera House,” where he won the Best Actor Award from the California Independent Film and Video Festival. His television credits include “The Premonition” and “Hard Time” for TNT, and a number of guest starring appearances in prime time series such as “Saints & Sinners,” “24,” “Without A Trace,” “ER,” “Resurrection Blvd” and “Spyder Games” to name a few.
On his way to superherodom, Arroyo is now stopping over in Port Charles as the handsome, flirtatious orderly, Pablo Garcia on “GH Night Shift,” a recurring role. He found a few moments to catch Soapdom up on the character of Pablo and life on the set.
SOAPDOM: Are you a soap fan?
DANNY ARROYO: When I was younger, I remember coming home from school and my grandmother would be there waiting for me. She babysat me while my parents were working. She'd make me something to eat, and then I'd sit with her and watch whatever soaps were on at the time, if I had no homework. I enjoyed all the drama and pretty girls the soaps we saw had. It is a very fond memory.
SOAPDOM: What is your favorite soap?
DA: No particular favorite, but I am making it a point to watch more "General Hospital" on ABC and Soapnet. I'm having fun.
SOAPDOM: Did you know much about “General Hospital” before you landed the role?
DA: (I knew) Luke and Laura. If you never watched soaps in your life, you knew about them. A very famous couple to say the least. Also, Kelly Monaco and the success she had on "Dancing with the Stars." It made me start to watch GH a little more often.
SOAPDOM: Congratulations on landing the role of Pablo on “Night Shift.” Please share with us the audition process.
DA: I had auditioned and tested for roles, over the years, on "General Hospital." I always got close, but no cigar. Some time had passed and out of the blue Mark Teschner, the GH casting director, called me in to audition on tape for the producers for the role of Pablo, the flirtatious orderly. They actually did not have sides yet for Pablo (sides are the script pages for the character), so I had to memorize Dr. Patrick Drake's sides. At the audition, Mark told me first to ad-lib/act that I was "flirting and picking up on a cute nurse." After that, I had to then begin my memorized dialogue which was mostly me berating a doctor. I guess it went better than I thought because literally the next day, I got a call saying that I booked the job.
SOAPDOM: What did you do when you found out you got the role?
DA: Shock was pretty much my reaction. I knew I did well, but to hear back that quickly that I booked that big and juicy a role almost never happens. I remember telling my manager thank you like 50 times, and she kept saying "it was all you, no thanks necessary." Obviously, with my energy up as it was, it was impossible for me to continue with the re-writing of my screenplay, so I stopped, shut off my computer and went jogging. I had a great 3 mile run.
SOAPDOM: You've done a fair amount of film work. How does “Night Shift” compare?
DA: The speed in which soaps and film shoot is very different. In films, you have the luxury of having anywhere between 3 to 7 takes or more if need be. On "Night Shift," I am grateful if I get 2 or 3 takes, so you must be on your game always. Your lines have to be memorized inside and out, which does get easier the longer you work. I've seen cast members knock out 20 or 30 plus pages a day without missing a beat. Awesome stuff! The cast is also very willing to rehearse and run lines in the dressing rooms. That is a huge plus.
SOAPDOM: Are there any plans for you to also appear on “General Hospital” during the day?
DA: Not yet, but if there is someone you can whisper to in their ear about Pablo checking out the fine female staff of Daytime GH, I would appreciate it. Seriously, I've heard nothing yet, but the majority of the "Night Shift" staff all have made appearances, so you never know.
SOAPDOM: Who are your favorite “Night Shift” scene partners and why?
DA: That's a tough one, because there isn't a single cast member that I don't like. They have all been amazing to me. No joke. All very open, accommodating and friendly. There
are some characters I would love to do some scenes with that I haven't worked with yet, like Spinelli, Toussaint, Stone Cold and Dr. Julian. I've worked a lot with Dr. Kelly Lee, and she is a great actress and person. Very dedicated to doing the best job possible. We've had some fun times with our scenes. Dr. Scorpio and Dr. Drake I wouldn't mind at all doing some more scenes with them.
SOAPDOM: Who was the first actor you met on your first day of work? Did they make you feel welcome, or was it scary?
DA: Who isn't nervous the fist day on any acting job? You are thrilled to be working, you’re anxious to get to work, you finally arrive and then the butterflies really start to kick in. I personally think mine started when the alarm woke me up in the morning. I was lucky to have met the entire "GH: Night Shift" cast at the table read before the first day of shooting. Now, they all had already shot 3 previous episodes and knew each other very well, and then here I am this new guy walking in ready to be a part of the team. They all couldn't have made me feel anymore comfortable. Immediately, I became a member of their family. That was pretty cool. The table read went excellent. My first day of shooting then went very smoothly.
SOAPDOM: Tell us a little about the character of Pablo Garcia. Is he at all like you personally? If so, how? If not, why not?
DA: Pablo is a cool cat -- a real ladies man and friend to everyone. He has a proud Latino heritage. He can be a little too laid back with his duties, since he is always looking to socialize and find a party. He is very trustworthy unless he feels betrayed, and then a vengeful side comes out. There is a lot of the character Pablo in me and a lot that isn't. I've been called a flirt on a few occasions, but it is just me being friendly. I have many friends and get along with just about anyone. I am very proud of my Latino heritage and am grateful that GH does not shy away from having characters of such diverse backgrounds on the show. I do not consider myself to be vengeful at all. People of negative energy I simply try not to associate myself with them.
SOAPDOM: Can you sneak us a little peak at Pablo's storyline?
DA: That's a tough one since the show insists on us being tight lipped. Hopefully, when I spoke of Pablo's personality, I hinted at things to come on the "Night Shift."
SOAPDOM: But tell us this -- if you had your wish, how would you like to see Pablo's storyline develop?
DA: Me, personally, I am a huge comic book and video game fan. I would love to see Pablo and Spinelli go to a comic book/video game convention, dress up as our favorite superheroes, talk to geeks, and pick up some hot girls. The sky's the limit after that.
SOAPDOM: That sounds like a really fun storyline. We’ll keep our fingers crossed for that, too! When will you find out if “Night Shift”gets picked up for additional episodes?
DA: That is a good question. Promise me that if you hear before I do that you will tell me.
SOAPDOM: You bet. So far, we have not heard what SOAPNet’s intent is on a second season, but we do know from our sources that the series opened to SOAPNet’s best premiere ever, so things are looking good! In all of your film/tv experiences so far, has anything noteworthy, fun or silly ever happened to you on the set?
DA: During a boxing rehearsal on "Lethal Weapon 4," I was accidentally punched in the nose by Mel Gibson.
DA: It was completely unintentional on his part and he was sorry, but made for a nice painful memory.
SOAPDOM: If you could do any other job, what would it be and why?
DA: Besides writing, directing and producing... I love astronomy and archeology. My perfect film would probably be "Indiana Jones Goes to Outer Space." You got Spielberg's phone number???
For more on Danny Arroyo, visit http://www.dannyarroyo.com
See Arroyo interviewed on YouTube
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