When it Rains, it pours – proof that talent and good looks run in the family
It’s never easy to be a recast but Ethan Rains is up to the challenge. The acting bug bit Rains in high school. He spent his senior year as a member of his high school’s traveling theater group. “It was the most amazing thing. I was so passionate about it. It was so new to me. I was so hungry and ambitious; I threw myself in it and just allowed myself to get lost. It was just raw passion … it was what I wanted to do,” Rains said enthusiastically. After high school, Rains went on to study drama in college. The 27 year old Rains is a graduate of Southern Methodist University's Meadows School of the Arts in Dallas, Texas.
Good fortune was on Rains side during his senior year of college. A few months before graduating with his BFA, Rains was given the opportunity to audition for LAX, which starred Blair Underwood and Heather Locklear. He shared the wealth and took brother Dominic (ex Leo, GHNS) along for the audition. “We auditioned for the show and it was primarily for one character. We both went in together and we improvised the scene together. They liked it and they gave us both the part as brothers and they gave us several scenes.” Rains shared. Prior to LAX, Rains had a different plan in mind. “My plan was to go to England and study for a few months and then go to New York and pursue theater.”
Rains has also appeared in episodes of Judging Amy, The Unit, E-Ring and The Closer. Rains had a “small role” in Sin City and he recently filmed the movie, Open Graves, in Spain.
Daytime fans may recognize Rains from The Young and the Restless where he had a three episode run as Zach. Rains auditioned for Y & R when they visited colleges in the United States as part of a national casting competition. Rains eventually won the competition, giving him the opportunity to appear on the show.
Prior to winning the role of Leo Julian, Rains had a unique tie to the character. His younger brother, Dominic originated the role. After a lengthy audition process, Rains was thrilled to win the role on his own talent and merit. Did Rains have any reservations about taking over where his brother left off? “Not an issue, not an issue at all” insisted Rains. “It was nothing personal. He had his interpretation. I think he’s a wonderful actor and he’s got his own dynamic. He brings something else to the table and I have my own dynamic and I have my own interpretation and I bring something else to the table.”
The first episode of GH Night Shift aired on July 22nd. So did he watch? “I did, absolutely. I was terrified. I watched it with some friends and my brother, and my dad. It was fun to watch it with them,” Rains said. Does Rains usually watch his own work? “I like to watch my work just to see how far I can go – to see how far I am going – just to see what I’m holding back, what I’m exposing. It kind of sets the bar for me. I enjoy watching to see where I go with the character,” the actor shared.
This time around viewers will see more character development across the board as well as some key differences in Leo. “It’s definitely the writing. The writing has given me the opportunity to explore further into his skin. The writer has given Leo a complex and complicated journey. It’s such a blessing. The relationships are more defined. There’s more dynamic between these people. They’re coming from something. They’re going toward something. It’s more developed and more concrete,” Rains said.
Playing a doctor can be challenging, especially in regard to the medical terms. Just how does Rains come across so comfortable and well informed? “We have an on staff nurse who works with us on the terms. I also do my own research. It’s crucial for me to know what I’m saying and where I’m going with it especially when it comes to something that’s so elaborate,” Rains offered.
In June, Rains went to his first Daytime Emmy Awards. “I was a little overwhelmed. It was very interesting for me. I really got to see it from the outside and just watch everything. I was just watching the fans and watching the actors. I became this observer just watching people and watching how everything came together. I was like the invisible man (laughs). It was a very humbling experience. It was fun to go and watch and be a part of it. I enjoyed it very much,” he said. Rains also attended an event at this years General Hospital Fanclub Weekend. “I went with my brother. I kind of stepped back. I became this observer again like at the Emmys (laughs). I’m standing by myself and then this lady comes up to me … and she started taking pictures. Then another person came and I got to meet a bunch of people. All of them (the fans) were very appreciative – they were extremely nice,” Rains shared.
Rains is a very grounded young man. It’s obvious he has a strong relationship with his family. “My dad and mom are very supportive. Growing up my parents were concerned because there was no guarantee of work after graduation. Their concern was stability and security for me. My father studied theater in London and he’s also an artist. My father has the artistic talent and my mother has the work ethic so we got the best of both worlds. I’m very blessed and very lucky. There are two things that I’m fortunate enough to have – that I would take over anything else. One is my health and one is my family. Those two things I will not give up for anything,” he said with conviction.
Rains talent goes way beyond acting. He’s also dances and is an accomplished artist. “I’ve been drawing longer than I’ve been dancing and acting. I grew up break dancing. I love to dance. I started drawing when I was about 7 years old. My plan is to do enough work and have a gallery but it’s gonna take time and patience and a lot of focus. I’m committed to doing it,” he told Soapdom proudly. According to Rains, there’s one sure path to success. “It’s patience that will get you to go anywhere you can possibly set your mind to go,” he said seriously.
Does the talented young actor and artist consider himself a perfectionist? “My entire life I’ve had this idea of what perfection is and I’ve never been able to meet that idea. It’s just an idea. There are limitations in trying to reach or achieve perfection. I think the faster you come to terms with your imperfections, that’s when perfection of character actually happens. I challenge and I push myself on a day to day basis,” Rains told Soapdom. Success hasn’t come easy for the talented young actor. “I’ve perused what I’ve loved to do and there’ve been hard times. Those hard times make me stronger and propel me forward.”
So what’s next for Rains? “I haven’t thought about what’s after Night Shift. When I’m not working, I study with an amazing acting coach. I’ve been studying with her for the last couple years. Her studio is just a place to play, a place to explore and continue working on my craft. It’s a sandbox. So whenever I’m not working, I’m constantly trying to stretch myself as an actor so when work does come around, I’m brushed up and ready to take another project. I enjoy doing what I do and if I’m getting paid for it, it’s a bonus for me. I’m not gonna stop doing it because I don’t get paid.”
Be sure to check out Rains and the rest of the cast on season two of GH Night Shift every Tuesday night on Soapnet.
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