Soap Opera Digest: So, these past few months have brought about so many changes for Chase. In the buildup to his split from Willow, you had to play Chase as in the dark about her feelings for Michael. James Patrick Stuart (Valentin) recently told me, “It’s never fun as an actor to play a character who’s in the dark.” Do you agree with him, and what was your approach to playing Chase’s blind spot where his wife and best friend were concerned?
Josh Swickard: I can agree with JPS because I’ll just agree with him about anything — he’s the coolest person ever. I kind of played it that Chase is such an optimist and really is trying to see the best in people; even when they wrong him, he’s like, “I know there’s some good in you, I’ve gotta find it, but there is!” So, I think the way I portrayed him is that he was in the dark, but he was catching on. He knew something was off, but he kept talking himself out of the facts: “No, no, they would never, it’s not real,” and I’d just kind of shove it off and move on with my day. I think he had caught on a little bit but really kind of shut it down because of who he is and just not wanting to believe it.
Digest: Willow married Chase when he appeared to be at death’s door after Peter poisoned him. Did you enjoy the intensity of his many weeks in the hospital?
Swickard: I would say that’s my favorite storyline thus far. It added a level of physicality that I hadn’t been able to do on that show yet, with the wheelchair and learning to walk and the seizures and the coughing — it let me kind of go deeper as an actor and I got to discover some really fun things in the character that I probably wouldn’t have otherwise without that storyline. And it was a bigger storyline for me, so I was just very appreciative of the writers and Frank [Valentini, executive producer] for entrusting me with stuff like that.
Digest: Certainly, the circumstances of the story — not only Chase’s life being on the line, but the reveal of the Finn/Jackie affair and Chase thinking for a time that Finn was his dad, not his brother — allowed for emotionally deeper scenes between you and Michael Easton (Finn). Can you share what that was like for you?
Swickard: Oh, man. Just awesome. I love the levity in Chase and the goofball nature that he and Finn have in their rapport, that brotherly, punching each other’s arm [kind of dynamic], but the other side of that coin, man, when you get to bite off a scene like, “I’m dying and I want you there for my people when I go,” that stuff is so real and it felt like an honor. Michael Easton, he’s a class act in every way, and they gave us kind of the time, too, I felt, where we really got to explore it and play with it and if one of us was halfway through a take and we were like, “You know what, I can do that better,” everyone was cognizant of that. It was just neat. It was really special.
Digest: Now, I was talking to your good buddy Michael Mealor (ex-Kyle, Y&R) recently, and he told me about a scene where Chase was lying in the hospital bed, supposedly unable to move ... and your foot moved. What do you have to say for yourself, sir?
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