What's Happening Now

Interview: chatting with Josh Swickard of 'General Hospital'

Josh Swickard stars as Detective Harrison Chase on ABC's "General Hospital."
Photo: Image Group LA//ABC
It's been a busy year for "General Hospital's" latest member of the Port Charles Police Department. PCPD Detective Harrison Chase, played by actor Josh Wickard, arrived in town in February to a lot of prominent storylines. He replaced Nathan West as Dante's partner, got reacquainted with his brother, Hamilton Finn (Michael Easton) and met up with his crazy ex-girlfriend (Nelle, played by Chloe Lanier.) That's one heck of an introduction. 

TVMusic Network caught up with the actor to see how he's adjusting to the show which airs weekdays on ABC.  

Check out our interview below. 

TVMusic Network: Welcome to GH. What was your reaction like when you first decided to audition and when you found out you got the part?

Josh Swickard: I was ecstatic, obviously. It was something that I was proud to tell my family and my parents, my grandparents, who I knew, GH has such a history. That you can talk to anyone in the world and say General Hospital, and they go, “oh yeah, yeah, I know that show!” So that was awesome. Everything I’ve heard about working on a soap is it’s an actor’s boot camp. It’s the hardest work you’ll ever do in your career, you know? And things that just got me excited about it. And it’s true. I’ve had my nights where you’re crying at 2 AM going, “I just can’t do it,” you know? I think the character’s been accepted okay and I’m enjoying it so much.

TVMusic Network: The show is an actor's boot camp. There are people you get to work with who’ve had so much experience in soaps, the fast-paced production...What’s the one thing you think you’ve learned the most now than when you first started?

Josh Swickard: I’m learning a lot right now, I don’t know about the most, but I’m learning a lot about cameras. If we’re doing a scene right now standing like this, before, my first reaction wasn’t, “what camera has me, what angle is that camera on,” you know? ...If you move me or if I kind of have to move here, so it’s learning all that. So right now, that’s just a whole new world to me and I’m taking notes and working with, you know, the legends on that show. I just study them, you know? I study how they work, their work ethic, how they, you know, everything.

TVMusic Network: And you have a family. You have a brother. You're working with Michael Easton who plays Hamilton Finn. Did you know that he was gonna be your brother when you auditioned?

Josh Swickard: Not when I auditioned. I knew basically the week I started and he’s awesome. I mean, he’s literally an older brother to me. If I see him in the hallways by the dressing rooms, he says, “hi, how you doin’? You need anything,” you know? And when we do scenes together, I’ll run things by him and he’s the first to say, “oh yeah, that’s great, run with this" Working with him puts me at ease. 

TVMusic Network: You have a great role because your character is a cop. That allows you to work with almost everyone on town. The show does a really good job of integrating everyone. That being said, is there might be someone that you haven’t worked with yet that you might want to work with or any character you wish you had a story with…?

Josh Swickard: I mean, the running joke is Kiki (Hayley Erin). Hayley, because we’re great friends in real life and a week or two in, everyone’s going, “they’re gonna pair. They’re gonna pair up.” Every time we’re together or we take photos together, there’s always a little bit of buzz. A week ago, an episode aired where we were in the same bar, but not in the same scenes. I would love to see them have a little bit of a relationship. I’ve appreciated so much how they integrated Chase with really pretty much everyone. 

TVMusic Network: Speaking of twists, I didn’t really anticipate Chase and Nelle’s (Lanier) character having the history and backstory that they did. What was it like working with Chloe? She's an amazing actress, to begin with, but to go toe-to-toe with her in a scene, tell me what’s it like?

Josh Swickard: It was a growing experience. I mean, we rehearsed a lot more than we normally have time to rehearse. I thank her so much for putting the time in to do that and there were so many more situations where we would go in a scene and not exactly know the layout of where we were gonna go with it. It’s hard to be in the moment with soaps because of how much dialogue you’re pumping out and there were moments in some of those scenes where the cameras were gone, everything was gone, and it’s rare for me. I really got to experience that with Nelle and Chloe. I’m sad she’s going, but I get it.

TVMusic Network: I have to ask you about being a cop in the Port Charles Police Department. When I'm watching, I think, “will they ever make a case? will they ever arrest anyone? will it stick?” Did you know about the joke when you first came on?

Josh Swickard: I had no idea. Someone said something about the cops not being super efficient and I was like, “what are you talking about?” I took offense to it. Now I’ve heard people talk and I get it, so it’s all fun.

TVMusic Network: When you’re not learning lines or rehearsing and you get a day off, what’s the first thing that you would do with your free time?

Josh Swickard: I’m bad at working out, so I try to work out on my days off. I’m a big motorcycle guy. I go riding and I read. As of about six months ago, I decided I need to be a reader.

TVMusic Network: Any type that you like to read? Any type of book?

Josh Swickard: Something that’s going to better me a little bit, whether it finances or, you know, whatever. Something that I’m going to learn.

TVMusic Network: What tool do you use to memorize all those lines? 

Josh Swickard: Everyone’s a little different. I mean, for me, what I found helps is I study for 15 to 20-minute intervals, and then I take a break and I come back, and I take a break. And by just reading it through 100 times, you kind of have it memorized and it really is a muscle. The first few months, I was beyond terrified, and as each month goes by, you’re like, “oh, I picked that up a little quicker and I picked it up a little quicker.” There are people on my show that literally have the ability to show up that morning, have 30 to 40 pages, they haven’t looked at it yet.

TVMusic Network: Laura Wright (Carly) told me that, she does that.

Josh Swickard: That’s who I was talking about. Laura will literally show up, go bap-bap-bap-bap-bap and slay. She’s been doing it, like, for a minute, so I get it. But I’ve watched her and I’m like, “I hope I can get there one day.”

TVMusic Network: I know you can’t tease anything, but is there a hope for your character for a romance?

Josh Swickard: A romance? I don’t know what I… I can’t say anything, but if you keep watching, there might be a development in that area. 

Catch Josh as Det. Chase on "General Hospital" airing weekdays on ABC. 

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