The End Of An Era

GH's Tyler Chrsitopher shares his thoughts about saying goodbye to Nikolas Cassadine.

A handsome, struggling actor of 19 by the name of Tyler Baker was turned down when he tried to get an audtion at GENERAL HOSPITAL for the role of a troubled teenager whose life would eventually be set on a course for disaster.  The character was Stone Cates.  Fast-forward four years, Nikolas Cassadine was born...and so was the promising career of the actor we'd all come to know as three-time Emmy nominee Tyler Chrstiopher.  It's been a long and winding road to where he is today, rattled by the news that his contract won't be renewed when it expires in June.  With that revelation comes a plethora of emotions.  "It's anger at this point," he says honestly, "because, I felt like I earned my spot as a permanent fixture on the show."

Honesty Is The Best Policy
Christopher's earliest memories of GH are of his mom sitting him on the end of her bed and making him watch it with her.  So his Port Charles roots go very dep.  Hearing they no longer have a place for him or Nikolas hit, and it hit hard.  "I had a very limited response when they told me, because I didn't expect this," Christopher reveals.  "I knew a potential pay cut was coming, but I was told that a pay cut was not an option.  The bottom line has been "Is this ship that we're steering profitable? If that answer is not, then we need to figure out a way to make it so.'  I don't want to get into the semantics.  What I say about how to save this ship isn't going to change anything, so I'm not going to get into that.  But if I'm being honest, I really didn't see this coming."

The timing of losing his job is...well lousy.  He had just lost his house to a flood and his precious dog died, all with four weeks.  "Right now I'm just in surval mode trying to deal with this, because there's been a [bunch] of things," he admits.  "I'm trying to figure out what it is I need to do, and how it affects my family first before I mess with any of that other stuff.  So I'm going to be completely honest about it 100 percent, no matter who has a problem with it.  I'm not trying to spite anybody.  I'm just trying to be honest about my experience and go from there."  That said, Christopher continues, "To give me, the 'It's a finance thing' is a crock," he laughs.

Athough the potential for endless story for "the dark prince" seems to exist from an outsider's perspective -- what with the history of brotherly rivalry, the infamous Cassadine/Spencer war, the budding romance with Brook Lynn, etc. -- the creative well seems to be dry for continuing the character.  "I've been told that there is no story to tell," Christopher shares.

Setting The Record Straight

One point that Christopher wants to make it abundantly clear is that his exit from GH was not his choice and had nothing to do with his being cast in a recurring role on an ABC Family show called THE LYING GAME.  "it has nothing to do with that.  That's important for me to get out there," he says strongly.  "T say that I'm not on GH because I have this other thing is inaccurate.  A lot of people think that the reason why I'm leaving is because I'm going on this other show.  That's not the case.  I have not received any information from them about how involved or uninvolved I'm going to be with that show.  It's no fault of theirs.  They have no idea yet.  But I was trying to stay on GH, however that worked out financially, needing to take a pay cut or whatnot.  But that was not an option presente to em.  I was not even [allowed to] take a pay cut like the rest of the people are and stay on the show."

In 1999, Christopher took a break from GH to try his hand at other roles.  Four years later, he returned.  Now that he's leaving again, albeit under very different circumstances, would he want to come back again down the line?  Christopher thinks long and hard before answering.  Finally, he says quitely, "I think I'm done with it.  I can say that definitely, I really can."

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