Nicholas Alexander Chavez Talks Sprina, His Intended Emmy Reel, General Hospital and More! (EXCLUSIVE) Learn more here--->>
Soap Opera News had the esteemed pleasure of talking with one of General Hospital's newest additions, Nicholas Alexander Chavez who now plays Spencer Cassadine. The actor is enjoying himself working on the show and with such an amazing cast. See for yourself below!
While much is not on the internet about the actor's background, we had to ask Chavez to tell us more about his life. He started out, "I was born in Houston, TX and raised in Denver, CO." He went on to note, "I went to Denver East High School where I was heavily involved in theatre. I was also the Head Captain of our school's nationally ranked Speech and Debate team. My first job was as a busboy at a local favorite breakfast restaurant called Snooze. I worked at Snooze's flagship restaurant but they're now a medium-sized chain in a few different states. Concurrent with my job at Snooze, I also interned for a theatre company in Denver called VisionBox. We would put on performances and plays usually from older contemporary playwrights like Tennessee Williams, Eugene O'Neill and Arthur Miller. My favorite plays that we worked on were Sam Shepard plays."
Chavez was enthused about sharing his background as he continued, "I left Denver and went to a mixed BFA/MFA acting conservatory in New Brunswick, NJ. The MGSA acting conservatory was an intense training ground for aspiring actors. It primarily taught the Meisner acting technique and supplemented that with movement, voice, and speech work as well as various other classes about the history of theatre and so on."
He had much more to say, "I left after my sophomore year right before I was about to leave to go study Shakespeare abroad at London's Globe Theatre. I moved to the west coast where I had a brief stint in Los Angeles that was abruptly brought to a halt by COVID. I moved in with my dad and his wife who had moved to Florida after I graduated high school. I worked several jobs ranging from tax specialist to car salesman. All the while, I continued to work on my craft as best I could with other actors and directors via Zoom. My manager, who lived in NYC, was sending me self-tape requests. One of them was for General Hospital, and it was the one that led to me moving back across the country to Los Angeles to accept the contract role." And to sum it all up Chavez stated, "It's hard to consolidate 10 years into a few paragraphs."
We couldn't help but ask about the process of him landing this major role on the ABC daytime drama to which he revealed, "My manager sent me self-tape requests while I was down in Florida and I would go over to my grandmother's house and use her spare bedroom to film them. We got good feedback on some and no feedback on others. General Hospital told my manager that they wanted me to fly out to Los Angeles and screen-test for the role. I took some time off from my job selling Hyundais and went to Los Angeles. I stayed in a hotel in Little Armenia near Prospect Studios. I worked with some coaches on WeAudition.com and ran my audition and worked on it with whoever would let me perform for them."
Chavez was favored among those who auditioned as he noted, "When I got to the studio on the day of my audition there were between 10 and 15 other guys that they had brought in to screen test." Can you imagine how nervous he must have gotten at that point? But Chavez is obviously a champion. "I had to remind myself that all I can do, ever in life, is do my job to the absolute best of my ability, because it's the only thing you can control. After my audition with Maura West, which was exhilarating to say the least, I called my manager and my family on my walk back to my hotel. They asked how I thought it went and I remember truthfully replying, "I don't know. It went so fast. But, I think good?"
He must have been filled with joy as the big moment came. "24 hours later, my manager called me and told me that I would need to couch surf for a little while because I booked the role and was going to be needed on set to play Spencer Cassadine the following week."
One challenging thing in the soap world is stepping into a role as a recast. Especially a role that had already been established and ties you into a core family. When asked about taking over the role as a recast he said, "It was absolutely a challenge, but I had so much support coming from so many different directions that they turned the process into something that I could work through diligently. I had conversations with the writers, the producers, and other actors. I watched a lot of footage and read as much as I could about the history of the show and of the main characters that surrounded Spencer Cassadine. I learned about the key events that shaped who he was. It still took time to get my footing but the team at General Hospital made it a lot easier to do so."
Preparing to step into the role he must have familiarized himself with the previous actor's work. "Of course," he said, "but the facts of Spencer Cassadine's life were more important to me than the way those facts manifested into the behavior that the previous actor had, because I knew, ultimately, those facts would create different behavior in me."
Being a fan of the actor and his work on GH, we couldn't help but highlight to him how amazing his portrayal of Spencer has been thus far. And, let's not forget how powerful he delivered those emotional moments with Maura West's Ava and Marcus Coloma's Nikolas. "Thank you. I have to defer back to my training. As an actor, your central nervous system has an experience and then your body releases that experience. This can only happen if you're completely present in the circumstance of the scene, and you're working with specificity. Your attention has to be completely on your scene partner and you have to let them affect you. You have to forget that there are lines and that the scene has any direction whatsoever. It's scripted improvisation and every aspect of what's going on has to be taken as a reality."
On the subject of Spencer and Trina (Sydney Mikayla) hooking up, he said, "Sprina is only a matter of time I hope!" Chavez also noted, "Trina is such a special character. She and Spencer share a very specific kind of love that only she can give and receive. It's a love that takes the form of honesty, compassion and sincerity. She listens enthusiastically, and he tries to do the same. She's the only person in Port Charles that can do that for Spencer."
He obviously adores his castmates and enjoys working with them and being able to socialize with them outside of the studio. His response to working such an amazing cast was, "They are talented, incredibly friendly, and fun to work with. It's nice to come to work, do the scenes of the day, then leave and get dinner together. We're all close and I relish every opportunity I get to work with my fellow cast members."
On the subject of submitting for Emmys, he said, "I do (plan to submit). I've really loved my scenes with Marcus and Maura. I think that could make for an interesting story arc. Spencer's depth is most apparent when we see his complicated relationship with his family and all that comes with it (money, power, leverage, etc)."
He was also able to tell us the story of purchasing his adorable Corvette which you can see on his Instagram account. "I put my deposit on that Corvette about 5 minutes after I saw it on Auto Trader. I had been in the market for a car that I could drive in Los Angeles. When I saw that C5 I fell in love, instantly. The car was in Pittsburgh and I was in Florida on a two-week break from filming. So, I gave them my security deposit then I flew to Pittsburgh the next day with the rest of the funds. The small Corvette dealership was operating out of an old firehouse. I guess the family that ran the dealership had owned it for a few generations. It was an awesome experience and the first time I turned the key in the ignition and heard it fire up... WOW! There's a video of it somewhere and I'm pretty sure the corners of my mouth are touching my ears."
He doesn't have anything on the horizon just yet but he keeps himself pretty busy. "I read a lot. So, I'm always finding interesting stories that I think would make for interesting projects. Right now, my focus is on General Hospital and being the very best actor I can be. I want to serve the story and my colleagues as best I can." Outside of acting, he shares, "I read and write. I'm learning Spanish right now because I've always been a tad bit embarrassed that I have this Hispanic heritage and I don't know how to speak the language. I play chess and go on hikes and trips with my friends. I try to keep myself busy and productive!"
So, fans, who would you like to see Spencer have scenes with?