General Hospital's David Lautman Gives Us The Skinny On Smoltz and So Much More! Learn More Here >>>
David Lautman plays Grant Smoltz, a tabloid journalist trying to make good, on General Hospital. We recently got to sit down with him for a very entertaining conversation! Keep reading to find out all about Port Charles' amazing new addition!
David's father was an actor himself so he grew up surrounded by it and knowing he wanted to follow in his father's footsteps. He studied acting at Los Angeles Valley College and jumped into it with both feet! " I'm kind of, of the mindset of learning by doing. I just started jumping into theater. In the theater program anytime there was some kind of school show going on, I would be there. I'd audition and I started doing theater at La VC...And it wasn't just those shows, I did other shows all around LA. And while I was doing that, I would also simultaneously be taking different little acting classes here, a commercial workshop, an improv comedy, a scene study class."
We asked him how he ended up on General Hospital and he shared, "It was an audition that came through from my manager and initially the character of Smoltz was a day player. It was supposed to be a one episode deal. Frank told me 'hey, you know, you're doing a good job, so we're gonna keep you around', which is really cool. "
He filled us in on the details of his audition as well! "When the actual audition came in, what's interesting is, because they're very secretive about plots and characters, it was actually dummy sides. So it wasn't the actual scene and in fact, it was kind of flipped. I was still a reporter, but instead of pitching stories to Alexis Davis, it was kind of the other way around, I had somebody who was trying to pitch me a story, and I'm supposed to turn them down."
"And what's actually interesting about it was they didn't necessarily say 'oh, we want you to do two takes, three takes, four takes, they just, 'these are the sides'. I'm like, 'you know what, I'm gonna do two versions of this', because I could see this character as both. This guy is an upscale version where he's this snarky, entitled type of reporter, he's dressed really nicely. And then there's the opposite where I think he could be very downscale super casual, almost like a TMZ type, probably like on a dirty t shirt and that kind of thing. And so, I submitted both versions of it. I think that other guy, the guy that was more grimy and and more of a casual type, I played it a little bit more edge to it, you know, as opposed to the upscale which it was a little bit of snarky. And ultimately, I think it was interesting because he is actually almost a combination of both of them."
David gave us a glimpse into what goes into filming a soap opera too! "You generally are getting one take. You got one blocking rehearsal with the director, lights are off, it's just a dark stage and run through all the scenes but you're running through all your scenes for the day. And then you have to notate all your notes so it's it's not really much of a rehearsal. It's more like 'you can stand here and then walk there' and then you get that technical rehearsal with cameras, and then you're shooting. If they don't get it in one, take you feel them getting a little angsty. It's like 'we need you to be flawless on the first take', and it reminded me of my theater days where it's like be as prepared as you would be for a theatrical production because basically, that's it. You don't get another take in theater either."
We talked a bit about the backstory he had built for Smoltz while preparing to play him and he told us, "He did have a troubled high school, and even college experience to a certain degree, and he has had his power taken away from him which is why now, in his business life, he's all about getting that power back and trying to become something of value. Because in high school and growing up, he had it taken away from him. Someone told me this, it was a quote that I never forget, it was what's the difference between a hero and a villain? they're literally the same person, right? When a writer creates a villain, they give him a scar to show they had a troubled something happen in their backstory. Well, the hero also has that. The hero also has troubles that they've gone through. The difference is the villain says 'the world screwed me over, I'm going to screw them back'. The hero says 'the world screwed me over. I want to make sure nobody gets screwed over like I did'. That's the difference. And I think for Smoltz there's a possibility. I think he's a very intelligent guy and I think he is very aware of this He's aware of the fact that he is taking advantage of people, sensationalizing stories so that way he can get his own clout. And I think ultimately there is a side to him that I think is sensitive to that and knows that, you know what, I could be more heroic here and do the right thing but maybe that's not in his cards just yet, But I think it is there. I think there's a possibility for him to redeem himself and be a hero, maybe team up with somebody to do some good."
We asked him if we would be seeing more of Smoltz in the future and all he would tell us is, "All I can say about this is that I have so much respect for Frank Valentini, and ABC for trusting me with Smoltz that I wouldn't want to betray that trust." Well, I'm taking that as a yes!
We asked him about other projects he had coming up and he shared, "I have some stuff that's coming out soon. I did a role on Angelyne which should be coming out at the end of the month and then I have Hunters, which I play a little bit more of a significant role on that show. It's the Amazon Prime show with Al Pacino about Nazi hunters. So I play a Jew in hiding during the Holocaust, it was a very dramatic type of role. I'm really excited about that and especially because my dad was born in a displaced persons camp at the end of the Holocaust. And I grew up hearing all these stories about the Holocaust. I've heard the amazing stories of how part some of my family survived along with the ones of how not everybody did. So being able to jump into this world, into a role that I would say has a little bit of a heroic side because my character kind of sacrifices himself to allow others to escape, for me on a personal level, it was very cool. Growing up you're learning about all these stories in class, or hearing stories from my family, and you feel powerless just hearing stories about how millions of Jews were murdered, and there was nothing I could do about it. So for me, it was cathartic to be able to do something in an alternate universe, that's very fulfilling to be able to have done something."
David also shared with us another other passion, "One of my hobbies is film photography. I have a medium format camera, actually, I have a $1,000 medium format camera. It's called the Pentax 67. It came out in the early 70's, I play around. I have an Instagram page where I posted some of my own photography stuff. I just do that as a hobby for fun. My brother is actually a professional photographer, he shoots wedding events all the time. I think we kind of have a little photography appreciation and understanding and business side to our family. The thing is, the iPhones and all that kind of stuff, it's very clinical. The photos are very sharp and it's very perfect. But the thing about film is it adds some character and it gives it an instant nostalgia and there's something about that. I think that it's really fun to create photographs that make people feel something and film makes that a little bit easier."
We loved talking with David Lautman and hope to see more of him on General Hospital! Hopefully Smoltz can get that redemption arc and, dare we say, maybe even a love interest!