Marcus Coloma Talks His General Hospital Future, Music and What Esme Did For Nikolas! Learn More Here >>>
"I think I was in Orem, Utah until I was about four I remember little bits about it mainly like sledding and snow. I got shot in the head with an arrow by my brother in Orem. Because he and his friend were trying to see who could shoot an arrow higher and I happen to walk by and got hit in the head. But I was really primarily raised in Northern California and a place called Cobb Mountain. There was a national forest behind my house, it was just incredibly beautiful."
He also shared with us about his family, "I have an older brother and two younger sisters. My mom watched All My Children. So that was the only one (soap opera) that I had seen, which was pretty neat because it was during the time of Tad (Michael E. Knight) and Dixie (Cady McClain), and my first day on General Hospital, when I got to set I literally was parked next to Michael Knight. We were both getting out of the car at the same time."
We chatted about his education and he told us, "I went to public schools in Middletown, California, and then I dropped out of a junior college after a semester and a half."
"I was (studying) pre-med. And I'm still a bit of a perfectionist, but back then I was unhealthy in my striving for perfectionism. And I basically had straight A's and I missed this midterm, chemistry test because I was in love with this girl and we were on the phone all night long. And so by missing this midterm, my A would have become a C, and I was just like, 'I can't handle that' and I quit."
He told us about his first acting experience as well, "There was an audition for a school play, for Jack and the Beanstalk. I wanted to play Jack, but I got the Giant role. That was my first and possibly only performance as a kid, which was when I was about seven and I really was interested in performing in front of an audience. I felt very alive during that."
We talked about what fascinates him most as an actor now and Marcus explained, "I think there's such a spiritual thing about acting. One, that you are more than your body. You're more than your identity. Right now I'm playing Nikolas Cassidine who is kind of a part of this billionaire empire which is completely different than my background and circumstances. I played a priest, which was completely different than who I am and what I am. I also think, the ability to create worlds that we all believe that we're in Port Charles and there's this kind of momentary belief that you are in Wyndemere. And I feel like the actors that I'm working with completely believe that. Maura West (Ava, General Hospital) isn't Maura West when we start rolling that camera, she is the love of my life and I love her more than anything. And then when they say, 'cut', she's Maura West again. It's such a magical, spiritual thing that I'm fascinated by."
And if he wasn't acting he told us what he would be doing, "I'd probably be pursuing music. I don't know how successful I would be. So I would probably be pursuing music, surfing, working as a waiter somewhere."
Marcus shared with us some of his creative influences, saying, "Maurice Bernard (Sonny, General Hospital) is influencing me a lot right now because it's very rare that you can work with an actor who has filmed over 2600 episodes of television over 28 years. He's won multiple Emmys. I think he's put in over 10,000 hours and I think he's become a master of it. And he's incredibly generous with it. Right now he has a huge influence. But there are other artists that have influenced me along the way as well. Right now honestly, I'm very inspired by Tom Cruise with the new Top Gun (Maverick). I think one of the things that makes me nervous about my industry is time and age. Whenever I see someone like him or honestly even Maurice that are killing it, and they're doing better than ever, it's so inspiring to me. And it really influences me a lot."
Marcus told us about the acting he had done leading up to his role as Nik, saying, "So funnily enough, I think I got offered a role on General Hospital in 2004. And I'm kicking myself for not doing it because the thing that you get with a daytime show is an incredible opportunity to act more than anything. I didn't do it and instead, I did a show called Point Pleasant, which was a Fox show about this girl whose dad was the devil. I think her mom was human and I was a priest. Then I did a show called South Beach, which was produced by Jennifer Lopez and that was huge for me because it was my first series regular show and Vanessa Williams was in it. I was the lead of that show. Super exciting. Then after that, I did a movie with Hilary Duff, called Material Girls, which was a big one for me because it was my first movie. And I did a ton of different other little things here and there. But I guess probably the next big thing would be Beverly Hills Chihuahua, two and three, which was hilarious because I saw a billboard for Beverly Hills Chihuahua and I was like, 'I can't believe they're making this movie' and then cut to two years later and here I am."
He went on to add, "I guess more recently, right before this General Hospital stint, I had a recurring role on Major Crimes. And I did a little spot on Lucifer."
And then came the call that changed everything, "I was in Australia and I had shot a pilot for ABC and a pilot for Fox, and neither one of them got picked up. And I was in an Uber and I was speaking to the driver, she was asking me what I did. And I told her I was an actor. She told me that she had driven a lot of actors that had come to Australia the biggest was a soap actor. And 'I was like, wow, that's interesting' because I just didn't really know the world too well. Coincidentally, at the same time Mark Teschner (Casting Director, General Hospital) emailed my manager and was like, 'Hey, I think Marcus would be really good for a role and I want him to read' and my manager reached out and I was like,' I just don't think that's what I want to do right now' for whatever reason. And he kept coming at me with it. And then I was in a gym and I was watching Maurice and Tamara (Braun, ex-Carly), Sonny and Carly. I think it was an old episode because Australia, right? And I was like, 'Okay, I'm just gonna go out for it'. And there it was."
"They were fake sides. I didn't know what the role was. And then I waited honestly, like two months. Got back to LA and Mark reached out again, and was like, 'Hey, can you just come in and read?' So I go in and I read. And there's this competitive side that just clicks in because it's me and seven other actors. Mark gave me a note and he is a huge reason why I got that role. Not only because he continued to call me in, but on top of that, his note, completely created life into the scenes and it made it so fun and magical. I went right from that into a producer session with Frank (Valentini, Executive Producer, General Hospital). Mark took me from his office and walked me into Frank's office where there were all of the producers and Frank and there was a screen test which was very 1960s soundstage with Maura West and Genie Francis (Laura, General Hospital). And I just love that, I fell in love with them. And what I still love about soap operas is it seems it's like a hybrid between theater and old Hollywood. And I just fell in love with it. And that's kind of how it came about."
Marcus stepped into the role of Nikolas Cassadine in 2019. He delved into what coming on as a recast involved for him, "I definitely watched Tyler Christopher (ex-Nikolas, General Hospital). I thought he was incredible. I had to learn so many different things and on top of that, Nikolas Cassadine is such a complicated character, has a very long history on the show, a very long history of very good and very bad things. I've never come across a character that has been that flushed out and there's such a history with a character that has existed for over 20 years. So, there was a very intense learning curve."
When asked how he would describe Nikolas to someone who didn't know the character, he told us, "I think Nikolas is a tortured soul. He's a guy with a lot of horsepowers. He gets what he wants. There's nothing that he will let stop him, whether it's a physical barrier or an emotional or moral barrier. When he wants to do something, he doesn't care about the law. He doesn't care about what's right or what's wrong. He's like I am going to get this thing. But he is plagued with this horrible disease of he will not let himself have what he gets, and he'll destroy it. So he'll talk about how the most important thing to him in his life is his son, and he'll get his son back and his wife and he'll sleep with his son's girlfriend."
"Here's the thing, Alexander the Great, and I think this is Nikolas. There are these people that live for the adventure and there's this book called 12 Against The Gods and the introduction of it is all about this, where the adventurer is in this horrible situation where he wants to conquer everything. But the more he conquers, the more he has, and the more he has, the less adventure there is because if you have everything, there's no more adventure and it's also less danger. So I think he is an adventure. And it's like, he has this thing that he doesn't know. He's not aware of it. And that's why people will say, 'do you think Nicholas will ever redeem himself with Ava' and I go, 'I don't think it's about that'. Because Ava she can fall in love with somebody else. Spencer (Nicholas Alexander Chavez) can disown him and has disowned him. Really what Nikolas needs to do is redeem himself to himself and he needs to have some sort of self-discovery and realization that it's okay to have things and he doesn't have to destroy them for a game or for an adventure. But I think he's a very tragic character and he's very hard to play. Because it's heartbreaking. It's literally heartbreaking. I get the scripts, and my heart breaks, and I can't sleep. And it's heartbreaking. It's just heartbreaking because I know this guy is ruining his life."
Marcus had a few ideas when it came to what his dream storyline for Nikolas is, "My favorite thing to watch and to act in, on soap operas, are the love stories, but I do think it would be fun for Nikolas to win, to have some sort of storyline where he really gets to win because so far honestly, he hasn't won much in the last two and a half years that I've been playing him."
"I think it would be fun to have the Cassadines, with Victor (Charles Shaughnessy) and Spencer and Nikolas to team up. Could you imagine how powerful that would be? To have some sort of common enemy. I would love to work with Sonny. I think it would be fun for Sonny and Nikolas to have to team up and even though they hate each other, they've got a common enemy. Maybe something happens to Spencer and they've got to work together and they start out hating each other and by the end, they hate each other still, but there's a love, there's like a family unity that exists."
He didn't hesitate when we asked what his most memorable scene as Nikolas has been so far. "I think honestly when Ava stabbed me. I just loved that so much. It was so sick and so twisted, but it made so much sense to me as the character because as part of this whole sabotage thing I think he equates pain with love. And that's something that I have a little bit of understanding with that, I've dated those people where it was just that toxic relationship. He didn't know his mom until he was 16 years old. His experience with love is very different. So there was something that was really oddly romantic about that scene for me. Her stabbing him was kind of their foreplay."
His latest story on General Hospital has had social media buzzing. It seems everyone wants to weigh in and the responses have been a mixed bag. We asked him about the social media part of being on a soap opera and the things he had to say were very enlightening, "I love it! I don't take any of it personally!" He enthused, "I remember the social media guy for General Hospital told me this, and I thought it was so incredibly genius. His name is Jason and he was like, 'we don't care what people are saying we just care that they're saying it'. And there's such truth to that."
"I don't fully understand Twitter." He admitted to us, "I'm horrible at it and Maurice is kind of trying to teach me about it. Instagram, I'm really good on and I read all the comments and I even try to respond to most of them. But Twitter, I am so late on the train with Twitter. Even though I've had my account for years, I kind of post something and I'll just look at the numbers versus reading all the comments but if you comment on Instagram, I will see that. I don't see Twitter as much."
We delved into the storyline of Nikolas and Esme (Avery Kristen Pohl) sleeping together and he told us he loved the soapiness of it, "I love it, I really do! As much as I was like 'people are gonna hate this', I knew it was gonna stir up a lot of drama. It was gonna give me and Spencer stuff. It was gonna give me and Ava stuff."
Marcus lets the negative feedback roll off his back, saying, "There are two things. One, as long as they're commenting, I'm happy. Two, I've had negative feedback for particular actors. There will be a new movie star and I'll be like, 'I don't like that guy' and then he'll do something else and I still won't like him and then I'll see something and be like, 'he's ok' and then I'll become the biggest fan of his. I think there's just something natural about that process. Sometimes you may hate somebody or something but eventually, if you keep going, you can develop a friendship and a love."
"To me, I look at it as all positive. I'm glad that somebody's commenting and somebody's there. They can say whatever they want to say in my opinion."
We asked about the social media feedback he got about the Nikolas and Esme love scene and if it was more positive or negative, "Twitter was definitely more negative but I kind of feel like it's still all positive. It's a similar sensation to when people walk out of a haunted house where they're like "Oh my god, that was crazy!' but there's an excitement to it. That's how I think this feels."
"Twitter, I will say, is hilarious. Some of the comments, I was laughing so hard. They're so funny. Instagram was more positive like, 'you are both great actors and I hate the storyline but it was very well done'. Twitter was a lot of puke emojis. Very few people were saying they hope Nik and Esme work out long term but there were people who enjoyed it."
He talked about what it was like filming the actual scenes, "For me and Avery, just so you know, we both were nervous. I'm 43 and she's 20 and she was like 'oh Marcus, I'm so sorry' and I was like 'Avery, I'm so sorry'. We were both so nervous doing those scenes."
He has very high praise for Avery, "I think she's an incredible actress. Fearless and incredible and she blew me away. What we were kinda playing with was that forbidden love."
What he had to say next about their scenes was both shocking and enlightening! "I was going to Wyndemere and drinking that amount of scotch with the contemplation of ending it. His son's relationship is gone and now he thinks he lost Ava and so what's the point? So in a weird way, as bad as Esme is, she saved his life."
"Then there's this almost euphoric, 'I love you. I love you because you've literally just saved my life'. Obviously, it's fleeting and it's temporary and reality crashes and it's like what just happened? But in that moment, I think what was romantic about it is there was this forbidden love between these two tragic characters, she was raised by a serial killer, and there's this moment of like, connection and acceptance. So there's something I really love about those two."
He got very candid and personal when we asked about transitioning into and out of his character, " I think the hardest part for me is actually getting out of character. Because you do it so much, getting into character kind of becomes easy but coming out of it has become hard because you have so much dialogue, and you spend so much time in it, and you're rehearsing even when you're not filming."
"I recently ended a relationship. I don't even know if she'll believe this. I was rehearsing some of the stuff that me and Ava had recently that's aired. The fighting and all of that stuff in the bar scene. He's like, 'I love you and you love me'. She's like, 'I can't do it anymore'. I was rehearsing that scene and I swear I was being Nikolas Cassadine and my girlfriend walked in. And I was like, 'this isn't working out' and I broke up with her, and the next day, I was like, 'what happened?' and she was like 'no, there's no way. I'm not going to do this. You're crazy.' and she was done and she was 100% right."
"I have to remember you've got to actually go back to being yourself. Becoming the character, there's a cue, there's a countdown. There's no 'ok, go back to being yourself now'. I have to be like 'okay go back to being yourself' and I actually literally do that now. 'Ok, that's done I'm Marcus'."
We asked him if he could give us a hint as to what's next for Nik and he teased, "A lot of hot water. As you can imagine, it was hot before but this is not even steaming, it's evaporating. It's a whole new level of hot water."
When we asked him about his interests outside of acting and we were excited by his answer, "I really want to start making films I want to start using guys like Maurice and I still stay in touch with Steve Burton. I feel like I'm surrounded by such talented guys. I really have an interest in writing and directing. So I think that's going to be coming up soon. I don't know what that's going to be but maybe short films. I've been doing these fun little videos on Instagram with Maurice and I just love that process."
Marcus fans love when he posts videos on his Instagram, singing and playing the piano. We asked him about other instruments he plays and he told us, "I play the guitar. The drums were the first thing I learned and then I went to saxophone. That became way less popular after the '80s. In the '80s if you played the saxophone, it was so cool and then it just literally became so uncool. I feel like it's kinda making a comeback. So, I can play the sax, drums, piano, and guitar."
Would he ever take his music beyond Instagram posts, we asked, "I think it will always be a hobby, I think I just think it's it's one of those things that I love so much. But I feel like whenever you click on the thing that you're supposed to be doing you have success in it. I've written a lot of things and there hasn't been too much success in it so I take that as it's a hobby. It's something I love to do and it's fun but it is what it is."
We asked Marcus if musical theater was something he'd ever do with his music and acting backgrounds and he wasn't against the idea, "My voice and my vocal range don't necessarily lend to it. If I could find the right vocal coach. I love musical theater. I saw Phantom of the Opera twice in February with my daughter. I would have to boost my confidence and ability but I would do it in a heartbeat. I think Grease and Jailhouse Rock are probably my first two favorite movies."
Any other projects outside of General Hospital? "I actually got a couple of other gigs that I wasn't able to do because of schedule conflicts. That's the beautiful problem that I have right now. I have a job that I love that I get to work on a lot but it makes it really hard to do other jobs that I would be really excited to do."
His contract with General Hospital is up later this fall so we asked him if he was planning on staying on long-term and he shared, "I don't know, because I think it will depend on the writers and the producers. I would love to be a part of it as long as I can. Honestly, it's the longest job I've ever had. Even though I've done some pretty big projects, I've never done anything consistently for two and a half years."
"That conversation will happen, but it hasn't happened yet so I've no idea what they're thinking. I don't know how that will work. I don't know if there's a conversation ahead of time or if you literally get a script that says, 'Nikolas gets eaten by a dragon."
"I'll say that I really love the cast and the producers and the writers. I love it, and I'm really enjoying it. But I don't know the answer to that question. We'll find out within the next six months or so."
We wrapped up our conversation by asking Marcus if he had a message he wanted to send out to his fans and he did not disappoint! "To the fans. I just want to say thank you so much. I mean, you guys are so incredibly lovely and different from any other project I've been a part of and, I think, any other fan base that exists. You're so incredibly supportive and loving. And they really seem to separate the character from the actor, and I just appreciate that so much."
We appreciate you Marcus and we're sure your fans do too! Thanks for taking the time to speak to us and we look forward to more of Prince Nikolas Cassadine on our screens!