FLMag: As we all know General Hospital is celebrating 60 years, and Scott Baldwin is the longest running character. I bet the younger fans are not aware of this fact.
KS: Why I’m in the Guinness book of World Records is that Scotty Baldwin was introduced in 1964, and he was on as a kid for about a year and then he disappeared. Then I came back as him grown-up to reconnect with my father on the show, Lee Baldwin. That’s when I started in 1977.
I watch a lot of old movies and I tell young actors all the time, if you want to learn how to do comedy, you should go watch all the old screwball comedies of the 1940s with Cary Grant and those people. The pace was different .. you’ve got to have some sort of comedic timing and know what comedy’s about. It’s very easy to bring an actor down, it’s virtually impossible to bring an actor up. If an actor doesn’t really have any game, if they just follow suit and whisper their lines, then you bring in a ham like a Tracy Quartermaine or a Scottie Baldwin or a Lucy Coe, and they’re going to be a whole different game.
The fans are really people 50 years and over. They think they can get college kids back and young people back, and there’s not a kid under 30 that would even … I was at the car wash the other day with my beautiful car and the kid comes over and says hey we’re doing pictures of all the cool cars for our
website, can we get a picture of you and your car? I said OK. Listen, here’s the deal. Take a picture and put soap opera star Kin Shriner’s car and he says OK. SO he takes the picture, he comes back and he says so, you sing opera?
But they’re dead set on getting younger views and they think that if they keep forcing these kids on TV every day, they’ll get them. I’ve done my time, and I still like being there.
FTL: Who’s your favorite actor?
KS: I have a lot of favorite actors. Since I watch the old movies all the time, when I see a Burt Lancaster movie, a Bogart movie – I love watching all the old actors from yesteryear. Today? I like Brad Pitt, I like Ryan Gosling.
You’ve got to get something that’s worthy. I went to the movies to see the James Bond movie, I went to see Top Gun. When big movie theaters in the entertainment capital of the world can’t keep open because they’re not either putting movies in that people want to see or nobody wants to pay those prices when they’ve now got 100- inch TVs at home and stuff all comes to TV the same day, why go to the movies?
FTL: Is there a word that describes your personality off-screen?
KS: Hmmm, I don’t know, offbeat? A little off? You know, I don’t think people ever really know what I’m going to say or do, so therefore they’re kind of taken because they know that I will never stick to the script. But with that, I have to fight sometimes for the character – I think he would say this, and not the way he wrote it.
FTL: Tell us about your ties to Fort Lauderdale.
KS: Fort Lauderdale was a quaint little town. Fort Lauderdale was a completely different place. To be able to go to school by boat and then come across and throw your water ski in the water, water ski down the Intracoastal – they didn’t have speed laws, you could ski all the way from Cardinal Gibbons down to 17th Street. Your whole life was about boating. Boating, skiing, diving, snorkeling, it’s just a whole way of life for those kids who got to do that. No kid knows how great it was unless they did it, and those kids who did it all had the same story – it was great. We all had little boats, little speedboats, and we could be gone. We weren’t wrangled the way kids are today. Parents are afraid to let them do anything. When we were kids, we were jumping huge wakes out in Port Everglades, trying to race boats, flipping boats. It was a real wild boat life and it was nothing but boats.
FTL: You went to Cardinal Gibbons. Did you start and finish there?
KS: I went there for two years, and then I went to St. Andrews up in Boca, and then we went to Texas. I never had plans to go to college or go to school for very long. I was in a professional acting class in third grade, I had set my professional sights on being an actor. I just got deterred a little bit when we grew up in Fort Lauderdale. But that was fine, that was a great time to be learning riding motorcycles and boats, all that stuff I got to do down there.