Thinking Fans Comment Update October 10: James thinks Lindstrom is a worthy successor … but Dawn worries that he’ll join the dumpees. See Comments below.
Last December our Patrick Erwin did a very, very perceptive take on the very strange state of the character of Craig Montgomery on As the World Turns. Earlier in 2007, Scott Bryce, the brilliant and very popular actor who originated that role in the 80s, had returned to the role after an absence of more than 15 years. (Other actors had played the role in the interim.) In his analysis, Patrick maintained that ATWT was misusing the character and wasting Bryce’s talents. The same month this article ran, Bryce was indeed fired for reasons that were never clarified by the show. Fans were outraged — and remain mystified as to why such a valuable actor as Bryce could have been fired. Yesterday, it was announced that Jon Lindstrom, the versatile and well-liked actor who played Kevin and Ryan on General Hospital and Port Charles has been hired to take over the role of Craig. Here is Patrick’s reaction:
By Patrick Erwin
There’s a big mystery brewing in Oakdale — or at least in Brooklyn, where As The World Turns is taped. It’s more mysterious than figuring out if James Stenbeck is alive, dead, or vying to be a contestant on Dancing with the Stars: It looks like ATWT is bringing on daytime vet Jon Lindstrom to play Craig Montgomery.
My question is: Why?First of all, let me be clear: Jon Lindstrom is a class act and a very talented actor. He did great work on General Hospital and Port Charles. He can play sweet and likeable as well as psychotic and brutal, which shows off his great range. And apparently, that’s what ATWT was looking for to suit their vision of Craig. But why recast him? First of all, in Scott Bryce, ATWT had an actor with that range and that talent, and he originated the role to boot. They brought Bryce back in early 2007, but fired him before the year was out. That dismissal is still puzzling to ATWT fans. I’d make an educated guess that ATWT wants to bring Craig back to fill the villain role again. But the more they try to peg Craig as a bad guy, the more it rings false. Craig was NEVER completely bad or completely good, and that’s why we loved him so much. Like Phillip Spaulding on Guiding Light, he had a capacity for great love and affection — as well as the ability to be truly evil when cornered. A character like that has YEARS of multi-layered, complex story ahead. I don’t understand why ATWT has pushed so hard for Craig to be the bad guy (drugging Meg?) in the last few years. And with apologies to Mr. Lindstrom, I don’t understand why they want to recast Craig — again. If ATWT needs a villain, it seems to me they’d be better off bringing Lindstrom on as a new character.
Perhaps this will surprise us all — just as nuLily, Noelle Beck, has surprised me with her portrayal of an old favorite. ATWT will have an opportunity to pull Craig’s stories with Dusty and daughter Lucy out of limbo.
But ATWT keeps trying to give us old characters with new faces, and it’s getting to the point where the canvas of Oakdale is getting a bit blurry!
Patrick Erwin blogs regularly at A Thousand Other Worlds …