Our As The World Turns Expert’s Reaction: Jon Lindstrom Cast as the latest Craig Montgomery

Scott Bryce

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. 

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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:

                                                                                                            Marlena

                                                                                                            XXXOOO

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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 Jon Lindstromcan 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!

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Patrick Erwin blogs regularly at  A Thousand Other Worlds …

Comments

  1. James says:

    Dear Patrick,

    I LOVED Jon Lindstrom on GH. Think he was amazing and should have moved back to the mother soap when Port Charles died. Since they’re trying to rip off the Sopranos, why not let Kevin be Sonny’s shrink.

    I’m looking forward to seeing him as Craig. I think he’ll be a worthy successor to Hunt Block. And yes, I do mean Hunt Block, who became the definitive Craig while in that role.

    It was a shame that Scott Bryce didn’t click in the role this go round. It just never felt like a good fit this time, despite how PERFECT he was in the role all those years ago. I think the writers kept writing for Hunt Block’s interpretation of the character rather than Bryce’s. And Block’s strengths weren’t Bryce’s.

    Plus they saddled him and Cady McClain with an awful storyline that no one cared about. Dob’t know that anyone could have made that drekk work. Not even a DeNiro or an Olivier.

    Here’s hoping they let Lindstrom develop his own interpretation of the character and write to his strengths.

    Patrick says: James, we’ll have to agree to disagree on this one as far as the definitive Craig. But I will say this. As much as my definitve Craig is Scott Bryce, I liked Hunt Block. And I agree, Jon Lindstrom is a fine actor. I just wish ATWT would stop totally reinventing characters. Giving them the same name seems beyond the point if they’re going to be completely different than they once were.

  2. Dawn says:

    I’ve been a fan of Jon Lindstrom for his entire soap career and I am thrilled to see him back on daytime. I just hope his interpretation of Craig and the show’s vision of Craig are on the same page or Jon may find himself alongside Bryce, Meeks and Block — all dumped. I also hope the fans keep an open mind with Jon’s portrayal, if not the character of Craig.

  3. Sam Ford says:

    I’m interested in the Lindstrom decision in light of what has seemed a casting decision to infuse ATWT with talent popularized over at ABC Daytime for years now. I’m sure this is not a complete list, but Roger Howarth, Marie Wilson, Sarah Brown, Kin Shriner, Brian Gaskill, Julie Pinson, Jon Lindstrom, Cady McClain, Noelle Beck, Randolph Mantooth, and Laurence Lau are all cast additions from the last several years, all of whom were either short-term front-burner additions, or else permanent characters with significant screen time (Mantooth as the Hal Munson recast was an exception, in that he wasn’t particularly front-burner, and the jury’s still out on what Lau’s run will look like…) But it does seem there’s a conscious decision to pull in a variety of acting vets from the other network. Some of these decisions have led to great fits; others have led to tough fits.

    But it’s strange to see ATWT so rarely bring back favorite faces from its own past but porting in a variety of actors from across age ranges popularized by runs on ABC. It’s interesting to read the canning of Scott Bryce and this recast a few months later in light of this overall trend.

  4. PK ( Kel ) says:

    My 2 cents here is not who’s playing Craig now … but my drastic concern with the WRITING — it’s obvious TPTB wanted all of Craig’s grey gone and turn him into supervillian — When SB wanted to pull shades of grey where there really weren’t any in the writing — it seems that … whaddya know … there’s SB with CG’s footprint on his fanny going out the door — I LIKE Jon L a lot and think he could inhabit Craig very well (and perhaps recapture some of his EARTHINESS, I too adored Hunt Block but he was so uppity and snooty and almost inpenetrable — I couldn’t see past that recast to Bart Montgomery’s angry son in the wheelchair.) — but our last scene of Craig was some Stenbeck-esque evil laughter mocking his own sister for not being able to catch up for nearly BLOWING up someone he was pals with when said-intended victim was a child (Paul of course) — I think the MUCH bigger concern whether JL HB SB GM , Santa Claus, Hulk Hogan, Laurence Olivier’s ghost or Brittany Spears is playing Craig … is how on EARTH to write him back to any remote sort of believable human character and not the black-hat wearing cartoon he became.

  5. J.D. says:

    Oh Patrick,
    Just to let You Know Scott Bryce Was & always Will Be Craig to me & he Clicked Perfectly. I have been Watching Scott as Craig Since I was 14 He knows what he is Doing If they Had to Cast Jon Lindstrom They should Have Cast Him as Brian Wheatley Instead. I am Not Giving Up Hope that Scott comes Back as Craig.

  6. janet says:

    Hated HUNT B as Craig Sheffer’s ideas of what this soap was, and Scott Bryce will always be the definitive Craig. He did dirty deeds, he made you still care about him. I went through the whole Betsy Steve deal, stayed home to watch. No VCR then, forgave Scott /Craig for his sins, loved him with Sierra, was ecstatic when he returned. Now they put someone else in the role No thanks.

    Jon L is an ok actor. I hated him as Mark on Santa Barbara, loved Mary with Mason, liked him after on GH. Seems like TIIC of the world don’t care if they hold our intrest or not. Why should I watch a show where the EW says he doesn’t care what the fans want, does what he wants.

  7. J.D. says:

    No Offense But Scott Bryce is kind of a wimp He can’t
    even fight his way out of a paper bag. He was really Cute when Craig & Sierra were dating. That was the year I had a Major Crush on Him & I was only 14.
    Jon Lindstrom has more Guts

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