Tristan Rogers Shares Stories From General Hospital’s Golden Age — Including the Moment He and Anthony Geary Were Given the Green Light to ‘Do as You Like’
“We were suspicious of one another. That’s the best way to put it.”
Tristan Rogers has been a fan favorite on General Hospital for years and during a sit-down with his co-star Maurice Benard (Sonny) on State of Mind, the actor shared some interesting details from the very beginning and how he landed the role on the ABC soap.
When Rogers first moved to Los Angeles, it became quickly apparent that casting directors didn’t want an actor with an Australian accent. “I had to sort of come up with some kind of American accent,” he reflected, until he received a call from his agent, who said, “I got this audition… these people want East Africans.” Rogers had no idea what that meant, and neither did his agent, who stated, “No one’s going to know, so go in there.”
The audition was for General Hospital — for a two day role.
Rogers had no idea how big the ABC soap was. He did five readings over five days then landed the job. When he arrived the next day for a wardrobe fitting, his no-name character was set to beat up the show’s hero, Luke (Anthony Geary), and then disappear. It wasn’t until he was summonsed into producer Gloria Monty’s office that he was invited to stay on.
With nothing written for the character, Rogers was told that Monty wanted him in scenes. He didn’t have to say anything, he could simply be “reading a magazine” or “poking around a corner, looking suspicious.” For two weeks he did that. When he learned his character was going to be called Agent X1, Rogers replied, “What? That’s a stupid name. Let me come up with something a little bit better than that.”
After giving it some thought, Rogers presented the name Agent CK8. Monty’s sister asked what CK stood for and Rogers replied, “Can kill,” and from that moment on that was his character, Agent CK8, and he signed on for three years, to which he became popular very fast.
Looking back on Robert and Luke, Rogers admitted, “We were suspicious of one another. That’s the best way to put it.” After Robert rescued Luke from the Cassadines, the characters became buddies — but not before a big fight scene between him, Luke and “a whole bunch of Cassadine people.”
Geary and Rogers messed with the script — turned it into a whole new scene — then showed Monty, who allowed them to act it out. In their tweaked scene, after Luke and Agent CK8 were beaten up, they backed away from their enemies. Monty told them that Rogers’ character had to remain suspicious of Luke in order to stand in line with what they already had written for down the road, and, as long as they did that, both were able to “do as you like.” After that, he and Geary were always changing things up.
Hear more from Rogers’ early years on the soap in the segment below:
Then look back on some of Robert’s memorable moments over the years in our General Hospital photo gallery.
Video: State of Mind/YouTube