Though it hardly qualifies as daytime's best-kept secret, General Hospital has finally, officially revealed who Cameron Mathison will be playing when he makes his debut later this week: the presumed-dead Drew Cain.
And yes -- Mathison himself confirmed who he'd be playing last week. Mathison also posted a photo of himself from the set -- complete with a scruffy beard and cuts and bruises -- over the weekend.
"I've been having an absolute blast shooting my first few weeks on GH," Mathison captioned his Instagram photo.
But rewinding a bit, while fans have been speculating who Mathison would be playing ever since his addition to the GH cast was announced back in April, even Mathison didn't know who he'd be playing. According to the All My Children alum, he was initially told that he would be playing a character other than Drew.
"[GH executive producer] Frank Valentini [...] actually gave me a curveball. I was told it was a different character for the first month and a half that I had signed the contract," Mathison said in an interview with PopCulture.com. Mathison explained that it wasn't until he met with Valentini, co-head writers Chris Van Etten and Dan O'Connor, and an ABC rep that he learned exactly who he would be playing. "That's when I found out I was playing Drew Cain, and I had goosebumps."
It was then that Mathison had to do something that he'd never done for a soap role before: grow an incredibly long beard.
"I show up with this pretty, fairly long beard for me -- about a five-week-old beard -- and then, while I was shooting that [...] I had to then shave and shoot some flashbacks which was cool," Mathison shared. Shortly thereafter, General Hospital went on break, and Mathison was told to regrow the beard.
Of his first daytime role since All My Children ended in 2011, "I didn't realize how much I missed it until my first day [on GH]," Mathison confessed to Entertainment Tonight. "I don't really get nervous or anxious of going into a job anymore. But I was nervous, because it meant a lot to me, because All My Children was so important to me. And then coming back to General Hospital, I wanted to make an impact and after the first day, I'm like, 'Man, I didn't know how much I missed it.'"
Mathison starred as AMC's Ryan Lavery from 1998 to 2011, earning Daytime Emmy nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actor in 2002 and 2005. During his thirteen years in Pine Valley, Mathison had romances with several of the soap's leading ladies, including Erica Kane (played by Susan Lucci) and Greenlee Smythe (Rebecca Budig, who has portrayed Hayden Barnes on GH).
Mathison first appears on-screen today, August 17.
How do you feel about Cameron Mathison taking on the role of Drew? Did you ever think he might be playing another character? If so, who were you hoping he'd portray? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.