Now that you’ve seen the sexy promos for General Hospital: Night Shift, you’re no doubt wondering who that mysterious, dark-haired doc is. Lucky for you, I met that mysterious, dark-haired doc during my day on the set, and am ready to give you the goods! Joining Billy Dee in the ranks of newbie at NS, Dominic Rains brings a breath of fresh air to those familiar hospital halls as Dr. Leo Julian, a silver-spoon guy with blue-collar sensibilities and a youthful idealism. The Iranian born actor is a relatively new face in Hollywood – you may have seen him in the Emmy winning A&E original Flight 93, or in guest-starring roles on NCIS and 24, but his turn as Dr. Julian marks his daytime debut.
I’m happy to report that Rains is the real deal: a young actor who couldn’t be more thrilled to find himself in Port Charles, and more than willing to tell me all about it. Not only was he a great interview, but he was the first — and only – castmember to take the time to introduce himself — hours before we ever sat down to chat. He’s earnest, enthusiastic and genuine — and he completely won me over. Let me know if he does you!
Are you adjusting to the pace of daytime?
I’m not going to lie to you – it has been tough. It’s OK, but it has been. I’m adapting to it, you know? I think it’s great that the whole thing shoots in one day, whereas I’m used to shooting an episode in eight days, or a film in a few weeks or a month or what not. This is nice, because you learn to get from one place to another a lot faster. It teaches you a lot of things – you pick up a lot and learn quite a bit, so I’ve been very fortunate to adapt to something that’s not me.
I think as human beings we like to be in control, so if we can just step outside of it and not be in control, and allow someone else to take over and trust that [those] who are guiding us and helping us through it, it makes things a lot easier. It makes it a lot easier to just let it all go and free yourself – accept the situation and where you’re at and just ride with it.
What have you learned from those guiding influences?
I’ve been fortunate to be involved with some great actors, and my brother (Iman Nazemzadeh) is great actor, so he’s been a great mentor. You see what the objective of the scene is – where it’s trying to go and what you’re trying to do – and you don’t really make it a point to just memorize the line. If you just memorize lines, it becomes about your cue and saying your lines and there isn’t that relationship in the moment. So you get the idea and you learn to listen. I think in general, we forget to listen, so this is also good training in that. The thing is, like I was talking about before, we want to be in control of what we’re saying, and we’re afraid to say the wrong things [and end up] not bouncing off each other’s energy. We want to manipulate the situation, so we end up being very stiff and we take ourselves completely out of the moment that way. When you’re just living it, it doesn’t get better than that.
This is a great step for me in my life, being here. I’m just working with a really great group of people – great actors – and things are coming together. …It’s still building; things are still in development. Sometimes, we want more; we want things to happen quicker, and we forget about the journey. That’s what it’s about – the journey.
Will you watch yourself on “Night Shift?”
I’ll watch it! I’m very hesitant in watching myself, but I will! We are our own worst critics, and sometimes we feel like we’ve got something to prove to ourselves. It’s very unnecessary.
What can you tell me about Dr. Leo Julian?
He’s a very fun-loving character. I was telling Jill [Farren Phelps, producer], I think it’s the closest character to myself that I’ve ever, ever had. He’s a very caring human being. He’s kind of in his own world, and he wants to do what he wants to do, but I think he just wants to help. He was the kid who said, “I want to help people,” and really, really still believes in that. He still has that childlike mentality of, “I want to save the world.” He’s not a fan of administrators; he’s more about sharing and receiving love. He can be arrogant, he can be cocky, but it’s part of his demeanor that he knows how to use. He knows where it comes from, he knows that he has it and he knows what to do with it. He’s an artsy fartsy kind of guy who would rather play the guitar or share a nice relationship with some energy with someone – if that makes any sense, what I just said!
When he’s in the OR, or when he’s in front of a patient that needs him, he’s there 100 percent; he gives everything he’s got to that. He’s almost like a chameleon, too; he knows how to address each situation with a patient. Whether it’s with, for instance, Mrs. Storch, or if he was in the room with Spinelli or Maxie, or with somebody else, he’s able to adapt to that environment – to that person’s liking.
He’s not a selfish person. He may come off as the type who would be selfish, or hard to talk to – when he walks in the door, you’re like, “Who’s that cocky guy?” But when it gets past that, and you’ve had the opportunity to meet him, you fall in love with him.
More with “fall in love with him” Dominic Rains in the next few days …