‘General Hospital’: Why Laura Wright Thinks Story Lines Could ‘Shift’ Thanks to COVID-19

General Hospital has been airing on TV for over 55 years now, so it is not surprising the show has seen numerous changes to its writing and stories. After all, in order to keep up with the times, General Hospital and other soaps have to adapt to any circumstances thrown their way.

While it might not seem like the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic could impact the various plots as much, actor Laura Wright (Carly Corinthos) says it could. In fact, according to Wright, story lines could “shift” because of the pandemic.

Laura Wright
Laura Wright on ‘General Hospital’ | Walt Disney Television/Todd Wawrychuk

COVID-19 is forcing ‘General Hospital’ to adopt social distancing guidelines on its set

First of all, the set of General Hospital is no doubt seeing a lot of changes thanks to COVID-19. Many places in the country are enforcing social distancing guidelines wherever people gather, and soap opera sets are no exceptions.

As reported by ABC 7, after General Hospital resumed filming in mid-July, the cast and crew have been following social distancing guidelines to ensure their health and safety.

“Before anyone could even walk into the building, COVID-19 tests came first,” producer Frank Valentini said. “Testing negative was mandatory. Testing will continue and Valentini says masks are now worn at all times, except when actors are taping a scene.”

He also added, “The amount of physical intimacy is limited.” In fact, Valentini revealed he heard many people say on set, “I’m so happy to see you! I wish I could hug you.”

Laura Wright reveals her thoughts on not being able to touch another actor while filming 

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Viewers of General Hospital might know that there are numerous scenes in which actors have to physically touch each other. However, these scenes are becoming less common on the show with actors putting distance between themselves when acting.

TV Insider shares that Wright thinks this could allow actors to be even more “creative” with their work.

“When I first heard we were coming back and there was no real touching or stuff, then I thought, ‘We have to really get creative with our writing and really be solid in the storytelling and our ability to sell that story,’” Wright says.

She adds, “I think it really has to expose us more in our emotions in knowing our dialogue to be able to sell these stories without touching. It could actually be challenging and beautiful and open us up to even better acting because we’re having to not lean on something we do so much.”

Wright even believes it might affect the story lines on the show as well, saying, “Maybe it shifts our storytelling a little bit, and maybe relationships change, maybe it gives a fresh new vibe to it all.”

Wright says the set is ‘not as social as it used to be’

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 Although Wright can see some advantages to the physical distance enforced on actors while filming, she reveals this has a negative effect on the set. Nowadays, actors cannot socialize as much in person, and it has made the set “not as social as it used to be,” according to Wright.

“Any chat going on in the hair chairs when you’re sitting next to people getting your hair done, there’s none of that happening because you have masks and a big piece of plexi-glass in between you,” Wright explains. “It’s definitely not as social as it used to be. Every dress rehearsal all the way up until the tape is rolling, then masks can come off and hair and makeup can come in, and they have masks and shield protection.”