It was just another typical day in the life of General Hospital's newest leading lady, Megan Ward. While her TV character, Kate Howard, would begin her morning by choosing a prim blouse and a sensible pair of pumps, Megan started hers by throwing on some sweat pants and chasing her 1-year-old daughter around the house to check for a poopy diaper! It's true. That which grates so intensely on Kate's nerves is what puts the biggest smile on Megan's face.
"I've got my 6-year-old son off to day camp - made sure he had his sunscreen, goggles, swimsuit and snack," says Megan. "Then I brought my daughter to her first Mommy And Me class. We had the best time singing and dancing. I dropped her off with our nanny... and now I'm here at our photo shoot, having eyelashes put on and wearing a $6,000 gown!"
"It's a very lovely life I lead," she adds. "I have to say, I'm a lucky girl."
Lucky, yes, but talented, too. Both certainly contributed to the addition of General Hospital on her already stellar - and lengthy - resume. "I never considered doing daytime because my plate was already full," says Megan, whose agent pitched the role of Kate to her. When Megan read the audition script, she was instantly sold.
Then came the tryout, at which her soon-to-be leading man, Maurice Benard (Sonny), read alongside her and gave her time in front of producers an extra oomph. "We started doing the scene and Maurice stood up, walked over to me and I circled around him," Megan recalls. "I was like, 'What you got?' And he was like, 'What you got?!' The script pretty much went out the window at that point. It was so fun. They had us do it two more times because they only had the one scene to try and find all the colors. We did some other things, and he was circling and pacing. As an actor, those kind of auditions don't really happen. It's very rare when you're in an environment where you feel like you're collaborating and getting as much as you're giving. I left the room going, 'Oh my God, I hope I get this job!' Thirty minutes later, I got the call."
Although Kate has only been on-air for about three months, it's pretty clear that she's one complicated chick! "I'm not just playing Kate," Megan explains. "It's Kate and Connie and then the person who was in between in the arc of how she became Kate. There are a lot of contradictions with her because Kate comes on incredibly strong and incredibly dismissive." "But," she adds, "the reason she is that way is because she's concealing and hiding. She's projecting a persona to intimidate, but she's also putting up a wall to cover the truth of who she is and the emotion and vulnerability that she has. So I have to play all of it."
"Then I also have to play how she responds to being in the presence of Sonny," she continues. "If I don't constantly think about what I need to cover, then I only tell half the story. I have a nice journey ahead of me, to unravel the pieces of her personality."
The cat-and-mouse game between Sonny and Kate has just begun. Fundamentally, it's important that the audience sees that they really do care about each other on a whole different level. "It's about who they really, truly were before 'life' happened," Megan explains. "They were kids when they felt their attraction. It was very pure and beautiful. Now they're mature adults and completely different people with all that history in between."
"There are very, very deep feelings there that never went away," she adds. "In fact, she probably became so hard because she made a choice to not allow herself to love him. Having him as a constant reminder is waking that up. She needs to have this experience with Sonny and see what is there and what could be there. Will she act on her impulses? It is in her nature to do that... and she will! Then, the next step is for her to deal with the consequences of having displayed her true feelings."