General Hospital fans were stunned when the mystery man who revealed himself to Ava Jerome turned out to be none other than the presumed-dead Nikolas Cassadine! The show hadn’t announced either the character coming back or his portrayer, Marcus Coloma, joining the show so, the actor’s debut caught everyone by surprise!
Marcus Coloma: Mystery Role
Web sleuths quickly identified Coloma as Nikolas, many noting that he appeared too young to play the part of the Cassadine heir, who debuted in 1996 when Tyler Christopher originated the role. But, the reality is, Coloma has been an actor for quite some time and has amassed over 30 credits over the last 20 years!
“I had mixed feelings,” Coloma told Soaps In Depth about taking on the iconic role of Nikolas. “It’s really hard to fill somebody else’s shoes… but what an exciting, rich, complex character. His backstory and history, with the family line? It’s very interesting.”
Not surprisingly, Coloma had to keep mum about who he was playing and says even not everyone at work knew right away who he was playing. “A lot of the cast didn’t know who I was, so I was kind of sneaking around the dressing rooms and hair and makeup [departments]. People glanced at me but didn’t really know who I was. Then, slowly, as the weeks rolled out, there were rumors about who I was and what I was doing there.”
Attracted To Soaps
While GH is his first daytime serial, Coloma has experience working on continuing dramas in primetime on such shows as Point Pleasant, One Tree Hill, and South Beach. He says he passed on some soap roles that were offered to him about 15 years ago, but a trip to Australia opened his eyes about how unique working on a daytime drama can be.
“I had no idea they were so far-reaching,” he said. “And then this Uber driver told me about how this actor came and she got to drive him. She wasn’t talking about Brad Pitt — her highlight was meeting a soap opera actor! It’s pretty cool to see that effect across the world. And sure enough, I came back and, two days later, got an e-mail saying they were interested in me for the role.”
Nikolas: Another Mikkos?
After winning the part of the son of Laura (Genie Francis) and the late Stavros (John Martinuzzi; Robert Kelker-Kelly), Coloma set about to dis some research, going back to the days of the Ice Princess storyline that introduced Coloma’s TV grandfather Mikkos (John Colicos).
“I’ve watched hours and hours of GH, and I really love Mikkos Cassadine. I enjoyed his power and the idea of this family orchestrating what’s going on in the world. Mikkos created this legacy that, to this day, has such an impact on the world.”
And, now, Coloma is carrying on that legacy as the Cassadine heir. His resurrection is known only to some — for now — but as the show heads into the next decade, it’s only a matter of time before more people discover that Nikolas is alive! General Hospital airs weekdays on ABC. Check local listings for air times.