The Final Rose is a horror film with some relatable elements to anyone familiar with how reality TV shows work. Roger Howarth, who portrays Austin Gatlin-Holt on General Hospital, talked to Soap Hub about the Tubi film, which also stars many other familiar faces from daytime like The Young and the Restless’ Brytni Sarpy.
The Final Rose Setup
Written by Tim Cruz and Blake Rutledge, The Final Rose tells the tale of a single mother who visits a remote island in order to compete on the fictional reality dating series Love at Last. Her search for love, however, becomes a fight for survival as a mysterious killer starts bumping off contestants one by one.
Howarth told us about his role as TV executive Bill Thornton. Other daytime stars in the movie are Sarpy (Elena Dawson, Y&R), Robert Adamson (ex-Noah Newman, Y&R), Brittany Underwood (ex-Langston Cramer, One Life to Live) and Robert Palmer Watkins (ex-Dillon Quartermain, GH). Sarpy started out in soaps as Valerie Spencer on GH, and Adamson has checked into Port Charles in recent times subbing for Chad Duell (Michael Corinthos).
Soap Hub: This is a scary movie, but you can tell the people who wrote it have experience working up the ladder in show biz as Brittany Underwood’s character Nicki inquires if a TV production underling poured or stirred the oat milk into her coffee. You start to think her career is riding on the answer.
Roger Howarth: I think you’re right on. I’m glad that’s what you experienced because [Tim and Blake] had this meta cool idea that is both in and out of the game; yes, it’s a horror movie and scary, but it also is meant to be fun. It was certainly fun to shoot. These guys have a real knack for making an environment that an actor wants to be in. It was real fun.
Soap Hub: Are the producers or the casting directors fans of daytime? There are certainly a lot of daytime stars in this project.
Roger Howarth: That’s above my pay grade as to how those decisions get made. I just don’t know. I had met Brittany years ago [at One Life to Live], but I didn’t feel I’d gotten to really know her. We all had a great time working together and getting to know one another.
Soap Hub: Did you find the TV industry references in the film were spot-on?
Roger Howarth: Yes. Blake brought a working knowledge [of the industry to the film]. The role I played, a TV executive, Blake had first-hand experience with. He had some great anecdotes to share. There were some humorous takes.
Soap Hub: At the same time, there’s a killer on the loose!
Roger Howarth: Yes. They captured the horror very well, along with the almost satirical part of the film. It succeeds on two levels.
Soap Hub: It used to be difficult for actors to get out of their soap opera schedules to film outside projects. Did you have any issues with scheduling conflicts with GH and The Final Rose?
Roger Howarth: I owe a huge thanks to [GH executive producer] Frank Valentini for several reasons, and this is one more. He made some time and space for me. There was a day when I was working in the morning [at GH] and later, on the film. Fortunately, the movie location was a quarter of a mile away. The two camps met [and worked it out]. I’m pretty lucky. That’s something that we shouldn’t take for granted. I have to add that Tubi was fantastic to work for. They’re a cool company and made me feel very welcome. They’re onto something, and at the same time, they enjoy themselves. When I was done shooting, I sent an email to the producers telling them that I’d rediscovered a real love of what we do and that that was important to me. It’s true.
To watch ‘The Final Rose’ on Tubi for free, click here.
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