ABC soaps, including General Hospital and One Life to Live, have done an excellent job addressing social issues over the years. Now, Florencia Lozano, who played Téa Delgado on both serials, stars in Life After You, which deals with a family trying to make sense of a son’s death from a fentanyl overdose. The actress spoke with Soap Hub about her role in the film — in front of the camera and behind it.
Florencia Lozano Stars in Life After You
Lozano not only stars in the film as Linda, whose son Danny (Jake Ryan Lozano) died after overdosing on fentanyl, but she also co-wrote the film. The movie is inspired by the book ‘Life After You: What Your Death From Drugs Leaves Behind,’ which was written by Linda Lajterman, who lost her son Danny to a fentanyl overdose.
Charlene Giannetti, one of the film’s producers, approached Lozano about starring in the feature and also co-writing it. “I was really moved by Charlene’s passion and her mission,” Lozano tells Soap Hub. “There was just no way I could turn this down. As an artist, I wanted to help in any way I can.”
A Great Actor’s Final Appearance
Much of the film deals with Linda and her husband Tito (Gary Perez) dealing with feelings of helplessness and guilt over their son’s death. Tito attempts to retrieve a treasured family watch that Danny had sold to buy drugs.
“In real-life, [Tito] never got the watch back,” Lozano shares, noting that some artistic license was taken in bringing the story to the screen. Perez’s Tito has a scene with [Oz actor] Craig muMs Grant, who plays Terry, over retrieving the watch. “[Craig] passed away,” Lozano shares. “This was his last film, and his work in it is so beautiful.”
Soaps have addressed pain killer drug abuse with the character of Steffy Forrester (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood) on The Bold and the Beautiful. “Opiates were introduced as a way to kill pain, but they’ve been prescribed to people who shouldn’t be on them,” Lozano says. At one point, Linda imagines a scene with Danny in which she asks him why didn’t he tell her he was on drugs. “I wanted to tell you,” he responds, “but I wanted the drug more.”
Linda and Tito address some powerful questions including: How could this have happened? How could they not know their son was on drugs? Who is ultimately responsible? Among the many powerful scenes in this film is one in which Lozano’s character interacts with Sally (played by Kathryn Erbe, Law & Order: Criminal Intent). “No one talks to us anymore,” Linda tells Sally, showing how families who experience tragedy are often shut-out by well-intentioned pals.
Florencia Lozano Includes Hope in Life After You
Despite the deeply somber content of the film, Lozano and co-writer/director Sarah T. Schwab were determined to include positive moments in the story. “That was the challenge when we were writing it,” Lozano says. “We asked, ‘How do we tell this story without making people shut down?’ We need to have hope, joy, and comfort [in the film] to keep people watching and to keep them fighting this epidemic.”
To learn more about the dangers of fentanyl, visit the Center for Disease Control (CDC). “I hope people feel less alone when they watch this movie,” Lozano says. “I learned during this movie that the opposite of addiction is community. The opposite of isolation is connection. We want to get the word out so that other kids don’t suffer the same fate [Danny did].”
Might there be a return to daytime or Lozano? She popped up on GH back in 2012, which reunited her with her former OLTL boss Frank Valentini, who is now GH’s executive producer. “Sure, anytime,” responds Lozano, who remains in touch with OLTL pals Kassie DePaiva (Blair Cramer), Hillary B. Smith (Nora Hanen Buchanan), and Trevor St. John (Victor Lord). “I’d work for Frank on General Hospital anytime.”
Life After You is available on numerous digital platforms including Amazon, Apple TV, iTunes, Google Play, VUDU Fandango, YouTube, and Xbox. Click here to see how you can see this powerful and important movie. Check out the film’s trailer below.
General Hospital (GH) airs weekdays on ABC. Check your local listings for airtimes. For more about what’s coming up in Port Charles, check out all the latest that’s been posted on GH spoilers, and for an in-depth look at the show’s history, click here.