Kin Shriner is best known to soap fans for his Daytime Emmy-nominated run as attorney Scotty Baldwin on General Hospital. However, the actor has appeared on many other soaps, and one of those gigs led to being recognized when he was visiting Italy for both business and pleasure. Soap Hub chatted with Shriner about his visit abroad.
Kin Shriner Taught Acting in Italy
Shriner has bounced around to several soap operas throughout his career. He did a short-term role on The Bold and the Beautiful in 1995 as a therapist who examined Sheila Carter (Kimberlin Brown) and weighed in on whether or not she was fit to return to society. B&B’s a huge hit in Italy, so when Shriner got an opportunity to visit the country that is shaped like a boot, he happily accepted.
Soap Hub: Was going to Italy after your B&B stint your first trip to Europe?
Kin Shriner: No. When I was younger, I did the whole Europe thing. GH was shut down during the 1984 Olympics, so I went abroad with Robin Mattson (ex-Heather Webber) and other actors. In the mid-1990s, I went to Italy to teach acting for UCLA students who were studying abroad. I was there for six weeks. This was before we did Port Charles [in 1997].
Soap Hub: Were you recognized?
Kin Shriner: Yes. But not for GH. I’d done a stint as Dr. Brian Carey on B&B. That show has a huge European following. For some reason, I got a lot of ‘Oh! It’s Dr. Brian Carey!’ They didn’t get GH over there, but they definitely knew B&B. I think they were about six months behind, so my stuff was just airing before I went over.
Soap Hub: How much time was spent in the classroom, and how much time did you have for yourself?
Kin Shriner: I taught twice a week. They put me up in a villa. The students were studying in Italy. They asked if I could teach acting. I said absolutely. I met an actress over there. She ended up becoming a popular fitness model. I asked her if she wanted to [hang out], and she said, ‘Sure!’ She stopped traffic where we went.
These Italian guys! Italian men will hit on any girl at any time, even when you’re standing in front of them. Granted, we weren’t a romantic item, but we went to all these restaurants. I enjoyed the lifestyle over there of taking a Vespa everywhere. Half the time, I got lost. Not everyone spoke English. Now, you have smartphones that will translate and provide maps, but they weren’t around back then. I had trouble getting back to the villa some nights.
Soap Hub: Did you use any of the teachings from your old coach Lilyan Chauvin [ex-Lil, The Young and the Restless]?
Kin Shriner: I brought some soap scripts, and I’d have them do the scenes like Lilyan would. I’d get up and act. [But] they were there to have fun. I was getting paid to be there, and I was put up. I did the best I could. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I taught. The rest of the time, I was free to sightsee.
Soap Hub: Did you see the Vatican or the Leaning Tower of Pisa?
Kin Shriner: I saw the Florence Cathedral. I arrived there in about June or July. After a week of being there, they all took a holiday. I was flabbergasted that at around 1 p.m., all restaurants and gas stations shut down. I had to dig up places to go that were more tourist-oriented. In the beginning, I went more to ma and pa restaurants. I’d point to the menu and say, ‘I’ll have that.’
Florence was fun. After a while, I thought, ‘I just want to get an old-fashioned hamburger.’ They don’t really do breakfast there. They don’t do Denny’s. There was a place in Florence called Rick’s Cafe. It served American food.
Soap Hub: If you’d come to my university when I was in school, you would have been mobbed. Were the students soap opera fans?
Kin Shriner: I don’t think so. They were kids off in Italy. I think the fitness model knew I’d been on GH. I don’t know. It was funny. Years later, I was at Jerry’s Deli with my brother Wil [Shriner]. The fitness model came up to me and said hello. She had nothing but fond memories of her time in Italy. She enjoyed herself. I’m not sure what happened to the other kids in the class.
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