Step­ping Up

Bri­anna Ni­cole Henry hit the ground run­ning with Jor­dan!

ABC Soaps In Depth - - In Depth -

in some ways, Bri­ana Ni­cole Henry was born to play GEN­ERAL HOSPI­TAL’s Jor­dan. “My mom al­ways says I was bossy from the time I came out,” cracks the ac­tress, who as­sumed the role this fall. “I def­i­nitely do en­joy lead­er­ship roles, and Jor­dan’s at the top of her game. She’s the boss and she has her hands in all the mess, which is some­thing I can re­late to.”

The GH new­comer can also re­late to her char­ac­ter’s big heart of gold. “Jor­dan’s a pow­er­house, but her mo­ti­va­tion for this job has less to do with power and more to do with ac­tu­ally want­ing to pro­tect [Port Charles] and make a dif­fer­ence in peo­ple’s lives,” she main­tains. “And I try to move through the world in a sim­i­lar way and do what’s right by other peo­ple and by my­self.”


While Henry im­me­di­ately clicked with her char­ac­ter, the pro­ce­dural el­e­ment of Jor­dan’s job was a hur­dle. “When you’re rat­tling off a vic­tim’s case and the num­ber of bul­let wounds, it’s chal­leng­ing,” she ad­mits. But she found sup­port in a friend she’d made dur­ing her stint as a model on THE YOUNG & THE REST­LESS. That show’s for­mer Chloe, “Lizzy Hen­drick­son (Mar­gaux) was my first scene part­ner at GH and she was a huge com­fort. I told her I’d

never done pro­ce­dural stuff be­fore, and she was like, ‘Girl, me, nei­ther! It is hard. You will get it. Just know you are not alone.’ That upped my con­fi­dence, for sure.”

Then, af­ter a few weeks of case­work, GH took off the train­ing wheels and thrust Henry into the rest of Jor­dan’s world. “I went from work- ing a few days a week to four or five days a week, with 65 pages of di­a­logue,” she re­calls. “I was get­ting hit pretty hard! But it’s amaz­ing how quickly we’re able to adapt. I feel like I’m get­ting into a rhythm. I’m able to pick up di­a­logue quicker and un­der­stand the sto­ry­lines.

“We have some se­ri­ous vets on the show, and I’m like a sponge,” she adds. “I just want to gain as much knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ence as I can from th­ese amaz­ing ac­tors!”

Sur­rounded By Good Guys

One of those amaz­ing ac­tors is on­screen hubby Donnell Turner. “He’s just so kind,” Henry raves. “One day, I was hav­ing a rough day with di­a­logue, and ev­ery time I messed up, Donnell was like, ‘You got it. We’re good.’ He’s very re­as­sur­ing.”

Henry isn’t just grate­ful for her lead­ing man on screen, ei­ther. “Both on the show and in real life,” she winks. “My boyfriend, Kris Bow­ers, is in the in­dus­try. He’s a pi­anist and a com­poser for TV and film, so

he’s aware of what ac­tors have to do. No­body wants to see their part­ner have chem­istry with some­body else, but his con­cern is al­ways that I’m okay, so he was re­as­sured by how com­fort­able I felt be­ing in­ti­mate with Donnell on cam­era. Once he knew I was good, he was on board, too.”

Grace Un­der Pres­sure

As we head into a new year, Henry is start­ing to feel at home in the role cre­ated by Vi­nessa An­toine — and that took some time! “Talk about pres­sure, right?” she says. “Vi­nessa has a beau­ti­ful el­e­ment of be­ing a ma­ture, strong woman, and I hoped I’d be able to bring that same en­ergy to the role. I was ner­vous. Th­ese are big shoes to fill! But it was in­spir­ing more than any­thing else.”

Even as Henry dug in, she un­der­stood it would take fans time to warm to her.

“Wife/mother Jor­dan is in­nately eas­ier for me to drop into than Com­mis­sioner Jor­dan,” Henry con­fides. “I’ve never done a pro­ce­dural show, but I love hu­man con­nec­tion, so it’s very easy to play that.”

Jor­dan and Cur­tis’ es­cape-room bach­e­lorette and bach­e­lor par­ties “was pretty chaotic and very fun to shoot,” Henry says, “but a very long day!”

Vernee Wat­son (Stella) “feels re­ally strong on cam­era… and 30 times stronger in real life!” Henry says. “But she’s so kind and warm.”

“Oh my good­ness, life in Port Charles is busy and fast with a lot of chaos,” mar­vels Henry.“But it has been an in­cred­i­ble jour­ney sofar, for sure!”

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