The Methods Donnell Turner Uses To Portray Curtis' Paralysis On General Hospital

Despite having helped save the world during the Greenland adventure on "General Hospital," Curtis Ashford (Donnell Turner) has been through some rough times lately. He recently learned that Trina Robinson (Tabyana Ali) is his biological daughter, and they now have 20 years of catching up to do. But before they could do that, a ricocheting bullet fired at the Metro Court Hotel pool hit him in the back, leaving him paralyzed. Struggling with this new way of life, Curtis has been through the emotional ringer, and Turner has done a fantastic job as an actor, portraying anger, frustration, sadness, and more. While some actors may put Vaseline around their eyes and even eye drops to simulate crying, Turner has his own methods he employs to add authenticity to his character, as Curtis learns to adapt to life in a wheelchair.

Turner took part in a "General Hospital" fan Zoom event on Aug. 23, 2023, where he explained the methods he employs to present a realistic portrayal of the character, according to Soap Hub. "There's all these little devices actors use," he said, "and I just wanna bring as much truth and authenticity to this character and to this storyline as possible." There's no doubt that as Curtis deals with this soul-crushing experience, Turner has reached deep inside his acting arsenal in order to evoke deep sympathy and compassion from the audience as he tugs at their heartstrings.

Donnell Turner strives for realism as Curtis

The current storyline of Curtis Ashford's paralysis had Donnell Turner jumping for joy since the character's emotional journey would be something he could portray realistically, as he had earlier told Soap Opera Digest. At the fan event, he described one scene that they had to retake because while Curtis was raging over his situation, the actor's legs were moving. He felt bad because he had put a great deal of emotion into the first take, though he remarked, "But sometimes you can, you know, recreate that magic."

Turner recalled a time when he auditioned for a sitcom in which the character was wheelchair-bound, and when they called him back for a second audition, he explained the studying he put into it. "So, I did a lot of research on how to conduct myself, how the posture would look, how the movement would look, even on a comedic side," he said, pointing out that the experience is helping inform his current storyline.

He shared some of his trade secrets, explaining, "There are little tricks for acting in a wheelchair. I remember I would hold a quarter between my knees to keep my knees together, to render my legs sort of useless. That way, it prevents involuntary movement." He provided another example he's heard of, in which an actor puts a rock in their shoe in order to change their gait and look like they've suffered a leg injury. Turner stated that he hopes his performance comes across as truly authentic to the audience, and his hard work shows.