Beyond the pure telenovela drama, there's a lot to appreciate about ABC’s new Eva Longoria-produced nighttime soap Grand Hotel, including its cast. If you've seen the premiere, or even the promos, one character probably stood out a bit: actor Bryan Craig as Javi Mendoza, the playboy son of Miami hotelier Santiago Mendoza (Demián Bichir).
The character seems to be sticking around (unlike some other folks you'll meet in the first episode), so that solid 30 minutes that you spent on Craig's Instagram after you should have gone to bed aren't totally wasted. But beyond his carefully curated photos on social media, Craig's got quite the resume — it turns out he might just be one of the most qualified soap actors in Grand Hotel's entire roster.
If you’re a soap fan, you’ll know him from his Emmy-winning three-year run as Morgan Corinthos, son of crime boss Sonny Corinthos, on General Hospital. His character was killed off the series in a car bombing, though no body was found — so there’s always a chance that he could return to Port Charles.
His next-biggest role was a recurring part on The CW’s military drama Valor as Delta Force Staff Sergeant Adam Coogan, a rival of Matt Barr’s Gallo.
Now, Craig is solidly in Miami mode.
And because Craig plays an amputee on Grand Hotel, but isn't actually one in real life, he was dedicated to get Javi's story right — even in a salacious soap. In order to portray a character who is also an amputee, Craig did in-depth research and training, according to a recent interview with SoapHub.
“We went to a prosthetics lab in Miami,” he told the magazine. “We walked on the ramps people who have prosthetics used. We spoke to a lot of amputees.”
Though the cause of Javi’s disability was only hinted at in the premiere — while he told a girl he lost his leg while serving in the military, his father mysteriously said that it was his fault — it’s a storyline the show will continue to explore, along with how Javi is dealing with his amputation.
“What we learned with amputees is that sex is a very hard thing to kind of get into again and comfortable with again,” he told SoapHub. “That’s one thing I think we’ve done there that hasn’t been done before. We have taken a character with a disability and we’ve sexualized him. We see Javi start to become comfortable in his own skin.”