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Jonathan Jackson Interview: His Daytime Emmy Nom as GH's Lucky & Role in New Primetime Soap, Nashville!

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

What a week this has been for Jonathan Jackson!  First, the already four-time Daytime Emmy winner gets nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor for his role as Lucky Spencer on General Hospital when the 39th Daytime Emmy nominations were announced on Wednesday. Then Friday, his primetime soap pilot, Nashville, gets picked up and is going to series and will premiere this fall on ABC!  Nashville stars Jackson along with a stellar cast of Connie Britton, Powers Boothe, Eric Close, and Hayden Panettiere!  And to top it off, he celebrated his birthday yesterday!  Lots of great gifts we would say, for probably one of the finest actors to ever grace the soap opera genre.

Jonathan Jackson’s work on GH in 2011 was transcendent.  Storyline after storyline he delivered in spectacular fashion; acting acrobatics and realism, and such emotional depth to the life of Lucky Spencer that we the viewers cried right along with him.  If any nominee up for this year’s Daytime Emmy had a banner year, it was Jackson.

On-Air On-Soaps caught up with the talented young star to get his take on all the good fortune and great news!

Jonathan, here we are again!  Congratulations on your Daytime Emmy nomination, in a year when you delivered one powerhouse performance after another, after another!  How do you feel about the nod this time around?

JONATHAN:   It is pretty cool!  I am thrilled and very thankful.  Each year has its own unique set of circumstances.  I am excited for all the nominees as well, and especially the GH family.

Courtesy/ABC

In my mind, you had a bunch of episodes to choose from.  It was almost an embarrassment of riches, but all of the performances were knockouts!  Which episode did you go with for the Emmys, and why?

JONATHAN: There was a lot from the amount of storylines and episodes, and from the intensity of what they asked me to do.  It was way more than usual in terms of serious choices to look at.  But, I ended up going with the episode at the Haunted Star where Lucky told Luke that he was the driver who hit Jake.  It was when Lucky was asking him how much he had been drinking.  And, there were six or seven scenes with Tony Geary (Luke) and I.  There were a lot of different shows to look at, but that particular one just was a really special show for me and for Tony, as well.  Something just happened when we were doing those scenes, so that is why I went with that.  It just seemed like a complete show, with a beginning, middle and end to it.

You had so many great moments on GH last year, but I think my favorite was your scenes in Luke’s intervention.  Was that in the running as one of the final choices?

JONATHAN:  I did consider it, absolutely!  There was Luke’s intervention, the material with Tony when Luke was at the Bordello, and the episodes with Jake dying.  There was also Lucky getting drugged up for two days.  I mean, there were so many, it was literally like there were a lot of different options.  The intervention was really powerful and that was another one of those moments I will cherish with Tony.  But in terms of an entire episode, this one that I chose had the same quality as the intervention, but it has six or seven scenes in it, as opposed to the one big scene in the intervention.

How did you find out you got nominated?

Courtesy/Jim Warren

JONATHAN:  I got a text from a friend, but really did not make much of it, and fell back asleep. But then my kids came in and told me, “Congratulations”.  I guess they had talked to someone and found out.  And so I found out from them, which was cool, and really sweet.

Did you and Tony Geary contact each other on Emmy Nomination day and offer each other congrats?

JONATHAN:  We did not speak in person, but we did leave each other messages.  But I was super excited for him.  And like I was saying, this last year on the show really meant a lot because of the amount of stuff he and I got to do together.  It was something we had been talking about during the years I had been away from GH … that we wanted to work with each other again and do some great work.  That is one of the reasons it is so special.  I feel I did honor what I wanted to do with Tony, by picking this episode for Emmy contention.

I spoke with the fantastic Jason Thompson (Patrick) your co-nominee from GH.   He said, “Listen, I am going to take out all the supporting guys from GH before the Emmy ceremonies!” (Laughs)  He also gave you praise when he said he had an episode that he liked of his work, when Patrick was in scenes with Lucky when Jake died.  However, since you were in it and doing such incredible work, he wouldn’t submit it! (Laughs)

JONATHAN: (Laughs) I love Jason.  I think he is an incredible actor and I was really excited for him to get his nomination.

You have been very busy since you left GH.  You landed Nashville, which was just greenlighted by ABC to go to series this fall!  Did you get the break you wanted from GH, with all the emotional sturm and drang of the day in and day out of playing Lucky Spencer?

Courtesy/Enation

JONATHAN:  Well, I have been working really hard on my band, Enation, and I have been doing quite a few writing projects and also Nashville.  It’s been pretty busy, but it’s been a different kind of busy than GH, which I think was healthy.  The GH grind, mentally and emotionally, got too intense there.  It’s been great now.  I feel like I have a whole other part of my brain available for my kids and for other projects.

The big question is, now that Frank Valentini and Ron Carlivati are steering the ship at GH, would you consider a return to the series?

JONATHAN:  I have been staying in touch with GH.  There is always a possibility to come back and do some more work there in the future.  I just love everybody there.

Tell me about Nashville!  Fans will not only get to see you act in the new primetime series, but sing as well?

JONATHAN: Yeah, the character is a singer/songwriter.  I am so glad it got picked up and it’s really exciting!  It’s an amazing group of people.  Callie Khouri is the writer, and R J. Cutler is a wonderful director to work with.  He really has a passion for the characters and the show.  We are combining some amazing music in the Nashville scene with really great story and character-driven drama.  It just has a very authentic feel to it, and I think they are committed to making a very high quality show.

Is the character you play on Nashville, Avery, a good guy or a bad guy?  Or, we don’t know yet?

JONATHAN:  That is the one of the good things about the way that Callie developed the characters.  And that is that there really aren’t too many black and white characters of good guys and bad guys.  There are people who make bad choices, and more troubled people who end up making really good choices.  I think that as the show progresses it will keep the audience guessing, and keep them interested as to who these people are.  My character is a little bit of a narcissist, but I would not say he is a bad guy.  I would say he is a little troubled and sort of arrogant on the surface.  However, I think there is a lot of depth to him and a lot to explore with the character.

One of your long-time co-stars, Becky Herbst (Elizabeth), got nominated for Supporting Actress for her work in Jake’s death.  I am very thrilled for her. 

Photo Credit: Steven Bergman

JONATHAN:  Oh me, too!  I am so excited about that!  She did some incredible work.  I am grateful that she got recognized for it.

So Jonathan, you could win your fifth Daytime Emmy.  Do you have a mantle to hold all of this gold?  When you look at the trophies, what does it mean for you?

JONATHAN:  It’s pretty crazy! (Laughs)  I guess for me, they all follow memories I had with amazing people.  Like last year’s Emmy and submission, it was the stuff with Becky Herbst and Tyler Christopher (Ex- Nikolas).  That holds a very special place in my heart.  Acting is a team sport.  So when any of us gets recognized, we can only give credit to the people that we worked with … and I have worked with some incredible people!

 

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janetShirley MillerKat ShevlinFelJared Recent comment authors
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heidi
Guest
heidi

He is so talented and seems like such a genuinely nice guy! Very happy for all of his success and hope he makes it back to GH sometime. By and large the GH cast just seem like very nice normal people with very little ego or diva stuff. Cngratulations JJ! Good interview Michael as usual!

Jan
Guest
Jan

This man from the get go got my vote, anybody that young working with a Soap Opera Great Tony Geary you knew Jackson was good. Same with Miss Alderson working with another great Howarth. Anyway thats what I think.

barbara t
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barbara t

Me to.

Alley
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Alley

JJ is a class act. Miss him terribly on GH, but wish him well with Nashville and his other projects.

MaxDaddy
Guest
MaxDaddy

I love Jonathan’s acting, but I just took a listen to his album, Soul & Story: Volume One, and it’s incredible. Beautiful, soulful acoustics – he’s got a great voice. He said he’s put hard work into his band and what he’s created has so paid off. Check it out folks, very impressive!!!

Gigi
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Gigi

You always publish the best interviews with JJ. Thanks for asking all the right questions.

sus
Guest
sus

Great Interview. Thank you. Mr. Jackson is right his work with Tony Geary, and in the past Genie Francis…. well is in a league all of it’s own….and The Triple L are still golden each nominated for an Emmy this year. Congrats to Jonathan, Genie, Tony, Becky…. I so need a Spencer family redemption/reunion before GH ends!!! I was lucky to meet Mr. Jackson a few times and he is a class act all the way around. So excited for both him and us regarding his pilot being picked up, and the success of his music career. Can’t get enough… Read more »

Michele
Guest
Michele

I’m so excited for Jonathan Jackson and plan on watching his new show, Nashville. I’m also a big fan of his music and was lucky enough to see him perform live and meet him. He is such a nice guy and very appreciative of everything in his life and that is always evident in any interview he does. Another great interview. Thanks

Mary
Guest
Mary

Jonathan Jackson is one of those rare acters who is so in the moment when he works, that you forget you are watching an acter in a scene. So happy for his Emmy nomination and for all the nods for GH, OLTL, and AMC! Thanks for another great interview!

Jared
Guest
Jared

Did someone say Connie Britton? I’m there! LOVE her!

Fel
Guest
Fel

Another great article. He picked a great scene to submit to the Emmies, too. Very powerful and emotional scene between him and Mr. Geary. Can’t wait to see Nashville when it comes out!

Kat Shevlin
Guest
Kat Shevlin

Incredible acting, the drug induced storyline was extremely emotional. Kudo to Jonathan Jackson for his superb acting. Enation has been touring and blessing the east coast with heartfelt meet and greet concerts. Wonderful music with lyrical depth He is a humble, spiritually driven young man. It is a joy to watch him succeed.

Shirley Miller
Guest
Shirley Miller

I am soooo happy for Jonathan Jackson – love him on GH and I think his band is great. Good news that the pilot for his new show, Nashville, got picked up. Would love to see JJ return to GH on occasions and continue his role as Lucky. He and Tony Geary are so wonderful together – just like a real father and son. I also love his scenes with Rebecca/Elizabeth – they make a really good couple. Add to that his Emmy nomination for supporting actor – this is the icing on the cake!!! Congrats to you JJ/Lucky –… Read more »

janet
Guest
janet

Congratulation on the emmy nomination and the new show.I returned to wathing GH when you did,and I can understand your leaving. How much emotional storyline can a body take.
Congrats also to your beautiful family,and hope your singing career picks up because of the show.
Will be rooting for you.

General Hospital

Harrison Wagner, Son of GH’s Kristina Wagner and Jack Wagner, Cause of Death Determined

General Hospital’s Kristina Wagner (Felicia) and former GH and B&B star Jack Wagner (ex-Frisco, ex-Nick) have been mourning the loss of their beloved son, Harrison Wagner, since he passed away this past June at the age of 27.

Harrison was found in a parking lot and his cause of death was initially deferred.  Now, according to a report from PEOPLE.com, the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner officials have updated Harrison’s death as an “accident,” with Fentanyl and Alprazolam (the generic name for Xanax) as the official cause.

Courtesy/HarrisonWagnerIG

Following his passing, Kristina and Jack created the Harrison Wagner Scholarship Fund to assist other young men who battle addiction to be able to afford getting into a recovery community.

Just a few days ago on December 1st, Kristina remembered her son on what would have been his 28th birthday with a touching Instagram post. It included a video clip of Harrison dancing along with the words: “Sometimes I feel like a pinned butterfly. There’s no second chance. There’s no see-him-again. There’s no nothing. He’s not coming back. It’s final. But life goes on. How do I spend the rest of my own without Harrison in it? What does it mean to be ‘all right’ after the death of your child, your blood? The pain will never go away. Today is Harrison’s birthdate. I had the privilege to know him for 27 incredible years. Harrison was larger than life, but beneath his commanding presence was vulnerability and compassion. He understood his own defects and worked hard to turn them around, to strengthen his positive attributes. He was a good listener and stood up for others when they couldn’t speak for themselves. He is missed. Happy Birthday, Harrison. To all bereaved parents: May you find peace. Let’s stick around and see what’s in store for our extraordinary lives.”

Photo: KWagnerIG

Jack and Kristina have two sons together, the late Harrison, and their eldest son, Peter (age 31).  The actors were previously married from 1993 to 2006.

We continue to offer our condolences to Jack, Kristina, and Peter through this difficult time, and hope that from Harrison’s passing, that the scholarship fund in his name, will help others.

Share your thoughts on the closing of the case on Harrison Wagner’s death, and send your continued condolences to Jack and Kristina via the comment section below.

The Harrison Wagner Scholarship Fund notes that if you have a loved one that is in need of help with their substance abuse, please give them call at 888-977-4549 to learn more about the recovery options available.

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General Hospital

GH’s Charles Shaughnessy On Victor’s Villainy: “He’s Just Making Trouble for All of the Fan Favorites! He’s Just Making Their Lives Miserable”

In pretty short order, Victor Cassadine’s re-emergence in Port Charles, and now played by daytime vet, Charles Shaughnessy, has caused plenty of havoc on ABC’s General Hospital.  Shaughnessy, who was much beloved as Shane Donovan on Days of our Lives, debuted on GH back in September of 2021.

You can look at the body count, or the people Victor has under his thumb, to know the impact he is making on the canvas.

In a new interview in the latest issue of Soap Opera Digest (on newsstand now), Shaughnessy weighs-in on being the treacherous Cassadine.

 

Charles shared: “I mean, he’s just making trouble for all of the fan favorites! He’s just making their lives miserable.  He’s the guy who killed Luke Spencer.  He’s the guy who put Anna in jail and tried to break up her relationship with Valentin.  He’s just miserable to Holly. He’s just dreadful! But it’s such great fun, I mean, the more dreadful the better, really. He’s the villain you love to hate.”

Photo: ABC

So, how and just when Victor will get his comeuppance is on everyone’s mind in the viewing audience as well as for characters such as: Laura (Genie Francis), Valentin (James Patrick Stuart), Lucy (Lynn Herring), Holly (Emma Samms), Anna (Finola Hughes), Ava (Maura West), Selina (Lydia Look), and many more.

Victor’s evil deeds seemed to reach new heights during the Holly Sutton storyline. Now the question is, who will he go after next, given what would seem to be his quest for the necklace containing diamonds from the Ice Princess?  Stay tuned.

What do you think of Charles’ portrayal of Victor? Who do you hope takes down Victor? Comment below.

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General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Felicia, Robert & Holly’s Masterplan Revealed Featuring Heart-Tugging Moments from Tristan Rogers & Emma Samms

Wednesday’s General Hospital began where the previous episode left off, with an on-fire, Holly Sutton (Emma Samms), literally! As the action picks up, Robert (Tristan Rogers) covers Holly with blankets to try and douse the flames.  The paramedics announce Holly has suffered second-degree burns over 75% of her body.

When the ambulance takes off, Robert goes with it. Meanwhile, Jordan (Tanisha Harper) and Mac (John J. York) are looking for evidence from the cabin fire … and wonder where the necklace has gone?

Courtesy/ABC

Later, the ambulance pulls over to the side of the road, and one of the drivers is none other than paramedic Felicia Scorpio (Kristina Wagner)! Felicia reveals herself as does Holly, who is perfectly fine, and Robert, who was in on the entire ruse to get Holly safely out of the country and away from Victor Cassadine (Charles Shaughnessy).

Viewers learn in flashbacks how this trio worked together to pull this off: Felicia showed up at the cabin with fire retardant clothes for Holly to wear and revealed how she planned to set the stove to start the fire.  We then learn that Holly and Robert staged Robert’s drugging and mugging, in order for Holly to steal the necklace and leave it inside the cabin for the PCPD to find.  It was Holly’s plan to ensure that Victor would have no further use for her.

Next, Robert gives Holly the keys to a car that can’t be traced; as she is to drive to Canada with a new ID and completely disappear.  Felicia adds that records will show that Holly was taken to a burn facility halfway around the world, freeing her to find out just where Victor is holding her beloved son, Ethan.

Courtesy/ABC

Holly has a surprise in store for Victor on her departure! In a flashback, Holly meets up with Selina Wu (Lydia Look) on the pier and gifts her with one of the jewels from the necklace in exchange for poisoning Victor for her. Holly tells Selina she won’t find her son alive and well if Victor is dead, and assures Selina the poison will not kill Victor, but will be payback.

As the episode comes to a conclusion, and if you are a longtime fan of GH, you probably reached for the hankies in touching and beautifully-played moments between Tristan Rogers and Emma Samms.

Courtesy/ABC

In the story, Holly apologizes to Robert for all the trouble she has caused, but the two share a passionate kiss before they say their final goodbyes. BUT .. you didn’t think Holly would try to get away without one last scheme? She had the necklace in her pocket the whole time, begging the question … was she  going to take it with her? However, Robert knew Holly had the necklace and asks her to hand it over to him, which she does.

For her final moments, Holly walks off into the fog, which could only signify that this guest star turn for Emma Samms has come to its conclusion.

So, what did you think about the twists on today’s episode? Did you think Robert, Felicia and Holly were in cahoots? What did you think of the final scenes between Tristan Rogers and Emma Samms? Comment below.

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