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Jonathan Jackson speaks on his shocking departure from General Hospital!

Courtesy/ABC

Courtesy/ABC

Four-time Daytime Emmy winner, Jonathan Jackson went public today via an interview with TV Guide as to what went down that prompted his decision to leave his beloved role of Lucky Spencer on General Hospital! Citing emotional and physical exhaustion from the continually heavy dramatic circumstances that Lucky has had to endure over the last year and half, and being front and center the entire time in story, was a major factor in Jonathan’s decision to call it quits.  In addition, Jonathan reveals he went to the show’s higher-ups and asked that Lucky and Liz get reunited.  In this interview, he does discuss the conversations that went down behind-the-scene with the powers-that-be at GH, and ultimately how  the decision was made.  Here are some excerpts!

Jonathan on if specifics were discussed to lighten his work load to acomodate his exhaustion in story: “I think — though I don’t know for sure — that they were genuinely interested in figuring out a way to make this situation workable. But ultimately it was decided that, if I was to remain on the show, Lucky is too important of a character to be put on the back burner. The writers have so much to accomplish on a weekly basis that it just wasn’t going to be possible to make a significant change like this.”

Jonathan on how his decision was made and how is exhaustion was affecting creating Lucky’s fictional life:  “It’s a real energy zapper and there are days when I feel like I have nothing left to give. And in this medium where you’re dealing with a pretty insane amount of dialogue, day in, day out, the collision of a heavy workload and increasing exhaustion can make you a little crazy. I love to work hard but I’ve been at maximum capacity in terms of mental and emotional output for months on end and it has become too difficult. I am extremely thankful that they wanted to give me all those storylines with so much depth, but there’s just no balance. Usually, you might get one or maybe two really good and intense story arcs per year. There’s usually a cycle to this stuff on soaps. But this has been nonstop. There was just no reprieve. I have a wife and three kids and other things in life I have to think about. I just knew I couldn’t sustain the schedule at GH and that kind of emotion for much longer. It was just too intense.”

Jonathan on asking for a Liz and Lucky reunion in which the producers said “No”, and how he felt that would regain some balance for the character of Lucky and himself: “I was away from GH for 10 years and came back (in 2009) specifically to work with certain people. Tony Geary (Luke) was a huge reason for me to come back and so was Becky Herbst (Elizabeth).  I absolutely love working with her and love it when our characters are together romantically. Even though things have gotten crazy between Liz and Lucky over the years, there’s still a deep potential for something powerful and redemptive there. So it seemed like a real no-brainer to me. From my perspective, I just assumed they’d get back together. Maybe it’s a timing problem. There have been big changes in the writing team at GH and that may have shifted the timeline for Lucky and Elizabeth to reunite. Or maybe it just wasn’t ever going to happen at all. I don’t know.”

Jonathan will last be seen on-air the week of December 19th! So after reading his comments, what do you think of Jonathan’s decision? Will you miss JJ on your TV screens? On-Air On-Soaps will!

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ethel
Guest
ethel

jonathan always puts his whole heart & soul into his acting therefore it had to take a physical & emotional toll on him and i totally understand why he made the decision to leave –
i definitely will miss his presence on gh – i just wish things could have turned out differently for this talented actor……………

Kimberly
Guest
Kimberly

I’m sad to see him go, but I understand his perspective. Bring back the hunk Greg Vaughn. Lucky never had enough story with Greg, in my opinion.

Eileen Hargis
Guest
Eileen Hargis

I dont believe they cared about Jonathan just that he continued to deliver what they wanted. He had no choice. Good for him. Hia family should come first. He will do well anywhere.

sophia3
Guest
sophia3

I stopped watching GH due to the no-talent LISA – (((LOSER))). The only reason I watched was Jonathan Jackson and Tony Geary. I can’t believe Jonathan went back to GH. He is so far above that. Just keep going Jonathan…I see an Oscar in your future. You are the most incredible actor. FYI – quite certain the show wil be cancelled. I don’t know anyone that tunes in anymore.

Aaron
Guest
Aaron

I really thought things were going to change for the better with Garin Wolf taking over. However, the show has ABSOLUTELY been all over the place since late summer. The Quartermaines returning, the tease of Jason regaining his memory and Michael working at ELQ lasted all of what, a month? Why bring back crazy Lisa Niles? Now they are introducing “Maggie?” The firing of Lexi Ainsworth was nonsensical, as was the departure of Ingo. Jonathan Jackson just won an Emmy and they can’t find a way to ease his workload? Let’s face it, Soaps are in their dying days and… Read more »

Joan Brigham
Guest
Joan Brigham

I agree 100% with you.

SS
Guest
SS

I think JJ is way outta the loop if he thinks WE want another pairing for Lucky & Elizabeth. Personally, I have been disappointed from day 1 with his return… the over the top crying is just to much to bare. And after all these years he just didnt look right with Elizabeth anymore. I am glad he made the decision to move on from General Hospital.

Mitchell1660
Guest
Mitchell1660

I don’t watch the show, but on the commercials between OLTL and AMC, I saw enough of Jackson crying and emoting! An incredible actor that I’m sure will find work elsewhere.

myers509
Guest
myers509

I like Lucky and Elizabeth together…

Emily
Guest
Emily

JJ is so incredibly talented, but I can certainly understand why he needs a break. I do hope that this is what this turns out to be– a break. Hopefully in a few months he’ll be ready to come back & they will be ready to bring him back. Of course that is my wishful thinking! With or without GH, JJ has a promising future. Sadly, it’s a huge blow to GH. I don’t think we need another Lucky recast, & the stuff written for JJ has been some of the best in my opinion. I love Steve Burton but… Read more »

Matt Borlenghi
Guest
Matt Borlenghi

Really??? In a business where so few actors are making that kind of money, this guy complains of having to earn it??
Super. Bring in someone who is truly grateful for the opportunity and will gladly work hard for the money to support his family.
I got shafted on my Valentin debut by Franco, and this guy cries exhaustion. Do your job, say please and thank you, go home.

iakovos
Guest
iakovos

i would kill for an opportunity as jackson has. many actors would. only he knows his limits and what it is too much. seems one of the bricks weighing soaps down is the lack of faith in audiences to accept recasts. yes, there are actors identified with the role so deeply, but if daytime drama is to go on and on, the storytellers and the audiences alike need to be open to comings and goings. i, for one, do not care for odd story shifts or quicktime storytelling to accommodate a big star. it seems fake. i wish jackson luck… Read more »

Joan Brigham
Guest
Joan Brigham

It is so sad that the writers would rather lose an actor of this quality than to make some schedule changes, or at the very least some changes in the story line. We would all like to see Elizabeth and Lucky get back together. And for the record, I have watched soaps for 42 years, since the 1st day AMC came on, and OLTL for decades also. Watched characters be recast, come and go, and this young man, Jonathan Jackson is probably the best male actor on daytime. His emotional scenes are second to none. His decision to leave saddens… Read more »

Kay
Guest
Kay

UGH! Why can’t the writers just reunite couples sometimes. Obviously JJ is exhausted. I think TPTB sometimes drag out a reunion so long that after awhile fans just don’t care anymore. Frankly I wanted to see L&L together because they belong together but the writers sometimes just don’t get it.

michele
Guest
michele

I started wathcing Gh again because Jonathan Jackson came back. He for me is the only Lucky but I also was getting a little tired of all the tragedy GH kept throwing at the character Lucky. Missed happy, fun and romantic Lucky which Jonathan Jackson does well also. He is an exceptional actor and will be missed. I think he has the right to but his family and his happiness first. I guess I will have to find something else to do instead of watching GH.

Chantal
Guest
Chantal

I don’t think everything was said here. JJ is promoting his music career on Twitter like no tomorrow. It is called Enation and they even won a contest for a board on Times Square. I think he wanted to pursue some opportunities there also. Yes, some actors would kill for his work and time on screen. But, don’t the producers realize that Lucky once a while is better than no Lucky at all???

Monica
Guest
Monica

I’ll miss him. He really made me care about Lucky again, but all that crying would be exhausting. There were no lulls, just a constant stream of tragedies for Lucky. I don’t think as much happened to Lucky in the 10 years he was gone, as happened to him over the last year.

jp
Guest
jp

I never bought JJ as a cop. To me he always has looked like a boy-even with scruff- and was WAY too sensitive and weepy to be believable as a cop. Best bring back Greg Vaughan. JJ was ok as Lucky as a young man, but not as an adult. IMHO.

Jane
Guest
Jane

I’m devastated! Jonathan is the onlyLucky in my eyes. He is fantastic in the role and I can’t imagine a recast that works. We’ve had recasts in this role before and they never brought the emotional depth that Jonathan does, nor do they have the connect with Becky. I don’t know what the PTB are thinking. They must want the show to be cancelled.

Alice
Guest
Alice

I can say that I did not watch the show for very long before JJ came back as “Lucky”. His character is what glued me to the show. Since I did not have all the harsh feelings some people have towards “Elizabeth”, I also wanted a reunion. I believe every person is human and makes mistakes; some much larger than others. I probably will not continue watching the show after JJ’s final episode airs. I just don’t see the point after watching it for a year in the hopes of a happy reunion of what to me seemed to be… Read more »

Sun45
Guest
Sun45

I understand Jonathan wanting to leave GH I say its a good career move for him. JJ is a talented actor I can’t blame him for leaving GH its not watchable anymore for me. This show is going to be canceled so as far as I’m concerned his getting off a sinking ship. Good luck to you JJ and thank you for the memories.

Maggie
Guest
Maggie

Lucky is one, if not THE,, favorite. He is an absolute genius actor, and I can understand him burning out. He gives so much to his role.

Please tell the powers that be that we would love to see Lucky remain, with better storylines (one of which could be with Liz). I think all the actors are jumpy, waiting to see if GH is cancelled next. I am sure those who get a better deal will take it.

Don’t let the good ones get away, or you will self-destruct your own show.

daniela
Guest
daniela

He wasn’t a good actor anyway. Good riddance, too bad he can’t take Rebbeca with him.

Colleen
Guest
Colleen

I was just watching some early footage of Lucky and LIz….the PTB sure did destroy one of the greatest couples in GH history! What a waste! I don’t blame JJ and give Becky a break…she is playing a part and only performing what is being written.

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GH’s Rebecca Herbst Thanks Fans for the Birthday Love

She is not often on social media, but when she does show up, it delights so many of her enduring fans. General Hospital’s Rebecca Herbst (Elizabeth), who yesterday celebrated her birthday on May 12th, took to Twitter to share warm ‘thank you’s’ to a few fan factions who sent her some lovely gifts in honor and support of their favorite soap star.

Herbst expressed: “Yesterday was such a beautiful day! THANK YOU for all your sweet Birthday messages! #Friz & #Liason showered me with the most gorgeous flowers, cakes & goodies. And #Friz donated $2500 to #SmileTrain.  I felt very loved. I’m so grateful for each & every one of you. …XO”

Of course, the Friz fans loved Liz with Franco (Roger Howarth) and the Liason fans are those who love Liz with Jason (Steve Burton).

Now with Roger Howarth returning to the show – in what is at this juncture still a mystery as who he will play – will Rebecca be paired with Roger in story again, or not this time?  Do you think Liz might end up romantically with Finn (Michael Easton), or is there still a chance that down the line Liz and Jason could get back together, or could Liz meet someone new? Only time will tell!

For now, Herbst was thankful for the money donated to the Smile Train charity and all the wonderful gifts and messages that came her way.

So, what did you think of Becky’s thank you message?  Who are you hoping Liz winds up with romantically in the future?  Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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GENERAL HOSPITAL Touches on Racial Profiling, Social Injustice and Bias In Key Scenes with Portia and Jordan

This week ABC’s General Hospital took the opportunity to write in to their scripts and story, the issue that has been so prevalent in our country now and for decades that of racial profiling, injustice, bias, gender equality and more rolled into scenes featuring: Brook Kerr (Portia), Briana Nicole Henry (Jordan), Sydney Mikala (Trina) and William Lipton (Cameron).

When Portia comes to the boxing gym for a workout and comes upon Jordan hitting the boxing bag hard over the the incident with Cameron in the hospital garage, it spurs a greater conversation.

Jordan tells Portia about the situation that arose with Cameron and a gun, and Portia says she heard about it.  Jordan knows if Cameron’s skin was a different color, she may not have been able to de-escalate the situation and talk her officers down, if she had not arrived on the scene in the nick of time.

This launches the two women into an important conversation on racial profiling, social injustice, white privilege and gender bias that they have found themselves dealing with in their professions (Portia is a doctor and Jordan the police commissioner) and their children’s lives.

Later in another scene, Trina reminds Cameron how they, along with Joss (Eden McCoy) were pulled over by a cop last summer when they were driving around the backroads.  She goes on to say when Cameron questioned why they were being stopped, it scared her.  She feels if Joss and Cam were not there, she would have likely been pulled out of the car and pinned to the ground by the cop.  Trina notes she put aside her fear and never said anything to them, because they would never understand.  Trina tells Cam he needs to realize how lucky he was the other night when nothing happened to him after his run in with police.

You can watch the conversation below in scenes with Briana Nicole Henry and Brooke Kerr.

Then let us know, did you like how GH wove this social message into the story?  Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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GH’s James Patrick Stuart in the Cast of Disney Channel’s Super-Villains Pilot ‘Amy From Amarillo’

Casting news was recently announced for the Disney Channel’s upcoming half-hour live-action comedy pilot with a working title of Amy From Amarillo.

According to Deadline, while the series has named actress Isabella Pappas in the title role of Amy, none other than General Hospital star James Patrick Stuart (Valentin Cassadine) is also noted to be a part of the cast.

In story, the project follows a family of super-villains who must go on into hiding in Amarillo, Texas when they fall afoul of the League of Villains and are about to be liquidated.  Production on the pilot is set to begin this month.

Those joining Stuart and Pappas in the cast include: Hilda Spellman, Patricia Belcher, Kayden Muller-Janssen, Malachi Barton, Reed Horstmann and Lucy Davis will plays Amy’s mom, Eva aka Spark, a feisty supervillain who shoots electrical current out of her hands.

Production on the pilot is set to begin this month.  Stuart will be continuing his role on GH as per usual.

Furthermore, James took to Twitter this morning to clarify for inquiry GH fans who were concerned about the status the project might cause for his role on the ABC daytime drama series: “I am currently working on a Disney Channel comedy pilot. We film 15 minutes from the GH stage so, should the show get picked up for series, and while it would create scheduling headaches for some very cool people, I have no plans to hang up Valentin’s dancing shoes any time soon.”

So, intrigued by this pilot and what role James will have within it? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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