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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
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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
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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.

General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Sonny Comes Home as Jason and Carly Begin Their Wedding Night

Monday’s episode of General Hospital continued to set the stage for major payoffs in the long and winding road tale of everyone in Port Charles believing Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard) is dead.

Only now, with his memory in tact, Sonny is very much alive, no longer living as “Mike” in Nixon Falls. and back in the town which he ruled as the mob kingpin.  Problem is: his wife, Carly (Laura Wright) just got married to his best friend, Jason (Steve Burton) and they are about to have their first night together as newlyweds.  And without all the subplot and subtext, Sonny has no idea that they were first brought together to be a united front to save Sonny’s territory from the ‘Five Families’.  Only now, the two have admitted they truly are in-love with each other.

In story, after the bomb that went off was proven to kill mobsters Buscema and Novak, and not its intended target – the newlyweds – thanks to a double-cross from Ms. Wu – Jason, Carly, and Ms. Wu discuss Cyrus Renault’s (Jeff Kober) involvement and that Wu is happy for Jason and Carly.

 

At the wedding reception, Michael (Chad Duell) gives a touching speech about his mom and Jason and gives the official toast.  Later, Jason and Carly head out after Carly throws the bouquet which Willow (Katelyn MacMullen) catches.

Meanwhile, back in Nixon Falls, Sonny gets out of dodge and away from Nina (Cynthia Watros), thanks to Jax’s (Ingo Rademacher) plane, while Nina gets a visit from Valentin (James Patrick Stuart) and Anna (Finola Hughes), where she admits that Peter (Wes Ramsey) was in Nixon Falls, and caused the fire, and is going to go after Maxie (Kirsten Storms) and the baby.  She does not tell them what she did keeping Sonny away from his family for 9 months.

Anna and Peter split up to find Peter, and Peter’s exit ride hasn’t show up yet to get him out of Nixon Falls, so Anna catches him, gun drawn.

Later at the Corinthos home, Jason and Carly are alone together in the bedroom with wedding night jitters, but Jason says there is no rush as the two kiss, just as Sonny arrives home, smiles, looks around, sees photos of himself with Carly and the family, and heads upstairs!

Will Sonny find the two in each others arms and not tell then he is alive?  Will something call him away? Will Jason and Carly have sex? When will Nina get payback for all that she has done to Carly and Sonny?  Will Peter get away from Anna? Let us know your theories in the comment section below.

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General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Sonny Tells Nina He Knows Exactly Who He Is; Jason & Carly’s Wedding Comes to an Explosive Conclusion

Is it game over for Nina Reeves (Cynthia Watros), or does she have another trick up her sleeve to keep Sonny (Maurice Benard) to herself, now that he remembers who is he?

On Friday’s dramatic episode of General Hospital, “Mike” looks to be gone and Sonny has come back in full force complete with a super hero moment escaping from being trapped underneath the beam that had fallen on top of him inside the burning Tan-O.  Sonny makes his escape after inhaling so many fumes, that he needs medical attention and is rushed to the hospital with Nina going along with him.

Inside the hospital, once given the all clear, Phyllis (Joyce Guy) tells Nina, “Mike” is asking for her, while Jax (Ingo Rademacher) pleads to let the doctors handle this situation.  But, Nina heads inside the room to see Sonny.  Then came the dramatic moment that many GH fans were waiting for.  As Nina calls him “Mike, he rips off his oxygen mask in anger and says that his name is Sonny and he remembers everything!  Nina does a pivot, knowing she is caught, and says the name may have have been a fake one, but they cannot deny the way they feel about each other.  She tells him that she honestly loves him and Sonny defiantly tells her NOT to say that.  Meanwhile Jax confirms to Phyllis that Nina always knew that “Mike” was Sonny and hid it from her and Sonny for months!

Back in Port Charles, Jason (Steve Burton) and Carly’s (Laura Wright) wedding comes to a conclusion! No one interrupts the wedding and the two look lovingly at each other to start their new life together as husband and wife.

Courtesy/ABC

After the ceremony, mobsters Ms. Wu, Vincent, and Charles have a moment where she says “be wary of tomorrow”.  Jason and Carly have a moment alone where Jason looks truly in love with Carly now and all of those feelings he had buried for years have now come back to the surface. How will this all play out when Sonny comes back into everyone’s lives, alive and well?

After the reception had ended, Jason and Carly get in their limo to drive away as newlyweds.  She asks Jason what Ms. Wu whispered in his ear at the reception, he says she confirmed something he already knew.  Meanwhile, Vincent and Charles get in their limo.  Charles shares the world is about to be a better place without Carly and Jason in it.

Next, Carly tells the driver to start the car, and we see a bomb device under a car and the chapel blown up as the show comes to its conclusion.

Our bet is that the Novak/Buscema car was blown to bits, not Jarly’s limo thanks to a Wu double-cross, but we shall see next week! Great performances from Maurice Benard, Cynthia Watros, Laura Wright, and Steve Burton throughout this one.

So, what did you think of the moment Sonny told Nina he remembered who he is? What did you think of Jason and Carly’s nuptials? What do you think will happen next? Share your thoughts and theories via the comment section below.

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General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Sonny Remembers Carly Just as She Is Marrying Jason

After nine months of being “Mike”, Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard) had a major breakthrough as his memory is all coming back to him now (as the Celine Dion song says), and in the process the Tan-O has burned to the ground, signaling the the probable end to the Nixon Falls arc of the story.

As the story picked-up on Thursday, Nina’s (Cynthia Watros) plot to keep Sonny for herself and away from Carly majorly backfired on her.  Not only does Phyllis (Joyce Guy) now know that Nina lied about “Mike’s” identify the entire time, but Peter August (Wes Ramsey) is running wild and free heading back to Port Charles to claim his baby and Maxie (Kirsten Storms), after setting fire to the building.

Courtesy/ABC

Since “Mike” ran in to save Nina and got hit by a beam in the process, he is alone in the burning Tan-O enveloped by flames, but that triggers the beginning of his memory coming back.

Meanwhile, back in Port Charles, Jason (Steve Burton) and Carly (Laura Wright) are at their wedding, with the five family mob bosses present with a plot of their own and everyone wondering if Jarly will say “I do'”.    The two light a candle together for those loved ones no longer with them … ah, Sonny!

Back the burning Tan-O, Sonny is visited by the vision of the real Mike (Max Gail) who tells him it’s time for him to go home now.  A conflicted Sonny tells Mike he is very happy in Nixon Falls with Nina, but Mike tells him he needs to know his past in order to move forward.  When Sonny has flashes of his violent past it frightens him, and he says whatever family he has is better off without him in their lives.

Jax (Ingo Rademacher) tries to text Maxie while still in Nixon Falls with Nina to watch out for Peter, but she is attending and managing Carly and Sonny’s wedding, so she doesn’t pick up the phone!

Inside the Tan-O, Sonny sees a vision of woman, who when she turns and faces him is Carly. While Sonny is lying on the floor and is engulfed in flames and trapped, Mike tells Sonny he can die as “Mike” or live on as the man he truly is, Sonny.  It is then Sonny calls out “Carly!”

So, what did you think of the episode? Do you think Carly and Jason will get married? Will Sonny tells Nina he remembers? What will Nina’s next move be? Are you glad Sonny seems to have his memory back? The episode featured another strong performance by Maurice Benard.  Share your thoughts below.

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GH’s Kelly Thiebaud (Britt) chats with Michael Fairman about Britt being on the run with Jason, their burgeoning romance, working with Steve Burton and her other co-star and Britt’s diagnosis of Huntington’s Disease. .Leave A Comment

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Laura Wright as Carly

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