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The Michael Easton Interview – General Hospital

Courtesy/ABC

Courtesy/ABC

Who else on daytime plays the brooding, introspective, tough, sensitive and romantic hero better than Michael Easton?  For years, his incarnation of John McBain on One Life to Live, made the audience at home swoon and fall in love with the man who is on the right side of the law seeking justice no matter what it takes!  And John’s ongoing love story with Natalie Buchanan was the stuff great soap was made of.

Recently, Easton transferred John McBain to a different soap, General Hospital!  And immediately, he was immersed in back-story with Sonny Corinthos, and found a deep connection with Sam McCall, and tried to help recent Llanview transplant Starr Manning after the loss of her daughter, Hope, and her beau, Cole.  But with so much on his plate, how did Easton feel about ending his One Life lived, only to end up on the lone ABC soap?  In this thought-provoking, honest, and revealing interview with On-Air On-Soaps, Easton talks about the challenges of moving McBain to a new town and how the journey has been after One Life.

This week and next on GH, John is front and center in the baby switch involving Sam and Tea’s infants, and getting to the bottom of what led John to Port Charles in the first place, … getting revenge on Sonny!  The stage is set for some high drama.  But where will it all lead?  Michael fills us in.  And for One Life to Live fans, get ready to grab a few hankies as Michael recounts the final days of the series and missing his dear cast mates.  But coming up, you can catch Michael and five of your other One Life favorites live in the upcoming Loving Llanview events, where tickets are still available!  After reading this interview, you will come away with the fact that Michael Easton truly understands the fans.  And isn’t that what one hopes for from a soap star of his magnitude? Here’s Mr. Easton!

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/ABC

What has it been like being John McBain in Port Charles as opposed to Llanview? Is it odd?  And, has it been a difficult adjustment for you?

MICHAEL EASTON:

A bit of tale of two cities!  You feel like you are in the Twilight Zone a bit.  You are the same, but the world has changed a bit.  The dynamic between the actors has almost been like an experimental process.  You being you, and then walking into a different world where the dynamic between you and the actors have changed pretty radically.  I think it’s affected me and the performance, and John.

MICHAEL:

He seems to me a bit of a different John than he was on One Life to Live!

MICHAEL EASTON:

I try to think of the four months John McBain was away and off the screen.  Where was he at in his life?  I found him to be in a happier place when he came to Port Charles, even though it was fraught with circumstances.  His time away with Natalie and Liam was a happy time away from the television screen, and that affected his demeanor.  So maybe, he was approaching life from a clearer and more optimistic place when he got to Port Charles.

MICHAEL:

Maurice Benard (Sonny) is the top dog over there at GH, and here you come in, a very popular big wheel actor yourself.  How has it been working as Maurice’s adversary? He had nothing but great things to say about you in our recent interview.

MICHAEL EASTON:

Courtesy/ABC

Maurice has been completely charming and he is a lovely guy.  I hope I am not blowing his cover with that. (Laughs)  He is a terrific actor.  The actors there could not have been more welcoming at GH.  I know it sounds like I am towing the company line, but from day one Maurice gave me a big hug, and he has done nothing but terrific work in every scene I have worked in with him.  His commitment and his dedication to his craft are amazing.  He never lets anything go. I have had a really good time working with him.

MICHAEL:

So are you feeling pretty stead-foot over at GH now?

MICHAEL EASTON:

I don’t know if any of this feels very steady, especially coming off of the residual effects of what happened with One Life and subsequently, Prospect Park.  I don’t think anybody is on really solid ground, but I am not looking for anything solid anyway.  John is a stranger in a strange town.  I have been using that, and that is how I feel as the actor there.  Even though they are a familiar lot on some level, I had never been in that studio before.  However, seeing some familiar faces in the crew was nice and certainly there is a level of comfort seeing Kelly Monaco (Sam) again.  That is the same face I looked at nine or ten years ago. 

MICHAEL:

Kelly Monaco and you play a connection between Sam and John.  Inevitably, the two characters wind up in scenes together via circumstances.  Is this love?  Or, what are you playing that is going on between them?

MICHAEL EASTON:

I have to be honest with you, you can’t satisfy everybody.  I have to give the writers credit.  It is a tricky thing to have to handle.  I think they needed to be respectful of Sam’s long running storyline with Jason.  I think you need to be respectful of John’s long running storyline with Natalie and Liam.  And yet, it’s two people who are drawn to each other for whatever reason.  I think they have a lot of openings of how to make it work, but they have not told me what the ultimate end game is.  But I felt that the scenes are always interesting between Kelly and me.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/ABC

During the final episodes of One Life to Live, John and Natalie got back together!  Fan waited so long for this.  Now, One Life fans are clamoring for Melissa Archer (Natalie) to make a visit or come on to GH with you.  It’s been a hard pill for them to swallow, that John would just up and leave Natalie and Liam and head to Port Chuck, after they just found their way back to each other.

MICHAEL EASTON:

They are really trying to finesse it and it’s a tricky thing!  I imagine John would not be leaving his family at this point to do this.  I think the only way you can justify it is; he is a cop.  Natalie knows that John is a cop and this is the life they do, and this is the life that they have chosen.  Sometimes they have to make hard decisions.  I remember having a conversation once with Renee Elise Goldsberry (Ex-Evangeline OLTL).  She was talking about when she first came on OLTL, she had this terrifically strong character.  She was morally centered and had all these great qualities.  But slowly but surely, she felt that those characteristics were eroded over time.  So I said to her, “When the character was noble and doing everything great, how often were you working?”  And she said, “One day a week”.  And I said, “Well, how often are you working now?”  And she said, “Like four days a week.”  And that is the moral of the story; the more you work on the soaps the more screwed up your character ends up being. (Laughs)  It’s just by default.  So to be involved in this storyline, there have been some things that are hard to handle and swallow.  We are just trying to do the best we can to make them work and still have a story. There is going to be some collateral damage to the storyline while you are trying to protect it, but the only real way to do that is to sit at home and not be there!

MICHAEL:

Would you like to have Melissa Archer on GH with you?

MICHAEL EASTON:

I would love to!  She is wonderful and I enjoy working with her so much!  But again, I think that Ron Carlivati (head writer, GH) and Frank Valentini (executive producer, GH) are doing a great job.  When Frank called up and said, “Hey, do you want to come over to GH?”   Frankly, I was reluctant.  You don’t want to be involved in something where it’s about, “Well, we are trying to grab the One Life audience,” because that would have offended General Hospital fans.  These audiences are a lot more astute then people give them credit for.  You can’t fool them.  So the storyline had to be organic and something that didn’t feel forced.  And that is kind of what I wanted to hear when they told me what the storyline was.  So I thought, well that makes sense on some level.  Because, if you just start forcing OLTL people onto GH, that is not going to work.  Also, I don’t think the OLTL fans want to see a courtesy thing.  It’s all about these stories.  It seems on GH, they have some good storylines right now.  So I think if they can finesse Natalie and John and Liam in a storyline together, then there is a nice place for it somewhere down the line, absolutely.

Courtesy/ABC

MICHAEL:

There has been an ongoing battle on message boards and posts between GH and OLTL fans where some say GH is becoming OLTL, and they are not happy about it, and the fan factions in-fighting.   What are your thoughts on the crossovers? (With you being one of them!)

MICHAEL EASTON:

I think the positive response does not get out as much.  It’s hard to say.  I went back to New York for a bit and was walking the streets, and the response was that a lot of GH fans understand and have a kinship with other viewers of daytime that the wrecking ball is right outside for this whole medium.  And there are a whole lot of people out there with holes in their hearts.  They had dedicated a very long time to a show.  The GH fans realize a few of the OLTL characters can live on our show for a little bit as long as it works within the world of that show.  They are very generous with that and they find nothing wrong with that, and they have opened their hearts.  I think they would feel the same way if it were reversed.  Hopefully, GH does really well, and out of that comes good things!

MICHAEL:

How were you after One Life to Live went off the air?  Did you go through a depression?  Were you sad?  Were you able to just move on?  What was particularly upsetting was the show was doing well in the ratings and was on a creative high when it was canceled.

MICHAEL EASTON:

It’s almost tragic when soap operas get canceled, because people have committed one, two, three, four generations to these shows.  It is something that is very different.  The hurt I felt first was for the crew, and secondly, the fans.  Not so much for myself.  I just realized it’s time to go back out there and button up and try to get a job.  It was disappointing.  I thought we really put up a good fight to try to keep the show on.  You would love to see it rewarded.  You always like to see a Norma Rae story.

MICHAEL:

As I have said many times, the last year of One Life to Live had some of the most wonderful episodes in its 43-year history.  It was picking up steam and then dropped by the ABC network, regardless of all the plain as day, in front of your face facts that it was moving upward.

MICHAEL EASTON:

Photo Credit: MF Soaps Inc.

I don’t know anything for sure.  But, I think the decision may have been made to the cancel the show before that point.  It is a good lesson of: you can’t throw away anything anymore.  You can’t have bad storylines that go on for too long, and you can’t regurgitate stories or fall back on old things.  You really have to keep story moving at all times.  I think that is really the focus of Frank and Ron right now at GH.  They are really trying to tell as many good stories as they can and make them work, and really pull the audience in, because you can’t afford a lull anymore.  It used to be “Well, we had six bad months. We will pull out of it!”  Now, the future of your show could be decided in those six months.

MICHAEL:

Good Afternoon America will soon begin its nine-week trial as a summer replacement series in OLTL’s old timeslot taking over for the canceled The Revolution.  GH has needed a good lead-in to help propel it in the ratings.  But with Good Afternoon America about to debut, this could be a double-edged sword.  While it could provide a better lead-in to GH, it could also score higher ratings than GH.  Then, ABC could take another look-see and reassess their lineup!

MICHAEL EASTON:

Yes, they could.  So, we are all getting pushed into this one show left at ABC, this little island, General HospitalIf you have any affinity at all for these shows, it’s really time to come out and try to give them some support.  It’s the light at the end of the tunnel right now, and you have to see your way through it.

MICHAEL:

Michael, you have made John McBain such a beloved character and a true original on daytime soaps.  Kudos to you for making the audience care and love this guy!

MICHAEL EASTON:

That is really kind of you to say, Michael.  And thank you for all the support you have given to the shows.  We all respect what you do and appreciate what you do in trying to get the word out, because we certainly need all the good word of mouth we can get.   Hopefully, I think soaps can find a new audience and this gets turned around along the way.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/ABC

Last week on GH, we saw John helping Sam deliver her baby, only to be conked out by Jason’s henchmen!

MICHAEL EASTON:

Jason had John beaten up and the timing was not so good!  As you saw, Jason sends some goons to do it, and doesn’t realize that Sam went into labor.  And of course, John helps Sam deliver the baby.  He goes to get the car to take her to the hospital, but then he gets beaten up and dumped at the side of the road.  When he gets back, Sam is gone and Jason is there.  Then, they have to search for Sam.  John is too beaten up to go, so Jason goes to find Sam.  It’s a lot of story.

MICHAEL:

And then we have, voila, a baby-switch.

MICHAEL EASTON:

Of course!  Tea went into labor and Todd was helping her, and anything involving Todd comes with its share of problems.  And yes, there is a baby switch.  And so we are going to have to dance around that for a while.

MICHAEL:

Please don’t let it take five years to figure this out!

MICHAEL EASTON:

You can’t do that anymore!  We have to wrap things up faster and have some resolve, and have a pay-off to your audience more often now.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/ABC

So the big question; when you heard GH was going to do another soap opera baby switch, what did you think about it?

MICHAEL EASTON:

Well, personally, I was involved in a baby thing for a very long time.  I think that is a tricky thing to do in this day and age where DNA tests are available at your local drug store.  But that being said, it seems to be a story that is a staple on daytime.  And it gets people involved and it gets people engaged.  Even if it engages people negatively, I think the powers-that-be approach is they will watch.  They would rather have people be angry and watch, than people that are apathetic.  I think that is the worst time; when you have people who have general apathy about it and they don’t feel anything, either way.  So I think their hope is; if any of these storylines get people involved, then there is an investment there.  Like, “When will these people find out that the baby is theirs?”  Hopefully, this story resolves itself at a good pace and you move on to something else, and it doesn’t hang on for two years!

MICHAEL:

Will we see more of John with Tea?  They had such great chemistry in Llanview!

MICHAEL EASTON:

I think so.  I love working with Florencia Lozano (Tea).  I always enjoyed working with her on One Life.  I think John and Tea had a very interesting dynamic.  We had two weeks off now and just before our break, John was leaving Port Charles and going back to Llanview to see Natalie and Liam.  He has resolved this issue with Sonny to some extent.  John had some other investigating he needed to do, so he was leaving.  I left and I didn’t even bother asking, “Is that it?”  You come in and do your job and hope that people would want to see more of it, but if they don’t, that is OK, too.  It’s just nice to have been a part of it.  It has really been a lot of fun.  I think they have some terrific actors over at GH.  I have gotten to work with some performers I have always admired and respected, such as Maurice, Steve Burton (Jason) and Tony Geary (Luke) and Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis), Kelly and Laura Wright (Carly)

MICHAEL:

But … you will be back?  You are on contract, right?

MICHAEL EASTON:

Yes.  They have me down, but you know how things go; they are renewable every 26 weeks.  We will see how the storyline goes, and if that was it, that was fantastic.  It was great seeing Frank again and nice to hit the ground running with people.  I think one of the things that was easier was bringing some characters over from One Life.  I think it got exaggerated a bit.  There were only three or four of us from One Life and like 30 plus people in the cast already at GH.  It is a small number compared to the size of the cast.  It is hard to establish new characters sometimes and takes a lot of groundwork, whereas, these characters can come in from Llanview whether you like ‘em or don’t like ‘em.  They can hit the ground running and you know who you are.  They have a formidable cast over there.  I can imagine it’s a tricky place to bring people in who don’t have much experience trying to stand up to them.  It can be a tough room.

MICHAEL:

Do you know when you will go back to tape new episodes?

Courtesy/ABC

MICHAEL EASTON:

When I do go back, I am in Llanview and I run into Tea there.  She is back in Llanview too, and I am speculating at this point.  I would imagine at some point John becomes aware something is not right about these babies.  I am not sure about that, but that is my two bits.  It just seems that he would become aware of something, and then he wouldn’t be that oblivious to not go, “Hmm.”  It could keep him in the story. 

MICHAEL:

So next week we will finally get some answers to the sisterly drama that has John gunning for Sonny and the score he wants to settle with the mobster!  How does it go down?

MICHAEL EASTON:

Maurice does great work that day.  There are no flashbacks; he retells the story of what happened to the audience.  He just tells it, and when you watch it you will swear you were there in the room.  Obviously, this was tricky, too.  This was not a story that existed on One Life to Live.  I did not even get John’s sister’s name till recently, and you just have to start the storyline with one hand tied behind your back.  It’s a bit of a magic act, you know.  (Laughs)  McBain comes in and Sonny was holding a gun over his dead sister.  So he has always held him responsible, and somehow Sonny has always skirted the law.  And John has had it in the back of his mind that Sonny did it, and he is going to pay for it.  I think they wrote a nice piece where Sonny is going through something with someone, and it makes him have a bit of empathy for what McBain is going through.  Of course the issue is; is Sonny telling the truth or not?  That will be part of, where do you go from there?

MICHAEL:

Fans will get to see you live and in person very soon though. The Loving Llanview tour is making stops in Cincinnati, Ohio on June 22nd, Merrillville, Indiana on June 23rd, and then, Chicago Illinois on June 24th.  After the show, will fans get to meet you up close and personal?

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

MICHAEL EASTON:

We meet them afterwards in person and take pictures and sign autographs.  It’s just a bit of a catharsis to be able to say “goodbye”.  Some of these fans we have gotten to know, and some of them show up at all the comic book conventions that I do.  They have been so supportive.  It’s a great opportunity to say “hello” again and  “goodbye” again to people.  It puts some closure on that, because we really didn’t get to say “goodbye”.  It’s an opportunity to also say hello to some good friends and say, “See ya soon.”  Chicago is one of my favorite cities, and I debuted my book, Soul Stealer at Chicago Comic con.  I just love it there.  I did not need an excuse to go there.  We went on vacation there one year, just because we love the city so much.  It was a perfect thing.  It’s a lotta fun being with Trevor St. John (Victor Jr.), Melissa, Kassie DePaiva (Blair), Hillary B. Smith (Nora) and JP Lavoisier (Rex).  It’s like we should be paying the audience to come to it, just to share with us the moments of being together again and being with the fans.  It’s a rare experience. I have to psych myself up, because I am overwhelmed in large groups, but it seems like a really nice thing to do. It is really fun to be a part of this.

MICHAEL:

What did the fans say to you the most when they saw you at the first Loving Llanview event back in January?

MICHAEL EASTON:

They say, “I miss you, and I miss the show.”  And usually, “My mom and I have watched One Life together.  Or, my Mom got me started …”   Every so often you get a story that tugs at your heartstrings.  You really do get to hear a lot of great stories from people.

MICHAEL:

Let’s just say; One Life would have lived on and there were more stories to tell.  What would you have liked to see happen next to John?  Would you want him to get married, or go off and have him find Victor Jr., who somehow mysteriously ended up on the final episode in the clutches of Alison Perkins?

Courtesy/ABC

MICHAEL EASTON:

Oh, find Trevor?  Oh God!  I wasn’t too sure about the ending and how that all came about.  That wasn’t my favorite episode.  I actually thought the second to last episode of One Life was fantastic.  And of course, anything that highlights the great Bob Woods (Bo) is OK in my book.  I thought it was a lot of fun having Trevor St. John and Roger Howarth (Todd) on the show at the same time.  I think they should have continued that on.  Now I don’t know what was going on with people’s contracts and leaving, or coming and going, but I think we had just gotten to a really interesting point in the storytelling and that would have been great.  And I can say that John would have found that to be quite the challenge, Victor and Todd in the same, small, small town.  I certainly was looking forward to John having a family life and depicting part of that.  I know everybody seems to think that you finally get a couple together and everyone gets bored or goes, “Now what?”  But look at how many great movies or television shows that are out there now about families.  There is a lot of drama and conflict there and Natalie and John still had a lot of issues to resolve.  I don’t think it was all easy sailing from there on out.  I think there was a lot of potential.

MICHAEL:

Why do you think you and Melissa Archer worked so well on-screen? 

MICHAEL EASTON:

She is lovely.  She is easy to look at and she is easy to work with.  She has this incredible innocent soul that you just want to protect and help.  No matter how mad John would get at Natalie, and certainly he acted at times uncharacteristically around her, mostly for story purposes, at the heart of it, he looked at her and loved her, and wanted to protect her.

MICHAEL:

I recently interviewed Bob Woods’s on his Daytime Emmy nomination and his time leaving, and post-One Life.  He had nothing but very heartfelt comments to say about working with you, and would jump at the chance to work with you again on GH, should the opportunity arise.

Courtesy/ABC

MICHAEL EASTON:

It is fantastic that Bob is nominated and I want him to win, too!  He is the most honest guy in daytime, but I honestly think he is the most honest guy in television.  Bob was the big guy on that show from the day he started till the day it ended.  He might have shared that with Phil Carey (Asa) for a while.  But for the last several years, for me it was Bob Woods.  Working with him was a highlight for me.  I learned from him being in scenes with him.  I learned a lot about how to conduct myself and dedicate myself.  He is just a charming beautiful guy.  He was at my wedding.  He is a great friend, too.  Bob, Thorsten Kaye (Ex-Zach, AMC, Patrick, OLTL and currently on Smash), and Susan Haskell (Ex-Marty, OLTL) that became our circle of friends.  It got me through my time at One Life to Live and made the work very rewarding.  But the friendships I made out of One Life was even more rewarding.  I still talk to Melissa Archer.  I still see and talk to Trevor St. John.  I see Roger Howarth.  Probably the hardest thing when I walked out of One Life’s studio on the final tape day, in the back of my mind, I was going, “I think there is a chance I am never going to see most of these people ever again.”

MICHAEL:

So what happened?  Everyone just packed up their dressing rooms and walked out?  How awful!

MICHAEL EASTON:

Yes. We packed up our stuff and then walked out the studio front door, but we didn’t want to make a lot out of it, because you are hoping this isn’t goodbye. You don’t say goodbye and you don’t want to jinx it.  For me, I approached it like; “I will see you when I see you.  Cause I know I will see you again.”  But in the back of your mind, your heart is pretty heavy; because you know you are probably walking out the studio doors for the very last time.

MICHAEL:

Did you find out about Prospect Park fizzling out, before they put out that press release that they were not moving forward with plans to bring OLTL and AMC to the web?  Or, were you blindsided, too?

MICHAEL EASTON:

If I remember correctly, Frank Valentini called me.  Frank was kind enough to let us know hours before it went out to the press that the deal had fallen apart.  Hey look, we all chipped in to contribute to moving the show forward, but even when we did that, I knew it was quite an ambitious task.  I think it’s the future, but it’s a hard thing to throw together in a short period of time.

Courtesy/ABC

MICHAEL:

I go back to the final OLTL press junket in November and speaking with Erika Slezak (Viki) and so many others, for those video and print interviews at On-Air On-Soaps.  Had there been a feeling of real closure, the interviews could have been so much more about a proper goodbye for the fans and for the actors.  It is one thing that has upset me to this day.

MICHAEL EASTON:

It was hard to really be introspective at that time, because you weren’t too sure it was definitive.  I think it would have been lovely to find out how Erika Slezak felt or Bob or Hillary, or anybody that had really been invested in the story for that long.  Everything ends badly, or it wouldn’t end.  But sometimes you have expectations, and you want it to be perfect, and it rarely is.  I know this does not compare, but we left Port Charles and went on hiatus thinking we were coming back to filming the show.  They had written new scripts and then we were canceled, and so we never got to say goodbye. 

MICHAEL:

And speaking of vampires, look at all the vampire shows now on primetime television!

MICHAEL EASTON:

It’s too bad vampires didn’t become popular or anything! (Laughs)  I think it was one of the few times in history that daytime was ahead of the curve! 

MICHAEL:

Do you watch any of the vampire shows and go, “I can do that?” (Laughs)

MICHAEL EASTON:

Courtesy/ABC

I don’t watch True Blood and I have heard it’s terrific.  Certainly, you have a lot to draw on now.  But back then you only had the really good Gary Oldman movie and the Anne Rice book, and of course, Bram Stoker.  I did read Interview with the Vampire again quickly.  I actually signed on to do ten weeks on the show.  Mark Teschner, the casting director said, “Hey, do you want to do a part for ten weeks and come over to Port Charles and do this?  It’s kind of top secret.”  I am like, “How secretive can it be about a soap opera that takes place at a hospital?”  (Laughs)  And he goes, “But I need you to sign on first and then we will let you know everything.”  So I am like,”Alright.”  Then I go into the meeting, and that is when they tell me I am going to be playing a vampire! They say, “You are actually going to be playing twins.  One is a priest and one is a vampire.”  I remember going, “Uh-oh.  What have I gotten myself into, a vampire on daytime?  This is going to be terrible.”  Then I went home and watched The Dracula movie with Gary Oldman and I started writing down his lines.  I remember thinking, if I saw those lines in a script, I would think it’s the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen.  But I watched him and he was brilliant.  It engaged you.  That was the whole inspiration for me playing Caleb, the whole time I was doing it.  And …it was all about, you love this woman and that’s all that matters.

MICHAEL:

Caleb is now a soap classic!

MICHAEL EASTON:

He was something else!  Very different from John!  (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

It would have been great if you could attend the Daytime Emmys on June 23rd, and be there with your former OLTL co-horts.  However,  you have other important business to attend to that night with Loving Llanview! ( NOTE: since the posting of this interview: the event in Merrillville, Indiana has been switched to Sunday, October 14th, Rosemont, Illinois has been switched to Saturday, October 13th. The new date for Cincinnati is not determined yet.)

MICHAEL EASTON:

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Oh, that would have been interesting.  One Life has a great group!  It’s amazing that Bob Woods got nominated, and Erika, and Eddie Alderson, who for a long time I thought was the best damn actor on the entire show!  I love him.  What a wonderful group in the Lead Actor category with Woods and Maurice Benard and Anthony Geary (Luke, GH).  It is fun to know that I have had some relationship with all these guys.  There are some actors that advance the cause of daytime and some that pull it back, and these guys are the guys that have advanced the cause.  I think Anthony Geary is one of the true originals on daytime.  I think his performance made it possible for a lot of people to approach daytime in a different way, because he brought so many layers and is so intricate.  Tony has brought so many qualities: humor, compassion, quirkiness, and all these strange things that opened up doors for so many actors.  I think he is still the cornerstone of what you look for in an actor, always interesting to watch.  I think that goes a long way when you have to be on 150 shows a year for 25 or 30 years.

MICHAEL:

I recently went to the Los Angeles Premiere of Trevor St. John’s latest film release, In the Family.  He was amazing in it.  I was blown away and I wish he would be getting more rave reviews for it by film critics around the country.  I know you two are buds.  He is also another original, wouldn’t you say?

MICHAEL EASTON:

He is amazing, isn’t he?  Trevor is an amazing actor.  I think the year he was put in the death chamber and sentenced to death by lethal injection as Todd he should have gotten an Emmy.  Every so often I will say, they missed one, and that was certainly one they missed.  But Trevor always does interesting things.  I miss his sense of humor.  I haven’t found that quite yet at GH … someone to goof around with.  Trevor and I would do whole scenes as pirates sometimes, “Argh. Bring me Nate.” (Laughs)  Only we would be the only ones laughing, but it would be funny!  But at the same time, you can’t handcuff people like Trevor or Roger Howarth or Tony Geary.  You have to just turn them loose, because you will get something interesting out of it.  I think that is what makes Frank Valentini a really good producer.  He really understands the personalities of whom he is working with.  John McBain is not always an easy character to do.  Frank is really good about giving me freedom, and also giving me guidance at the right time.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/ABC

Finally Michael, what do you love about playing John McBain?

MICHAEL EASTON:

I find him such a strange guy, he is really is.  He is carrying around all that damage and that baggage inside.  Here is this guy who was surrounded by this body count in his family, and of people that have been killed and sometimes in horrific ways.  And that what he had seen on the job, must have made him incredibly damaged on the inside, too.  Yet, even though he has moments of doubt, he is still trying to do good.  Sometimes, it’s a twisted kind of justice, and sometimes he does not see clearly, and sometimes he can be stubborn to his own faults.  But at the end of the day, he loves this girl and he is trying to do the right thing.  Sometimes he is his own worst enemy in doing that.  I also think that it is interesting to play his obstacles, which many times are of his own manufactured ones.  He can’t say, “I love you.”  These are things that people need to hear, but he is stubborn to the point where he can’t do it.  I always found that interesting.

 

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GENERAL HOSPITAL: Valentin's World Crumbles; Anna & Finn Put On The Brakes
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Monica
Monica

Thank you for such a great interview! Michael Easton is a master at his craft. I loved how he shared his respect and love for his OLTL cast mates, particarly Bob Woods and Eddie Alderson. You could always tell something special was going on when Bo and John had a scene together. I’m enjoying John McBain on General Hospital. If he’s gone soon I hope they bring him back.

Lori Avila
Lori Avila

It’s always nice to hear from Michael Easton. Great interview. Thanks.

Lynn
Lynn

Love ME can’t wait to see him at the loving Llanview event in chicago! It seems they are still going to try and be respectful of Natalie/liam and how John was written to love them I am hoping this stays true and at some time have them visit. John would be way out of character to just totally abandon them.

Brinard Sweeting
Brinard Sweeting

nice interview…enjoyed the read 🙂 ME is a cool dude.

Cindy
Cindy

I’m so very glad Michael is on GH. I miss OLTL. Thanks for a great interview!

Susan M.
Susan M.

Same here……………..

Annalee
Annalee

Great interview! What a humble guy!
Fabulous actor!

Ann
Ann

Thank you for a totally wonderful, lengthy interview! Mr Fairman, you posted it to GH and OLTL fans on his Feacebook. Please do not forget his Port Charles fans, too! His roles on there were huge and cemented his place on the daytime landscape! Caleb was his signature role, even more than John McBain. Lots of us PC fans think that. Michael had said at ine time that was his best role. He surely has gotten chatty over rhe years. But that is an excellent thing!

Ann
Ann

I feel they have to free up John on GH. If they do not do something romantuc with John and Sam, they are really crazy for not capitalizing on the electric hot chemistry between Kelly and Michael. Lots of peopke are clamoring for just that.

Audrina
Audrina

I’ve been counting down the days and years to see Kelly and Michael together again. Michael was fangtastic as Caleb and terrific as Father Michael and Stephen Clay. I’m finding it a little unusual that there hasn’t been any reference to Caleb and Olivia Morley from Port Charles since General Hospital is the same town but I don’t think the writers will ignore the Port Charles fans entirely.

sarah
sarah

loved the interview with michael easton had a chance to meet him several yrs ago
when he was on days of our lives, a sweet kind person, loved him on oltl and love him
on gh, love him with kelly monaco and steve burton and of course maurice

hope he comes back to gh would love to see him on a regular basis

also love roger howarth and would like to see michael and roger go at i on gh

Chris
Chris

Michael, how can the former OLTL actors that are in the “Loving Llanview” event attend the daytime emmy awards in L.A. when they are all in Merrillville, Indiana on the same day the awards show take place that day? I don’t think that they could make it to the daytime emmys if they’re all across the country that day!

ej
ej

I was a big john/nat fan, love that ME was too!! I miss them, but I love seeing Michael on GH. It’s nice to read his respect for Eddie and Bob, Tony and Mo and Trevor and Roger. Seems like an amazingly nice guy.. thanks for the read, great job!

Tali Smith
Tali Smith

ditto!

rebecca
rebecca

just so in love with this actor and his character…comes off so genuine and intelligent. I hope he stays with GH …he’s one of the main reasons I tune in.

Vicki
Vicki

Great Interview as always by Both Michaels!

melissa
melissa

Wow I am as sad as I was the day the show ended..Miss OLTL so much..Really hate that PP fell through.Happy ME and a few others are on GH..Would love to see Natalie,Trevor and Blair full time..wishful thinking..Really hate ABC and their choices.If GH goes I will not tune in to ABC..On a positive note I am going to LL in Cincy 6/22:)

gloria
gloria

Melissa, you are not alone. Every single day I miss OLTL. My life is just not the same without that darn show.

maddiehayes
maddiehayes

I love this interview, and I so agree with ME, people need to watch GH regardless .. I am not really enjoying it right now, but I am watching. I really hate that Tea’s baby died. i hate that Todd switched Sam’s baby with hers. I hate that John is away from his family in Llanview. But I’m watching – every day! I was so afraid that John was going to break up with Natalie and be with Sam. But from the sounds of this interview, John is going to be faithful to his little family. SO glad to hear that! I know there is a “McBam faction” and the show has addressed them, with all the vampire references. I’m sure those fans would love a “McBam fantasy sequence” .. maybe somebody’s dream. I don’t mind sharing John as long as he ends up with Natalie!

Tali Smith
Tali Smith

Love your idea and I would even be ok with a dream seqment – otherwise I’m a true Jolie fan and waiting for Melissa Archer to come to GH.

Vanessa
Vanessa

I don’t care that much for GH right now myself but I am watching. I know John is supposed to kiss Sam this week which is totally out of character for John but I hope the writers don’t change the Jolie love. The writers haven’t changed Todds character and Star is getting back to who she used to be so I hope they give us back the John we all know.

Debbie Harris
Debbie Harris

I think Michael Easton is wonderful actor,,,,,,and he should be in
True Blood,,,,,,,In 2007 was wanting him to take Sam Mcall
away from Jason Morgan,,,,,BUT I’m pinning for Jasam …If this
was 2007,I would have wanted him with her…..But I want my JASAM
and baby Morgan together….

GREAT INTERVIIEW

Emily
Emily

Thoroughly enjoyed reading another 1 of ME’s interviews, they’re all very detailed, on point and filled w/appreciation and lots of observations. He’s very eloquent as usual. Enjoy his affection for OLTL (soap business in gen’l), his friends and co-stars, what a nice and decent man and a great actor. Can’t say I’m surprised. Go ME!!!!

Leigh York
Leigh York

Thank you for this most interesting interview. Mr. Easton’s personality comes shining through. I was a long-time viewer of OLTL and I miss the show more then I would have imagined. I started watching GH due to
Michael Easton’s John McBain coming to town and as long as there is some connection to OLTL I will continue to watch. Some of the finest acting takes place on Daytime t.v. and Michael Easton is among the finest there is.

Debbie Harris
Debbie Harris

Awesome interview with ME! It’s not often we get the insight into the characters or the actors that we got from your interview. Keep the great interviews coming!

emtk
emtk

Great interview!! I can’t get enough Michael Easton, especially when he plays John McBain! I’m so glad he’s on GH (even though I miss OLTL horribly!) GH needs Natalie badly. Once she shows up, the fireworks will begin!

Patty
Patty

I absolutely loved this interview between the 2 Michael’s.
MD asked some great questions & ME answered them the way ME would do.

michelle
michelle

Wonderful interview!! I love M.E.!! I am so glad he is one of the actors that are now on GH from OLTL!!! I SOOOOOOO wish that I could be in Chicago on the 24th….I won’t be in Chicago until a few days later. Also cannot rearrange my trip. Arizona is a great state for them to all come too!!!!! OH PLEASEEEEEE!!!!!!!

Susan M.
Susan M.

Can’t go to loving Llanview…If it were in Fl. it would be a different story…..Can’t go to Ghicago by myself…I have no one to go with..My friends aren’t soap fans….And my husband doesn’t care much for them either…Oh well…Come to Fl…………………………………………They are alway’s places I can’t get too…….Like Chicago………Would love too see them & talk to them face to face………………I just can’t do it…..

sharon
sharon

Terrific interview! Thank you! Michael is wonderful and I want to enjoy him on GH…but I can’t do that until Melissa Archer joins him and he’s cut free from the mob stories!

Nicki
Nicki

I love Michael Easton and this was a great interview 🙂 I always like reading his interviews! I was a John and Natalie fan, but I was also a John and Evangeline fan too! I strongly disagree about GH becoming OLTL! The people who have said this is crazy! I can see if the whole cast came over to GH, then I can understand that, but that’s not the case! I am happy that Michael has been put on contract which is what I was hoping for :)! As for John and Sam, people are saying that they think that they are brother and sister, but since now I know that his sisters name was Theresa, that was a disappointment because I was also hoping that they were long lost brother and sister! I would hope that the writers don’t put them together as a couple because I still do love John with his family and Sam and Jason belong together!

Susan
Susan

Great interview!!! Michael Easton you are an amazing talented actor!!! I have watched GH for years and I think it was a brilliant idea to bring the characters of John McBain,Todd and Starr to GH!!!!!! RC and FV need to listen to the positive viewers that watch GH and get Michael Easton on a long term contract immediately!!! RC and FV are you listening? LUV JOHN MCBAIN ON GH!!!!!!!!!!!

Susan M.
Susan M.

To another Susan, I agree with you about Michael Easton… I like him a lot also………………….And todd, star………………But John is my FAVORITE !!!! I hope he stay’s on GH a long time also……….He is very soft spoken type of guy,a little moody & likes towear black mostly ..Sometimes he will wear a blue shirt…His blue eyes are penetrating……………………..Dark hair & blue eyes a good combination.That sexy voice…..And an all around good guy…

Sharon
Sharon

Magnificent interview!!!

Susan M.
Susan M.

I agree!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Elhu
Elhu

I have enjoyed Michael Easton’s acting for years now. He is a genuine talent, who is honest and open, and the fact that he is so easy on the eyes does not hurt either, but that is just a “bonus” to go along with his superb acting abilities. He is so expressive, whether it is portrayed with his words or his eyes, he always steals the scenes he is in. I enjoyed him on Port Charles, loved him on OLTL, and am so happy that he is now on GH, as I adore him there as well. I certainly hope he remains on contract with GH, as I believe he meshes in well with all of the characters, and truly fits right in. I loved the interview, his honesty and raw emotion is so appreciated. I truly hope GH succeeds in remaining on the air for a long time to come, with ME/John McBain in their cast of talented actors. Much good luck and success ME, and thanks for the interview Michael and Michael.

Vicki
Vicki

Michael, great job on this interview! I think you are the best in the business. You asked all the right questions, all the stuff that we fans had been curious about. Michael Easton is such a great guy, and he truly gets the fans. God bless him for how much he was always looking out for the fans. I can say the same for you. THANKS SO MUCH for a great interview.

Marie
Marie

Great interview! I was a fan of Michael’s and John McBain’s from OLTL and this interview gave a great insite to the terrific gentleman that Michael is…very gracious, intellegent and respectful of his fans and co-workers. I loved hearing how much Michael loves Chicago because I moved there from NY as a newlywed and spent the most memorable five years there working and playing. My regret is knowing that I may never have the opportunity to meet Michael at any of his events to let him know how much I appreciate his work. 🙁 I love that Michael brought his character to GH and feel that he breathed new life into PC. Wishing Michael continued success whatever the future holds for him both on and off the screen.

ethel
ethel

awesome & very interesting interview!

McDevane
McDevane

I think Easton’s most interesting scenes have been with Finola Hughes. They are awesome together!!!

Huge Fan
Huge Fan

Love the interview. I want John and Natalie back tho, how do we get GH/RC/FV to set that in motion.

Susan M.
Susan M.

I liked Michael Easton the first time I saw him on GH as caleb…I thought he was seductive voice & good looking too………………..I was even happier when he came on OLTL…That first day in Rowdy’s ……His first game playing pool with Natalie……..Like him & his character as well………….I miss OLTL still & it’s great to be able to see him again on GH….And I miss the rest of the crew of OLTL…There’s a big void without OLTL..But happy to see OLTL crossovers on GH.. Wonderful interview Michael..Really enjoyed it with Michael Easton (one of my favorites from OLTL)……..

Susan M.
Susan M.

The spelling is wrong..Is it spelled Roadies??????????

Tali Smith
Tali Smith

Rodi’s – I thought!

barbara t
barbara t

Great interview Michael, Still makes me so sad talking about one life to live. and hearing Micheal E’s views, the cancelling of our soap and how everyone felt so bad, the last day they walked out of the studio, saying good bye to people you work with every day, That part of the interview breaks my heart because we all share the loss of the best soap opera ever and there were so many more stories to tell. My fingers are crossed that our friends from Landview stay in Port Charles because at least that way I can have a small part of my favorite soap still on and I can watch it and feel that all my characters are still safe and yes they will have one more life to live.

gina
gina

Love the interview, Michael is awesome. Hoping to go to Loving Llanview in Chicago and meet him.

Susan M.
Susan M.

Say hello for me..Can’t go… Should have been in Fl..

May
May

Can’t wait to see him, Melissa, Trevor, Kassie & JPL in Chicago.

Darlene
Darlene

Thank you Michael for continuing to honor your OLTL fans, all the while respecting the fans of GH. To coin a phrase of my mother’s, “Your heart is as big as all outdoors.”

Cheryl
Cheryl

Thank you Michael for this awesome interview! Words can not express how much I love Michael Easton. Have for a very long time! What an all around great guy!! While I was a Caleb/Livvie fan when they were on PC, I am an even bigger Jolie fan, and for me NATALIE needs to come to PC. I wouldn’t mind a quadrangle, BUT NATALIE MUST BE PART OF IT and John needs to end up with Natalie AND Liam. Hoping to see Michael Easton again, but can’t this time. However if they do another one in Pa, NY or NJ I am so there!

Susan M.
Susan M.

Fl. for me !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mary
Mary

Thanks to both Michaels for the informative and entertaining interview! Love ME and I think he’s been a great addition to GH, along with the other OLTL actors that have made their way to Port Charles. Please, everyone, keep supporting GH at all times, even if you’re not crazy about a storyline or two. We must hang on to the last ABC soap, for AMC and OLTL are truly gone for good if GH goes away!

Latoya
Latoya

I’m glad that he still thinks of Renee Goldsberry/ Evangeline cause for me she was the only one for John. Not Natalie so its good to know even now he still thinks of her.

Susan M.
Susan M.

He was with Evangeline because natalie & john must of had a fight at that time…I alway’s liked Natalie out of all the women John went out with……..It was just a facination w/Evangeline…..I don’t think John ever loved her.. They went their separate ways very good friends…….John couldn’t make a commitment with Evangeline…I liked her but not for John…Natalie & John alway’s had that special bond from day one…That first pool game at Roadies……..

Manelli1234
Manelli1234

Completely agree with you, LaToya. He was a man with Evangeline. Just a boy with everyone else.

susan M.
susan M.

I disagree about Evangeline .. Being the one for John.. Natalie & John alway’s had that passion going… John just couldn’t make a commitment with Evangeline…………….It wasn’t love for John… It was alway’s Natalie for John….They alway’s got back together.. And they got back together for good towards the end of OLTL…………………. Their true love endured everything……………..

Mya
Mya

I think John was in love with Evangeline she needed more than he was able to give and basically chose to be a grown woman and walk away, Natalie did what girls do she waited for him to emotionally grow up . I think you should recheck the videos, that’s not fascination that’s chemistry, unforced and organic.

Latoya Newell
Latoya Newell

Look at whats happening now on GH, John and Natalie are still not together. Thats evidence the they were not made for the long haul I said this 2 yrs ago. How many tries do they have to have to get it right. John will always have this special bond or feeling where Evangeline is concerned heck they even brought her name up on GH. So for as much as alot of people want to down play John and Evangelines relationship, it still stands the test of time with people viewing their scenes on youtube garnering new fans all the time. Thats all that matters.

BarbT
BarbT

Michael your interviews are always so informative and a joy to read. I love to read the insights you get from the actors and how they feel about things. Sometimes it is hard for us diehard fans to think of the actors as real people and not just the characters they play. You always bring the human element into your interviews.

As for ME.. Love this guy and his acting. I also like that they are showing a lighter side of his character. When he smiles..the screen lights up.

susan M.
susan M.

I like his raspy voice & those blue eyes……….

Cindy
Cindy

What a great interview! I have been a ME fan since he mesmerized me as Caleb on PC. What a handsome man and wonderful actor. I’m so excited that McBain is on GH and he is the reason I keep watching. I am part of the McBam contingency that wants to see John and Sam get together. Their chemistry is off the charts like it was on PC. Here’s hoping McBain joins the PCPD with Anna and stays on GH for years to come with Sam!!!

Rosie
Rosie

Thank you so much for the excellent interview with Michael Easton!! Loved absolutely everything he had to say. The fans still miss OLTL (and AMC) terribly,but wish Michael and the other OLTL cast members who are now on GH the very best. <3

Vanessa
Vanessa

I really enjoyed this interview with M.E. He is so down to earth and humble and respects us fans so much. I wouldn’t be watching GH if it wasn’t for M.E. I gave up the show years ago because of the mob story line. I do hope FV and Rc keep him around as long as possible. I also hope they bring Natalie and Liam over. Johns true love from day one has been Natalie. As he said in his interview John is a lot different than Caleb and Sam is a lot different than Livie so I can’t see the relationship working.

MBmomof3
MBmomof3

WOW!! Another great interview! Love Michael Easton and I am really enjoying him on GH. I STILL MISS OLTL!

SiteAdvocate61
SiteAdvocate61

@MichaelFairman Great interview with Michael Easton! He’s a class act.

Tina Gray
Tina Gray

How strange! Reading this interview, for just a minute, I felt like everything was back to normal and this was John McBain on my One Life to Live, I am so grateful to Ron and Frank for bringing some of the actors to General Hospital. But. General Hospital is General Hospital and One Life to Live is One Life to Live. I am going to continue to fight ABC/Disney until they release All My Children and One Life to Live so they can find a new home. Then Michael and Florencia and Kristin and Roger can come to their “families” – to Melissa, Hilary, Kassie, Trevor, Erika, Bob, Clint and the rest of my beloved One Life cast. I miss you all so much.

Carol Painter
Carol Painter

Ditto, I agree with you…everything you wrote!

Ro
Ro

Great interview with ME, he has always been a classy guy, and it is great to see that he has not changed. I absolutely loved Caleb and Livvie, and I love seeing ME and KM work together again. So, I am really enjoying seeing him and hope he continues to be weaved into the fabric of GH.

Carol Painter
Carol Painter

Having Roger, Michael, and my OLTL characters on GH, has been such a wonderful thing to have happen after ABC/Disney canceled OLTL. It brings such joy to me, and I’m sure to many thousands of others as well. It still is such a sad thing to have happend, and I don’t think ABC/Disney even has a clue as to how many people they have hurt. THOUSANDS upon thousands, ..as well as all of the actors ,writers, etc from OLTL. NOR do I think They even care.
This was a really nice interview, Loved it!

Jeannie
Jeannie

I had watched OLTL since 1970 and was so sad when it went off the air. I am thrilled to see Michael on GH. It has made it a little easier now that I can see John, Tea, Blair (for a while), Todd and Starr on GH. It would be great to see Natalie and Liam come over to GH, but I am just incredibly happy to see Michael on there and in such an upfront story line. He is a wonderful actor and very caring towards his fans. Really enjoyed the interview. Thanks.

General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Lucas Gives Wiley To Michael; While Willow Learns the Devastating Truth

Friday’s episode of General Hospital, brought the highly-emotional moments viewers had been waiting for all-week long; following the year and a half reveal that Nelle (Chloe Lanier) and Brad (Parry Shen) engineered a baby switch with Willow’s (Katelyn MacMullen) dead baby, Wiley being passed off as Michael (Chad Duell) and Nelle’s newborn, Jonah, and Jonah being raised by Brad and Lucas (Ryan Carnes) as Wiley.  Now with the truth out, it was time for two of the heaviest beats of the story to be played out.

When Willow comes to at the hospital with Chase (Josh Swickard) by her side, needless to say she is dazed and freaking out that Nelle took Wiley.  Chase tells her he has some things to tell her and it’s not going to be easy to hear. Willow braces herself and then Chase tells her the story of the baby switch and how her baby died a SIDS death while at Brad and Lucas’ and then how the babies were switched.

Photo: ABC

In a heartbreaking and powerful performance from Katelyn MacMullen (yes, she is our pick for “Power Performance of the Week”), Willow struggles to come to grips with the truth and starts to realize all of Brad’s machinations, as she thinks back to herself how could she do that to her son … to trust him with Brad, only to have the little infant die.  The devastation played by MacMullen, whose Willow, now must realize her baby never lived the full and happy young life she thought, was gut-wrenching.

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Meanwhile, in yet another top-notch performance, William deVry (Julian) showed the pain and the need to unburden himself as Julian talks to his sister. Ava (Maura West) and spills what happened.   He goes so far to admit to Ava that he knew what Brad had done. Ava cannot believe he did not go to Sonny (Maurice Benard) right away with this Intel, but Julian just could not do this to his son, Lucas and rip the baby from his arms.  Julian says he will face-off with Sonny and not leave town, if it comes to that.   Ava says they have to come up with a way to silence Brad … before Brad gives up Julian’s part in the whole baby cover-up.

Photo: JPI

And in yet another masterful performance, we have to give it up to Chloe Lanier.  Who can play Nelle and spin stories and the tears so well, that if you did not know this pathological liar you would think she is telling the truth. When in opposing holding cells at the PCPD, Nelle lays it on about Brad so that the guard can hear them. She blames Brad for being the instigator in the baby switch and taking advantage of her – a distraught new mother, confused and dazed on the route where the baby switch happened.  It works! Brad is moved to a different cell and thinks look very grim for him.  Nelle smiles through her crocodile tears!

Photo: JPI

Then, in what we all knew had to happen, and even so, was still as heartbreaking as ever; Lucas spends his final moments with Wiley as his father in the kitchen at the Corinthos’ along with Bobbie (Jackie Zeman) and Carly (Laura Wright).  Lucas starts to tell his mother and sister, all the things Wiley needs and likes, such as having a story read to him.  All of this brings the tears as they know Lucas has to give the child back to Michael; who has been robbed of a year and half as the baby’s rightful father.

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Michael tells Lucas they will work this out, so Lucas remains a constant in Wiley’s life. He also tells Sonny and Sasha (Sofia Matteson) he feels so badly for Lucas, but they tell him to be happy for this chance to have the son he grieved for.   In the end, a tear-filled Lucas hands Wiley to Michael as everyone watches on in sadness for one father … and joy for the other.  Ryan Carnes was poignant in the scenes; as was Chad Duell.

Courtesy/ABC

So, what did you think of the performances from Friday’s GH featuring Katelyn, Ryan, Chad, William, Chloe and Parry? Comment below.

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General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Michael Blasts Brad As The Truth About Wiley Comes Out

FINALLY! On Wednesday’s episode of General Hospital, Lucas (Ryan Carnes) memory is jogged just enough that he clearly remembers Brad’s (Parry Shen) shocking words before their car crash; where Brad confessed that Wiley was Nelle (Chloe Lanier) and Michael’s (Chad Duell) biological son.

At the Corinthos home, Lucas stands up and announces to Michael that Wiley is actually his believed to be dead son, Jonah. Carly’s (Laura Wright) mouth drops and then she takes over getting to the root of the truth of the baby switch.

Brad is cornered and left with no choice but to fess up. He explains how Wiley died when he was no longer breathing, and how he was driving with him, when he ended up on the route where Nelle left Michael to die in the car he was driving (Michael recalls this bit of Intel in a flashback).

Then, Brad explains how Nelle appeared with her newborn baby and claimed the whole thing was engineered by Nelle …  and how he was so upset and panicked, that he went along with her plan.

Michael lets Brad have it for all of his lies and machinations, and the pain it has inflicted on so many people for over a year and half.  How on earth could he do that? Carly also lays into him.

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Meanwhile, Sasha (Sofia Matteson) has urgently called Chase (Josh Swickard), who leaves “Wiley” and Willow (Katelyn MacMullen) behind, and heads to the Corinthos’ where he hears the whole sad truth about the baby switch.

With Chase gone, Nelle goes looking for “Wiley” who is with Willow, and the two get into a major throwdown catfight.  Nelle comes out the victor and goes to get her baby ready to leave town with her son.

So, what did you think of how the truth finally came out?  What did you think of Michael’s tirade on Brad? What do you think will happen next? Comment below.

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General Hospital

GH’s James Patrick Stuart Talks on Valentin’s Downfall and Potential Rise to Power

After all his bravado, machinations and lies to keep the woman he loves, and believing he was the rightful heir to the Cassadine fortune, suddenly it all came crashing down for Valentin Cassadine (James Patrick Stuart) on recent episodes of General Hospital.

Payback can be a bitch, but for Valentin; who’s past has been fraught with numerous physical and emotional tribulations since his childhood, he now finds himself at the lowest point in his life; losing Nina (Cynthia Watros) who’s now taken up with Jax (Ingo Rademacher), realizing he is the biological son of the evil Helena Cassadine (Constance Towers), and not Mikkos, and having all his best laid plans and misdeeds backfire.  (Remember, he shot and “killed” Nikolas, and set up the ruse that led Sasha to pretend she was Nina’s bio-daughter.)  Now, enter Nelle Benson (Chloe Lanier), who could very well hold the ticket, to Valentin’s rise to wealth and power all over again.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with James Patrick Stuart to get the lowdown on: those heavy and emotional scenes opposite Constance Towers, working with Cynthia Watros as his newest Nina, if Valentin might really kill Jax the next time he thinks about it, and what about a potential relationship between Anna (Finola Hughes) and Valentin?

Not many can play bad as good as James in this industry.  He does it so effortlessly and still brings out the humanity in the guy that has t-r-o-u-b-l-e written all over him.  Here’s what James had to share about all of Valentin’s recent dramatic moments, a tease of what’s to come, and much more.

Photo: JPI

Valentin’s world has imploded at the moment.  When did you initially find out that he was going to turn out to not be a true Cassadine heir?

JAMES:  Well, there were some clues dropped by Frank Valentini (executive producer, GH) back when we did the gallery auction where Helena’s portrait went up in flames.  Frank looked at me and goes, “Hey, Jack Nicholson it up.  Have some fun!  You’re not going to be feeling pretty good for a while.”  (Laughs)  I’m like, “Oh … what are the plans?”  He pulled me aside and goes, “Yeah, you’re going to lose Nina, but you’re going to try to take over ELQ.  That’s when I started to go, “Wait a minute!  That sounds to me like Valentin’s losing his money.”  (Laughs)  With the character of Nikolas (Marcus Coloma) coming back; it’s pretty great.  I think the writing was on the wall there.  I put it out on twitter the other day.  I said, “Look what they’ve done to my boy.”  Somebody chimed in, “They gave him a storyline!” (Laughs)

Who doesn’t love to see you, James Patrick Stuart, play tortured soul?  They audience loves to see you get the opportunity to go to those depths in your performances.

JAMES:  It’s been really interesting for me.  I’ve had a lifetime of playing bad guys because the line was always shorter. (Laughs)  Everybody wants to be Tom Cruise, but the Alan Rickman’s of it all, to me, were what was so interesting.  Early on, you play one dimensional kind of twisting of the mustache, tying a woman to the train tracks.  After a while, you start to watch the truly great actors.  They start to take you on a ride.  If you’re paying attention, you start to feel what it would be like to be that damaged, and that’s why you do it.  Then you start to see the vulnerability. To me, I thought, “This is a great time in my life because I’m ready to do that.” A lot of people say, “I don’t understand.  I feel like that makes no sense. because why would I root for a person who behaves like this?” and that to me, I feel is the greatest compliment of all.

So much happened recently to Valentin in one fell swoop; he overhears Nina telling Ava (Maura West) she kissed Jax, then he envisions shooting Jax and then he is drinking himself into oblivion and he gets a “visit” from Helena!  But … the scenes between Valentin and Helena really summed up the bitter truth for him, wouldn’t you say?

JAMES:  Yes.  In the “Helena” scenes, it all basically is revealed.  It all comes down in a moment where he “sees” her.  I think he realizes with the DNA test; he’s not the person he thought he was, but he certainly had no idea that he had her blood in his veins.  The truly tragic moment of the evening is when it dawns on him that he has a daughter with Helena’s blood in her veins.  Now, he would kill her a thousand times over in that moment.  He can’t do it.  He’s fighting phantoms.  That’s the bottom below the bottom, and things got worse than he ever thought they would get.

Courtesy/ABC

Does Valentin have any idea then, who his biological father could be?

JAMES:  I don’t think so.  I don’t believe so.  I know I don’t.  I think once he realizes that Helena is in fact the mother, I think he’d rather just go into oblivion.  I think at that point, he’s out of answers.  Enter Alexis (Nancy Lee Grahn) …which is wonderful because I think the world of Nancy, and she saves the day.   Alexis basically talks him out of hurting himself, telling him to count his blessings that he is not a Cassadine, etc, which was a really sweet moment.

I assume, when you have this kind of material to play, it must be exhausting, but exhilarating at the same time?

JAMES:  I think that’s exactly right.  As an actor, I think you want to do this stuff.  Maura West and I compare notes all the time.  I think it can be kind of emotionally draining.  You do feel it, and I felt it when I had spent a lot of time with Nina and Valentin, and when the actresses changed, and we brought Cynthia Watros in.  I worked twice as hard to make sure that Cynthia’s landing was as easy as possible, and I really grew attached to the Nina and Valentin connection.  So, when Jax steps in, Cynthia’s love life means nothing to me, I don’t care about that, but Nina’s love life means a lot to me!  And it bums me out, and I don’t know that I’ll actually be watching any future love scenes between them as much as I love them both!  I have a deep attachment to the Valentin connection to Nina.  So, the lines get burred because we just play these characters so long.

Photo: JPI

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JAMES:  In real life, Constance is such a sweetheart, and she’s so grateful to be there.  She was so ready to work, and rehearse, and play, and find the stuff, and she was great.  I’d been in scenes with her before.  Last time, we didn’t really talk to each other.  I was with the hump.  I was being Valentin pre-surgery.  It was some sort of moment in a graveyard, but this time we actually got to interact with each other.

You look at Valentin, and he’s not had the greatest life.  Do you bring his entire back-story into your performance; such as when he was deformed with the hump and how he had to literally reconstruct his life both in the physical and in emotional ways for many years?

JAMES:  Absolutely.  It’s the brokenness that he’s making choices from.  He was never truly and authentic person to begin with which is why his love fell apart.  He’s always been faking.  He’s always been putting on a show.  That’s not sustainable in matters of the heart.  It was unbelievably easy for Jax to swoop in, because it was inevitable that things were going to fall apart.  Of course, that anger and that brokenness were what lead him to want to kill Jax.  There’s no question.  He was prepared to do that.  If you look in the eyes in the fantasy sequence in the shooting, he just wanted to watch him die.  He wanted to watch the light go out in Jax’s eyes.  He was so furious … and even more tragic is … that was all he could think of, and somehow, he realized in that moment that wouldn’t work, because he’d lose his daughter.

Photo: JPI

Anna and Finn (Michael Easton) just kind of busted up.  Do you think Anna and Valentin will hookup? There is a connection and a history between the two of them whenever they seem to be in proximity of one another.

JAMES:  Personally, I’m waiting for that.  I hope so!  There is a finesse and elegance to that woman, and not only that, there is an effortless to the connection between Valentin and Anna, if one can say that about one’s own coupling.  I love to look at it!  I think we go together like a wink and a smile.  I just find that chemistry really great.  I think that’s mostly Finola, though.  She can probably have chemistry with most anything.

Valentin was going to leave Port Charles with Charlotte (Scarlett Fernandez), after Nikolas revealed all and the fallout began.  Interestingly enough, it was Anna who came to Valentin’s side and tried to talk him down from fleeing with his daughter and showed such compassion for him!

JAMES:  Wasn’t that great?  She was the one who got him.  She was the one who was able to calm the beast.  There was no one else he would have listened to.  In the moment in the police station, after Charlotte had been kidnapped, and there is that moment where Anna has that bruise, I thought it was such a tender moment.  I just said, “If I kiss my finger and touch your wound?” and she’s like, “Do it.”  It was just this moment where we had been bitter rivals and enemies for so long, but he just adores her so much it’s undeniable that he sees her wounded and wants to make it better.  It’s floating out there waiting to be done.  I know that everybody knows it.  It’s just a matter of what the right away to go about in the writing would be.

Photo: JPI

So, you’ve worked opposite two acting dynamos in the role of Nina – Michelle Stafford and now, Cynthia Watros.  Was the transition difficult for you when Cynthia came to GH?

JAMES:  It wasn’t.  It was scary because Michelle Stafford wasn’t just one in a million, I mean, she is one of a kind.  The last thing in the world that I would ever want to consider doing myself was recast that actress.  So, my deal was (and I’ve said this to Cynthia) I said, “I have no control over this.  All I can do is make the landing as easy as possible for Cynthia.”  We did a lot of photoshoots together, and I had flowers waiting for her, and I did everything possible to make sure that she knew that she had a friend and that she had somebody that was going to make it as easy as possible.  It was rough because a lot of the trolls on social media were just awful to her… just brutal, and she goes, “I have thick skin.  I can take it,” and then a week later, she goes, “I’ve closed all my social media accounts!”  (Laughs)  It’s been fun to watch those guys turn around and go, “You have a really special person.”  That wedding stuff was just incredible!  She came so prepared and she knocked it out of the park.  Cynthia has been wonderful.  I love them both.  I love her the reddest, and I love Michelle the bluest, and together I love them the purplest.  (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

It’s interesting that all the women in his life such as Anna and Nina, all have a soft-spot for Valentin; even though they don’t necessarily want to be with him.  These ladies are just drawn to this dysfunctional guy.

JAMES:  Don’t you think?  Is it that you want to help him, you want to fix him, you see the potential, you want to help him despite himself?  I think that’s what it is.

Courtesy/ABC

Do you think Valentin’s still going to try to win Nina back, or is that done? 

JAMES:  I don’t know.  I do know that the Valentin I know will never shake Nina, and when he loves, he loves forever.  He can be simultaneously in love with Anna whenever she’s near.  I don’t believe he ever truly got over Nina hearing his story and his brokenness and still loving him twice as hard.  Years ago, there was a moment where he said to her the stuff that he’s never said, and Michelle beautifully kissed my tears away and said, “You’re beautiful” to me.   I think in that moment his fate was sealed.  I think he knew that this was his woman forever.  So, I just don’t think that that goes away.  I think he will always carry a torch for Nina, for sure.

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Do you see Valentin becoming darker and darker now that he had found out he is Helena’s offspring?

JAMES:  Well, yes and no.  I remember watching these scenes and we’ve done a lot of this stuff, and you know how easy it is to sort of go, “Let’s go dark, let’s go dark, let’s go more dark,” and after a while, I go, “You know, maybe he does learn something.  Maybe there’s hope for this guy after all.”  Of course, more bad stuff will happen to him, and he will do more bad stuff, because that’s just who he is.  A leopard can’t change his spots, and those are his survival instincts, but there are some new colors, and it’s all a direct result of all of just these horrible things that have happened to him… mostly learning that he is part Helena and he can’t undo that.

Photo: JPI

We saw that Nelle (Chloe Lanier) called and then goes to see Valentin, because she wants to sell her shares of ELQ.  So, obviously he has the potential to become really rich here which is what would give him his power back.  How do you think that will go over with the rest of the Quartermaines? (Laughs)

JAMES:  (Laughs) A lot of the Quartermaine actors have been asking me that in the hallways of General Hospital!  Isn’t that interesting how he’ll just sort of switch families? (Laughs)

Of all the people, just as Valentin’s life is in the gutter and he is at his lowest, who should show up with a sort of lifeline, Nelle! How will he go about attempting to gain control of ELQ?

JAMES:  Valentin knows he has to get the majority shares to gain a control of the company, and he has to do it fast before people see that he’s doing it.  So, that’s where Michael E. Knight (Martin Gray) has been.  He’s gallivanting the states rapidly accumulating shares.  (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

It’s been so fun seeing you and Michael Knight on-screen and on a daytime soap together again, as so many remember you as Tad Martin and Will Cortlandt on All My Children.  How has it been getting the chance to work with Michael?

JAMES:  My God, are you kidding me?  He taught me!  He’s the guy who taught me.  I didn’t know how to do this.  Nobody instinctively knows… this is a very unique art form.  It’s more Jazz than anything else, and he showed me how to do it!  Walt Willey (Ex-Jack, AMC) showed me how to do my hair, and Michael Knight taught me how to break down a script!  And, what’s so funny is he is still doing it.  In a scene on GH, when he threw in that line, “From now on, you pay in advance,” I just about fell on the floor!  I thought, “There he is!  That’s the Michael I’ve always known and loved.”

Photo: JPI

Who would have thought that you guys would get to share scenes like that again on soaps?  You just never know in this life who may be wind up back in your orbit.

JAMES:  It’s incredible.  That’s what we say all of the time… “Who would have thought?”  You could never plan something like this and that we’d still be doing it at this point.

Now with Lulu (Emme Rylan) learning that Valentin is not a Cassadine, and Nina apparently moving on to a relationship with Jax, what do you think it will mean for their relationship in raising their daughter, Charlotte?

JAMES:  I think in the short-term, Valentin’s shelved any ideas of getting her out of Charlotte’s life.  He’s sort of putting out the fires in his own personal life.  Charlotte needs a mother in her life, and he’s quite willing to share custody as they always have been.  She seems to be looking at this as an opportunity to paint him as an unfit father, and she wants full-time custody.  So, we’re back to that again.  It looks to me like Lulu is kicking Valentin while he’s down.

Photo: JPI

It was so nice to see you, and some of your GH co-stars such as: Steve Burton (Jason) and Maurice Benard (Sonny) show up for Y&R’s Eric Braeden’s (Victor Newman) 40th anniversary on set celebration at CBS.  It was quite the event; speakers galore, and so many from our industry and beyond in attendance.

JAMES:  It was pretty profound.  Eric has always been kind to me.  I only worked with him on one movie, a western, called The Man Who Came Back, and that was probably 12 years ago.  He has been so complimentary of me in interviews and in his book.  So, if he does that with me, I can only imagine how many dear, dear friendships he has.  So, the fact that everybody showed up like that from the president of CBS Entertainment to local councilmen, and that they were willing to do be there for 2 hours was really proof of how much they love him.  Peter Bergman (Jack, Y&R), who I don’t even think was working that day, came in for it and spoke at the event. There was so much respect shown for Eric and what he has meant to this medium.

Photo: JPI

Your album The Apple Tree was so well-received, and everyone always loves seeing you get the opportunity to sing on General Hospital as well.  Will you continue to put out more music in 2020?

JAMES:  Yeah, that’s the plan.  I have another one that I’m working on.  I have a bunch of songs.  I’m in no rush to get it out.  Unfortunately, I lost Glen Roven, who wrote the cello part for Book of Love, passed away right after the Nurses’ Ball where I played Book of Love, which is really heartbreaking, and then, Michael Sherwood, who helped me with a number of songs on the record passed away right after The Apple Tree came out.  So, I’m a little gun-shy.  But, I’m planning on having something out by December for Christmas.

In closing, what would you say the fans should look forward to in the weeks ahead from Valentin?

JAMES: Look forward to that moment where Valentin is so low that there’s nowhere to go but up!  The comeback is going to be one for the books.

So, what do you think of how Valentin’s life hit rock bottom?  Do you think he will ever win Nina back? Do you think he will takeover ELQ? Share your thoughts on James’ recent performances and his thoughts contained in this interview via the comment section below.

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