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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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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

Ingo Rademacher Returns As GH’s Jax Beginning In May

Things will get more interesting in the lives of Josslyn (Eden McCoy), Carly (Laura Wright), Sonny (Maurice Benard) and many others on the GH canvas with the arrival back in Port Charles of Jasper Jacks.  That’s because as previously announced, Ingo Rademacher is headed back to the ABC daytime drama series to reprise his signature role.

Circle May 7th for when you will see Jax back in action.  According to EW.com. “He’s back to see his daughter Josslyn and ex-wife Carly”   Jax will also share scenes with Steve Burton (Jason) and of course Maurice Benard (Sonny).

Looks like Jax may be back to help out Josslyn in her time of need as her boyfriend Oscar’s (Garren Stitt) final days seem to be drawing near, or does something else also bring his attention back to Port Charles?

It’s been a bit since Ingo played Jax on GH having last appeared on the soap in April of 2017.  Ingo eventually landed the role as the recast Thorne Forrester on CBS’s The Bold and the Beautiful, a part he played till December of 2018.

Back in March, the actor originally from down under shared on his Instagram account: “Won’t be long now.  Just had my fitting. All new look for Jax. Start shooting next week. No air date yet. Stay tuned. Can’t wait!”

So, excited for some Jax on GH? What do you think will bring him back? What do you think will keep him in town? Comment below.

 

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General Hospital

GH’s Coby Ryan McLaughlin Talks: Shiloh’s ‘Dawn Of Day’ Followers, Playing A Cult Leader, And His Co-Stars

Ever since the arrival in Port Charles of the mysterious “David Henry Archer” (Hank) now better known now as “Shiloh” (Coby Ryan McLaughlin), the minds of several members of the community have been revealed to, or have fallen under his spell.

For Shiloh is the cult leader of the group “Dawn of Day”.  He wields his manipulative skills to entrap unsuspecting people in his quest for power and control.   And make no mistake about it … he certainly has a target for Sam (Kelly Monaco), and an ax to grind with her.   For in her past, “the con-artist” Sam apparently swindled Shiloh’s father leaving him with next to nothing.  In addition to that, it has been noted, that Shiloh shared combat time in Afghanistan with Drew Cain (Billy Miller), before changing his name and coming to the town, where says he owes Drew for saving his life.

In story, one of his most loyal followers, Kristina (Lexi Ainsworth) was to be initiated in the inner-circle of the cult, and after drinking from the cup as part of the ritual which drugged her, she was saved by Jason (Steve Burton ) who got her out of the “Dawn of Day” house and to a secret location, leaving Shiloh infuriated and needing to cover his tracks.  As the story has played out, we learn that Brad (Parry Shen) has also been bitten by the “Dawn of Day” bug and believes in Shiloh’s musing.  So much so that he wiped the evidence from the cup Krisina drank out of that Jason provided to Elizabeth (Rebecca Herbst) for testing in the hospital.  The GH audience has also learned that Willow (Katelyn MacMullen) was one of Shiloh’s favorite former members of the cult.  She has revealed she had a child with the guy (the baby she thinks is being raised by Brad) and needs to make sure he never finds out.  But, does Shiloh secretly know?

When we last saw Shiloh on Thursday’s episode of GH, he went into the files of the “Dawn of Day” followers and found Kristina’s.  He opened it, and we finally learn her “pledge” – a deep rooted secret from her past that one must share as part of the journey with the cult.  It revealed, that Shiloh knows that Kristina was abused by her former boyfriend Kiefer and that her mother, Alexis (Nancy Lee Grahn) ran him down and killed him with her car.  Kristina knows about it first-hand, because she saw it happen as she was in the car with Alexis.  What will Shiloh eventually do with this Intel?

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Coby Ryan McLaughlin, who has been the catalyst for much of the latest trouble brewing on-screen on GH about: the complexities of playing such a dynamic, and yet terrifying character, what has it been like mixing it up with the stellar cast of the ABC daytime drama series, and what he thinks Shiloh’s next move might be.  Here’s what Coby had to say about all and more!

What do you think about the reaction of the GH audience to Shiloh?  Is it what you expected?

COBY:  I’ve never really played a bad guy like this.  It’s interesting playing a villain because they love to hate you.  I’ll go on Instagram every now and then and throw elbows at the fans.  It’s really a trip.  The thing I like about this guy is that he’s not completely diabolical.  There are other things going on with this guy; he has other agendas as well.  It’s interesting seeing people react to what it is that I am doing while I have a storyline that is playing out.

Courtesy/ABC

It’s is a bit of a trip as you say; because you have to, in many ways, be subtle in the manipulation as a cult leader would do.  Did you do any research on cult leaders before stepping into Shiloh’s shoes?

COBY:  I didn’t do much when I initially got the part, because I actually know some people like this.  I think as actors, one of the most interesting parts of our jobs is that we just get to sit back and observe things about people’s behaviors.  There are certain people who I have come across where my “Spidey senses” start tingling, and you think, “Well, I’m not going to get involved with this person, but what a fascinating individual.  This behavior is so fascinating.”  However, once I started this gig, yes, I did do research.   I’ll tell you, the one thing that a lot of these guys have in common is that they are extraordinarily exuberant.  They have just this energy about them, and they are seemingly humble.  They have these grandiose visions and these delusions of grandeur, but they do it in a way where you’re like, “Huh.  That almost seems kind of normal.”  In order to get a large number of people to follow you, you’ve got to be charismatic, you’ve got to be saying something that people really tap into and want to hear.  The behavior and psychology behind it are really interesting.  I watched this one documentary and these people literally had no idea … until they did.  They literally had no idea that they were in a cult until they woke up, and they were like, “Holy s**t.  This isn’t right.  This doesn’t feel right.”   Shiloh is an interesting role to play, and it’s written so straight down the line that I really don’t have to push anything, because the guy is written as what he is.   It’s really cool to be able to find all of the little things in that character, so I try to make him a whole bunch of different things to different people.

Did you know from the beginning that Shiloh would turn out to be this cult leader in the “Dawn of Day” storyline?  Who did you screen-test with that landed you the part?

COBY:  No, I didn’t know what he was going to be in the beginning.  I knew that he had an agenda, and when Mark Teschner (casting director, GH) told me that he was going to be a cult leader, I was like, “Oh, okay.  I know what I want to do.”   I have always had the opinion that cult leaders don’t come off bad… they’ve got to be likable.  You have to be able to relate to them in a way.  You have to be able to look at them and be like, “Ah well, maybe in certain circumstances what this guy is doing is okay.”  You have to be able to almost justify some of the behavior until you can’t anymore.  I screen tested with Laura Wright (Carly), and she is really fantastic.  We sit in the makeup chair and shoot the breeze all the time.

Courtesy/ABC

So, is Shiloh infatuated with Sam?   What does he ultimately want from her?

COBY:  Yes, but he wants a lot. (Laughs) There’s a lot of backstory to him and what really brought him to Port Charles.  Frank Valentini (executive producer, GH) and I have conversations all of the time about what this guy really is, and what his ultimate goals are, and that may change.  I think that Shiloh is a guy who has come to find his power, and the more powerful he gets, the more he wants.   You know, I’ve become a fan of General Hospital now.  I never watched the show before I got this gig.  I was a Days of our Lives guy years ago.  Don’t tell anybody. (Laughs).

Okay… we will not tell. (Laughs) Ah, sorry!  That’s got to be in the interview! (Laughs)

COBY:  All of  sudden, I will get a message from HR saying, “You’ve been great, but…” (Laughs)   But as to what Shiloh wants with Sam, you know I will read the scripts in advance, and I’ll start creating certain these things for myself in my own mind, such as: “What if he wanted to screw over Sam because of what she did to his father?”  What if it started like that, but all of the sudden he’s coming into some prominence and he wants to go after Sonny’s empire, and what if he wants to run the whole town and screw everybody…?”  I go through this whole thing.  It could literally go anywhere at any time, which is so cool about the soap world.

Without revealing what it is, do you have an idea of what the endgame is for Shiloh, or do you not?

COBY:  No, I don’t.  I think that it changes.  This is a really malleable medium, I’m coming to discover.  I think that nothing is set in stone.  I ultimately know what I want… just because I ultimately think that the foundation of the whole thing is rooted deep within this individual’s character: his emotional makeup, and how he was treated.  There is a lot of revenge going on with this guy, but there is a lot more than that.  He’s not just motivated by revenge.

Courtesy/ABC

Something had to have happened to him, of course, because you know how it works in soap operas!?  If you’re completely evil or bad, and even if you do horrendous things, and they want to keep you on the show, they have to find a way to humanize the character.  Otherwise, you’re there to cause trouble for a time, and you’re killed-off.  Shiloh’s tentacles seem more far-reaching then viewers first suspected.  He has this thing for Willow, who used to be in the cult, and now he’s got Brad under this thumb. What did you think about how much Shiloh is intertwined with and affecting the Port Charles canvas right now?

COBY:  I think that he is an apex predator.  I think that he sees certain people, and he knows how to utilize them for what he wants.  It’s kind of like a chess game.  He knows where Brad is.  He’s always wanted Willow, because it’s the one that got away, so there are certain things he uses as a means to an end, and there are certain things that I think he wants just for himself.  I think the relationships that he creates with this “higher-ups” in the town are because he knows he can utilize them, and there are some personal relationships that he keeps personal.  Shiloh has his own reasons for doing what he does, especially with Willow.  I think he was grooming her to be something.  Just the fact that she left him … really bothers him.

Photo: ABC

He doesn’t know that Willow had his child, or does he … hmmm? 

COBY:  No, not as far as we know.

If he was to know, what do you think he would do?

COBY:  Well …  you’re just going to have to watch and find out.

So, when you found out that there was this major initiation going on which included: the drugging of Kristina, the huge payment she made to be in Shiloh’s inner-circle, and how he was preying on her vulnerability, were you like, “Oh my, God! They’re really going all the way with this cult thing?”

COBY:  No.  We kind of alluded to it, and it has to go all the way.   I wasn’t surprised when I read that in the script.  This is this guy’s MO.  He gets what he wants.

Courtesy/ABC

Shiloh’s s really upset that Kristina is missing and has figured that Jason kidnapped her.  He wants her back in the fold, correct?

COBY:  He does want her back, but he wants her back for a variety of reasons … and not just the fact that she reminds him of Willow.  That’s part of it, but I personally believe that he wants her back, because as I mentioned earlier it’s all about chess pieces for him.  He sets up the prominent people in his organization, so he can set them up to expand his means and to expand his agenda … to motivate his agenda, because there is a bigger picture to all of this.  Kristina is a Corinthos and she is part of the most powerful family in Port Charles, so there is that as well.  He wants to be able to have that power hold over that towns that he is in.

Many in the audience are wondering if Shiloh having sex with Kristina was a key part of his plan.  Is that part of his ritual?  Having sex with women upon initiation into his “inner circle”… or is that a grey area?

COBY:  Here is the thing, everything is consensual with him … that’s where his charm comes into play, that’s where sense of power comes into play.  So, with these women, nothing is forced.  There is not coercion …  at all!   So, yes, its alluded that he sleeps with them, but we don’t necessarily know if that is true for all of them … or…. if it is just for the ones that he takes a liking to.   The other thing we know; is that this guy is also a megalomaniac, so it’s also an exertion of power as well.  What I tried to do with it was not make it so completely overt.   He is a bit of a jerk, but I don’t want it to overstep that boundary of being tasteless.  I think you can go too far with it, so that is one of the reasons that we alluded to the fact that it was always consensual, and people what to be with him for one reason, or another.

Courtesy/ABC

That’s why there was an important conversation written into the script with Jason, Sam, and Michael (Chad Duell) about how there is no way to nail Shiloh for a crime because he is so cagey with every move he makes.

COBY:  Yeah, you could say cagey, I say smart.

Now, Jason is his target.  Would you say there are even more underlying reasons that the obvious of why he dislikes Jason so much? Does he really have an axe to grind with him?

COBY:  I think he likes messing with people, and I think if he is unable to exert his power, or his will, or his control, over somebody, it really annoys him.  The stuff with Steve Burton is rather fun!  Shiloh can’t manipulate Jason like he can manipulate these girls, or the way he manipulates Brad, because Jason just operates on a whole different level.  I think that Shiloh finds it fascinating that he can’t get to him.   Shiloh also wants to get him out of the way, because he can’t out-muscle him.  Even if I could, the writers wouldn’t allow it. (Laughs) So, that’s never going to happen.  As Shiloh, I have to out-think him, because I want him out of the picture.   Shiloh sees Jason as an obstacle and he wants him out of the way, and he will do it by any means necessary, via him or with his kids… anyway that he can, because he can’t get at him on his level, because the playing field isn’t equal.

Courtesy/ABC

What about Shiloh’s relationship with Drew (Billy Miller)?  What does he truly feel about him? 

COBY:  I have this conversation with Frank Valentini all the time.  I think the relationship I have with Drew might be the only true relationship I have with anybody.  I think that Drew really did what Shiloh said that he did.  I think Drew really saved his life, and he does really want to pay that debt back.  I think therein really lies the contradiction with this guy.  It makes it difficult for him to operate.  I think he is conflicted on some levels because he is one guy to Drew, and he is a different guy to everybody else.  I think the way Shiloh is with Drew is real.  In his past, I think that Shiloh was completely fatalistic and reckless and didn’t care if he lived or died, and Drew did save his life, and he gave him a purpose.  However, I also think that he is such a damaged individual.  He needs that feeling of safety by exuding his power and control over others.  The writers have alluded to the fact that he has this other life, and that he was a broken individual, and turned his life around and came back from the brink of dying, of killing myself, of not caring.  So, with Drew, I don’t want to manipulate him.  I don’t want to use him.  I am truly just grateful for the fact that he allowed me another chance at life.  I love working with Billy, because that’s when I get to be human.  I’m not trying to gaslight him.  I’m not trying to get something from him – well, I’ll take that back, because I am trying to get something from him.  I’m just not trying to do it in a way that I go about it with the other characters.  There is a huge amount of respect between the two of us.

Unfortunately, Drew doesn’t remember anything about their past, which puts “pause” in believing Shiloh’s war stories.

COBY:  Yet.  (Laughs). Well, we’ve been alluding to the fact of, “What if he did this? What if he went back into his memories?  What if he were able to remember?  There are a lot of “What if’s …”  So, they keep a lot of balls in the air with this relationship.

Photo: ABC

What has it been like working with Lexi Ainsworth in this story, because she has been the main character so far drawn into the cult? 

COBY:  She’s great.  I love Lexi.  She is so easy, fun, and safe, and just a really nice person.  We sit and chat all of the time and talk about what it is that we want from each other in the scene and how it’s going to work.   Everyone is great.   Kaetlyn MacMullan is so much fun as well as Willow.  As an actor, it’s really fun when you get people who really want to play and want to go.

And, what are your thoughts on working with GH favorite, Kelly Monaco, who is key in your storyline?

COBY:  Kelly is rad.  We talk about being able to “play jazz” all of the time, which means being able to go into a scene and just riff and have a good time, because there is so much dialog that you have to learn.  I mean, that dialogue is nuts, and sometimes you forget halfway through a page-long monologue when you are at 27 pages in.  That’s when it’s wonderful to have a really good dance partner who can pick you up.  There are times where I get so off script, and I’m like, “Holy s**t!  Where am I going with this?” (Laughs) I have got really good people like Lexi, Katelyn, or Kelly who have my back and that just makes it fun.

Courtesy/ABC

Some actors like to watch back their work, while others don’t.  Do you check out your performances on GH?

COBY:  Yeah.  Somebody on Instagram, this wonderful fan, will take all of the Shiloh’s scenes and post them!  Shockingly, I don’t own a television, so I don’t watch the show that way.

Do you make changes or adjustments once you see your work?

COBY:  Not really.  I made a decision to keep it real low-key with this, and just try to play everything real.   The other thing is I had never done anything like this before in my career.  I was so intimated by this whole thing, that it was like, “Alright man.  Just get in and listen.  Listen to what your scene partners are saying to you.”  In my approach, I am trying to be as still as I can possibly be and let whatever that person is saying motivate my responses and my actions.  If I watch my work, I’m like, “Yeah, that makes sense to me; I like that.  That’s something that this individual would do.”  Shiloh controls every situation that he is in, and even when he is introduced to new characters, he doesn’t wait to be introduced, he’ll just walk up and say, “Hi, I’m Shiloh!  What’s new with you?  How’s it going?” (Laughs) He kind of disarms them in every scene he is in.

Photo: IMDB

Soap fans first saw you on The Young and the Restless in your stint as Andrew working alongside Eileen Davidson (Ashley).  How was that experience for you?

COBY:  Eileen was unreal.  She was really cool, because none of this phased her.  She had been doing daytime so long that it was just a thing to her.  I’d sit there and read my scripts over and over and over again, but she just knew how to do it.  It was so easy for her, that it made it easy for me.

In a broad stroke, what would you tells the fans to look forward to with Shiloh?

COBY:  Well, Shiloh is going to continue his agenda.  He is going to have to go about it in a different way.  There are things going down right now (and I won’t spoil it) that are going to change the way he operates, and he is going to have to get what he wants in a different way.  Some of the people who you would have thought that he trusted, have turned against him.  It just all makes it more fun for him because this is a huge game.  Even the stuff with Sam, you may think that you know where it is going, but it may not be.  So, as much as he is enamored by Sam, he has an agenda with her.

So, what do you think will be Shiloh’s next move?  Will he blackmail Alexis to get Kristina back at “Dawn of Day”? What is his plan for Sam? Is Shiloh connected to a key family in Port Charles, but it has yet to be revealed? Who else do you think might wind up in the cult? Finally, are you enjoying Coby’s performance on GH? Share your thoughts and theories via the comment section below!

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Breaking News

Cynthia Watros Replaces Michelle Stafford As GH’s Nina Reeves

Another big name is headed to the cast of General Hospital on the heels of the upcoming departure of Michelle Stafford.  Daytime Emmy winner, Cynthia Watros had been cast as the the new Nina Reeves.  Fans of Guiding Light remember her star turn as Annie Dutton, and she was last see on on daytime in the role of Kelly Andrews on The Young and the Restless (2013-2014).

As previously reported, Daytime Emmy winner, Michelle Stafford is headed back to her old stomping grounds of The Young and the Restless to play her signature soap role of Phyllis Summer.  She will replace her own recast, Daytime Emmy winner, Gina Tognoni.  Both actresses are said to be finishing taping their current runs on their respective shows in May. Watros will begin her GH run in Port Charles in June,

GH’s EP Frank Valentini tweeted on today’s casting news: “It’s a bittersweet day. I love @TheRealStafford and wish her all the best. I’m also really excited about @watroswatros joining the #GH family and continuing Nina’s legacy.”

PEOPLE.com broke the casting change.  Stafford has been with GH since 2014.  As for Watros, she opted to leave her role on Y&R to join the cast of MTV’s Finding Carter.  She is also known for her run on the hit ABC drama, Lost and other notable primetime series and films.

Michelle Stafford’s on-screen GH love interest, James Patrick Stuart, tweeted on the news: “Cynthia Watros … Big fan.”

So, what do you think of the casting of Cynthia Watros as the new Nina Reeves? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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