Friday's episode of General Hospital showed Julian Jerome learning his biological son Lucas Jones (Ryan Carnes) is gay. His reaction clearly is not that of acceptance. We wonder if Julian will ever be able to accept that the son of the leader of a crime family is gay?
William also tells us about the mob war that continues between the Jerome's and the Corinthos mob families.
OAS:What do you think of Julian’s response to Lucas being gay?
WILLIAM: It would be too easy for Julian to react well to the situation. I think Julian is programmed to go through a journey and learning curve with everything. So, I think he will have a bit of an issue. I think he is just not familiar with this situation so his instinct is to go, “Whew, that’s disgusting and unnatural!” But then I think eventually, hopefully, he will come around and that his love for his son trumps any prejudice he may have towards the idea of the whole thing. Then I think it would be nice if Julian comes around and understands a bit more and is not so ignorant of the subject, and that will help his relationship with Lucas. That is my hope. But of course, I don’t know what Ron Carlivati (head writer, GH) has planned.
OAS:Do you like the idea of Julian not being accepting of his son’s sexuality? Do you feel that many people in the audience will relate to Julian’s conflict?
WILLIAM: I think some people will have empathy for Julian, when they see he doesn’t approve of his gay son, and in his mind, does not approve of his lifestyle. I think a lot of people will relate to that in the United States. I think there is a lot of that going around … especially with what happened at the Grammys the other week.
OAS:Speaking of the Grammys, what did you think of the performance by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis of their song, “Same Love” combined with the live marriage ceremony of over 30 couples illustrating that if you are gay, straight, young or old … love is love? I thought it was amazing.
WILLIAM: It was amazing. Keith Urban had tears in his eyes after the wedding ceremony and the performance. It was a powerful moment for a lot of people, and then you had the other half of the United States that were absolutely appalled by the whole thing, and that is the way that they were raised. I saw this Twitter comment from a girl who called up her mom and said, “Hey. did you watch the Grammys?” And her mother’s response was, “Yeah, I was until that ‘faggot’ started singing.” So this is what is taught, and it’s just ignorance, and a knee jerk reaction, and sort of inherited. I don’t think people are born with these prejudices, I think they are learned and passed on. But I think with anything, and I don’t know if you or I will be around, but two or three generations from now it’s going to be a completely different feeling and there will be more acceptance. Then we will have to worry about something else. There will then something else on our agenda that we will need to make equal. As Julian is going through his journey, I can only hope a few people in the United States are going to go through the journey with him, and maybe see something they haven’t seen before, and it will help enlighten them and educate then a little bit. Some people are just going to turn off the TV or fast forward it. So let’s hope that it will change a couple people’s ideas of what gay is and what gay is about, and what it means legally and socially. You may not be OK with it socially, but we have to start accepting it legally. It’s really what it boils down to.
OAS: And for Julian, here is this mobster who has learned in pretty short order that he has two children he never knew existed … Sam (Kelly Monaco) and Lucas! Does he truly want to be a father to them?
WILLIAM: It’s not really part of Julian’s DNA right now, or something that he has even asked himself, or questioned himself about. It’s been about himself for all this time and revenge and me, me, me. All of a sudden, there are these warm feelings coming over Julian. I don’t think he knows how to process them right now, obviously. I think if he did, he would react better to the first time he finds out that Lucas is gay. I think this is really new for him and this bond that you have, and this blood connection you have to another human being that you created. It’s really something completely new. And for me, it will be an interesting journey, because in real life I don’t have any kids. It will be an interesting emotion to mine and see what comes up. I am looking forward to going on the journey with Julian.
OAS: What have you thought about being the guy getting to incite this new rivalry with the now legacy GH mob character of Sonny Corinthos? How are the scenes to play with Maurice Benard (Sonny) as his on-screen adversary
WILLIAM: It’s been a lot of fun. When I am reading the script, I want to honor what’s there already, but I also want to find an interesting way to honor what’s written in the script. Obviously, I am playing with a lot of the best actors in daytime. There are great actors in daytime, no question. But all I can speak for is the show that I work on now. I am really lucky and fortunate to be working with some fabulous actors, and some Emmy winning actors, and people who have been nominated for Emmys, and some people that will get nominated for Emmys, and some people that will win Emmys! With Maura West (Ava) and Maurice Benard and this rivalry, I don’t think Maurice has had anybody who hasn’t been expendable; sort of speak, to go against on-screen. All of a sudden, there is this rival of Sonny’s who is not so quickly expendable. I think it’s going to be really cool for the audience to go through this. They know Sonny can’t necessarily get rid of Julian that easy.
OAS: How are the mob shoot out scenes to play? Do you like the idea of getting to play cops and robbers, if you will, with guns blazing and bloodshed, et al?
WILLIAM: We move so quickly here, obviously. Any moment that you can experience in daytime is gold, because of the pace. We barely finished one scene when we are learning the next scene. We barely finish one day and we have to go home and learn 30 pages of dialog for the next day. You never really experience, for me any way and I can’t speak for Maurice or Maura, but I don’t really experience that method depth of feeling or emotion. I try to be in the moment. So I enjoy it when I am in it. I don’t feel like I am playing cops and robbers. I have some techniques that I make sure that I am actually in that moment. I crack up one minute, and then they go “action”. I am not one of those guys who needs to be crying before I shoot the crying scene, as a matter of fact, I would rather be laughing before shooting a crying scene. I feel laughter brings out emotion anyway. I don’t think you can cry without laughing, and I don’t think you can laugh without crying. I enjoy it. I definitely try to experience what Julian is experiencing, and try to have those objectives that Julian is trying to achieve.
OAS: The dynamic between Ava and Julian is so fascinating to watch! There is this inherent brother/sister rivalry thing going on! (Laughs)
WILLIAM: For me, I think that the first time I saw her it was a, “what if …” for me. What if she really was my sister and we have different mothers, but we have the same father? I try to approach every scene with that in mind. I try to have fun with her in the scene, because otherwise it’s going to get too heavy. And again, I have to always honor what is written in the script, and the objective, and the obstacles.
OAS: Julian can be very glib, snarky, and come off as calm and collected, but then when he is ready to strike, or feels crossed or threatened by Ava. or anyone else, he can be a real SOB. What is intriguing about your performance is that you are not playing it like a stereotypical “gangster”. How do you merge all of that into your portrayal of Julian, in particular in scenes with Maura West?
WILLIAM: Well, you do have a relationship with that person. That’s the thing. You have a way of playing off of each other, but then there is a time you are serious, such as, “In this particular line or scene you are not my sister right now! You could potentially be my enemy. You could potentially be my obstacle to my objective, so don’t mess with me”. But once you are passed that it’s like having an argument with your wife, or your significant other, you have got to kind of forget about it. I am not one of these guys in real life to hold on to stuff, and so I have kind of made Julian that way. He has a certain little relationship with everybody. He is going to approach problems a different way depending on who he is talking to. So, I am just having a ball with this role.
OAS: Duke (Ian Buchanan) and Julian have a major score to settle with each other! It will be interesting to see where that leads both characters.
WILLIAM: I am interest to see what happens there, too. Julian is going to get back at Duke somehow. I think this is the cool thing about Julian in that he has won a few battles with Sonny. Now whether or not he is going to win the war, I don’t know, but I doubt it, but the battles are interesting!
The handsome, talented Mr. deVry is very interesting and intellectual. He has made the mob war a much more evenly played one than is the past.
General Hospital can be seen weekdays on ABC at 2 p.m./ est
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