February 5th, 2014  |  Leave a comment

The Ryan Carnes Interview – General Hospital

Photo: Jim Warren photography/CourtesyVCirrincione

Who says you can never go home again?  Well, don’t tell that to Ryan Carnes.  The handsome and popular actor has made his way back to his original soap opera home on General Hospital in the role of Lucas Jones, a role he first played back in 2004 through September of 2005!  Now in 2014, Lucas is back on the canvas with a whole new set of circumstances and quite grown up!

When the buzz began building that GH was planning on reviving the character of Lucas, the adopted son of Bobbie Spencer (Jackie Zeman) and the late Tony Jones, many fans were thrilled.  Not only because Lucas happens to be gay, but also because Lucas’ mobster biological father, Julian Jerome (William deVry) is alive and well, and trying to take over the territory of Port Charles, which opens the door to some high emotional stakes storylines!

On-Air On-Soaps chatted with Ryan to get this thoughts on: reprising his role of Lucas almost a decade later, what could lie ahead in Lucas’ romantic life if Brad (Parry Shen) and Felix (Marc Anthony Samuel) are involved in it, and the opportunity he has to be able to hopefully change some people’s perception of someone from the LGBT community through his role on GH.  Plus, Ryan previews this week’s key scenes where Julian finally learns that the son that he never knew is gay!  How will Julian react?  How will Lucas react to Julian?  One thing is for certain, Ryan Carnes is set to become another very popular cast addition to the ABC soap opera, and is more than up for the challenge through the important role of Lucas on the Port Charles canvas.  Here’s what Ryan had to share!

MICHAEL:

How great for you to get the opportunity to come back to GH all these years later.  I was thrilled they brought you back as Lucas, but were you shocked?

RYAN:

Courtesy/ABC

I was shocked and I went, “Wow, this is cool.”  It was definitely a big surprise.  I had no direct knowledge that the character was coming back.  I do have one friend on facebook who has been a fan, and about six or eight months ago he let me know Jackie Zeman (Bobbie, GH) was back on the show, or at least she was being talked about, and then they started talking about characters on the periphery of Lucas.  And then, when they started talking about Lucas on-air, the friend said, “Ryan! Lucas is coming back!  Lucas is coming back!”  I was like, “Alright man.  I don’t know anything about it.  I’ll take your word for it.”  And of course, there was no guarantee that they wanted me to play the role.  Then casting emailed my agent and asked if I was interested, and then we were all very excited.  I actually did not audition.  I think GH executive producer Frank Valentini had watched a reel of some of my past work.

MICHAEL:

One of the pivotal moments in Lucas’ storyline happens this week when Julian learns that his biological son is gay.  Where do you hope that story ultimately goes?  GH certainly has an opportunity to tell a story of a man struggling to come to terms and acceptance of his son, and if he can give eventually give him unconditional love.

RYAN:

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

I honestly don’t know where that storyline is going to go.  I don’t know if Julian will be able to find a place in his heart to accept his son the way he is, or what they are going to do with that.  Either way, it’s definitely important to the storyline because so many young people, young adults, middle-aged adults, people of all ages, deal with issues of acceptance, whether it’s about sexuality or something else, and being accepted by family members, friends, their peers, or society.  So whatever way they decide to go with the story, I think it’s a great storyline.  My hope is that whatever happens with it, and not to hit people over the head with it or anything, but to show that this is a human being with human experiences.  Maybe it will change one person’s, or ten people’s minds, or turn a light on in somebody’s head.  If William’s character of Julian does end up accepting his son, maybe they will go, “Wow, if this badass gangster guy can accept his son, then maybe I can too!”

MICHAEL:

This week Lucas visits the gravesite of the only father he only knew, Tony Jones.  What can you preview goes down once Lucas is there?

RYAN:

I think Lucas is feeling lonely and like a ship out at sea … and not really grounded and not knowing where he fits in.  The one place he knows where he fits in is with his dad, Tony.  He knew that his dad loved him and accepted him, and so he is going to commune with his spirit, you could say.   Then he is surprised to find Julian there.  Of all places … to find this guy who is your biological father in the cemetery where you are visiting the only father you thought you had.  So I think right off the bat that sets up this instant conflict and it sets up this shaky ground for the two of them to have this conversation, and for Lucas to reveal to Julian that he is gay.

MICHAEL:

This is a key point in the story.  How do you think Lucas deep downs feels about letting the cat out of the bag to his biological father?

RYAN:

Courtesy/ABC

I think Julian is making an attempt, albeit feeble, to get to know his son, and so he is questioning Lucas about certain aspects of his life.  I find Lucas to be very comfortable with his sexuality.  He does not hide it from anyone, especially at this point in his life.  He is kind of like, “The heck with it, man.  I am not going to hide from you, or pretend to be something you want me to be, just so you might love me, or accept me more,” and then he just spills itand you’ll see what happens.

MICHAEL:

The scenes between you and Parry Shen (Brad) where Lucas meets Brad at the bar and we learn they had sex, and that they bonded and commiserated over their dads being gangsters, was very interesting and unexpected.  Especially since, it was told going back and forth through flashbacks and real time.  Was that challenging? What do you think are Lucas’ true feelings for Brad?

RYAN:

The only challenging part of that for me was the way that we shot the flashbacks on the day that we shot them.  I never shot flashbacks on General Hospital before.  It is a really distinct and specific way they shoot them.  We would have to be in a scene and then we would have to hold, and then I would have to literally step out of frame.  Then, there would be a beat, and they would say “action”, and I would step back into frame.  It was the action that would take us in and out of real time, and in and out of the flashbacks and that was the day there was a crazy amount of dialog, and it was like hopping on that moving train. (Laughs)  But, it was fun.  I think the thing between Lucas and Brad is about … how many times do we meet people who really and truly can understand our unique life experience, and get us on so many levels, and particularly, with these guys whose biological fathers are gangsters, and they’re gay, and they have to deal with acceptance and non-acceptance of their sexuality with their families.  That is a pretty unique set of circumstances.  I think right away these guys are kindred spirit.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/ABC

Now ABC has released this teaser for General Hospital’s upcoming Valentine’s Day that says: It’s Valentine’s Day in Port Charles, and along with the romantic holiday, there will be joy, as well as pain.  There is joy for the reconciled Dante & Lulu, as well as for Felix, when Lucas accepts his invitation to go out on Valentine’s Day.”  So if Lucas is in to Brad, why is he accepting a date with Felix (Marc Anthony Samuel)?  Hmmm.  (Laughs)

RYAN:

Well, all I can say about that is everybody has to tune-in.  Lucas is totally attracted, and has a connection with Brad for sure.  Lucas at this point does not really know Felix.

MICHAEL:

What was it like returning to the ABC studios of General Hospital after almost a decade?   Was everyone very welcoming to you?  Any reunions you can speak of? Or, was it like, “Who is this guy?” (Laughs)

RYAN:

Everyone had been welcoming, and warm.  There are a lot of the same crew and supporting cast that was there at GH when I was there nine years ago.  For me, it’s like going home as an actor, and it also feels like Lucas’ journey home.  He has returned home to Port Charles from Seattle.  It is a homecoming for him as he is discovering family members he did not know about, in particular his biological father.  I have enjoyed that parallel journey for myself and for Lucas.  Really, of the people that are there at GH now, Jackie is the only one I have worked with before.  I never worked with Laura Wright (Carly) before.  I met Kelly Monaco (Sam) in the make-up room before, but we had never had any scenes together.  There is a special place in my heart for Jackie.  I really like her.  I feel a lot of warmth for her as a person, but everyone has been great.  I have enjoyed working with everyone all around.

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

Are you hoping that the writers develop Sam (Kelly Monaco) and Lucas’ relationship as half siblings, further?

RYAN:

Oh, definitely, because again, they share a lot in common.  They now share this father … this man who on the surface at least seems to be a pretty suspect human being, who has hurt a lot of people, but nonetheless they are flesh and blood.  Any time they have an experience like that, it’s nice to have somebody to connect with, and bond with over that.

MICHAEL:

Here is what I thought: I thought Lucas was a doctor!  I thought it was going to be Lucas, and not Dr. Obrecht (Kathleen Gati) who was going to become the Chief of Staff at General Hospital when there was the mystery of who was going to get the appointment.  Clearly, I was way off the mark!  (Laughs)

RYAN:

At this point … I have not taken up residency at General Hospital, so no.  But you never know! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

You have played other memorable gay roles in your career, including on ABC’s Desperate Housewives as Justin, Andrew Van de Kamp’s (Shawn Pyfrom) love interest, and in the cult film Eating Out.  Is there a throughline into why you have taken on those parts?

RYAN:

Every role I have ever done, I have been challenged in some way.  So for me that is kind of the litmus test.  Am I going to be challenged?  Look, I love to be challenged in life, and as an actor.  I like to play any type of character.  I have been very blessed and fortunate to play a wide variety of characters, and they have all been very different in a lot of ways.  I got to go do the The Phantom for the Syfy Channel where I got to play a superhero.  That is like a dream come true!  How cool is that?   I got to run around and save the world!  What’s not great about that, you know?  (Laughs)

Courtesy/EatingOut

MICHAEL:

You have always been this sexy, good looking guy.  Is it easy for you to take compliments on your looks, and when people tell you, “Ryan, you’re hot?” Are you able to just say “Thank you”?  Or, is that uncomfortable for you?

RYAN:

I think over the years I hope I have gotten more graceful with it.  I hope I have learned to handle it with more grace, and just humility and appreciation.  On one level it can be a little bit weird, because sometimes it’s like, “Thank you, but I am not really responsible for the gene pool.  Maybe call my parents up and say ‘thanks’ and pat them on the back.” (Laughs)  There is that element of it that I had nothing to do with it, but “thank you”.   It can be a little bit awkward.  I try to tell people that I appreciate them saying that, because it is a compliment.  There is really not that much more to say!  (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Days of our Lives was honored for the 25th Annual GLAAD Media Awards this year with a nomination as the only Daytime Drama Series that the organization has chosen to honor for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the gay, community and the issues that affect their lives.  Now that General Hospital has re-introduced the character of Lucas to the canvas, hopefully the ABC soap will be able to tell a story of his journey, and love life, and career, and family, and all of that, and that it will be a story that will enlighten those who still have prejudice or misperceptions.  And so next year, my hope would be there are at least two nominees in the category so daytime soaps are more inclusive of gay male characters moving forward.  What are your thoughts on this?

Courtesy/RyanCarnesFacebook

RYAN:

I always hope, whatever roles I end up taking, and its one of the hopes I have for the duration of my career, that I always hope to take roles that on some level have to do with sexuality, or race, or religion or political ideology.  I always hope I can take on roles that somehow will open people’s eyes, and it would be great to affect change in some way.   Like I mentioned earlier, turn on a light bulb in somebody’s head and change minds and open hearts.  I think this storyline on GH has the potential to change minds and open hearts.  And if we can do that, I would be beyond proud, thrilled, and grateful.

MICHAEL:

Macklemore and Lewis performed their hit song “Same Love” at the recent Grammy Awards, and during the telecast as they sang this now anthem for marriage equality, over 30 couples were married live in a moving and emotional moment, that was very affecting.  Were you affected by it?  And, what did you think of the message it sent, and how it was delivered to the masses tuning in to the broadcast?

Courtesy/AP

RYAN:

I was affected by it, if for no other reason, because it was large unified display of love … and that’s great!   I think more love, less hate.  I am all for more love in any form.  So on that level it was definitely affecting.  Also, I think maybe this was the deeper level of it:  that anytime a light can be shone on a situation that is misunderstood, and that there is the potential to enlighten people, I think that is really good.  I know some people had some negative things to say about it.  Who cares, man?   I always try to look at the positive in a situation, and I saw a lot of positive in it.  What I loved about it was it wasn’t just same-sex couples.  I think the idea of “Same Love” is great.  People often debate whether same-sex couples should have children and raise children, and there should be a man and a woman in the house, and whatever argument people want to present.  I always say, “Look, this has never directly affected my life, but I would take any day a same-sex household that’s filled with love, over a heterosexual household that is full of discourse, anger, and disharmony.”  I thought the performance at the Grammys by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis was great.

MICHAEL:

You are now up on Twitter and gaining followers at a rapid rate!  How is communicating via social media going for you?  Were you reticent to participate?

RYAN:

I was really late to the Twitter game.  My friends tease me that I am sort of a social media recluse. (Laughs)  I am just now realizing that being on General Hospital, which is a show that has such a wide following, it’s time for me to come out of social media reclusion, and I can participate, and it’s fun.  I am actually having fun participating.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/ABC

Do you see Lucas as a good guy?  Is he? (Laughs)

RYAN:

Well, that remains to be seen.  I mean look, you can brushstroke people, and we are not all black or white.  There is always grey.  People are always good and bad, and there is always a mixture.  I don’t know ultimately what direction Lucas is going to go.  Will he be with the mob?  Time will tell!

MICHAEL:

Maybe Lucas will become a mob doctor!

RYAN:

Hey, you never know!  Is he going to react to what is going on around him and decide that it’s easier to just follow in his father’s footsteps?   I have no idea where Frank Valentini and Ron Carlivati (GH head writer), and the rest of the writers, are going to take the Lucas character.

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Jim Warren photography/CourtesyVCirrincione

In this medium, soap actors can inform the writers, through their performances, some key elements to the characters they play.  These can eventually shape the character, which is unlike in any other art form in entertainment.  From your time in the soaps, do you feel that can be true?

RYAN:

The impression I have gotten from people in the soap world is that the writers at a certain point, if they are really investing in a character, they really start to mold the character, not necessarily in the vision of the actor, but to respond to what the actor is bringing to it.  I hope to bring it, and to make Lucas a memorable character on the show.

  1. Sarah says:

    Great interview, glad Ryan is back as Lucas!!! I’m hoping if Lucas is going to be in the mob I hope he will be on Sonny’s side just to piss Julian off. I mean it’s fair play as Julian used Morgan!!!

    Reply

  2. CMD says:

    Great interview but please, writers, please, don’t pawn Lucas off on that wretched waste of space named Felix. He deserves a much better storyline than that. I do look forward to Julian and Lucas possibly forming a relationship.

    Reply

  3. alec says:

    Ryan Carnes is great. He playing gay role much better than so many other actors. Very glad to see him back. And you know what, I love his scenes with Brad (Parry Shen). It is a special version of tech geek and high-school style jock’s romance. LOL.

    Reply

  4. Patrick says:

    I was really excited to see Lucas and Brad….”bond”

    I think they’d be really good together

    my first thought… first and foremost… is how exciting it is to have Jackie Zeman back on GH! (i’m getting to know Lucas character)

    I appreciate to much…. ABC – GH – disney… for giving the LGBT community a voice… to further delve in to our livelihood

    I am ecstatic that people, from all walks of life… will share with… and take this story… for what was said….

    ” we are human beings …. with human experiences”

    conflict – acceptance – tolerance – vital – substance – liberating – quantified – jubilant

    all their

    looking forward to seeing his scenes with his departed father Tony Jones.

    best of luck to you…. Ryan Carnes… and thank you for giving of yourself… a shared voice for

    Reply

  5. soapfan says:

    Ryan is great. This soap is not. I wish you came back to a good soap where gay characters were treated like people and not stereotypes.

    Reply

  6. Gerry says:

    GH is a hot mess but Ryan Carnes and Lucas Jones are a breath of fresh air from the insanely over the top stories running amok in Port Chuck.

    Lucas Jones is a character I’m very happy to see back on the GH canvas. Can’t say the same for cartoons like Victor Cassadine and Lisa Obrecht.

    Plus, Ryan Carnes and Parry Shen have quite the potent onscreen chemistry. And it’s refreshing to see gays of color in actual relationships on daytime. Here’s to more of Lucas Jones and Brad Cooper.

    Welcome back, Ryan Carnes!

    Reply

  7. mike says:

    Unlike GH’s other new hunk Ryan Peavy, Ryan Carnes looks good and can act. Great addition to the cast.

    Reply

  8. heaster says:

    any kind of gay make out sessions should not be on TV…..especially daytime.

    Reply

    Taeylor replied

    Well if a gay make out session shouldn’t be on TV…then we should take all make out session off TV. Love is love…..

    Reply

    Matthew replied

    No, they should be on daytime hater, I mean heaster, as well as primetime. Seeing it might actually help you and your prodigy learn something about compassion and acceptance for those that are treated as sub-human just because they were born predestined to love someone of the same gender by intolerant people such as yourself.

    Reply

    maddiehayes replied

    I agree, heaster, I used to watch GH live a lot of the time, but no more! Can’t take a chance that one of my kids will walk by and see that. IF there were any other good storylines, I would still tape the show and FF through all the gay stuff (AND other explicit sex scenes, too, not into watching that). But GH has lost me as a viewer for now. Can’t stand Robin’s storyline.

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  9. shelley ancel says:

    I have watched GH for 35 years. I love GH! But I never thought I would see a gay sex scene. My immediate reaction was, well that’s it I’m done watching this! I turned the channel, but quickly changed back. I couldn’t do it. I love GH too much. Still conflicted with what my conscious is telling me to do and my commit to GH. You may have lost a long time viewer forever:( I hope it was worth it!

    Reply

    Taeylor replied

    I hope that you will stay with GH. And I hope that you can open your mind up and realize that LOVE IS LOVE. Not matter what form it’s in. I am not coming down on you. I am just asking you to give it chance. I respect you if it’s your belief that same sex is wrong. But at least try to open your heart….

    Reply

    Matthew replied

    I say if Shelley has a problem with it then go right ahead and tune out. Obviously you are not evolved enough has a human being for your conscience (‘conscious’) to understand that there is no difference between a gay love scene and the endless parade of heterosexual love scenes that you have endured on GH for the past 35 years, except for your bigotry and discrimination telling you it’s wrong. Flip over to FOX News Channel instead, there is always a place for ignorance like yours there.

    maddiehayes replied

    Ignore Matthew, he is a hater. He obviously hates Christians and he hates Republicans. Of course, in this politically correct age, we are not allowed to have a negative opinion about gays, I suppose the Bible will be banned – or “altered”. I laughed at the absurdity of it all when I saw the gay kissing scene. But the gay sex scene was too much for me, too. I’m done.

    Reply

    James replied

    What about characters who fell in love with their rapist?

    maddiehayes replied

    Hey James, I wasn’t watching GH in those days, but I would not have liked that storyline, and neither did the majority of viewers! That’s why they romanticized it and had Laura say it wasn’t rape, it was seduction. GH was at its height of popularity when it focused on adventure and romance, NOT sordid stuff like bedhopping. Most viewers tuned in for Luke&Laura, whose relationship was pretty chaste for the better part of a year. We women want to see people falling in LOVE, not falling into bed. But that’s all GH gives us lately. Shock value. Gee, what shocking thing is going to happen today? I want to see families, I want to see tenderness, love stories, when is the last time we had a real WEDDING on this show?! At this rate, Brad&Lucas are going to be the only happily “married” couple on the show. NOT interested.

  10. Steven says:

    Welcome back. First off you need to expand your wardrobe. Ha! Otherwise you are hitting home runs every time. The scene I am most hoping to see is between Lucas, Brad, and Michael Corinthos. I believe MC is Lucas’s nephew but Brad tried to blackmail him once and then MC tried to fake seduce Brad shortly thereafter. I think watching Lucas learn these things would be both funny and profound and it could set up a good friendship between Lucas and Michael, which I think both may need. Michael could talk to Lucas about his time in prison as he has no other. Could be good stuff for both of you. But at this point, I’d take anything. So, again, welcome back.

    Reply

  11. Manon says:

    Love Ryan! and so happy Lucas is back. I would have loved for a better love interest than Brad & Felix though ( a con man and a tattletale ) – maybe new detective will turn out to be gay?? one can only hope.

    Reply

    LysKitsune replied

    Seriously, I’ve pondered that one, too. A doc and a cop, I say yup.

    Reply

  12. Bonnie says:

    I have watched GH on and off since 1979 when I was 7 (watching it with my big sister). I think the show is the BEST it has been in YEARS. The writing is more cohesive, the cast is more diverse, and for the first time since I can remember, memorable characters are being woven back into the fabric of the show. I love Ryan Carnes as Lucas and I love Jackie Zeman as Bobbie.
    And, kudos to GH for showing “real-life” on TV! If there are racist small-minded people who don’t want to watch, it’s their loss. I’m a return-viewer who is NOW watching every day!

    Reply

  13. dmr says:

    When Ryan was first portrayed as Lucas, it was during a General Hospital hiatus for me. I didn’t watch much when Georgie, Lucas, Lulu, Maxi, and Spins were the teen scene. I wasn’t overly excited to have him return, because the cast is so large as it is, with a lot of recurring cast members-takes away from the core, legacy characters, I think. I welcome any extra Julian Jerome air-time. Love the Jeromes. The relationship between Julian and his son could be interesting. No more Sam, please. Have that done off-air. I’m so tired of Sam-every line is repeated with a monotone.

    Reply

  14. LysKitsune says:

    I’ve been a fan of Ryan Carnes for years, so it’s back to Port Charles for me, too. He always brings depth to his roles, and I think his scenes with William DeVry are some of the best daytime watching anywhere. I’d love to see him help ‘redeem’ Julian and see a lot of parallels with Michael and AJ.

    And yeah, saving the world as the Phantom, he was great at it.

    Reply

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