On Wednesday, General Hospital fans were overjoyed with the news that Jason Thompson’s (Patrick Drake) name had been called as one of the four actors competing for the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series category at this year’s upcoming 40th annual Daytime Emmy Awards!
Thompson’s reel in which a grieving Patrick tries to prepare himself to go to his beloved wife Robin’s funeral, was so riveting that tears flowed not only on-screen for Patrick, but for viewers everywhere in what now for all intent and purposes is a soap classic.
On-Air On-Soaps caught up with Jason to share in his thrill of getting the recognition for his work, to find out how he was able to get through the now memorable tie-scene in the nominated episode, and what nomination day was like for one of the new class of soap opera leading men! So here now is what Jason had to say about being in the running for Daytime Emmy 2013!
I was over at The Young and the Restless on Emmy nomination day, and your fellow Lead Actor nominee, Michael Muhney (Adam Newman) told me he was actually rooting for you to win! He said he was incredibly impressed with your performance!
JASON: Wow! That is pretty crazy for him to say. Michael is a super nice guy. The nomination is so cool and I am so stoked. There were a couple of people I expected to get nominated who didn’t. So when you say that, no one knows what is going to happen. I am not going to lie to you, if you’re in it, you want to win it.
Many people were devastated that Finola Hughes (Anna Devane) was not nominated! I know the two of you worked so closely together throughout the eligibility year, and her performances were astounding as well!
JASON: I don’t know how that happened! But I know what Finola did, and I was shocked and bummed that she did not get nominated. Obviously, I feel good about myself personally landing a nomination, but it would have been really, really special for us both to be there, because we went through a lot together.
Obviously, your reel has clearly resonated big time with the blue-ribbon panel! What happened on Emmy nomination day morning? How did you find out you were in the running for Outstanding Lead Actor?
JASON: To be honest, I did not have the best sleep. It was not because it was Emmy day. I had a cold the other day. So I was kind of tossing and turning a little bit. I think literally at 6AM my phone started buzzing and then it rang … and then it was my dad! So at that point I figured either he is going to say, “Better luck next time!” or “Congratulations!” I could hear him and my mom were really excited. It was nice having them be my first call in Canada. You know the amount of support it takes in this career, and to have them in my life, and their support, and to be the first call, it was great. Then I checked my phone and Ron Carlivati (head writer, GH) was the first tweet that came through. After that, they came flowing through from so many people. The nomination woke me up in a good way, the best way!
And what is so cool is … this is your first nomination in the Lead Actor in a Drama Series category!
JASON: I have been nominated before and those were special, especially my first one. This is my first nomination in Lead Actor. As I have said to you before, the work is the most gratifying part of this, but as you have said before, you might never have something like this again. So to be able to tell a story like losing your wife, and me going through my own process of mourning Kimberly McCullough (Robin) in that way, and then GH’s 50th anniversary, and the Nurses’ Ball, it was all incredible to be a part of. Then, working with Kelly Theibaud (Britt) and Teresa Castillo (Sabrina) and Brooklyn Rae Silzer (Emma) becoming this little actress, it’s personally been a tremendous year. This is just a really nice thing, or cherry to put on top of it. Steve Burton (Ex-Jason, GH, and now Dylan Y&R) sent me a really beautiful text message this morning. He said, “I have been a fan of your work for a really long time.” You get those messages and you go, “Wow! What else can you ask for? This is good!”
Your nominated performance is one that is a classic! Do you have any sense of that as the actor who drives those heartbreaking scenes?
JASON: The thing is, when you watch that scene, you notice it. It takes a small army. Bill Ludel directed that episode. So when we were trying to figure it out, he was one of the guys in the production office, he and Scott McKinsey (director, GH). They looked at it and went “Whoa!” It takes those moments: Kimberly, the music, the cues. It takes so much to make one scene, let alone one episode. As much as I feel very grateful to get recognition for scenes like that, I know how many people who are not in the scene, and are just outside the light it takes to make it work.
Do you remember going through the emotional moments in the tie scene? Or, were you so in the moment that you don’t even recall what happened?
JASON: I just remember staying there and I remember smelling Kimberly. She just leaned in and I smelt her for the three minutes. It wasn’t a plan to keep my eyes closed, and it wasn’t anything like that. She pulls away and I just stayed there. Sometimes there is beauty that comes from one take, sometimes it’s many takes. We are the one take industry, and sometimes it works. Sometimes you just get it right and it all aligns. Hey, I am fortunate that scene was written for me and that it all came together for me, let alone that episode. You live and die by these decisions. I felt like this was an opportunity to do what I could with this material and create with my peers.
What did Kimberly McCullough say to you upon learning you were nominated?
JASON: She called me and said, “What’s up?” (Laughs) We don’t have to say anything to each other. She knows how much I care about her, and what we mean to each other. It’s that simple. We don’t need any fancier words than that. She is very proud of me and I know it. It’s awesome. To have somebody like that in my corner is a gift. I know how much I learned from her.
I remember meeting you years ago and you were the newbie on General Hospital! And I also remember feeling like Kimberly really took you under her wing and showed you the ropes of a soap!
JASON: She did take me under her wing. Kimberly is a no B.S. kind of girl. She didn’t play by the rules. She never really did. I had the best teacher. She stood up for herself, she stood up for me, and she stood up for our story. I learned from her in that way. The fact that it’s a story when she leaves, and that is when I get the little extra recognition, is very humbling. It’s a special relationship that we have.
Did you hear from General Hospital executive producer, Frank Valentini? What did he have to say about your nomination?
JASON: Frank called me which was fantastic. He said he was proud of me. After I finished this whole storyline, Frank and I had a discussion. I basically thanked him for the support and the storyline. Frank was new to GH when this happened. He came in the day Robin was blown up! That was one of his first days. We built a trusting relationship right off the bat. It’s a really nice thing to have that kind of person in your corner. I am proud of him and Ron, proud of the show for sure, and obviously, Bradford Anderson (Spinelli) Julie Berman (Ex-Lulu), Kristen Alderson (Ex-Starr) and Lindsey Morgan (Ex-Kristina) on their nomination. GH was amazing this year!
So soap fans, what do you think of Jason’s chances to win the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series? Did you feel it was one of the best performances of the year? Would you like to see Jason take home the prize? Let us know!