ATWT’s Jon Hensley talks to Greg In Hollywood about Holden and Lily, Luke and Noah and his future
For fans of As the World Turns, the end of the beloved soap after more than 50 years is still something a few months away as the show continues to air throughout the summer.
But its end was really brought home on Emmy night when winners Michael Park (actor), Maura West (actress) and Julie Pinson (supporting actress) grew emotional talking about the end of an era.
I got that same feeling from Jon Hensley when we talked before the show. The man who began on ATWT as Holden Snyder back in 1985 talked about the final days of shooting last week.
“The last day was kind of nice because we were all just hanging out together and there wasn’t a lot to do,” Jon told me on the red carpet. “But the lead up to it, the month up to it, was really the hardest because we had a lot of stuff to do and you knew the end was near. Everybody was just wanting it to be over with and move on, not being able to deal with this idea of it all going away.”
Holden was been engaged to Molly and was set to marry her but, Jon reveals: “I’ll tell you this much: Holden and Molly don’t make it, that’s all I can say.”
But he would not say whether he and Lily, one of daytime’s super couples, will end up together when the final credits role or whether his onscreen son Luke (Van Hansis) will end up with Noah (Jake Silbermann) or Reid (Eric Sheffer Stevens).
Jon acted opposite Emmy winner Martha Byrne as Lily for much of the show’s run but in 2008, Byrne left the show and was replaced by Noelle Beck. I wondered how he felt about such a change after acting for so long opposite Byrne.
“[Noelle] is very sweet and I liked her from day one,” Jon said. “I don’t know that it was easy for her because she was coming into a situation where, you know, Martha Byrne was a big deal. She always was afraid that she would never fill those shoes. But as far as I’m concerned, I think she did an incredible job. I think we had pretty decent chemistry and it was great having her for two years.”
So what does Jon think of Dr. Reid Oliver who has arrived on the show and turned Luke and Noah’s world upside down?
“I love the character of Reid,” he said. “He’s got the best character in daytime. I thought it was a great way to mix it up for those two characters. I like them together. But it’s like Holden and Lily, you want Luke and Noah to be together ultimately in the end.”
I beg to differ! But Jon is speaking as a father!
As for the future, Jon and his wife Kelley Menighan (Emily on As the World Turns), are moving to California with their three kids.
“We just need a change,” said Jon.
The actor is now 44 years old and is coming off of a 21 year stint as a major character on a daytime soap but confesses that professionally “my window of opportunity is shrinking. I’m getting old! I’ve been around a long time.”
I remind him that Mark Harmon was 52 when he landed NCIS which is set to begin its eighth season this fall as one of the most popular prime time dramas on television.
“A nighttime show that goes a good 10 years,” Jon said, smiling. “That would be fantastic”