Ryan Carnes on returning to ABC’s “General Hospital” as the gay character of Lucas Jones
Ryan Carnes is just dynamite on General Hospital these days as Lucas Jones, a role he played long ago and reclaimed last month with confidence and skill.
The actor recently chatted with soap opera guru Michael Fairman and I want to provide you with some excerpts:
Q. 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.
A. 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!”
A. 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 it … and you’ll see what happens.
Q. 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?
A. 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.