Walt Willey talks about his GH experience.
Walt Willey continues his reprisal of attorney Jackson Montgomery on General Hospital this week. The fan-favorite talked to Soap Hub about what it was like getting back into Jack’s legal briefs and if he’s open to more appearances playing the role he began on All My Children in 1987.
Walt Willey Talks Playing Jackson Montgomery
“It’s funny,” Willey tells Soap Hub. “I’ve never won a lottery in my life, but I always knew [GH] was going to call. I didn’t know it was going to be 12 years!” The actor says he figured a trial might bring him to Port Charles, but it was actually a chat between Michael E. Knight [Martin; ex-Tad, AMC], ironically, and GH executive producer Frank Valentini that led to his putting on Jackson’s suits once more.
“Michael told me Frank stopped him in the hallway and asked him about me,” Willey shares. After Knight put in a good word for his Pine Valley pal, Willey says he soon got a call from GH casting director Mark Teschner asking about his availability for a few days. “It sounded like fun,” Willey enthuses.
When Jack Met Lucy and Felicia
The storyline Willey’s involved in has paired him with Lynn Herring (Lucy) and Kristina Wagner (Felicia), who’ve traveled to Pine Valley, PA, to get some scoop on Lucy’s current beau Martin. Did this stint reunite him with any daytime pals? “I’ve met practically everybody [from the ABC soaps] at the Super Soap Weekends over the years,” Willey says. “I’m sure our paths crossed.”
Willey says he couldn’t have felt more welcome during his GH stay. “When you work in New York, you always hear [not the best things] about Los Angeles, but then I came to GH,” he says. “My hat is off to Frank Valentini. I don’t know how he does this. Frank has put together an incredible cast and crew. Good for him.”
Walt Willey: Jack on Life After Erica Kane
The finale of AMC in 2011 had Erica Kane (Susan Lucci) and Jack on the outs. Presumably, they’re not together today. Had Willey created in his mind what his legal eagle character has been up to since we’d last seen him? “You are the first person to ask me about that,” Willey responds to Soap Hub. “Yeah, I did spend a good bit of time figuring that out. I filled in [in my mind what went on] the last 12 years. I don’t want to give [all of] that away, though. I think there are some things actors should keep to themselves…it’s important.
“Generally,” he reveals, “I do think Jack has led a very peaceful life. The first thing an actor has to do is serve the script. That’s an actor’s primary job.” Willey says that the law has always been important to Jack, and he kept that through line during this reprisal. “Jack believes in the law the way that Einstein believes in science.
“I played him a certain way,” continues Willey, chuckling. “Nobody told me that it was terrible!” While his stay is about to wrap up this week, the actor says he’s certainly open to coming back to GH in the future. “I’m going to check out the air shows and see if I’m fit for television,” the quick-witted gentleman shares. “This was fun. Now that I know what I’m stepping into, yes, [I’d come back]. We’ll see.”