General Hospital

Exclusive Interview: Ian Buchanan Talks Returning To General Hospital To Haunt Julian

General Hospital Ian BuchananGeneral Hospital Ian Buchanan

Ian Buchanan won a Daytime Emmy for his work on The Bold and the Beautiful but his biggest daytime success is as iconic Duke Lavery on General Hospital. The talented actor gave Duke fans an early Christmas present in December when he returned to GH, albeit just for one day.

Exclusive Interview With Ian Buchanan

But what a day it was, as Buchanan delivered an incredible performance, reminding GH fans just what they’ve been missing with Duke away from Port Charles — sure the character is supposed to be dead, but, well, it’s a soap opera. So, read on to see what this beloved soap star has to say.

Nothing could be better in this otherwise lousy year of COVID-19 – Ian Buchanan back on General Hospital but just for a day. A bittersweet moment for your quick return to the set or all positive?
My one day back was a lot of fun for the most part. I spent most of my time with Will [deVry; ex-Julian] in his dressing room. The Dead Man Waiting Room. I kept thinking about all the things he’d have to pack and move and all the times I’ve done the same thing.

Duke looked very alive and quite healthy and dapper – you heading back to GH full time would be a great thing.
They managed to squeeze me into an old Duke suit. Thankfully I had brought my own belt! There was nothing there [that] would go around my waist.

[It’s a] different atmosphere with the COVID-19 procedures in place – how much of a hassle was that?
Apart from going in a few days ahead of time for a test and being masked right up until taping, I was fine with the COVID protocol. I did notice the classic mask lines remained on each side of my face.

Other than your scene partners for the day, were you able to catch up with any of your other friends?
I had lunch with Fin [Hughes; Anna]. I saw Maurice [Benard; Sonny] and Steve [Burton; Jason] and Genie [Francis; Laura] and all the lovely make-up and hair ladies.

And I know your fans are hoping the writers and executive producer Frank Valentini were watching on the monitors and already thinking of how to bring Duke back to Port Charles for good!
I had a very brief socially distanced visit with Frank on the set but we were so far apart I only heard the part about me looking terrific. Naturally.

Most people were totally surprised and shocked when Duke came onscreen — but a few people knew because one of your fans spilled the beans that you…….spilled the beans to one of your fans on Cameo!
I wished someone Happy Birthday in a Cameo message and in confidence shared with only them, that I’d be showing up on the show. So much for that little gift!

OK, cutting to the chase, would you bring Duke back to Port Charles in 2021?
I am always happy to show up there and play for a day or two. Anything more would require careful consideration.

And in the meantime, are you able to have any decent plans for Christmas?
We’re having a very quiet Christmas. The tree is up, the gifts are wrapped, the music plays continuously.

What is your Christmas wish?
This Christmas I wish for a peaceful transition.

Is it difficult to come up with new year resolutions this year?
I don’t make resolutions. I don’t believe in disappointment or procrastination so my bar remains set all year round. And open!

What’s been the toughest part of staying put, no traveling, for the past nine months?
I resigned myself to not traveling and believe I will rediscover familiar places in a brand new light — 2021 will be an opportunity to take what we have learned to appreciate in 2020 and build our lives around it.

General Hospital (GH) airs weekdays on ABC. Check your local listings for airtimes.

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