General Hospital has always tried to take on socially relevant storylines related to medicine and disease, and going the extra mile to play out the story in real time. Fans will never forget Monica’s battle with breast cancer, Stone’s AIDS diagnosis and eventual demise, Mike losing his battle against Alzheimer’s, and now they have taken on ALS as it plays out through the Chase family.
Michael Easton: Family Matters
Gregory Chase, played brilliantly by Gregory Harrison, has known of his diagnosis for a while, and as his symptoms progressed, he confessed it when pressed by his friend Alexis (Nancy Lee Grahn). It wasn’t until recently that he finally sat down with his son, Hamilton Finn (Michael Easton), and revealed his medical condition. As a doctor, Finn knows all too well that the condition is fatal. At a recent Zoom Event hosted by Coastal Entertainment, fans shared that they cried during those scenes.
Easton addressed fan questions regarding the emotions running high during those scenes and how he handled it, knowing that the actor had lost his own father many years ago. He was grateful for their feedback. “That is very sweet of you to say, and listen, all those scenes are mostly a tribute to Greg Harrison, who I just love. I think he is so talented and so engaging as a person, and as an actor. I think he’s just so interesting.”
He explained that he didn’t tap into his past but was very much in the moment with Harrison. “He and I have become very close on a subconscious level,” Easton shared and directed his answer to the elephant in the room. “Of course, I have those feelings of saying goodbye to my father. I’ve had very similar conversations with my dad, and when he revealed what he had.”
But Easton had a more present concern during the scene. “In that moment, on that day it was, that was me recognizing that they might be saying goodbye to Greg, the actor, and our relationship role on the show. And that literally all came out of that.”
As actors, both men just went with their instincts. “None of that was preplanned. There was no motivation. I didn’t do any prep like, ‘Hey, let’s tap into that thing that happened to you 20 years ago or 30 years ago with your mom’ or whatever it is.” He tapped into the real emotion that his co-star might be leaving the canvas if the illness plays out. “It was all about just teeing up with the notion that he may not be there at that show because I like him so much. I like him so much as an actor, and I want him to be there. So yeah, that was just me connecting with that.”
More emotional scenes will be coming up as Gregory has yet to discuss it with his other son, Chase (Josh Swickard), who recently learned the truth from Tracy (Jane Elliot) of all people — not to mention the writers pulling fans’ heartstrings as they continue telling the story the way that General Hospital does best.