Steve Burton Talks About His Character’s Motivations, Love Life and Friendships on ‘General Hospital’

Steve Burton, Jason Morgan, General Hospital
Kathy Hutchins/NATAS

On “General Hospital,” following the apparent “death” of Carly’s (Laura Wright) husband, Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard), Jason Morgan has agreed to marry his widowed best friend of nearly 25 years if only to placate the mob drama brewing in Port Charles. Sadly, it comes at a cost for the former Quartermaine who had just moved on romantically with Britt Westbourne (Kelly Thiebaud). As a result, he had to break things off with General Hospital’s Chief of Staff in order to do what he felt was right, and, for portrayer Steve Burton, Jason’s motivations might be complicated but they are definitely necessary.

“Jason and Britt are interested in each other, so that’s the wrench in the works, right? They’re interested in each other but then the business side of things [comes into play]. I think it works perfectly; it’s like a perfect storm of [a marriage] having to happen,” Burton recently told Soap Opera Digest.

“Look, what Laura and I care about is that we’ve had some amazing scenes. That’s what it comes down to for us,” the actor notes. “[The] overall story, if it works, awesome, but we’re finding something new for us, which we’ve never had, being on the show this long. That’s what’s intriguing to actors. And that’s what I think a lot of fans don’t really get, is that this is new for us, and this is cool for us because as actors we get to explore and do new things with new people and have new scenes and it’s pretty exciting.”

While Sonny is presumed dead by his friends and family, to the fans watching at home the character is very much alive living in Nixon Falls as “Mike” following a bout with amnesia which isn’t a storyline twist fans apparently like but it’s the way things have to go in order to keep storylines fresh. “I think they’re [the writers] doing a great job by mixing stuff up…. Most people don’t like change, but sometimes you find some surprising things in that change where you’re like, ‘Oh, that’s new!’ And that’s what I think the show needs. I think any show that has been on that long needs it because we know what Sonny’s gonna do, we know what Jason’s gonna do, we know what Carly’s gonna do — the fans know the characters so well that everyone knows what everyone is going to do all the time, so there’s really no surprises, unless you mix it up and put other people with other people and you see what comes out of that,” Burton says, referring to the show taking risks and switching things up among couples and characters.

Although one could argue that Jason could have let Britt in on the real reason he was getting married to Carly instead of breaking her heart, Burton has a perfect explanation for that. “​​A lot of Mafia guys had their affairs on the side, so anything’s possible, but right now, Jason’s doing it by the book, right? It just doesn’t behoove him, in a power transition like this, in a power struggle where there’s violence and all these things happening, to sneak around.” He adds, “There is one thing here to accomplish, and that’s the goal of showing a united front with Jason and Carly; this is the best way to do it. Gotta cut the thing off with Britt and move forward for the family. That’s the mentality. And we are on a soap opera, so please forgive me!”

With this being Jason’s second marriage of convenience — the first being with Brenda Barrett (Vanessa Marcil) — at least this time it’ll be with a woman the character can tolerate. “Carly is Carly, and for some reason, Jason just has a soft spot for her that no other human being would have, he has a love for her that no other human being has. And for whatever reason, it’s not difficult for him. With Brenda, that was difficulty. Constantly!”

For more from Steve Burton and what he has to say about Jason and Carly’s marriage, Britt, thoughts on Sonny’s return to Port Charles and so much more, check out the latest issue of Soap Opera Digest, on newsstands Friday, or read the full interview at the magazine’s website.