Kiss & Tell

...About Their First Smooch (On-Screen) And What They Really Think of Their Relationship (Off-Screen)

A little while back we sat down with GENERAL HOSPITALíS Jonathan Jackson and Rebecca Herbst to get to know the on-screen-best palís a bit better. What we didnít expect was that our little meet-and-greet would be almost as enlightening for them as it was for us. Read onÖ

Digest: Did you meet before you started taping scenes together?

Herbst: Yeah, for about five minutes.

Jackson: We met during the screen test.

Herbst: We met about five minutes before that Ö and I had to kiss him in the test.

Jackson: Twice.

Herbst:† (laughs) That I didnít remember.

Jackson: I had to kiss 5 girls twice that day.

Digest: Not bad. Were they at least cute?

Jackson: Of course (gestures towards Herbst).

Herbst: Oh, thank you (laughs).

Digest: First impressions of each other?

Jackson: Iíd like to hear her answer first.

Herbst:† (laughs) No, you go first.

Digest: Okay, letís go alphabetically.

Jackson: Yeah, there you go. Thank you.

Herbst: I knew who he was but when I first met him, to be quite honest, I was so focused on the screen test. I didnít realize what a nice, genuine person he was.

Jackson: Oh, well thatís a line.

Herbst: I really didnít have an opinion at first. I didnít know him.

Jackson:† (smiling) Thatís an interesting way to answer.

Herbst: I was more wrapped up with everything else. I do remember we ran lines. The rest of the time we just talked.

Jackson: She was all-cool about it. I asked her if she wanted to run through (the scene), but she knew what she was doing.

Herbst: See? I am a good actress. Thatís what he thought (laughs).

Jackson: She calmed me. She said, ďDonít be afraid to kiss me.í

Herbst: I was really trying to calm myself.

Jackson: I think itís the easiest conversation we ever had (laughs). Since thenÖ

Digest: Öitís been downhill?

Jackson: Everyday we come to work and we have to play this tension. Itís tough.

Digest: You come across on-screen as being very in sync.

Herbst: Well, I think we are.

Digest: DO you have similar acting styles? Does that help?

Jackson: At first, I wasnít really myself because Tony Geary was gone and I was kind of leading my first story. I think it took us a little while to become comfortable. Weíre still working on that.

Herbst:† (looks at Jonathan and smiles) Iím biting my tongue.

Jackson: Keep biting; it (laughs). To me, it wasnít until we started doing this (rape) storyline. Before that, we had a lot of trivial school stuff. The show was afraid to do anything romantic with me, soÖ Iím not answering the question, am I?

Herbst: Iíll answer it.

Jackson: What was the question again?

Herbst: Whether we work together so well, because of Ö

Jackson: Öacting styles!

Herbst: I think it really has to do with the fact that I genuinely like Jonathan. Weíre still getting to know each other. We bicker every now and then, butÖ

Jackson: We come to work and weíre constantly in character. For me, itís difficult to separate it. Iím often dealing with emotions Iím applying on-stage.

Herbst: That was a little tough getting used to. I can snap in and out (of character) really quick. I would try to talk to him as Becky and Jonathan and heíd still be Lucky. The time weíve spent as Jonathan and Becky has been minimal. Thatís why we still are, after a year really just getting to know each other.

Jackson: As actors and characters, we know each other really well.

Herbst: Oh, yeah. Lizzie and Lucky feel really comfortable together.

Jackson: (laughs to Herbs) Do you know that we sound really crazy right now?

Herbst: No (laughs). They just click.

Jackson: Thatís true. I feel very comfortable when weíre acting.

Herbst: I do too.

Jackson: But when I try to let down my guard and be myself, I donít feel really comfortable yet.

Digest: Are you making a conscious effort to get better acquainted?

Jackson: I think so.

Herbst: Yes.

Jackson: When I came back form doing the movie, The Deep End Of The Ocean. I think I kind of settled in to everything a little better. She knows I was pretty strange for the first year. And I am strange, so part of that is me.

Herbst: (laughs) Yeah, he is strange. Heís just very difficult to figure out. (She looks at Jackson and smiles). This is good for us, Jonathan. This is like therapy!

Jackson: It really is! (laughs)

Digest: Do you remember your first on-screen scenes together?

Jackson: I donít remember, but let me think.

Herbst: I know! It was something in Kellyís. I was smoking outside of KellyísÖ

Jackson: No, no that was at Audreyís house.

Herbst: No, those were my first scenes with Sarah. Smoked a lot in the beginning, didnít I (laughs)? The first scenes we did together were outside of Kellyís and I was in these little, black hot pants, which I absolutelyÖ

Jackson: Ö looked good in?

Herbst: Hated! (laughs). You came up to me and said something about smoking being bad for you. Then you told me your name and I said, ďMaybe youíll get luckyĒ Öno, wait! You said, My name is Lucky. And I said, Weíll see.Ē

Jackson: Thatís right. It was a while after the screen test before we actually worked together Ė a month or two.

Digest: And now youíve moved into a more heavy-duty storyline.

Jackson: I feel so fortunate to be getting this story. I donít mean to bash any others, but if I had to pick. Iíd say this is the best one.

Herbst: By far.

Digest: No more teenybopper stories.

Jackson: Yeah. And they were doing that, up until Liz got raped.

Digest: How would you characterize Liz and Luckyís relationship now?

Jackson:† (to Herbst) I want you to try that one.

Herbst: No, no, no. You go ahead.

Jackson: I just answered one (laughs). Liz is the only person who he trusts right now and feels comfortable around. Thereís going to be alot of tension, especially for Lucky, because thereís that natural instinct to get close to her. But you canít really do that because of what sheís been through. He canít really make that move.

Digest: Do you often just come to the set and not bother each other?

Herbst: Oh, I wonít bother him. Iíll start talking to him, then realize heís kinda ignoring me. Not to be rude, but because heís in the character or what ever.

Digest: So you donít try to lighten the mood or anything?

Jackson: If weíre in a happy scene, yeah.

Herbst: If itís a happy scene, then weíll talk.

Jackson: Then I tease and get her to laugh. But I can tell she gets annoyed with me when I do that. She thinks Iím being nice to her just because weíre doing a nice scene. So I try to lighten her up, but she just glares at me like, ĎOh, yeah. Thatís real cute. Real funny.

Herbst: (rolls her eyes and laughs) well, maybe you just werenít funny. I think for Liz, Lucky is her whole world right now. Heís her protector and her provider. It started as this crush, but it has gone deeper than that.

Digest: Do you feel comfortable having Liz/Lucky fall into a romance?

Herbst: Yeah, because I know it will happen.

Jackson: Itís real tricky thing, especially with me growing up on the show. I mean, I was 11 when I started, so thereís a lot of people watching who almost feel like parents. Theyíre sensitive about who I get interested in. I think itís really cool to see everyone respond so positively toward her and toward the characters being together.

Digest: Is the prospect of kissing on-screen weird to you now, considering how you started off?

Herbst: No, Liz/Lucky are so comfortable together. Iíve never done love scenes. Both of us are pretty Ö (laughs)Ö we havenít done any of that.

Digest: Neither one of you?

Herbst: I had an on-screen kiss before.

Jackson: I did something a few years ago and then for the screen test, thatís it. I think itíll be similar to the stuff weíve been doing, only a tad stranger.

Herbst: Yes, it will be uncomfortable, but itís not going to be like a major thing. Itís not like Iím dreading that day or anything.

Jackson: Itíll be fun. Itís another part of acting I havenít really gotten to do yet. It would be terrible if I didnít like who I was working with. Then Iíd be dreading it.

Herbst: When I do think about it, I think, ďThank God itís Jonathan.Ē Otherwise, Iíd be dreading it, too.

Jackson: Yeah, because then it wouldnít be fun. I think itíll be fine.

Herbst: We hope.

Jackson: I hope itís not in the morning.

Herbst: Yeah, Iím not a morning person.

Jackson: Or an afternoon person (laughs)

Herbst: (laughs) All right, shut up.


Soap Opera Digest, September 8