Fans of GENERAL HOSPITAL were first introduced to Steve Burton as Jason Quartermaine back in 1991, but they may not be aware that they almost didn’t get to enjoy the character of Jason Morgan he became after the car accident! “Maurice Benard (Sonny) really took me under his wing,” Burton confided to Soaps In Depth of his early days on the soap. “Maurice and I didn’t really talk that much at first, but we saw each other around, and one day, we started talking. I was actually about to leave the show, and he said, ‘I’ve seen some of your work. You’re really good. Do you have a technique?’ I said, “I have no idea, man.’ And he said, ‘Man, I’d love to help you!’ I was like, ‘Awesome! Let’s do it!’
“This was when I was still playing Jason Quartermaine,” he continued, “so I’d go to his house, and we’d rehearse and rehearse, and he’d teach me. I spent a lot of time with him and his family. I didn’t really have a teacher before, and it was like I was in acting class all the time.”
Whether or not the bond between Benard and Burton inspired the GH writers to turn the Quartermaine heir into Sonny’s right-hand-man, but the actor suspects it may have played a part in it. “I don’t know whether that was the trigger or not,” Burton admitted, “but he is a huge mentor of mine and taught me a lot. It was just amazing. It changed my career, actingwise.”
Burton also revealed the two most important lessons that he learned from his co-star and friend, both for his acting career and just for life in general. “First of all, you have to be honest with yourself,” he declared. “If you can’t be honest with yourself in life, you will never grow as a person. I found that to be true. Whether we like the truth or not, if you can be honest with yourself, you can grow as a person and an actor. And number two is, if it’s not there, never force it. No matter what you think a scene should be or what place you think you should be at as an actor, if it’s not there, do not force it. I still follow both of those suggestions today.”
For more on your favorite GH stars, keep reading the ABC edition of Soaps In Depth magazine!
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