Already have an account?
Get back to the


Exclusive: Adam Harrington (John) Opens Up About His New GENERAL HOSPITAL Gig

Adam Harrington

GH viewers were in for a surprise earlier this month when the role of Jagger Cates, originally played by Antonio Sabato, Jr., was recast in the form of daytime newbie Adam Harrington. Digest spoke to Harrington about taking on the character, who now goes by John.


Soap Opera Digest: Before being hired to play John, had you ever auditioned for GH?

Adam Harrington: I had met [Casting Director] Mark Teschner in October [2023] for another role. And they said, “It’s not gonna be yours, but hold on, we have something else in mind.” When I went in for that, it was straight to a chemistry read with Laura Wright [Carly]. They let me know fairly quickly that that it wasn’t going to go my way, but to hold tight. And then they called again and they, “We’d love to have you on the show,” and then they let me know who I was playing. So, I kind of got hired, and then I found out I was playing John.

Digest: At the time, were you aware that your character had a history on the show?

Harrington: No. So, of course, I had to go back and figure out who this guy was. I spent many hours watching the original storyline, and picked up as much as I could from there. It all happened very fast; this happened in late December, early January.

Digest: I assume, Adam, that you’re aware that you don’t look a whole heck of a lot like Antonio Sabato, Jr.

Harrington: That became very obvious when I went back and watched the original storyline! My take on it was that it’s been 30 years; they obviously wanted to take this in a new direction and see what they could do with this storyline. And I also thought, “There is no way I can even touch what Antonio Sabato, Jr. did with the role in the past.” Although I know it would be jarring for fans, in some ways, I was very happy that I didn’t look like I was going to try to mimic or echo at all what they had done with that storyline. Obviously, if they’re going my way, they were going to take this in a different direction with so much time having passed. TV is immortal and still very much fresh in people’s minds, but like I said, I took the recasting and looking so obviously different as them saying, “Okay, we’re going to take this in a different direction and we are not trying to replace or touch what was originally a beautiful story.”

Digest: So take me back to the countdown to your first day of work at GH. You’re no stranger to being on a TV set, but did you have nerves going into your first day on a soap?

Harrington: Oh, my gosh. What’s interesting is that my experience of it would probably be like anybody, any fan of the show or any person walking into this, where I walked in and I had, I think, 120 pages to shoot on the first three days. So just the memorization alone of that — I think I had some of scripts a week out and some of it four days out. Let me put it this way: I’m an avid surfer, I’m in the water probably three or four days a week, and I didn’t go out [on the water] or see anybody, go out for a meal, for a week. No surfing! I just powered through [the scripts] and worked on it. Getting ready for it was just trying to prep, and I talked to some friends who’d worked on soaps before just to get ready because I thought, “I’m being given this extraordinary opportunity to play this amazing character and I will be damned if I’m gonna drop the ball.” And getting there, it’s exhilarating because there’s a there’s a slight fear of death involved, or it’s like trying to stand up in a tornado. I’ve been lucky and fortunate enough to be acting for many a decade and I did not know how hard these people work. Between the cast and the crew and all the different departments, it’s extraordinary. And when people are watching the show, they are watching one, possibly two, takes — they’re not watching the best of 70. These people. both behind the scenes and in front of [the cameras], are putting out these stories with one or two takes! I have such an enormous amount of respect for this world coming into it and, and I’m in such awe of the talent of the people involved

Digest: When you went through your Rolodex of acquaintances you’ve been on soaps before, was there any sort of common theme in the advice you were given?

Harrington (laughs): “Get ready for the circus,” I think was one quote. Or just, “It’s crazy!” But it still doesn’t quite prepare you. [Daytime’s production process] is like a giant steam ship that’s just moving, it’s just not gonna stop — and it can’t.

Digest: As you did your GH homework to prepare for joining the cast, were you intimidated at all when you realized you’d be working with people like Finola Hughes (Anna) and Maurice Benard (Sonny), who are legends of GENERAL HOSPITAL and of the soap industry in general?

Harrington: Once I started researching and getting ready for this, I quickly became aware of their legendary status and where they existed in the industry. Was I intimidated? Well, for one, there’s no time for it, but two, like I said, they were so welcoming and offered advice … You know how sometimes you’re intimidated by somebody because that’s the way they want to make you feel? There wasn’t any of that from them.

Digest: What did you come away from your first time filming opposite Finola thinking about her?

Harrington: Oh, my gosh — incredibly talented, great sense of humor, takes the work seriously but loves to play. I think all of them really care deeply about making something that will resonate with people and telling good stories.


Disney/Christine Bartolucci

Mixing Business With Pleasure: Harrington is having a blast working with the “incredible talented” Finola Hughes (Anna).

Digest: And what about Maurice?

Harrington: I mean, you do kind of feel like you’re meeting the Al Pacino or the Robert DeNiro of, you know, the [Port Charles] mafia world. He has quite a gravitas, but what a gentle soul. He really had a great sense of wanting to play. He wanted to get in there and churn some scenes up and that was a blast for me. But that was my experience working with him — I really did kind of think, like, “Oh, wow, I really am meeting the local mafia kingpin, I better not make this go bad because I could end up in concrete shoes!”

Digest: Obviously there is an established history and origin story within the lore of Port Charles to your character. But at the same time, he is a blank canvas to a certain extent because there is so little we know about what the last several decades of his life have been like. So in terms of developing your characterization, what did you want to convey to the audience about who John is in 2024?

Harrington: Well, the only thing I really had to go off of is his history, which is so rich, about his childhood, his relationship with his brother [the late Stone] and his relationship with Karen. And then after that, what I just went in with was kind of the fuel of how he felt about Sonny because of the past. He spent a long time away focusing on his career, and he’s coming back to a place with a lot of mixed memories. So there is a little bit of, maybe he’s slightly reserved at first. He’s kind of on home turf, but not on home turf; he is coming in with a job to do that he has to focus on, and yet, it’s like anybody going back to a place that has mixed memories — you’re kind of thrown off your game a bit at first. So I just kind of took what was actually happening for me [as a newcomer to the show], and just thought, “This is probably how he’s feeling, too.”

Digest: It’s early days of the story, obviously, but what do you think his take on Anna is, and on how she’s been conducting herself where this investigation is concerned?

Harrington: I do think she’s got a blind spot when it comes to Sonny. But one of the things I love about John is this idea of a character who really has a morality. He does have a sense of right and wrong. I think it gets twisted by his own feelings, but I think he sees that in Anna, too. She’s very, very smart; very, very capable. Certainly not a pushover to anybody and I think he feels there might actually be common ground with this person.

Digest: Soap fans are nothing if not avid armchair matchmakers, and on social media, I saw people noticing some potential sparks between Jordan and John.

Harrington: I’m right there with the fans — I will be just as excited to see if there’s any exploration of that, as well. As I said, John’s new to town. You know when you take an Etch A Sketch and then you shake it all up and it messes everything up? I think there is an element here of him coming to town, throwing a new guy into the mix, we’ll see who he quote-unquote bonds with and who he doesn’t.

Digest: You are originally from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada — something you have in common with Dominic Zamprogna (Dante). Have you connected with Dom about that?

Harrington: Actually, our dads connected us! So I met Dom — I didn’t work with him, but we met [in the studio] and then I had told my dad that I was doing this show. Well, my father and his father have a mutual friend. So I think the next day, I came into work, and Dom kind of yelled at me, like, “So, my dad phoned me….” But, yeah, we’re both from Hamilton and we both lived in Vancouver for a while, too. I couldn’t believe it!

Digest: I have to know: Did you have a cool nickname when you were younger like John did?

Harrington: God, am I gonna admit this [laughs]? So my middle name is actually John, which is funny, and my dad apparently tried A.J. when I was a baby but it never really stuck. But we lived near a marsh, and apparently, when I was a baby in my diapers, I would walk out into the sand and dig a hole until I hit water and then I would sit in it, and marsh water is very dark in color. So my nickname, apparently, in the neighborhood, was Adam Black Bum, because my diapers would be soaked with marsh water. Now, maybe it was just that my little baby brain was trying to get access to water because as soon as I could swim, I was swimming, and as soon as I could scuba dive, I was scuba diving. To this day to, being out on the ocean feels like connected to something so much bigger. But anyway, yeah, that was my nickname.

Digest: No offense, but “Adam Black Bum” doesn’t have quite the je ne sais quoi of Jagger.

Harrington (laughs): But see, this is the brilliance of getting hired for something. I get to be brought into a world where they’re like, “You know what? We’re going to take your nerdy persona and we’re gonna give you some cool!”

Digest: Before we wrap up, is there anything that you would like to say to the GH fans reading this?

Harrington: I guess that I want to express to the people that have said and written stuff on social media is thank you to all the people who have been so incredibly welcoming. Thank you to the people who have acknowledged that, you know, it’s a bit of a change from what they’re used to [where the character is concerned]. I just hope that they continue to have an open mind and see how this amazing character gets to be brought back and see what he’s bringing to the world because there’s some really cool stuff coming.

Need a refresher on the Port Charles background of John “Jagger” Cates? Click here for his complete history.

Adam Harrington

X (formerly Twitter)/HARRINGTON

Career High: Harrington is thrilled to have a new professional home in Port Charles.

Filed Under: