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Exclusive: Michael Easton Opens Up About His General Hospital Exit

Michael Easton


Last week, Michael Easton’s final General Hospital scenes as Hamilton Finn aired, capping off what he describes as a “raw” and “emotional” period where he had to wrap his mind around the show’s decision to write out his character while simultaneously managing a heavy workload filming the rapid downward spiral that saw Finn ultimately leave Port Charles to enter rehab. In part one of Soap Opera Digest‘s exit interview with the actor, Easton opens up about making peace with leaving the show and what his fans’ outpouring of support means to him.


GH’s decision to say good-bye to Finn, a character Easton has played since 2016, wasn’t one the actor was expecting. But, he muses, “You do have to remove your ego from it and realize you have a job to do.” In Easton’s case, that meant handling a lot of challenging material in a compressed amount of time. “The last couple of weeks were very raw and very draining,” he admits. “Every day was emotional, because every day was not only doing the work, it was also [saying] good-bye. I had such a hard time saying good-bye to Jane Elliot [Tracy] and to Josh [Swickard, Chase] and Becky [Herbst, Elizabeth] and everybody that I had come in contact with, so everything was difficult. And it happened so fast. I do appreciate the writers giving me so much material going out the door, but from an actor standpoint, I would like to have had just a little more time to add a little more subtlety and a little more nuance to it.”

A Shift In Perspective


As he began processing his exit, Easton admits, “You get hurt a little bit and you get wounded a little bit, and part of your head’s going, ‘Well, just do it [i.e., do the work without putting much effort into it]’ — and then I ended up investing more [in my performance], to make it even better for them. I really wanted to make it work, so my thinking was, [Finn’s descent] had to go beyond alcoholism. Addiction and things like that, I kind of know a lot about that, but to get where I needed to go [with the character], it had to be almost a complete emotional break.” To communicate that in his work, “You just get down to the raw forms of your emotions, you know? Everything has to be the truth, all the words had to be truthful. It just became about committing to it; you had to cleanse yourself of any feelings you had and just invest and commit yourself. So it was raw for me, and it was humbling, but it also felt good. I felt like I left everything out there.”

Easton says “it took a few days” to shake off the emotional residue, the intensity those weeks of work left behind. “I think in the old days I probably would have went out and got drunk. But this time, I went home and [his kids] Lilah Bell and Jack were waiting for me. It was sort of like Daddy needed a hug and the kids were waiting with hugs and honestly, everything was better from that moment on.”

A string of difficult losses in his own life also helped expedite Easton’s ability to make peace with GH’s decision, he says, coming as it did during what he describes as “a very interesting year, a very introspective year for me. I’m the same age my mom was when she passed away, and then Kamar [de los Reyes, ex-Antonio, One Life To Live, one of his closest friends] passing on Christmas Eve… He was the best man at my wedding, I was godfather to his son Michael and we saw each other for a lot of days for 30 years, and then in the end,” amidst de los Reyes’s cancer battle, “I was seeing him almost every day. And it does put your life in perspective and you feel so grateful just to get another day because I know he would give anything to have another day — another day with his family, another day in the sunshine, another day at work. And although I understand that I have mouths to feed, at the end of the day it’s a job, right? And I’m still here and I get to wake up tomorrow.

“So, the lead-up [to leaving the show] had been very introspective,” he continues. “Thinking about my time there, I would think about Sonya Eddy [ex-Epiphany, who passed away in 2022]… I remember giving Tyler Christopher [ex-Nikolas, who passed away in 2023] a hug on his last day on the show. And when I was Silas [the character he played from 2013-15], I remember walking out the door to the parking lot my last day, and the last person I saw was Billy Miller [ex-Drew, who passed away in 2023] and in true Billy fashion, he said something wonderful about, you know, ‘How dumb are these people [for letting you go],’ which was his way of saying, ‘Hey man, I like you.’ And I liked him, and Billy’s not here anymore. That perspective has given me a lot of strength in dealing with this. And honestly, when I walked out [of the studio for the last time], I was just filled with gratitude and love for my castmates, love for the crew. I got to work on General Hospital for 10 years and I’m so grateful for that. I think if you let anything else enter your heart, it just becomes like poison to you, and that poison in your heart will halt you from creating beautiful things going forward.”

kamar de los reyes, michael easton

Michael Easton/Facebook

Easton lost one of his best friends, former One Life To Live co-star Kamar de los Reyes, in 2023.

Straight From The Source


It was important to Easton that he was the one to share the news of his exit with his fans. “I just wanted them to hear it from me,” he says. “I feel like I have this really amazing relationship with — I’ll say fans, but I think of them more as friends. I realize I’m not the easiest person to get to know because I’m not the most open person and I don’t do lots of interviews and until a few months ago [when he started his Instagram account], I wasn’t even on any form of social media. But they’ve stuck by me and they understand me and I think I understand them.”

That inspired him to film the candid video that he posted to Instagram after shooting his final scenes. “It was a bit of a catharsis,” he shares. “My actual last scenes [that I shot] were with Josh [Swickard, Chase] in the car, and we shot it at the end of the night at the studio, but outside. I have such an affinity for Josh. He’s a beautiful human being, ridiculously kind. There weren’t a lot of people there; it was a very small crew and Josh and me, so he gave me a big hug and I got to hug all the crew, and I was able to hold it in and not shed any tears. After we were done, I just sat in my dressing room for about 45 minutes in the dark. Everybody went home and they basically had turned the lights off — I was worried they were going to change my locks on my door before I got out and take away my security pass [laughs]! But I just sat there in the dark for a minute and then as I was walking out, I thought, ‘The hallways are empty. It’s like a ghost town. Let’s walk out the door and just say good-bye.’ I just wanted to share something with the fans and and open myself up a little bit and make myself a little vulnerable. I had already been very humbled that week, you know? It was a very humbling experience those last few weeks. I was pretty drained and down, and I thought, ‘Hey, let’s just share this. Just be raw, live without a net.’ ”

Healing Gestures


After he posted the video, he was flooded with loving comments from viewers. “That meant the world,” he beams. “Nothing beats a good love story, right? What you give is what you get back and it’s nice to see evidence of that and to get so much support. I’m going to go through and respond to every single person because I was so moved by it — and not just with a heart emoji, I’m going to try to actually say something because people wrote such beautiful things. It healed my heart, it really did. I feel their love, and I draw power from them.”

The video also inspired a slew of his GH castmates to comment with their own loving messages, which Easton also deeply appreciated. “I’m very proud to be an actor, very proud to have been part of this acting community. I have such regard and respect for what all these amazing actors do, and then I genuinely have a passion for them as people. I’m fascinated by them, and I feel like we’re all in it together. I always feel that the love you take is equal to the love you make, right? And I’ve gotten back as much from them as I’ve ever given.”

Stay tuned for part two of Easton’s interview, in which the actor shares the behind-the-scenes details of his wrenching farewells with co-stars like Jophielle Love (Violet) and Jane Elliot (Tracy), his thoughts about Finn’s exit arc (and breakup with Liz), and his hopes for his post-GH career.