GH’s Bradford Anderson And Steve Burton Revel In Their Bromance On-Screen and Off.
Soap Opera Digest: GH fans have been loving having the two of you back on-screen together. Has it been equally enjoyable for you?
Bradford Anderson: I’ve been in and out of the building ever since Steve left, and having him back in the building means that my connection to the building is even stronger, which is super-cool for me. Spinelli feels a little more tethered; it’s not only fun to hang out with my friend Steve more, but my character feels better grounded in the landscape.
Steve Burton: So basically, it’s all about his job! That’s fine. I still love him. [Anderson laughs.] Listen, when we first started working together, we all thought whoever was playing this character was going to be dead within two weeks because it was such a difficult character. But Bradford came in and nailed it and there was such a great juxtaposition of him being … I don’t know, I want to say him being the crazy and wacky guy and me being the straight guy —
Anderson: But that about covers it!
Burton: Yeah, it’s pretty right. The relationship they formed, I don’t think they were expecting it, and he and I started working together so much that we just became really great friends, also.
Anderson: And that’s the reason that I have a job. See, everyone dreams of being gazed at by Steve Burton.
Burton (groans): Get outta here!
Anderson: The thing that I have is that he looks at me unlike how he looks at anyone else. He turns his head to the side, his eyebrows go up and his lips do this purse-y thing. It’s like the facial version of, “Really?” Everyone else dreams of him looking at them with this sultry look, but I get a look that no one else gets!
Burton: You basically just called me Zoolander.
Anderson: That’s exactly right. If only your hair was just a little big longer. Oh, I can’t wait to get my hands in your hair again!
Burton: Trust me, you will not touch my hair.
Digest: The earliest episodic photo we have of Spinelli is of Jason shoving him up against a doorframe. Who’d a thunk that such a great bromance would ensue?
Burton: Nothing has changed! No, actually, I’m too nice to you now, Bradford. That’s the problem.
Anderson: You’re absolutely right. It’s time for you to rough me up again. Please, rough me up!
Burton: Oh, I will!
Digest: On paper, the characters are an unlikely duo. Did you get the sense right away that it was working?
Burton: When you hear the crew laugh at stuff, you know you have something, and a lot of times, that’s what would happen; people would laugh because Spinelli would try to touch me or hug me or do something stupid and I’d just stare at him. It just worked! You don’t get a lot of comic relief, or a character who can bring some levity to the show like Bradford does, that often.
Anderson: The thing is, my character was not funny unless someone else was there to comment on what he did. If Spinelli was just silly, that can fall flat. People like Steve, Julie Berman [ex-Lulu] and Tony Geary [ex-Luke] did such a good job reacting to me and that’s what was funny to the audience: seeing characters that they already knew and loved reacting to this guy.
Swiss Bliss: “We work together so well,” enthuses Burton, pictured with Anderson during Jason and Spinelli’s recent Swiss caper.
Burton: Plus, our characters were so defined, they could just put us in situations, like, “Jason and Spinelli on a stakeout”, and you just knew it was going to be funny.
Digest: Steve, are you a fan of the nickname “Stone Cold”, which was bestowed upon Jason by Spinelli?
Burton: Yeah! Hey, look, I’m honored. I know “Stone Cold” Steve Austin from wrestling, so I’m like, “Hey, I’ll take that nickname!” Trust me, I’ve had worse nicknames in my life.
How Sweet It Is: “It’s actually kind of a sweet photo,” says Anderson. “Even though Jason is being kind of violent, I look like I’m being nuzzled!”
Digest: Over the years, you’ve gone from scene partners to bandmates with Port Chuck alongside Brandon Barash, ex-Johnny, and Scott Reeves, ex-Steve. Now, you’re back on the road touring together and you’ve also launched a weekly podcast on your website, StoneColdandTheJackal.com.
Anderson: We’ve come a long way, but a lot of the things we do now are very similar to what we started with. The first time I went on the road with Steve, we played some clubs on Long Island. I have a picture from it where I look like I’m 18 and Steve is wearing a black Affliction shirt and he looks more like Guy Fieri than he ever has.
Burton: Oh, man. I agree with that comment.
Anderson: I just remember feeling so confident and comfortable with him as a stage partner. Our stage dynamic is very similar to our on-screen personae, but my onstage persona is more bold and will challenge Steve more than Spinelli would ever challenge Jason, I think.
Burton: You know when something works and Bradford and me onstage just works. Like he said, his personality is a little different from Spinelli’s, he is a little bolder — and I actually do have a personality!
Anderson: That in itself is worth the price of admission!
Burton: We’re a team up there; you have the silly guy and the straight guy and that’s always made for a great comedy team. I don’t know if you’re Abbott or Costello, Bradford, but at our events, he sings a few songs and does some parodies that are funny as heck and we have a great interaction with the crowd.
Digest: What is life on the road like for the two of you?
Anderson: We realized that we travel really well together early on, but I think it came into clearer view when we were traveling with 13 guys [on tour with Port Chuck]. We paid attention to the cleanliness probably more than others.
Burton: I mean, let’s call it what it is. We were on the bus with freakin’ 11 slobs and he and I were the only ones who were cleaning! He wants me to pay for everything, but besides that, he’s great to travel with. We have a great time. Just him and me going out on the road feels like a vacation!
Anderson: Dude! It really does. My travel usually involves car seats and children, so when it’s just me and Steve and, like, a duffel bag? Our wives are like, “Oh, Steve and Bradford are going out on the road again, how nice for them.” [Burton laughs.] My wife is not, like, “Go get ’em honey, thanks for toiling on the road for me!” It’s more like, “Don’t have too much fun out there!”
Burton: Having people come out to see us because they love our relationship on the show is cool for both of us.
Anderson: These events that Steve and I do, we’re in a room with hundreds of human beings getting together because we have a shared interest, GENERAL HOSPITAL. There is such joy and power in that — especially these days, when everybody thinks about what differences we have.
Burton: Stone Cold and The Jackal Unite America — that’s our next tour!
Digest: How did the podcast come about?
Burton: I’d always had it in the back of my mind to do a podcast, and as soon as Bradford and I got back together on the show, I was like, “We gotta do this!” We work together so well, so seamlessly, without having to try or force anything. It’s just natural, and you feel like you’re in the room with us as we’re talking and having real conversations. You’ve got two guys who can kind of finish each other’s thoughts and we’re always thinking about how to make it better, how to give the fans more.
Anderson: We’re starting to have some guests on and we want to get the people we know we’ll have a super-fun conversation with when we sit down with them, like Maurice [Benard, Sonny]. We know that is going to be a blast.
Burton: We do want guests like Maurice and Laura [Wright, Carly]; I’m super-close with them and we have lots of stories to tell. But it’d be interesting to talk to someone like Michael Easton [Finn]. He’s a pretty private guy, but he’s such an interesting guy and such a nice guy. I want people to be able to get to know him on a different level.
Digest: On a separate note, we got a lot of positive feedback to the recent Swiss escapade with Jason, Spinelli and Sam.
Anderson: It was great to team up and have a caper again. There were little moments where Kelly [Monaco, Sam] was there to pick us up and it wasn’t a whole lot of screen time, but it was really fun and I felt like they did a nice job of making it charming for all three of our characters. It felt like a return to something grand for all three of us, which was really lovely.
Burton: Yeah, I think part of the old-school feeling that the fans got was that Sam and Jason used to go on these adventures and we weren’t really complete without The Jackal. We’ve done so many of them and now all three of us are back together after five years and it was just fun. I think people were so used to us, whenever I was doing something workwise on the show, that the Jackal had to be there, you know? Especially because Sam and Jason aren’t together, I needed my other girlfriend — The Jackal! [They both crack up.]
Anderson: It really has been great to work together again. In any workplace, it helps to have people that bring out the best in other people. Not to say that when he wasn’t there, that didn’t exist, but Steve is one of the best people I’ve ever met when it comes to that.
Burton: Wow! Well, I can’t make any more jokes, because those are the nicest words Bradford has ever said to me. Don’t make me cry, man! I cry too much already on the show!
Anderson: Yeah, that’s true. You’re really letting it all hang out!
Burton: I demand to know what happened to me in the Russian clinic to make me cry so much when I got back! That’s what I need to know — that’s the mystery I need to solve! Look, those are very nice words. Bradford is one of my best friends and that’s very sweet of him to say. For me, going home to GH was just a huge deal and with Bradford, we have so much history, we just picked right back up doing what we do.
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