Interview

ICYMI: William Lipton Interview

William Lipton Is A Star On The Rise In And Out Of Daytime.

The oldest child of two parents with their own passion for the arts (Dad is a wiz on the bass guitar, Mom was an actress in her native Sweden), 17-year-old William Lipton’s own entry into the world of performing was far for auspicious: His folks enrolled him in the School of Rock program in San Francisco’s Bay Area, which he still calls home, shortly after his sixth birthday — but he recalls, “A first, I was extremely shy.  I couldn’t even show up to my first performance!”

In time, though, his confidence grew. “As each show went on, I started really enjoying the feeling of performing in front of people and with my friends,” Lipton explains. “That’s how I got the bug for it.” His focus was on singing and, as he got older, songwriting (“The first original I wrote when I was 9 was called ‘Groundhog Day’ and it was inspired by watching the movie”), but his repertoire expanded to include acting, thanks to his pragmatic mother. “She was a little worried that when puberty came, I would not be able to continue singing, and that would be crushing because she knew how much I loved to perform. For many years, she’d been begging me to try acting.” Eventually, he did, and when he tried out for a local production of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, he was cast in the lead role. “At the audition, they were asking,‘So, what role would you like?’ And I said, ‘I’d be happy just to be in the show.’ When they gave me Charlie Brown, I was totally over the moon.”

Lipton inched closer toward a proper career in Hollywood when, in 2016, he was invited to perform with his band (WJM, which he formed with pals Jeremy and Max), on the Steve Harvey-hosted LITTLE BIG SHOTS. “One of the talent scouts there, who had recruited us for the show, took my mom and myself aside and very much encouraged us to start working in L.A. because there are just so many more opportunities for me to pursue there. She referred me to a bunch of agencies and that’s where II met the agents that I have now, who I absolutely adore, and I started auditioning in L.A.”

A few years down the line, in 2018, the part of Cameron became available. He describes his GH auditions as “one of those events in your life where you can recall almost every single detail. I remember walking in and meeting Mark [Teschner, casting director] for the first time and totally forgetting that it was an audition. He was just so kind and relaxed and funny. It took away all those nerves that you have when you go into an audition. When it was all over, he came out and hugged my mom.” Lipton was called back to read for producers, and shortly thereafter, learned that the role was his.

The young actor made his mark quickly, with fans embracing his down-to-earth por- trayal of Elizabeth’s headstrong firstborn — and before long, GH expanded his to-do list from serving as Josslyn’s confidant to fielding major dramatic fireworks of his own, from Cameron’s near-Drew-ification at the hands of Shiloh in 2019 to his most recent brush with death earlier this year, when Cam and Trina were abducted by Cyrus’s goons (both of which he names as highlights of his run and describes as “so fun to do”).

As far as Lipton is concerned, the more challenging the material, the better, which is why soap-staple courtroom scenes are among his favorites. “Scenes where a lot of tension builds up and explodes are some of the most fun to portray,” he explains. “The court- room scenes I’ve gotten to do, every single one of them has been so fantastic because while they can take a little bit longer than most, they include so many phenomenal actors and actresses, such as Becky [Herbst, Elizabeth] and Roger [Howarth, Franco], and the two lawyers I’ve had, Kin [Shriner, Scott] and Nancy [Lee Grahn, Alexis].” But he does, for the record, feel that the judge was a bit stiff with her penalty when Cam got into trouble with the law for almost buying marijuana in hopes of reviv- ing Oscar’s chemo-sapped appetite. “I feel like people on soaps turn, like, three years older in less time than Cam was doing community service!” he chuckles.

Though his Port Charles duties keep him busy, Lipton’s music career continues to thrive. “The biggest performance I’ve had, with the biggest venue, was with my band last year on tour with Kenzie and the band PRETTYMUCH,” he reports. “We made a stop at the Palladium in L.A. Holy cow! The audience was fantastic. We played an Ed Sheeran song on acoustic guitar and everyone got out their lights and started singing along. That feeling was so incredible. I will never forget it. I also did a show in Hawaii with a big person who I respect a lot, Charlie Puth. That was pretty amazing.” And, bonus, he managed to keep it together while meeting one of his idols. “I got the starstruck-ness out of me before; I was like, ‘Okay, William, get that all out of your system!’ I was very cool and contained when I shook his hand.”

With high school graduation on the horizon, college is on his mind. “I have certain dream schools; it would be awe- some to go to USC or UCLA. I would love to continue working in L.A.” He does see himself remaining in the arts for the long haul. “I would love for that to be my future in any form. I don’t necessarily need to be playing arenas. I would love to be produc- ing music, I’d love to be teaching music. Anything career-wise that involves music and being passionate about the things I love, I’d be super-fortunate if I was able to do that.”

And does that include a future at GH? “I sure hope so!” Lipton grins. “I hope Cameron will always have a home in the GH family.”

JUST THE FACTS

Birthday: He turned 17 on June 2. Provenance: Lipton hails from the San Francisco Bay area. “It’s such a melting pot of cultures and creativity, and it’s so beautiful. It’s really the place to be!”

Oh, Brother: Lipton has two younger sisters. “Elizabeth is 10 and Olivia is 14. I love them both so much. They’re my trusted confidantes and so supportive of what I do, but they’re also my big- gest critics. I can very much relate to how protective Cameron is of his brothers with my sisters.”

’Ruff Stuff: The Lipton family also includes two dogs, Alice and Jasper.

Alone Together: Family movie nights have become Lipton’s favorite activity under California’s stay-at-home order. “The other night, we watched Maleficent. It’s been fun spending that time together.”

One-Man Band: In addition to the guitar, Lipton plays bass, “a little drums, a little bit of keys. At home, we have the ukelele, which I love to play, and electronic pianos that are very fun to mess around with. Our whole house is a studio full of awesome equipment, which is great for me.”

In The Ring: The actor has recently taken up boxing. “I was inspired by Maurice Benard [Sonny],” he shares. “I very much enjoy the train- ing aspect.” He also enjoys playing soccer, “but I’m not very good at it!”

The Last Person He Hung Out With At The GH Set: “Probably Roger [Howarth, Franco], or my set teacher, Jamie, while I was doing schoolwork.”

Did You Know? 

• Lipton’s band, WJM, has long donated both time and profits to children’s charities. “Since I was little, we very much believed in giving back to the community by doing something we love, which is music.” In 2016, WJM was awarded the Youth Social Activism award at the Novus Summit at the United Nations in New York City for their charitable work.

• He relies on music to help him prepare for emotional scenes. “For the sad, devastating scenes like Oscar dying and stuff, it was a lot of Coldplay. Thank you, Chris Martin!”

Three Of Hearts

Cameron has pined for Josslyn for years, but now, he’s also forged an undeniable connection with close pal Trina, with whom he shared a recent kiss.

“I think this is definitely a new thing for Cam because for the longest time he’s been totally in love with Josslyn, who has shown very little interest back in that way, and I think that can get tiring for someone,” Lipton notes. “With Trina, this very traumatic event has bonded them. They both experienced that situation [of being kidnapped] together and there’s a lot of emotions that come with it. Whether that bond will turn into a stronger friendship or a romantic relationship is something that only time will tell. It can definitely go either way; it can definitely become a super-strong friendship or it could become something more romantic. I think especially because Cameron has been long- ing for someone that has given no love back to him, having someone who possibly shares those same feelings is very exciting for him. But I think what’s so interesting is that I know just as much as the fans right now!” The prospect of landing in a hit pairing, be it Joss/Cam or Trina/Cam, is exciting to him. “It would be awe- some to put my imprint on GENERAL HOSPITAL like that!”

Off camera, Lipton enthuses, “I absolutely adore those two girls. Eden [McCoy, Josslyn] and Sydney [Mikayla, Trina] are so talented. We have a lot of fun. It’s always just a privilege to be able to work with those two.”

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