Michael Easton on John McBain

Soap Opera Weekly: You still get recognition for playing PORT CHARLES’ Caleb. What was that role like?
Michael Easton: At the very beginning, I didn’t know the character. It was just for 10 weeks. I figured, “Well, I could do anything for 10 weeks.” When I decided to commit to it and go, “Let’s go Hell’s bells and go nuts on it,” it really ended up being a lot of fun. A lot of that has to do with the writing. We worked together to create a really memorable character.

Weekly: What about John? Will he ever lighten up? The only time he laughs is with Michael.
Easton: Working with Nathaniel (Marston, Michael) is great. It’s very easy to have that brotherly relationship with him. I would like to see John confront the demons that he has and come to some sort of resolution. Maybe we could see a change in the character. I think we’re in a position right now, with a lot of the storylines on the show, where the set-up’s there and the way they wrap it up is really going to be the payoff. There needs to be a payoff [for John].

Weekly: Half of the fans like John/Evangeline and half like John/Natalie.
Easton: That’s a real tribute to both Renee (Elise Goldsberry, Evangeline) and Melissa (Archer, Natalie), their popularity and how good they are.

Weekly: And your popularity.
Easton: I don’t know about that. I feel like I’m the luckiest guy in daytime to get to work with the two of them. I’m surprised either woman is putting up with John at this point. He’s a handful. I think they’ve done a good job of heightening the conflict and the tension. I did daytime 15 years ago, and they were still doing, “We have a rich girl and a poor boy. They can’t be together but they love each other.” Those kinds of storylines don’t work anymore. We make the analogy, “I’m thirsty and the pitcher of water is right over there, but you can’t walk over there because there are chairs there.” Now, I get heightened conflicts where John can’t be with Natalie because her husband’s alive. John has constant moral dilemmas. And the more your character works, the more you have to sacrifice for your character. You can’t be Superman. There’s going to be conflict and you’re going to make mistakes. You’re going to make the wrong choices or do something that goes against your moral fiber. That’s part of being a character on daytime.

Weekly: Do you want more or less complexity for John?
Easton: The nicest thing about Caleb was that he was this incredibly conflicted character, this character who lived through time who was focused on the love he had for this woman, Livvie. It was great to play a conflicted character, but also a character with very clear intention. That’s become the model for me. “What is his clear intention?” That’s what I’m tiptoe-ing through with John.