Exclusive Interview: General Hospital’s William deVry

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william devry general hospital interview

General Hospital’s William deVry (Julian Jerome), Dominic Zamprogna (Dante Falconeri) and Robert Palmer Watkins (Dillon Quartermaine) were in Toronto this past weekend to help raise money and awareness for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada.

deVry is a seasoned Canadian actor, having appeared on many Canadian productions including InSecurity and Nikita. In addition to his role on ABC’s General Hospital (which he began in 2013), the Montreal-born actor has also had prominent roles on All My Children (as Michael Cambias from 2003-04) and The Bold and the Beautiful (as Storm Logan from 2006-08).

deVry and I got the chance to speak candidly about the implosion of the “Julexis” pairing, if he thinks Julian has been written into a corner, why the soaps write for larger casts these days as well his hopes for the Habs next hockey season.

william devry general hospital interview

You’re about to head to the fan event and meet members of the “Julexis army.” Are you nervous? Things haven’t been so great for the couple the past couple of weeks.
I know that a lot of them have sided with Alexis (Nancy Lee Grahn). Soon Julian will be trying to fix things and make her see things his way. He’ll tell her all the right things like “I love you,” and “We can work through this,” so soon the fans will wonder what’s wrong with Alexis and why she can’t just take him back. But then of course, some worst stuff will be coming up for them very shortly and then they’ll go back to her side again very soon.

Can you blame them for being on her side?
No. No, I don’t. But that’s what we shoot for in daytime. I think a lot of fans get this anxiety with the storyline. As nice as it is to have something rosy and perfect, there’s just not much story to be told. So, [the writers]have got to develop something.

Would you agree that being part of a supercouple is a bit of curse?
Kind of. The fans want you in a happy place, but there’s no real story arc in that happy place. The fans will say, “Well, we can deal with a little bit of angst, but this is ridiculous!” There’s no payoff then. Even if this is the end of Julexis per say, it’s still not the end of the show, which means there’s always hope . There’s always tomorrow. That’s what daytime is for.

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Some would say the writers took an easy way out by not having Julian leave the mob rather than develop a different story for him.
This is where the fans and myself see things differently. If I say anything that goes against the grain of what they may think, they’ll think that maybe I’m getting too big for my britches or that I may need to check myself. [Laughs] He can’t just get out of the mob and have it all be hunky dory. This character has 20 years of history that hasn’t been told. It’s possible that we could mine that story.

Were you worried that they wrote you into a corner after killing Carlos (Jeffrey Vincent Parise)?
Well, I had gone through it a couple of times on some other shows, but it deteriorated rapidly on those other shows…

Yeah, like when Michael Cambias raped Bianca on All My Children, you couldn’t go back.
Yes… When this started, I was like “I do trust the writers. I feel like I’m in a better place on this show.” I think that Nancy worked me up more than I worked myself up. [Laughs] She’s been around for 20 years and she’s seen this stuff come and go. I felt like I was in a different position when I was talking with the higher ups, who did say that “Look, we have to tell a story. We love you. You’re not going anywhere. Just do the best you can and trust the writers.” Once somebody tells you that, there’s nothing you can do. You just have to do the best that you can and trust the writers. I love being at General Hospital. I love the people that I work with. But at the end of the day, if the story says that Julian needs to be killed, then I’ll work tomorrow too. Right now, I’m happy to be with ABC and the show – and I hope it continues. That’s just the way it goes.

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Is it hard to play a character that has to go up against Sonny (Maurice Benard)? They’ve regressed into that notion where Sonny can never lose.
It’s the law of the land! [Laughs] There is that belief… There are certain characters that are going to be favoured in a certain respect. He’s a character that has been on the show for over 20 years. Julian is still being developed, so there’s that. It’s probably half and half with the fans. Half the fans really want to see somebody cut Sonny down to his knees but then there are some other people who want Julian dead. We’re looking for visceral reactions in daytime. We’re getting that kind of reaction, so we’re doing our job! But nobody is going to like every character. I mean, some people are going to interpret things I say completely differently than what I intended to mean if they don’t like my character. There’s nothing I can do about it. It’s just the way it is with daytime. You have the good with the bad. Sonny’s been there for over 20 years and that’s okay with me.

The show keeps introducing new characters but the fans would much rather see their favourites. Trent Dawson (Huxley) is great and he and Maura West (Ava) are amazing together but he’s playing a throwaway character. So many characters come on and then disappear for weeks.
I think what you’re saying is that it’s difficult to write for 40 characters. Yeah, I’m from that school of thought as well. The daytime environment has shifted tremendously to where every show once had their top 15-20 characters and they had to come up for stories for them and that was it. I don’t envy the writers now. Unfortunately, they’re given a bit of mandate. It’s more of a budgeted economic thing right now. There’s no risk anymore. They don’t want to risk anything and go for the jackpot because if they don’t hit that jackpot, then the alternative is something potentially really bad. So everybody really tows the line as far as storylines go and the days of the week that they get to work. Now, if Sonny, Julian and Alexis (for example) are only working two and a half days of the week, they have to bring in other characters to fill in the other two and a half days of that week. So that’s kind of what’s happening until the higher-ups decide that this particular route of storytelling doesn’t work. I’m giving you some inside stuff. I probably shouldn’t be spilling the beans on this stuff but everybody can see that Sonny’s not appearing on five shows a week anymore. Just like how Dante and Lulu aren’t showing up on the show everyday either and that’s going to continue until something changes. I don’t think they’ll wake up on day and simply go “Hey, let’s switch it up!” I think that someone at the top will have to say, “Let’s keep our core and work those seven stories instead of 15.”

I appreciate this insight. Let’s move on to some lighter stuff. What’s been your best on-screen kiss?
It was on InSecurity. The comedy for CBC.

Favourite storyline?
Probably [playing]Michael Cambias [on All My Children]… And now maybe [playing]Julian because I like the complexities in playing a sociopath and dangerous person. It’s not always the best for job security but it makes for an interesting character!

If you could play another character on the show, even just for a day, who would you want to play?
Oh, I really like Julian though… I’ll go for Dillon for a day. He seems to have some interesting stuff going on, for once! He’s got a love interest. Finally!

william devry general hospital interview

Dream love interest or pairing?
I really like my pairing with Nancy (Alexis). There are a ton of alternatives but she’s super popular. She has tons of fans. She keeps me on my toes. I’m pretty happy with that.

What are your hopes for the Montreal Canadiens next season?
I hope they make the playoffs! Anything can happen in the playoffs. I hope that Kirk Muller takes over the team within the first 20 games and then we’ll have some hope.

General Hospital airs weekdays on ABC and City. Canadian fans can catch up on the City app, as well as citytv.com. For the latest soap news, click here. You can visit CH Elegant Entertainment to stay in the loop for more daytime events in Canada.

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About Author

Jeevan Brar is a digital content producer and freelance entertainment writer based in Toronto. Jeevan has managed The TV Watercooler since 2008, the Canadian blog has focused on daytime soaps, primetime hits and reality TV guilty pleasures. The blog has also connected Canadian soap fans with exclusive interviews with the cast of enduring daytime dramas The Young and the Restless, Days of our Lives, General Hospital and The Bold and the Beautiful. 'Like' The TV Watercooler on Facebook. You can also follow Jeevan on Twitter and Google+.

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