'General Hospital' Shocker! Josh Swickard on Kim Delaney Playing His TV Mom
In 1982, Kim Delaney was in New York City, winning the hearts of soap fans everywhere as ingenue Jenny Gardner on All My Children. Meanwhile, 3000 miles away in Hollywood, raspy-voiced newcomer Demi Moore was bringing to life the character of intrepid reporter Jackie Templeton on General Hospital. Tasked with the impossible, Moore was hired to try to fill the void left by Laura (Genie Francis) after Luke’s (Anthony Geary) bride vanished into the fog.
Later, Jackie was paired with Robert Scorpio (Tristan Rogers), but that ultimately didn’t work either. A furious Jackie decked Robert after he married a pregnant Holly (Emma Samms) to keep her from being deported after Luke presumably died in an avalanche. Jackie left town and was seldom – if ever – mentioned again. Until now.
As GH viewers saw today, Jackie’s back – but this time, thanks to some inspired casting, it’s Delaney who’s playing the part. She’s got ties to Port Charles, too, as the ex of Michael Easton’s Finn. She’s also the mother of Finn’s half-brother Chase (Josh Swickard).
TV Insider chatted with Swickard about this shocking plot twist, how it sheds light on the sometimes-strained dynamic Chase has with his big brother, why he didn’t perform at the Nurses Ball, and more.
Finn’s uneasiness around Chase is starting to make sense. When did you find out Chase was getting a very famous mom?
Josh Swickard: I found out very recently, a few weeks ago. I saw [Kim] on set and said, ‘Oh, who’s this wonderful new character?’ I was told: ‘It’s your mother.’ Kim and I sat down and talked and got to know each other. We did our first few scenes together. It was this instant feel of a mother-son relationship. After the second scene, we both thought, ‘Oh, this is going to work.’ When we met, I said, ‘You sound and look so familiar.’ I did my due diligence and looked up who she was. I feel honored to do scenes with her.
Kim recently posted a photo with her real-life son; he could be your brother.
Actually, if you put photos of Kim and my mom side-by-side, there’s a resemblance.
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Is this giving you more insight into the whole history with Chase’s family?
Yes! This is something that Michael Easton and I were a little in the dark about. When I first started it was, "Finn really wants to hate Chase and Chase really wants to like him." There were musings and rumors [as to why]. Now, it’s all becoming clear. Recently, I was on set late one night watching, thinking this is some good stuff. My hat’s off to the writers.
Did Chase know all this time that his mom had a past with Robert Scorpio?
There is a scene coming up where you will see that addressed.
Is it explained why Chase and Finn have different last names?
Yes, I believe so. That gets answered as well.
You arguably stole the show the last two years at the Nurses Ball with your performances. But Chase didn’t perform at this year’s. How come?
I think it’s a good idea to cycle [people in and out]. If there are crowd favorites, and I don’t think I’m one of them, it’s a good for every once in a blue moon to have them drop out. You can bring people back the next year. It’s not that I was burned out. Not doing the Nurses Ball has made me extremely excited about doing it next year.
Chase was a little busy this year, trying to track down Nelle (Chloe Lanier), who had kidnapped Wiley (Erik and Theo Olson).
Yeah. It’s hard to go from solving crimes to “1 2, 3, 4…!”
You really let your hair grow out during the hiatus — to the point where James Patrick Stuart (Valentin) made you an honorary Bee Gee.
James has this weird, uncanny photoshop skill. I was scrolling on Instagram one day and I saw that my face was on this album. I thought it was hilarious. I started laughing and called James and told him so. He’s a practical joker and he has skills. Put those together and you get some funny things.
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You posted on Instagram a rehearsal of your wedding dance with your wife, Lauren. Are you up for DWTS if the show calls?
I am. I think that would be a ball. We joke when people put it in the comments section, but, for me, it’d be a great opportunity to learn how to dance better. If I were lucky enough to do it, I’d pick Kelly Monaco’s (Sam) brain [as she won Season 1]. My wife and I love dancing. If the opportunity to do that show, I’d jump at it.
Chase and Sasha (Sofia Mattsson) sacrificed their respective relationships with Willow (Katelyn MacMullen) and Michael (Chad Duell) to ensure Wiley’s safety. I’m waiting for them to figure out they were pushed together.
Yeah! I have a few thoughts on how it will all play out. I’m very interested to see how this one unfolds.
Any other projects keeping you busy?
Yes. My wife and I have a Christmas movie coming out in November called A California Christmas. It’s going to be on a popular streaming service. It’s a fun, feel good movie that we thought would be good get out because it’s warm and we’re at a time when there’s not a lot of warm and happy going on. We’re excited to share more about it soon!
Getting back to Chase being Jackie’s son, this really ties him to a classic era of the show. How does that feel?
To be honest, it’s an honor. You never know what’s going to happen in this industry tomorrow. To be employed is a blessing, but when you find out you’re attached to this [historical] character, it’s an honor. I’m super grateful. I’m excited to work with Kim and see where they take the storyline and discover what we’re going to pull out of it.
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