‘General Hospital’ Star Eden McCoy Talks Growing Up in Port Charles

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During her teen scene years on General Hospital (GH), Eden McCoy got to play some serious drama – including her character Josslyn Jacks’ searing revenge porn story, which provided the actress the juicy material that helped her nab her first Daytime Emmy last year. Today, Josslyn has matured into a headstrong college co-ed and a Port Charles heroine who’s managed to come to the rescue of her true love, Dex, on more than one occasion.

FIRST for Women caught up with McCoy to talk growing up with Joss, learning the ropes from soap icons like General Hospital star Laura Wright and Jacklyn Zeman, and whether she plans to leave Port Charles any time soon.

GH star Eden McCoy talks growing up on a soap opera

Eden McCoy, 2015
Eden McCoy, 2015
D Dipasupil/Getty Images for the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival

As the stepdaughter of Port Charles kingpin Sonny Corinthos, Josslyn thought she understood the mob life. Then she fell for Evan Hofers’ Dex, a military veteran turned mob heavy who keeps finding himself in the line of fire. Loving – and repeatedly saving! – a man in the life has been a wakeup call.

Related: Maurice Benard Talks Sonny and ‘General Hospital: 60 Years of Stars and Storytelling’

With a mysterious figure now targeting Port Charles mob bosses, Sonny’s sent Dex out of town for betraying him. And naturally, Josslyn has gone right into hero mode. She’s determined to find her man, and with Spinelli’s help, she might just do it.

Since Eden McCoy signed on to play Josslyn at only 12-years old, Carly and Jax’ daughter has survived the loss of her brother, Morgan, to mob violence, and her first love, Oscar, to cancer. She also tracked down her kidney donor...only to have it turn out to be crazy Nelle.

Eden McCoy, 'General Hospital', 2023
Eden McCoy, 'General Hospital', 2023
ABC/Ricky Middlesworth

Eden McCoy opens up about her journey as Josslyn

As the character has evolved from adorable victim to fiercely protective heroine, McCoy has literally grown up before viewers’ eyes.

“It’s funny, because people ask me what that was like…a lot,” the 20-year-old tells FIRST. “But for me, it's just life. It’s just the gradual transition of becoming a whole different human being. But it is really special to have so much of your life, especially such vital years, documented nearly every day!”

Born in 2009, Josslyn spent much of her childhood as a pawn in the marital love triangle between Jax, Carly and Sonny. She was also repeatedly kidnapped and threatened by her parents' enemies and survived a battle with cancer, thanks to that aforementioned kidney donation.

It was when McCoy assumed the role in 2015 that the character experienced "Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome" and proved to be very much Carly’s daughter.

Eden McCoy, 2023
Eden McCoy, 2023
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

“I’ve been compared to (portrayer) Laura Wright and Carly since my first day,” says McCoy. “And I’ll take it!”

While a kid at the forefront of heavy General Hospital drama, McCoy attended school full time and became a champion volleyball player who landed a scholarship to the University of Southern California. After her first year on the USC volleyball team, however, she’s now taking a break from trying to do it all.

“I’m not doing Hannah Montana speed anymore,” she cracks. “That’s not sustainable.” Instead of dividing her attention, McCoy is now putting all her focus on acting.

“Devoting my time to one thing – which is the thing I want to do with my life and my career – felt really important to me,” she explains. “School will always be there.”

Daytime Emmy-winner Eden McCoy talks the women of GH

Eden McCoy, Laura Wright and Jacklyn Zeman, 2023
Eden McCoy, Laura Wright and Jacklyn Zeman, General Hospital, 2023
ABC/Christine Bartolucci

While McCoy is taking a break from USC, the actress is not resting on her laurels after winning what turned out to be the last ever Daytime Emmy for Younger Performer in December.

“I'm a complete thief of the veterans of my show,” she says. “Growing up watching them was the best schooling I could have possibly been given. And every day is a chance to learn something new. I hope I'm literally never done learning.”

The soap veteran who’s been by McCoy’s side since the start has been onscreen mom Wright – who was on Loving (1991–1995), The City (1995–1997) and Guiding Light (1997–2005) before signing on to play General Hospital’s Carly.

“Laura was around my age now when she's started and she’s shared bits and pieces of her 20s, growing up on soaps,” McCoy says. “It's been really cool to get advice from her and talk to her about that, because I'm in the same boat, now. It's helpful. She's always been such an amazing mentor. The same with all the amazing women on our show.”

Another one of those “amazing women” was the late Jacklyn Zeman. McCoy was on personal leave when General Hospital honored her onscreen grandmother, Bobbie – because after losing her real mother to cancer in November, her own grief was still too fresh. “I don't think that would have been good for me, at the time,” she explains.

Related: Remembering the Stars We Lost in 2023 — A Tribute

While McCoy says it was “bittersweet” to let stand-in Courtney Fulk play the goodbye to Zeman’s character, she is thrilled she got to spend time with the daytime icon while shooting the Nurses Ball. Not only did those end up being Zeman’s final episodes, but the long production days gave them time to talk.

“My last conversations with her were so beautiful, because we had hours and hours off,” McCoy says. “She would just tell these incredible stories from her life – and she loved her life. That was such an amazing lesson, inherently, to hear someone so passionate in speaking about their times on soaps...and not on soaps. It was inspiring. She was so freaking brilliant, so I’m lucky I got those moments. And she knows I love her.”

GH star Eden McCoy talks sticking around Port Charles

Evan Hofer, Eden McCoy, 'General Hospital', 2023
Evan Hofer, Eden McCoy, General Hospital, 2023
ABC/Christine Bartolucci

Since returning to the General Hospital canvas in February after taking a personal leave, McCoy has been thrust right back into the drama. In addition to grappling with the (alleged!) death of her lifelong pal Spencer, Joss is determined to find Dex – even if bringing him home puts him in danger.

With Steve Burton’s Jason set to return on March 4, some General Hospital fans are speculating Dex could redeem himself to Sonny by returning with his believed-dead lieutenant in tow. Still, others fear McCoy is preparing to exit General Hospital after Josslyn announced she was going to leave Port Charles.

Whatever’s to come for Joss and Dex, General Hospital’s young Daytime Emmy winner doesn’t sound like she has any intention of saying goodbye to Port Charles.

“Right now, I am lucky enough to have a job,” McCoy tells FIRST. “I love the work and I literally love every single person I work with – and that is a blessing in itself. It hasn't always been that way in the past, let me tell you. So I'm gonna ride this out as long as I can!”

General Hospital airs weekdays on ABC (check local listings) and streams on Hulu.

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