Exclusive: Sebastian Roché Dishes Back-From-the-Dead Return to General Hospital
Sebastian Roche | Photo Credits: Michael Tullberg/Getty Images
We suspected he was out there somewhere. After all, dead supervillains usually are. But who knew General Hospital's Jerry Jacks — played by Sebastian Roché — was behind the staged death and disappearance of Dr. Robin Scorpio? That head-scratching news, delivered in Friday's episode of the ABC soap, is just the start of a major revenge plan orchestrated by the Aussie badass. TV Guide Magazine had an exclusive chat with Roché about his latest return from the grave, and what Jerry has in store for the unsuspecting citizens of Port Charles.
TV Guide Magazine: First Jerry dies in a boat explosion in 2008, then again in a shooting-drowning incident in 2010. Are you surprised he's back?
Roché: Only half surprised. I never thought Jerry was really, really dead but I didn't think I'd be asked back after Ingo Rademacher [who played Jerry's brother Jax] left the show. I figured, why bring me back if he's not around?
TV Guide Magazine: You've had a slew of recurring gigs — 24, Supernatural, Fringe, The Vampire Diaries — and you're always getting killed off! What's up with that?
Roché: [Laughs] I'm like this mercenary actor going from show to show — people love to hire me but then don't want me around much. I did get sad on certain shows when I got killed because I was having such a great time, especially Supernatural. At least on Criminal Minds [where he played Brit spy Clyde Easter] they didn't kill me off but I still lost my job because my storyline was with Paget Brewster and she's gone now. But it's OK. It's sad. It's hilarious. It's the acting business! I never really think things are over. I'm still hoping I'll get a call from Supernatural or Vampire Diaries or Fringe to come back. I say yes to everything. I'm an acting slut!
TV Guide Magazine: Did you keep up on all the backstage drama since your last stint at GH — the threat of cancellation, the reprieve, the exec producer-writer massacre?
Roché: Yeah, mostly because Ingo's a great friend and he kept me informed. I really love the new exec producer Frank Valentini. He's very enthusiastic and has great input. I felt very comfortable coming back.
TV Guide Magazine: How long is your deal this time?
Roché: For the moment it's a few weeks... but we'll see.
TV Guide Magazine: So what's Jerry's big nefarious plan?
Roché: He intends to terrorize Port Charles on a massive scale and it's going to affect every character on the show. It's very deadly. I'm quite interested to see how he's going to pull this off!
TV Guide Magazine: How the hell did Jerry orchestrate Robin's phony demise? She exploded to death in a lab at the hospital! Or will the show conveniently skip the deets?
Roché: Basically it was an elaborate concealment. Ewen [Nathin Butler] found an anonymous corpse and switched it with Robin's body, did a little DNA tampering, and that's how he managed to make everyone believe Robin died. Jerry was only peripherally on the scene but he was manipulating Ewen, operating the puppet strings.
TV Guide Magazine: What does Jerry have on Ewen that he can so easily make him his bitch? Are they related?
Roché: I don't know that I can reveal it yet but Jerry has a pretty big piece of news about Ewen — a piece of personal news. So we're talking strong blackmail. Jerry is manipulating quite a few people, Ewen being the main one.
TV Guide Magazine: What's pissing Jerry off? Why this need for revenge?
Roché: I really don't know all of his evil motivations but there is a monetary compensation involved here. He really enjoys being the criminal mastermind. His ego rejuvenates at the very idea. Money, power, ego. Same as all villains, right? [Laughs] He's like the head of a Wall Street bank!
TV Guide Magazine: As I recall, the Jerry-Alexis romance caused an uproar with fans who couldn't believe a smart, kick-ass lawyer like Alexis would fall for a psychotic terrorist. Still, you guys had major sparks.
Roché: When Nancy Grahn [Alexis] saw me on the set she said, "I haven't had sex on the show since you left!" I think Jerry would love to rekindle that.
TV Guide Magazine: Well, he's sure going about it the wrong way. Next week he injects Alexis with some sort of weird serum and he does the same to his little niece Josslyn and they both end up in the hospital looking like they might die.
Roché: [Laughs] I guess I should say that Jerry is looking to rekindle the romance with Alexis in a rather, uh, forceful way. He's not asking for permission. He may be terrifying but she's always had a soft spot for Jerry Jacks! And there are very few people he cares about. There's Alexis. And Josslyn. And his brother and mother. That's pretty much it.
TV Guide Magazine: Jerry has never been your textbook psycho.
Roché: He always had a sort of calmness, a rather gentlemanly approach to his dastardly acts. He's always a cool cucumber. He never got too mean. He was always in control.
TV Guide Magazine: So why kidnap Robin and stage her death?
Roché: Again, I think it's money. He knows Robin is a well-loved member of Port Charles society, and he knows people will do anything to get her back. [Laughs] Plus, I think he loves driving a stake through her husband Patrick's heart because Patrick is just too good-looking to be true. He needs to be punished!
TV Guide Magazine: Is our poor Jerry Jacks having financial issues?
Roché: He's never had financial issues, but he does spend a lot. He enjoys life. He enjoys his epicurean pleasures, his dramatic destinations, his gadgets. Ever wonder why billionaires always need more and more money? It's a power trip. And, of course, he wants to make Port Charles pay for the attempt on his life. Someone put a wrench in his machinations and he's not a happy camper about that. The guy wants payback. [Laughs] Who wouldn't?
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