William deVry on His General Hospital Exit: ‘I Think [Fans] Felt Betrayed’ — Plus, Why He Probably Won’t Do Another Soap
“It does seem like they made sure to slam the door tight behind me,” admits the actor.
For General Hospital fans, 2020 went out with a literal bang when Julian Jerome was felled by bullets and a fall off a bridge. And while viewers are still reeling from — and worked up about — the fact that Julian is dead-dead, not soap-opera-dead, portrayer William deVry is taking things in stride… mostly.
“On a personal and emotional level, I’m kind of going with the flow,” he told the Toronto Sun during a recent interview. “I never get too high or low about anything. I do, however, feel bad for the fans, because in a big way, they’re right — Julian had a lot of story left to tell.”
While we’re only a week into 2021, that’s already a frontrunner for Understatement of the Year. After all, Julian was heavily involved in the currently-unfolding Mob war, had (unintentionally) killed Sonny’s ward and landed Lulu in a coma, and was patriarch of the kind of dysfunctional family around whom entire shows are built.
And then there was Julian’s relationship with Alexis, which was as popular as it was, among some, divisive. It is fans of that pairing to whom deVry regrets not having given one final gift. “The only thing I wished I had done in hindsight is maybe whispered Alexis’ name as [Julian] was walking away from Sonny after being shot,” he shares. “Like, now he knows he’s dead, and all he can think about is Alexis and that he’ll never see her again.”
Theirs was not, however, the only connection which deserved further exploration. “There were a lot of relationships that Julian needed to mend,” deVry mused. “They never did shake the tree of storyline potential for Julian, in my mind, at least.”
Asked if perhaps the show purposely sent Julian down a dark path in order to turn the audience against him, deVry admitted that he hadn’t really considered that possibility.
“I would have to be pretty thoughtful about that,” he said. “I’m not really a paranoid person, but in hindsight, after seeing everyone’s shock and disgust about the exit, you may be on to something.
“But I’ll never know,” he added, “and I’m not curious enough to ask around.”
That said, he acknowledged, “It does seem like they made sure to slam the door tight behind me, and from a personal view, it did hurt a little. It didn’t seem to matter how popular the Julexis pairing was or how popular Julian was.”
The actor also wonders if perhaps, given everything going on in the world, fans didn’t necessarily need the holidays tainted by seeing a favorite stuffed unceremoniously into a body bag. “They are really struggling right now,” he says. “[Characters are dying and the fans have no control over that. And I think they felt betrayed. They feel GH could have done something about this.”
As for his future on soaps, he indicated that he’s not likely to do another one anytime soon, especially once he and longtime love Rebecca Staab (Elizabeth, Port Charles) complete their relocation from Los Angeles to California. “Once I’m gone, I’m gone,” he shrugged, adding that moving to Canada means he is “committed to a primetime existence.
“The industry has abandoned Los Angeles,” he explained. “We’d be going all over for work. Why stay? If Days of Our Lives or The Young and the Restless had called, I 100-percent would have listened.”
As for primetime, he’d love to be part of Pine Valley, the upcoming All My Children reboot despite Michael Cambias, the character he played on the ABC sudser, being dead and buried.
“Michael could always have a brother, or I could play a completely different character that is tied to one of the families,” he postulated. “Regardless, I can’t wait to see what they do with it. Should be exciting.”
In the meantime, he’s still a big supporter of General Hospital, despite how things went down. “From just watching the show as a fan, I felt [it] was kicking on all cylinders,” he enthused. “It’s sad to think Julian won’t be a part of that.”
Do you agree with the sentiment that deVry’s character had far more life left to live? Share your thoughts in the comments, and then join us in taking a last photo-filled look at the life and times of Julian Jerome via the gallery below.