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Sean Kanan Opens up About His Struggles Playing A.J. on GH


During Sean Kanan’s second appearance on State of Mind, the YouTube series hosted by GENERAL HOSPITAL star Maurice Benard (Sonny), the pair discussed numerous topics from religion to alcoholism. And while the actor currently stars on THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL as Deacon, during their conversation, the topic naturally turned to Kanan’s time in Port Charles playing A.J. Quartermaine.

“I have a lot of feelings about GH,” Kanan admitted. “I just felt like the character A.J. never really got a fair shake. I was kind of told I was there to play the [bastard] and as an actor, you can’t play [bastard]. I felt like the character was really not supported. And on some levels, it made me feel like I wasn’t supported. And I worked very hard on the show.”

Kanan first played A.J. from 1993-97 and then returned again in 2012 for another run that ended with the character’s death in 2014. And when Benard pointed out that he isn’t the same person he was back when he was on GH, Kanan agreed. “That is true,” he allowed. “And I was definitely struggling with my alcohol issue at the time. And I think it was exacerbated by the fact that I was playing a character who was an alcoholic. So there was a lot of… life imitating art and art imitating life. And I think probably there were times I allowed myself to feel resentful and use that as an excuse to act out.”

GH Quartermaine Family 90s
Kanan knew he was a part of something special on GH.Craig Sjodin/ABC

Still, Kanan has good memories of his time on GH as well, especially with some of the social issue storylines the soap told back in the ‘90s. Even if he wasn’t crazy about his role in the iconic Stone Cates HIV storyline. “That was a tough thing for me,” the actor confessed “Because I was tasked with being sort of the Greek chorus of ignorance. A.J. was the guy who had all of the comments that were just horrendous about Stone and HIV. That couldn’t be further from who I am as a person.

“And I ultimately came to the peace of mind that the overall storyline was more important than me or the character,” Kanan continued. “And if my job was to be sort of a cog in the machinery of telling this important story, then I was gonna play that character to the best of my ability. Even though I personally found it distasteful.”

While the ‘80s may be known as the biggest heyday of GH’s history, both men agreed that the ‘90s come a close second. “It was a really amazing time to be a part of the show,” Kanan declared. “You know, working with you and Ricky Martin (ex-Miguel) and Vanessa [Marcil, ex-Brenda] and Antonio [Sabato, Jr., (ex-Jagger) and we had that whole group. It was a very special time on the show.”

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