BEVERLY HILLS — When actor Jonathan Jackson left ABC soap opera "General Hospital" a year ago, he had his guitar in tow for a reason.
"For the first time in my career, I have been taking my guitar with me on auditions. I wanted (casting directors) to know I could do (acting and music)," says Jackson, who now plays a virtuous singer-songwriter tempted by backstage drama on "Nashville" (10 p.m. Wednesday, WATE, Channel 6).
Seated on a coach in a hotel lobby bar, Jackson looks ripped from Music City streets — slim, wetted hair and garbed in black denim. "This is kind of a different thing for me," says Jackson, whose real-life band Enation has had success on the iTune charts. "I don't get a lot of chances to do both things I love at the same time."
Married with three children, Jackson, who moved his family to Nashville for the show, had been with "General Hospital" for 20 years, on and off, winning five Emmys for his role as the son of iconic couple Luke and Laura Spencer (played by Tony Geary and Genie Francis). Geary and Francis "are with me in every scene I do, no matter what it is," Jackson says. "I owe them for ... everything they taught me."
He won his fifth Emmy after quitting the soap "to venture out." Ever loyal, he talked to producers about a short return. "But, now, with ('Nashville'), scheduling-wise it'd just be too difficult to do," Jackson says.
As Avery Barkley, Jackson says he plays an artist who is "passionate about what he does, but he's also ambitious, and ambition can sometimes blind people about what they ought to do."
How does Jackson see himself — a musician or an actor? "I don't see myself as either," he says with a smile. "I don't see myself as being just one or the other."
Terry Morrow may be reached at 865-342-6445 or email@example.com.
© 2012, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!