Six months ago, on General Hospital, the Zacchara family moved into Port Charles. Johnny (played by Brandon Barash) is the bad boy with a good heart who has made enemies with Sonny Corinthos. He has fallen in love with Lulu Spencer but she is afraid of his dark and violent side. Brandon Barash loves playing Johnny, a complicated character that have GH viewers talking – and swooning! Today, Brandon spoke to BuddyTV in an exclusive interview, dishing on his costars and what’s next for his character.
Below, you will find the complete transcript and mp3 of the interview.
Hey everyone. This is Gina from BuddyTV, and today I’m talking to Brandon Barash, who plays Johnny Zacchara on General Hospital. I’m such a big fan of General Hospital. I’ve been watching for 15 years, so usually I associate Sonny with the Alcazar family. Did you feel any pressure coming into a really established storyline as a new family?
Well, not really. The way I saw it was, on the show I was a new family, and yes I’m a new character, so I can just kind of treat it like that. Johnny is new to Port Charles, so that’s kind of how I approached it. Brandon’s new to the show, Johnny is new to Port Charles, so it’s kind of one and the same.
You started out doing some primetime shows, like Gilmore Girls. What was the biggest change for you doing daytime?
The biggest change I think is in one day I can be doing anywhere between 20, 30, or 40 pages of dialogue. In primetime, there’s a lot of hurry up and wait. You’re there for 14 to 16 hours sometimes, and you may get eight pages done, and that’s a busy day. Whereas on our show, as a show we film on average a hundred pages a day, and when I’m there I’m filming anywhere between 15 and 25.
How do you do memorizing all those lines? It’s so much to learn in a short amount of time.
It is, but you know what, it’s like a muscle. You go to the gym and you work a certain muscle, and after awhile the muscle becomes stronger. It’s the same thing with memory. If you had asked me before I booked General Hospital to go home and memorize 20 pages of script in one night and have it at a performance level the next day, I wouldn’t have been able to do it. You kind of find what works for you and what methods of memorization kind of get you going.
You have great chemistry with Julie Marie Berman. Is that something you guys had right off the bat, or is that something you guys worked at together?
I auditioned with Julie, so I was lucky enough to have her reading with me in the room. It was one of those things where I think we get each other as actors and as artists. It’s always been easy for us. She’s a very generous actress, and if you give a lot to the actor you’re working with you’re going to get a lot back.
Now that Logan has woken up out of his coma, how is this going to affect Johnny’s relationship with Lulu?
It’s really interesting. Just when you think that relationship between Lulu and Johnny is going one way, it goes the complete opposite. Lulu I think is written as a very conflicted person, and she has a good heart and she also has her own interests at heart. It’s going to be interesting. It’s going to be a lot of back and forth.
You play this really great character who’s a bad boy with a good heart. Do you like playing these different extremes to Johnny’s character?
Absolutely. It’s almost like I get to play two roles. There are so many layers to Johnny. You see one thing on the exterior, but there’s so much going on underneath all that. It’s a lot of fun to figure out what is Johnny’s motivation and what is going on behind his words, so to speak.
General Hospital fans are really excited to see Sarah Brown return to the show. How is your working relationship with her as your sister on the show?
It’s fantastic. Sarah and I love to work together, and talk about a generous actor. She and I are constantly pushing each other, and trying to think outside the box and think of great ideas for our scenes. She’s an absolute blessing to work with.
There’s a lot of hinting towards a mob war between the Zaccharas and Sonny. Is this something that’s coming? What’s in the future for you guys?
I get my scripts every week and that’s the first time I hear of all the new plot points. That’s what they’ve been hinting at for the six months or so that I’ve been there. It definitely feels like that would be inevitable.
Have you had a favorite scene or a favorite moment so far that Johnny has had on General Hospital?
I’d have to say the whole scene, the episode that actually aired the other day in the hospital was a lot of fun. I don’t know if you saw it, but I got to do that one scene where Maurice, Sonny and I have a scuffle. Johnny basically gives it to Sonny for keeping him locked in a room and for threatening his sister, then afterwards Johnny has a very tender moment with his sister. That’s one of those things that you were just saying, is Johnny is kind of both sides of the spectrum, which is nice.
I was looking you up online and I saw these fansites in dedication to you. Is that weird? They have these pictures of you and your bio and your appearances, and they seem to know everything about you. Is that really strange?
I don’t know if I’d say it’s strange. It’s definitely different than what I’m used to. It’s all very good, and it’s all very welcome, and it means that I’m being received. If at the end of the day there’s some personal information from me out on the Internet because people support my career, then so be it.
I saw that you have some appearances coming up with other cast members. Have you had a chance to meet many General Hospital fans yet?
I’ve only done one big fan event, and that was at a telethon in Buffalo, New York. I gotta tell you, I was pleasantly surprised. I did a signing at a shopping mall next door to where we were doing the telethon, and it was insane. I never expected that many people to come out in support, and it was just a really cool thing.
Can we expect Johnny to be hanging around Port Charles for a while?
I think so, I think so. They signed me to a contract, and it’s looking like it.
Brandon, thank you so much for talking to us today. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for Johnny.
Thank you Gina. Take care.
– Gina Scarpa, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of ABC)