Michael Easton opens up about his emotional General Hospital exit

Posted Monday, July 01, 2024 5:20:13 PM
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General Hospital's Hamilton Finn is now in rehab, and Michael Easton is off the soap he's called home since 2012.

Michael Easton has been a part of the Port Charles fabric off and on for more than two decades. In 2001, he began playing Stephen Clay on the General Hospital spin-off aptly named Port Charles. By 2003, he was off to New York to play John McBain on ABC's One Life to Live, bringing that character to General Hospital in 2012 after OLTL was canceled.

Two more GH roles followed, including bringing Detective John McBain to Port Charles. However, for the last eight years, he's portrayed Hamilton Finn, a quirky infectious disease doctor who just left for rehab as Easton left GH.

It wasn't Easton's decision leave GH, but when he was given his exit story, he made the most of it. After he found his father Gregory Chase had passed away in his sleep after a battle with ALS, Finn, who had spent years addicted to narcotic Zekenestrol, turned to alcohol as his drug of choice. That led to a complete breakdown before Finn realized the depth of his troubles and chose a rehab facility.

"I really wanted to make it work, so my thinking was, [Finn's descent] had to go beyond alcoholism," Easton told Soap Opera Digest. "Addiction and things like that, I kind of know a lot about that, but to get where I needed to go, it had to be almost a complete emotional break. You just get down to the raw forms of your emotions, you know? Everything has to be the truth, all the words had to be truthful."

That said, his last days at work took their toll on him.

"Every day was emotional, because every day was not only doing the work, it was also [saying] good-bye. I had such a hard time saying good-bye to Jane Elliot [Tracy Quartermaine] and to Josh [Swickard, Harrison Chase] and Becky [Herbst, Elizabeth Webber] and everybody that I had come in contact with, so everything was difficult. And it happened so fast."

On June 22, the day before Finn said goodbye to his family, Easton officially let fans know he was exiting GH with a video he shared on Instagram. He had the idea to make the video after shooting his final emotional moments with Swickard's Chase.

"My actual last scenes [that I shot] were with Josh in the car, and we shot it at the end of the night at the studio, but outside," he said. "After we were done, I just sat in my dressing room for about 45 minutes in the dark."

He explained that more solitary moments prompted him to make the video.

"Everybody went home and they basically had turned the lights off," he said. "But I just sat there in the dark for a minute and then as I was walking out, I thought, 'The hallways are empty. It's like a ghost town. Let's walk out the door and just say goodbye.' I just wanted to share something with the fans open myself up a little bit and make myself a little vulnerable. I had already been very humbled that week, you know? It was a very humbling experience those last few weeks. I was pretty drained and down, and I thought, 'Hey, let's just share this. Just be raw, live without a net.'"

With Finn now gone, who should get custody of Violet? Will you miss Michael Easton? We want to hear from you -- so drop your comments in the Comments section below, tweet about it on Twitter, share it on Facebook, or chat about it on our Message Boards.

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