Antonio Sabato Jr. by Joel Warren/SoapNet
of this Q&A,
Antonio Sabato Jr.
talks of cheating death on
. Meanwhile, on Season 2 of SOAPnet's
General Hospital: Night Shift
(arriving July 22), he will breathe new life into onetime rebel-without-a-cause "Jagger" Cates, whom he last played (on
) in 1995. Sabato surveys what's ahead for the hood-gone-good. -
TVGuide.com: Had ABC tried previously to get you back to GH proper?
Antonio Sabato Jr.:
There was some talk, but I didn't really know about it. There were rumors, through the fan clubs and places, about Jagger coming back. And then it came to be this year. [
casting director] Mark Teschner, who's a good friend of mine, called me up and said, "We'd love Jagger to come back, on
. You're the only one who has ever played him, and no one else can play him." That's how it went. And then we had an issue [with
], where I would lose a day of training. But I said, "I have to make both happen. They both have to happen."
TVGuide.com: How has Jagger changed since the last time we saw him?
He's older, he's got more responsibility - he's got a son named Stone [named after Jagger's late brother], that he brings back to Port Charles. He wants to go back to his roots. [First wife] Karen passed away, but he's probably going to fall in love again.... We'll see how it goes.
TVGuide.com: Are you bummed that Port Charles killed off Karen, that you don't get to revisit that romance?
It's a soap opera so you really never know, but.... I think there's a chance of bringing Brenda back, that
could come back. If she does, you've got something to play with right there!
TVGuide.com: What brings Jagger back to Port Charles after all this time?
Well, Robin is there, and she's a good friend of his.... See, he's raising this little boy by himself, and he wants to give him a chance to have some roots, to have a family of some sort. Jagger decides, "I don't want the same thing that happened to me to happen to him," so he moves his work over - he's an FBI agent, used to be a cop - and resettles back into Port Charles.
TVGuide.com: Even though Robin's pregnant with Patrick's baby, do you think they might point Jagger in her direction - "friendship caught afire" and all that?
TVGuide.com: So it's still big brother/little sister for the two of them?
I would think so.. I would assume that, but you never know. Also, there's another factor in that Jagger's son has autism, and as soon as that's found out, it becomes a huge challenge as to how to raise him best, what medications to use....
TVGuide.com: That's a hot topic these days, how best to treat autism.
Right, and we're really going to touch on that. For Jagger to juggle that with a romantic relationship and everything else will be challenging.
This just in from ABC, on the July 22 return of GH:NS:
"General Hospital turns to chaos when a car crashes through the ER, injuring a pregnant Dr. Robin Scorpio and killing a member of the staff. Elsewhere, Jagger Cates returns to town after a 13-year absence, with a surprise for Robin. Meanwhile, sparks fly between Touissant (Billy Dee Williams) and Epiphany (Sonya Eddy) after he returns to the hospital from being on tour with his musical group, The Saints. In another corridor of the hospital, new interns Kyle and Claire bond over their fear of their strict superiors, Dr. Leo Julian and Dr. Saira Batra."