NEW YORK (AP) — Jack Wagner doesn’t need to roll with an entourage. He shows up to a recent interview by himself.
A celebrity without a team of people including groomers, publicists, assistants and managers trailing behind is a rarity these days.
“I stopped that a while ago. I had an entourage in the ’80s because it’s just what I needed. It depends where your level of fame is or where your career is and what you’re promoting but, today, I’m really comfortable with who I am as a person and I can actually find an address, I can show up there and if I get lost I ask someone, you know, where are the elevators and it’s OK,” he joked.
To a large swath of ’80s TV fans, Wagner is Frisco Jones from ABC’s “General Hospital.” He stopped being a regular cast member in 1988 but has returned for the periodic arc, most recently in 2013 for the show’s 50th anniversary.
“There is this real core fan base for that show and to play a character that is still remembered, I look at it as a gift. Back then you didn’t have social media or so many channels to watch and people would watch ‘General Hospital,'” said Wagner, who was also on the ’90s hit “Melrose Place” and has performed on Broadway.
These days the 55-year-old stars on Hallmark Channel’s series “When Calls the Heart” alongside Lori Loughlin.
He appeared in season one and was bumped up to a fulltime cast member for season two, which airs its two-hour season finale on Saturday at 8 p.m. EDT.
Wagner plays Bill Avery, a forensic investigator in 19th century Canada looking into a counterfeit scheme. His character is mysterious in that you don’t know if he’s part of the scheme or really trying to solve it.
The other story for his character is the love triangle with Loughlin’s character Abigail and his wife, Nora, played by none other than his real-life ex-wife Kristina Wagner (and TV ex-wife on “General Hospital,” Felicia Jones.)
“It was very frightening to work together again. We know each other from that one format which is ‘General Hospital’ and we knew exactly what to do there. These are new characters. But we really worked through it and we have a great chemistry.”
Wagner laughs when it’s pointed out that not everyone would want to work with their ex.
“I can’t say we lined up to do it,” he confesses. At a cast dinner, Bill Abbott, the president and CEO of Hallmark asked him, ‘What do you think of working with Felicia?’ I said, ‘Do you mean (my ex-wife) Kristina?’ He said, ‘I don’t know her name. I just know I want Frisco and Felicia on this show.'”
Their sons (ages 24 and 20) aren’t that fazed by mom and dad working together.
“It’s like, ‘Oh yeah, cool. You guys look great. What’s for dinner?'” he jokes.
Wagner is also a musician. His best-known song “All I Need” became a Billboard Top 40 hit in 1985, thanks to its heavy rotation on “General Hospital.” He still performs live a few times a year, and released an album last year.
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