‘General Hospital’: Jon Lindstrom on the Storyline That Prompted ‘Everyone and Their Dog’ to Give Him Acting Advice
Jon Lindstrom played both Dr. Kevin Collins, MD and his serial killer identical twin, Ryan Chamberlain, on General Hospital. He began his time on the soap back in 1992. He also appeared in the show’s spinoff, Port Charles, until 2003. Between Kevin and Ryan, Lindstrom has seen his twin characters through some wild ups and downs. Recently, the actor reminisced about the early days of filming — what it was like to bring both Kevin and Ryan to life.
Jon Lindstrom on his early ‘General Hospital’ days
Lindstrom thinks of Ryan’s original reign of terror (1992) and the introduction of Kevin (1993) as some of the best storylines he’s been a part of during his long tenure with General Hospital.
“The show when Felicia had Ryan in an auditorium and called him out on his murders, causing him to break down. I remember that as good stuff,” he told Soap Opera Digest.
When Lindstrom joined the cast, he said his co-stars were very welcoming.
“Mostly it was the fun of working with both Kristina Wagner and John J. York [Mac],” he said. “I was new to that set, really didn’t know anyone — though I knew Kin [Shriner, Scott, who played Mike on Rituals, where Lindstrom played Brady] — and both of them were so welcoming and ready to mix things up.”
The actor didn’t expect to stick around on the show for long. But he has a feeling as to why his character(s) lasted as long he (they) did.
“I know I was really there just to push Felician and Mac together, but I believe one reason I’m still around is because of the chemistry we all had together,” he said, referring to Wagner and Mac.
Jon Lindstrom says he got a lot of direction on his portrayal of Ryan
Lindstrom was presented with quite the acting challenge, playing both twins, one of whom is evil. When he began playing Kevin, he started receiving a ton of input and feedback on acting choices. Ultimately, he worked out how to play Kevin by talking to then-Executive Producer Wendy Riche and then-Head Writer Claire Labine.
“I do remember, after making such an impression with Ryan, when no one ever really told me what to do, suddenly everyone and their dog wanted to tell me how to do my job,” he said. “I did have meetings with Wendy and Claire and we agreed that there were certain traits Kevin had to have to be different from Ryan, but they left a lot of his demeanor up to me. I had to make him my own, after all.”
On the iconic hall of mirrors showdown between Ryan and Kevin
One of the most iconic Ryan/Kevin sequences in General Hospital was the hall of mirrors showdown between the twins, at the end of which, Ryan was assumed dead. Lindstrom says filming the hall of mirrors was particularly challenging.
“It took all day and well into the night, and that the entire stage had been cleared of any sets that weren’t permanent,” he said. “That left the mirrors set, and the nurses’ hub, which never moves. I also remember I had 120 pages to do that day, because it was all me talking to me.”