The Soaps: Tune In Tomorrow

After several years of short-term, lackluster guest stints, rich, charming ladies' man and business mogul Jasper “Jax” Jacks is back on “General Hospital” in a big way. Actor Ingo Rademacher has a new contract, a new storyline and a new leading lady, and it all makes him very happy.

“I came back with the '90s hair, too,” cracks Rademacher, referring to his spikey 'do. “And the full entrance. The full diva entrance. It’s really nice to be back as a regular on the show.”

Rademacher has always been quite fond of his heroic alter ego, noting that he’s “much happier playing the white knight.”

“I get to come in, joke around and be happy,” says Rademacher. “Jax is, to me -- and I’ve only just been able to put it into words now that 'Captain America' came out ... He’s Captain America. He’s all about fairness. If he sees a bully, he will stand up for the person who's being bullied. That’s who he is ... He’s the guy who will always do the right thing.”

And he has the perfect onscreen foil in Maurice Benard’s Sonny, the show’s resident coffee importer/mobster, who occasionally makes people an offer they can’t refuse.

“It’s an interesting relationship that has evolved over 20 years,” notes Rademacher. “They used to just hate each other, and they still hate each other. “But now they’re forced to get along because (Sonny’s) wife and (Jax) share a daughter who (Sonny) has helped to raise, which must be like nails on a chalkboard to Jax.”

It looks like Jax could have another foil in Valentin Cassadine, because as the new part-owner of Aurora Media, he’ll be working closely with Valentin’s fiancee, Nina.

“Jax is attracted to Nina the first time he sees her. To piss off a Cassadine is just a bonus,” chuckles Rademacher. “I have a feeling that he already knew who she was at the Nurses Ball, because he’d been studying Aurora ... He’d done his background (work).”

It’s certainly got the potential for a classic soap triangle, and looks headed in that direction.

“What I think is interesting for the Nina character is that she’s got two totally different guys,” says Rademacher. “She’s engaged to this kind of more mysterious (Valentin). Then you’ve got this jolly, up-front about everything (Jax). He’s very confident as well, but in a different way. It’s nice to be tugged between two completely different men.”

The only story point that surprised Rademacher so far has been tossing his character into the magazine publishing world.

“That’s usually much too small for Jax,” he notes. “He’s more of a Richard Gere in ‘Pretty Woman’ character, a corporate raider. (Someone who takes) corporations apart and sells off the pieces. It’s a big change in lifestyle for him to not just concentrate on the businesses that he was doing before, which were much more global, and actually having an almost 9-to-5 (job). This, I think, is really for his daughter. He’s thinking about the future.”

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