Four-time Emmy Award winner Jonathan Jackson quit beloved U.S. TV soap General Hospital after he was left feeling "physically and emotionally" exhausted by his heavy workload.
The actor stunned fans earlier this month (Nov11) after announcing plans to leave the long-running daytime drama after playing Lucky Spencer on and off since he was 10.
Now Jackson has opened up about his decision to give up his role, admitting his intense filming schedule became too much to bear.
He tells TV Guide Magazine, "The storylines don't stay with me in the sense that I feel personally tormented by what my character is going through, but it does take its toll on me physically and emotionally. It's a real energy zapper and there are days when I feel like I have nothing left to give
"In this medium, where you're dealing with a pretty insane amount of dialogue, day in, day out, the collision of a heavy workload and increasing exhaustion can make you a little crazy. I love to work hard but I've been at maximum capacity in terms of mental and emotional output for months on end and it has become too difficult."
"I am extremely thankful that they wanted to give me all those storylines with so much depth, but there's just no balance. Usually, you might get one or maybe two really good and intense story arcs per year. There's usually a cycle to this stuff on soaps. But this has been nonstop. There was just no reprieve.
"I have a wife and three kids and other things in life I have to think about. I just knew I couldn't sustain the schedule at GH and that kind of emotion for much longer."
Jackson, whose character has fought drug addiction and lost a child in recent months, will make his final appearances on the series in late December (11).