In some ways, Briana Nicole Henry was born to play GENERAL HOSPITAL’s Jordan. “My mom always says I was bossy from the time I came out,” the actress cracked to Soaps In Depth. “I definitely do enjoy leadership roles, and Jordan’s at the top of her game. She’s the boss and she has her hands in all the mess, which is something I can relate to.” The GH newcomer can also relate to her character’s heart of gold. “Jordan’s a powerhouse, but her motivation for this job has less to do with power and more to do with actually wanting to protect [Port Charles] and make a difference in people’s lives,” she maintained. “And I try to move through the world in a similar way and do what’s right by other people and by myself.”
While Henry immediately clicked with her character, the procedural element of Jordan’s job was a hurdle. “When you’re rattling off a victim’s case and the number of bullet wounds, it’s challenging,” she admitted. But she found support in a friend she’d made during her stint as a model on THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS. That show’s former Chloe, “Lizzy Hendrickson (Margaux) was my first scene partner at GH and she was a huge comfort. I told her I’d never done procedural stuff before, and she was like, ‘Girl, me, neither! It is hard. You will get it. Just know you are not alone.’ That upped my confidence, for sure.”
Then, after a few weeks of casework, GH took off the training wheels and thrust Henry into the rest of Jordan’s world. “I went from working a few days a week to four or five days a week, with 65 pages of dialogue,” she recalled. “I was getting hit pretty hard! But it’s amazing how quickly we’re able to adapt. I feel like I’m getting into a rhythm. I’m able to pick up dialogue quicker and understand the storylines. We have some serious vets on the show, and I’m like a sponge. I just want to gain as much knowledge and experience as I can from these amazing actors!” One of those amazing actors is on-screen hubby Donnell Turner. “He’s just so kind,” Henry raves. “One day, I was having a rough day with dialogue, and every time I messed up, Donnell was like, ‘You got it. We’re good.’ He’s very reassuring.”
As we head into a new year, Henry is starting to feel at home in the role created by Vinessa Antoine — and that took some time! “Talk about pressure, right?” she says. “Vinessa has a beautiful element of being a mature, strong woman, and I hoped I’d be able to bring that same energy to the role. I was nervous. These are big shoes to fill! But it was inspiring more than anything else.”
Even as Henry dug in, she understood it would take fans time to warm to her. “It’s hard to fall in love with a new person in a role you’ve already fallen in love with,” she concedes. “And the response has been mixed. I’ve been getting a lot of love, and Donnell has stood up for me a couple times. “But most of the criticism has been, if anything, kind of funny,” she adds. “A couple people have said, ‘She’s huge! She’s so big next to everyone.’ I’m 5’7”. They put me in heels. If that’s what you guys are complaining about… I feel pretty good about it!”
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