It was a whirlwind weekend at the recent first annual GH convention. While cast members from the long-running ABC daytime drama series took to the stage and participated in fun and entertaining panels, On-Air On-Soaps caught up with some backstage.
GH’s Maurice Benard (Sonny Corinthos) has been front and center and a standout in Port Charles for almost two and half decades. This past year, he gave us all the emotions and drama as Sonny grieved the loss of his son, Morgan, while dealing with the fallout to his marriage, a duplicitous young woman setting him up, and trying to move on with is life following the most tragic event that could happen to a parent’s child.
In our conversation, Benard teased the imminent return of Ingo Rademacher, talked on his powerhouse Emmy reel (which since this conversation shockingly did not earn him a Lead Actor nomination) and he reflected on his battle with anxiety and bipolar disorder, something Maurice has shed a light on, and been an advocate for people who struggle with mental illness.
Here are a few thoughts from Maurice below.
Ingo Rademacher (Jax) is returning to GH for some upcoming major scenes. What was it like having Ingo back to work with once again? Sonny and Jax are certainly longtime adversaries.
MAURICE: I like Ingo. The reason I like Ingo, is I believe he would come after me and he would try to kick my ass.
You had a wonderful past year in story on GH, and a memorable Emmy reel of your work.
MAURICE: Let me put it this way. I’m never happy with the Emmy reel. There is always a scene in there that kind of kills the way I feel about it. This was probably the first time since I won back in 2002, that I didn’t talk to people about it, because I didn’t doubt it. Usually when I have the Emmy reel put together, I would go ask people, “Do you think it’s good? What do you think?” (Laughs) I will tell you for me what really made the reel, and that was the Kristina (Lexi Ainsworth) scenes and I looked it at those and I put those in the front.
The death of Morgan Corinthos provided you and the GH cast with some very complex emotional material to play, would you say that story is right up there with the best you have ever told, or been a part of in your over 23 years on the soap?
MAURICE: What I have done this past year, and I have done a lot, I think this story was the one I was most proud of in terms of the work I put in. Everybody was great, and so when everybody is great, it adds to it. You know you have to be great. Everybody was on it, and so it made me say to myself, “I can now go with this where I want to take it.” I didn’t want to push anything, but just let it happen. That is the thing that I have learned in regards to my acting is that now, I just let it happen, as opposed to “acting” for whatever. I just do it! It’s in the moment and we do it. Before I put a lot of pressure on it and I wanted it to be better than this.
I think you know now you don’t have to prove yourself!
MAURICE: I guess, but sometimes it takes awhile to learn this. You have to just be, and be happy with where you are. For me, the anxiety attacks I had earlier in the year were drastic, but I said to myself I can’t do that anymore. Something had to change, and now it’s been great.
So, are you looking forward to some upcoming Jax/Sonny scenes? What did you think of Maurice not receiving a Daytime Emmy nod for his work? Was his performance in the death of Morgan Corinthos storyline some of your favorite work of Benard’s over the years on GH? Comment below!