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54 October 31st, 2016 GH’s Maurice Benard Talks Sonny’s Despair, His Co-Stars & The Tragic Death of Morgan Corinthos!

Courtesy/ABC

On General Hospital, the storyline of the death of Sonny (Maurice Benard) and Carly’s (Laura Wright) son, Morgan Corinthos (Bryan Craig) and its aftermath has delivered some of the finest moments, and performances on the ABC daytime drama series in recent memory.  At the epicenter of it all is Daytime Emmy winner, and long-running series star, Maurice Benard.   The set-up has provided Benard with a backdrop to showcase his immeasurable acting chops. Through anger, sorrow, frustration, and painstakingly raw scene after scene, the audience is witness to the emotional downfall of the mighty mobster, who is watching his entire family unit being torn apart at the seams.

In story, Sonny was hell-bent on making his arch-nemesis Julian Jerome (William deVry) pay for his crimes, because the justice system failed to put him behind bars.  After he made the decision to take care of Julian once and for all, Sonny called off the hit after having a crossroads of conscious visiting the church, and talking to former priest, Griffin Munro (Matt Cohen).   But somehow, in a series of dire and life-altering events, Sonny’s son Morgan wound up in Julian’s car, and yes, there was a bomb that exploded anyway that took his son’s life.   When reverberations were felt through Port Charles, Carly left her husband, and moved out on him for killing their son!  Now, Sonny is alone, vulnerable, and grief-stricken; not a good place to be for Sonny who has lived with bipolar disorder most of his adult life, and has experienced serious bouts of depression over the years.

On-Air On-Soaps chatted with Benard about this deeply affecting storyline, and how it has affected him personally, day in and day out, having to go to such a heavy emotional place.  Maurice also reveals more on his final scenes with Bryan Craig, what he has thought of the performances of his cast mates, and his work, what he thinks should be the future of Sonny and Carly, and so much more.  Throughout the years, if you have seen Maurice’s memorable performances, this storyline stands right up there with the best of them, and this just may be his most outstanding work yet in his prolific daytime career.

During our in-depth interview, Benard was candid, funny, self-effacing, and an actor’s actor explaining the material, the intent behind it, and more.  We hope you enjoy this one as much as we did conducting it.  Here’s what Maurice had to say about the latest in the life of Sonny C.

Last week, viewers saw such sorrow-filled performance between yourself and Kimberly McCullough (Robin), when Robin appeared at the bridge that has meant so much to both her and Sonny over the years, because of their past with Stone.   She talks Sonny down from potentially ending his own life via a gun.   What did you think of those scenes?

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MAURICE:   I have actually loved how they have written everything.  That scene in particular was beautiful having Kimberly come back as Robin, and with the history that the two characters have.  I am crying a lot in those scenes.

They are taking Sonny to the depths of despair.  The audience is watching him become swallowed up by his grief.   It’s been heartbreaking.

MAURICE:   It’s funny, some people said, “They are going to do that again?”  But what hasn’t been done on the soaps twenty times over?   It’s not about what you did before … it’s how you’re going to do it this time.  The actors are doing wonderful work.  The only thing we can do is play it to the best of our ability, and I think everyone is striving for that.

It has been exceptional from the writing perspective, too.  They are really breaking it down and taking the viewers on a birds-eye view of the grief and devastation of this family.  While we have seen that before on the soaps and even on GH, this is so well executed!

Cpurtesy/ABC

MAURICE:  People always say, “Sonny has never paid for his lifestyle!”  I think I am acting in this story for all of those people. (Laughs) 

What was your reaction when you found out Bryan Craig made the decision to depart GH?

MAURICE:  You have to understand; Bryan truly on the show was like a son to me.  He wanted to become this solid actor, and I believe he has what it takes.  We became close friends, we worked hard together, and the stuff that he was doing in the storylines at such a young age just blew me away.  Then, when he decided to leave, a big part of me wanted to talk him about of it, but I knew he needed to go.  He can do it.  As a matter of fact, as fans know, he is already shooting a movie, and so he is already out there doing it.  I was sad that he was leaving us, but then they told me they were going to do this story.  I was ready for this story.  If this story had been done six months ago, there was no way in hell I could have done it.

You have been public in the past of noting when sometimes the stories they have asked you to play have brought you to a very dark place.   So, you were in place this time where you felt could handle the emotional wear and tear of performing this kind of material?

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MAURICE:  My place of mind, and my state of mind, was so ready.  People have been coming up to me after the scenes going, “Are you alright when you go home from work?”  I said, “You know something?  I think I have learned from the past.  I am great when I go home.”   When I am on set, it’s a whole different ball game.  But when I am done and get to my dressing room, and get ready to go home, I’m good.

Have you then just been able to shake it off, and go do your thing, when you hang it up for the day as Sonny?

MAURICE:  Yes, 100%.  Many times before it had been an issue, and it was not good for my family, either.

Which were the last scenes you taped with Bryan Craig?   How was your goodbye?

MAURICE:  Morgan comes back from the dead at Halloween, and Sonny goes through a lot of stuff and sorrow.   When they told us this was our last scene, I said to Bryan, “Let’s just make this you and me, man.”  In the scene he is a ghost, in a way.   There was a moment where I was smiling and laughing, and then he was smiling and laughing.  It was just a great way to finish together.

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As someone who deals with bipolar disorder in real life, and who has spoken out on the importance of staying on your meds, what did you think of the story point that had Ava (Maura West) switching the meds on Morgan with placebos?

MAURICE:   A lot of people talk about that, but I guess it’s not cool, but it’s part of the story.  Maura is so great!  She will play it the way she plays it, and we will see how they all get out of this one. (Laughs)   I don’t know how they are going to write that one.   I think when Sonny finds out that will make for a great story, and it ain’t going to be ‘purty!’ (Laughs)  

Of all the scenes you have shot thus far since Sonny has been reeling from Morgan’s death, has there been one that has been the hardest for you to play, or that you questioned if you could pull off?

MAURICE:  It’s a weird situation with this whole thing.  The only scene that I say I was really a little nervous about was the scene I recently shot at Morgan’s funeral, which the audience will see coming up.   It was like I knew I had to do something I had maybe never done.   I did a lot of homework for that.   It was so well written and intense, and it took me to place that I have never been as an actor. 

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During the aforementioned bridge scene, while alone Sonny voices that he wanted to be a better father to Morgan.  Right now, it seems no one is there for Sonny, at all.

MAURICE:   I will be honest with you; in the past there has been these stories with Carly and Jason, and Sonny is left alone, and the town hates him, and the Quartermaines hate him.  I always felt like I was fighting a gang fight with a toothpick.   But somehow this story plays differently, and I don’t feel that way.  As alone as he is, and this is just my opinion, it’s written very sweetly.

What does Sonny think about Nelle Chloe Lanier), who is seemingly worming her way to head of the Cortinhos house? (Laughs) No one in the audience trusts this gal, nor Bobbie! (Jackie Zeman).

MAURICE:   Well, when you’ve got nothing, then anything is better than nothing.  Nelle is there for him so he can talk at, or yell at, or whatever he needs to do.  I like the relationship, because it’s just a little odd, and … I like odd! (Laughs).  It’s a little out of left field, and maybe it’s not the way it’s supposed to be, but Nelle is there and he’s messed up.  If Sonny did not have her there then who does he really have, in a sense?

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What have you thought of your scenes with Laura Wright, and how they are seemingly breaking up Sonny and Carly?  Do you think things would change in their relationship if she were to learn, and if it’s discovered, that Sonny was not the responsible party for planting the bomb in Julian’s car, (since he called off the hit) that led to the explosion that killed Morgan?

MAURICE:  Laura and I have gotten to a place where we trust each other 125%, and she gives 185% when she acts.  We honestly have so much fun now working together.  I respect Laura, tremendously.  But, I do like Carly and Sonny apart, because it puts them into two worlds, and then you try to get them back in the one world.   The writers don’t have to rush that, because I think the nature of both characters is best apart and kind of fighting their attraction and the love.  It’s not that we can’t be together and be in love, but this ‘apart thing’ is kind of cool.

Do you have any issue at all that Sonny has no one right now to really grieve with?

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MAURICE:   I will tell you the truth; I am Ok every so often with Sonny going through it.   I loved the scenes that recently aired with Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis).  She was right on in those scenes.  In the past, the way it had been written was like this: “You’re bad, you’re bad, you’re bad, I hate you, and you’re bad.”   As an actor, I can’t act and play opposite that too much.  That’s not fun for me, but it’s not like that this time.  I feel like this is a true story of two parents losing their son, and what happens.

Every episode of GH since Morgan’s death has featured riveting performance after riveting performance for those involved with this story.  I can’t remember the last time it was cry-a-day episodes of this soap!

MAURICE:  Every actor that I have worked with during this story is treating it like this is real.  I did a scene with Genie Francis (Laura) last week, and man, it was so sad.  I had to get up off the set.  Genie is great!  I could feel her energy and it was such a sad scene. 

Billy Miller (Jason) and you had a scene where Sonny lets Jason have it for not being there for him, and not being the Jason of old.   He even sort of blames Jason for Morgan’s death.  Clearly, Sonny is missing the Jason that was his sidekick, and always there to protect and help him.

Courtesy/ABC

MAURICE:  Look, on paper those scenes look different, but I try to convey what you just said.  I tried to convey Sonny’s pain, and if I could just say to Jason, “Come back to me, man.  I love you.”   I was into those scenes.

Jason is about to get sucked back into Sonny’s world, since Jason is now hell-bent on getting justice for Sonny!

MAURICE:  Well, I would hope so! (Laughs)

William deVry (Julian) and your on-screen rivalry has been fun to watch, and even more so now that Julian’s action have become so deadly, and despicable!  What have you thought of Will’s work, of late?

MAURICE:   I think ever since Julian tried to kill Alexis, he is now Ted Bundy! (Laughs).  He has no emotion.  It’s the greatest!  I was sucked into that story.  I said to William the other day: “You have to embrace your inner dark side.  When you accept and embrace your dark side, I love it.  Don’t try to act sensitive, or anything.”  I said, “I’m in.  I’m right there with you.”   I have loved watching him play that over the last 4 months, or so.   And speaking of other people I like to watch, I love to watch Donnell Turner (Curtis) and Vinessa Antoine (Jordan)  … that’s chemistry, man.   If people don’t see that … then, God help us! (Laughs)

Photo Credit: Steven Bergman

Laura Wright told me even before these recent performances aired: “Maurice is killing it! Wait till you see him.”   It’s been a good year for you, material-wise.  I hope any naysayers out there realize the magnitude of some of your work in this.

MAURICE:   In the past, I would sometime acts for awards, or to get this, or that.  I am doing this now just for my fans that like me and appreciate my work, and the stuff you write that I read, and acknowledge and I feel great about it, and the way others have written about me, too.  On the other hand, there are people who write not so great stuff about me.  That also motivates me.  I’m now doing the work, not for any other reason, but to try and be as great as I can be at my craft.  That’s it.   Now I come in and I know what I need to do.   You don’t act this material, you have to kind of live it, but you don’t bring it home.

OK, let’s talk Daytime Emmys.  While I know the ‘Emmy Gods’ have not been to kind to you in recent years in getting a nomination, you have to go for it this year.

MAURICE:  Sometimes they don’t put me anywhere in the nominations! (Laughs).  I am just glad that response has been so positive, and everyone is just kicking butt!  I love to watch other actors do their thing … Laura … and Nancy, etc.

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Speaking of Nancy Lee Grahn, the Alexis and Sonny relationship is another great one that I hope the writers continue to mine.  Could you see down the line a re-igniting of “Sexis”?

MAURICE:   I don’t know about that one, but I would really want more scenes with Sonny, and Alexis, and a friendship.  There’s history, and Sonny is the father of her child, etc.

Will Sonny feel absolution if he finds out he is not responsible for the bomb that blew up his son?

MAURICE:   I had to think about how I am playing it.  I said to myself, “He is not going to do jumping jacks if he finds out he was not responsible for the bomb.”   His son is still dead!  It’s a good question, because if he finds out he was not responsible, one doesn’t want to play too happy, but Sonny for sure, would want to kill who ever did it!

Morgan’s body was not found, and if they do a recast, would you be OK with the fact they went through all this sorrow and drama, and it turns out in the end Morgan is alive?   Does it nullify everything you and the other performers have accomplished, and given to the audience?

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MAURICE:   I am not into that; I have to be honest.  The show will do what they are going to do, but I have been on the show now almost 24 years, you are not going to find anybody as good as Bryan Craig.  Someone that could play bipolar and the depths of it, and someone you believe is my son.   But let’s say for a minute they did find someone to play Morgan, doesn’t that make what we just did kind of not as important, or impactful?

I think soap opera fans get annoyed when a character is not really dead.  They want to grieve and experience the story right along with the characters.   They don’t want to go on an emotional roller coaster only to have it all nullified.   We have seen that before where the character comes back with a new face and different identify, etc.   Why not just have this character truly dead?

MAURICE:   I am with you on that one.  I would have liked them to have recovered the body.  But that’s my opinion, but I will do my job for whatever they need me to play.  But, I think it kind of takes away from what we have done here.

Do you want Julian and Sonny’s feud to keep going?  Julian has not paid for any of his crimes, either!

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

MAURICE:   Yeah, but so many people say that Sonny had never paid for anything, and that’s fine, too.   I would say to them, “When your son gets shot and gets put in Coma, I think you pay for that.”  But I guess they want Sonny to go to prison and hang! (Laughs)

“Sonny never pays for anything!”  That’s the chant from many in the audience.  However, this man is still the most tortured soul, and he has to carry around that burden day in and day out of the ramifications of his mobster life.

MAURICE:  Hey!   They want me to stab myself, or something?  I can only play what I can play.  I think I have had a few nervous breakdowns, and major anxiety along the way.  (Laughs)  But I get it.  I don’t care whether Julian pays for his crimes.  I like William opposite me as the bad guy, and I haven’t liked many bad guys.

Yes, it seems it has always been Sonny against the new GH mob villain in town! (I.e. Batman vs. the Joker, etc?)

MAURICE:   Right!   But with William deVry as Julian, there’s a certain swarmy quality that I like! (Laughs) 

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What does Sonny really think of his daughter, Kristina’s (Lexi Ainsworth) sexual confusion?

MAURICE:   Sonny was brought up ‘old school’.  So initially he was like, “How do I do this?” But he loves that girl so much that he doesn’t care.  Ultimately, he just wants her to be happy.

Now what about his son, Michael (Chad Duell)?  He is not there for his father in his time of need, and kind of hating on him … again!   What do you think of that one?

MAURICE:  Michael is a little traitor! (Laughs)   He hates Sonny now!   What’s up with that?   I am like: “Enough, dude.”   Yes, he was upset that Sonny shot AJ, but Sonny did go to prison for like … a day.  (Laughs)

Has GH executive producer Frank Valentini said anything to you during this heartbreaking storyline?

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MAURICE:   Frank does, but Frank and I have a great understanding.  I kissed his butt early on when he came to General Hospital, but now without saying anything, we know when it’s working for the show, and for me.  What I love about Frank is that he is always on the set, and he is there for the actors.

Recently, your good friend and former on-screen scene partner, Steve Burton (Dylan McAvoy) made the decision to leave The Young and the Restless.  A show he joined after over two decades on GH as Jason.  What did you think of the news when you heard Steve was making his exit?

MAURICE:    I love Steve.   He is such a talented guy, but knowing Steve he will be doing something else major tomorrow.

Do you miss not having him around when there is a dramatic emotional story for Sonny?

MAURICE:   I miss Steve, because we were like brothers, or maybe I am like an Uncle to him. He may say I was like a “father” to him, and then I would have to say to him, “Shut up, blue eyes!” (Laughs)

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While at Y&R, there was not one interview I did with Steve that you did not come up in conversation, and where Steve did not sing your praises of what he learned from you during his time on GH.

MAURICE:   Steve and Vanessa Marcil (Ex-Brenda) were both like sponges, and so too were Bryan Craig and Tamara Braun (Ex-Carly).  They just took it all in on the set.  When I got here, I just learned on my own.  So when I was in a position to give back, I did.   It was beautiful to watch, trust me.  It’s beautiful to watch when you end scenes, and you are working with a young actor, and you see them slowly growing.  Then all of a sudden, “Boom!  It’s over. They got it!” Then, you are in a scene with them going, “Oh, boy!”  I so remember doing scenes with Steve, Bryan, or Vanessa going, “Oh, man!   That’s just too good.  Now, what do I do?” (Laughs).  It’s great when that happens.

Speaking of Jason, Billy Miller brings a whole different color and dynamic to the character.  What can you say about what this three-time Daytime Emmy winner brings to the table?

MAURICE:  Billy is a great guy, and I am friends with him.  What I love about what he brings as Jason is that I believe his protection of Sonny, and his loyalty to him.  He would take anyone down for Sonny.   As I said, I liked the scenes that aired recently in the office, and the way they were very well written.

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In closing, should GH viewers expect and anticipation more heartache and emotional wallop in the coming weeks for Sonny and the Corinthos clan?

MAURICE:   If what you have seen is a lot, then this week is brutal.  The editing to me is great, the music, the lighting, the directing, producing, and the performances throughout this entire story.  More to come!

So, what have you thought of Maurice Benard’s performances in the aftermath of Morgan’s death?  What do you think will happen next for Sonny and Carly … will they work at getting back together, or is this the end of CarSon?

Do you hope that Jason finds out who planted the bomb in Julian’s car, so Sonny is not sent to jail for a crime he may not have committed?  What has been your favorite scene thus far in this storyline featuring Sonny and the Corinthos clan? Comment below!

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  1. Jimh(leave it to beaver) says:

    It would had been nice had they written some scenes like this for Laura grieving for Nik and Monica the same for AJ….Maurice is doing a great job as Sonny…GH has improved somewhat for the better…still room for more improvement!!!

    Reply

    nancy dillingham replied

    More Genie–I agree!

    Reply

  2. JK says:

    EXCELLENT INTERVIEW WITH A MARVELOUS ACTOR…ENJOYING HIS PERFORMANCES EVERY DAY!!! SO MANY GREAT ACTORS and ACTRESSES ON THIS SOAP….

    Reply

  3. Dancer says:

    Great interview n its inspiring to know that Mo reached out to so many young actors n helped them to b on their way. Kudos to you. He certainly deserves an Emmy n they better air it on tv not like last year. So much talent on that show past n present

    Reply

  4. Frances Lovelace says:

    Great article. Love Maurice. Got me hooked again on GH after away over 20 years! The scenes with Morgan at Halloween are great. Very good article!

    Reply

  5. Carlee says:

    Can this guy’s ego get any bigger? Its amazing that the one character actor at the center of this show for the last 20 years and has been its biggest downfall is so full of himself. Dude there is a reason why people are sick of Sonny and him getting away with murder and being a loser mobster. Its a major reason why your show is #3 our of 4 soaps in the ratings. Enough with this character already. Who will never be on the levels of Luke, Laura, Robert and any other character from those hey days that put this show on the map. The character of Sonny and the mob worship, took this show off the map.

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    marie replied

    you realize this is fake.. I takes a lot of work for the actors to act this stuff out. Stop being so negative

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    MissySnow replied

    I completely understand the ego, because some actors will only have daytime to crow about while others are able to move on to primetime, movies, and theatre work.

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    Violet V Lemm replied

    I think only having daytime to crow about as you put it, is SOMETHING to crow about. I have heard that daytime tv is the hardest to do and day after day, week after week, etc. these people must be worn very thin. They do a wonderful job, despite the sometimes not so wonderful writing. It is our loss when they leave us for night time, or?
    I love Maurice, he is amazing and also like Billy Miller, who I was so sad to see leave Y&R and now we are losing Steve Burton. Tell me, is it something we said?

    Dan replied

    What interview did you read? I didn’t read an interview with a guy that is full of himself. I read an interview with a guy that is grateful and humble, and couldn’t put over the work of his co-stars enough. Even when Michael mentioned the Emmys, he shifted the conversation off of himself and back to how much he loves watching the work of others. That is the exact opposite of ego.

    I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Maurice at fan events in the past, and he couldn’t have been any nicer, more genuine, more accommodating and appreciative of the fans. The exact opposite of the words you use here like ego and full of himself.

    Reply

    Ces replied

    I’m with you Dan! I didn’t see any ego in this interview whatsoever. Not sure what they were reading??

    Celia replied

    I do not like Sonny and what his character represents. But, I see the allure. Maurice delivers …..his performance(s) communicates what the character is about impeccably ( well, except for the occasional stuttering, LOL).

    I wonder if Sonny’s path will cross with Valentin’s; now that he seems to be taking up permanent residence in PC. TPTB must go there.
    So many developments are going on in my head right now……such as : when Nina finds out Valentin is searching for his daughter, Charlotte, those wheels in Nina’s head will come to a fruitful and compelling halt. She will marry him to get to Charlotte.

    Brooke replied

    what in the world are you talking about? sounds like you are looking for a reason to bash Mo

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    Brooke replied

    newsflash Sonny is popular. you know why the show is #3 in ratings when you have people like Ava, Franco, Nina around in our faces. Sonny is a fan favorite. the mob was on GH before Mo was on GH.

    Jill Marie replied

    Brooke, the mob was on before Sonny. You’re right on that point.
    However, the show did NOT feature the likes of Frank Smith and Joe Scully as being good and sympathetic protagonists. They were bad guys presenting conflict to the good guys.
    The day GH decided under head writer Bob Guza to allow Sonny to be a hero is the day they opened the door for other bad people to come in and commit murders and other heinous crimes and never suffer the consequences of their actions under the law. I do think Sonny presented a domino effect on GH and that is why the ratings have floundered.

    Patrick replied

    Thank you Carlee for speaking your mind… I detest the characters of Sonny and Carly

    i’m just done with them… neither of them are relatable characters. neither of them are sought out for likeable… worth something… worth my time in investing in GH.

    it’s got to be something trying to sell hogwash, excrement, flights of fantasy

    I love how… all posts continually bring up the vast talent and the huge cast… GH is so much more than the Sonny and Carly show. HINT HINT HINT… Frank Valentini and jean n Shelley

    change and direction… is what you three are about

    this should be really interesting… from here on out… where Frank Jean and Shelley decide to take this show

    especially on what they do with Billy Miller.

    lets see how their minds work

    Reply

    Denise replied

    Well said, I agree 100%! The ratings are down the toilet ever since he convinced tptb to focus the show on him and have everyone in PC kiss his ass. Alexis doesn’t need his kind of friendship. What kind of friend comes to your home assaults your husband and and trashes your home. He only likes Alexis when she’s on his side. That’s not friendship. Besides why would you be friends with someone who was responsible for your sisters death. Alexis true friend is Jax.

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    Lucy D. replied

    agree 100%. Alexis needs Jax now. And that is exactly why the ratings started tanking (also due to Tony G’s unbearable exit story)

    AJ replied

    Maurice does not run GH he is just an actor. If you want to thank someone for the Corinthos family being front and center look at that producer, and writers. Really how much power do you people think he really has? Your right he shouldn’t have been upset at Alexis for covering for her murdering husband who by the way tried to kill her later on. If you ask me Alexis doesn’t deserve Sonny’s loyalty. Julian is a coward who was willing to have his wife go to prison for something he did. Sonny was faced with a similar situation last year and he went to prison for Carly he didn’t hide behind her.

    Jamesj75 replied

    Excellent post, Carlee! I’ve been fighting this fight for 20+ years. But it’s obvious that the actors who play Sonny and Carly are favorites of Mr. Fairman, as one or both of them is featured here twice a week it seems… It’s all so tiresome.

    Reply

    jaybird369 replied

    James…of course, I agree with what you’re saying here. I mean…TIRESOME IS RIGHT!!!!! Yet…to me, ‘tiresome’ is an UNDERSTATEMENT!!!!! Y-E-P!!!!!!

    Have a good one, Brother.

    Jessica replied

    Wow, people have to be so critical, its a friggin soap and I happen to think the actor who plays Sonny is terrific. Don’t know why people keep watching if all they do is bitch about either the acting or the writing, its simple just change the dam channel.

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    AJ replied

    Some viewers will always find something to dislike about an actor. Maurice was not full of himself at all during this interview. He praised many of his fellow GH cast. I feel bad for Maurice if he reads some of your comments, some viewers like to bash the man for no reason. The last couple of weeks he has been doing an amazing job and deserves more respect than what is given to him. Maurice is not Sonny, and the only reason Sonny gets away with so much and is still cared about by fans is because of the emotion Maurice brings to the character. I hope he stays on GH for much longer.

    Reply

  6. Robin says:

    His acting is so great, and this week is going to be great. Last week was great. I do think down the road that Carly and Sonny will be together again. Jason will get to the bottom of the tragedy that took Morgan’s life.

    Great work by all of the cast by the way! I am loving watching every day and not getting bored.

    Reply

  7. su0000 says:

    I will describe the story—
    Depression, despair, hopelessness, gloom,/glumness, sadness, unhappiness, grief, sorrow, woe, misery, melancholy and written for masochist personalities .

    The acting is, as always, top-notch.

    I have need to FF so not to bring the constant overkill of misery into my life.

    I FF stop and listen for 5 seconds then FF until the scene changes, it is tiring FF the agony, suffering, hurt and anguish, Not to mention the guilt, shame, regret, remorse, sigh and sigh again.

    ((i had need to let it roll lol))

    Reply

    Celia replied

    Hmmmmmm! Sort of very familiar litany of words, su. Doth thou, mayhap, mock me ?
    Sonny a masochist? I don’t think so.
    I prefer its antonym = sadist….as in, Le Marquis de Sade. Great read.

    I do get the FF through Sonny, though.
    I appreciated the first couple of scenes where he mourns his son. But, I cannot deal with the hallucinations. Terrible analogy of Dickens’ SCROOGE, as he faces his demons…..or Joyce’s MICHAEL FUREY.
    It is impossible for me to watch or envision a mobster be brought to his knees when there is still violence vibrating through his every nerve, muscle and sinew.
    Nonetheless, be that as it may; I will still acknowledge the talent that is Maurice Bernard.

    Reply

  8. Marzy Dotes says:

    Interesting interview. Unfortunately I can see why MB might want WDV to play only the dark side of Julian and show no emotion. That makes him the perfect villain that Sonny can be the “good” guy and vanquish. I like Julian to be as multifaceted as I’m sure MB would want Sonny to be. Have a dark side, but be sensitive as well. I guess I just don’t see him as only having the purpose on canvas of being Sonny’s enemy. Like any other character he’s got other ties. A woman he adored until he was rewritten overnight to want to kill her and a family he fought hard for since he came back to town that overnight were written almost as an afterthought to him. I think all the characters should have more than one side to them, have rich inner lives and ties on canvas that help provide motivations for them. And yes that even includes characters that are pitted as villainous adversaries to the “heroic” Sonny. I’m actually more interested in what happens with Julian next and why he acted the way he did the past few months. I love seeing WDV and NLG in their scenes iwth so much chemistry and emotional intensity. For me they’re a highlight. I look forward to seeing more examination of family ties for both Julian and also Alexis now that her half brother is in town. Characters that are mainly set up to be adversaries for Sonny seem too limited in what they’re allowed to be. Saw that with Lorenzo Alcazar and Johnny Z. who were both of greater interest to me than Sonny. Problem with Sonny is that all this emotional angst and guilt over Sonny potentially doing something that could get his son killed, it’s all just going to wind up with Sonny being framed by someone else who actually planted the bomb. The show seemed too reluctant to really go there with Sonny and actually have him willfully plan to take out another mobster AND have it actually lead to his son’s death. Much more richer story in my opinion but more risky for the character. So I watch what plays out onscreen but I know in a month or two, everyone will be apologizing to Sonny for actually believing he was capable (and he is very much so) of killing his own child. Julian they have him do bad things with terrible consequences but he’s never “framed” for doing anything. The several years he actually showed a lot of amazing growth as a character to the point of being rootable for choosing his family over the mob, that was changed to him going back to the mob and simply being a more psychotic version of Sonny’s mobster enemy.

    Reply

    Lucy D. replied

    I agree. It’s all about poor Sonny. So misunderstood. I root for Julian every day because they made him bad (and unemotional) so Sonny can be the “good” mobster.

    And if this is SO GOOD, why do the ratings continue to stink? GH needs to get a clue.

    Reply

    Alan replied

    I think GH is fresh out of clues based on the writing over the last year…

  9. elm1951 says:

    i have been a fan of maurice since he was on all mt children – i totally agree with what he said about recasting morgan – i mean the way he & the other actors/actresses involved are really knocking this storyline out of the park and morgan came back later on it would just nullify what they have done – i love the way maurice compliments his felloe co-workers on gh………………………………..

    this was such an awesome interview

    Reply

  10. Toni I says:

    What a tremendous interview. I really love and enjoy watching Maurice Benard perform. He has great talent and brings the character of Sonny Corinthos alive. He has made daytime drama well worth watching. I ageee with Maurice, a recast of Morgan would serve to negate the pain and despair we are witnessing and feeling along with each character. I am saddened by the loss of the character Morgan and wish Bryan Craig much success. For all the haters who say Sonny never pays, I hope this dramatic storyline will final put that to rest. Thank you Maurice Benard for all your wonderful work as an actor and for all you do for for those who suffer with Bipolar Disorder .

    Reply

  11. MissySnow says:

    Unless Morgan stays dead, what is the point of mob death #99?

    Reply

  12. uliis says:

    Mr. Fairman, yesterday;s episode featured Kristina solidly in Sonny’s corner, so this “Sonny is all alone” stuff simply isn’t true.

    Reply

  13. Rebecca1 says:

    I found a few things interesting…first…I was a little taken aback when Maurice said he sometimes plays a scene for an award or some other gain. I was very surprised. That would be the last thing on my mind if I was in character and reaching into myself to feel the moment. I understand on the one hand he does/did feel that so much at other times that he couldn’t shake off the negative emotion when he was home. On the other hand he said this…contradictory.

    I do agree that it would be nice to see Alexis and Sonny in more scenes together; their flirtation back in the day was great and their trading barbs and quick repartee with each other as friends, lawyer/client was also enjpyable. I DON’T like how he turned on her when she took Julian’s side. He was cold and threatened her life. He also threatened Carly’s life when she shot Olivia. The writers can’t keep having him threatening the women he loves in one breath and then turn around and have them friends and/or lovers again. I also don’t like how he talks behind Alexis’s back with Carly…then they’re friends again. There’s got to be genuine feelings…consistency. If Carly puts Alexis down, I’d like him to defend her. Hypocrisy isn’t attractive.

    As for Morgan being alive down the road…it’s a soap and I personally love when a favorite character returns; that’s part of the fun of soaps for me. I can cry during the bad times and be thrilled when a character I miss comes back. Doesn’t negate the emotions I feel when the story’s playing out.

    Finally, we do realize that many of the actors read these boards and other sites, Twitter, etc. You need to have a strong sense of self to get past the barrage of criticism and still feel enthusiasm for your character when many people are negative. Luckily, with millions of fans there’s a balance between those who will love your character and those who abhor the same. Interesting that Maurice reads and knows the amount of criticism his character gets but doesn’t let it effect him and goes with the flow. I do agree with him that though Sonny hasn’t paid in jail time…he’s paid emotionally many times. And I feel that I’d rather keep him, Julian, Ava…Paul… on the show and have them pay in ways that still keep them ON the show. Sonny is paying with his current loss/grief/guilt…Julian lost everyone he loved, Ava lost a lot too and has remorse-guilt..

    What I STIlL can’t get past was the stupidity of killing off AJ, not trying harder to work things out with Sean Kanan and Michael forgiving Sonny. Having Michael and AJ FINALlY have a relationship after 20-something years, having Michael finally hear AJ’s side of things, realize AJ loved him and didn’t abandon him…all the father/son years that they had to make up for…and then killing him off and Michael returning to and forgiving Sonny…THAT was more of a waste of invested emotion in characters and story than to have Sonny and Carly grieve and Morgan return.

    I agree with Maurice. Bryan Craig is going to be a hard act to follow. Kudos Maurice. You’re playing this story with maximum emotional impact!

    Reply

    Jill Marie replied

    What a nicely written post. You said it all for me. Thank you.

    Reply

    Rebecca1 replied

    Thank you Jill Marie.

    k/kay replied

    Stop with it ok AJ was dead years ago Ron should have bpnerpver brought him back ! Dead is dead

    Reply

    k/kay replied

    Lordy never brought him back

    Rebecca1 replied

    K/Kay…LOL…this is going to be a tad redundant but you’ve been on this site long enough to know that we are all entitled to our opinion and to express that opinion. To say, “stop with it okay”…blah, blah, blah…doesn’t sit well with me. So…”stop” with that attitude.

    Addison replied

    Kay can be a bit cantankerous at times.

    Rebecca1 replied

    @Addison. Agree. LOL…cantankerous. Great word…I’d say that should be the new word here for disgruntled replies/posters but it was the virgin (first time) appearance of the word on this site that made it so amusing!

    AJ replied

    Your absolutely right K/Kay, bringing AJ back was a complete waste of time. Then now having Michael praise him as if he was a good guy who did no wrong is disgusting. I know Sonny has done a lot of bad, but what I can’t stand with some viewers is how are they always able to call Sonny out but then someone like AJ gets a pass. The writers should of had AJ own up to his mess just like everyone wants Sonny to. I have said several times that although I’m not always a Sonny fan, I am a Maurice Benard fan. There is no doubt that he is extremely talented.

  14. Ces says:

    Great interview and questions Michael!
    I agree with Maurice, I prefer Sonny & Carly apart vs together. Together, they act as if their you-know-what don’t stink! Apart … The tension, love, sparks & animosity is more powerful to watch and I’m sure play!
    Also, I totally agree that GH should NOT recast Morgan! Not because I don’t think anyone could play him, but because all this great acting would be for nothing. Leave this one dead, please GH!
    Finally, major props to Maurice for his outstanding work! He & LW do this stuff great!!

    Reply

  15. Sarah says:

    Thanks Michael for this interview!!! Great questions n honest answers from Maurice!!! The cast is doing an amazing job w this storyline & I see many Emmy reels from it!!! I’m a CarSon fan so I have faith that things will work out as they r never over n always end up stronger together!!!
    As for some of the readers leaving comments/tweets I find it funny how some only see what they want, twist what is said n read something more into his answers.

    Reply

  16. cooks7570 says:

    Too bad A.J and Nikolas didn’t get this much mourning when they died. I still don’t care about Sonny and Carly pain.

    Reply

  17. Patrick says:

    GH / ABC / Disney : Dahlia Salem is thee woman for Sonny

    neither Dahlia or Maurice have to do much acting…. the easy going natural comaradarie they share on screen… emanated relationship… that’s huge… especially for all of Sonny’ fans

    good god.. couldn’t we all use the quiet

    the mere fact that MB is okay with Carly and Sonny being apart… is HUGE and instrumental in healing the show…

    WE NEED THE REST…

    all their kids have been featured in story line(s)

    now… it’s as if .. Instant Nelle… is being propped as a go between… ie: the ingénue and upstart… is being thrown to the wolves… how could she possible come out of this unscathed

    I’ve posted and I am at wits end… on just what Laura Wright Carly is ? thank god she has mother Bobbi…

    Sarah Browne had ALL the FUN.
    Tamara Braun… just as lauded… and perhaps not quite the impact of SB or LW.

    nevertheless… Carly has been playing MOMMA BEAR… in overkill… for so long now

    as I’ve said… no one will ever seek her out … why ?

    anyway… I agree these two need a long respite … new direction(s)

    Rick Lansing and Dahila Salem… are viable prospect

    Reply

  18. k/kay says:

    Still say and always will his chemistry with Tamara was off the charts never have felt that with Lw not that I don’t think she at most times is a fine actress never have seen the chemistry as for Sonny paying he is in the mob they never pay . But please let this kid be dead ok

    Reply

  19. Geri says:

    Appreciated the interview and all MB expressed. I think this is the top story line ever. Brian Craig was so-
    So Good as Morgan that I can feel the family’s loss as they confront this tragedy. Just heart wrenching loss for Sonny and Carly. Sad to say BC cannot be replaced. I hope S and C can just find their way back to each other quietly and soon, without making a drawn out storyline about it. How about just forgiveness and the love they have expressed over the years kicking in. I have watched GH for most of the years since 1965! I appreciate the actors’ work as they lead the audience through all the emotions. We all know it is a story! And by the way, where would the story be if Sonny was serving a long long prison term!

    Reply

  20. cynthia morris says:

    I have been living with the same illness for years I take my meds. I love the way you p!ay Sonny thank you for going forward . It helps me get through hard days.

    Reply

  21. nancy dillingham says:

    Can’t wait to see the scene with Genie Francis that Maurice said was “so sad.” And I like it that he said, “Genie is so great!” Don’t we know it? Wouldn’t we like to see more great scene with her–and anyone else?
    Come on, writers! Maurice (and others) noice how great Genie is. Why don’t TPTB?

    Reply

  22. nancy dillingham says:

    And another thing–Maurice knows and recognizes talent in his fellow actors (as he does with Genie) and also with Kimberly.

    Reply

  23. Sandy says:

    Nice and candid interview. I’m a CarSon fan and looking forward to the couple eventually reuniting, The Corinthos family is what most interests me on GH. I do hope down the road Morgan is recast. I will miss BC as Morgan tho.

    Reply

  24. Patrick says:

    1. the one and only time… I’ve seen Sonny unleash
    was his brawl with Scotty… it was spot on / in your face / rip roaring good

    2. the one other time I thought Sonny had a sensitive moment… was with Alexis @ the Haunted Star. not over the top just an adult conversation… feeling the hurt. I agree with MB – DO NOT GO THEIR… alexis and Sonny are not a couple.

    3. Morgan was the best part of the Corinthos’ – this is a huge gaping whole. I believe that Bryan Craig and Maurice Benard had a relationship. I appreciate that… for BC.

    4. when Anthony Geary left; it seems like Maurice Benard was then knighted or kinged He Man. can we read between the lines; “I kissed his butt early on when he came to General Hospital, but now without saying anything, ” etc. etc.

    the ebb and flow of this storyline will subside… waning interest will once again mean Sonny and Carly are … what? relative to this shows core… the audience is held captive

    how can 2 characters… have no ties to any one on the canvas and remain viable? of course they have kids; Michael , Josslyn, Kristina, Avery. that’s not a show makes.

    every one else on the cast works for them… ignore them… show no interest in either/or

    how is it that GH / ABC / Disney see these two doing any thing more.

    Reply

    Patrick replied

    PS: I will be anticipating MB take @Morgan funeral.

    MAURICE:  It’s a weird situation with this whole thing.  The only scene that I say I was really a little nervous about was the scene I recently shot at Morgan’s funeral, which the audience will see coming up.   It was like I knew I had to do something I had maybe never done. 

    Reply

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