News - Soap Buzz

23 September 1st, 2012 GH’s Maurice Benard to Star In New Film, “The Ghost And The Whale”!

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

After two decades of playing loveable mobster, Sonny Corinthos on General Hospital, Daytime Emmy winner,  Maurice Benard is getting a wonderful opportunity to star in a feature film role, something that the actor has been eager to do! The film is titled The Ghost And The Whale and will be shot this January! And, according to ABC Soaps In Depth,  here is what we know about the upcoming feature:  “The story is about a man who goes through a spiritual journey after his wife dies mysteriously at sea and he’s accused of her murder.”

Executive Producing the film is Benard’s wife, Paula Benard, and the Gaudioso Twins, known for their work in Duke and the Medium.   In fact, Anthony Gaudioso said of Benard, “I believe in Maurice Benard and am intrigued by him.  It will be exciting to see what this fantastic veteran brings to the character.”

Maurice admitted it is difficult to find work and break out of the soap world for he and many of his colleagues:  “We all know it’s tough, especially when you’ve been on a soap for as long as I have.  In terms of trying to break out, nobody really cares about soaps. Within the soap world, it’s the greatest job in the world.  But for me, it will be tough unless somebody gives me that break. I believe that this film is that break.”

So soapers, that brings us to the age old question, why can’t soap stars get a break outside of the genre?  Identifiable for one role and that is all casting directors and execs think they can play?  Or, is it still the poor step-child of the industry syndrome?  Whatever the case, we are happy for Maurice, who has the acting chops to chew the scenery with any material he is given!

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  1. rebecca says:

    don’t know if I necessarily agree with Benard. many great actors had their start in the soaps and went on to successful careers in the film industry as well as in prime time…and several film actors conversely wanted to and have appeared on soaps. I think it depends on how the actor markets himself, his agent, etc. Another factor might be how many hours/days he/she is required to be on set for the soap. there are those who seem to juggle their schedule a bit more…or take time off to do other things. with all this said, I’m not in the industry….but it’s the way it appears to me.

    Reply

    WiseMocha replied

    What you said is true for soap actors who move on after a couple years, but for those who play the same character for decades, it’s does seem difficult for them to move outside the industry.

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    Jan replied

    Yes it is , movie people just dont take soap actors seriously enough .
    It’s a branding but he must try.

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    Charlotte replied

    Well it is true and not true and these last years it is less and less true actually.
    Also the fact that most of the time movie industry don’t watch these soaps and therefore don’t know these soap actors can be an advantage because it is the point: they don’t know them and their ‘iconic’ roles and their soaps and can be able to see them fit the role for their movies and not typecasting them because they saw them for years in a particularly role. And yep it depends of the actor connections, how he/her markets him/herself, his/her agent, publicist and being here at the right place at the right moment..daytime soap opera is a medium a bit ignored but still lot’s of soap actors know prime time directors, actors, producers so they can do it if they work for it..but yep the soap schedule is also a major obstacle..but more and more recently soap actors are able to break out to prime time, same thing for prime time actors who become more and more movie stars now.

  2. Cathi says:

    So happy for Maurice glad to see work coming his way. With the hard work that daytime actors do you would think nighttime & film would welcome people that know their lines and are reliable. Very rarely hear about temper tantums in daytime. I watch Castle & NCIS partly because daytime is working at night and they are well done shows.

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    Charlotte replied

    Michael Weatherly star of NCIS is an ex-soap actor (by the way, his ex and mother of his childs the woman playing Victoria right now on Y&R) ;Hollywood is a little world, many prime time (and even film actors now) actors come from daytime soaps.

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    Ramona replied

    I’m seeing more & more big screen stars coming to television, (steady work) & vise versa. I think it is unfair that most soap stars get stereotyped in their work because they actually work steady hours and most likely have more actual time put into acting than big screen actors that do movies. Seems like newcomers get a better chance at getting a part on the big screen than soap stars, who have a lot more acting experience; so unfair. Why not give soap stars a big screen…So glad to see Maurice Bernard get his opportunity on the big screen. I’ve been watching him since he started on General Hospital I guess it depends on who you know in the industry.

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  3. shana says:

    I am totally thrilled for Maurice! I think him being a main player on a Soap for so long has made the jump difficult for him!

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  4. kay/kay says:

    Tony Geary once said if you stay in a daytime role too long it does identify you their are a lot of great actors in the film industry that came from soaps, that is why Geary back in 1999 told Johnathan Jackson if you do want to go on to films don’t stay to long. Hope it works out for Maurice Benard .

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    Sam replied

    For Geary it is a bit different i think, he is known outside of soaps for being a soap star with his fame from Luke and Laura..but long time soap actors can do it, it is maybe a bit hard but they can do it..Susan Lucci is now working on a prime time show created by Desperate Housewives creator and actually her big fame as a soap royalty known outside of soaps helped her in her case and she knows the right people and knows how to market herself, Deidre Hall had a sitcom for two years before she came back on Days so it is not impossible even for longtime soap actors, Ali Sweeney is the host of a prime time tv show for years now while still playing Sami on Days and soon she will be on a tv movie, Jonathan Jackson came back on GH recently and still he just left and has now booked a major part on a new prime time tv show who gets lot’s of buzz. And yep majority of prime time, movie actors who start on soaps doesn’t last long on these soaps in order to breat out but for long time soap actors it is not impossible, another example Thorsten Kaye is now playing on a prime time show with Angelica Huston and he is not a young actor..so everything seems possible, not easy but not impossible. Another example Trevor St John just did a movie last year who got lot’s of praise in indy festivals ect..

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    Ramona replied

    I agree with you. However, I wonder what Anthony Geary is working on when he leaves GH intermittently. Susan Lucci has done numerous television movies. Jonathan Jackson has done several movies (a couple on the big screen) and on the vice versa many actors have come from big screen to television and of course many have left daytime soaps to do movies & night time soaps & series.

  5. Shirley Miller says:

    I am soooo very happy for Maurice Benard – he is such a talented actor and deserves a try at a show outside the soap genre. I wish him and all connected with this film – The Ghost and The Whale – the best of luck!!! Maurice’s dimples don’t hurt his chances either!!!!! LOL!!!!!

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  6. carol wilson says:

    I think it is great and i agree with a post made before. You thik that soap stars would be in high demand. They have to learn a lot of scripts and do it fast so i think they would be the ideal people to go to for movies. Im glad for MB i love him on GH. Good luck to him and the project.

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  7. liz says:

    Good news for MB! I’m not sure why it’s so hard for some of the hardest working, most talented actors to get jobs outside of daytime. It should be the opposite because they know how to bring it home under time and budget constraints that should make them desirable to any movie producer. They may be too closely identified with their soap star roles. I’m just very grateful that I can still watch GH and hope to see OLTL & MC back in some form some day. Kudos to you, Maurice!

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  8. Mary Fergen says:

    It has always been a shame that there seems to be a stigma with actors whose resume is as a soap actor. Nowhere else in the entertainment field will you find a job that is more difficult than working on a soap. They work such long hours and are required to remember miles of dialogue every day. Most other so-called actors would never be able to handle it!

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  9. Joan Faist says:

    I would put Soap actors up against any big name stars anytime. You don’t get any better than Maurice Bernard, Steve Burton, Roger Howarth, Deidre Hall or numerous other daytime stars. When they can keep an audience interested for years What more do you want. You can keep your Brad Pitt’s, Tom Cruise’s, Angelina Jolie’s I will take Steve Burton’s stares. He says more dialogue with his eyes than most actors say in an entire movie. Long live our beloved daytime STARS.

    Reply

    Sam replied

    Well i am not sure about Steve Burton..to me he is quite lifeless on-screen whereas Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie have real charisma..and to be a movie star you has to have charisma but Steve tried years before and he did a movie who was quite high profile and soon he will work with James Franco (who also has real charisma which explained his success for a big part) on a new project so you never know..But Roger Howarth i agree with you he has the ‘it’ on-screen, the charisma so i don’t get he did not become more successful in other mediums than soap because he did not try very hard..i mean after OLTL he did continue with another soap and now GH whereas he could have got prime time and films..

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  10. Sheryl Postin says:

    Good luck Maurice you are a fantastic actor and I can’t wait to see your new movie. I can’t believe that people who who make movies can’t see how talented the actors are form the soaps really are. if I could I would choose a soap opera actor over the others any day.

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  11. Christy says:

    I know he was in a movie playing Desi Arnez a while back, but looking at his filmography, it says he’s been in 7 movies none of which i’ve heard of, 3 TV movies (one was that Lucy/Desi movie), 4 soaps (AMC, GH and the two offshoot GH soaps, and 1 time roles on 2 other tv shows…

    he’s a good actor, but looking at the list, i’d say it’s past time to change agents! Getting a commercial (or a few!) would get him some great exposure too — he’s not too hard on the eyes! ;-)

    of course being on GH and it’s intense scheduling, he would have a movie schedule nearby that could work around the GH schedule – or take a break from GH, which is difficult if the fans are in charge! te he he

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  12. Eunice says:

    Maurice Benard ?

    Have we all gone insane?

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  13. nancy says:

    When is the movie TheGhost and the Whale going to be on. I really want to see it. Is it T.V. or theatre?
    Nancy

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  14. Laurie McCartin says:

    I am so excited to see this film. I won’t wish you good luck, the film is already a success. I can’t for August 1st to see the screening. My son, Bryan McKinley plays Mitch and the Guadioso Twins are fabulous! I hope this film launches your new career…………..

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  15. Bev Ottman says:

    when can we buy a dvd or whatever of The Ghost and The Whale. Idearly love sonny on G.H.Sonny don’t leave G.H.yet. I hope Kate Sullivan comes back and be a couple on G.H.You guys are HOT”’You have a wonderful family.

    Reply

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