Maurice Benard On GH: "I Actually Didn't Want To Do Another Soap"




General Hospital thespian Maurice Benard chatted with We Love Soaps on what made him sign on with the popular sudser after his stint on All My Children.
WE LOVE SOAPS TV: In 1993 you took the role of Sonny on GH. How did that part come about? Did you want to do another soap at that point?

Maurice Benard:  I actually didn't want to do another soap but I had run out of money! I was studying acting like crazy at that time. But GH came up so I went in and met with them. I didn't want to sign a long-term contract. There were two roles - Damian, a mob guy with a two year contract, and Sonny, the head of a night club which was a six month role. So, I said I liked Sonny because I liked the name and it was a short-term part.
 

Six months turned into seventeen years of being the smooth-talking mobster with dimples.

Comments

watchingallday's picture
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Sigh, one wonders what could have been.

Member since:
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Can we mention the fact that he hasn't been able to talk SMOOTHLY in years?! ::Sigh:: MB, you were great short term. You need to learn when to let go. My Christmas wish is for those GH writers to get a CLUE. Bad acting, bad story lines mean you get rid of actors not applaud them! Maybe we can take donations to send him back to acting classes because I swear he could act years ago.

vicki-love-hudson's picture
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21 December 2010
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I was actually fine with Sonny when Wendy Riche was EP. It was when Bob Guza began letting him eat up the whole show that I decided that I was done with GH.

curacaoman's picture
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10 February 2009
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7 hours 43 min

Time to go buddy, we have had enough!

Member since:
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I loved Riche's Sonny but I cannot stand Guza's Sonny. Plus, he and his children and girlfriends have eaten the ENTIRE SHOW!!

doodleynoodle's picture
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ICAM vicki...

I remember watching him on AMC...Nico Kelley(sp?)...is that right? I thought he was a good actor then.

Heck, I love MB...I even love Sonny...I just hate, hate, hate everything about what the current GH regime stands for and in the process they've ruined every character on the show including (especially) Sonny.

I've been on vacation all week and haven't watched the show 1 time. Is that not pathetic? That being said...in my heart of hearts I know that if they would make the right adjustments it wouldn't take much for me to become a GH whore again.

In the meantime, I am drooling over the awesomeness of Ted King and the news that OLTL has scooped him up. Here's hoping the OLTL writers will give him what GH was too afraid to...a good storyline. Can't Wait.

thecourt99's picture
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i have told this story many times on many message boards, but I was FURIOUS when he left AMC to go to GH. I declared I would NEVER watch GH because MB had betrayed ME! (I was young and in love with the dimples).

Needless to say, 2010 is my first time watching GH since that happened.

jlafferty23's picture
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I love Maurice Benard! His portrayal of Sonny is brilliant!
I hope he sticks around for years to come!

Member since:
16 April 2010
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For the sake of the future of the show, I hope he does decided to leave. I dont dislike the actor or the character, but its like eating the same thing for dinner every night for the past ten years. Im sure you started out loving the dish but by the end of that ten years the very sight of it makes you want to vomit.
If this show is going to survive they better find a way to revive Alan Quartermain and rebuild this family, get Bobbie Spencer back, return the true power house and heart of the show Genie Francis, rebuild the core families of the show and give the viewers back what they have invested decades into. Guza and Phelps tried it their way for ten years and the show is on the edge of going under. Its time for a drastic change otherwise GH is finished for sure. Besides is Gh is cancelled, the character of Sonny will be history.

BrendaBarrettHospital's picture
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jlafferty23 wrote:
I love Maurice Benard! His portrayal of Sonny is brilliant!
I hope he sticks around for years to come!

I could not agree more with you. Like his character or not, he truly is a great actor as the head mob boss. Good acting = good entertainment.
Do I think ENOUGH with the mob?? Yea they need to tone it down a bit already. But he is brilliant. I must agree with that! Star

BrendaBarrettHospital's picture
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17 November 2010
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MB can't leave. However, they could cut his hours down. Hopefully with the desmise of VM in March, the writing will be more geared toward family stories which will leave little room for mob stories. But I like him. Good actor. Can't afford to lose him. He looks so much like a Godfather it is a hoot to watch! Laughing out loud

I don't think anyone of us on here would debate that Guza has ruined the show. Evil

Laura is coming back and Luke is leaving. Which opens up lots of possibilities!! Hopefully. A Scott return??
I will never stop wanting a Monica & Jason reunion. Love those moments.

I only ask that GH bring in writers who have a history with GH of the past. There is no reason we can't see a recast of the Webber family. Frisco & Felica recast.
Let's find out who Jake is. It will not only drive Tracey crazy, but Monica will have a grandchild. So much material, and so little creativity!!

GHvetfan's picture
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BBH - I hope you mean the demise of Brenda and not the actress.

This show could do with a crew of writers who are forced to get creative and write about something other than mob shootouts and Sonny. I wish Maurice Benard a very happy retirement.

GH LOVER's picture
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BBH Where where You when I needed you Sad
Please keep posting Love Love Love Love Love

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I hope Maurice stays with GH. He's a good actor and seems like a sincere person. Furthermore, I admire his bravery for being an open advocate and activist for people afflicted with bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses. Viewers don't give the man enough credit for how much he's had to overcome because of his illness.

In terms of General Hospital, why blame an actor for the misbehavior of the head writer? Bob Guza could easily write a more balanced, realistic portrayal of Sonny and the rest of the GH characters. Look at how Guza bungled Brenda's return. Instead of an exciting reintroduction of the character, he gave us a convoluted mess that wasted valuable time and fan good will.

Again, people need to realize that Maurice Benard is just an actor. He is given scripts and acts them. If you have issues with the balance of characters, look to the writers and the producers of General Hospital.

alstonboy4315's picture
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12 February 2010
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Maurice ain't going nowhere!!

He's a LIFER!!

And I still enjoy Maurice's work, although I appear to be in the minority here. I truly believe he's gonna be with this show for many more years to come. I just hope that GENERAL HOSPITAL will be around for many more years to come!!!

And even if Maurice DOES go on recurring status, Guza will just give ALL that airtime to Dominic Zamprogna/Dante or bring on another mobster to continue to eat up the show.

BrendaBarrettHospital's picture
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GH LOVER wrote:
BBH Where where You when I needed you Sad
Please keep posting Love Love Love Love Love

I'm here for you!!!!!!!!! Beer Big smile

BrendaBarrettHospital's picture
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GHvetfan wrote:
BBH - I hope you mean the demise of Brenda and not the actress.This show could do with a crew of writers who are forced to get creative and write about something other than mob shootouts and Sonny.I wish Maurice Benard a very happy retirement.

Of course I meant the character. She is portrayed as a 14 year old stuck in a women's body. I don't enjoy watching that.
GH does need new writers. I hope they bring on someone with some knowledge of the past with GH. And when I say past, it goes back further than Brenduh Barrett. That story didn't turn out so good, did it??
Did I miss something?? Did Sonny (MB) say he was retiring?? Sad

Member since:
16 April 2010
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If Bob Guza decides that its the mob or nothing for General Hospital, ultimitly its going to end up being nothing. I do not see the mob remaining the focus if the show has any intention of surviving. If Maurice Bernard decides he is going to stick around, and Guza decides to let Dante eat up the balance of the air time, the show is over for sure

Member since:
26 June 2010
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Sonny Sucks!!! I'm so happy to see others agree that Bob Guza and Phelps have RUINED GH. It's nothing more than a mob crapfest!!! Guza needs to seriously GO!!!! The only interesting story (Lisa/Robin/Patrick) is actually set in ***gasp*** a HOSPITAL!!!!! I agree that the core families should be focused on and re-built, with a particular focus on the Quartermaines. I mean, Guza can't even BRING himself to write a single line for Monica who SHOULD have been at Luke and Tracey's wedding! It's Monica's HOUSE for godsakes!!! I could go on and on about how much I can't stand Guza as a writer and I STILL haven't forgiven Phelps for needlessly killing off Maureen Bauer, which was the beginning of the end of Guiding Light!!!

Member since:
24 November 2010
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I had to stop watching GH (which should be renamed the Sonny, Jason & Carly show) once I realized that I was watching a soap opera version of Ground Hog Day where every year for the past decade they have had the exact same mob affiliated person (Sonny) in the exact same mob affiliated stories with the exact same mob affiliated characters and the exact same mob affiliated dialogue on and on and on.......

It was like poison watching this show and being one of the many fans who watched it's downfall into Guza hell as he killed off/got rid of so many core characters from the GH we all grew up with and hoping upon hope that the madness would eventually end and and things would return to the days when things were adventurous (Luke saving Laura from a Cassadine, Robert rescuing Anna from Faison) and heartfelt (focusing on Robin's HIV, Maxie's heart transplant). But I realized how impossible that was and that MB's bromance with Guza would never allow that to happen. And that this show would continue to make a mockery of it's fans by shoving him and never ending spawn in our faces with stories so implausible and even laughable by soap opera standards that it was not really a soap opera after all but a love story from one head writer to one actor/character day in and day out.

So thank you MB (& Guza) for finally allowing me to come to terms with my utter disdain for what you have created and be assured that me and many other fans will never watch this show until you both write your own pink slips and disappear from ABC daytime for good.

GH LOVER's picture
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BBH Smile Smile Smile Love Love

I am also one of Sonny&MO fans I think Mo is really talented actor, The problem is and that is not his fault is the writing! this is not the Sonny I used to love I myself Sonny Fan ,find myself wanting someone to kick his @## he is not the classic sonny of the 90's early 200's. and if I hoped for Brenda to redeem him i was wrong. it became worse.. Sonny&Brenda are awful!! they both acting like 15 years old kid with no brain.. I hoped carly will throw something at them Crazy

What GH needs is a change of writing!! they need to limit the mob factor because the stories are boring and watching the same characters again and again with the same dialogue is BORING!!!
a change needs to be done but you can't take this on the actors that really just doing their job Sad

BrendaBarrettHospital's picture
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GHLover
Not sure I am a "fan" of Sonny's, as I enjoy his character and how well he portrays a Mobster!! He is brilliant at it. Do I think they could cut down on the Mob scene? YES. Have the violence cut down, but to keep those mobsters as a "side show" would still be fun!!!
I love Jason how he "takes care" of those he loves. I was so proud of him when he went to see his grandfather!! And he is a killer??
Please do not get me started on Brenduh. Evil Angry I will get thrown off this site if I truly told you what I think of her.
I "heard" her last air date is in March. I am counting down now!!!

How can I change my screen name here?? I go to another site, and to be funny I took this name. (being sarcastic) Now its not funny anymore!! lol

BrendaBarrettHospital's picture
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GH LOVER wrote:
BBH Smile Smile Smile Love Love What GH needs is a change of writing!! they need to limit the mob factor because the stories are boring and watching the same characters again and again with the same dialogue is BORING!!!
a change needs to be done but you can't take this on the actors that really just doing their job Sad

Guza/Fronz need to go. It isn't even funny what they have done to this show. Gloria is rolling in her grave right now!
I believe Guza has EGG on his face with what he pulled with Brenduh. And nothing makes me happier!!
L O S E R!!!!!!!! Evil Angry Evil Angry

Member since:
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I think MB is a good enough actor when he has time to rehearse, otherwise not so much. That's not really his fault, though....

EricasEvilTwin's picture
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Josstheguy - GREAT POST...I dont understand blaming the actor for the writing...I doubt Mo went in to Guza's office and demanded that his character set a car bomb to go off, almost killing his daugher. I doubt Mo asked for all those scenes where he attacked Claudia verbally. I doubt he asked for Sonny to dump Kate and virtually never speak to her again. I doubt he asked that Sonny abandon his guards so that he could be responsible for getting his one son shot in the head and to be the guy that shot his other son in his own living room. I also doubt he asked for the destruction of the Q family either.

Sonny hate is so high these days because of the choices made by the writing team over the last 3 years or so. The fact that the character has retained such a large fan following in spite of those choices is a testament to MB's talent. I might also add that a panel of soap experts assembled by We Love Soaps named him one of the top ten actors in daytime (I think he was #3)

I hope they redeem sonny and develop more balance with the stories they tell. If that happens, I say LONG LIVE SONNY!

BrendaBarrettHospital's picture
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Jon wrote:
I think MB is a good enough actor when he has time to rehearse, otherwise not so much. That's not really his fault, though....

You mean when he forgets his lines and stutters?? lol

BrendaBarrettHospital's picture
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Nice post josstheguy
I forget myself often that it is the writing and not the person who is doing what they are told.
What bothers me, is when an actor (character) is "shoved down our throats" and that person is not a good actor. IMO it shows thru their character. I know the difference between a good actor and a bad character. Take Spinelli. I dispise his character. I have been FFing thru him for years. However, he has to be a great actor to pull off what he mumbles about. The writing for him is old. Would like to see his character change.
He has ability.

I honestly hope, as I have said before, that with bringing back VM, Guza is wearing EGG on his face. I don't think she is "up" for acting anywhere right now. She don't look good. JMO. Plus the storyline. Plus she was shoved down our throats in every scene. Everyone wanted her or was jealous of her in the storylines. Sickening.

Let's hope TPTB are listening. And they bring in a writing staff that is familiar with the history of GH. When I say history, I don't mean just 5 years ago, I am talking 20 years ago. Recast family members. Let's get back to what is real in life. GH got away from that with there illusion of Brenduh, and not utilizing what few talent that is left on the show.

BrendaBarrettHospital's picture
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EricasEvilTwin wrote:
I hope they redeem sonny and develop more balance with the stories they tell. If that happens, I say LONG LIVE SONNY!

NICE comment!! Wink

GH LOVER's picture
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BBH EET josstheguy Beer Beer Beer Beer
I agree with your posts 100%

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BrendaBarrettHospital wrote:
Jon wrote:
I think MB is a good enough actor when he has time to rehearse, otherwise not so much. That's not really his fault, though....

You mean when he forgets his lines and stutters?? lol

Yeah, he really had trouble sputtering out the name LORENZO the other day....