Benard explained to Soap Opera Digest:
I was told about the story before it started. I had my inkling of how it would go, but I was into it, to do something different, to play a different energy, to put my hands in my pocket, to be just more of a version of me, Maurice, than I do with Sonny. Sonny’s just [a] hard character to play, man … It’s a mother! It’s dark, it’s dreadful. His motor, his engine, is like at about third gear.
In contrast, he added:
I play Mike, I’m in first, second, maybe … I like Mike. I love Mike! I mean, it’s fun … I get a lot of comments like, 'We don’t care if you’re having a great time! Stop saying that! We want you back as Sonny!' And I understand that the audience, they want Sonny … Everybody’s entitled to how they feel and what they think [and] I think it’s going to be incredible when Sonny goes back to [Port Charles].
Currently, Nina (Cynthia Watros) is drawn to Sonny. Bernard raved about the actress, whom he called "so subtly good," but what makes a great leading lady? He mused:
[I think] chemistry comes from — there’s something that happens when you’re in a scene, like, [sometimes] two great actors — Meryl Streep, Robert De Niro — work together, it doesn’t work. So, there’s that special element that has to come in and I can’t even say what it is … The problem that I have on GH, like I always say, [is that] the audience is like my mother — no one is good enough for Sonny except Carly and Brenda! That’s just the way it’s worked … I believe I had something with Kelly [Sullivan, ex-Connie]. That broad could act! Let’s not fool anyone, she can act. And we had a relationship, a good relationship. But the fans don’t want it, it’s not happening, okay? Laura [Wright], you knew that it would work because all the other Carlys had worked except the one [Jennifer Bransford, who had a short-lived run in 2005] and Laura has so much energy and the contrast worked and that stuff, right. But there’s been other ones that I think had chemistry, could’ve worked, and it’s tough. It’s tough. When you become a Sonny/Brenda, Sonny/Carly, it’s tough to have [another pairing] — Mama says no one’s good enough for you [laughs]!