‘General Hospital’ Star Maurice Benard on Sonny’s Amnesia and His Alter-Ego: ‘Now, I Pretty Much Do Anything’

General Hospital star Maurice Benard received a curve ball on the show when he took on the role of a version of Sonny with amnesia. According to the actor, he was ready for it all.

Maurice Benard on the red carpet in in 2013
Maurice Benard in 2013 | Angela Weiss/Getty Images

Maurice Benard’s ‘General Hospital’ history

Benard portrayed played General Hospital‘s resident mobster and one of its primary protagonists, Sonny Corinthos, on the show since 1993. Though Sonny is a mobster, the character is a hero and not a villain. Sonny is also one of the most popular characters in the show’s history. The character is also one-half of two major General Hospital supercouples. One pairing is his relationship with Carly Benson, and the ohther is his relationship Brenda Barrett.

Before General Hospital, Benard had his first soap opera role on All My Children. On that soap opera, he played the character of Nico Kelly. For his work on the show, Benard was nominated for a Soap Opera Digest Award. For his work on General Hospital, he has been nominated for seven Daytime Emmy Awards and has won two times for his General Hospital role.

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Sonny Corinithos’ recent storyline

In a new interview with Soap Opera Digest, Benard talked about Sonny’s recent storyline of having amnesia. The amnesia has resulted in Sonny being an alter-ego named Mike.

According to the actor, he had no issue playing. Sonny with amnesia, which is something he may not have said years ago. “These days, I say, ‘Don’t tell me story, I don’t need to hear it, I’ll just do it,’” he explained. “Years ago, it was different; I was all, like, crazy, and I wouldn’t do this, I wouldn’t do that. Now, I pretty much do anything. And when Frank [Valentini] first told me about this story, I said, ‘Okay! I’m cool with it.’ ”

Benard said that one of the best things about playing Mike is the differences between this version of Sonny and how Sonny actually is.

“I’m into it! I’m having fun,” he continued. “I am having fun playing this kind of subtle difference [between the characters] and I love the two people I work with, Joyce [Guy] and Rif [Hutton]. I did some stuff with them yesterday that was really fun. They always bring good actors in and I love that; it makes a big difference. I’m cool with the story, but if these two actors I was working with were not good, it would be a different story.”

Maurice Benard of fan reactions to ‘Mike’

Benard noted that fans, though they like Mike, are always going to prefer Sonny.

“They don’t want anything but Sonny,” he said. “They’re like, ‘You’re all right doing what you’re doing, the acting’s pretty good, Mike’s all right, but we want Sonny back!’ Yesterday, I was like, ‘D**n, I wish I was Sonny!’ But it’s a good change.”

General Hospital airs weekdays on CBS.