sonny benard GENERAL HOSPITAL - Episode "14875" - "General Hospital" airs Monday-Friday, on ABC (check local listings). (ABC/Valerie Durant)MAURICE BENARD
Credit: ABC

The Emmy winner is as happy as can be on the show right now. Nevertheless…

During a live State of Mind on April 24, General Hospital leading man Maurice Benard fielded a question about his future that yielded an answer that’s sure to put a chill in the hearts of Sonny fans. First, he explained that his satisfaction with his work on the soap came and went in “waves,” adding, “I’m really happy right now.”

However, the Emmy winner’s feelings about his profession have changed since he was a hungry up-and-comer at the start of his career. “Acting isn’t what it was when I was young,” he said. “Sometimes it’s difficult, and it hits me in places… that I don’t like, like ugh.”

Given the weight of the storylines Benard often plays on screen, we can imagine. Would he want to direct instead? “I’m at a point in my life where I don’t want the extra pressure, extra stress” of being in charge, he said. “It’s too much for me.”

More: A shocking hookup in Spencer’s future?

So what does Benard envision in his future? “If I ever left, I want to bring State of Mind [to] a place where I can make a good enough living to just do this,” he revealed. “There’s less pressure here for me, and I can still work with the mental health.

“But acting,” he added, “I don’t know when, but soon enough, I’ll be done with. Sorry. I hate to say that, but it’s the truth.”

While you brace for the possibility — inevitability? — of a Port Charles without Sonny, review highlights of Benard’s run as the dimpled don in the below photo gallery.

Video: YouTube/State of Mind