Maurice Benard Reveals the General Hospital Co-Star Whose Intensity Intimidated Him
“Whatever we did worked.”
We all know that General Hospital’s Sonny, of all people, is no shrinking violet. Neither, of course, is his portrayer, Maurice Benard. He’s not just been in the acting biz for a long time, he’s also survived tragedy, loss and mental health battles that a lot of people will never have to endure.
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So when he admitted on his recent State of Mind vlog that there was one person he worked with who absolutely intimidated him, it came as something of a surprise. Not just to the viewers, but also the actress herself: Rena Sofer!
Benard admitted this almost right off the bat, laughing at the memory. They chatted a bit after the admission, then Sofer dove in, saying, “I want to talk about why you would ever be intimidated by me when I was on!”
Again, Benard put off the explanation, until finally, towards the end of the interview, he got into it.
“You have to understand,” he began, “that I fooled a lot of people because I was very nervous all the time. Acting. Life. Not now. Thank God it left; I’m going to be 60. But then I was nervous. And you were so good, and you had a certain intensity and energy. I’m a good actor so I could fake a lot of the nerves, but I remember working with you, you and Genie Francis were the ones that intimidated me.”
The two laughed through Benard’s admission of being intimidated and while Sofer was initially surprised at him feeling that way, she wasn’t particularly shocked by his explanation of why.
Credit: ABC/Courtesy of the Everett Collection
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“Here’s the thing that I’ve learned,” she explained, “especially on soaps. I don’t think that that part of my personality always works for me in a friendship kind of way. But what I’ve learned is I am intense, especially when I work because I don’t want to waste time. I want to do the best we can do. We have, usually, only one shot to do it, and I want it to be great.”
With all that said, she continued by saying that “If I had known you were intimidated, I would have gone to your room and gone, ‘I am seriously a human being. I just want to do exactly what you’re doing, which is the best that we can do.’”
But hey, all’s well that ends well, and if anything, Benard suggested that maybe their on-screen relationship ended up with a little extra edge because of how nervous he got with her.
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“The way I act is I use all that and infuse it,” he ultimately concluded. “And it probably added a certain darkness and maybe danger.”
Sofer isn’t the only one who’s escaped the ravages of time. Check out our then and now gallery of Beverly Hills, 90210 stars to see how they’ve changed — or didn’t!