The Nov. 12 episode of GENERAL HOSPITAL was a very special hour celebrating Maurice Benard’s 25th anniversary playing Sonny Corinthos on the soap. In this very different show, viewers got a glimpse of what life would have been like for Sonny if he hadn’t entered the mob. And playing a younger version of his daytime alter ego was Benard’s real-life son, Joshua! “It’s weird seeing my son,” the actor admitted on Twitter, “but I’m very proud of Joshua!”
Casting Benard’s son was perfect not just for the physical resemblance — he didn’t need much coaching for the role, either. “I just told him to be who he is,” Benard revealed, “because he’s a lot like me in a way.” And it sounds like the young man enjoyed his daytime debut. “Joshua says it was like a roller coaster and he learned a lot,” his dad reported. “Daytime is hard work.”
Joshua wasn’t the only Benard family member who made a special appearance in this anniversary episode. “It’s so incredible that my daughters are in it, too,” he enthused. His girls were shown in family photos, and another in a different scene. “They just showed my daughter, Heather, sitting there in the pub,” Benard tweeted as the episode was airing.
With this alternate reality showing Sonny on the right side of the law, Benard was able to challenge himself. “I love playing kind of the wimpy guy,” he admitted before adding, “I like the real Sonny because he fits like a glove. The one I play in this alternate universe is more difficult to play.”
Benard was also quick to praise his GH castmates for tackling alternate versions of their well-established characters. “That scene with Dominic Zamprogna (Dante) took everything out of me,” he confessed. “Dom was, as always, right there with me. And Lisa LoCicero (Olivia) is also great in this alternate universe. You believe we’re a married couple” He also praised a scene between Kelly Monaco (Sam) and Steve Burton (Jason). “What’s coming out of Kelly is just raw emotion and Steve is just playing it perfect,” the Emmy winner declared.
It was a special hour of GH that fans will remember for a long time. “I’m just so proud of everything about this show,” Benard concluded. “GH, thank you for the last 25 years! What an honor. I’m humbled by today’s show. Thank you [executive producer] Frank Valentini, [director] Phideaux Xavier, and the entire cast, crew and fans.”
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