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WATCH: GH's Maurice Benard Talks Life In Front Of The Camera & Behind It On OPRAH's: WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

Courtesy/OWN

Courtesy/OWN

Last night, General Hospital star Maurice Benard (Sonny) appeared in a follow-up interview and segment on OWN’s Oprah: Where Are They Now? The popular actor has been very public over the years about his battle with bipolar disorder and how it has affected his personal and professional life, at times.

In this newly aired segment with Benard, the cameras take you on the set of General Hospital where Maurice reveals even though he plays a tough guy mobster, growing up he was always the guy who would stand up for the underdog.  Later, the cameras sit down with Maurice and his wife Paula and their four children for some spirited conversation.

Finally, Maurice discusses his bipolar disorder and his latest film, The Ghost and the Whale which addresses the issue through the main character played by the soap star!

After the jump, watch three clips from last night’s Oprah’s: Where Are They Now? with Maurice! Then, let us know what was your most favorite or most touching part of Benard’s segment?

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KansasGuestsu0000Charday4ever DAYSJules Recent comment authors
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jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

I for one knows what he suffers from…ive struggled for years with off and on irritablitity, mood swings, night cries and overwhelming sadness, depression…in my younger years ive attempted suicide it got so bad(too much detail to why i went there)…and many threads ago i had an episode which im certain many commenters remain aware of…i had a lot of family issues and medical crises(just recently two more family members ended up at the hospital one was serious but this happen after i had that episode) so i got so upset i lashed out on my soaps and got some nasty hurtful replies for it…none apologized but i moved on from that…winter is when im at my worse but with help one can find there is hope…stay positive if you can which is difficult when too much happens but getting help often works!!!

Donny
Donny

Jim kudos to you, you are such a nice guy and very open. I admire your honesty and openess, my sister suffers from depression and is also bi polar. She finally is on the right medication, but sometimes she gets nasty with our family, because my sister wants to be left alone. Last night she visited me, and she told me that she loves me very much. We cried together, and she told me thank you for being by my side and not judging me, GOD bless you jim, Also I love reading your comments on this site. Some of them are hilarious, and you make good funny predictions in whats going to happen on our soaps. Take care jim.

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

Thanks, you perked me up and i really needed it!!!

CeeCee
CeeCee

I hurt for you, jimh. I have never gone into a deep depression, but I went through the “winter blues” with this last pregnancy. For some reason, I just hated winter. I felt aches and pains all over…mostly psychological.
It is so weird because it is October and I already dread winter, something which I had never before experienced. It isn’t as bad as last year, thank goodness, but I am so afraid I’ll feel those weird pangs again. I am lucky to have a loving family and friends around.
I knew about Maurices’s bouts with deep, clinical depression….really sad…but, he is coping with it. His character on GH aside, I wish the actor the best.
And you, jimh. You’ve come this far…it only speaks of your strength and endurance…much love.

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

Strange, me too is dreading winter and its just the beginning of October…Jan to March is my usual winter blues months…recent family health scares might have been the cause for me to experience it earlier but i usually love this time of year of fall colors, apple cider and pumpkin pie…hopelfully ill get through it…actually watching soaps is helpfull now that my shows have improved and i find them more entertaining of late…thanks for the reply!!!

Timmm
Timmm

Well Jim, I enjoy your posts and it is brave of you to be so open about your struggles. I hope and pray you remain upbeat and realize that you are important to people and people on this site enjoy your sense of humor and insight. Stay standing, Timmm!

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

Thanks Timmm i enjoy yours too…this site has been a Godsend…thanks to Micheal Fairmen and all of you!!!

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

Thanks Donny, CeeCee, and Timmm for your kind words…its people like you we need more of…it meant a lot to me and i love you all for it!!!

4ever DAYS
4ever DAYS

jimh…You’re never alone and people are always thinking about you…just write your way through the lows and always know tomorrow will be a brighter day!

su0000
su0000

I come from a family of Psychiatrists..
(try growing with a mother who sees through you and a father who can tell all.. Mental health was monitored always with that look, you might know the one lol .. :
Anyways.. now is time for a group {{{{{{HUG}}}}}}} 🙂

Tea
Tea

Maurice’s segment was amazing, wish it was longer. I loved the family stuff the most. They are very inspiring to those of us who has mental illness in our families. Thank you Maurice for all you do!!!

Jules
Jules

I’ve hated Sonny for over 20 years. He’s always been the worst part of the show for me, along with his cohorts Carly and Jason. Nothing about this character is redeemable.

But I have always loved and have had so much respect for Maurice. He is generous with his fans and fellow actors, he speaks so thoughtfully and honestly. His candor about his mental illness is remarkable and truly brave. Of course, we know where he’s been all this time, but it’s nice that Oprah gave him a segment.

Charday
Charday

Agree with you 110 percent about the Sonny character.

su0000
su0000

.
I and a million others have always love the Sonny character !!

KansasGuest
KansasGuest

I wish him the best with his movie, and hope it gets a good response. Mental illness & depression has been in the forefront of many news stories lately, with Robin Williams suicide and high-profile crimes being perpetrated by people who needed, but didn’t receive, treatment. Bringing more attention to it can only help IMO because for so long, people have been written off as “crazy loons” because their problem is “all in their head.” Even if someone becomes more compassionate to those with PTSD, bi-polar syndrome, or depression, that’s a step in the right direction.

General Hospital

Real Andrews Returns As Marcus Taggert On General Hospital

Well, well, well! Looks who’s back in Port Charles!  A major surprise occurred during Thursday’s “Next-On-General Hospital” teasers when viewers saw Sonny’s former nemesis Marcus Taggert, and Sonny himself, in a clip from a scene.

Turns out that today on Friday, January 17th look for the return of Real Andrews to his role as Taggert!  Andrews took to his Twitter and Instagram account to confirm the casting news.

Maurice Benard tweeted: He’s Back!!! Bigger and better than ever. On General Hospital. You don’t want to miss it.”

While, Andrews tweeted: “It is going to be a great ride.”

Real played the role of Marcus from 1996-1997 and then again from 1998-2003.   He was last seen on the soaps on Days of our Lives back in 2016 and 2017.

In real life, Benard and Andrews are good friends.

Now the question is, could Taggert’s re-emergence tie in to the new case that Jordan (Briana Nicole Henry) is working on, and somehow the return of Nikolas Cassadine to the canvas?  Years ago, Taggert’s sister, Gia was involved with the dark prince, leaving fans speculating that perhaps Nik and Gia had a daughter, who could turn out to be Trina played by Sydney Mikayla.  Hmmm.

So, give a big “welcome back” to Real as Taggert hits the screen today on GH via the comment section below.

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General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Nelle Is A Free Woman … And Shiloh’s Widow

Wednesday’s episode of General Hospital brought with it the pick-up of the oh-so-soapy and delicious moment when Shiloh’s widow reveals herself at the memorial in his honor.  Taking off her HUGE black veil/hat, all the attendees are stunned to see it none other than Nelle Benson (Chloe Lanier).  And it was the perfect set-up for naughty Nelle when she had so many of her enemies all in one place as her captive audience. Clearly, she wants revenge on all of them.

At the ceremony, Nelle explains that she and Shiloh while in prison had a small ceremony and “Dawn of Day” devotee Daisy was their witness, which Daisy confirms.  Nelle goes on to say that she shares Shiloh’s wishes to be part of little Wiley’s life, and since he is no longer among us, she will makes sure she is a part of it!

Of course, throughout her statements, Michael (Chad Duell) is looking less than amused and cuts to the chase and asks her what she really wants.  And with something that all viewers of the ABC daytime drama series, let out a collective, “uh-oh”, Nelle replied “What belongs to me.”   As we know, Wiley is Michael and Nelle’s biological son, and with Lucas (Ryan Carnes) in the hospital, it would seem the perfect time for her to make her move to get closer to the child she gave to Brad (Parry Shen).

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Next, Chase (Josh Swickard) arrives on the scene and says to all that what Nelle is saying is true. She is not only Shiloh’s widow, but she is no longer behind bars! Nelle explains how after being “stabbed” by Ryan Chamberlain (Jon Lindstrom) and the ensuing circumstances she was able to be granted a get-out-of-jail card!

To take the set-up of this story to even another level, Willow (Katelyn MacMullen) admits to Chase that she took the job as Wiley’s nanny!  Chase does not think it’s a good idea for her to care for Wiley’ and then eventually have to leave him with Brad and Lucas, once Lucas is recovered.  Willow assures Chase she can handle it.  As for Nelle, she has it out for Willow now, and be rest assured, she is not just going to stand by and let Willow move in on her bio-son.

Jason (Steve Burton), who was present at the memorial, heads to Carly (Laura Wright) to tell the bad news; that her enemy Nelle is out of jail, and running around free and is Shiloh’s widow.  Carly as expected is very distraught and unhappy to hear the news.

turns out, Nelle is not done with her day yet! Next, while the Quartermaines conduct an ELQ shareholders meeting in their living room; Ned (Wally Kurth) says the first order of business is the late Oscar Nero’s ELQ shares.  As the Q’s begin discussions which dissolve into bickering, in walks Nelle! Yup, since Oscar left his shares to Shiloh and she is his widow, well, she is now going to have her say … probably in everything!  Fade to black.

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What a fun return for Chloe Lanier who played Nelle’s shocker to the hilt!  Got to love a good bad girl on daytime who stirs the pot!

So, what did you think of Nelle being Shiloh’s widow? What do you think Nelle’s next power play will be? Comment below.

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General Hospital

Sean Kanan, Tristan Rogers & Timothy Woodward Jr. Talk On The Making Of New Digital Drama ‘Studio City’ & Respect For Soaps

Just as we closed out 2019, the world of digital dramas saw the debut of a riveting new show, Studio City.  The series initial season can be binged watched in its entirety on Amazon Prime, which follows the life of Hollywood actor Sam Stevens and the cast of “Hearts on Fire“, America’s number two daytime drama, as they navigate the chaotic world of soap operas and their own messy personal lives.

Studio City was co-created, executive produced, and stars longtime daytime favorite, Sean Kanan (Ex-AJ, General Hospital, Ex-Deacon, B&B).  In it, Kanan plays Sam, who plays a doctor on the soap-within-the show, and whose life off the set provides the back-drop for much of the drama and heart and soul of the series.

Kanan has surrounded himself with quite the acting company which includes: Carolyn Hennesy (Diane, GH), Sarah Brown (Ex-Carly and Claudia, GH, Julia, ATWT, Madison, DAYS and Agnes, B&B), Patrika Darbo (Ex-Nancy, DAYS and Ex-Shirley, B&B), Scott Turner Schofield (Ex-Nick, B&B) and the one and only, Tristan Rogers (Robert, GH, Colin, Y&R).   In addition, feature film director, Timothy Woodward Jr. (who turns out to be a soap fan and appreciates the genre), is the man behind the camera directing the story and the cast through the ups, downs, laughs and tears of the story in Studio City,

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Kanan, Tristan Rogers, and Woodward to find out: how Studio City all came together, what their hopes are for it in the future, and about the tears (those who have watched the series have shed in episode 6) and pivotal moments portrayed by Sean, Tristan, and Patrika Darbo that have helped create a buzz for the show.  Check out what these gents had to share below.

Photo: Studio City

Sean, in the stellar cast are many daytime notables including: Carolyn Hennesy, Sarah Brown, Patrika Darbo and Tristan. Did you reach out to them individually… and tell them what you had cooking with Studio City?

SEAN:  (Laughs) Did I reach out to them?  I had to beg them.  When you do a project like this, nobody is getting rich yet.  This really was a favor and a labor of love.  Patrika and I have really worked on more projects together than I can count.  Carolyn was on my radio show.  There was nobody else I wanted for their parts then Carolyn, Patrika, and Sarah. The idea of Tristan came a little bit later because I had written the character, but the character was actually very different.  He was actually a homeless guy.  He was a guy who had been a doctor and had been strung out on Vicodin, and had had a mishap in the operating room, and lost his license and then became homeless, but he was sort of this homeless sage poet who was giving Sam these bits of wisdom.  Ultimately, through meetings and compromises, it evolved into what it is now, and then, once that happened, I was like, “There’s no reason Tristan can’t play that,” and everyone signed on after a lot of coaxing, but they all did it for me.  I’m so grateful for that because it wouldn’t be what it is without those wonderful people in the series.

TRISTAN:  What happened was he said, “Will you do this part?”  I said, “Yeah.”  Sight unseen.  I figured Sean is an actor with relatively good taste (laughs) so he’s not going to give me a piece of s**t to do.  (Laughs)   Then, he sends me over some copy, and the copy is really good.   So, we set the week up, and that week turned out to be three weeks from hell for me because of my schedule!  I was doing General Hospital.  Then, I had Young and the Restless come in on top of that.  Then, I was doing The Bay, and somewhere in all of this I was doing Studio City.  So, I’m trying to figure out how I am going to do all of this.  In the meantime, Studio City said, “No, we’ve got to do it at a particular time because of the location.  We can’t get it at any other time, but these times…”  I said, “Okay,” and I’m thinking to myself, “God, how the hell am I going to make this work,” because I wanted to do everything, and I didn’t want to have to cancel anything.  I wanted to do it all because all of the projects were so good.  The Young and the Restless project was just an absolute joy to do working with Jess Walton (Jill).  We got Y&R all done in one day   So, I liked that.  After I finished that, was the day I started Studio City, and we were shooting  in a high rise where Sean and his wife Michele were living at the time.  They shot in a vacant apartment next door.  Right away, I was totally impressed with what was going on.  The level of production was really high.  I got the dialogue as I walked on set, and I had to sit down quietly because it was about a page and a half monologue, and I had to think, “Okay, what am I going to do with this guy?  How am I going to play him?”  Timothy Woodward is just fantastic.  He came along, we had a chat together, and he sort of said, “What are you going to do?” and I told him how I was going to play it, and he said, “Okay, go.”  We got it all in one take.  Bang.  I love that.

Photo: Studio City

SEAN:  There was a lot to do obviously, but we shot Studio City over five days.  We literally shot this at almost a soap opera pace.   I don’t think too many other actors; except for daytime actors could have pulled this off.  So, we were really blessed to have a bunch of pros.

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TIMOTHY: Every one of them were extremely talented in their roles.  Patrika blew my socks off.  Tristan did what he did, I mean, he’s amazing.  Sarah was great.  Carolyn Hennesy was great   I do a lot of feature stuff, and you know, we are shooting only 4 or 5 pages a day.  Sometimes 6.  So, it’s not often that I am handing someone a 7-page scene and saying, “Hey, go,” especially the day before, and they’re nailing it every single time and being able to deliver every single time, and hitting their marks, which makes the editing process so good.  They’re able to do it, especially when you keep the writing grounded on the side of it that’s about behind the show, but it still has dramatic moments.  You’re giving the actors a lot to chew on, but they all performed the material so well.

Tristan, in story, you play Sean and Sarah Brown’s step-father. There is a major scene in episode 6 between Patrika and Sean where Sam learns about his biological father, and then there is a scene with you and Sean in the aftermath of that.

TRISTAN:  Yes, they are my adopted kids.   Sam is going through a low part in his life, and my character has to kind of sit him down and go, “Listen, kid.  You’re a good guy.  Don’t ever be told that you’re not a good guy.  You’re my son, and I love you, and there’s not a day that goes past that I don’t love you.”  When you’re on the set at the time, it was an extremely emotional scene.  Very, very emotional, and the fact that we got it right the first time, made the intensity better.  If I had had to go back and do that again, it would have been slightly different. That’s the way I work.”

Photo: Studio City

Had you worked with Sarah Brown before; given you both have worked on General Hospital in your careers?

TRISTAN:  Never.  That was a great thing.  I had two scenes with her, and I loved them both, and I thought she was terrific,  What Sean and Timothy have done is  put together a really interesting bunch of people to totally dig and are part of the daytime scene, who are totally familiar with it, and know what it is all about, and make it different.  The only other show I can compare this to is GH: Night Shift.   We were never allowed to develop it, but that was where we were at.  I think we are making the same kind of broad steps here that we were doing back then.  Hopefully, we are given more of a chance to develop the concept of it. 

What can you say about working with Timothy? He obviously loves the soaps too!

TRISTAN:  He’s a good guy.  I mean, they couldn’t have gotten a better person to do the directing and put that side of it together.  He was the perfect choice: having an understanding of the background of daytime and basically liking it for what it is.  He was ideal!

Photo: Studio City

Timothy, you were a fan of The Bold and the Beautiful, correct? How did you come into Sean’s orbit?

TIMOTHY:  Yes … when Brooke (Katherine Kelly Lang) was with dad, Eric (John McCook), or something right before that. (Laughs)  That’s how long ago that was.  I started telling Sean all that stuff, and he sent this cookbook to my mom, and then, he called me.  We stayed in contact and started talking about a few things, and then he contacted me about being in the book he was doing, Success Factor X, and he wanted me to be in the book, so I said okay.  So, we just stayed in contact, and then, I called him about another project. Later, Sean said he had an idea for a show and he’s been working on it for a while, and said, “Here’s the idea.  What do you think?”  I said, “I think it’s something that I could be interested in,” (because I’d always watched soaps back in the day, and it’s something that my mom is a huge fan of) and you know, I could get down with doing it.”  So, we kind of met, shook hands, and said, “Let’s make it happen.”

Did you tell your mom you were working with Sean Kanan?

TIMOTHY:  I did!  She loved it.  Sean actually sent her a video to her phone wishing her a merry Christmas last year.

SEAN:  This guy is a feature-film director. Tim was like, “I think that would be a really interesting challenge.  I’d like to do a digital series,” and then it comes to pass that this sort of tough-guy film director from North Carolina, is a total closet soap freak! (Laughs)

Photo: Studio City

Timothy, in Studio City, when Patrika Darbo has this very emotional monologue about what happened to her and about Sam’s father.  Sean also delivered a powerful performance in the scenes, just through his reactions to her heartbreaking story. I just thought the way he played it was so moving.  You obviously did a great job directing that scene.

TIMOTHY: I said, “Sean, I’m seeing behind the camera.  I’m telling you man, you’re telling so much with your eyes.  You don’t have to say anything.  Don’t tell her it’s okay during the scene,” because his initial reaction was, “It’s my mom.  I want to tell her it’s alright.”  I was like, “No.  Don’t.  I don’t want you to do anything.  You need to absorb this; you need to be in that moment of where you just don’t even know what to say.   You feel for her, but you also have this self-inflicted pain yourself, and you just need to listen.  Just listen to her.  Zone out of everything else and listen to her.”  That’s what he did, and he did it really well.

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SEAN:  I remember that Patrika was incredibly generous because once we got her take; she was willing to go through all of that pain again so that my reactions would be as informed as it was.  Honestly I would like to tell you that it was me reaching into my big bag of actor tricks, but all I had to do was shut up and listen.  How can you not be moved by hearing that?  So, I just sort of shut up, didn’t have to hit my mark because I was sitting, and listened, and she did all of the driving on that, and she was just terrific and Timothy captured it beautifully.

Sean, when you envisioned the part of Sam for yourself; were you pleased about how it came across on screen?

SEAN:  Listen, the character is very close to who I am.  This guy is sort of a heightened version of me, but I am very much playing myself in this.  I’m playing myself in some situations that I have never had to deal with.  I was like, “If this is going to succeed or fail, it’s going to happen with me being my most authentic self, and it’s not someone else’s idea of who I am.  I’m going to show you who I am in this.”

Photo: Studio City

Trans actor, Scott Turner Schofield also appears in Studio City.  In part of his story, you are tackling a timely social issue of the plight of African-American trans individuals who are being murdered.  How did you come to the decision to include this arc in the series?

SEAN:  I felt it was important that we told a story that was LGBTQ and trans-centric.  I wanted Scott to be a character on the show that everybody knew was trans.  I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself, but maybe the character Scott plays is going to have a conflict with production and say, “Listen, I’ve got to be a trans character on the show because I need to sort of be a beacon to all of those people out there.  I’m living that life off-camera. ”  When you see him in his group and everything, and I think he is going to kind of stand up for himself, and that’s going to probably alter his story.  I thought it was important to be like, “My character knows he’s trans.  He’s my buddy who happens to be trans,” you know what I mean…. rather than it being this huge big thing.”

Was the goal to get Studio City released right at the end of 2019 to quality for Daytime Emmy consideration in the Digital Drama categories? 

TIMOTHY:  It was definitely something we think could get more eyeballs on the show, more attention to it if you will, in order to get it to the next level.  So, I think that’s important. Do this and get it even bigger … make more episodes and make them longer.  Sean keeps saying this series, is a love letter to soaps, and that’s what he told me he wanted to do.  You know what Sean is talking about.  There is somewhat of a disrespect level in our industry of, “Well, he’s on a soap,” and these people are so talented.  I mean, some of these daytime soaps have better ratings than a lot of the primetime shows.  You just read mainstream media or something about soaps, and you may think, “What?  There’s nobody watching it,” and then, you start looking at ratings and two and a half million viewers during an episode?  This is every day.  That’s a fan base.  There are dedicated people watching it.

SEAN:  It always bothers me when I see that; treating soaps like that because we work really hard, and there’s a lot of talented people involved with it.  It doesn’t always need to always be that whenever you see soap operas represented in “main series” projects, that they’re kind of the butt of a joke.  I was like, “That’s not going to happen because that’s not what they’re about.”

Photo: Studio City

Sean, you make things happen for yourself doing various projects whether it be: stand-up comedy, acting, books, etc and are one of the hardest working guys I know. Why do you think you have continually come back around, and in front of the daytime soap community all of these years?

SEAN:  I envy guys who have been on daytime consistently for 10, 15, 20 years, and there are times that I wish I were there and doing that, but I don’t necessarily know that if I were that guy that I would have had the wherewithal to write the books I have written.  I think I may have gotten comfortable, and you know, God bless.  I am in no way disparaging that because there is a lot to be said for that longevity on a series. I feel like on daytime I have always been kind of a hired guy.  I get brought in, I get let go, I get brought in, I get let go.  I never sort of maintained a sense of terra firma.  I always felt that it was probably going to be temporary, and I’d better figure out what else I’m going to do, which has given me opportunities that I have created to do projects that I am really passionate about like this one.

For more on Studio City, visit their website here.

Have you checked out Studio City on Amazon Prime yet?  If so, what do you think of it and the performances? Excited to see Sean and Tristan in different roles? Comment below.

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DAYS Eric Martsolf and Stacy Haiduk chat with Michael Fairman at Day of Days 2019; during their conversation the on-screen dup talk about the latest developments of Brady and Kristen within the series time-jump and more. Leave A Comment

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