General Hospital stars Maurice Benard and Chad Duell used this week’s episode of the video podcast State Of Mind to clear the air on anxiety and address the big shadow in the room…the ending of his short-lived marriage to Y&R’s Sally Spectra — Courtney Hope.
Maurice Benard and Chad Duell: First Things First
Benard (Sonny Corinthos) warmly welcomed his onscreen co-star Chad Duell, who portrays his son Michael Corinthos Quartermaine, to the State Of Mind couch. The conversation quickly turned to Duell’s first introduction to the soap opera. He talked about auditioning for the role of Kristina Corinthos Davis’s (Lexi Ainsworth) boyfriend and getting a callback for an audition with Steve Burton (Jason).
Burton gave him some pointers and he ‘killed it’ in the scene with him. Later, he received a call from his manager at the time, who revealed the news that he had been called back for the role of Michael.
Duell described his conflicted feelings at the time. “It was a combination. It was like ‘holy crap, this is amazing!’ but I have to do the work. It was a positive and a negative, and I always do that to myself. I get the hype but then I overthink it like, ‘this is a soap and somebody just got fired.’ I was thinking of all these things and put pressure on myself immediately.
“I got there that first day,” the younger actor continued. “I remember feeling all of that pressure. I felt semi-excited but mostly anxiety. They threw me right in the middle of a storyline. My first day, I was with Dominic [Zamprogna; Dante] and I was telling him that I killed Claudia and all of these kinds of things. I was so nervous that I sweated through two shirts. I almost vomited.
“My anxiety comes from a lack of confidence in myself and worrying too much about other people’s opinions,” Duell confessed. The two actors talked about the courtroom scenes, and Benard asked if he’d had a panic attack? And Duell responded, “Yes. I thought they were going to fire me. I couldn’t remember my lines. I literally curled up into a ball and started praying.”
A phone call from an ex-girlfriend and close friend brought him out of his overwhelming anxiety. “It is like scar tissue you build up about a lot of things that have happened. It heals, but it reminds you of that battle that you got through.” He would go on to garner the first of his five Daytime Emmy nominations the following year and one win for Outstanding Supporting Actor.
The Question On Everybody’s Lips
At the end of the interview, Benard addresses the elephant in the room. In December of 2021, Chad Duell and Courtney Hope rocked the soap world with the announcement that their marriage of just under two months was ending. The IT couple had dated for five years before announcing their engagement on Valentine’s Day of 2021. The State Of Mind host started by saying, “I love Courtney…and you love Courtney.”
Duell answered regardfully, “Out of respect for her, I am not going to delve into all of the stuff. All I will say is that she is an amazing person, an amazing woman. She’s an amazing dog mom. It is a complicated situation and it is not what everybody thinks. I’m not going to get into any detail but it is not what anybody thinks.
“There wasn’t anything terrible that happened or nothing that anybody did to somebody else. We are still on good terms and she is an amazing person in so many ways. All I have to say is positive things.” The actor explained, “We didn’t sign anything, we weren’t really, like, you know, married or anything, really. It was amicable, kind of just that. And that’s all I can really say. We always want the best for each other.”
The episode also covers Duell growing up in Illinois and Arizona with his two brothers and a sister, meeting another sister who had been adopted at birth, discussing how he met her and the adopted family, the first few months on the set of General Hospital, facing critics on the set, and how through tackling his anxiety he grew stronger. Catch the entire conversation here. Fans can follow Chad Duell on Twitter and Instagram.
State Of Mind continues to grow under Benard’s direction and vision, currently touting 55K subscribers while still growing, and a new partnership with Indistry Media. For more on the announcement click here. To follow Maurice Benard on Twitter, Instagram, or State of Mind.
General Hospital (GH) airs weekdays on ABC. Check your local listings for airtimes. For more about what’s coming up in Port Charles, check out all the latest that’s been posted on General Hospital spoilers, and for an in-depth look at the show’s history, click here.
We had a very thoughtful conversation, but a point we kept coming back to was you have to do the things that make you uncomfortable. (1/2)
Watch at 1PM EST: https://t.co/UHyKpqyPcf pic.twitter.com/tGR7w0Pbtt
— Maurice Benard (@MauriceBenard) January 30, 2022
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