General Hospital’s Harmony Miller and Sonny Corinthos have not crossed paths much in Port Charles…yet. But, that is sure to change when residents learn that Nina Reeves, not Harmony, is Willow Tait’s birth mother. Their portrayers, Inga Cadranel and Maurice Benard, sat down recently on the Easter episode of his video podcast, State Of Mind, and decided to learn more about one another.
Maurice Benard And Inga Cadranel: Breaking Free From The Past
Benard threw caution to the wind and just started the show with, “I am just going to talk to her and see where it goes.” Then, he asked the big question. “Where did you grow up?”
The actress, who is a mystery both on camera and off, revealed her humble beginnings. “My parents immigrated to Toronto. I am Canadian. I grew up in a very diverse neighborhood. Toronto is really diverse. I think it is one of the most diverse cities in the world. That is what National Geographic said once, I read. I started in government housing. Subsidized housing. The projects, I guess that is what you call it here. And everyone I grew up with was either immigrant, indigenous, or just poor people. All very mixed. It was a really cool, weird place to grow up.
“It was love and hate. It was love for all the people that I grew up with,” explained Cadranel, on her struggle with her past. “But there was violence. It was angry at times. It was scary with people you love turning on you. It was just like any other rough neighborhood-ish. So when I became old enough to leave and separate, I was like, ‘I need to get away from this.’ Get away from people that I thought betrayed me. A lot of bad stuff happened. We were like getting arrested a lot.”
Surviving Her Roots
The budding actress started to see the cracks in her foundation. “I looked around a bit, and people were not changing. I looked around, and people were like doing the same thing and just getting wasted every night. But then, I was on the cusp of moving here [California], and one of the kids I helped raise, you know how the older kids raise the younger kids? One of the kids I helped raise, who was like my best friend’s younger brother, killed himself. He hung himself. He was doing drugs, and he couldn’t take it anymore, and so he hung himself. My best friend found him.”
Cadranel returned to the old neighborhood only to finally find out the truth of who she was and how to be comfortable in her own skin. “There’s a lot of heartache that goes along with the old neighborhood, but you are there, and that’s who you are. There are pieces of you that is home. There are a lot of bad memories of just some dark s that we got into. And the solution to that is, well, run away from it. And just go, ‘That’s not me. That’s not me.’ And there is a part of me that will always be protective of myself, even if I go back home.”
Inga Cadranel: Dealing With Loss
Benard discussed how he wanted to dedicate a future State Of Mind to the subject of Fentanyl addiction. Cadranel agreed and described the loss of close friends to the drug. “Yes, I lost two friends to overdoses this year to fentanyl in Toronto, last summer. Another one of my brothers from that neighborhood. I happened to be in Toronto shooting something, so I could be there for the service. Which was messed up because I didn’t know he was homeless at that point. Someone found me on Facebook because we used to tell everyone that we were brother and sister growing up, so they found me and said, ‘Your brother, he died.’
“I didn’t know I was going to speak,” she continued. “I thought I was just going to go there. I didn’t know what to expect. But when I heard everyone talk about him in the moment, I thought, ‘I have to tell them who he was before. I have to humanize him in that way.’” She was able to bring him to life in a meaningful way during the service. “They got to hear about him as a young person. He immigrated from Kenya in his twenties, so he was a young man, and they got to hear about him before drugs. He had a lot of mental health issues that came out with the drugs.”
Coping With Success
As her acting career began to thrive, Cadranel struggled with her own inner demon — anxiety. Something Benard knows well and has shared with the audience before. She recalled her experience. “At one time, I had terrible anxiety problems. It started when I became an actor who got some success. I was in my late twenties…it kind of started. I started booking a lot, pretty fast, and I freaked out. I was scared. I would have to talk myself up to be at work. On the weekends, I was curled up in a ball, crying. I would hide in a closet.”
Cadranel reached out to someone close when she struggled with those anxiety-inducing moments. “My boyfriend at the time, who is now my husband, he would literally talk me off the floor. He would have to talk to me in my trailer, talk me down from hyperventilating, freaking out.”
Eventually, she sought out medical help. Find out more about her rough beginnings, growing up in the hood, her dabbling in a punk rock band, her regrets, being raised as a child of immigrants, how she uses her experiences in her acting process, and how motherhood changed her life.
Stick around until the end and listen to Benard and Cadranel talk about their love for human stories of hope and the triumphant spirit, the show Intervention, and her time on the hit Canadian series Orphan Black.
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.
Inga shares what it was like growing up in Toronto with immigrant parents who were both artists, her friend group there and her need to leave in order to spread her wings. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/JJs0JTR79J
— Maurice Benard (@MauriceBenard) April 17, 2022
— Maurice Benard (@MauriceBenard) April 18, 2022