General Hospital’s Maurice Benard paid Rif Hutton, who portrayed the late Lenny Caulfield on the iconic soap, the ultimate compliment on this week’s video podcast of State Of Mind when he said, “He made me going to work a pleasure. Every day.”
Maurice Benard And Rif Hutton: Art Imitates Life
And Hutton warmly returned the sentiment, “Man, I am really honored to be here. That experience of playing Lenny and getting to work with you and Joyce [Guy] ranks as one of the best ever in my book.
“You, sir, and you may have heard it before,” Hutton continued, “I would get lost in some of your performances sometimes and think, ‘Holy s**t! How is he doing this?'” The veteran actor went on to explain, “I am always fascinated by actors on and off [stage], but getting to watch you, I thought, okay, there is a Maurice story, a reason he is like this. That is not something that you pick up in acting class. There is a little bit more there, a life class there.”
Benard recalled how Mike Corbin’s (Max Gail) death from Alzheimer’s in the fall of 2020 came after his own father’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and Lenny’s death of pancreatic cancer in Nixon Falls preceded his father’s, Humberto Morales, passing of the same disease. Benard’s father passed away in October 2021.
Hutton talked about the days leading up to Lenny’s passing, “There was a mix of emotions that last month. Obviously, I didn’t want to leave GH. I was just having such a great time being around you guys. And, at the same time, we were able to do dialogue and get together and do stuff that was mind-blowingly rich, so deep with emotion, that I would come home literally floating on a cloud after getting a chance to work with you.”
Hutton expressed overwhelming emotions brewing on the last day of filming, “Actually, the day we ended up doing the stuff, I was an emotional wreck. And all I had to do was sit in the chair there and be dead, but [listening] to you and Joyce and Cynthia [Watros]…I go back to it now, and it just tears me up. It tore me up. Just beautiful stuff. Beautiful human real emotion.”
Turning The Tables on The Interviewer
Benard let Hutton take the reins at the end of the video podcast, and the curious actor leapt right in with this bold question, “Do you see an end coming [for Sonny]?”
Benard gave a no-holds-barred response, “Oh, I never think they [GH] are going to end it. But I am going to end it. Just recently, I went up to [executive producer] Frank Valentini, his office, and said, ‘I can’t act anymore. I just can’t. It hurts.’
“I give the example like a boxer. If a boxer was boxing for almost 30 years and getting hit, eventually he is going to say, I don’t want to get hit anymore. When you are young, you can take anything, ‘give me more, give me more. I’ll go deeper.'” Benard described the conversation, “He said ‘How are you going to make a living.’ He said something that was very smart, he said, ‘but GH is helping that [State Of Mind]'” Benard continued, “And then a week later I am good again. For me, General Hospital is family. It is a great job.”
Hutton shared his early childhood experiences of spending a year living homeless and sleeping in a cardboard box on top of a movie theater, growing up in Newark, New Jersey, with a mother who was undiagnosed as bipolar and a father struggling with PTSD and rage. He also shared how his parents were able to get the help they needed later in life and be able to share in their beautiful healing experience. He spoke of coming to Los Angeles at an early age and how things went south, his struggle with alcohol, and making it as an actor. Hutton spoke of his work experiences on Star Trek: Generations, Doogie Howser, M.D., and his extended voiceover work.
Watch the entire episode here. Fans can follow Rif Hutton on Instagram. Follow Maurice Benard on Twitter, Instagram, or State of Mind.
If you or someone you love is struggling with their mental health, reach out to NIMH.
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.
Today on @mbstateofmind I’m joined by Rif Hutton.
Rif tells me about his parents who had undiagnosed mental illness and how he overcame adversity while pursuing his dream of acting. Plus we talk about @GeneralHospital and working together.
Watch: https://t.co/oU5XOntMB3 pic.twitter.com/HOzKL1dAow
— Maurice Benard (@MauriceBenard) February 20, 2022
There’s a lot to learn from @rifhutton (Lenny) @GeneralHospital One thing is HOPE can save your life. What a story what a life.
Thank You Riff https://t.co/70mAnLGsD5 pic.twitter.com/aamH77WRXL
— Maurice Benard (@MauriceBenard) February 21, 2022