General Hospital (GH) fans are used to a certain type of Sonny story–ones that involves the mob, outwitting the police, taking revenge, and breaking up and making up with Carly.
But, now we’re in for a much more gritty Corinthos tale–one that’s deeply personal and shows new sides to Port Charles’ most popular coffee importer!
The show recently revealed that Sonny’s dad Mike (Max Gail) is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
It appeared as if GH was going to tackle this plot in the mid-90s when Audrey (Rachel Ames) experienced a few memory issues, but after the untimely death of Steve (played by John Beradino, who passed away in real-life) the story was soon jettisoned.
“I really don’t know if I can do this without crying myself,” Maurice Benard told fans at the recent General Hospital Convention event.
The Emmy-winning actor gives accolades to his co-star for making this story work.
“It really all starts with Max Gail. If he weren’t great, it wouldn’t be great. And because he’s so great, I just look at him [in our scenes] and it breaks my heart. I’m honored to be doing this story, which seems to be important for so many people.”
Because Alzheimer’s has affected so many families, Benard wants to be as authentic as possible in telling this tale. “We just want to do it justice,” the actor says. “So I just look in [his] eyes and it’s real.”
“It’s home,” chimes in Laura Wright, whose character Carly has stepped up and embraced Mike, welcoming him into her and Sonny’s home.
“Max is such a gift to this storyline and to our cast. He shows up with a smile very day. He was given a lot of material and he didn’t miss a moment. He’s so grateful to be here. It’s like he always has been [a part of the show].”
There’s one downside to it all, Benard says dryly, referring to the heavy emotional days he gets to play as an actor.
“My wife wants to call Frank [Valentini, GH’s executive producer] and say, ‘Stop it now!'” said Benard, which elicited laughter from convention attendees.
General Hospital (GH) airs weekdays on ABC. Check local listings for airtimes.