News & Rumors

GH’s Maurice Benard and Lydia Look Tackle Cultural Biases On SOM

GH Maurice Benard and Lydia LookGH Maurice Benard and Lydia Look

On-camera, you might call their General Hospital characters, Sonny Corinthios and Selina Wu, partners-in-crime. Thanks to his YouTube video podcast, State Of Mind, you might call Maurice Benard and Lydia Look partners in mental health.

Lydia Look Broke Cultural Customs To Follow Her Heart

Benard gave his guest Lydia Look a warm welcome.

“Let me tell you, she came here, two guns blazing. She’s a firecracker. Let’s get into this. The first thing I want to say is you have a story…about your dad. I love that story.”

“So I grew up in a very strict patriarchal kind of a family,” the actress began, describing her Asian upbringing and how it shaped her life. “My father was a doctor, who loved General Hospital. He loved it. He would come home in between lunch and his tea time…he would have his lunch and watch his General Hospital. General Hospital, in Singapore at that time…called Housewives Matinee, and they would show General Hospital and The Young and the Restless.”

Look knew that she loved acting early on. “At the age of 5 or 6, I did my first acting job, I think my mom took me out for it,” she revealed, but it didn’t go over well with her father. “Secretly, we came home. My dad never approved of me as an actress because it wasn’t a profession that was well regarded, it was frivolous or worse than frivolous. Or it just means you are not educated. You can’t study so you are not smart, so you become an actor.

“So, I remember coming home with my mom, and we quickly snuck around the dining room table,” the Selina Wu actress continued. “All of a sudden I heard BAM! He slammed down his fork and spoon and he looked up at me. Usually, he didn’t look at me because I am the tiniest one. And he looked at me and said, ‘Acting is for prostitutes!’ I just remember that was my first introduction to the word prostitutes. I was 5. And I looked up at my mother, and she looked at me, and then we stared down at our rice and our meat, and we didn’t say another word. And then he picked up his fork and spoon and said, ‘Except if you are on General Hospital. Then maybe you can be a real actor.'”

Family Affair: Handling An Intervention

Look talked about an older sister with an undiagnosed case of schizophrenia and how society and the family handled it as she got older.

“My sister was always different growing up, but she was always kept well hidden from the rest that was normal in society. She also had a slight case of polio when she was born so she had a little bit of a limp going on. Which they didn’t talk about. I think perfection is a very big thing in my family. If it is not perfect, don’t talk about it. If you are not perfect, stand aside. That is what I was born into, the whole standard of perfection.”

Now that her father has passed and her 87-year-old mother is ailing, Look and her brother have had to consider what is next for their sister and called for an intervention.

“And as you get older, the mental illness changes, and the last time I went to Singapore, a few years back, my sister became more violent, and we actually had to do an intervention. I didn’t feel good about it. We set her up. We brought her in. I told a few white lies. Did that make me feel good? No. But now, for the first time, she is properly diagnosed. The very first time.”

As you can imagine, her family story had a profound effect on Benard. “But the reward is help. Now she is getting help,” he responded.

“Now, she has a fighting chance,” the actress agreed.

Benard and Look covered a lot in the 38-minute episode. Find out about the journey from her forbidden passion for acting to how two nuns from Ireland set her on her path and kept her from a life of crime. Plus, you can learn how she followed her dream against her father’s wishes, fought against stereotypes, and grew up keeping the family secrets. The duo also discussed how she tackled her sister’s mental illness, spoke five languages, came full circle, and learned to keep it real. You can catch the full episode here.

Follow Lydia Look on Twitter and Instagram. If you or someone you know needs more information on schizophrenia, click here.

State Of Mind is nudging closer to 60K subscribers. Follow Maurice Benard on Twitter, Instagram, and for more episodes of State Of Mind go to the main page of the video podcasts here.

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.

Subscribe Now

Get spoilers, news and recaps in your inbox daily.

Subscribe Now

Get spoilers, news and recaps in your inbox daily.