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GH’s Maurice Benard & Marcus Coloma On Channeling Angst Into Art

Marcus Coloma shares how channeling intense emotions saved him.

GH's Maurice Benard & Marcus Coloma On Channeling Angst Into Art

General Hospital’s Marcus Coloma last visited Maurice Benard’s State Of Mind in January of 2022. The two colleagues have since become besties who have won over TikTok with their hilarious series of vignettes with co-stars such as Johnny Wactor, Kin Shriner, Finola Hughes, and Cynthia Watros. In the current video podcast of State Of Mind, their conversation played out less like an interview and more like an intimate conversation between two friends that covered a range of topics from Coloma’s childhood to Benard’s 32-plus years with his wife, Paula.

Maurice Benard & Marcus Coloma: Intense Emotions

Benard (Sonny Corinthos) spoke of Coloma’s (Nikolas Cassadine) attraction to acting. Coloma went back to the early origins of his inspiration. “I think the thing that motivates me is creating things, and I think that as a kid when you walk into a grocery store, it’s a magical place.” He continued, “I would get into a car and play with the air conditioning vents like it was a spaceship. There was something about the adventure. Like watching The Goonies, Stand By Me, the kids, and there was this movie called The Explorers with River Phoenix and Ethan Hawke where they built this spaceship, and they go out into space.”

The sense of adventure pushed him out of the family home at an early age. “I moved to Santa Rosa at 16 or 17.” He set the scene, “My two roommates were hooked on crack, but I stayed away from drugs. I dropped out of college because I fell in love with this girl. I would be up all night on the phone with her, and I just knew that school wasn’t for me. I couldn’t really read. I hadn’t finished a book. I can read now, but I couldn’t at the time. I just kind of dropped out of college and moved down to L.A. at 18.

“I was watching a lot of Mel Gibson movies. Bruce Willis. Tom Cruise. This was the 90s.” Coloma described the light bulb moment that led to acting as an outlet for him.  “The thing about Mel Gibson is his emotions. The emotion he was expressing in Lethal Weapon, the rage. I saw Mel Gibson, and I thought, ‘He’s an adult, and he is expressing the things that I am feeling, and not only that, but he is making it cool.’ Like the scene where he was in the trailer, and he’s got this gun to his head, and he is just bawling. That was just amazing.” 

The art of channeling those intense feelings he had experienced since childhood struck a chord with the budding actor and filmmaker. “I think, in hindsight, acting was like a spiritual journey trying to figure out humanity, trying to figure out myself, mental health, all these things that you do explore as an actor.”

Marcus Coloma: The Heart Of The Matter

The rest of the “interview” played out like a late-night session of peeling back the superficial layers of someone to reveal the essence of who they really are. The two on-screen bad boys discussed how to win over fans and redeem a one-dimensional villain into someone who fans can root for. Benard shared details of how he tweaked mobster Sonny Corinthos’s character to reveal a vulnerable side to the audience…with a little help from Tony Geary (Luke Spencer) and Vanessa Marcil (Brenda Barrett)

Marcus Coloma dug deeper into Benard’s history with his wife Paula, getting the host to disclose details from their early courtship and had him sharing tips with Coloma on how to build a lasting relationship. The latter shared his first experience of unconditional love and revealed past failures in his love life and how he would like to remedy that. The two friends discussed the dark feelings that lead to a mental health crisis and suicide. Don’t miss the full interview here.

Follow Marcus Coloma on Twitter, TikTok and Instagram. Follow Maurice Benard on Twitter, TikTok, and Instagram, and subscribe for more episodes of State Of Mind video podcasts here.

General Hospital 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 GH spoilers, and for an in-depth look at the show’s history, click here.

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