Maurice Benard has earned numerous accolades for playing Sonny Corinthos on General Hospital, but this week, Soap Hub is bestowing our Performer of the Week honors on the actor for his portrayal of “Mike,” the handle that Sonny, currently suffering amnesia, is using.
Maurice Benard — Performer of the Week
Of course, deep down, “Mike” is still Sonny, but he doesn’t known that. He only knows this life where he works at The Tan-O, spending his days with his new friends Phyllis (Joyce Guy) and Lenny (Rif Hutton) and, now, Nina (Cynthia Watros), is a good one.
“Do I look ridiculous?” Mike rhetorically asked Nina when she walked in and saw him dancing with Phyllis. No, Nina, replied. “You look happy.”
And he does. Yes, Nina should be letting Sonny’s loved ones back in Port Charles know that he’s alive, but she’s going to have a very strong case for why she remained silent when they inevitably learn the truth.
Viewers are seeing Sonny take a step back in his Mike persona. And it’s clear that Benard’s enjoying this journey as well. Sonny’s always trying to control everything, yelling, justifying the life he’s chosen in terms of the violence. As Mike, he’s simply taking life as it is, content in putting in a good day’s work and enjoying simple pleasures like taking two ladies out on the dance floor for a twirl.
Once Phyllis was done dancing with Mike, she suggested that he and Nina pair up. It’s not just Carly’s (Laura Wright) treatment of Nina that has Nina keeping mum. She’s enjoying “Mike’s” company. On one hand, she’s arguably doing something nice for him, letting him live peacefully in his new world. (Though, of course, Sonny would want to be with his loved ones if he knew who he really was.)
However, Mike doesn’t know who he is and he’s not been in a rush to find out. Still, he has his wits about him. After Nina noted to “Mike” that he’s always on the lookout for enemies (as Sonny is), Mike asked her pointedly why she thinks she knows him so well?
Oops. Was the jig up? Nina covered, saying she’s no expert on him, but pointed out that Mike had stepped in to help Phyllis and Lenny from an intruder. Mike nodded, appearing to buy Nina’s explanation, but we know Sonny, er, make that Mike – he’s going to file this away for the future.
With coaxing from Phyllis, Mike and Nina danced next. The couple’s growing chemistry moved up a notch as they tripped the light fantastic.
“You see that smile? It’s because of you,” Phyllis later pointed out to her pal. “You’re good for him, Nina.”
An actor, or dancer, for that matter is only as good as his partner. So, kudos must also go to both Guy and Watros for their work in these scenes that allowed Benard to show different sides to his character.
It’s inevitable (in all probability) that Sonny will someday get his memory back and return to his former life – although, we suspect that won’t be an easy task.
It’s unclear how much he’ll remember of his current life, but viewers will recall this time when Maurice Benard was able to kick back a bit as Mike, make new friends, and show how charming he can be just by simply dancing. General Hospital (GH) airs weekdays on ABC. Check your local listings for airtimes.