Maurice Benard talks about film “OC87” and “General Hospital”

Maurice Benard is known best for playing Sonny Corinthos on the ABC soap opera “General Hospital”. He also appears in the new documentary “OC87” about bipolar disorder. Maurice took out time to chat with Media Mikes about the film, dealing with the disorder day-to-day and, of course, working on “General Hospital”.

Mike Gencarelli: Can you tell us how you became involved with the film “OC87”?
Maurice Benard: I am bi-polar so I have done a lot of work for the cause as it is personal. Bud Clayman did some stuff on “General Hospital” and it was phenomenal. We just clicked right away. We went to a boxing gym and did some stuff that was great.

MG: You have said before that boxing is your release. Can you tell us about that?
MB: I think anytime you exercise it helps you. With boxing I can punch so it eliminates the rage. I have been boxing for 11 years now.

MG: How do you feel this film will inform people about the disorder?
MB: The bottom line is that this disorder is a very tough one to have. However you can still lead a productive life. I have been on “General Hospital” for 20 years and it’s been that long since I have had a manic episode or a breakdown. As long as you stay on yourmedication and you get help you can lead a great life.

MG: What do you think has been the hardest part of opening up about being bi-polar?
MB: I got a letter about 12 years ago from a kid whose brother was bi-polar and committed suicide. What got him through that was by reading something that I had written. Now it is not hard for me to talk about. There was one time though when we did a story line on “General Hospital” where my character Sonny has a breakdown. It kind of dragged on for a long time and towards the end it was starting to get difficult for me. I have done a number of shows where I talk about the disorder. You get nervous but I think this is my calling.

MG: Do you find playing a bi-polar character makes it easier for you to perform day to day?
MB: I am doing a story right now where Sonny’s girlfriend has dual personality disorder. I just saw the show and when I was watching her I played it as though Sonny was watching himself. It was interesting and the show is doing a really wonderful job showcasing this illness.

MG: Can you tell us what you think the future of Soap’s will be?
MB: We got picked up because the show is doing so well right now.  I think we will keep going because the people we have producing and writing for the show are kicking butt. Yes soaps are going off the air but it doesn’t mean ours is. All soaps go through highs and lows.

MG: What do you enjoy most about theshow after almost 20 years?
MB: I love this character! The people I work with really push me. If I wasn’t working with such great actors I would probably be doing something else. There are good stories on top of that so I love going to work.

MG: Do you have any other new projects you can tell us about?
MB: I have a film coming out called “Duke”. I have 1 scene in the film that is about 5 or 6 pages. I play a cop killer. This film is really cool. I don’t know exactly when it will be released but it’s going to be good.


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Digital Film Review “General Orders No. 9”

Directed by: Robert Persons
Narrated by: William Davidson
Distributed by: Variance Films
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 72 minutes

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

I am a sucker for cool poster art. I usually get easily draw or turned off by a film’s poster or box art. “General Orders No. 9” was one of those examples, with its pipe-smoking rabbit. I was shocked to find out that it was in fact a documentary about deals with the progress of change happening American South. Doesn’t sound interesting to you? Well it is definitely not for everyone. This is a very interesting unique film and if you are a fan of documentary and amazing cinematography then check out “General Orders No. 9” for sure.

If you have seen the work of Terrence Malick, especially “The Tree of Life”, I couldn’t help but think that some of this footage was from that movie. It seems like something that would have come out of Malick’s head. The film is a unique display of experimental filmmaking that has spanned over eleven years’ work from first time writer-director Bob Persons. This is a film about the changing landscape of the American South and focuses on nature and man’s progress. It is told entirely with images, poetry, and music throughout.

“General Orders No. 9” is definitely a unique film and quite a visual journey of the South’s landscapes. It is subtle and simplistic, yet while sending across a very important message. The film is currently available to own using iTunes for a reasonable $9.99. Like I said this is not for everyone, but you are open for an experimental documentary on the landscapes of the South then this will be for you.

JAWSFest: The Tribute General Access Bracelets Now on Sale!

For fans planning to attend the upcoming JAWSFest: The Tribute on Martha’s Vineyard this coming August, General Access Bracelets are now on sale.  The current “early bird” cost is $45.00 for adults and $35.00 for youth (ages 13-18).  Children under 13 will not require a bracelet to attend General Access events.  On June 1st the prices raise to $75.00 and $50.00 respectively.

The General Access Bracelets INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING:

OPENING CEREMONY: Bracelet Holder Access to JAWSFEST opening ceremony on the front steps of the Old Whaling Church with VIP’s and special guests.

BEHIND THE SCREAMS: A museum-quality display of private collections of JAWS photographs and memorabilia from the filming, including items from the private collection of Robert Shaw and other never before seen items.

SHARK IN THE PARK: Join the fun at our Shark in the Park fan and family reception where VIPs, family and crew will join with fans and the MV Sharks baseball team for collegiate baseball, family games, autographs, and more. Followed by ‘The Making of JAWS’ presented by Jeffrey Kramer, Joe Alves & Carl Gottlieb.

SHARKS, ARTS & CONSERVATION: This 2-day “event within an event” includes the opportunity to meet with globally recognized shark experts including Dr. Greg Skomal and members of Discovery Channel Shark Week. Leading conservation organizations, including Shark Savers, join with Wendy Benchley and conservationists from around the country, to teach us about sharks in our oceans today. Artists, who share a love and appreciation for the beauty and importance of sharks, display their work and share stories of inspiration. Based in Oak Bluffs, Sharks Arts & Conservation will include interactive displays, exhibits, educational videos, science demonstrations, kids’ activities and much more.

THE TRIBUTE & JAWS ON THE BIG SCREEN AT OCEAN PARK: Our grand-finale on beautiful Ocean Park, Oak Bluffs, with very special intros and our full roster of VIP’s present. General Admission bracelet holders will have a forward reserved area in the park (behind VIP bracelet holders, sponsors and cast & crew).

Tickets are on sale now at
This link takes you directly to the GA Bracelets