General Hospital star Maurice Benard (Sonny Corinthos) has turned his mental health vodcast State of Mind into a must-watch, must-listen brand. Even comedian and actor Adam Carolla has taken notice, and as a result, he invited the long-time soap opera star to be a guest on his own podcast, The Adam Carolla Show, for the Monday, January 17, episode.
Benard, who shared on Instagram Stories that his GH co-star Marcus Coloma (Nikolas Cassadine) gave him a ride to Carolla's studio, took the opportunity to discuss a lot of heartfelt subjects, including how he deals with bipolar disorder and memory issues, and how he's managed his anxiety during the pandemic.
"What kills me... is the anxiety. That scares the hell out of me. And during the pandemic, when my book [Nothing General About It] came out, I had the worst anxiety I've ever had, literally, for four months straight -- not sleeping, shaking, and I had to promote the book," he shares. "I did everything -- meditated, worked out, whatever I could do to get rid of this horrific feeling. But when you're at that point, nothing helps... The best thing you can do for anxiety is prevent it from happening."
Benard also opens up about the beauty of soap operas, but he digs into some of the tougher sides of the genre, as well -- like how difficult it's been for him to ingest Sonny's drama day in and day out for nearly three decades.
"After 28 years, it seems [like I'm] beat up," he reveals. "The job's the greatest job in the world, but I'm a method actor who's bipolar, and so is the character, Sonny, bipolar. After 28 years, there's a lot of days where I'm like, 'I don't want to do this anymore.'... Where I've got to dig to, a lot, and it's been so long, for 28 years, that I just... it's like a boxer. You box, I box; when you get hit for that long, after a while, you're like [done]."
Fortunately, Benard doesn't plan on actually leaving GH. But he does stress that as wonderful as the job is, it does have its dark moments -- like the time he was stalked by a fan with schizophrenia.
"I had a stalker who thought she was my wife, Paula. And she wrote letters saying, 'I'm going to come get my kids,'" he shares. "She'd show up [at the GH studios] and say she was my wife, and she'd call at work and stuff... We were petrified."
Carolla later asks Benard his thoughts about the recent firing of The Young and the Restless' Richard Burgi (ex-Ashland Locke), who was let go for breaking the show's COVID policy. Benard admits that he doesn't know much about that situation, but he brings up GH's Steve Burton (ex-Jason Morgan) and Ingo Rademacher (ex-Jasper Jacks), who were let go from the ABC soap opera for not complying with ABC's mandatory vaccine policy.
"I don't have their belief -- I've been vaccinated -- but it takes a lot of balls to walk away from 20 years, [a steady gig]," he shares.
Check out Benard's full episode of The Adam Carolla Show here.
The Adam Carolla Show was judged the "most downloaded podcast" by Guinness World Records in 2011. It can be found on various podcast platforms such as PodcastOne and Spotify, as well as on Adam Carolla's YouTube channel.
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