The Co-Star Who Completely Intimidated Maurice Benard When He First Joined General Hospital

"General Hospital" star Maurice Benard has been open about dealing with bipolar disorder since 2000 and has worked hard to help people stay informed about mental health issues.

In an interview with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health on a series called "Profiles of Hope," Benard discussed his mental health, saying, "A nervous breakdown is ... it's like being in a nightmare and not being able to wake up. And then every so often you wake up, and you say, 'Oh, whoa, everything is normal,' and then you go right back into that thing ... that nightmare." He also discussed playing mobster Sonny Corinthos on "GH," who also has bipolar disorder. Benard explained, "He's a lot darker than I am ... In reality, I believe I was a fragile guy ... I was fragile inside. But I had to prove to people that I was something else."

Benard hosts his own YouTube show called "State of Mind," where he interviews actors and other people to discuss their careers and how mental health is a part of their lives. He's had such people as Evan Hofer, Chad Duell, Jillian Barberie, Jophielle Love, and many others on his show.

Benard interviewed former "GH" co-star Rena Sofer, and he revealed to her some surprising information about his early days on the show.

Maurice Benard opens up about who intimidated him on General Hospital

Rena Sofer, who played Lois Cerullo on "General Hospital" from 1994 to 1997, was interviewed on Maurice Benard's YouTube show, "State of Mind." Benard revealed that when they first acted together, he felt intimidated. He explained, "I fooled a lot of people because I was very nervous all the time ... you were so good, and you had a certain intensity and energy ... I'm a good actor, so I can fake a lot of hiding the nerves. You and Genie Frances [Laura Spencer] intimidated me."

"What I've learned is I am intense," Sofer responded. "Especially when I work because I don't wanna waste time, I wanna do the best we can do ... we usually only have one shot to do it. And I want it to be great ... when you're coming to work with me, I want you to be on the ball." Had she known he was intimidated, "I would have gone to your room [and said] 'I am seriously a human being. I just wanna do exactly what you're doing, which is the best we can do.'" 

Sofer also felt the writers missed an opportunity by not capitalizing on their two characters' deep friendship. She said, "[Sonny and Lois] should have had a more connected history," going on to suggest that Lois could have been the "good angel" on Sonny's shoulder, helping him through the dark times.