Back in September of 2018, GENERAL HOSPITAL star Maurice Benard teased that he had an exciting new project he was working on that was later revealed to be a Lifetime movie titled Victoria Gotti: My Father’s Daughter, in which he would be playing the infamous crime lord, John Gotti. The film is scheduled to premiere on Saturday, Feb. 9 at 8 p.m. ET, and Soaps In Depth managed to chat with Benard about his role from the movie’s Vancouver set while he was filming it. “It’s a great role and I’m having a great time playing a real-life character,” he enthused. “This was a really great opportunity.”
Thankfully, the filming of Victoria Gotti: My Father’s Daughter coincided with GH’s summer break, so the Emmy-winner was able to schedule in this moonlighting with a little assistance from the soap’s executive producer, Frank Valentini. “Frank was great,” Benard confided. “The timing worked out with the hiatus, and Frank was able to shift some stuff around to make it work.” Of course, it was still quite the whirlwind, with the actor on a plane to Canada just 48 hours after being cast as the Teflon Don. “I didn’t have time to think about stressing out,” admitted Benard, who notoriously hates to fly.
Benard was joined on location with his wife, Paula, and when he wasn’t hard at work for director Catherine Cyran, the pair were able to take in the sights. “It’s beautiful up here,” he said of Vancouver. One one of his days off, they even rented a boat for what the actor called “a great, relaxing day.”
But there was still plenty of hard work to be done, especially since Benard was tasked with portraying a real-life person. Thankfully, he did have the advantage of meeting John Gotti’s daughter, Victoria, on set to get some insight. “She gave me some great tips about her father,” he revealed, adding that playing such a larger-than-life historical figure was “very difficult but at the same time exhilarating.”
As Benard said on Instagram, “Put it in your calendars” and be sure to watch in February. But you can get a sneak preview of the film right now courtesy of this trailer!
And for more on your favorite GH stars, keep reading the ABC edition of Soaps In Depth magazine!
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