Recently, Maurice Benard (Sonny) sat down with GENERAL HOSPITAL co-star Dominic Zamprogna (Dante) on his State of Mind YouTube series to discuss parenting, mental health, and their working relationship on the ABC soap. Not surprisingly, Benard had high praise for the Canadian actor who recently returned to the role of Sonny’s long-lost son.
Recalling Zamprogna’s 2009 GH audition, Benard said that the young actor had an effect on the entire room. “When he finished, I looked over and [the producers] were like this [holding two thumbs up],” Benard said. “Because he was so strong, deep, knew how to act. Plus, he looked like me enough. He was just great. And he came in and made this character his own.”
During their living room chat, Benard and Zamprogna revealed that of all the scenes they’ve shared, their mutual favorite was the confrontation in the Corinthos living room the day of Josslyn’s christening after Mob boss Sonny found out that bodyguard Dominic Pirelli was actually an undercover agent. “I hired him to work for me, and then I find out that he’s a rat,” Benard recounted as both men laughed. “But Dom doesn’t like to say he was a rat. Dom likes to say he was doing his job! It’s very difficult to do what movies do [on daytime]. But for a soap opera, that show was just movie-like.”
As longtime GH fans might remember, that February 2010 scene was significant for another important reason: Just after Sonny shot Dominic for his betrayal, Olivia burst in to inform her teenage fling that he’d just shot his own son! And for Zamprogna, the scene was just as powerful to watch now as when they had originally filmed it. “When you guys were on a break during the pandemic, they reaired it. I showed my kids and rewatching it again, it gave me chills,” he confessed. “I don’t watch stuff that I’ve done and get chills. That was probably one of my proudest moments.”
Zamprogna added that the culmination of that storyline was a dream come true. “I’ve never worked as hard to get anywhere as I did to get to L.A. as an actor. That was one of my goals in life,” he shared. “And when the audition came along for [GH]… I’m pretty sure that was the audition scene. And you just hope when you do it for real, that it’s going to be as good. And it felt real. Whenever we do stuff, it just feels real. And then watching it felt good. And then watching it 10 years later, I can’t believe how good it still felt.”
You can watch Benard and Zamprogna’s two-part State of Mind interview below, where they discuss GH, fatherhood, loss and anxiety.