From Mob Boss… To Mob Boss!

Dur­ing GEN­ERAL HOS­PI­TAL’S end-of-sum­mer hia­tus, Port Charles’ god­fa­ther, Mau­rice Be­nard (Sonny), stepped into the shoes of an­other gang­ster, real-life crime lord John Gotti, for the up­com­ing Life­time movie The Vic­to­ria Gotti Story!

CBS Soaps In Depth - - News -

The In Depth Story: Filmed in Van­cou­ver dur­ing the early part of Septem­ber, the TV movie was over­seen by Vic­to­ria Gotti her­self, and as doc­u­mented on In­sta­gram dur­ing her trav­els for the pro­duc­tion, it’s based on her life as the mafioso’s daugh­ter. Be­nard’s cast­ing as the fam­ily pa­tri­arch seem­ingly even got the ap­proval of Vic­to­ria’s big sis­ter, An­gel, who retweeted the ac­tor’s Twit­ter post about his role in the biopic.

De­spite the project be­ing hush-hush, Soaps In Depth was able to speak with Be­nard ex­clu­sively from the film’s Van­cou­ver set, where, while be­ing un­able to give de­tails, he did share, “It’s a great role, and I’m hav­ing a great time play­ing a real-life char­ac­ter. This was a re­ally great op­por­tu­nity.”

Be­nard adds that GH ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer Frank Valen­tini made the time off pos­si­ble so that he could por­tray one of the most pow­er­ful and dan­ger­ous mob­sters in his­tory. “Frank was great,” Be­nard says. “The tim­ing worked out with the hia­tus, and Frank was able to shift some stuff around to make it work.”

The Day­time Emmy win­ner was cast as the orig­i­nal Te­flon Don on a Fri­day — and less than 48 hours later, he was on a plane from LAX to Van­cou­ver to be­gin work on the movie, which was di­rected by Cather­ine Cyran. “I didn’t have time to think about stress­ing out,” con­fesses the ac­tor, who no­tori-

“This was a re­ally great op­por­tu­nity!”

ously hates to fly.

As for film­ing in Van­cou­ver, Be­nard shares that “it’s beau­ti­ful up here.” On one of his days off, he and wife Paula had rented a boat. “It was just a great, re­lax­ing day.”

The ac­tor also had the ad­van­tage of meet­ing Vic­to­ria on the set and spend­ing some time with her. “She gave me some great tips about her fa­ther,” re­veals Be­nard, adding that play­ing such a larger-than-life his­tor­i­cal fig­ure is “very dif­fi­cult but at the same time ex­hil­a­rat­ing.”

At press time, there was no word on when The Vic­to­ria Gotti Story would air on Life­time, but In Depth will let you know as soon as there is!

Be­nard In­sta­grammed his thanks for the “beau­ti­ful op­por­tu­nity.”

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