Gold Star: Max Gail (Mike)

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Mike’s mem­ory loss led to an un­for­get­table per­for­mance by Max Gail

GEN­ERAL HOS­PI­TAL’s Mike is a proud man whose mem­ory is fail­ing him. As he lost both his girl­friend and his in­de­pen­dence, por­trayer Max Gail dove into the char­ac­ter’s anger, fear and con­fu­sion to win this week’s Gold Star.

A Dev­as­tat­ing Blow

When Mike came down­stairs, he tried to play it cool, even laugh­ing off the idea that Rita had bro­ken up with him. Once Carly re­vealed that his girl­friend knew he was sick, his en­ergy shifted. Stunned, he stum­bled to call Rita, only to have Carly ex­plain that she’d walked away from his dis­ease. Mike looked her in the eye, as if hop­ing he’d heard wrong, and then looked at Sonny. As re­al­ity hit, his eyes welled up, and he low­ered him­self to the couch to cry. “What am I sup­posed to do now?” he whim­pered.

At first, Sonny was able to get Mike to laugh through his tears, and it seemed he’d agree to move into the Corinthos manse. In­stead, Mike pulled him­self to­gether and re­fused the of­fer. As he liter-

ally backed away, Gail played both his char­ac­ter’s desperation and grat­i­tude. But when Sonny pushed, Mike pushed back. And Carly’s softer ap­proach didn’t play any bet­ter. Mike tried to ne­go­ti­ate and make his get­away be­fore fall­ing on his guilt over the fa­ther he’d been.

Thanks to Gail’s in­cred­i­ble chemistr y with Mau­rice Be­nard — not to men­tion Sonny’s im­pa­tient barbs! — the scene es­ca­lated quickly. With Mike in de­fen­sive mode, he vac­il­lated be­tween smil­ing awk­wardly, fight­ing tears and an­grily at­tack­ing his son. One minute, he was sug­gest­ing that his death would be a gift to Sonny; the next, he was beg­ging to go home. With Carly play­ing peace­keeper be­tween the volatile pair, Sonny fi­nally men­tioned call­ing in a judge, and Gail let his char­ac­ter’s voice fill with fury.

Ev­ery­thing Changes

With one word, how­ever, ev­ery­thing shifted. Mike laughed an­grily that he didn’t need Sonny’s peo­ple watch­ing over him… be­cause he had Tammy’s help! When Carly and Sonny balked, fear filled Mike’s eyes as he searched his brain for Rita’s name. Gail played the ex­cru­ci­at­ing con­fu­sion per­fectly as Mike begged Carly to ex­plain. His de­fenses down, Mike be­came calmer. He was even able to em­pathize with Rita. “What’s hap­pen­ing to me now?” he asked, fi­nally ac­cept­ing his fate.

A Per­for­mance To Re­mem­ber

Un­aware he had just thrown a huge fit over mov­ing in, Mike fell into the same debate yet again. This time, how­ever, it was heart­break­ingly easy for Carly to con­vince him to let fam­ily take care of fam­ily. With the is­sue re­solved, Mike — hav­ing been through a whirl­wind he couldn’t even re­mem­ber — was sud­denly tired. As he went to his room with a smile and a chuckle, we were left in awe of Gail’s painful per­for­mance.

Gail’s por­trayal of Sonny’s fa­ther was painfully real.

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