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!
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.”