Maurice Benard and Evan Hofer from GH talk about building trust
General Hospital’s Maurice Benard is well known in the industry for mentoring his young co-stars such as Steve Burton, Michael Sutton and Vanessa Marcil. His latest protege, on and off screen, is Evan Hofer. The two co-stars spoke about self-confidence as an actor and the emotional blocks that get in the way of the current episode of Benard’s video podcast, State Of Mind.
Maurice Benard and Evan Hofer: Breaking Down Barriers
Benard (Sonny Corinthos) welcomed one of Port Charles’ newest residents and newest addition to the General Hospital cast, Evan Hofer (Dex Heller), to State Of Mind by asking him how the role came about. “Let’s talk about how you got the job at General Hospital first.”
“I had auditioned for a few parts on GH, one a few months before this one,” Hofer replied. He described how his casting experience was a bit different. “Because of the pandemic, everyone has been doing things on tape. So I just sent one to Mark [Teschner] and received the call a few days later. That was it. Straight to the tape and straight to you.
“I was so grateful that all my first stuff was with you,” the young actor explained. “One, because you showed me the format, and you’re such a pro of that format – such a veteran of it. But you also told me it was good to be myself and to be a part of it. That I don’t have to adapt to the style, but do my own thing on the inside. And just being able to do everything with you has been amazing.
But outward appearances can be tricky for young actors learning the craft. “I never wanted to come across as overconfident or arrogant, so I feel like I’ve always leaned the other way. Then I think I end up reducing myself too much or undermining myself as a defense mechanism so other people can’t do it. I think to myself, ‘I’ve already beaten you.’ »
Overcome bad reviews
Benard told a great story about Sharon Stone struggling in acting class with the late acting great coach Roy London. Every week she came and did a Speed the Plow scene until one week she finally came and nailed it. London exclaimed, “You are brilliant, Sharon. And she said, ‘Why?’ and he said, ‘Because now you know you are enough.’
Hofer nodded in understanding. “I try to improve myself to allow myself to be proud of myself, to take advantage of opportunities and to enjoy things. Allowing myself to enjoy things is great,” he shared. “ It’s hard on people, a lot of interim coaches will be abrasive and could be aggressive, and for my personality, it makes me look smaller, which takes me even further away from where I’m trying to be.
The actors both worked with actress Frances Fisher (who debuted as Deborah Saxon on The Edge of Night). Benard starred alongside Fisher as Desi for her Lucy in Lucy & Desi: Before the Laughter and Hofer in her first dramatic role in a film titled Run the Race.
Hofer described his experience working with the talented redhead. “She was so fantastic and uplifts everyone that she’s with. Everyone in that movie was good, but then you see them in scenes next to her, and they’re just [raises hands up in an elevated place] even better. She makes everyone better, and, I always say, that’s the kind of actor I want to be, a generous performer who makes everyone better. It’s not an easy skill.
Evan Hofer: Fighting Anxiety
The second year of the pandemic arrived with Hofer feeling depressed and full of anxiety. “I never really knew because I’ve never been diagnosed that way, but I had heard that people had panic attacks. I had a few times in my life, going back to the beginning of my teenage years, from what I thought was just stressed, but my body was shaking violently. After a few minutes, it was getting cold. And I was thinking, “That was weird,” but I never thought about it.
It was while chatting with Benard on set that what he felt finally materialized. “Now after telling you about it, I realized it was a panic attack. I just didn’t know how to define it. It’s weird to feel out of control of your body that way. For I felt like I was shivering. I thought, ‘Should I take a blanket?’ then you realize that’s not the problem. It’s here [points to his head].”
Med Zoom calls with a therapist helped him through the pandemic. “My thing is that the therapy is awesome. I’m always an advocate for therapy,” Hofer explained, “but as long as you have someone you can be open to and talk to, even if they don’t offer advice but act as a soundboard. I am a believer that you have to get the poison out. You’ll probably say things you don’t mean, but just getting it out of your body can help 50% of the time.
open up about your past
Hofer opened up about his early years, being bullied for being short and, later, his nerdy phase. His parents introduced him to martial arts, which helped shape him physically and mentally for the future. The actor opened up about his goofy side and how he likes to be surprised so much that he planned his own surprise party. He revealed he was dying to be a rom-com star, loved working on the soap and loved the cast.
The two actors teased more storylines from Sonny and Dex on General Hospital. Watch the full episode here. Follow Evan Hofer on Instagram and Twitter. Follow Maurice Bénard on TwitterInstagram or State of mind.
General Hospital (GH) airs weekdays on ABC. Check your local listings for airtime. For more on what’s going on in Port Charles, check out all the latest GH spoiler posts, and for an in-depth look at the show’s history, click here.
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Evan talks to me about getting the part @General Hospital and his absolute love of surprises. We are connected to anxiety, to managing your expectations and to the present moment.
Watch today: https://t.co/f45TM2ZWwT pic.twitter.com/e6UqhsSTPS
— Maurice Bénard (@MauriceBénard) August 7, 2022
— Cynthia Watros (@watroswatros) August 4, 2022