Sonny Corinthos has had his share of lawyers (Justus Ward and Alexis Davis) and ladies (Carly and far too many others to mention) over the years, but he’s finally met his match in razor-sharp attorney Diane Miller. Carolyn Hennesy, who debuted in the role in early 2007, has been garnering rave reviews defending the macho mobster and his cronies and enjoying every minute of it.
Soap Opera Weekly: Is playing a hotshot attorney anything new for you?
Carolyn Hennesy: No. I’ve played attorneys before. I actually did a sitcom with Jenny McCarthy, where I played her attorney. (Hennesy played Chase Gardner on JENNY in 1997.) I do a lot of smart, intelligent, acidic, acerbic women roles. Women who are great in suits.
Weekly: Aside from JENNY, what did you do before GENERAL HOSPITAL?
Hennesy: Other sitcoms. Lots of film. Episodic work. I did a lot of stage work and commercials, too. Soap opera is a completely different animal from nighttime and film. I think I acclimated to it very well, but it’s different. It moves at an electric pace, which is something I [wasn’t] used to, but I’ve gotten used to it. And I love it.
Weekly: Diane has emerged into quite a prominent recurring role. Was that always the plan for the character?
Hennesy: Nobody really knew, although I don’t think the role was originally envisioned as going this long. But the fans have spoken out. The response to Diane has been amazing.
Weekly: What do you think it is that viewers like so much about Diane?
Hennesy: Diane doesn’t let Sonny get away with anything, while all these other women are falling over at his feet. Diane looks at them and thinks, “Have you lost your mind? There’s no way I will get involved with him. I want the money and the clothes and the prestige. I do not want to [get involved with him].” Women who fall in love with Sonny have a history of either dying or being locked up in a mental institution. That’s not going to happen to Diane.
Weekly: What’s it been like working with the don of Port Charles, Maurice Benard(Sonny)?
Hennesy: I love it. We have the best time. At least, in my opinion, we do. I could not ask for a better scene partner in probably anything else I’ve ever done. Maurice and Steve Burton (Jason) are funny. They have embraced me, and they’ve really made me feel like part of the team.
Weekly: Have you had any funny or favorite moments working with the mob gang, so far?
Hennesy: Yes. It was the show that aired on July 12. Bernie was flirting with Diane, and Sonny was not liking it. Bernie told Sonny that he could not have a relationship with Diane. Sonny called Diane back and asked, “Have I ever made a pass at you?” I almost spit up my coffee in the scene. It was one of the most fun days I’ve had at GENERAL HOSPITAL. It was when I got to tell Sonny, “There’s no way I would ever get involved with you.”
Weekly: So is it fun playing a lawyer?
Hennesy: Well, there’s a lot of legalese, especially in a soap opera, where things are kind of exaggerated and a little stretched out. So I have to make it work. That’s a challenge as an actor, but it’s fun. It’s a whole mindset of actually bringing a point home and really having to defend it and getting behind it. That’s very exciting.
Weekly: Anything else you really like about the gig?
Hennesy: The clothes are great. And the shoes are even better.