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In The Spotlight: GENERAL HOSPITAL's Joshua Benard (Adam)


Disney/Christine Bartolucci


When GENERAL HOSPITAL invited Joshua Benard, son of Maurice Benard (Sonny), aboard as Adam in March 2022, he was hoping the short stint might lead to a longer run — and he got his wish last year when the show decided to expand the role and put him into story opposite Josslyn and Dex.

Notes Benard, “It was funny, because sometimes when I get job, I’ll go in for an audition and when I get the job, it’s like, ‘Oh, my God, I got it!’ Like, when I got THE REHEARSAL,” the 2022 HBO series in which he portrayed another character named Adam, “it was a big deal. This was more of a gradual thing; they just had me going in once and then twice and all of a sudden, I just started noticing that it kept going and going. I was like, ‘Wait, I guess I’m a recurring character now!’ That realization was really cool.”

He’s been having a blast on set. “This has been really fun for me,” he enthuses. “When I first came on, they just had me do one thing and that was it, and then I was for a couple of months, six months or something like that. Now that it just keeps going, it’s almost like I get to go to acting class every day I’m there.”

His proud father has, of course, lent support along the way. “He always helps me,” Benard nods. “Sometimes I don’t even ask him and sometimes, for the harder things, I do. I had one scene where I was saying a bunch of medical terms and it was a super-long monologue and he told me, ‘That’s hard. I don’t even think I could do that!’ He told me I told a good job on that one.” As Adam’s anxiety episodes have worsened, “I’ve been getting a little more angry [as Adam], in a way that’s similar to how I would get angry in my real life, and he’s been helping me with that. My mom [Paula Benard] helps me, too, the same amount that my dad does.”

One area where he hasn’t needed his parents’ advice is script memorization. “Memorizing for me has always been really easy for me,” he explains. “Sometimes I doubt myself and I’ll get a bunch of lines and I’ll be like, ‘Oh, there’s no way I can do this,’ and my mom is like, ‘Yeah, you definitely can,’ and I have been [able to]. What I did struggle with in the beginning was [only getting] one take or two takes. That was a struggle for me because I was just not used to that from the other stuff that I’ve done. But I learned the hard way that I had to, you know, be ready as soon as I get up there, that the rehearsal is basically your first take.”

He feels he got lucky to be working alongside Eden McCoy (Josslyn) and Evan Hofer (Dex). “Eden is amazing to work with,” he raves. “I remember the first time I was on the show [playing a young version of his dad’s character] was the first time we met. I was a little baby, like 13 years old. We didn’t even have any scenes that day, but ever since I’ve been on [as Adam], I’ve had almost all my scenes with her and I’m really grateful. She knows what she’s doing. And I love working with Evan, too. I’ve had some really nice stuff with him.” Behind the scenes, he’s also enjoyed a burgeoning friendship with Tabyana Ali (Trina). “She’s the best! She’s like a freaking comedian, and she’s an amazing cook, as well. She made me food once and it was one of the best meals that someone has ever made for me.”


Disney/Christine Bartolucci

Crush Groove: Benard says that Adam has a thing for Joss (Eden McCoy) because “she’s someone that he feels doesn’t judge him.”


As Adam’s psychological troubles have come to the fore, Benard has gotten a deeper understanding of his character. “A lot of what he is going through and what I understand about him, I’ve had to draw from other people that are close to me that I know,” says. “He’s not really a character that I can draw from a lot from my own experience. My dad has told me, ‘If you can’t use yourself, use the people around you.’ And what Adam is going through is actually very similar to someone I know. But I’m glad that the character is having an arc to him. When he first came on, he was kind of a weirdo, talking to Joss about her sex tape and stuff. Every time I was on before, people were like, ‘He’s kind of crazy.’ But I feel like now, the character is growing as a person and becoming more of who he really is.” The reveal that Adam feels intense academic pressure because his parents want him to become a doctor “has made the character better,” Benard opines. “Acting it, it feels better, because I’m working with something that I can really [explore] and it’s not so one-dimensional. It’s been great to see my character as more of a whole [being]. To me, a kid doesn’t act like the way Adam was acting with Joss [in the beginning] unless he’s got a lot of pain going on, or bad stuff at home. So I kind of always had sympathy for him.”

And the character’s crush on Joss is easy for Benard to understand. “I would say that probably for the first time, she’s someone that he feels doesn’t judge him. I think it’s that plain and simple. When he’s around her, he doesn’t need to act a [certain] way, he doesn’t need to be anything else.” On set, Executive Producer Frank Valentini has been there to remind Benard that Adam’s growing feelings for Josslyn are paramount for the undergrad. “I love it when Frank’s there,” Benard says. “I always know that I’m going to get the best take because Frank knows the character, he knows acting. There was this one scene where I was really emotional and he told me, ‘Joshua, you love Josslyn. You want to be with her,’ you know, like, ‘Keep that in your head when you’re yelling at her and upset.’ ”

As a general rule, both at GH and on other projects, Benard doesn’t battle pre-taping nerves or performance anxiety – even when he had to play music on the show. “I don’t really get nervous,” he shrugs. “My dad and I always talk about that because he always gets nervous for me, and he gets nervous about stuff that he does. But I never do. I just think it’s super-cool that I get to do it and maybe that overrides the nerves in me. My dad is so fascinated by that, that I don’t get nervous and he does.” Benard did, however, find it challenging to play Adam drunk and angry. “Those scenes where I was yelling at Joss and going off because Joss told me that she spoke to the RA at school, those are actually the kind of scenes where I’m the most comfortable, because of the nature [of soaps] where it’s only one take, it was challenging, because I’m used to being on sets where you get, like, 10 takes. It was challenging for me to get to that emotion very quickly. And then the scene where I played drunk, that was probably the most challenging because one, I’ve never been in drunk in real life, and two, I’ve never played drunk! So, never been drunk, never played drunk and you only get one or two takes! So that was pretty hard. My dad helped me a lot with that. I was, like, spinning before each take and I just made myself really dark, really emotional. I don’t think I did that great of a job, but, you know, it was my first time! I won’t make too many excuses for myself. I would give myself like a B-minus [laughs].”

Adam’s struggles are only going to deepen from here, and Benard hints, “Keep watching because it gets better and more interesting and a lot more juicy!” He appreciates the feedback he’s been getting from GH viewers. “My dad and I always love reading the comments and stuff and I would say that 95 percent of people really like my character and what’s going on, and it’s cool to see that people like it.” The other five percent doesn’t bug him. “I saw someone post something like, ‘This kid only got the job because of his dad, I hate nepotism.’ And I reposted it! I was just laughing. I think that kind of stuff is funny.”


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