The Young and the Restless’s Chloe Mitchell Fisher knows a thing or two about the importance of mental health — something that the actress who portrays her knows all too well. Elizabeth Hendrickson got comfy and candid about her own struggles with anxiety on the couch across from her former General Hospital co-star and friend Maurice Benard on his YouTube videocast show State of Mind.
Elizabeth Hendrickson And Maurice Benard — The Intro
The fan-favorite Daytime Emmy-nominated actress began winning hearts on daytime in 2001 when she took on the role of Frankie Stone on All My Children, later taking on the role of her twin, Maggie Stone, on the same show. Hendrickson won over fans and critics alike before moving on to the role of Chloe on Y&R. Then came the call from Frank Valentini, the Executive Producer of GH about a new character.
The two actors met on the set of General Hospital in 2018 when Hendrickson took on the role of Attorney Margaux Dawson, a prosecutor with a secret history tied to Sonny Corinthos. Benard, who plays Sonny on GH, jumped right in with the story.
“Let’s start with General Hospital. You played a lawyer named Margaux. I played Sonny Corinthos, a mobster.” He smiled before adding, “And I have got to tell you, Sonny has been with a lot of girls. And no one is good enough for Sonny, except Carly [Laura Wright] and Brenda [Vanessa Marcil]. But there have been two actresses, who I believe had a true shot. That was Kelly Sullivan [Kate Howard/Connie Falconeri] and you. I had so much fun with you.”
“Do people cry right at the beginning of the show?” she asked, laughing but fighting back happy tears. “I think you were the best surprise for me. I don’t know if you remember but I was hired the day before that character came on. They were in a pinch. I had another deal fall through with another soap opera and they caught wind of it. They called me and said, ‘Can you do this?’ and I said ‘you’re crazy!’
“I had a hundred pages in court. In one week, in the course of two or two and a half days, and I had never played a lawyer.” The actress described the experience, “It was the best challenge. It was the hardest thing I have ever done. It was so great to push myself into the uncomfortable place. And I had always been a fan of General Hospital. You popped up out of nowhere. I never even dreamed I would have a chance to work with you.”
Getting Candid About Her Struggle
Maurice Benard smoothly pulled back the emotional layers as he so often does on State of Mind, and started the conversation about her struggles with anxiety that began in her childhood.
“I had a very loving family but a very divided family. My mom had me when she was very, very young. She was 22.” Elizabeth Hendrickson revealed, “My father was an addict. He was in and out of my life up until I was in college. That’s when he got sober. My mom sheltered me from it.
“Until I got into high school.” She explained, “I was about 15. I got drunk for the first time and my mom found me in my room, on my bed, passed out, in a pool of vomit. I realized that I had this anxiety when I was younger. I had anxiety and insomnia. And I was drinking Nyquil to go to sleep.”
When that didn’t work anymore she moved on to the harder stuff. “So I went into their liquor cabinet and drank whiskey and something else. I got so drowsy. So in order to get out of it, for me I knew I was in trouble, I lied and said my dad didn’t call me back. My mom was like, ‘Red flag. Gonna have an issue. Gonna be an alcoholic like her father.’ Called a therapist and I was thrown into therapy right away,” she revealed.
“I went through about three therapists. I didn’t like any of them.” But right before she could give up, her mom had an idea. “My mom gave it one last shot and said ‘what about my therapist?’ So I went and came out and said ‘when can I go back?’ I saw her until I was 24 years old. I think that the key was this woman just listened to me. I think I just needed to be heard.”
The two friends went on to discuss the ever-changing landscape of maintaining your own personal mental health, the importance of finding the right therapist, the right treatment options, the joy of mutual friends, the good and the bad coming out of the pandemic, finding the silver lining, and the actress becoming a mom at 40. There is something for everyone in this sit-down interview.
Benard’s video podcast, a project that is very near and dear to his heart, is about to reach the milestone of 50,000 subscribers. If you haven’t browsed through his channel yet, take a look. Be sure to check out the full interview between Elizabeth Hendrickson and Maurice Benard, which you can access by clicking here. You can also watch a preview below.