Su­per Spy

Fi­nola Hughes is div­ing right in to Anna’s new mys­tery.

ABC Soaps In Depth - - News -

While GEN­ERAL HOSPI­TAL’s Anna was off meet­ing her new grand­son in Cal­i­for­nia, por trayer Fi­nola Hughes was en­joy­ing her own va­ca­tion on a very dif­fer­ent coast — the Ital­ian coast! “I had a won­der­ful time with my fam­ily and got to lay on my back in the ocean,” grins the gor­geous mother of Dy­lan, 16; Cash, 13; and Sadie, 9. “No­body rec­og­nized me. We like to go to re­ally quiet places and es­cape.”

When Hughes came out of hid­ing and re­turned Anna to Port Charles in mid-Au­gust, she was ready. “I felt re­freshed and happy to start work­ing,” she says. “Plus, I’m work­ing with Michael Eas­ton (Finn), and I love it. He’s part of the new mys­tery… and there are other peo­ple in it, too — lots of peo­ple!”

Di­a­monds Are For­ever

That new mys­tery started the mo­ment Hughes re­ported for duty. “We got right into it — lit­er­ally!” laughs the Emmy win­ner, who ad­mits she was a bit stunned when ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer Frank Valen­tini told her all about Emma’s stolen di­a­mond on her first day back. “I was in makeup and hair, and Frank came in and laid out the whole story. I was stand­ing there like a deer in the head­lights, and he goes, ‘Got it?’ I said, ‘Okay… ’ and then he walks away! I was like, ‘Oh, I can’t even process this in­for­ma­tion!’”

Im­me­di­ately, she was ex­cited to jump in. “Of course, I want ac­tion,” she cheers. “So here we go!”

The Spy Who Loved… An­dre?

Hav­ing tracked the di­a­mond to Cas­san­dra, Anna’s now pres­sur­ing Finn to help her bring down this woman from Valentin’s past. While it’s hard to imag­ine this tense chem­istry lead­ing to any­thing ro­man­tic… you never know! In the mean­time, Hughes doesn’t imag­ine Anna’s flir­ta­tious dance with An­dre is over. “We’ve been play­ing a kind of push/pull since he came to the show,” she ex­plains. “And I was there with Vi­nessa An­toine (Jor­dan) back when they au­di­tioned the role of An­dre, so clearly, they wanted to play some­thing out.”

What­ever comes down the pike, there’s al­ways Anna’s poly­cythemia vera (PV) to con­sider. “I try to keep it in mind, even when they don’t write it,” Hughes says of her char­ac­ter’s rare, treat­able cancer. “It’s a great priv­i­lege to play a char­ac­ter who’s deal­ing with an on­go­ing chal­lenge — or on­go­ing ac­com­plish­ment! — through the rest of her life.”

You Only Live Twice

Hughes ac­tu­ally did for­get about the cancer for a spell this spring… but only be­cause Anna’s twin, ALL MY CHIL­DREN’s Alex, took her place! “That was crazy,” the ac­tress says. “I got very ner­vous do­ing that sto­ry­line. I was wor­ried I couldn’t pull it off. You just want to do it right, and it can be tricky.”

As an added level of dif­fi­culty, “Frank told me not to tell any­one,” Hughes re­counts. “He said, ‘Don’t even tell the di­rec­tors!’ I said, ‘Are you kid­ding me? I’m dressed dif­fer­ently. They’re go­ing to think I’m weird.’”

While di­rec­tors learned Hughes was play­ing her AMC twin within a few days, co-stars James Pa­trick Stu­art (Valentin), Anthony Mont­gomery (An­dre), Matt Co­hen (Grif­fin) and An­toine never

knew. “How ter­ri­ble is that?” she chuck­les. “Even Ge­nie [Fran­cis, Laura] didn’t know!”

Of course, many long­time view­ers did zero in on dif­fer­ences like the shift in the char­ac­ter’s en­ergy — un­like Anna, Alex seemed quick with a smile! “Anna’s so se­ri­ous,” her por­trayer ac­knowl­edges with a sigh. “I’ve got to fig­ure that out. But I’m glad peo­ple watch­ing could see some­thing.”

Die An­other Day

A few months back, Valentin re­minded re­formed dou­ble agent Anna that she

“The last time I thought I’d ‘played it all’ was prob­a­bly 25 years ago,” the GH vet laughs, “and they put an alien in my garage!”

Thanks to this lit­tle di­a­mond, “Anna is back to fight­ing crime,” cheers Hughes.

The ac­tress calls Stay­ing Alive co-star John Tra­volta “the kind­est, nicest per­son you’ll ever meet. [That movie] was my first time in Amer­ica, and he took me un­der his wing. I loved it.”

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