Son of a gun!
in recent months, GENERAL HOSPITAL has given Anna a whole new history — not to mention a full-grown son! So when Soaps In Depth caught up with Finola Hughes at the Daytime Emmys gift lounge, we had plenty to talk about!
Like fans, the actress, who made her debut as Anna back in 1985, is still adjusting to the revelation that her character had a secret baby with Faison when she was a young and naive up-and-comer. “It’s insane,” she admitted. “I don’t know how I feel about it, honestly. I’m just discovering it as I go. I literally just go day by day and do a lot of figuring out what it would feel like.”
Hughes first learned about the plot twist while screentesting young hunks with exec producer Frank Valentini last fall. “I was like, ‘Why am I reading with these men, Frank? How is this going to fit into my story?’” she recounted. “He told me, ‘Oh, it’s your son.’
“‘What?’” she continued. “And then he dropped the big bomb with Faison. I was in the middle of auditions, so I didn’t really process it. I thought, ‘That will never happen. It’s just auditions.’ And then they cast Wes Ramsey” as the son in question, Peter/Henrik.
Anna’s New Backstory
With the shocking revelation that
Anna once had seduced Faison and wound up pregnant, GH has proven that it can still surprise even the legacy player. “And still surprise you guys!” she said with a laugh. “I’m not going to be shy about it. My Twitter feed is not happy. It’s been really interesting.”
Some fans have balked at this revision of Anna’s history. “But I don’t know that it is a rewriting, actually, because we never dealt with it before,” Hughes insisted
— and don’t get her started on the popular notion that Robert was supposed to be Anna’s first. “Can I tell you how archaic that is and how annoying I find it? I find it very [much a] double standard. And you can put me on record!”
In The Darkness, Light
With Anna facing this dark part of her past, Hughes has played some tough moments. “It’s been a lot recently,” she conceded. “I try not to make it too heavy… but it is.
“Yet I feel I’m allowed to play that line where I can have fun,” she added, “but then I also get to dip my toe into all the stuff that’s going on underneath the surface — like with Michael Easton (Finn)!”
Though Tristan Rogers’ return as Anna’s ex-husband, Robert, has afforded Hughes the opportunity to temper her character’s pain with some classic GH adventure, all Anna really wants is to take her son into her arms and make it better. And whether Henrik can admit it, he’s on the same page. Alas, they’re not likely to get that moment anytime soon. “No, they’re not,” Hughes sighed.
The Revelation After Which “Anna Will Be Changed”
Whatever you make of Anna’s newly revealed past, the well-planned Peter/ Henrik reveal is sure to shake Port Charles to its core and, with so many major characters affected, essentially blow up the canvas. “I think,” Hughes suggested, “that’s why they’ve written this, honestly.”
Certainly, Anna’s life will be turned upside-down. And both Hughes and her son’s portrayer are champing at the bit to dig into the meaty material they both know is coming down the pike. “He’s been so ready,” Hughes said of Ramsey, with a smile. “He went and got the script super early, and he was showing me stuff.
“Then I read half of it and he took it away from me and read the other half,” she continued with a laugh. “So then I called up to request my script, and then it was waiting in my box outside my dressing room. I read it immediately and was like, ‘Oh, God!’”
Next, it’s likely to be GH viewers who have that reaction. “We’re coming into the heavy stuff” in the storyline, Hughes confirmed. “It’s a lot — and I don’t mean volume! I mean depth. It’s not going to be easy. Eventually, the truth will out, and from there on in, Anna will be changed.”
Hughes has been impressed by her GH son. “I have a great scene partner in Wes,” she says.
“Maxie is my goddaughter,” says Hughes in character. “I’d sooner die than let anything happen to her!”
Hughes calls longtime leading man Tristan Rogers (Scorpio) lovely.
Hughes is glad that she gets to work with Easton during this dark storyline. “I couldn’t ask for a better person to bounce a lot of this off,” says the leading lady.