One of daytime’s most popular and accomplished actresses, Daytime Emmy winner Finola Hughes (Anna Devane) chatted with On-Air On-Soaps at the ABC Summer Press Tour for the TCA (Television Critics Association) and gave us her thoughts on the infusion of the notorious Jerome family that has implanted itself again in Port Charles, and what it means for Anna and her man Duke (Ian Buchanan) who have a very tortured history with the clan!
Plus, after being front and center in the “death” of Robin storyline, does Finola ultimately hope that her on-screen daughter, and dear friend Kimberly McCullough (Robin) will soon be back to play-out being rescued from what appears to be Dr. Olbrecht’s (Kathleen Gati) clutches, and God knows, who else at this point?
For fans of the one and only Hughes, what we can tell you is that this coming week on General Hospital, danger looms! Is it Anna to the rescue? Or, is something else about to go down? You have to watch and see! In the meantime, here is what Finola had to say during our conversation … and, read on to find out what actor she really misses working with!
What did you think when you found out about the Jeromes being in Port Charles again, and what that means for Anna and Duke who have history with that mob family? And, this time out in 2013, we have William deVry as Julian Jerome, and Maura West as his sis, Ava Jerome!
FINOLA: I think this is going to be good. What I like is that it is intertwined with something that came before. But, what I also like is there is something really dark about those people. We did something interesting that actually aired recently, where Duke and Anna went to Sonny (Maurice Benard) for help. I thought that was kind of cool.
Anna lost her and Duke’s baby at the hands of the Jeromes!
FINOLA: Yes, it was because of Olivia (Tonja Walker). She did something to the elevator and it crashed. I seemed to think that is what it was. (Laughs)
Moving forward, some have expressed GH needs to have some continual major story for the duo of Anna and Duke so they don’t become complacent! What do you know, in general terms, of story plans for the future?
FINOLA: I don’t know what the full extent of the story is yet, but I think it would be great for them to have something to do. They are together, and that doesn’t work on a soap. You have to have something that you kind of do together, instead of just being together. I can’t think of better story, actually, than going up against the mob.
Last year, you had so much emotional story, and were front and center with Anna dealing with the loss of her on-screen daughter, Robin (Kimberly McCullough). It’s hard for many longtime viewers to not have had you on-screen as much, over the last several months, given the caliber of your outstanding performances.
FINOLA: Thank you for saying that, Michael. It’s weird for me, and it takes me out of touch with the show. There are a lot of viewers who don’t know me as much, and so it sort of handicaps me, to be honest. You get up to speed with some new viewers and then suddenly you aren’t there. So, I have to go back over that ground again, and almost make up for that time.
I think one of your best scene partners ever on General Hospital has to be Jason Thompson (Patrick)! The two of you are fantastic to watch together. It has been riveting to watch Patrick and Anna grieve the loss of Robin, and how they have both tried to move on with their lives.
FINOLA: I love working with Jason so much! I just love it. I am very fond of Jason as a person. He is a wonderful person, and in the same manner I love working with Ian Buchanan. You are working with your friend. I also think, on top of that, Jason and I both have a lot of feelings that are similar about certain people and subjects, and we kind of walk the same ground, a little bit.
Have you told Kimberly McCullough that she needs to come back to GH and have the Robin story conclude? (Laughs) Fans are hoping that although she is fast becoming a prominent and upcoming director, she will give some resolution to this monumental cliffhanger!
FINOLA: All I ever say to her is, “I just really want to work with you. I just do!” She is a wonderful director. I think everything she is doing, she should absolutely be doing. However, I think she feels this: that there is a little piece of string out there dangling and waiting that hasn’t been concluded in regards to General Hospital. It’s like an unfinished end.
Now that you have directed your first motion picture, The Bet, would you consider, or do you want to direct episodes of General Hospital?
FINOLA: I don’t know if I will direct General Hospital, because that is a different beast to direct than a movie. I am not sure I would know what to do with those four cameras. (Laughs) I am desperate to direct again. There are two projects that I am sort of balancing.
Was becoming a director a natural progression for you because, for instance, you like being in charge, putting all the pieces of the puzzle together, and you like to have your creative vision fulfilled?
FINOLA: Here is the thing: I know you think I might like to be in charge, but I honestly didn’t feel like that. I just felt like everybody was coming together to create one thing. All you need is one person at the helm, and you are propelled along by everybody. And, you just sort of have this point person, and I kind of felt like that, and as the point person. I knew how to do it, and that was it. Basically, you just collect everybody and go, “I know how to do this, but you know how to do everything else, so let’s just go.” It’s very collaborative. You just do more preparation, and you are just involved longer than anybody else. But, everybody’s expertise comes into play at different times.
What did you think when Roger Howarth, Kristen Alderson, and Michael Easton returned to GH in all new roles as Franco, Kiki and Silas? Was it jarring to you, as it was initially for viewers?
FINOLA: Well, I can tell you how I feel; I felt great loss in losing John McBain (Easton’s former character) from my story. For the others, I was not involved in their story, and so I don’t even know them as their new characters at all. (Laughs) I love working with Michael Easton. He is a great guy.
So GH fans, what do you think awaits Anna and Duke as their longtime enemies, the Jeromes, are trying to stake their claim to the territory of Port Charles from Sonny? Will Anna ever get closer to the truth about Robin’s true whereabouts with Dr. Obrecht roaming in and out of Port Charles? Did you enjoy scenes between John McBain and Anna Devane ?Do you agree that one of Finola’s best scene partners is when she is paired with Jason Thompson? Comment below!