Love hasn’t been easy on “General Hospital” for Anna Devane and the recently returned Duke Lavery, but stepping back into the daytime drama opposite each other has been a blast for real life friends – actors Finola Hughes and Ian Buchanan.
The two “GH” legends were actually around when the ABC soap had its 25th anniversary celebration, and they recalled that moment when Access Hollywood visited the set as they began to shoot the upcoming Nurses’ Ball.
“We were on the show on the 25th anniversary,” Ian told Access. “And we actually said to each other like there were people there who’d been there since the beginning and we said to each other, ‘Who’d want to be anywhere for 25 years.’”
“And he we are,” Finola laughed.
Ian said this year’s 50th celebration, which occurs on Monday, April 1, is reminiscent of the last celebration the pair was around for.
“The show has a same momentum and same excitement,” he said.
Before she was running the Port Charles Police Department, Finola’s character, Anna, was a secret agent, and the adventures that came with that gig are some of the actress’ fondest storyline memories from years gone by.
“My fondest memories were always when we went on location,” she told Access. “It was always like a small little story point you were going to tell… And we went repelling down mountains, skipping along.”
“GH” Executive Producer Frank Valentini has been working hard to surprise and delight the show’s fans by bringing back cast members from years past for the 50th. But, he has been keeping some of the returning names a surprise from the current cast too – at least until they hit the set – by coding the names on the call sheets and on the line the actors call to find out if they are working the next day.
“I think it’s wonderful,” Ian said of the length his boss has been going to, to keep things a true surprise. “I think [the] audience likes surprises… It’s amazing because people actually stay tuned if they’re told there’s going to be a big reveal on Tuesday.”
“And where is there any mystery anymore in your life, really?” Finola chimed in. “So, it’s kind of fun to be able to not know what ‘s going to come.”
“General Hospital” airs weekdays on ABC. The 50th celebrations kick off on Monday, April 1.
-- Jolie Lash