Are Finn & Anna Over? ‘General Hospital’s Michael Easton on Their Future
Even a savvy super-agent like General Hospital‘s Anna Devane (Finola Hughes) can have blinders on when it comes to her children. Specifically, Anna can’t bring herself to believe that her long-lost son Peter (Wes Ramsey) is capable of evil. This is bringing her into conflict with love interest Dr. Hamilton Finn (Michael Easton), who is understandably uber-protective of his daughter Violet (Jophielle Love).
As viewers saw in the February 12 episode, Anna confronts Finn over his involvement in the plan Robert (Tristan Rogers) had to bring down Peter. Can the couple survive?
TV Insider chatted with Easton as to whether or not Finn and Anna are going to make it, how becoming a dad has changed Finn, working with TV brother Josh Swickard (Chase), and the re-release of his poetry book 18 Straight Whiskeys, which contains 30 new poems. (Check out Easton’s website for more on his literary and film endeavors.)
Anna and Finn are in conflict over Peter – she wants to protect her son, but he’s not going to let anything happen to his daughter.
Michael Easton: This hurts him deeper than I think he knows. But he feels like it’s something he has to do to protect Anna. He doesn’t trust Peter and thinks he may end up hurting her directly or indirectly. She could be hurt physically or her reputation could be hurt by her protecting him and withholding evidence. She’s not aware of how far down the rabbit hole she’s gone. He wants her to see the light. This is what he has to do. More importantly, he feels he needs to protect Violet. He’s going to do what he needs to do.
When Finn came upon Violet playing Captain Marvel with Peter, he went into immediate protective dad mode. How has becoming a dad changed Finn? Does it allow him on some level to understand what Anna is doing because he’s a parent himself?
Good question. It’s easy for me to kick into that on a personal level because I’m so protective of my own children. On another level, I’m so attached to Jophielle. We have an amazing connection off-camera that translates to on-camera. It’s quite easy for me to go into protective mode. This overrides everything else he’s feeling. He knew Violet and Peter were just playing, but this guy did kill someone and he did hold Jason (Steve Burton) [away] for all those years.
For those reasons alone, I’m not sure I want him around my kid. I don’t think that’s an unusual stance. He is conflicted because he loves Anna. Before he was giving her the benefit of the doubt, but then Finn found out Anna has been withholding evidence.
The writing is spot-on in that you’ve both got a valid viewpoint and motivation for behaving the way each of you are.
It’s been great, lovely writing. It’s good conflict. It’s good drama. It’s good story when you have a position where do you don’t know who’s right or wrong. The nice part about bad guys is that they work when they don’t believe they’re bad. It’s always nice when there are gray areas. [The writers] have done a really nice job of creating that. Finn sees that what Anna feels towards Peter is blinding her.
You’ve had some scenes with Kelly Monaco (Sam) lately. What’s it like working with your former Port Charles leading lady? (Finn played Caleb, a vampire; Monaco was Livvie on the GH spinoff.)
I had been away from daytime and Kelly was my first scene partner when I came back. There’s always a special place in my heart for her. She’s an amazing actress and we have a comfort level, having worked together for so long. It’s quite easy to work with her again.
Speaking of Port Charles, last summer Monica (Leslie Charleson) ordered an exhausted Finn to get some rest because he looked like “damn vampire!” Your reaction was hilarious.
Thank you. I’ve always really enjoyed David E. Kelley’s (Big Little Lies) writing, everything he does. (Note: Easton played Glenn on Kelley’s Ally McBeal.) He knows how to do a great blend of humor and drama that make you feel a lot of emotions. It’s really true about how important humor is. I loved Boston Legal and that last season where they started breaking down that fourth wall. It brings your audience in a little bit. [Monica’s vampire line] lets them know that ‘Hey, we’re doing a show and we hope that you get lost in it but every so often it’s nice we acknowledge that we know you’ve watched for a while and here’s a little something to say we’re all in on the same thing.’
Brothers on soaps are often chest-bumping rivals competing over the same woman. It’s nice to see a different dynamic between Finn and Chase (Josh Swickard) where Chase wants his approval, friendship and love. Finn’s slowly warmed to him.
Josh is a great kid, a sweet kid, a terrific actor. He’s going to have a long, successful career. I really enjoy working with him. Much of the relationship you see on-screen is the same as our relationship off-screen. He’s a great guy. And I’ve been doing this for a while so maybe I can be a little more aloof. He keeps pulling me in and we sort of translate that [to the screen]. They’ve done a really nice job of writing that relationship. [Finn and Chase] are supportive of one another. There’s an interesting history between them that was set up. I think it’d nice to explore why Finn was so initially [resistant] to him. It was hard to [be distant with Chase] because Josh is such a nice kid.
How did the updated version of your poetry book 18 Straight Whiskeys come about?
The publisher came to me and said, ‘Hey, it’s the 20th anniversary. Would you like to add some new poems to it?’ I thought that was interesting. I hadn’t written poetry in a long time. I took about 8 or 9 months and I wrote down 30 new poems and put them in a book. They tell the story of this person from 20 years ago and who he is today.
It’s been a strange journey. I look back at the poems I wrote in 2011. In the course of a month, I had I both lost my father and also became a father. I wrote a few poems to my children. I never would have imagine doing that 20 years ago. I wanted to go back and edit some of the poems and they said , ‘No, you can’t do that.’ So, they remain as they were from 30 years ago. Chip Kidd designed the cover. We were really lucky [to get him].
What was your thought on the decision to let the poems remain in their original form?
There’s your ego saying, ‘I want to go back and have another crack at what I did.’ Some of the poems were from right after my mom passed away in 1994, I was living in France and not thinking straight. But you get over your ego and your insecurities and put it out there in the most honest way you can. That’s the one thing I am most proud – this poetry book is the most honest reflection of who I am.
Back to Finn and Anna – what’s next and are they going to survive this latest conflict?
There’s some really good stuff coming up. Anna and Finn have had this pretty big blow-up. I think if their love is strong enough, they’ll survive. It’s a great test. She thinks he’s protecting her son. He thinks he’s protecting her daughter. People are trying to hold onto what they believe in. Sometimes you have to tear the roof off the house to get your point heard. It’s breaking Finn’s heart to do this. For the first time in his life, he’s forced to have to make decisions because someone else is involved. Even if it brings an end to [Finn and Anna], he’s going to protect his daughter.
General Hospital, Weekdays, ABC