It’s only when the facts are laid bare that one realizes that DAYS’s Anna DiMera is a lady who lived a life of note. For recounting her alter ego’s biography with the utmost verve, Leann Hunley earns herself Soap Hub’s Performer of the Week honors.
Leann Hunley — Performer of the Week
In her early scenes, Hunley’s Anna was flabbergasted, flustered, and just plain put out. She couldn’t believe that Ned Grainger (Chris Kalhoon) would involve himself in Kristen DiMera’s (Stacy Haiduk) shenanigans, and she certainly didn’t like the idea of Tony DiMera (Thaao Penghlis) going off answer seeking with Chad DiMera (Billy Flynn) in tow. Also, how dare Tony not allow her to accompany them!
Hunley was soon able to put Anna’s more bubbly personality on display…once film producer TR Coates (William Christian) entered the fray and Anna set about pitching him some sure-fire ideas; chief among them: cast her and Tony as Kristen and Tony…or, more precisely as Kristen and Tony’s, “deranged cousin Andre.”
When it became clear that efforts were all for naught, Anna changed tactics. Perhaps she could interest TR in Bewitched: The Anna DiMera Story. “It’s got everything,” Anna promised. “Passion, action, more than one presumed death, and the best movie villain since Darth Vader.” No, not Stefano DiMera (the late Joe Mascolo). “His psychotic, baby killing, bitch of a bastard daughter, Renee DuMonde!”
Hunley’s finest moment came when Anna was alone and in the midst of typing out a treatment for the biopic she hoped to sell. She’d chosen to begin with a melodramatic scene. Anna and Tony pitched in battle over Anna’s accidental tryst with his murderous doppelgänger. For Tony, Hunley adopted a deeper pitch, a dismissive tone and acquired a delightful accent.
For a brief moment, the recollection overtook Anna, and she began to sniffle. Then she cracked a wide smile. “This screenplay writing thing is a snap once you get the hang of it!” Nora Ephron, eat your heart out!
Honorable Mention: William Christian
Smooth operator Christian was the perfect foil for Hunley’s zany Anna and the perfect audience surrogate. TR’s desire for a drink once Anna began her spiel about days long past was understandable, as were the facial expressions he pulled throughout. The jury’s still out whether the actor’s funniest bit was the oh so sly glance he gave to TR’s Rolex or the quick exit he attempted, but ultimately failed to make.
Days of our Lives (DOOL) airs weekdays on NBC. Check your local listings for airtimes. For more about what’s coming up in Salem, check out all the latest that’s been posted on DAYS spoilers, and for an in-depth look at the show’s history, click here.