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43rd Daytime Emmys: Watch Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series Nominated Performances!

Five women are vying in the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series category at this year’s 43rd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards to be handed out on May 1st.  Nominated are: Tracey E. Bregman (Lauren) The Young and the Restless,  Mary Beth Evans (Kayla) Days of our Lives, Kassie DePaiva (Ex-Eve) Days of our Lives, Finola Hughes (Anna) General Hospital, and Maura West (Ava/Denise) General Hospital.

In this category, three women have previously taken home the gold:  Tracey E. Bregman in the then Young Ingenue category in 1985 (which eventually turned into the Younger Actress in a Drama Series award), Finola Hughes who has won once as Lead Actress in 1990, and Maura West who has won three times, and was last year’s winner in this category.  West won twice for her role as Carly on ATWT in 2007, and 2010, and once for her role as Ava on GH in 2015.

So this year will it be: Bregman’s Lauren, who when her husband Michael tells her he wants a divorce is overcome with emotion?  DePaiva’s Eve, who grieves the loss of her daughter, Paige?  Evans’ Kayla, who has the daunting task of telling her beloved brother Bo that he is dying?  Hughes’ Anna, who tries to deal with the loss of  the love of her life Duke Lavery in a mob hit, and then emotionally struggles to come to terms with shooting his believed assailant, Carlos?  Or, West’s Ava Jerome and Denise DeMuccio, after Ava begs Silas to let her die from her cancer, she ends up surviving returns to Port Charles posing as Denice to keep from being sent to prison?

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Watch the nominated performances after the jump.  Then let us know of the five nominees who you think deserves the Lead Actress Emmy?  Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Finola Hughes, hands down!

Shay
Shay

Amen to that! Finola is in a class by herself!

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

AND Mary Beth Evans–a tie (it’s happened before at award shows). I would like to see them both win.–lol!

CeeCee
CeeCee

All of these ladies brought it home, as far as I’m concerned, nancy…..except for Tracey Bregman. What did she do to blow anybody away?

su0000
su0000

WHOOOA !!
I was very surprised to see that Tracey Bregman was even nominated- for what?
Her performance, to me, was everyday day normal nothing special.

CeeCee
CeeCee

@su0000.
I just can’t imagine how Tracey could even come close to these Prima Donnas of Daytime. Kassie and Ava rocked it……I cannot compare Kassie’s heart-wrenching performance when Paige died to anyone I have ever seen on soaps; except for Maura West.

Nanci
Nanci

Yeah, include me in those confused by Tracey’s inclusion!
At first I thought it must be a mistake. Dont recall any of Lauren’s
scenes warranting a nomination.

James R. Poissant
James R. Poissant

I always thought Tracey Bregman was the most beautiful lady on soaps next to Kimberlin Brown. That’s what made me love the Lauren/Sheila rivalry so much for years!!! If Tracey is nominated then I am all for it.

CeeCee
CeeCee

@Nanci.
Hi, Nanci.
I agree. I am not saying Tracey is not a good actress, she is….nor am I disputing her physical attributes. But, she was not given a “blow-my-mind” storyline. I have not been wowed by her for a few years.
I think Melody T Scott deserved a nomination more than she.
Nikkin is acting her role to the hilt. Yes, her drunken stupor is recycled….has been for years, but, she kills it each and every time.
I am not a fan of Nikki’s, but I know what I see….. I love Melody and she is doing the best job ever!!

Soaphound
Soaphound

This is a tough one for me. Unlike a couple of other categories, this one is an across-the-board winner. Maura West is always fantastic, and Finola has done some of the best work of her extraordinary GH career this year. And I’ve adored Ms. Evans since she played Sierra on ATWT. But when I saw Tracy Bregman sitting at that table letting Michael have it, I knew this would be the performance of the year for me. Whether or not it belongs in the Leading category doesn’t even bother me. This was a stunning, surprising piece of work and gets my vote.

Jimh(leave it to beaver)
Jimh(leave it to beaver)

Kassie-Mary Beth-Finola???….these are my top winners…i always liked Tracy-Maura is good too…you couldnt make the choices any more difficult!!!

Patrick
Patrick

yeah…. this one’s going to bite… no matter how you look at it as a DAYS fan…it’s the worst argh! heart pull… in two directions OK… I only watched 3 of the REELS Kassie DePaiva – Mary Beth Evans – Finola Hughes all three of these FAN’tastic Ladies all three of them… in the worst pain imaginable ??? DAYS’ Eve : the murder of her daughter, Paige DAYS’ Kayla; the death of her brother BO… with a tumor GH Anna: the murder of her “Lover” Duke argh! these three “actress” slay me… day in and day out…..I LOVE THEM ! honestly ! from the get go… I’ve been watching Mary Beth Evans… FOREVER! Mary Beth Evans : STAR TURNED “in” EVERY THING ! year, 1986: Days of OUR Lives: (from Wiki) to present Evans is most famous for portraying Kayla Brady on the NBC soap opera Days of Our Lives from 1986 to 1992, 2006 to 2009, and 2010 to present. NOTE the gap between years 1992- 2006 year, 1993 – 1998 General Hospital as Katherine Bell In September 1993, she began playing the villainous Katherine Bell on General Hospital (and later on Port Charles) until October 1999. gosh darned it … I so wish I was watching GH at this time. year, 2000 – late 2005 As the World Turns as Sierra Esteban Evans moved to New York City to play Sierra Esteban on As the World Turns from December 2000 to late 2005, later reprising the role from July 2010 until the show’s finale on September 17, 2010. RETURNED TO DAYS… 2010 to present- I cant repeat verbatim… as I’ve posted prior… when she returned to DAYS… she was more or less… an extra and backdrop… taking orders at the pub… and seen wiping the counters down… and she’d have nothing more to say other than “here’s your order to go” THANK the powers that be… who saw the light… as we all do… and she was given that much more to do… as chief of staff at Salem “General” hospital. and the rest is history… she’s frontburner … she’s STARring alongside with and for all intent and purpose… with mom Caroline… are the moral compass… of ALL of Salem…. “Kayla, KAYLA, KAYla” with Mary Beth Evans… on DAYS… ( my favorite show of shows… ) I can weather any thing. she started in this business… year, 1986 which is give or take… 31 YEARS AGO Mary Beth Evans… STARRED in EVERY Thing she was contracted on DAYS… Kayla on ATWT… Cierra on GH.. Katherine I LOVE HER ! KASSIE DEPAIVA , ex-Eve Donovan; DAYS of Our Lives as I’ve posted about Finola Hughes… I may not have the vocabulary to fully express… just how deep … these ladies captivate… these ladies turn…. make scripts out of nothing… LOL giddy REEL with my gals… respectfully right up their… the best Days production… mismanaged their decision to FIRE her. INTELLIGENCE is missing… Presence is hard to find… a 110%… Read more »

Patrick
Patrick

Hi, JimH

the power… the pull… the magnetic

the pull OUT – ALL – the stop

by all the production and the cast, alike

I can’t get over… the REEL for Kassie DePaiva… it’s riveting.. it’s heart stopping… it’s SHOW… it’s the worst heartache imaginable

and YES… i’ll thwart naysay…

this was not done… for gamey… for plug… for garnered ACTOR w/pull

Kassie DePaiva.. was given script… and if I recall correctly… it’s the FIRST time.. she had ever had to act.. this out

she magnified… she wrung out, left ache… it still is

further proof… the ache… that DAYS – fool – that they are.. leave us hanging

a forever asterisk @DAYS… that Kassie DePaiva… is MAGIC

CeeCee
CeeCee

Yes, Patrick. Very big mistake letting Kassie; that rare gift go.
The character was not very well-received, I get it. It seemed as if Eve had nowhere to go after her daughter was murdered. But, she could have been redeemed somehow….happens all the time. If Sami was redeemed, along with so many others, so could have Eve.
As I indicated, Finola, Mary Beth and Maura are la creme de la creme, but, in my heart of hearts, Kassie stole the show and ran with it. Incomparable!!

4ever DAYS
4ever DAYS

If they take home the gold, they can “tie” one on together, Jimmy!

Mateo
Mateo

Finola Hughes hands down has this in the lock. That lady is class and talent personified. In a race with some great actresses she surpasses them all. I love Maura West, in fact I consider her tantamount to a modern day Beverlee McKinsey (forever the QUEEN) but her story line here was not a high point. She still knocked it out of the park but the story bothered me and doesn’t allow me to consider it deserving even though she was flawless in this role. Tracey Bregman from Y&R was very good but again the story was not a high point for Y&R. Kassie DePaiva is also stellar but the scenes she submitted were not the perfection she normally is. I just would be insane not to choose Finola Hughes for her continual excellence. Her pain, disgust, anger and confusion over shooting Carlos, losing Duke and trying to get Julian just seem to roll off of Anna Devane is such a way that you can not be taken in with it. She is perfection each and every time. This should be her year.

Dan S
Dan S

Agree that Finola should win! Also on the Maura/Beverly comparison too!

Brian
Brian

I can’t hear the Finola one but I remember watching it live. I am rooting for Kassie, Finola, or Mary Beth and I really think they could give it to Mary Beth. Her scenes were so natural and not forced. All of these actresses were outstanding and are well deserved to win. The Mary Beth scene made me realize that Peter Reckell was robbed by not being nominated for best actor!

Jeremy
Jeremy

I’m rooting for Kassie, too. I believe she will win.

su0000
su0000

It’s a tie !
Finola Hughes (Anna) General Hospital
Maura West (Ava/Denise) General Hospital

4ever DAYS
4ever DAYS

It could be a tie, su0000, but the winners should be KDP and MBE from DAYS!!

CeeCee
CeeCee

Oh, yeah…KDP.

Jimh(leave it to beaver)
Jimh(leave it to beaver)

Hasnt there ‘Ben’ enough ‘ties’ with Days-lol

Patrick
Patrick

@4ever

“thank you”

this is the worst feeling… I will not exaggerate….

It could be a tie, su0000, but the winners should be KDP and MBE from DAYS!!

Jeremy
Jeremy

I don’t see a tie happening in this particular category; the Emmy will go to Kassie!

Kevin
Kevin

I love you su0000, I totally agree with you finally lol.

Jeremy
Jeremy

Unfortunately, the Denise scenes didn’t do Maura justice. Maura had an excellent year, for the Emmy she won last year.

Dara M
Dara M

All very worthy submissions But Kassie Depaiva should own this year’s award. With truly wonderful performances from all of them, this year, her performances were just better.

Jack
Jack

Yes Dara, Kassie has to win the emmy. She is a sassy, classy lady. the lady is a wonderful actress.

Jeremy
Jeremy

I agree, Kassie DePaiva will win! After watching all the reels in their entirety; Kassie makes the viewer feel Eve’s pain, her loss, and anger. Her reel was by far the best, and most concise.

Joel
Joel

All so wonderful. Kassie, Finola & Mary Beth had great story to work with…

Aria
Aria

Finola Hughes or Maura west !

Ricardo
Ricardo

I predict a tie, Finola and Kassie win The Daytime emmy.

Mo
Mo

No ties this year, the academy said. They came up with ways to break ties so there are none.

Nikki
Nikki

I thought they we’re all good but I think Kassie DePaiva was the winner by far.

blake
blake

Kassie or Mary Beth, they definitely deserve to win.

I love Tracey Bergman but I don’t know why she was lead, she wasn’t on much. She should have been supporting and Gina Tognoni as lead actress.

Kat
Kat

I started watching dool when I was 6 sitting on my grandmother’s lap. Now my granddaughters watch. The writing is a big part of the story that makes these actresses all so deserving, but a great actress can make bad writing look good. I believe Mary Beth Evans deserves a win. She’s been playing Kayla for years and gets better and better. Let’s see someone who gets overlooked and has it coming to them. There all great but it’s time to recognize Evans. Hope to see lots of new story lines in your future. Danger and excitement

Jamesj75
Jamesj75

Great acting from most of the women. The most deserving actress, in my opinion, is Kassie DePaiva. How DOOL let this phenom slip between their fingers is inexplicable. Let DePaiva wrap her fingers around the Emmy trophy…

Ces
Ces

Finola Hughes is a natural. I give it to her every time! I never consider just crying & screeching as good acting but MBE was very good when Bo died. Hated that whole Ava/Denise story. Not a fan of KDP’s style of acting and Tracey was her usual self. Finola gets my pick!

Dan
Dan

Wow, talk about some heavy emotional scenes across the board. This is a tough category to pick. I’m a GH fan first and foremost, so I’m gonna be pulling for Finola. She brings it every single day, and it’s been 26 years since her last win. She’s long overdue. Maura was also excellent here, as she always is. GH has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to all the phenomenal leading ladies they have.

Very impressed by the work of Mary Beth Evans, as well. I don’t watch Days, so the last I saw Mary Beth was when Katherine Bell took the Nestea Plunge off the parapet at Wyndemere 17 years ago. The second time, not the first time when she came back from the dead, lol. Her scenes are very good.

Llanviewer717
Llanviewer717

Kassie DePaiva is superb!!!!!!!!!!!!! She definitely gets my vote.

GHFan70007
GHFan70007

Since I only watch GH I wanted to view all the reels before responding, My first thought is what did Laura Wright submit because on a bad day she’s better than some of these clips. Maura is awesome, GH is lucky to have her but she should have left the Denise stuff out even though it told a story. Kassie’s scenes were top notch, I know nothing about the character of Eve but I felt her pain and got a little misty eyed. Got to love Tracey being recognized, I was a big fan of hers 20 or more years ago when I used to watch Y&R but hard to believe she topped the before mention Laura for a spot. Mary Beth scenes with Bo were phenomenal but I was unimpressed with the scenes with Patch aka Stefan, she did outshine him though. My money is on Finola, her scenes naturally flowed and told a story of lost love, anger, vengeance, and remorse. I’ve always thought she was the best crier on daytime, she always conveys the right emotions. I’d love to see her more on GH.

Phil
Phil

I would hate to be the one judging this category…easily the toughest race. Love Maura, love Kassie, love Mary Beth, and Finola is a goddess….all great…if I had to give someone the edge it would have to be Finola!

Jay Trotter
Jay Trotter

I just watched all the emmy reels.

Maura or Finola are going to win for lead actress so GH will take this category. I didn’t think Kassie, Mary Beth, and Tracey were on the same level as Maura and Finola. Mary Beth and Tracey shouldn’t even be in this category to be honest cause they are supporting actress on their shows and Mary Beth was hardly on in the first half of 2015 and Tracy was hardly on in the second half of 2015. I honestly would give a slight edge to Maura over Finola based on the reels even though I’d rather see Finola win.

Derrick
Derrick

I still don’t know how Tracey Bregman got in over Melissa Claire Egan and Gina Tognoni!

I’m rooting for Kassie DePaiva!

jeremy
jeremy

For sure FInola Hughes 🙂

Kelly
Kelly

I say Kassie DePaiva or Mary Beth Evans. However, I leaning more towards Kassie.

Mo
Mo

Kassie or Mary Beth.

Mary SF
Mary SF

Personally I would like Fiona to win it, but my gut tells me the Academy members will be going with Maura once again– as I said before often the type of story is just as important as the performance and death bed scenes are popular with Academy members– basically any story with an illness in it usually does well at the Emmy award. But all the ladies did a great job this year and this one might be too close to call.

credo
credo

My vote goes to eith Kassie or Mary Beth – both are extremely talented, very natural actors. In fact, a tie would be nice.

irene
irene

Kassie DePaiva Watched all the videos and she was the best. Heartbreaking and so real for so many people. Similar events happening everyday for people. There is nothing else she could have done to show pure breakdown over the death of her daughter.

Anthony
Anthony

Looks like a close one between Maura West and Finola Hughes. I’m starting to think that Maura may be the “Erika Slezak” of her generation. With that said, as a long-time fan of OLTL, I wouldn’t be upset if Kassie won the Emmy – even if it’s for work on DOOL.

missmeka1987
missmeka1987

KDP needs this Emmy hands down I like TB as Lauren on YR but KA as Hope on Days was robbed She did some of the best acting of her career ugh..

code85
code85

Finola , Mary Beth or Kassie are there who stood out. Maura west second episode was good not great, this is not her year .

Mo
Mo

No lead nominee from B&B. I really think Linsey Godfrey should have submitted in lead actress.

Rose
Rose

To be fair I looked at each submission since I don’t watch Days. My choice is Finola, all the more so because this is a long standing love story, and she’s BFF with Ian in real life. I would think it’s harder to pull up the understated pain and rage compared to lots of tears, etc when you know someone that well.

I also like Maura, but not for the hospital/Silas scenes. It’s a personal thing…I just don’t like those kind of scenes. But what I did like was Denise. I know there’s been mixed reviews about including her as a “new” character. But she made me laugh at times and it certainly showed the versatility of Maura. And how did she get away with the “disguise” that long?

Also think Tracey was very good, but still Finola.

As for Kassie and Mary Beth, again I’m not into those really sad stories, no matter how well they they are acted out. Preferred Kassie as Blair like a lot of other viewers.

Patrick
Patrick

I watched Finola Hughes REEL

truly I did… and I thought it lost muster

I was surprised by how long… her REEL was… with just her and Andre

it became staid… and lost it’s emotional pull

as IVE posted … oy! all the fans and ACTORS from GH who were so GRAND in just throwing Ron Carliavati under the bus…. not saying Finola Hughes thought as much

BUT… I truly think… J & S (GH writers) are , in fact, giving Finola Hughes that much more… and better material… I said… Finola Hughes should win, next year

Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Promo: What’s Going To Happen At Jarlena’s Wedding Anniversary Shindig?

Coming up next week on Days of our Lives, prepare for drama, drama, and more drama! From the looks of the latest promo for the NBC soap opera, the action takes place at Marlena (Deidre Hall) and John’s (Drake Hogestyn) surprise one-year wedding anniversary soirée, where things could take a deadly turn!

But with the Kristen (Stacy Haiduk) masquerading as “Nicole” plot reaching new heights, Anna DiMera (Leann Hunley) and Tony DiMera (Thaao Penghlis) back in Salem, and the promo telling viewers “For one guest, the party, is over” followed by Sonny (Freddie Smith) yelling, “She’s got a gun!” and Brady’s (Eric Martsolf) ending line, “Oh, my God!” there is plenty to conjecture.

Also seen in the teaser is Kate (Lauren Koslow) trying to rip off the face of Susan Banks (Stacy Haiduk), and Stefan (Brandon Barash) and Gabi (Camila Banus) getting hot and heavy and Eric (Greg Vaughan) yelling, “No!”

So, check out the promo below and then let us know via the comment section below, what you think is about to go down at Jarlena’s party, where last August at their nuptials … things did not go off without a hitch, either!

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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Stacy Haiduk and Eric Martsolf Talk Kristen & Brady’s Twisted Relationship : The Mask, The Deception, The Sex

Last week on Days of our Lives, Kristen (Stacy Haiduk) was able to get the man she craves in between the sheets.  So, just how did that happen when Brady Black (Eric Martsolf) had no idea she was alive?  Well … he still doesn’t, really.  You see, Kristen returned to Salem disguised as another ex flame of Brady’s, Nicole Walker (who everyone believed died in the warehouse explosion).  And Kristen has been parading around town donning an incredible likeness of Nicole’s face – via a prosthetic mask – and some other tricks to sound and look just like her!

Kristen’s goal is to infiltrate Salem, remind Brady of the love and passion they shared, take over DiMera Enterprises, and who knows what else!  And everyone who stands in her way, better watch out as we have seen! We are speaking to you (the late) Ted, and (once kidnapped) Kate, et al.

Fans of the NBC daytime drama series have followed the tortured relationship between Kristen and Brady for years and through many plots; Kristen was first played and brought to life by Eileen Davidson, and for well over a year now by Stacy Haiduk.  Not only has Haiduk reprised the role of a frustrated, vengeful Kristen, she is also playing at times multiple roles: the wacky and often misunderstood, Susan Banks, Kristen playing Susan, or Kristen pretending to be Sister Mary Moira.

As for Daytime Emmy winner, Eric Martsolf, this latest story arc puts him front and center as viewers watch to see if what Brady senses, and the clues, and the feelings he is having, bring him to the conclusion that he has been duped by Kristen, and that her horrendous scheme – pretending to be Nicole (Arianne Zucker), and dumping Nicole’s longtime love Eric (Greg Vaughan) to be with him have a result that is unexpected or catastrophic!

Michael Fairman TV sat down with Stacy and Eric for this conversation about: all the plot twists, and playing the drama and the humor of the situations they find themselves in as actors in a wild story that only head writer Ron Carlivati could pen and keep the audience on the edge of their seats in the process. Check out this oh-so-fun, direct, and enlightening chat with two of DAYS most shining stars.

Photo: JPI

Eric, what has it been like working in this part of your storyline; where there’s the character of Kristen in its many forms: Arianne Zucker playing “Nicole” (but it’s really Kristen), Kristen as Susan, and the real Kristen, etc?

ERIC:  It’s been a nightmare Michael.  (Laughs)  I don’t know who I’m sleeping with anymore.  I’m at the point where I go home at night, and I just tug on my wife’s cheek just to make sure that she is not my ex-girlfriend from high school.

When you first heard of this storyline, and that it was going to facilitate how Arianne was going to come back to the show… and that it was supposed to be Kristen in a Nicole Walker prosthetic mask with a voice alternator, what went through your mind?

ERIC:  I think in the back of Ron’s Carlivati’s (head writer, DAYS) mind, he was thinking to himself, “This dude started his soap career on Passions, he’s okay with this kind of thing,” and honestly, nothing surprises me anymore.  When you’re thrown into that supernatural, crazy reality, doesn’t-live-here sort of atmosphere for you first soap gig, you don’t sweat a mask and a voice modulator.  That’s just par for the course.  My biggest problem was the body thing … that Brady is not able to distinguish one body from the other, because I would as Eric.  My God, I know every inch of my wife’s body.  So, it’s difficult to get my head around that, but at the same time, I’m going with the whole “love is blind” thing here. (Laughs)

Courtesy/NBC

(Laughs) I was going just going to say that Brady would absolutely know Kristen’s body from how passionate their relationship has been in the past, as well, he would Nicole’s body from his relationship with her.

ERIC:  Since Kristen did finally just succeed – let’s use the word in “seducing” him, and using her wonderful feminine wiles as only Kristen has to get Brady in to bed, there was also another twist.  What plays after that is that he notices the tattoo that’s been removed, and she plays it off as scarring from the fire.  What’s going through his mind as he is making love to Nicole is a “Kristen train”.  He can’t get Kristen out of his mind, and the guilt that he feels about that is horrendous.

Right! Brady is thinking: “Why am I feeling this when I am supposed to be with Nicole!?”

ERIC:  Right!  Brady has been waiting for a relationship for God knows how many years now – at least a successful one.  He is so eager to have this work, even though he has been concerned about how Eric (Greg Vaughan) would feel about this.  In Brady’s mind, Eric is done with Nicole.  He’s good.  He loves Sarah (Linsey Godfrey).  This is fair game.  Brady and Nicole have always been close … they’ve been close before … so, for him, it’s, why not give it a fair try?   However, he finds himself now thinking about another woman the whole time.  That’s rough.

Courtesy/NBC

Do you think in the back of his mind, that this whole time, he possibly knew that “Nicole” was Kristen?

ERIC:  Well, you just have to wait.  There will be a reveal eventually, obviously, but until then, let the games play on.

So, once Brady and “Nicole” have sex, he keeps thinking about Kristen?

ERIC:  Constantly!  She just plagues his mind.  I think he’s realizing that his affection for Kristen is anything but dead and is very alive, and I think this is Kristen’s master plan from the very beginning.  She knows that she pervades his soul, and once she does reveal herself, I would guess he would probably be surprised, maybe a little angry, but in the end … you can’t deny what your heart and your body wants, right?

One of my favorite recent scenes had Brady half-naked and Kristen as Susan getting into his room, because she was looking for the MIA Nicole mask she so desperately needed.  She finds herself gawking and lusting after Brady under her disguise, and he tries to remove himself from the situation and says, “Susan, I’m going to get in the shower…”

ERIC:  Yeah! And, “It’s not going to happen, baby.”

What was that like doing that scene?

STACY:  I loved it!  I thought Eric was brilliant in it.  I watched it, and I thought, “Oh, my God!”  (Laughs) It is one of my all-time favorite scenes.

Photo: JPI

ERIC:  Kristen is a tiger.

STACY:  She is a tiger.  She’s got a goal, and she is going to go after that.  She has obstacles that are going to come in-between her goal, but she will go after whatever she wants.

When Stacy comes in to Brady’s room as Susan, were you not laughing?

ERIC: No!  I thought she was hot. (Laughs)

STACY:  He did … he loved it.  You liked me, didn’t you baby? (Laughs)

ERIC:  I don’t think anybody can deny that Stacy Haiduk’s portrayal of Susan Banks is ridiculously good.  Everything from her delivery … to her facial expressions.  I think it is amazing.  I mean, it is corny, and it is fun, and soaps need characters like that once in a while to lighten the load of the heavy dialogue and the drama.  It’s a welcomed addition.  So, I love playing scenes with Susan.

Photo: JPI

Eric, you always have been able play the straight-man so well in comedic scenes with impeccable timing,

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STACY:  You’re brilliant, Eric.

ERIC:  You guys are being very nice to me.

STACY:  You are.  I remember on the day how much fun we had, but then, seeing it back and the crap that I was giving you, and just the stuff you were giving back was so beautiful, and innocent, and so alive.  It was so funny.

Does Kristen think that now that she finally got Brady into bed that she won … that she got what she wanted … even if she had to don a “Nicole” mask to do it?

STACY:  Well, no, because she still can’t be really Kristen.  I think she is grateful that she gets to be with him.  That’s one of her biggest goals: to be with Brady and she wants to have him fall back in love with her again.  But for her, now it’s all about, “How do I reveal myself so that he doesn’t get scared away?”  That’s the toughest part for her.  Kristen’s love is so deep that it goes beyond this mask.  So, how is it going to be when he sees her?   Is he going to freak out?  What’s going to happen?

ERIC:  Did you think Kristen would be a little pissed off and think, “Oh my God.  He did go for Nicole?”

STACY:  Yes!  I do, because she’s like, “Finally, I got him!  But wait a minute … did I get him because I was Nicole … or because I was Kristen?”  As Kristen, she always believes there is something deeper between them and a deep connection.  That remains a driving force to her.

Photo: JPI

ERIC:  That’s why I love these characters so much, because of you and the history of Kristen with Brady.  She’s always wanted him as much as he has wanted her.  She’s always wanted to be loved.

STACY:  Yes … and very much so.

ERIC:  Kristen had always wanted to be a part of the DiMera Empire, just as Brady has always wanted to be a part of the Kiriakis Empire, and they’ve always wanted love.  They’ve never had it.  They believe in the back of their minds that anything is attainable.  So, I can see why Kristen would just forgo the Nicole disguise and just go, “He wants me.”

STACY:  Kristen wants to believe that Brady knows it.  She says to herself, “He knows it’s me inside and behind the mask.  When he finds out, he will fall back in love with me.”

Now that she actually had sex with Brady, wouldn’t that make Kristen even more insatiable to be with him? Like, “I’ve got to have him!?”

STACY:  The fear is still .. what happens she takes this mask off?  She always says, “I’ll reveal myself, but I have to do it slowly when it is the right time.”  I think there is that built up frustration now for her, absolutely!

Photo: JPI Studios

Arianne Zucker really has Stacy’s mannerisms down as Kristen.  It really comes into in scenes where “Nicole” goes off on someone or loses her temper.  Eric, you have worked with Arianne for years on this show.  What do you think about her performances in this storyline?

ERIC:  I have worked with Ari over the years, and I have enjoyed it a lot.  Ari did do her homework.  She did study Stacy’s tape, and she watched her mannerisms, and she took it very seriously.  I know that because she is a hard worker, as much as a goofball as she is, she does work hard, and she wanted it to be good.  I think my favorite parts were the Kristen meltdowns.  You have to understand though; Stacy and Ari get along very well!  They’re kind of two peas in a pod.  So, it wasn’t a big stretch for her to take on how Stacy would play those types of scenes.  They’re both animated, they’re both wild people by nature, and so, it was a good fit.  It was a smart idea from the writers.

STACY:  It was a good fit!

ERIC:  I’ve been out with the two of them, and it’s hard to tell the two of them apart. (Laughs)

STACY:  We are just like two cuddly bunnies.

ERIC:  They’re like flirting with each other, and hugging each other.  You find yourself thinking, “Are they going to start ordering the same food at the same time?  This is getting weird. (Laughs)

Courtesy/NBC

In the recent scene that aired; where Kristen as “Nicole” turns off the light while having sex with Brady, is she worried her plan will now go awry?

STACY:  Yes.  I think she is worried about her body because it is burned.  You know, how they take a tattoo off, and it’s as painful as can be.  Not that I’ve had that done personally.  I like my tats, but I hear it is painful.  So, in the storyline, the burn is that pain that she has and the tattoo. There’s a part of her that thinks,  she has to cover it up, and turn the lights down low.

ERIC:  “Nicole” is sleeping, and Brady is rubbing his hands over her shoulder and touching her body, and as he goes over the burn marks.  He sees a flash of the tattoo!  That is a pivotal moment when he starts to put some pieces together.   He thinks, “Woah! That’s exactly where that tattoo was.”  It’s a slow little rollercoaster ride.

Courtesy/NBC

In the past, Kristen then played by Eileen Davidson, drugged and raped Father Eric.  Stacy, did you ever see that story arc?  Literally the sex scene is playing on the screen at Kristen’s wedding to Brady and then all hell breaks loose.  This to say Kristen is notorious for the ways and the lengths she goes to get her men into bed.

STACY:  Yes! I saw her Eileen do those scenes.

ERIC:  You also saw how close Kristen and Brady were to their dream, to their happiness, their goal, which was they were going to marry each other.  Brady is looking upon his loved ones in this town and thinking, “I know what you all think of her, but I’m going to show you our love on this screen, and once you see the connection that we have here as a couple, you all are going to be convinced that we belong together as well.  This is the happiest day of my life,” and the screen comes up and it’s his brother banging Kristen instead.

Marlena (Deidre Hall) played the wrong DVD!

STACY:  It was so good.  See, I try to find as much info as I can on the character’s past, because all of the time I’m trying to find where these characters have been in their dark and twisted past.

Photo: JPI

ERIC:  You’re putting your own stamp on Kristen.  You got a direct call from DAYS casting department, didn’t you … when they were recasting the role?

STACY:  Yes.  You have to understand, I had two really separate characters to play when I was on Y&R.  One was a doctor, and one was this crazy passionate, wild, little minx.

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ERIC:  I will say to find the wild and the beauty in one package is not easy in any town, yet alone Los Angeles.  I’m glad they called you, because you have that.  You have that villainous nature, but you also are able to show a vulnerable side to Kristen that is going to be a lot of fun and interesting to see.

Stacy is one of those people that will leap off of the screen at you and you will remember her.  She is one actress that will have fans talking about their work, like when you played crazy Patty Williams on Y&R.  The audience was on the edge of their seats going, “Oh, my God!  What is Patty going to do next?”

STACY:  I never knew what she was going to do!

Photo: JPI

Eric, has Stacy come to you at any point where she been overwhelmed by the task at hand; playing Susan while playing Kristen, etc, and the two of you have a moment where you work through some of the challenges of complex scenes  … and ones where she is playing multiple characters?

ERIC:  We’ve had many moments  to speak of.

STACY:  I always come into Eric’s room, and am like, “I’m scared!”

ERIC:  It’s funny you mention it.  We have had some very emotional scenes, and Stacy – who cares so damn much about this job and portraying this character correctly – that she gets a little overwhelmed, and the material that they give her is overwhelming for any anybody on any level.  I have looked at her in the eyes, and said, “You’ve got this gig.  You are this character.  You are knocking it out of the park.  Just do it.  Just be you.”   I can’t wait for people to see some of the stuff we have shot recently and have been doing.

Photo: JPI

Stacy, do you think Kristen can be redeemed? Many characters on daytime … and on DAYS … have done horrible things and later turned over a new leaf.

STACY:  The thing is that villains are bad and all that other crap, but they’ve got a lot of stuff going on inside and insecurities, and they’ve got a heart.  I’m sorry, the villain with a heart of gold, can be very  true.  I never see villains (and I play them a lot) as bad.  You have to find where it comes from … how far does this go … where did that little seed change … and what made them go into the dark, but also, where is the good?  You want to bring the good to it, too.

ERIC:  Let’s face it!  Star Wars is all about Darth Vader and how he became that because it’s intriguing.

Because of the pace in which DAYS tapes its episodes; do the two of you find time to run lines together before you go hit the set?

ERIC:  We are running out of time to run lines.  It’s pretty wild.  Funnily enough, I was recently filming a movie and I was so underwhelmed at the pace of everything.  I’ve gotten so accustomed to moving at this militant style, that as hard as it is, it is preferable to me now.  I almost like it because you don’t have time to overthink what you are going to do, and you end up getting more visceral and natural reactions to the material.  You can overthink a scene, and you can come to a wrong performance that way.  When you burn your fingers on a hot stove, that’s the most natural reaction you are going to get.  You can’t have ten minutes to think about how you are going to scream about that pain.

Photo: JPI

But, would you like the pace of shooting the show to be a bit slower?

STACY:  I would like to, but I do think sometimes just jumping in, and going and seeing what happens is great.  I love that.  I do appreciate that.

ERIC:  It’s scary.

STACY:  It is scary.  I would love if we would get to do a rehearsal and then two takes just to see, and then they can mix  together what happens.  Sometimes I am hard on myself as an actress.  I’ve always been.  It’s that jumping in when you only get to do one take.  You have to just give it everything you’ve got.

ERIC:  You can have a second take.  Want me to give you a little secret?  All you have to do is screw up your last line.

STACY:  I can’t do that.   I don’t even need it to be perfect because nothing is perfect.  It doesn’t matter what I’ve done if I sometimes don’t feel it.  I need to feel it when I’m on that set.  I need to feel something because when I shut down, I close myself off.  It’s like an athlete who has just got to  train as hard as they can to reach their goal.

ERIC:  You’re an Olympic swimmer!

STACY:  You’ve got to do it as hard as you can.  You practice, and you practice, and you practice, and you practice, so that when you come to that day, you do the best you can, but sometimes you are disappointed because you didn’t get that one last thing you had hoped for.

Courtesy/NBC

How do you view what happened to Eric with Kristen, who disguised as Nicole, tricked Brady into bed with her?  Some fans commented that that they thought it was akin to a rape.

ERIC:  No, I would disagree with that theory.  I believe there is a high degree of deception in this, but there is a willingness on behalf of Brady.  He’s not drugged.  He’s not being forced to do anything.  Deception, yes.  Rape, no.

Stacy, what do you think?

STACY:  Total deception.  There is no rape.  There is absolutely no rape.  These are willing participants; he just doesn’t know exactly who he is dealing with.

ERIC:  I appreciate the context of how somebody could construe that, and the seriousness of the matter.  I don’t think it really has a place in this particular storyline.

Do you guys think that Brady and Kristen are each other’s star-crossed lovers in a weird, twisted, bizarre way?

ERIC:  I don’t know.  I think they’re magnetism can’t be denied.  I think the hurdles that they’ve jumped through are astronomical.  Will they end up together in the end?  Who knows!  Will there ever be an end?  Who knows!  It’s definitely been one of, if not the most, in-depth relationships Brady has ever had.

Photo: JPI

And intense!

ERIC:  Yeah.  They’ve just gone through so much to be together, and when you do that, anybody who is married knows that, that’s where the good stuff is; the wars that you win together and the battles that you go through.  When you come out of the war, and you’re still together, that’s the bond.  That’s what lasts.

What would Kristen do if she couldn’t have Brady in the end?  Would she find a new obsession?  What if she could not nab her man?

STACY:  Wow!  Hmmm. (Laughs)  She’s going to get her man.  She wants her man.  She wouldn’t settle.  She’d keep fighting.  I would say to her, “Kristen, keep fighting the good fight.”

So, do you think Kristen will reveal herself to Brady sooner than later? Will Brady figure out what Kristen has been doing to get to him?  Will Brady turn Kristen away if he knew she was alive and back in action  … or would he fall back into her arms? Share your theories via the comment section below.

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Breaking News

Daytime Emmys To Merge Younger Actor & Actress Category Into One As Gender-Inclusive Categories Are On The Rise

The upcoming 47th annual Daytime Emmys are already making some changes to key categories and specifically this one that affects daytime drama performers.  Word from Variety is that NATAS (National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences) is going to announce that they are combining the Younger Actor and Actress categories into one gender-neutral category

Not only will the Younger performer category be gender-inclusive, but network soap performances will be combined with digital drama series performances for the category.  Previously, for this past Daytime Emmys, NATAS had changed the Guest Performer in a Drama Series to be gender-inclusive.

This category was initially created in 1985 when it was called the Outstanding Ingenue and then from there tweaked into Outstanding Juvenile Female and Male, and more recently that morphed into the Younger Actor and Actress categories.

Photo: JPI

Former GH star Hayley Erin (Ex-Kiki) and former DAYS star, Kyle Pettis (Ex-Theo) will now be the last female and male to win the two separate categories with this new move for 2020.

Fans of film and TV have noticed that on several award shows on MTV: their Movie and TV Awards and their VMA’s, there are several gender-inclusive categories, as well as the Television Critics Association Awards who for instance doles out Outstanding Individual Achievement in Drama in comedy.

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So, what do you think of the change; that there will now be one Younger performer category at the Daytime Emmys? Comment below.

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