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Alison Sweeney Announces She Is Leaving Days of our Lives At The End of 2014 On Today's Ellen Show!

Courtesy/NBC

Courtesy/NBC

Here’s a surprise for long time soap fans and especially those of Days of our Lives.  Alison Sweeney announces on today’s January 21st episode of The Ellen Show that she is departing her role of Sami Brady after21 years with the NBC soap opera.

Sweeney says she will be taping episode throughout the entire calendar year of 2014, since reports say that her contract runs till December.  Just how she will be written-off as Sami is any one’s guess, and Alison’s!  She indicated in this promo clip from today’s Ellen Show, that she would hope Sami would be given a happy ending:

Alison related: “It would be awesome to have some sort of happy ending, but then I also think maybe Sami deserves some sort of twisted, like Breaking Bad ending. I don’t know!”   As to the reason for the busy star’s departure, she told Ellen DeGeneres,”I just have worked so much and my daughter just turned five and my son is nine, and I just want to be with them and enjoy my last year. I’m going to be on ‘DAYS’ all this year.”   Sweeney detailed it was an emotional decision, since she has played Sami since she was 16 years old!

Watch the clip from The Ellen Show with Alison after the jump!  Then, let us know, are you shocked Alison had decided to leave DAYS?  How do you think the show should write-out the character of Sami?  Weigh-in.

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MBmomof3
MBmomof3

Happy for Alison, but I will miss her as Sami. I can’t imagine Salem without her.

gloria
gloria

What happened to Alison’s hair? Why is it not blonde? DO NOT LIKE this red/brown color on her!

Sharonda
Sharonda

I will miss SAMI, Sami is Day’s Erica Kane, without her, IDK-I can only hope Eileen Davidison Kristen comes back and become the true anti/heroine of this show!

Patrick
Patrick

excellent Idea….

year 2015…for the start of Kristen…

this would give her a year and a half off…. to be with her son and family.

Think about it Ms. Davidson…. LOVE you

p.s…. totally agree with you… Alison Sweeney is DAYS Erica Kane… like that

gino
gino

Wow I’m in shock, i wish alison nothing but happy ness. she is a wonderful actress. I will miss samantha brady, so much. why not? Recast the role of sami, with a well known soap actress. suggestions rebecca buddig ex green lee amc. natalia livingston ex emily gh, she would be great as sami brady.

Patrick
Patrick

would people – fans: recast as Sarah Browne?

just a thought

Sharonda
Sharonda

I think that would be cool, however Allison’s Sami has this sassy clumsiness in her walk, her talk, her hand and facial expressions about her that I think I’ve never seen Sarah Brown portray-which is what ads vulnerability and strength to this character. But I would rather have Kelli Martin (Life Goes On, ER) play the role of Sami or Sarah Michelle Gellar -I’m wishing on a star here. LOL

RJS
RJS

For me this was shocking news. Sami has been such a force on the show. Now, we know why they introduced Ejabby which has been compelling (I like it.) for some of us to watch – not saying it will have the long term stamina to replace Ejami, but for now it has the impact to draw many of us in, cause a wedge between Ejami, and transition out of Ejami now that Sami is leaving (unless JS leaves too (hope not), and they go off in the sunset together). I would have thought Ali would stay throughout the 50th anniversary, but her tapings may make part of it (assuming Days makes it-hope they do), and I suppose she feels she needs to go now. Ali is a dynamo, and I am sure that we will see her in other venues. It will be interesting to see how the show does without her (assuming they continue-hope they do) since she was such a strong central character. Actually, I hope they do not kill her off that would be too sad and upsetting. I hope she goes off somewhere. Well, maybe it will require stronger writing for other characters and stronger storylines to carry the show. We will miss Sami, but we wish Ali all the best.

IowaMan
IowaMan

Wow! That’s an unwelcome surprise to me. No one can be more annoying than Sami, but that’s what makes us love her so much. Good for you though, Sweeney. Go enjoy your family – you deserve it.

Patrick
Patrick

you are absolutely right… as annoying as she is… character wise… we can’t not help but love her spirit.

geez! that’s the reason i love what women are about…. (but, miss them, on screen)

they take time off… to be with their significant others…. and children

after 21 years… she deserves a break….

Ray
Ray

I think this should be a wake up call to “DOOL” to do everything possible to get Eileen Davidson back as soon as possible. Losing your two biggest stars in one year is scary. Someone needs to establish themselves as the new Queen Bee. My vote is Nicole to be front and center. She is Leading Actress material and acted her a$$ off yesterday.

boes
boes

Nooooooo!

I’m going to miss Sami.

4everDAYS
4everDAYS

This calls for a celebration!!! I hope they kill Sami and bring back many favorites for the funeral!!!

Maybe Abby will accidently kill her and become a nun while EJ becomes a bitter evil man!!!

DAYS is hot and can only get hotter!!! DAYS mistake was to have a central character and I believe

this is a joint decision between Alison and the show.

Max
Max

Wow So sad about this. I can’t even imagine a Days without Sami. No words..

Omar
Omar

Good for her and her family..She will be sorely missed but we got a year to enjoy this very talented actress. Sami is a great character and I am hoping they will not recast but maybe work something out with Allison to stay on a part time basis down the line.

Kaleesi
Kaleesi

This decision is a win all around. Sami needs a loooong break and gives others the chance to lead story. Sounds like Alison has other projects to keep her busy so good for her!

DD
DD

Going to miss Ali so much as Sami, but it’s the right time for her and the right reasons, so I wish her nothing but the best on her future endeavours!

Stephanie
Stephanie

Why did she announce so early?! With the taping schedule, she’ll be seen until mid-2015! lol

Reagan
Reagan

Somewhat surprised but not really. I like Alison & Sami but the character has long needed a break. I do hope there is a Carrie/Sami reunion before she goes. I don’t think “Sami” will permanently stay off canvas– they might talk her in to coming back for short storyline stints. Kind of like what Kimberly M (Robin) is doing at GH now.

But as a career, Ali has to know that Days & Daytime roles are not going to keep her employed forever. She made a movie not that long ago with Greg (Eric) and her hosting on BL has to have been good for her career. Days has also let her direct some of the episodes. Hosting gigs, occasional TV movies… these are the things that will give her more opps in the future. So it makes sense to leave now.

Best wishes Ali!

Patrick
Patrick

OMG… what an opportune time… to bring back Carrie? !!!!

Ray
Ray

If DOOL brings back Carrie, bring her back single and with more spunk.

madluv4ya
madluv4ya

Wow. I wish her well. I think that I would like to see the role recast b/c i’d like to see the character continue. Its hard to remember DOOL without Sami Brady. I’m open to it or maybe they should give the character a break forba while. I dunno. Whatevs. Best to Allison though.

robert
robert

Of all the daytime departures, this one hurts the most. Alison is the heart and soul of Days, I don’t know how the show can fill the void. At least we still get a year of Sami. Congrats to Alison for all of her success.

dmr
dmr

This is quite a surprise; but, I am not disappointed. Many times, I cringe at Alison’s scenes. I find Sami to be very immature. Can’t imagine a man marrying her as many times as they have! I do wish Alison lots of luck with her career and lots of fun and time with her family. Perhaps she will take nu-Will with her? I know, not very nice..

Mark
Mark

I can live without her in Salem but it won’t be quite the same she has great chemistry with EJ. I don’t understand these actors with great gigs giving them up!

Yeah!
Yeah!

Yeah! No more The Sami Show! Now maybe the show can focus on some other characters with actors that don’t “act” by overacting.

jaybird369
jaybird369

I TOTALLY AGREE!!!!!

Mo
Mo

OH NO! I HATE IT. Maybe she can take a little break and return. Days won’t be the same without her.

MBmomof3
MBmomof3

totally agree.

Becky
Becky

Tears of joy! My best to you and your family. You will be greatly missed. I cannot imagine EJ without Sami!

bailey
bailey

Hope they give her a better going away party than they did her TV son Chandler Massey. Shameful how they treated that kid.

Chaz
Chaz

Hmmmm…will they pull a Chandler on her and let her go early because of this announcement?

Iakovos
Iakovos

OMG!!! HUGE news!!! I almost cannot believe it. Alison Sweeney and Sami Brady ARE the show for me. Departure of this character — I cannot even begin to think recast right now, although it is possible, as is a return some day — surely provides the catalyst for much to happen in Salem, particularly as the show develops a new front-and-center female character.

Patrick
Patrick

Alison Sweeney.

“Thank You” for carrying… DAYS in it’s lean times…. and fans can attest… there were some bleak years.

NO MORE! Ta-Da! if DAYS, currently… has risen above… expectations… and can reel without Eileen Davidson, and Chandler Massey…. and WE ALL are

then… I bid thee farewell.

Abs…couldn’t have happened at a better time… for EJ.

we have a lot of strong charismatic WOMEN helming…..

Kate, Marlena, Kayla, Theresa, Jordan, Maggie, Hope, Nicole, Sheryl, Anne, Caroline… so…

Alison Sweeney… I wish you the best

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

Abigail will probably end up with E.J. unless he’ll leave too…it’ll be difficult to fill that void when Sami exits…maybe she’ll go to prison after all…i just dont see her in a happy ending unless she leaves town with E.J. The show needs to bring back Patch and Stephanie…maybe Kim and Shane and a few of the Hortons…Abe’s family too…or gradually bring in a new family…change direction of the storyline before A.S.’s departure…just as i was really enjoying the show there are too many cast losses…they either need to bring back more Hortons, Bradys, Dimeras and Carvers or revamp by introducing a new family(Jordans?)

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

Alison will probably do a web series…kelly Sullivan should play Sami now?

davlestev1
davlestev1

NO NO and NO. Ward should be giving you a strong talking to right about now. Love Kelly but uhuh. But it would be great to get a whole other family like Y&R got the Abbots..OLTL got the Buchanans..GL got the Spauldings and on and on..WE CAN HOPE!!

davlestev1
davlestev1

Not to mention what the Dimera’s did for Days!!! Who in their right mind would be opposed to a new well drawn family? NOT ME!! OK i’m done heehawing all over your comments but that Mary SF…

Mary SF
Mary SF

Who are the Jordans? If you mean Jordan Ridgeway, Jordan is her first name, not her last name, but in the end it matters not because she is using a different name than her real one. Since CR is coming back at some point as Eve Donovan, it is possible “Jordan” will turn out to be her daughter. And if Eve’s return is handled properly that character could play a bigger role in the future. Can you imagine the trouble the half sisters Eve and Theresa could cause if they teamed up to wreck havoc in Salem. But I do agree they need to re established the core families on this show or make a new one and branch out from there.

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

I meant Jordan’s family and i hope your right and she is Eves daughter…maybe Eve will make a play for E.J.? Im feeling somewhat better and i still making typing errors…thanks for the reply!

davlestev1
davlestev1

@Mary @Jimh did not say the Jordan’s he said Jordan’s as in her extended family.
Read things properly sister Mary San Francisco. As for a new core family Bill Bell did a masterful job rejuvenating his show with the dynamic Abbot family. After years of the Hortons it’s time for new Salem blood and with Allison’s exit it’d be the perfect time to incorporate by weights and measures storyline wise a whole new brood of Salem folks.

davlestev1
davlestev1

LOL as if I truly thought SF was …

davlestev1
davlestev1

HOW DARE I FORGET…GH got the Quartermaines and truly revolutionized that show forever..

Mary SF
Mary SF

Hey@davlestev1 had to reply here— , you said to me” @jimh didn’t say Jordan’s he said Jordan’s as in her extended family– what’s the difference? Both Jordan’s you used in your reply to me have the apostrophe. If you read @jimh post he said Jordans– no apostrophe — no possessive case implied without an apostrophe. I read it properly– are you sure you don’t need glasses? However, me and @jimh are old buddies here so I was just ribbing him for leaving out the apostrophe, at least I think he knew I was ribbing him. Of course I knew he meant Jordan Ridgeway’s family, I’m not that dumb.—-and by the way the SF in my name doesn’t stand for San Francisco– But agree with your post, a new family on DAYS is in order and Bill Bell’s Abbotts prove it can happen. Peace Brother.

davlestev1
davlestev1

I hear ya..I love these blogs..wish the people that needed to see would do and not peer as if to say…ehh..so that’s what they’re thinking??..soldier on…

Mary SF
Mary SF

Hey soap buddy– don’t worry about the typos I was only kidding– messing with you– I knew what you meant– I guess the humor didn’t translate from my mind to my post. Honestly if I had a dollar for every typo I made on this site and others– I would be a very rich lady by now– next time I will remember to include the LOL .

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

And ill try to remember my apostrophies(i type to fast)…lol thanks Mary!!!

Patrick
Patrick

I’d love it, if, she spiraled, out of control

No ONE… like Sami… holds, everything… as steadfast as she does…

she’s so loyal to her family…. torn between her characters virtuous… and on the other hand… a true DiMera…

why not have her spin out of control…..

let’s see her nut up and imbibe in chemical reaction…. go breaking bad

“GO BREAKING BAD”

a tour de force… encounter and trip

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

Kelly Sullivan should be the new Sami…if available!

Patrick
Patrick

an even better idea… Kelly Sullivan is only 35 years old

she’d be perfect… bring more layers to Sami

Mary SF
Mary SF

Days without Samantha Jean will be a like a day without sunshine.

MBmomof3
MBmomof3

True that.

Mo
Mo

True dat.

Mai Lan
Mai Lan

I am a long time viewer and have watched grow up on Days. Sad to hear that she has decided to leave. Happy that she will be able to spend more time with her family. Hopefully she’ll pop in now and then.

ALL THE BEST,

Michael
Michael

This sucks.

nancy
nancy

Alison does not get to leave she says she misses her family make a video of her family and stay on dool make a video for her dressing room

nancy
nancy

why don’t sami get killed off by nick because nick is not dead and gabi too

Tom Welles
Tom Welles

I guess people will scream at me for saying this, but if the writers want to keep the character active, they could attempt to do a Re-cast, though I understand completely that Allison is identified strongly with the role since she has played the part for such a long time. With soap actors looking for work, I am sure they could find a replacement, even if only for a short time. Sometimes recasting works, sometimes not, but they could try it if they want more mileage out of the character.

Mary SF
Mary SF

I am not screaming, and in principle I do believe that technically everyone on a soap is replaceable. However, in sports when one player retires and has a lifetime achievement some have earned the respect to have their “number” retired with them. Likewise,I believed certain actors in soaps deserved the same respect and when the vacate the role, the role should be retired. Mrs Chancellor on Y&R, Edward Quartermaine on GH, Alice Horton on Days, Stephanie Forrestor on B&B—are obvious examples and I think after 21 years in the role, Alison has earn the right to have the role of Sami be hers and only hers. Yes, the show can recast, but honestly, I think they won’t for the reasons I mentioned. Because she started at 16, her retirement at a still young age is unique, but she deserves it, just as much as some the older actors who retired then later passed away.

Michael
Michael

Allison works on like 24 projectsat once. I find it hard to believe that all of a sudden she needs a rest. I wonder thereal reason for her departure from Days.

RJS
RJS

I agree. I am sure there is more to it. With that said, I wish her the best.

Jared
Jared

Oh my, she looks HOT. Going to miss Sami 🙁

Patrick
Patrick

Allison Sweeney is a bona fide HOTTIE!

LOL… she gussies up Sami well!

yikes! bring it on home Ali…

I really do have to prop her, again….

she, carried DOOL for so long… and I hope… if she’s doing, a time off… time out …. for herself and family…. that she’s given a let…. door open

irene
irene

I sound cynical but she probably had her salary slashed and decided it was time. The budgets are still not what they used to be. The ratings on GH and DOOLs is not that great. They are not bad compared to a a few years ago but still lower. It is what it is.

The character really seems immature. Whether it is written that way or it is the way it is directed and portrayed. No growth. I could care less. She does have a large fan base which might hurt the overall show. Time will tell.

gloria
gloria

While Sami has been a major character over the years, there have been many times I have fast forwarded through her scenes- she can be very tiresome. I will miss her but there are SO many under used actresses on Days-Marlena, Hope, Kayla, Adrienne-and others who can totally carry this show-Maggie, Jennifer/Abby, NICOLE!! And I love Caroline. To sum it up, Sami will be missed but she does not make the show. Get some good storylines going for the ones who remain & Days will continue to ROCK!

Patrick
Patrick

I agree with you…. so many of the cast can, and do… help carry….

it’s simply, just time… to forefront and feature.. KAYLA! Please!

it’s like Elizabeth Herbst, Liz on GH… I liken DAYS, Kayla…

just feature these two… and it’s sizzle and light up my screen

davlestev1
davlestev1

For me it’s Adrienne..Beth..Paulina..let us forever more put to rest that ATWT Holden debacle..let the real character cut loose and allow her some meaty Kate snippets and snipes..She wants to..we want it..And somebody bring back Colleen Zenk to the world of the daytime drama living…A new family full old..Colleen Zenk/Erica Slezak/Martha Byrne and granny Liz(Hubbard)…can ya follow the fellow..look to the rainbow

gloria
gloria

I forgot Kate, Teresa, Maxine & Julie! Even mean old Ann at the hospital! There are some great gals on this show & they all need some good new stories.

Rod
Rod

Noooooo THIS SUCKS!!! Huge reason is continue to watch!!! I wish her the best but I’m selfish lol
I hope they leave it open so she can come back

davlestev1
davlestev1

Thanks Allison Sweeney. Year after Year I tuned in to watch your antics and see you evolve as an actress, a woman, and a businesswoman. Much luck to her in the future to which she endeavors. Trust me. She’ll come crashin’ back into Salem somewhere down the line. Looking forward to seeing Charlotte Ross fill that Sweeney void. Now bring Bregman back from Y&R and give us an adult Donna Craig crazy as ever.

Patrick
Patrick

DAYS – Sony – NBC

the fans, have spoken…. it’s time to bring in some fireworks… and that’s

“Eve” – Charlotte Ross

lets feature the Donovan Women: Eve, Theresa, Kimberly… with the hot to trot Shane….

jaybird369
jaybird369

I don’t mean to be insensitive or anything but I think that this is the PERFECT TIME for Alison Sweeney to leave DOOL. To me, the character of Sami Brady has clearly run it’s soap course. And, it is getting SO OLD watching Sami (off and on) treating poor EJ like dirt and watching EJ putting up with Sami’s annoying and self-righteous behavior. And, besides, the time has come for EJ to FINALLY have a brand-new love interest. As an on-screen couple, EJ and Sami have become WAY TOO STALE. It’s time for EJ to start anew…without Sami. Now.

davlestev1
davlestev1

You will be singing a different tune when Alison is gone for awhile.

jaybird369
jaybird369

Oh, no I won’t.

Sharonda
Sharonda

I think Lexi should come back from the dead and bring Celeste back. And uncover the other hidden mysteries of the Dimera Mansion, make Marlena possessed by the Devil again. That was when I first started really watching-then OJ trial cut itnto it-but it aired at night which was good, saved a tape recording.

Alex North
Alex North

How about if Sami finds out about EJ and his cheatin’ ways, gets angry and drives her car off a Cliff? She survives, after many weeks in the Hospital and requires some cosmetic surgery to assuage her injuries….when she awakens, she is played by
another actress. The character (Sami) also has amnesia and can’t really remember what happened. She doesn’t seem to recognize EJ but has fallen in love with her
Plastic Surgeon who has actually performed a cosmetic surgery on her to make her
resemble his Ex-wife…..Naaaaa……just write out the character.

Patrick
Patrick

what about, Kelly Sullivan?

as the new – even temporary, recast

she is so sultry, so sexy, so enigmatic… so femme fatale…. SO SEXY!

terry
terry

The only actress that could pull of Sami is Alison Sweeney. Nbc please do not recast. Ali loves Acting –in a few years she might just returned (Not that she needs the money.) that said Austin and Carrie would be a welcome return… bring back fan favorites.

nancy
nancy

thank you Alison for sami I will always miss you and sami you will always be in my heart and I wish you well and joy in your life Alison you made me love sami so much

Eve
Eve

so sad to hear this as I have just loved Sammi all these years. Alison, no one could play her quite like you do so if Sammi is re-cast, she will have very large shoes to fill. I will miss you. Totally understand you wanting to be with your family and raise your children. Love to you and yours. I will miss you! ….. on a footnote, please don’t leave “The Biggest Loser” too.

fscape
fscape

Alison Sweeney plays such a strong central character as a mother it is hard to believe she would want to give up the show entirely – how about part time- perhaps she can play more of a family/mother role with her character working more with the kids on the show making more of a family. How about giving up her place on biggest loser, days seems to be a better role for her and stretching her actress abilities -unless there is more money in the biggest loser then she would choose to stay there. It will be hard to replace Alison on days of our lives. She is awesome and plays the part well- she has taken 21 years to perfect it and it is perfect and needs to continue on. Alison is the heart and soul of Days, and yes her reason for giving up the role to be with family is great but she still needs to work to pay bills and what better way than to do what she is Best at on days of our lives- If they must replace Alison then how about Kelly Sullivan from GH to play the role –she might fit nicely- Also Sami is a much better blonde than she is this horrible drab red/rust color they have put on her- come on hairdressers sami’s star shines much brighter with blonde hair… I just hope they do not bring back Eileen Davidson let her character keep on running… I think Theresa needs to go to jail for a long time for what she is getting away with – that story line gives anyone the feeling they can get away with hate, deceit, blackmail and not getting caught with drugs using and buying etc. Please give Nicole a bigger part let her and Eric get together permanently, maybe even marriage for her and Eric and a miracle baby for her too- their characters can still be entwined with the church, but both need to be happy in their characters for a change and be one of the families to branch out on Days. Days needs to keep the rest of the ladies – Marlena, Kayla, Kate, Jordan, Maggie, Hope, Nicole, Caroline but broaden each of their roles. If John is going to come back, then bring him back for good or get someone new for Marlena and the same with Hope since Bo jumped ship too, but find them great partners to be with, these 2 ladies are original CLASSIC characters and they need to also have more scene time. Keep Daniel with Jen that is a classic union on camera and it shows when they are together (they play their parts well) I love Maggie with Victor both outstanding actors, give them more on camera roles (after all he is the HEAD of one of the biggest families on Days of Our lives… I love Caroline playing her role too- Maybe bring back Patch or someone new for Kayla… Brady’s role… Read more »

daryl s
daryl s

I think its kind of sad that Alison Swenney , is leaving days after 21 years
its hard to believe. I guess when you’ve been on a daytime soap for
so long , you want to do other things.
I wish her all the best while still on days, and in the near future.
I hope that she finds other great roles to play on primetime tv, she is an extroadinary actress.
I hope when she is written out of days , that it is a happy ending.

deb
deb

Ok here is my new storyline….a young girl posting on utube looking for her daddy. She knows he is in Salem (she overheard her mother a lookalike Sami talking to a friend,someone who knows all?) Her mother wants to Keep her away from Salem and all the family….which one Ej..Brady…OR??starts a new storyline with all kind of possibilities. Remember Ej and Brady have both lived overseas and?? So someone from salem sees the posting figures some things out , little girls mommy doesnt know, finds out wants to do damage control,because farher doesnt know child exists. She arrives and is there chemistry with EJ,or Brady,or even could it be Rafe? Is she vindictive, why hide the child all these years for protection or whats her motive? Lets say the little girl is around twelve is she well adjusted or does this child have some ulterior motives besides just wanting to find her father…do things run in the family? Would she get along with the other Salem kids or be manipulative with all? Would she need therapy from Marlena? Who is this young girl?? Who is the mother? New storyline offshoot of family, new ideas….brings in fresh blood with all kinds of possibilities….what would you do for your children and what would they Do for you??

dawn
dawn

Sami shouldn’t be recast. only Ali deserves sami. please don’t pair Ej with Abby, she is to immature and to innocent for him. the pairing will be boring. Ej needs a character with fire like sami.

Anna
Anna

I drop a comment whenever I appreciate a post on a site or if I have something
to valuable to contribute to the conversation. Usually it’s triggered by the fire communicated in the post I looked at.
And on this post Alison Sweeney Announces She Is Leaving Days of our Lives At The End of 2014 On Today

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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Days Of Our Lives

Matt Cedeno Debuts Tonight On ‘Ambitions’

Former Days of our Lives star Matt Cedeno (Ex-Brandon Walker) is set to begin his recurring role on tonight’s episode of OWN’s sudsy Ambitions.

Cedeno is taking on the role of Ignacio DeSantos, who is said to be the heir to a textiles conglomerate, and who crosses paths with up-and-coming fashion designer, Bella (Erica Page).

Ignacio is a said to also be a very dynamic character, who has quite the lifestyle! Hmmm.

Will passion ignite between Ignacio and Bella? Stay tuned.

Photo: OWN

Matt was most recently seen on Power in the role of Cristobal.

Ambitions airs Tuesday nights at 10PMEST/9PMCST.

For more on the series click here,

Excited to see Matt in his new role tonight? Comment below.

 

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