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DAYS Arianne Zuker Interview: Will Nicole find love with EJ? Someone else? Or, Self-Destruct?

Courtesy/NBC

Courtesy/NBC

As Days of our Lives had its official reboot this week with many returning favorites and the launch of several new storylines, where does that leave troublemaker and often misunderstood, Nicole Walker Dimera?

On-Air On-Soaps had the opportunity to catch up with the talented Emmy nominated actress, Arianne Zuker (Nicole) to find out!  Is there a future with EJ? Brady? Someone new? Or, should Nicole go it alone and get her life in order?  These are several of the talking points in our chitchat.  So, here is the fabulous Arianne on what is going on in that complicated mind of Nicole!

What is happening with Nicole? Is she jockeying for an opportunity to be with EJ? What is her deal?

ARIANNE: I think with Nicole she is trying to find some independence here.  I think Gus really shook her up! It was very scary for her.  I can’t imagine that happening.  It is one of my worst fears and then having it go further. I mean, yeah, he could have gouged her neck, but Kamall Shaikh (Gus) was awesome.  I said, “Dude, just go for it, as long you don’t choke me, I am good.  Just do it.  Do what you need to do and if you are hurting me, I will kick you in the you-know-what.”  He was great and I trusted him, and we had a conversation.  To put yourself there especially as a woman, you go, ‘Oh my God. If this ever happened to me, I would be freaking out.’ And so, that shook her up and takes a moment and reboots who she is.  Nicole has got to change, she is getting up there. (Laughs) She has been making such bad choices in her life.

Courtesy/NBC

Good point. You know she has never really quite learned. And I would think it is fun to play her, because Nicole is so unpredictable. But then I would also think as an actress, you would like to see your character grow.

ARIANNE: You do! And I feel for her and am frustrated for her, but in a good sense. That allows me to try and understand where she is living.  I try to make a timeline with her and why these things keep coming back.  Why does she make recurring bad choices? It is something that is in all of us. How many times has someone dated the same type of person over and over again?  How many times has someone mis-balanced their checkbook over and over again? And you can look your own life and go, why do I keep doing the same thing? Why do I keep leaving ten minutes late and getting to work ten minutes late? It’s the little things, and that is what this character does. Nicole cannot get herself out of doing the same thing over again.

Do you think much of her issues to this day stem from her past and being so abused by her father?

ARIANNE: Absolutely. I definitely think she has a disadvantage. She was abused by her father, and her mother, who never did anything about it!  I hope that would get brought up again, dealt with, and fixed a little bit.  Number one, I think it would be great drama for a soap. And on a personal level, I have changed a lot. I am such a different woman than I was in my twenties. I almost don’t remember them as much, because I am so different than I was, and I have a child now.  I don’t want to remember my twenties as much either, because I didn’t really like that person that much as much as I like this one. And I got to tell you, I love my thirties.  In your thirties, you kind of get who you are, and so I can only imagine what my forties will be like.  So you spend that time figuring yourself out and that is what is happening with Nicole. Unfortunately, she hasn’t had any guidance, or a mentor, or a mother in her life, or friend, or anything, to push that process along.

I heard new DAYS head writers; Marlene McPherson and Darrell Ray Thomas were taking meetings with the actors to discuss their characters. Did you get an opportunity to speak with them?

Photo Credit: NBC

ARIANNE: Yes, I took my meeting. I listened a lot more than I spoke up. Because listen, I have ideas and thoughts, but I am also not the head writers of this show.  I can put my two cents in, but mostly it’s about that if they have an idea, I want to run with it.  More like, “Here is what I would love to see, but if you are going to do that, then I am going to dive right into it.”  It’s a collaborative team. Now, not everybody agrees with that, and that is fine. But, that is how I chose to do it and I like it because I feel I am just tested constantly. It’s a really good feeling.  I am not speaking for them, but perhaps they may be thinking, “Let’s turn her this way, or let’s turn her that way.”  You can never say anymore, “Nicole would never do something”, because she is so out-of-the-box or abused or because of where her life has taken her. So who’s to say she would never do this or that? She can be capable of almost anything, as we have seen in the past!

So with Nicole’s relationship with EJ? Is she in love with him?

ARIANNE: I think the biggest thing with EJ is … OK, let me put it this way. Have you ever in your lifetime been in love with someone who never really loved you back 100%?  And you stay with that person, and you are never going to get him the way you really, really, want him?  I think Nicole is so blinded by whatever she thinks she loves about EJ, that it colors her perception at times.  I will tell you there was someone I was with a long time ago, and I was in love with the idea of being in love or getting married. However, that person was not the right person for me.  So you manifest stuff that isn’t there. I think that is what Nicole does a lot with EJ, because he will turn around and do whatever he is going to do to Sami, and whatever he is going to do to Nicole’s sister, Taylor. Then Nicole is like, “OK, come back.” (Laughs)

Then, is she delusional when it comes to EJ?

ARIANNE: For sure, because EJ gives her a little bit and she takes it.

Courtesy/NBC

Everyone was very upset online yesterday and on Twitter with whether or not James Scott (EJ) would be leaving DAYS, after an item broke on his contract talks. Later, fans were somewhat relieved when James released his own statement, that he is working things out and trying to stay put. That would be terrible if he chose to leave, but everyone needs to also understand if an actor wants to go, they need to go and do other things. What are your feelings if he were to leave DAYS?  It would be a big loss for the show, wouldn’t you say?

ARIANNE: Oh yes! James is a great actor.  He will do whatever he needs to do and I will support him. But again, all of that is none of my business, so I just leave it alone. But I am a huge supporter of his and I just adore working with him.  I think he is awesome.

What do you think will happen with Nicole and Brady now? I think that is done, right? Brady is getting involved with Madison played by Sarah Brown. Or, will Nicole then get all jealous and weird, as only she can? (Laughs)

ARIANNE: That is a very good question, and I would love to mix it up with Sarah. She brings such a different type of woman to the show. It is something fresh in Brady’s life, and I think he needs that.  I think Brady had been in this crappy place.  I think it was comfortable for him to be with Nicole, because they know each other, and they can sleep with each other and know it is fine.  But at the end of the day, we are like, “You know, this isn’t healthy for either one of us. We are never going to see what is outside of this if we don’t break it off.”

Who on set do you have the biggest laughs with? Isn’t it Eric Martsolf (Brady)? Haven’t you told me many times you two get in trouble with your giggles?

Courtesy/NBC

ARIANNE: (Laughs) It’s between Eric and Alison Sweeney (Sami)! With Ali and me, I think people want to shoot us, because we can’t stop quoting Mel Brooks movies! That is all we do all day long.  (Laughs) It is so bad. And, of course Martsolf and me could be inside a paper bag for days and just laugh and laugh and laugh.  He is hysterical. I always said he should be writing a script or something.  He is just good at that.

So, do you think there could be any other man on the horizon for Nicole?

ARIANNE: God, I hope so.  I have no clue.  I would like to be a fresh face or Eric Brady come back … Sami’s twin!

And, who would you love to see play that role, if you could cast it?

ARIANNE: That is great question! Well, I still like Jensen Ackles (Ex-Eric) and I watch Supernatural. So many people have said that my husband, Kyle Lowder (Ex-Brady) should come back as Eric, and I love working with my husband, don’t get me wrong, but really? We like our own projects and I think its better that way.  It’s like, “Love you babe, but I gotta go make out with somebody else!” (Laughs)  You know who would be good? Michael Weatherly from NCIS . ( pictured below)  He is charming, funny, and good-looking, and I think he would be terrific as Eric Brady.

Courtesy/CBS

Isn’t Nicole back-burnered a little bit right now?

ARIANNE: Yes, a little bit, but in respect to everyone that has just come back, they have got to tell their stories. And, with the return of Bren Foster (Quinn), too, they have got six returns. So they have got a full-plate.

What if they paired Nicole with Quinn? Would you be into it? After all, they both have a scandalous past; perhaps they could find some spark and common ground.

ARIANNE: Oh, that would be great! I would be very open to that. Bren Foster is a great actor. I think he could really bring something, too.

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DmitriKaysiadriana8900AliciaEChelsea Recent comment authors
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JSFan
JSFan

Love Ari. She’s a brilliant actress and gorgeous as well. Hope they don’t back burn Nicole for too long. Quinn and Nicole could be very hawt together. Love Nicole, but just not with EJ.

tvcat1
tvcat1

I love Nicole. Ari brings so much to her now. I hope the new writers can figure out what to do with her. If she’s going solo for a while it would be fun to see her with Jack. Not romantically but if Jack revives The Spectator, Nicole can invest in it and be part owner. She had a brief career as a reporter herself. I think they could have a good friendship giving their past.

AlistairCrane
AlistairCrane

I haven’t been interested in Nicole since she was with Eric Brady. A recast would be cool and spice things up!

Cory
Cory

Another great interview Michael!!!!!!
Absolutely adore Arianna and her acting abilities. She’s done an amazing job of making me absolutely hate the character of Nicole Walker.
I think Nicole deserves a new man in her life. One that supports Nicole for being Nicole!!!!

Annie
Annie

Love Ari but not with EJ, Brady and her are awesome but Quin would be fabulous too, she is gorgeous and so talented and such a nice person.

Sarah
Sarah

Love this interview and it shows why Arianne and Nicole are my favourite actors on Days!

Kiren
Kiren

I’ve been hoping for the return of Eric for a while now. He’s been the preferred choice for Nicole in Ari’s opinion for quite a while and same for me.

Chelsea
Chelsea

As much as I like Nicole and Brady I think it would awesome to have Eric Brady come back into Nicole’s life. Awesome interview, I hope Nicole won’t be backburned for long.

AliciaE
AliciaE

Funny thing is I was just starting to get into EJOLE, lol, but they really do have this long tragic unrequited love thing going on, dang it… I will continue to enjoy Nicole (Ari is AMAZING) no matter what wonky turn her story takes. Eric Brady could be just the ticket! I love that idea and it comes up from time to time in discussions with other fans.

adriana8900
adriana8900

i loved brady and nicole together i want them back

Kaysi
Kaysi

I’ve been loving all of Ari’s interviews these days. She really has an amazing grasp of her character, and it’s clear that she loves Nicole just as much as her fans do. I agree with her that Nicole should be single for a while. I’ve never liked watching her with EJ because the characters really have to go through the ringer to work. EJ and Nicole just aren’t themselves when they’re with eachother, no matter what the writers try to make us believe. I love Nicole with Brady, but I don’t like what they’ve done to them, so I wouldn’t mind seeing her take a long break from men altogether. What I really, really want is for Nicole to work with Jack. Nothing romantic. I just want them working together – her as a reporter and him as her mentor. MA and AZ’s chemistry has always been crackling and they’re both great with comedy.

Dmitri
Dmitri

I think Nicole with Eric or Rafe would be awesome, but I think she belongs with EJ.

Days Of Our Lives

Brandon Barash Talks Stefan & Those Stabi Sex Scenes; Plus Freddie Smith & Acting Coach Maria O’Brien On ‘Inside Salem: Days of our Lives Podcast’

On an all-new episode of NBC’s Inside Salem: Days of our Live Podcast, Brandon Barash is the special guest for the first time since taking over the role of Stefan DiMera, originally played by Tyler Christopher.

During Barash’s interview with host, Michael Fairman, the actor chats on being a replacement for a role on the soaps which happens many-a-time,  plus why he plays bad boys so well; given that daytime drama fans first were introduced to Brandon from his work as mobster Johnny Zacchara on General Hospital.

Photo: NBC

Currently, Brandon is involved in the most steamy story on Days that of Stefan and Gabi’s (Camila Banus) contentious relationship.  While now Gabi has set out her revenge plan on Stefan; which included having sex with him, the tables are turning and these two bad apples are seemingly drawn to each other in more ways than just hitting the tabletops and desktops for a quick romp.  Barash fills the listener in on his take on the #Stabi relationship, and the trouble he has been put in thanks to the lies of Kate (Lauren Koslow) and Ted (Gilles Marini).

Photo: NBC

Later in the podcast, Fairman sits down with Freddie Smith (Sonny) and the Days of our Lives on-set acting coach, Maria O’Brien, as the two of them gives listeners insight on how Maria works with the cast to get them ready to hit the soundstage to deliver their lines, their monologues and get to the heart and deep-meaning in their emotional scenes.   Smith and O’Brien delve into some of Sonny’s most emotional scenes, and the rigors of acting in a long-running soap opera which shoots at such a tremendously fast paced.

You can download the episode available now on iTunes here, or head over to NBC.com/Inside Salem and check it out there.

So, are you digging Brandon as Stefan O DiMera? Are you rooting for Gabi and Stefan to wind up together more than just sexually, but in perhaps in a serious relationship? Weigh-in via the comment section below.

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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS OF OUR LIVES: Jack Wants His Memory Back, But Do You Want Him To Reunite With Jennifer … Or Stay With Eve?

Since his return to Salem on New Year’s Eve of 2018, Jack Deveraux (Matt Ashford) has had no recollection of his past, although there have been some mini-breakthroughs along the way, but none big enough or strong enough to get him out of the clutches of Eve Donovan (Kassie DePaiva) and back into the arms of his longtime love, Jennifer Horton (Melissa Reeves).

Photo: JPI

Next week on Days of our Lives, looks like the story further heats up (according to the latest DAYS promo from NBC) where Jack tells Eve he wants his memory back.  She had held the cards to Dr.  Rolf’s formula and to the serum that could restore Jack’s memory, until Xander (Paul Telfer) got his hands on it, and turned it over in time to save the life of Will Horton (Chandler Massey).

Photo: JPI

So, now what will happen?  Will Eve play nice and truly help Jack get his memory back, or will she once again play dirty pool?  Meanwhile, look for Jennifer to make one more impassioned plea for Jack to remember their time together, and possibly decide it’s of no use and she must move on with her life.  But, will Jack regain his memory in time to be reunited with Jennifer? If he gets his memory back, could somehow he still choose to be with Eve?

Who do you want Jack to end up with? Are you #TeamJennifer of #TeamEve?  Let us know but first watch the promo for next week’s DAYS below, then share your choice via the comment section below.

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Olivia Rose Keegan Posts Parting Thoughts As Her Final Episode As Claire Airs On DAYS

By now, many viewers of NBC’s Days of our Lives have watched Tuesday’s episode, which saw Claire Brady (Olivia Rose Keegan) being wheeled out of a hospital room and on her way to the Bayview Sanitarium to deal with what led her to become a Salem firestarter after her latest attempt to torch Ciara (Victoria Konefal) and then herself.

In story, realizing she is severely troubled, Claire gets the news from her parents, Belle (Martha Madison) and Shawn (Brandon Beemer) that she won’t be facing prison time for attempted murder, but instead, she does need to be put away in a mental facility and leave right away at the judges orders.  That sets the stage for Olivia Rose Keegan to share her final scenes with many of her longtime co-stars before making her exit.

As her time on DAYS on-air came to a close, Olivia took to her Instagram to express her parting thoughts and the opportunity to play Claire, and be a part of the iconic soap opera

Keegan wrote: “Thank you for the best 4 years of my life.  To everyone who watches the show: I cannot thank you enough for sticking with Claire through the good, bad, and batsh*t.  Reading everyone’s comments/tweets this past week has been the most overwhelmingly amazing thing— It means more than you know   I also owe a huge thank you to the @nbcdays writers for giving me an opportunity to dig my nails into some fascinating material with this past storyline— as well as shine a light onto mental health awareness.  It would be too difficult to explain how much I love every single person in my @nbcdays family. It was a 4 year dream. I met lifelong friends, learned an infinite amount, and simply loved every minute of it.  Farewell from Salem’s newest pyro ”

Make sure to check out her exit interview with her co-stars, Rob Scott Wilson (Ben), Victoria Konefal and Brandon Beemer, exclusively on the DOOL app released this afternoon to hear the groups thoughts on the cabin fire twist, and Olivia’s exit from the Days canvas, and more.

So, sad to see Olivia make her exit from DAYS?  Do you hope she will come back for another turn as Claire?  Comment below.

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