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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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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.

Breaking News

‘Days of our Lives’ Producer Files Lawsuit Against Sony Pictures Television

In a breach of contract and fraud complaint filed this morning, Corday Productions, the Producers of Days of our Lives, is seeking 20 million dollars in damages from its producing partner, Sony Pictures Television, as well as its Columbia Pictures and Screen Gems divisions, and to significantly take back control of the show.

In the 33-page court filed document this morning, Deadline.com noted some of the key points contained within.  Corday Productions is alleging that Sony has treated the show unfairly skewed in favor of its Sony-owned daytime drama series, The Young and the Restless.  The complaint indicates that, “While the domestic ratings for Days of Our Lives have remained largely constant, Sony’s distribution receipts have decreased by over 50%. This dramatic decline is directly attributable to a decision at the highest levels of Sony management to eliminate any competition to its own wholly-owned series The Young and The Restless also distributed by Sony.”

Sony Pictures Television distributes Days of our Lives in overseas territories, and in ancillary markets such as digital streaming.  The DAYS suit alleges that Sony has failed to sell the show in key territories including: Great Britain, France, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Canada, France, Zambia, and South Africa.”

In the lawsuit, the producers also claim that Sony has stiffed them by forcing the production company, Corday Productions, to absorb budgetary deficits . The filing also claims that Sony is “imposing solely on Corday the burden of absorbing the multi-million dollar annual operating deficits due to an inadequate NBC license fee and mandating an inefficient, costly production schedule.”

The complaint filed Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court, also alleges that Sony has provided Corday with inaccurate accounting and has failed to pay millions of dollars in profits.

Make sure to read more on the lawsuit click here.

So, what do you think about some of the key points that the Days of our Lives producers bring up in their lawsuit against Sony? Comment below.

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In great news for Days of our Lives, Daytime-Emmy winning scribe, Ron Carlivati has renewed his contract with the NBC soap opera.  Formerly head writer at One Life to Live and General Hospital, Carlivati took over the lives of the good people of Salem back in 2017, and since then the show has been on a creative and ratings uptick.

Ron spoke with Soap Opera Digest and revealed he is staying put in Salem stating: “I am both thrilled and grateful to be staying put in Salem.”

After winning a Daytime Emmy for his work on the show (from the 2017 season last April of 2018), and the series winning the trifecta of Writing, Show and Directing, Ron added: “From day one, (executive producer) Ken Corday, (Co-executive producer) Greg Meng, and the entire cast and crew at Days of or Lives welcomed me into their family with open arms. It is truly and honor and a privilege to write for these wonderful characters on this legendary show.”

Look for more drama, mystery, romance and antics, Carlivati-style in the days and months to come.

So, DAYS fans, glad to hear Ron is staying on-board at DAYS? Comment below,

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Judith Chapman Dishes On Diana On All-New Episode Of “Inside Salem: Days of our Lives Podcast”

Oh, the mother from hell has certainly come to NBC’s Days of our Lives ,now that it has been revealed that Diana Cooper is in actuality none other than Diana Colville, who shared a romantic past with John Black (Drake Hogestyn), and is Leo aka Matthew’s (Greg Rikaart) worst nightmare!

Daytime fan favorite, Judith Chapman is back on Days of our Lives in this delicious new take on Diana, and on the latest installment of Inside Salem: Days of our Lives Podcast.

During her interview with host Michael Fairman, Judith talks about how she was asked to take on the role, and found herself reunited with her former on-screen son from Y&R, Greg Rikaart.  She also teases what is to come in this twisted mother and son relationship, reveals what it has been like working with Deidre Hall and Drake Hogestyn, and talks about her former soap opera roles that included: Natalie Bannon on As the World Turns, Ginny Blake, General Hospital, Charlotte Greer on Ryan’s Hope, Angelica Deveraux on Days and Gloria Fisher Bardwell on Y&R- quite the resume.   When not on TV, Judith can be found in the theatre, where she is currently starring as Tallulah Bankhead in the show, Looped now through February 10th in Palm Springs, California.

Later in the podcast, John Aniston (Victor) stops by Suzanne Rogers  (Maggie) dressing room, where the duo talk about how they work together running scenes, and going through a tape day, and some fun historical anecdotes from Salem, and more.

To get the extended version of this interview with Judith, make sure to download it via iTunes and all major pod platforms.  To listen to the NBC.com version make sure to click here and enjoy.

Let us know what was your favorite part of our chat with Judith and if you are loving her thus far as Diana on DAYS via the comment section below.

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