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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
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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
Guest
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
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AlistairCrane

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

Cory
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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
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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
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Sarah

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

Kiren
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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
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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
Guest
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
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adriana8900

i loved brady and nicole together i want them back

Kaysi
Guest
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… Read more »

Dmitri
Guest
Dmitri

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

Days Of Our Lives

Who is DAYS Gwen Really? What is Her Vendetta Against Abigail All About?

We have a new psycho in Salem, and she is played to perfection by Emily O’Brien who has been bringing her brand of quirky evil to the NBC soap opera as Gwen.  Soap fans, of course, remember her as Jana Hawkes on The Young and the Restless from 2006-2011.

Ron Carlivati and his DAYS writing team certainly have some tricks up their sleeve where Gwen is concerned as viewers recently found out she was behind slipping Abigail (Marci Miller) the drug months ago causing her hallucinations.

Photo: JPI

But Gwen is even much darker than we think, when several key clues and moments were revealed on Friday’s episode of DAYS when she went to visit her conspirator in prison, Dr. Rolf (William Utay).

During the exchange, we learn Gwen has been getting the mind-altering drug from one of Dr. Rolf’s concoctions.  She reveals to him that their plan has hit the proverbial snag.  The drug did not dismantle Abigail as she had hoped.  We also learn while she was in the mental institution – Bayview – that is how she tracked Rolf down by researching the drug he had created.

And it appears, Rolf hates Abigail too, citing he always saw her as  thorn in Stefano’s side.  It is then Gwen says he wants another dose of the drug to “melt Abby’s brain!”  Rolf says without anyone else to take the fall for it, he can’t come up with it.

He suggests to her to alter her plan and to instead destroy Abigail’s life piece by piece … and go for the long game instead of the short term – take everything that is near and dear from her including her husband, children, home, everything.

But, what does come to light is that even Dr. Rolf does not know why Gwen wants to destroy Abigail.  That is when Gwen shares she has very good reason to hate Abigail, and he, along with everyone else, will find out why when the time is right.

So, what are your theories?  Who is Gwen?  Is she a character with plastic surgery?  Could she be a sister no one knew Abigail had?  A former mental patient who Abby knew when she was getting help a few years back? And what is her gripe with Abigail all about?  Comment below!

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Days Of Our Lives

Kassie DePaiva, Nathan Purdee & Taylor Purdee Talk ‘Killian & The Comeback Kids’, One Life to Live & Eve’s Reign of Terror on DAYS

It’s ‘all in the family’ + a dear friend that makes the film Killian and the Comeback Kids something that soap fans will want to see. In it, daytime veterans, Kassie DePaiva (Ex-GL, OLTL, GH and Days) and Nathan Purdee (Ex-Y&R and OLTL) are featured in the new movie directed, written and starring Nathan’s talented son, Taylor.

One Life to Live fans will get a kick out of that Kassie and Nathan play a married couple in the film.  In story, a millennial (Taylor A. Purdee) comes home to live with his parents in a depressed rural town after getting a college degree in the big city. The film illustrates the issues facing many of America’s youth today, which could not be more apropos for the times we are living with many children moving back in with their parents. However, the movie shares an uplifting message filled with original music from Taylor’s folk-rock band, The Cumberland Kids.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Kassie, Nathan and Taylor to get the inside scoop on: collaborating together on this project, revisiting Llanview with some memories and thoughts on the cancellation of the beloved soap, plus Kassie’s last turn on Days of our Lives as an unhinged Eve Donovan – a performance that just may garner attention come Daytime Emmy time next year.

This conversation was filled with candor, humor, and a parent’s love for their child. Killian and the Comeback Kid is playing in selected theatres and dates including tonight Friday, September 25th in Atlanta, and October 2nd in Chicago. For more movie info go to the film’s website here And now here’s what Kassie, Nathan and Taylor shared.

Photo: KarmicReleaseLTD

I was really intrigued by the film. Taylor, how did you lure your dad to be in the movie?

TAYLOR:  Oh my gosh, it was the craziest negation ever.

I bet! (Laughs)

TAYLOR:  When I was a kid, Roberta, my mom, made me promise to always write him roles.  So, it was kind of obligatory.

KASSIE:  That is so funny!

TAYLOR:  It’s true.

Had you met Kassie before, or was this the first time? 

TAYLOR:  I knew Kassie from when my dad and her were doing One Life to Live together.   Five years before I was filming this movie, Nathan texted me, “Hey!  Kassie and Jim (DePaiva) are right by your dorm room.  You should go see them!”  So, catching up as an adult was so nice.  I had a non-parentally controlled grown-up hang-out with her.

Photo: KarmicReleaseLTD

What was the journey this film, Killian and the Comeback Kids, went on as far as from the writing of it, to production, to its completion?

TAYLOR:  Well, the front half was surprisingly quick.  I think writing it through to having it finished was about 18 months, and there were about 6 months of, “how’s it going to come out,” and then, we thought we knew what was going to happen, and we were all getting ready for it to hit in movie theatres in the spring when the world ended, and that’s how we got here three years later.

Nathan, tell me about the role you play; because Kassie and you are husband and wife in the film.

NATHAN: Well, yeah, you kind of covered it! (Laughs)  I play her husband, and she plays my wife, and I appreciated the casting situation.  It’s interesting how Taylor chose Kassie because he did say that he wanted someone who was close to his mom’s personality.  I couldn’t think of anybody else other than Kassie because the only difference is Kassie is taller, but they both are such loving, caring people.  They always want to mother you and make sure you’re fed, and you’re safe, and you’re happy, and neither one of them knows the word, “no,” when it comes to the people who they’re taking care of.  I love Kassie anyway, so good for me.

KASSIE:  Yeah, they cut our love scene, and I don’t know what that’s about. (Laughs)

Kassie, what do you remember from when you first met Nathan?  You were at One Life, right?

KASSIE:  No, when I first met Nathan, we were in San Antonio, and we were doing an appearance.  I met Bobbie Eakes (Ex-Krystal, AMC and Macy, B&B) for the first time then too, but I was on The Guiding Light, and I was singing, and Nathan was there.  Nathan and I sat beside each other.  I honestly felt like I had known Nathan my entire life.  We were drinking margaritas and talking, talking, talking, talking, talking, talking.

NATHAN:  Yep!

Photo: JPI

KASSIE:  Nathan and my husband, Jim are very good friends.  I have to say, Nathan was so lovely when I was going through my cancer journey.  He came to see me every week, sometimes twice a week when I was in the hospital, and he would come up, and he would hang out with Jim.  I will never, ever forget how lovely he was (it makes me tear up right now) to be there with support for my husband and myself as we went through that.  So, when Nathan asked me to be his wife in the film, I thought, “Well, hey, you practically live with me now, so that sounds good.”

So, Taylor, how did they do on-screen as husband and wife?

TAYLOR:  They’re fantastic.  We’ve only had one test screening, but one of the most consistent things audiences tell me is that they’re not just great together, but they each have such a quiet, brooding depth to them that you can’t help but imagine the back-story that they’re not talking about

KASSIE:  That’ll be the sequel!

TAYLOR:  Killian and the Comeback Kids 2: They Comeback Kids Comeback.

KASSIE:  They’ll come back again!

NATHAN:  Thanks for planting that seed in his head, Kassie.

Photo: KarmicReleaseLTD

TAYLOR:  It was important for me to try to synthesize a mixed-race couple.  So, it was really great to be able to have them, not just be so great together, but there was also the issue of we had to have a little girl who looked like she could not just be my sister, but also both of their daughter.  Creating a family from scratch was great because Nathan and Kassie already had the rapport.

Did you watch them on One Life to Live together? 

TAYLOR:  Yeah!  I was in school most of the time, but I would go to set, and over the last 10 years, friends would send me YouTube clips from the show because for some reason none of the soaps are streaming.  There’s not like a soap Netflix!  It kind of needs to happen!  Soaps, they’re epic; there are decades worth of episodes and shows.

Photo: KarmicReleaseLTD

In this film, music is the backdrop.  It’s your music and your band that is featured?

TAYLOR:  Yeah, my best friend growing up and I were staring to write folk music around the time when I was deciding what script I wanted to make into a film.  We wrote the soundtrack, all the music that people sing, and the underscore, which was surprisingly the most fun part of it all.

Kassie what did you think of Taylor’s music?

 ASSIE:  I think it’s wonderful.   I love music. It’s totally in the heart of me, and I just think that this movie is so timely. Kids these days are having to deal with not knowing what their future is going to be.  In the film, my son comes home, and he is trying to find himself, and he throws himself into his art and his music.  I just think there are a lot of people right now who are going through that.  I think it is extremely relatable, even more so than when you wrote it, Taylor.  I think people are looking for some type of connection, and I think this little movie is a good start.  It’s about people pulling together, and it’s got a strong rooting factor, and you want people to succeed, and it is great.  It takes you on a really nice journey.

You have some dates coming up where the film will play in a movie theatre- one is on September 25th in Atlanta and then another one on October 2nd in Chicago.  Taylor, how do you feel about making appearances for the film during the pandemic? You’re going with masks on? 

TAYLOR:  Oh yeah.  We will be in a bubble; we are just getting into a car and sticking together.  I and John Donchak, who plays opposite me through the whole film, are going to all of those dates, and my co-songwriter, who also appears in the film, will be in Atlanta, if not at both premieres.

NATHAN:  And let me add, please, they’re going against my wishes as a parent, but he is 28- years-old, so all I can say is that we are hoping for the best because we want him to be safe.  He is very determined and passionate about it, so he’s got our support.

Photo: KarmicReleseLTD

Taylor, in your story, why does Killian come home and live with his parents? 

TAYLOR: His plan at the time is that he has just graduated from a pricey university, and he is supposed to go off with his bandmate on a modest music tour.  He comes home to get his stuff and see his parents after graduating, but his bandmate drops out, and so the plan falls apart, and that’s how he gets stuck in this town and everything is just kind of falling apart. The plan that he had for his life after college gets pulled out right out from under him.

Photo: Getty

Nathan, when Kassie and you were on One Life for years, you weren’t there when it ended, as you had already left the show.  How did you feel upon learning it had been canceled by ABC?

NATHAN:  I was so disconnected by that time.  I just knew it was ending, and it wasn’t the first soap to go.  I saw it happening when the other shows started being canceled due to, I could be wrong about this, but I put the blame on reality TV.  By that point I had moved on in my personal and private life.  I was doing a lot of theatre then, traveling back and forth from North Carolina, really trying to keep busy, and fighting off the depression of not working full-time.  I missed Jim and Kassie the most, but I was thrilled that I could bump into them at any time and visit with them.  I kept in touch with Hillary B. Smith (Ex-Nora) and Bob Woods (Ex-Bo) and also, Timothy Stickney (Ex-RJ); in fact, Timothy Stickney’s wife did Taylor’s hair for the film.

Photo: JPI

Kassie, how do you feel years later about the cancellation of One Life to Live?

KASSIE:  I still miss it.  I loved it. The hard part about this show in particular being canceled is –one – that there wasn’t closure on it.  It kind of happened randomly, and there was still a lot more story to tell.  They kept it going on General Hospital, where they’ll bring some characters there.  So, it’s still in peoples’ minds. The second part is the friendships and the family connections that you’ve made over the many years that you’re there. Nothing lasts forever, that’s for sure, but as you were saying, there’s no streaming of these shows, but if you catch an episode on YouTube, One Life to Live, truly stands alone.  It just has great stories, great characters, and there is connection there that is very real.

Kassie, your last go-around at DAYS was just epic.  Did you guys see it?

TAYLOR:  I did see pieces of some of it.  I caught some of the “super villain”!

Photo: JPI

Eve went in guns blazing, evil as all get out, but so heartbreaking at the same time while she was torturing Ben (Rob Scott Wilson).  What did you think about all of that, Kassie?

KASSIE:  I was really hesitant to watch it because I remembered how “super villain” I was.  I remember getting on the plane, and Jimmy said, “How was it?” and I said, “I’ll probably never work again a day in my life. I’m like this (evil laughs) muah-ha-ha, muah-ha-ha kind of character.”  I mean, you hated what Eve was doing, and you were supposed to, but I think that they did a great job with production values, and it was reasonable what she was doing because she was going off the edge. It’s great to be able to sink your teeth into something that is so out-there and completely different from your own life.  I mean, it was exhausting.  Every day, I would come home and just be like, “Oh my God, give me a cocktail.” Eve had justification for her revenge, even as wrong as it was, and she needed to be heard, and she needed closure, and she made a bunch of wrong moves, and did a bunch of bad, bad, bad things, and now, she is probably in a mental institution somewhere, so…

You and I were on set of DAYS and I was going to interview you.  If I recall, at that point, you did not even know what the story arc was.

KASSIE:  No, I didn’t. When I arrived and looked at the script, I’m like, “Well, who blew up that wedding?”  Then, all of the sudden, “Oh, no!  I blew up the wedding.  This is bad!  I probably am not going to be coming back on this show again.”  I look at story and go, “Uh-oh.  There’s a shut door.”  I like open doors and open windows.

Photo: JPI

Taylor, what is your project? Are you continuing to write?  What do you see in the future for yourself?

TAYLOR:  This is my life for me.  The next thing that I think we are releasing is actually something that I made before this because everything is backwards, which is a documentary (very different) about Central American politics, which I’m hoping is out next year.  In terms of new scripts, everybody is a bit torn.  I kind of want to do a biopic of Lee Grant, or I want to do a blues/punk version of something inspired by The Shining.

Well, those are very polar opposite!

TAYLOR:  Yeah, aren’t they?

NATHAN:  Now you see what I’m living with. (Laughs)

Photo: IMDB

Nathan, you must be proud of Taylor, and it must be very cool to see your son have these multi-faceted talents.

NATHAN:  Of course, I’m proud of him and it’s great, but it’s strange because watching Taylor develop into the person he has developed into and continues to, made me realize that I hadn’t had the type of courage he has.  I had my dreams and certain things that I was very courageous about in my life.  I certainly don’t see him doing some things the way I did them, because he has more common sense than I do when it comes to life choices. His courage just blows my mind.  Most of my closest friends are professional musicians, and many of them, if I were to namedrop, you would know who they are, and they’ve had successful careers, and I’ve always looked up to them and admired them, but I was never that guy.  I just wanted to be a musician because I knew them and we were friends, but I didn’t have the discipline to do what they did, and I certainly didn’t have the God-given talent.  I play a little bit of keyboard and a little bit of saxophone myself, but I have to play one song 757 times before I even start to feel comfortable with it, and Taylor can sit down and start strumming on his guitar, and the next thing you know, he’s written a whole song.  It just blows my mind how creative and talented he is.  He has been surrounded by creative and talented people all of his life. He has absorbed a lot from the different people and the different opportunities he’s had, and I look at him sometimes, and I even say it to my wife, “Who is this kid?”  I like to share this story.  We went to see Taylor do Hamlet.  I’m guessing he was 15 or 16-years-old at the time. I’m watching him doing Hamlet, and I’m sitting in the chair, and I’m crying because I’m thinking to myself, “Oh, my God, he is so good!”  I told Taylor, “I would not tackle Hamlet on a football field, yet alone on stage.”  It made me realize that we had a force to be reckoned with.  He’s pretty amazing.  The bad news for him is that I always tell him the truth, and I lied to him once, and he called me out on it, and I promised that I would never lie to him again.  So, be careful what you ask me because I will tell you the truth from this point on.

Photo: KarmicReleaseLTD

KASSIE:  Taylor was also the director of this film, which I mean, “What the hell!”  This guy is doing everything.  He was deciding on the shots, he was deciding on the lighting, he was deciding this and that, he was editing the script, I’m like, “Holy cannoli!”  He’s like, “No, I want her to wear that shirt; I want her to do this.”  You would do the scene, and he’d come over and talk to you a little bit.  I mean, he was just awesome; Taylor brought so much insight to my character because I’m like, “What’s my relationship, and who are all of these kids?  Are we a loving family?”  We did it very quickly, too.  Taylor, look at what you’ve accomplished, and it is such a beautiful piece of art!

TAYLOR:  From a more functional standpoint as a director, one of the really great things about having the two of them was that Kassie came in half-way through filming, and we’d been working with the young actor/musicians a lot.  Some of them, it was their first big job, but pretty much all of them had worked before.  On Kassie’s first day, they didn’t know what they were in for.  She just rolled onto set, and all of the sudden, the stakes and bar of how to be an actor just changed.  From that point on, when Kassie and Nathan started to work with the band, we knew those were going to be fun days because there was going to be acting involved.  Everyone else just had to come up to their level, which was great for me because it gave me so much more to edit with.

Taylor, who are your musical influences?   

TAYLOR:  That’s a really good question.  My musical obsession for the last few years has been this guy, named Josh Ritter, who is kind of a singer/songwriter/folk guy.  My real-life band, The Cumberland Kids, is named after one of his songs.  Also, Weird Al Yankovic, has been a massive inspiration for me and my songwriting partners.

So, your vibe is this folk-rock.

TAYLOR:  Yeah, that’s what I’m writing mostly.  My listening is kind of all over the place, but definitely that is what I’m writing.

Kassie, who do you like listening to?

KASSIE:  It all depends on what cocktail I have in my hand.

Photo: JPI

NATHAN:  Let me chime in on that too! I like jazz, blues, and country music, but imagine what my house was like because I have a lot of instruments here, always with the hope that Taylor would at least become interested in music.  I have congas, bass guitar, keyboards, you name it, and for a while, he wasn’t interested at all, and one day, I woke up and he was playing an acoustic guitar.  Then, the next thing I know, he is writing and singing folk music.  I’m thinking, “Wait a minute!” It was an important lesson for me that just because you want something for your children, doesn’t mean that is what they want for themselves.  We never pushed acting on Taylor.  He chose it on his own.  It’s exciting for me mostly because it was his choice.

KASSIE:  He’s a natural.

And speaking of that, Taylor, in the trailer nothing came across forced or pushed.  Obviously, we are all talking you up here, not that you need it.

NATHAN:  I’ll tell you this, Michael.  During the shoot, Taylor insisted on calling me “Nathan”, and I had a problem with it, but he basically told me to get over it because it’s his set, his movie, and while we are shooting, I’m “Nathan”, and he’ll call me dad later.  I’m still struggling with that but he was the boss.

TAYLOR:  It’s hard to walk that line and not make it weird for your crew, you know?

NATHAN:  I get it.

Photo: KarmicReleaseLTD

KASSIE:  It’s weird for me because when he would go, “Robbie is going to do this, and Nathan is going to do that,” I’d go, “Who are Robbie and Nathan?  Aren’t they your mom and dad?”

TAYLOR:  While I was writing the script I called him over, and I said, “Dad, I wrote you a really good role, and I think we are actually going to do this.  I’m giving you a once in a lifetime chance to name your own character.  Do you want to name him after a Greek hero, or one of your siblings?”  He didn’t take his chance.  So, you know what?  It’s “Nathan” now.  It’s easier for everybody.  We don’t have to break the method acting fourth wall.  (Laughs)

Do you think you would work with Nathan and Kassie again? (Laughs)

TAYLOR:  Oh, my God, are you kidding?

NATHAN:  That’s my contract: Kassie has got to be in it.  So, let me say this about Kassie, you had mentioned something about how much she has been working, and I look at Kassie as the James Brown of daytimes soaps.  She is the hardest working woman in daytime television. 

Photo: JPI

She is pretty spectacular. Kassie started on Guiding Light, had a long career on One Life, and then went to General Hospital, then to Days of our Lives.  It’s been amazing that we have been able to see her have a comeback in more ways that one.

KASSIE:  Nathan has jumped from soap to soap as well, and when you’ve done it, you just think it’s over.  It’s not like your regular acting profession jobs when you go out and you know you’re going to audition for twenty-five things and get one role for a short amount of time.  When you go in day in and day out and are creating all of this stuff on a soap opera, and then it ends, you go, “Well, now what am I supposed to do?”  I haven’t been on a set in 6 months, and I feel like I won’t ever work again.  Soaps are just a totally different head trip and so it can be really hard.

Courtesy/ABC

Nathan, do you have a favorite Hank Gannon moment from One Life to Live?

NATHAN:  Oh wow.  Man, there were so many of them.  I can tell you the funniest, to me, maybe not so funny to Hillary B. Smith though.  I think it was during a live show. This was during the time when I had a lot of dialogue.  But this particular day, I had one line, and the line was to Hillary and it was, “How are you feeling?” and her response was, “Well, I’m feeling the way I always feel, and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah”.  So, during the entire day, I’d see Hillary, and I’d say, “Hey, how you feeling?”  Maybe nineteen times before we started shooting, “Hey, how you feeling?” and she’d had about enough of it.  So, fast forward to “5, 4,3,2,1 action”, and now, I say, “How you doing?”  If you could see the look in her eyes, it is like, “I will kill you.”  So, she says, “You know how I’m doing.  I’m doing what I’m always doing,” so she could get her line out.  So, once again, she saved Nathan’s ass with that.  One stupid line … and I blew it.  I just remember that one because I just know Hilary wanted to strangle me.  She probably still wants to.

And on that note (laughs) I wanted to thank you all so much for this. I hope you find success with this little gem of a film, Taylor.

So what did you think of the comments made by Kassie, Nathan and Taylor on their film?  What did you think of Kassie’s recent performance on DAYS? What’s your favorite Blair or Hank moment from the history of One Life to Live? Share your thoughts and comments below,  But first, check out the trailer to Killian and the Comeback Kids.

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Days Of Our Lives

Greg Vaughan Shares Farewell To DAYS & Scene Partner Arianne Zucker: “Never a Dull Moment, Laughing or Crying, She was the Party, Always with a smile!”

Tuesday’s episode of Days of our Lives had Eric Brady saying a sudden farewell to his loved ones before he departs Salem for Africa to help those in need.  That marks the on-screen departure of Daytime Emmy winner, Greg Vaughan who will last be seen on Wednesday’s episode.

As DAYS fans were aware, Greg wrapped his run months ago on the NBC daytime drama series, but since before the Covid-19 pandemic DAYS taped almost seven months ahead, Eric’s on-screen exit is airing this week.

Over the past two days, Vaughan took to his Instagram to share some sentiments, ‘thanks you’s’ and some photos of some of his favorite memories with his castmates expressing, “Seeing it’s the last week I’m airing on @nbcdays …I wanted to share some great captured memories this week with my incredible fans & castmates.”

The actor also posted a special photo album of pics with his longtime on-screen partner and love interest, Arianne Zucker (Nicole).  In that, he posted this message: “To my Ride or Die partner Ari!! Never a dull moment, laughing or crying, she was the party, always with a smile! Love ya #ERICOLE”

So, will you miss Ericole? Are you sad to see Greg exit Days on-screen? Share your thoughts via the comment section below … AND what were some of your favorite performances of Greg during his time on DAYS.

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Video du Jour

B&B’s Jacqueline MacInnes Wood deliver the Power Performance of the Week as Steffy’s drug addiction leads to a confrontation and intervention by her loved ones with dire consequences.  Here is the last seven minutes that featured Emmy-winner Wood at her best. Leave A Comment

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Power Performance

Jacqueline MacInnes Wood

The Bold and the Beautiful

Airdate: 9-25-2020

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