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DAYS Delicious Doppelgängers, Chabby Drama, Hernandez Bro Conflict: Ron Carlivati’s First Three Episodes Raise The Bar To Engaging and Entertaining!

Courtesy/NBC

Right from the start of this past Wednesday’s episode of Days of our Lives through to cliffhanger Friday, when viewers tuned-in to see the debut of heralded head writer Ron Carlivati’s work on the NBC sudser, longtime fans could not help but notice the vast improvement in dialogue, story pacing, nods to the shows history, and humor and dramatic conflicts that are signatures of the Daytime Emmy-winning scribes work. In addition, the editing of the episodes seemed quicker and more intense, and when the scenes went to commercial break, it felt it was at just at the right spots to leave the audience clamoring for more.

Courtesy/NBC

So, how did Ron make us keep glued to our screens to see how the action played out?  Well, let’s start with the return of the doppelgangers orchestrated by Morgan Fairchild as Angelica Deveraux in her plan to snare Justin Kiriakis (Wally Kurth) all for herself.  However, she has brought in some bubbling cons to assist her … chief among them, Hattie Adams (Deidre Hall) who is trying her best to learn “shrink” jargon to parade around town as Marlena, such as when quizzed how she would handle a patient’s anxiety dosing.  Hattie spouts “I’d zap the dula with a gargantuan dose of diazepam.”  In another moment Hattie mixes up “bipolar disorder” by calling it “bisexual disorder”.

Courtesy/NBC

Marlena (Deidre Hall), who finally gets to see her man return to Salem John (Drake Hogestyn) is then not so happy to learn he is running off with his son Paul (Christopher Sean) to try to find the real killer of Deimos Kiriaskis, since Sonny (Freddie Smith) is in jail.  They are off to talk to another convict, Xander!  It was also good to see Paul Telfer back on our screens and in some snappy repartee’ especially when he snarls at Paul that Sonny would not be, “Man enough to kill Deimos.”

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

Meanwhile, Hattie is roped into Angelica’s plan, because she wants Roman all to herself and Angelica pivots that if she sticks with her they both will get what they want.  You can see the stage is set for some major miscues and interpretations once Hattie infiltrates Marlena’s life. At the end of Friday’s episode, Angelica enlists Hattie to do one more thing …  to go back to Statesville prison and get none other than Adrienne’s doppelganger, Bonnie Lockhart (Judi Evans) be part of the master plan.   And as viewers saw, conflict is arising between a jealous Lucas (Bryan Dattilo) vying for the attention of Adrienne against Justin.  Looks like, trouble is ahead for all involved.

Courtesy/NBC

Carlivati also re-set the story of Chad (Billy Flynn) and Abigail (Marci Miller) as star-crossed lovers, now that Dario (Jordi Vilasuso) has turned into one bad dude.  Abigail learns about his embezzling of the money from Countess Wilhelmina, and wants to tell the police and Chad.  Dario blackmails her with a photo of Chad kneeling over the body of Deimos, which looks like he could be the actual killer.  He turns the tables on Abby.  Later, she finds out from Kate (Lauren Koslow) that Dario lied to her about his immigration papers and status and trapped her into marriage.

Courtesy/NBC

At TBD, Chad confronts Dario, but he still doesn’t know the full extent of what evidence Dario has against him and is hiding from him.  He tells Dario in their heated exchange, that he is going to get “all of it” back that is his; meaning the money and Abigail.

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Dario is glib, and with Dario being in trouble with the law, it put some conflict into the relationship of Hope (Kristian Alfonso) and Rafe (Galen Gering), when Rafe admitted to his lady love that he knew of Dario’s plan to marry Abigail, and what he was up to which was to keep him from being deported. Hope is not happy that Rafe lied to her, but later Rafe arrests his brother, just after Dario talks to his contact Myron and tells him to speed up their plan.

You can watch the promo for next week’s DAYS after the jump, which indicates some major drama is about to go down for Chabby.

So, what did you think of the first three episode of Days of our Lives under head writer, Ron Carlivati? Are you encouraged for what is to come since the show tapes six months ahead and his new stories will also begin to reveal themselves? Comment below.

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JRobert in Jersey CitydmrPatrick4ever DAYS Recent comment authors
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David
David

He’s back! Praise the soap gods, he’s back. Most entertaining soap all week! (And I am a lapsed Days viewer.) I started with the episode before Ron’s return, which was slow and the pacing was terrible. In one episode, everything changed. I was riveted.

Karen Clark
Karen Clark

Next not so big surprise I expect is Raines being the one masterminding Dario. Hoping it leads to Police Commisioner, Hope Brady!
Ron knows how to write soaps.

Celia
Celia

I so agree, Karen…..I am really anticipating a complete alteration of stories and characters. About time….do what you do best, Ron!!

Boop
Boop

I like Raines as Commissioner.

Mateo
Mateo

Ron Carlivati takes no prisoners which is what I love about him. I haven’t watched DAYS steadily since Abby was left crazy after killer Ben. It got so boring with the horrible teen set and the snooze fest stories. I started watching again when Ron took over the writing reigns. Now I am not a fan of doppelganger stories but I do love the humor of Ron’s writing. It makes the story enjoyable through laughing. Deidre Hall is good when she gets to be someone other than Marlena. She has some comic timing I think. Hattie cracks me up. Then we have Judi Evans…..diamond! I will watch for awhile and see where it goes. Eileen Davidson and Alison Sweeney are on their way. I want to see this. I love them both. I do have to say that Morgan Fairchild is not worthy of that role she is in. She used to be a great villain but she has lost something. And she is obviously struggling with the aging process as well. I have never seen her this increased in size. But her acting has lost some of it’s campy flair too. Sad because in her prime she was a GREAT VILLAIN!!! I will give DAYS a fair shake. I am hoping the injection of good writing will help it out some.

Marissa
Marissa

The first three days of NewDays were strong. I can’t wait for the first full week!

Judy
Judy

It wasnt shown here in tx because of the changes in the white house and one day it wasnt on because of O.J I had just watch it on fox news so I didnt what to see it again guit interution are shows

Llanviewer717
Llanviewer717

I started watching again with Ron’s first episode. The difference is obvious. The pace is faster. The dialog is energetic. There is humor. Ron is definitely breathing much needed life into Days.

Jon
Jon

Llanview fan here too. Yeah totally agree!

Frank
Frank

I think Ron is great and would not be surprised if Days moves above GH in ratings. I think it would be well-deserved.

Chrystie-Delancey
Chrystie-Delancey

I keep thinking Deimos’ murderer was someone not even at the party, but hopefully they don’t make Zander the culprit because it would be a waste of Paul Telfer who should be a leading man.

Boop
Boop

I agree ; I love Zander!

Douglas
Douglas

I watched the episode before his first one, too. Amazing difference. I haven’t watched Days in decades but I loved it. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Patrick
Patrick

I am so hoping that DAYS is making a place for Paul Telfer to stay

Mo
Mo

I like him and Xander too.

Jon
Jon

I started watching on Monday to try and figure out characters and story. Bit boring and slow, then Wed hit and it was like a new show. Love Ron’s writing and the only reason I am watching. It was much faster paced and the dialogue was MUCH improved. I bet the actors were happy when this switch occurred 6 months ago.

Dottie
Dottie

Go Ronnie C! Yes. Love you and excited for more.

Robert in Jersey City
Robert in Jersey City

He already has the boys in tight tank tops! Go Ron!

su0000
su0000

hi Robert..
you’re going to have many ”twists & turns” RC will keep you on your toes!
RC is the Master of twist & turns and Surprises! WOW! moments..
and- you will have laughs!! he has great humor.. (sugar to ease the vinegar)

blake
blake

Lol true. I think he’ll have Ava’s son on for a long time. Maybe we can get him to bring back that bellhop boy that got with Paul.

Jon
Jon

Don’t know any back story on anything Days but so far like Chad, Abigalle, Justin, and the computer hacker kid, reminds me a bit or Rex Balsom from OLTL.

blake
blake

I think the best scene was at the end of Friday’s episode when Hattie went to see Bonnie at the jail. Those two were cracking me up! I can’t wait to see what they do, I hope they are around for a long time.

Ron C. has brought the energy and fun back to Days! james O’Reilly has to be loving this from heaven.

Patrick
Patrick

was at Target yesterday… and I was reading some story on Judi Evans… and her “delight” on playing two roles.

She also shared… she had NEVER , WORKED, with Deidre Hall. AND THAT they were having the best time doing so.

isn’t that something… you know… I don’t mind in this case that it’s “doppleanger” or whatever… we’ve seen these two before… so it’s not like it’s that far out their.

just saying…WE GET – more – Judi Evans.. and MORE POWER and creativity for Deidre.

I posted… I’d love it if Hattie and Eileen Davidson Susan connect.

argh! I really do hope @DAYS is a bigger distraction than GH.

blake
blake

That’s great, you can tell Judi Evans and Deidre Hall are having a great time playing Bonnie and Hattie.

Hard to believe Judi and Deidre never got to work together after all of these DECADES!

If they interacted with Eileen’s Susan, that would be so awesome that the world might explode! lol

4ever DAYS
4ever DAYS

Judi either forgot she worked with Deidre or meant she hasn’t worked with her on a larger scale…They’ve had a few scenes together, including the argument between Marlena and Adrienne in the hospital a few years ago when Marlena confronted Adrienne about Adrienne’s remark that Will wasn’t good enough for Sonny, especially because of Sami.

Patrick
Patrick

@4.

you are correct.

perhaps she meant that the two of them, are being scripted @working together, to drive story, for the first time.

that was some NICE NICE work by Judi Evans. only looking out for Sonny.

WOW… I’ve got me some DAYS back. oy! I plan on keeping up this time around. it’s tough to balance two shows. this is worth it.

Salute

4ever DAYS
4ever DAYS

So much fun!

gwill
gwill

I pretty much stopped watching on a regular basis right around the time that Ben Was revealed to be the neck tie killer. It got stale and boring after that but If Ron can do what he did in the last few years of OLTL and breath some new life into it, I will be back Daily!

Julien
Julien

I do not understand why people love Ron C so much. He’s a terrible head writer. And they need to recast Anjelica with Judith Chapman.

Jaime
Jaime

So far I have really not enjoyed the past 3 episodes of Days. the new writing is sub par and yes terrible

Jovin
Jovin

Awful! Banal, trite, and more of the same. How can anyone really find Bonnie and Hattie entertaining? They are written as utter gutter trash with only a doiuble digit IQ between them. No way could either of them be believable for one second as Marlena and Adrienne. Let’s just talk motivation here for a few seconds regarding Anjelica. She was always a little manipulative, but she was never an outright delusional psychopathic stupid lunatic!! She was a mature wealthy woman who faced reality and lived accordingly. She would now charitably be 70 years old. She comes to town after 26 years and is so full of lust for 50 year old Justin (whom she hasn’t seen in a quarter century) that she has just gone completely batshit crazy?? Everyone in town KNOWS Hattie and Bonnie…so the second Adrienne and Marlena start acting weird, everyone should notice or else the whole town is going to look like complete imbeciles!! There is nothing to invest in emotionally as it is just roll your eyes stupidity ! Has Anjelica or Hattie thought what could happen if Hattie inadvertently caused the death of any of Marlena’s patients? The legal ramifications would be astounding! That’s why I say…the Anjelica of yore was not just a typical Ron C psychopath with no reasoning. She was more like a Dorian Lord on OLTL whom Ron wrote very successully for! It is SO demeaning to women when soaps write stories all about a desperate woman trying to “get” a man when any functioning human being would realize it was futile. There is no entertainment value in watching deluded female senior citiZens sit around plotting how to “get” ROman and Justin. It’s like Ron ripped the pages “How Not to Tell a Soap Opera Story” and “How Not to Write Soap Dialogue” from Jim Reilly’s handbook and is just going full tilt with it. If I wanted to watch a cartoon, I would!! I cannot believe that in a last ditch and last gasp effort to save Days….this is what comes of it! Yes… because doppelgänger stories receive SUCH positive reception from fans!! (NOT)! Maybe 40 years ago, when it was a relatively new and mildly shocking gimmick, okay. This is just lame, unimaginative, repetitive, absurd nonsense! Ken Corday has To have stopped caring andisnust waiting for the official cancellation announcement.

mails24 (@mails24)
mails24 (@mails24)

I totally agree. Ron’s writing is very bipolar. The highs are highs and the lows are very low.

I absolutely loved his OLTL, but I came into it new (and didn’t really know the show’s history). That being said i loved most of his story lines like
-Clint going bad
-Tale of 2 Todd’s
-Initial story line in Paris, TX,
-Almost everything David Vickers related,
-The Jessica/Natalie wedding confrontation that led to the return of Tess
-The Ford Bros’ dad murder mystery
-How Ron kept all of the guys shirtless and in tight briefs

That being said, his lows were terrible.
-Tina locking Natalie in the basement for an entire summer
-Return of Marty (good), but only to do nothing with her
-Return of miscast Joey
-Every time the Ford bros were on my screen wearing clothes

As for Days, I thought it was OK as it was faster paced, but all of dopplegangers was ridiculous. I’ll give it a few more weeks, but I’m not holding my breath.

Boop
Boop

That’s the reason we have the word ,opinion; you have yours and I have mind. I love Ron’s writing!

Mo
Mo

Judith is on Y&R.

Phil
Phil

I absolutely loved the first 3 episodes of Ron’s! DAYS is about to become THE soap to watch! I was very impressed with the pace… DAYS hasn’t been fast paced since James Reilly wrote for the show. I find the doppelgänger story to be very amusing…. I agree that Morgan Fairchild is not a great choice for the role. If Jane Elliot cannot come back, how about Marj Dusay? Keep up the good work Ron! Love Abby!

4ever DAYS
4ever DAYS

The Hattie and Bonnie storyline is funny, Phil. I wish the negative posters had doppelgangers to take over their lives and keep them from posting here, LOL!

HR
HR

Some might say the same about those who love trashy stories. When you lash out at others you deserve the same treatment

Jimh
Jimh

I have mixed feelings with this storyline since doppelgangers stories have been done to death- but i will let it play out to see if i like it or not…show needs some comedy relief…would make a nice twist if Marlena learned Hattie was really twin Samantha who faked her death and Bonnie was really Adrienne’s unknown twin who was taken from her mother at birth!!!

Jovin
Jovin

Jim…there is no doubt that that is where they are going with Bonnie and Adrienne. Jo Johnson was a downtrodden abused wife. She could have easily given away one of her twinndaughtersmeaning Bonnie. Not that I want to prolong Bonnie in Salem…but that’s will be her get out of jail free card. Kristen…Hattie…Bonnie../that’s too much female psychotics, combined with a Batshit Anjelica.

Mo
Mo

One day was not shown due to OJ parole hearing.

Glad Dario is leaving.

Bonnie is jailed for a murder Mimi committed. What?

Shows were good. We’ll see if it holds up.

Jaime
Jaime

Was NOT delicious. it was AWFUL. HAD TO DELETE AND DEPROGRAM DVR. THIS WAS FOOLISH BAD CARTOON AMATEUR HOUR. HOPE THIS IS NOT GOING TO CONTINUE. IF SO RON MAY BE WORSE THAN DENA EVER WAS.

Boop
Boop

Stop watching ; everyone won’t be pleased ! That’s life!

Kevin C
Kevin C

I tried watching DOOL since Ron has returned and I didn’t even make it through the first 30 mins…I am no longer interested in DOOL. I won’t be watching and was a fan from the 70’s through the 80’s…it’s not what it use to be…

stevie g
stevie g

I like soaps and love cartoons (well the old ones I grew up with, I mean). But I don’t like my soaps to be cartoons. Has Bonnie been in jail for the ten years she’s been out ofthe show? Surley not? Why is she so nasty on Maggie, when Mickey passed away years ago? And Hattie was kinda nice last time she was in the show, she was a Godsend to Hope, one would think she could have found easier ways to meet Mr Roman and even get stuck into Andre. This whole storyline dosn’t make a lot of sence.

Mo
Mo

I totally forget how Bonnie exited. I don’t understand either why she is so hung up on the late Mickey.

Helen
Helen

The doppelgänger story line pushed me over the edge ~~ how stupid does RC believe viewers actually are?

Matthew Place
Matthew Place

NOT loving it, but maybe it’ll get better.

Jim Larson
Jim Larson

Well, of course the “look-a-like” characters are a bit ridiculous but at least they tried to inject a little humor here and there, it’s better than recent months with Nicole crying and crying and crying during that insufferable baby storyline- enough is enough of all that. This show has been so awful the last five or six months (including the ghastly ‘teen storylines’) that almost anything would be an improvement.

LeeAnn
LeeAnn

He has to finish up the Dena stories somehow, not his fault he came into a mess ! I myself am enjoying Bonnie, always liked her better than Adrienne !

Patrick
Patrick

DROOL – is FINE. just hotted me out. finished Friday, 7/21 ep. even with losing the first 21 minutes to Sean Spicer quitting.

dag! the menfolk sizzle.

from Rafe to Dario to Xander to Eric to Brady to Chad. plus the fun of Andre.

DAG.. the standout… well he knocks you out when you first see him any way.. Xander.

bowled me over… when he went to visit Jenny Bear. it was like telling her : “look at all me toying with you ” SEXY every thing.

zing zing zing me every where… the hotted out best is in Salem.

ps: these guys act and there was stimulating story to go with

I forgot looking at the dashing father and son . John and Paul.

DROOL

Patrick
Patrick

Greg Vaughan’ Eric Brady – SEXY every thing.

that scene with Jenny Bear… had so much sizzle sensual and stimuli.

WOAH

if any of you still have that scene. LOOK AGAIN. “Greg Vaughan”

Patrick
Patrick

Monday – 7/24 ep. scorching searing sexy as all get out.

Eric pays Jenny Bear a visit. LOOK AGAIN

Robert in Jersey City
Robert in Jersey City

I also noticed the greatly reduced use of Aqua Net on the performers.

dmr
dmr

Hysterical, because I when I watched today’s show, I thought the opposite, haha!

Robert in Jersey City
Robert in Jersey City

LOL, I meant the men.

dmr
dmr

I watched a little of today’s show (Weds. 8/2) while home at lunch. I haven’t watched in months (maybe longer). It sounds as though Ron’s cartoonish theatrics have begun; although, his writing has got to be better than the drivel we have been served for the past year+. I have to comment on Morgan Fairchild-wow. Ms. Fairchild was so beautiful in the early 80’s. I remember watching her in a made for television movie when I was younger, and I thought how stunning she was; then, she looked great while she appeared on Friends. I wish she allowed herself to age gracefully.

J
J

Ron c version of days is the worst!!!
He turned a fan into one ready to cancel. The dual roles are awful. Propping obvious hiring but demoting favs ! Not happy at all

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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GH icon Genie Francis chats with Michael Fairman about her return to the soap as Laura after being taken off-contract earlier this year. Leave A Comment

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