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DAYS Dena Higley Shares: "Very Excited To Co-Head Write With Amazing Ryan Quan. Our Material Starts To Air Sept. 6!"

Courtesy/NBC

Courtesy/NBC

Days of our Lives fans are about to get some new life injected into the show, when the first stories and scripts from DAYS’ latest head writing regime, Dena Higley and Ryan Quan begin to air.

Higley, who had taken some time off from the series some time ago, took to her Twitter account to let everyone know just when fans will start seeing their stories unfold in Salem.

Dena tweeted: “Thanks to my DOOL family for my personal time off. Very excited to co-head write with amazing Ryan Quan.  Our material starts on air 9/6.”

With the 2016 Summer Olympic pre-emptions of the long running NBC daytime drama series about to come to its conclusion, all new episodes of DAYS begins to air next Monday on August 22nd.

Just what do Dena and Ryan have in-store for the good folks of Salem?  Well, for one, as teased on the NBC “New Season Of DAYS” promo, some dastardly villains are back on the canvas when Xander, Orpheus, and Clyde are back to settle old scores! Will they succeed?

So, are you looking forward to seeing what Dena and Ryan have planed for DAYS fans in the coming months? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

READ MORE
DAYS Promo: What's Going To Happen At Jarlena's Wedding Anniversary Shindig?
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Mister Media
Mister Media

I’m sorry to have to say that I am not excited about this. I wish that I was. It feels as if I have bought a ticket for this ferris wheel many times before and it always gets stuck at the top….

Joel
Joel

So true! It seems like every fall the show is bragging about the latest fresh start but it practically always falls flat.

Celia
Celia

Yeah…..firstly, ‘they’ should start by cutting the chains that bind Rafe to Hope….hope-less.

4ever DAYS
4ever DAYS

You’re right, Celia! Yes to Soap-on-a-Rope, but a big fat NOOOOOO to Rope-on-my-soap!

Celia
Celia

@4ever DAYS.
Right, 4ever? Both TPTB and most fans root for this couple.
Fans are so enamored of Hope and her not-so-young character that they cannot see the forest for the trees.
Hope has to be one of the most boring character on DAYS. Her time has come and gone. Rafe needs a woman who can take him to the stars without the baggage.

Phil
Phil

I think it is Rafe who is boring… but they could liven him up by pairing him with a bad girl or not so bad girl Nicole!

Patrick
Patrick

Hope had better be careful… she’ll be tagged as the next character … ala

Dr. Daniel Jonas… to smother the audience

I truly do believe with; that Rafe is not the one to feature Hope with

that job has to go back to Aiden… now that he’s DA… will that help Hope believe?

argh! it’s just a travesty what DAYS did to this ready made family… they were the best… and they went and ruined them… with SORAS and the rape …i’m sad about this

go back to Lauren Boles… the original… and all will be right with the world

Celia
Celia

@Phil.
Hi, Phil,
You could very well be right about Rafe. I never stopped to think of the reverse scenario.
At the same time, Hope is a downer to me. TPTB, I think, are trying too hard with the Hope character…keeping her relevant. Not working for me. She needs mature, interesting roles to boost her persona. What Hope was 20 years ago is gone, gone, gone…..cannot resuscitate what’s dead.
I loved Rafe with Sami….he’s great with kids….I enjoyed that side of Rafe.
And, yes. I agree with you to the rafters. Rafe and Nicole would be sensational.
Deimos? Not!!!!! Too dark for me. He will only sap Nicole of her vitality….her mischievous brain, which I’d love to scrutinize on a personal level…LOL. Later.

4ever DAYS
4ever DAYS

Cut to the chase, Celia, cut the “Rope!” lol

Andy
Andy

Although she says her stuff doesn’t air until 9/6, it’s obvious she has had a hand in the cutting and editing of story lines. Haiden was dropped for Rope and Cosgrove fired. I expect nothing different from Higley this time as any other time. Rafe, Rafe and more Rafe. Will not be tuning back in after Olympics or ever.

Phil
Phil

Cosgrove was fired before she took over and then brought back! They did however drop the Hope and Aiden pairing in favor of Hope and Rafe… not sure why… snooooooooze!

JT
JT

You cannot help but note that shortly after Corday announced a change in head writers months ago, stories became oddly disjointed, scenes expected were cut, lots of edits done. This was Higley influence. Milstein never really had a chance on this program once it was announced Higley Quan! It was Higley from the outset who insisted on a Rafe hour and it has been nonstop! There is no way the blame for the bad stories is on the outgoing team when the incoming team was there insuring that the stories would reek!

Jad
Jad

I hope they weren’t taping while the Olympics were on. It would be a good 2 week break to be more up to date. Does anyone know how far in the taping schedule DAYS is? Is it still 6 months? I know they shut down for 2 months before but I read somewhere that they are still way ahead in taping to on air.

Mo
Mo

I hope it is better, but we’ve been promised stuff before and it hasn’t been delivered. I will wait and see.

John Gordon
John Gordon

Let’s hope it helps, Lord knows right now the show has been so draggy and dull, I have barely noticed that it isn’t on (due to the Olympics).
They also, sorry to say, need to “weed out” some of the characters that just aren’t working, including some of the very young “green” actors who’s inexperience is painfully evident.
DAYS OF OUR LIVES is a good show, they just need to pick up the pace and develop some compelling storylines.

Jimh(leave it to beaver)
Jimh(leave it to beaver)

Im not going to jump for joy and get excited yet over the three excon villains until i see the episodes and then i will decide what i think good or bad….even if they were Larry, Curly or Moe i still would wait at least those stooges never disappointed-their writing was always much better than the last year of Days-Hello! Hello! Hel-lo!-lol .

Celia
Celia

We still watch THE THREE STOOGES, in this house (my grandparents have the collection; along with THE HONEYMOONERS, and so many more classics). LOL. You always say the right thing to make me smile, Jimmy….. Never get tired of watching the Stooges shenanigans.
I am not loo wowed about the three escapees. How droll. Another stupid, futile storyline.
Now, if they find Abby somehow, and are keeping her as hostage; then, it could tweak my interest a bit. Especially, if Clyde tries to kidnap the baby.

Jimh(leave it to beaver)
Jimh(leave it to beaver)

Andre probably got Abby and gave her a new face(lame way to explain a recast)…she will probably have her memory wiped and dont know who Chad is!!!

Jimh(leave it to beaver)
Jimh(leave it to beaver)

Those are great classics i still enjoy…i also have Blonde on dvd(OK, not the singer-lol) but the old 30s/40s classic movies of the comic strip Blondie and Dagwood staring Penny Singleton and Arthur Lake(ok, go ask your grands what im talking about-lol)

Jimh(leave it to beaver)
Jimh(leave it to beaver)

i meant Blondie!!!

Mackenzie Grey
Mackenzie Grey

The “new season” was the last chance for me to return as a viewer, but the promo gave me nothing I wanted. So now I will not be returning as a viewer. Ever. Been a year since I watched. The urge to watch never returned and now I have no reason to watch.

rocky83
rocky83

GH, the place 2B, Peroid

Brett
Brett

Seriously? You must be watching a different GH than I am. All I see is a totally disjointed show with far too many characters, far too many stories, none of which are compelling or have any imagination…

RichInIowa
RichInIowa

Good one – great comedy comment!

Matthew Place
Matthew Place

Meh. Just more of the same from Higley. The “Rafe” Show. Guess the return of these con men will give her fave guy something to do along with his murdering sidekick Hopeless! It’s not gonna get better. I gave up once I saw the promo was more the same nonsense the last year has heaped on us!

JT
JT

Yup and even some of the hirings seem guilded toward the ROPE show rather than other characters. The best of Days characters are sidelined now and isolated. I am disgusted and find Corday is be 100% disingenuous about bringing back Days when he brings back a writer who did the best to fire vets on her last full run as HW. Unless someone reigns this woman in with a huge threat nothing will change. The return of the 3 villains is a short term gimmick for ratings but will not hold the program through the long run. To turn the program around you need more even handed stories, use of the vets, an end to the propping of the pets of these writers. These writers are not writing for the audience but for themselves and they seem to have a very disrespectful view of Days past!

Rj
Rj

I wish Days the best of luck! I hope people like this, and the ratings go up. The actors are good, but the characters, storyline, and direction is not my interest, so not excited about this or looking forward to watching. Perhaps, others like this, and I respect that. I will try to watch once in awhile because Deimos and Nicole, Rafe and Hope, the Aiden prosecuting attorney storylines have potential and could be good.

Ghlover
Ghlover

Why these villans? Why not Kristen Dimera, Ej Dimera , Sami !! Why not cast Victoria Rowell as the new Lexy Dimera? Bring this show alive people!

Travis Thomas
Travis Thomas

As much as I wouldn’t mind that, none of those people are willing to come back full time, so it’s pointless because I won’t except a recast. And Lexi’s death was handled so well I don’t want this team even touching that. And I truly believe that bringing someone who died of a brain tumor back from the dead cheapens the daytime genre.

Tomas Torquemada
Tomas Torquemada

Sony owns Y&R and DOOL. Ms Rowell filled a lawsuit against Sony.

You can’t really think Sony would hire someone who used them, do you?

Rodd
Rodd

This all sounds like they’re working to really resuscitate that CPR dummy instead of writing a soap. DAYS is turning into FADES…as into black. Get a vision and stick with it. Stop taping so far in advance and stop with all the gimmicks already! I don’t even want to watch half the time.

That being said, I do wish them well in whatever’s ahead. I’ve been watching DAYS since I was in kindergarten.

Pat
Pat

This show has become the television version of The Boy Who Cried Wolf. Sadly, I think the damage has already been done. How many times has “new life” been promised on this show, only to fail to deliver? Dena Higley is terrible. If these soaps don’t start installing some new blood with fresh ideas in their writing regimes, they will all go under within the next 5 years, I predict.

I realize that it must save money, but it’s downright ridiculous that this show must tape 5-6 months ahead, period. You can clearly see what a huge problem that is right now when all the on-air stories are unwatchable and locked in with no way to alter them. It’s a real shame that that timetable could be the fatal blow for the show.

4ever DAYS
4ever DAYS

There is new blood, Pat, and his name is Ryan Quan as written in the article. Dena Higley has a bad reputation, but her partner can, and I believe will, make a difference. As far as I’m concerned, Dena did a great job writing with Josh Griffith, but Josh dropped the ball when Dena left.

Chloe
Chloe

I’m still watching but sometimes I wonder why. The storylines are boring, the show seems to bounce from story to story & not return to the first one for days & by that time, you’ve either forgotten about it or ceased to care. But I’ve watched since 1968 & I’m a creature of habit. LOL

What absolutely stunned me was the boring & quiet way they “ended” the show before the Olympics. I was sure they’d be a HUGE cliffhanger, probably something to do with Spud’s kidnapping. The 2012 one was explosive [literally]; this one not even a blip. It’s like they didn’t even bother to try to entice us to come back.

4ever DAYS
4ever DAYS

That’s why writer Josh Griffith is gone, Chloe. We’ll hope for better from the new writing team!

Chloe
Chloe

I so hope you’re right, 4ever DAYS! I’m rooting for Ryan!!!

Celia
Celia

I shall trust in what you say 4ever. I never pay attention to the writers, per se…just the writing, and how it reflects on the character.
So far not very appealing. DAYS has been preempted for the last two weeks, due to Rio/Olympics.
But, to be honest, I have not missed the soap. So, I put my faith in you. HaHa!!!! Too much responsibility, 4ever? Awww, c’mon, now….you can handle it…LOL.

Scott H
Scott H

The only way I see any hope of Days surviving to 2017 is if Ken Corday brings on a capable writer to get Salem out of its druthers……I would definitely halt all shooting schedules and hire Ron Carlivati….at least he would delve into the history of Salem and bring to life stories we want to see……with that being done, i’d then go to a normal shooting schedule of at least 4-6 weeks before air, then if things need to be changed they can be in a timely manner….they need to dump the awful teen scene and hire some young actors that can act (Ciera, anyone)….stop shoving Rafe and his family and his love of all things Hope down our throats….it didn’t work the last couple months, what makes the producers and writers think we want to see it another six months before they figure out it isn’t working…….Surely, someone at DAYS reads the blogs and posts about how unhappy the viewers are….oh wait, if someone did, then Days wouldn’t be in this mess…..if they have to, steal Mal Young away from the Young and the Restless…..he’s really starting to turn that show around, much better than it was a year ago….so like what happened to JFP, do the same to Dena Higley, fire her and bring on some new talent or at least talent we want to see…..Days is like a family to me, I grew up watching the Hortons hang the Christmas balls every year on the tree and I would like to continue to see that for at least the next 20 years….make these changes Ken Corday….or give up the reigns to someone that wants to see Days around for another 50 years…..rant over, sorry I got winded…..

4ever DAYS
4ever DAYS

You must mean 2018, Scott, because DAYS is contracted through September of 2017.

viewer88
viewer88

OLTL 2006, Dena and Ron….RIP…
neither of them has written well since…wish it wasn’t true.

Iakovos
Iakovos

I have only been in Salem since ATWT, AMC and OLTL were cancelled, coincidentally with the new quaint Salem business district and new promise. There has been a lot of ups and downs in these few years and I am tired. I get excited to learn about histories and meet these legacy characters only to see them written out so quickly. I looked forward to casting of strong veteran actors only to see them gone soon. DAYS like ATWT had a tight family bond but now everyone seems sad or nasty or in dire straits. this six-month drag from tape to air seems odd to me. Please, someone, this is 2016 and there certainly are talented people to guide this ship and keep this genre going.

Adam
Adam

can’t get excited about Days anymore. they did this last year, and a few years before that but it goes back to sucking. i’d like to see theresa’s story before she goes but don’t want to deal with the other crap that is on there. stick a fork in days.

Park
Park

This show sadly is too far down the rabbit hole to survive. I had been a fan for over thirty years Days was the show, I rode it’s up and downs and stayed strong but NO longer. That debacle of the 50th did it for when I saw where the show was headed I finally gave in. This Hope & Rafe is distributing But Hope being a killer ended it for me. Hope was the last reason I stayed with the show. Bye Days!

Tim S.
Tim S.

well it can’t get worse…. .so we will seeeee……

Libby
Libby

I still can’t believe I am fretting over DAYS and the poor writing skills of Dena Higley. Occasionally, I see a glimmer of hope… Hogan Sheffer, Beth Milstein…. and here we go again. Or really we have already seen some of the abomination of Higley’ ‘ s limited skill set (to be kind). Ken Cordayou holds the ultimate responsibility.

There could hardly been n a worse choice of Higley as HW. Ryan Quan does not have the experience or skill to make a difference or stand up to Higley. How sad for all of us.

Lisa
Lisa

*SIGH* It’s that time of year again where Days touts reboot…blah blah blah. We’ve heard it all before. Every year it’s the same promises with very little to no result of what was promised. I’ve been watching since the mid 80’s and I’ve never been as bored with the show as I have been these last few years. What fans want to see and what the shows powers that be want seem to be worlds apart. Ken Corday must be incredibly hard headed or else enjoys operating the show with his head stuck in the sand.

Brett
Brett

I really hope they can sort this mess out, I fear it’s their last chance.

Ted Martin
Ted Martin

Bring back the gay characters – they are missed, and introduce some new gay characters to attract a larger gay following – what kind of guys watch this show – truck drivers? No, not for the most part. Sorry, I’m not trying to be one-dimensional here but bring back Sonny with Paul, and get things moving! Then, either bring back Derrick (don’t we wish) or a recast OR a new town personality who is bisexual. Someone who will turn Paul’s head and make Sonny sit up and take notice. DO SOME creative writing!! I know many of you won’t agree with me but this is what needs to be done – not the same old “Nicole is falling for Deimos (who cares) and little does she know that so and so is pregnant with his baby” …good GRIEF hasn’t that plotline been used since 1962? UPDATE! The show has a gay following! I’m not saying just concentrate on gay characters only, But the ratings were FAR better when the show centered around Sonny, Will, Paul with Derrick thrown in for good measure. They never even developed Derrick despite viewer satisfaction with his appearance! One day he was the Hotel Bellhop, and one day – I don’t know, he was gone without explanation. These new writers need to see what is working and what is NOT working! Ciarra constantly whining on the show to Hope is NOT working! That squealing singing daughter of Belle’s is NOT working!
Sorry, many won’t agree with what I am saying but I speak the truth. This is 2016 not 1985 so please writers get ON THE stick and write something reflective of today’s world!!

Rj
Rj

I agree that they should bring back the gay story lines. I thought the Sonny and Will romance was one of the best storylines. I have heard the Paul storyline with Sonny was good as well, so they should bring all that back. If they are trying to bring in younger viewers, these storylines may attract them. Besides, I love the characters of Sonny and Will. Paul I only know a little, but he seems good too. It was disappointing the way they dropped the gay storylines, so they should return them.

JT
JT

That is fine BUT you cannot inundate with just one storyline. That tends to ruin the program just as Daniel, Rafe are doing. You need even handed stories for ALL loved characters. If it becomes just the Sonny hour like the Daniel, Rafe and other hours Days will fail because you will lost a needed segment of the audience. When Days was a good program years ago there was never just ONE super couple. There were several simultaneously and thus everyone had a stake in the program. Unless you give more of the audience a stake in the program and stop pandering to just one Days will fail big time and 2017 will be the last of the program

Rj
Rj

JT I agree with you that there needs to be various storylines to appeal to different people interests.

Mark
Mark

Completely agree with all here.

Moreover, whichever writer previously drafted the past scenes between Marlena and Chandler Massey wrote pure gold, even the scenes which had nothing to do with gay issues (but especially those scenes too).

Frankly, the scenes with Chandler’s version of Will merely bickering viciously with Sami also were completely captivating. Watching those two fight was like coming upon a car wreck, where you know you really shouldn’t look, but you can’t help yourself.

Likewise, any scene between EJ and Chandler’s version of Will always contained a subtly compelling current of, “now where is this going…?”

So, yes to the “new”-old writer, yes to the gay, and definitely yes to “what’s up with Derrick?” But, if this show wants to breathe some new life into it, then it has to do whatever is necessary to get Chandler Massey back. Putting him in any scene with nearly any character in the show will make that scene more alive than anything any writer intended.

judy
judy

I love hope and rafe may there love last a long time

Lou Piikes
Lou Piikes

Are Dena and Ken C. related, because her hiring looks like nepotism to me.

JT
JT

Im so disgusted! Ms Higley has a history of firing the best and propping her less than stellar creations. Ryan Quan offers me no hope. He has less history with Days characters, wrote for Passions which is why he was promoted! After all Higley was clear in indicating her new pet is Galen (Rafe) from where oh yes Passions!
She has had a hand in all the edits on Days for months. The disarray in the stories make it quite clear she was cutting. During this period, Steve was thrown out of the PI office which HE created! Kayla has appeared as one with a lobotomy with little personality left, an icy coldness and disaffect for Steve! This all fits with Higley who has at various times in her Days career caused the exits of just about every loved vet from Deidre, Drake, Peter, Stephen and even Mary Beth. Steve is now completely isolated. He has never had a scene with on screen sister, lost his PI firm, is reduced to part time bartender doing nothing! Gelen appears in just about every storyline! Now the other new pet is Deimos. While the actor is not bad, the character on Days is so lacking, has no consistency, has been tested with every women to the point at which I really could care less about Deimos and all of the women he has been with!
At this point, Higley is hardly the solution. She may be the problem!
I hope they prove me wrong but if you look at the recent hirings you can see a clear path that all is being geared to the ROPE show, to Deimos and little is said of others! Sure for a quick month they will bring on a few past cast members as they did in 2015 only to drop them after 2 months going straight back to the Hernandez Deimos hour with a bit of Sonny.
For me that is not Days at all.The heart and soul of Days seems so absent in these writers. As for filming 6 months ahead that means no real corrections are being made. It is as Higley wanted the ROPE show!

John Gordon
John Gordon

Your points are interesting and well taken. I dislike the character of Deimos, though the actor portraying him was excellent as the slightly evil Dr. Hayward for many years on AMC. But here, to me, he doesn’t connect properly within the infrastructure of the show, and I’m not exactly sure what the missing component is – the show needs a pinch of this and a dab of that but I’m not certain what those ingredients are.

Fairy
Fairy

No. I am not remotely excited to see eat Dena Higley is writing. She’s a two time proven failure and wrecker of homes and character assassin, why should we be expecting any different for round three? What dirt does she have on tptb that she continues to be allowed to produce stories? I don’t get it. But Um expecting nothing but awful drivel. So nope. Not excited.

N. Onta
N. Onta

Ok, it is supposedly day 1 of the “new” old writers! I say supposedly because it is without a doubt that Quan Higley have been scripting or editing for months!

Nice to see some old villains, however, could the dialog and plot be any more childish! For so called writers this is kind of amateurish at best. The grand plot is to KILL THE ENTIRE TOWN OF SALEM! Come on if that wasn’t silly I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you. If after revenge, fine, there should be direction as to whom or the group of persons. This was just a child writing. So much for Quan Higley. As for Kayla finally a slight toned down BUT still such disaffect that one would hardly call her a partner in any form of love story! As for writing for Steve come on, yes he had a miserable childhood and an abusive father. But he also had a past in an orphanage where he was probably labelled unadoptable, was an emancipated teen living on his own, had lost his eye to his best friend, had been tortured, robbed of memories and lost 16 years of his life . In addition, as the story goes he left for the ISA due to threats to his family. Still, all Quan Higley could come up with due to his reticence about therapy was his father? Again, could Quan Higley be more simplistic and lacking in thought! They started out seemingly as quite amateurish at best. Hardly the great hope, hardly much thought put into any of this.

Days Of Our Lives

Eric Martsolf Talks Brady Being Duped & His Co-Stars; Galen Gering & Camila Banus Chat Hernandez Siblings On ‘Inside Salem: Days of our Lives Podcast’

On the latest episode of the Inside Salem: Days of our Lives Podcast, Eric Martsolf (Brady Black) chats with host. Michael Fairman as Brady’s story hits a major turning point!  As DAYS fans know, Brady recently hit the sheets with “Nicole” who was Kristen in disguise.

Photo: NBC

During the podcast conversation, Eric explains how he has to sometimes suspend belief to make stories work in daytime which included Brady not figuring out that “Nicole” was Kristen, although it certainly re-ignited his thoughts of her!  Plus, he chimes in on the fun he has had working with his co-stars: Arianne Zucker (“Nicole”) and Stacy Haiduk (Kristen/Susan) in their many scenes

Later, Eric tries to remember all of the loves of Brady’s life that crashed and burned, and is posed the question, “What would he think if Days of our Lives SORAS’d Brady’s son, Tate, to an 18-year-old?

Courtesy/NBC

Then, the podcast goes behind the scenes for a dressing room segment where Galen Gering (Rafe) welcomes his on-screen sister, Camila Banus (Gabi).  The two banter about their on-screen and off-screen relationship as brother/sister and friends, and how much they value one another as they create the Hernandez sibling dynamic.

To download the episode via iTunes click here.   To listen to the podcast via NBC.com/Inside Salem click here.

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With Talk Of Nikolas On GH, Tyler Christopher Says: "I’ve Always Said I Would Never Close That Door From My Side"

So, what do you think Brady should do now after the mess he finds himself in due to Kristen’s manipulations? Comment below.

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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Promo: What’s Going To Happen At Jarlena’s Wedding Anniversary Shindig?

Coming up next week on Days of our Lives, prepare for drama, drama, and more drama! From the looks of the latest promo for the NBC soap opera, the action takes place at Marlena (Deidre Hall) and John’s (Drake Hogestyn) surprise one-year wedding anniversary soirée, where things could take a deadly turn!

But with the Kristen (Stacy Haiduk) masquerading as “Nicole” plot reaching new heights, Anna DiMera (Leann Hunley) and Tony DiMera (Thaao Penghlis) back in Salem, and the promo telling viewers “For one guest, the party, is over” followed by Sonny (Freddie Smith) yelling, “She’s got a gun!” and Brady’s (Eric Martsolf) ending line, “Oh, my God!” there is plenty to conjecture.

Also seen in the teaser is Kate (Lauren Koslow) trying to rip off the face of Susan Banks (Stacy Haiduk), and Stefan (Brandon Barash) and Gabi (Camila Banus) getting hot and heavy and Eric (Greg Vaughan) yelling, “No!”

So, check out the promo below and then let us know via the comment section below, what you think is about to go down at Jarlena’s party, where last August at their nuptials … things did not go off without a hitch, either!

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Kyle Lowder On His Exit From DAYS: "So Grateful To Have Returned Over The Past Year To The Place Where It All Started For Me"
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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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