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DAYS Eric Martsolf On His First Daytime Emmy Nomination, Playing Brady's Addiction, Eileen Davidson – Daytime Emmy Spotlight Interview

Courtesy/NBC

One of the races to watch that is to close to call at this year’s upcoming 41st annual Daytime Emmy Awards is that of the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series!  And for Days of our Lives stalwart Eric Martsolf, after years in daytime, he has finally been recognized by his peers for his performance. Eric earned himself his first ever Daytime Emmy nod for his take-no-prisoners scenes of a drug-addicted Brady Black confronted by those that care about him in what becomes a failed intervention!

DAYS fans know that throughout 2013 Emmy calendar season Martsolf was paired with Eileen Davidson, and as Brady and Kristen they were the spark that ignited the show. Through Kristen’s duplicitous schemes that backfired, and Brady an unknowing victim in love with his woman, ultimately it caused the man to relapse into addiction.  Thanks Kristen!

On-Air On-Soaps chatted with Eric to get his thoughts on when he learned he was an Emmy nominee, why he chose the scenes that won him a shot at the gold, working with Eileen Davidson, the challenges of playing a drug addict and much more!  What we can say is this: it was some much fun to celebrate this acknowledgment with Eric. And in this conversation, not only will you get some insight, but have some good laughs along the way.  And now Daytime Emmy nominee Mr. Martsolf!

So what happened when you found you were actually a Daytime Emmy nominee for the first time in your career?

Courtesy/NBC

ERIC:  I forgot the nominations were coming out quite honestly.  I found out I think how everybody found out: when I got out of the shower butt naked and wet and looked down at my phone and realized it was going nuts! (Laughs)  I had all these texts messages and all these tweets.  I am like, “What is happening? What could possibly be happening at 5:30 in the morning? And sure enough, that is when I found out.  I saw all these “Congratulations Eric!”   I then put two and two together.

Did your mouth drop?

ERIC:  Everything dropped!  (Laughs)

So, the towel dropped?

ERIC:  Well, you know when you’re after 40, everything drops!  And that’s a shame (laughs), but of course my mouth dropped!  But, I had a couple of unsuspecting birdies in my ear a couple of weeks prior.  I got a text from some respected people in the form of: Crystal Chappell who sent me a “Congratulations on my reel”, which I thought was interesting.  Then Judi Evans (Adrienne, DAYS) came up to me atypically and took me in the corner and said, “You’ve got a real shot this year.”   I was surprised by it.  A lot of people had come up to me and told me they were very happy with what they had seen, and that led me to believe I might have a shot.

You submitted the very emotional intervention scenes where Brady is confronted by Daniel (Shawn Christian), Nicole (Arianne Zucker) and Eric (Greg Vaughan) at the Kiriakis mansion over his drug use and the downhill spiral his life has taken.  Tell me about those scenes and why you chose them for your Emmy submission?

Courtesy/NBC

ERIC:  They are approaching him about the drugs and Daniel eventually is grabbing the coke out of Brady’s pocket, and then it’s Brady essentially choosing this vile of cocaine over everything else including his loved ones. And as much as I wanted to submit whatever scene I had with Eileen Davidson (Kristen) because that was the bulk of my good times in 2013, when it came down to it, these scenes were just too intriguing to watch that guy become so far off the edge that he would choose this substance over his friends and family.  It was powerful and it was a long time coming. I felt something. There was something in my gut that said this is creepy, interesting, and weird all at the same time.  I have never really been given this chance to have a storyline like this.  This was a hard serious subject for a guy like me to take on who spent most of his time laughing and walking around on stage having a really great time. 

This was the most heavy-hitting dramatic story you have played!  How was it been for you diving into the mind of an addict and playing the beats of it?  It must take its toll on you.

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ERIC:  I spent the last 12 months portraying an addict.  It’s been hard on me, and it’s been tough on my family, because coming out of that at home is kind of rough after you spent nine hours at the studio be ostracized and playing this guy who couldn’t give a crap about the world.

Courtesy/NBC

Did you feel, or know at the time you taped your Emmy nominated scenes, that it was very special?  Did you have that transcendent moment that actors always hope to attain with their performances?

ERIC:  No, I wasn’t sure.  I literally went upstairs at the DAYS production offices and grabbed about 18 DVD’s and watched them all, one after the other, and that one just stuck out.  Quite honestly, we shoot at such a pace, I don’t have the time to evaluate whether I nailed it or not.  All I know is I am putting something out there on tape and it’s going into American television sets months later.   So no, I did not have a transcendent moment.  I just saw these scenes and thought that people would respond to it.

Eileen Davidson was so gracious to be a part of our Soap Nation Live with Michael Fairman Daytime Emmy Special broadcast earlier this month.  Now first of all, I had trouble hearing what she said … (Laughs)

ERIC:  Was she surfing?  (Laughs)

Courtesy/EMartsolf

No! She was driving, but she eventually pulled over to the side of the road when we got around to talking about you!  I mentioned to her how this was a long time coming for you.  She raved about you and related how excited she was for you, and that you earned a nomination.  I think we all feel that. 

ERIC:  I don’t know what to say, but thank you … that made my day, my week, my month that comment right there   So, let me try to assimilate the feeling:  When my doctor told me my wife and I were having twins, I always thought that is something that happened to other people.  I felt like that was a select club.  And I am like, “What do you mean, me?  No, that’s other people.”  Same thing with the Emmy: I have just gone through my soap career graciously.  But I have never had a loud trumpet as far as media was concerned.  I just thought Emmys happened to other people …like … Peter Bergman (Jack, Y&R) … Christian LeBlanc (Michael, Y&R)… Billy Miller (Ex-Billy, Y&R)… Maurice Benard (Sonny, GH)… guys like that! (Laughs)  Those guys win Emmys! But a couple weeks ago I realized, “No.  This club is open for business, and maybe I deserve to be a part of this group after all.”

NATAS has been striving with some voting changes and the reels being voted on online, to try to make the Emmy competition as fair as possible.  One would hope that good works shines through, and it’s not the same ole, same ole, or the usual suspects that always get in.   And in your case, it proves someone new can enter the field!

Courtesy/NBC

ERIC:  The work is really all I have.  This is not an excuse, but being the father of twin boys I don’t have a lot of free time to venture out in Hollywood and rub a lot of elbows, and meet up with the other cast members and go to a lot of red carpets.  I have to pick and choose the events I attend very carefully, and so I haven’t publicized myself as much as I would like to in almost the last decade.  But as a result, I have to let this four minute clip be the one thing that propels me to the next step.

What did Eileen Davidson say to you when you finally saw each other face-to-face after you both landed nominations?

ERIC:  We worked together the other day and the director was very funny and he said, “Quiet on the set.  We have two Emmy nominees on set here!” (Laughs)  Eileen is a lovely woman.  She ripped out probably the best I have to offer in this soap genre, and you probably are as good as your co-star.  She may not have been in my reel, but she was a big part of it.  Eileen is very gracious.  I understand why the soaps are throwing their hooks out at her.  If I was a producer, I would want her too.

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Playing an addict is no easy feat!  I assume you did your research?

Courtesy/NBC

ERIC: I sure did.  I was very trendy and I got on You Tube! I typed in “cocaine behavior” and I think the other word I used was “crazy”.  I wanted to see how these people were.   I spent hours to the point where my wife was walking in to the room going, “What are you watching?”  And I go, “Oh, my God. You have to look at this!”  I would try to emulate these people and their little ticks like moving their tongue around their mouth to search for that little morsel of cocaine that may be stuck inside their incisors.  It was the little things like that I was hoping the power of high definition television would catch.  I was also fearful of making it look to big.  I didn’t want to make it a parody.  That’s always been my crux as well.  I come from the theater and I tend to go bigger than smaller. I wanted this to be subtle, but then again translate.  But yes, I did do my research, but no, I did not go out and do coke in the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles! But you know what I did?  I free-based Diet Coke!  And it worked really well! (Laughs)  It’s just like cocaine if you drink twelve of them in a row. It’s like being on the white powder! (Laughs)

What did you wife say after you got nominated?  Did she say something along the lines of, “Thank God you scored this nomination after all you put me through learning to play a drug addict?” (Laughs)

Photo Credit: Splash

ERIC: I played a joke with her in the kitchen because at 5:30 in the morning she was making sandwiches for the boys.  I go, “God, Twitter is weird!”  She goes, “What are you talking about?”  I go, “Look what these people are saying!”  Of course, I already knew. She finally caught on and got this look in her eye, and gave me a huge hug, and she started to tear up.  She said to me, “Are you happy?” I said, “Yes, are you?” She says, “Yes, but I’m petrified.” I said, “Why are you petrified?”  She says, “Where the hell am I going to get a dress?”   It was very funny and cute.   Now everyone at work was like, “Congratulations Eric!  Now whip out your wallet and go get your wife a dress!” (Laughs) I mean, I am excited!  I think I get car service if I am a nominee and that’s huge for me, and you get a plus one!

Do you know the other gents that are nominated in your category? Scott Clifton (Liam, B&B), Bradford Anderson (Spinelli, GH), Dominic Zamprogna (Dante, GH), and Steve Burton (Dylan Y&R)?

ERIC: I know Scott. He is a nice guy.  I know Bradford Anderson who is also a ridiculously nice guy   I don’t know Dominic Zamprogna and Steve Burton that well. However, I do know these guys work and anyone could get the Emmy. There’s no clear winner here.  They are all talented guys.

What would you like to say to your fans who are thrilled for you, and have been supportive of you throughout your soap career?

Photo Credit: Sue Coflin/Max Photos

ERIC: Their loyalty continues to amaze me and it’s why we do what we do.  Thank you for continuing to watch when you have six million other shows to watch on television these days … some people still turn into these soaps! And it’s enough to keep these engines running and I am very, very grateful to all of them.  They had to suffer through Ethan Winthrop on Passions for so many years. (Laughs) Now I am able to give them, not that Ethan was a bad guy, but I am just glad that Brady has gone into this deep dark storyline that has been interesting to watch.  Thanks for all the coke and all the good times!  (Laughs)

Watch Eric’s nominated performance below! Then let us know … what you thought of his scenes?  His thoughts on landing his first Daytime Emmy nomination? If you are looking forward to seeing Eric on-screen again with his one of a kind scene partner, Eileen Davidson in the months ahead? Weigh-in below!

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Patrick
Patrick

Gracious : is a FINE attribute : a healthy drive… to let yourself go… and deliver

his daytime resume :

Passions : 2002 – 2008
DAYS : 2008 – present
that’s an ongoing career… with TWINS … thats 12 + years in the business

I am gobsmacked… about OUR “DAYS”

and when it’s time to press…

I’ll banner this : He (Eric Marsolf) does not let up… his choices… his support system… fans + : DOOL production and writing… have ALL (includes Eileen D.) elevated

I am stoked for him

the three golds I want : Eric Marsolf, Eileen Davidson, and “DOOL” BEST SHOW!

I’m glad that he showcased his (characters) drug addiction… Man! Woah… he did not underplay… and nuanced behaviors attributed to … altho.. fans coalesce… ARE LOVING HIS portrayal… in everything!

his living at the Kiriakis Manse… so we can delight in scenes with Victor and Maggie
his being the son of John Black… I love Brady’ machismo and telling him like it is
his being the son of Isabella… John LOVED Isabella… was so beautiful
his stratosphere pairing with Eileen Davidson’ Kristen : she’s BACK… so is Brady
his relationships with Eric and Sammi… his siblings
his dalliance with Theresa : what I mean when the audience loves his new attitude

LOOK at how much he PULLS : and REELS

The DAYS of OUR Lives – cast : must be giddy… animated… acting chops coursing

what a dream job when all the elements of this epic production… audience +

Thank You ! Eric Martsolf… I truly hope you take home gold…

Mama
Mama

“Days of Our Lives” hasn’t won in the Lead Actor or Actress field at the Emmys in 33 years.

The beginning of the Reagan administration is how far back you would have to go to find a “Days” winner.

andrew hass
andrew hass

Even though i want Bradford Anderson to win this category i do think Eric Martsolf has a good chance of winning too.

Dange
Dange

Good luck to Eileen Davidson and Eric Martsolf at the Daytime Emmy Awards 2014!
I can’t wait until July/ August for their new scenes together. Eric and Eileen work so well off each other, it’s always a blast to watch their characters interacting. There’s so much improvisation. They’re my favorite pairing on “Days”!

KatieR
KatieR

Congrats Eric! 🙂 Based on the reels and not just because I’m a Days fan, I think you should win this.

AliciaE
AliciaE

Same here, Katie. Eric is shining in this storyline. Brady has me equally infuriated and understanding. Proud to be a fan.

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

I want him and Bradford(gh) to win the emmy…hope its a tie…

andrew hass
andrew hass

Last year in this category there was a tie between Billy Miller and Scott Clifton.So it could happen again this year.However the Emmys may not want a tie in the same category 2 straight year.I think all 5 nominees are good but IMO Eric and Bradford are the favorites to win.

dmr
dmr

I love Brady and I think that Eric does a great job on the show. My only wish is that the writers would have him stay clear of that awful Theresa. I can’t stand the character. I don’t love to hate her; I just hate her. I would love to see Theresa get “hers!” She’s treacherous. No reason (that we know of) for her to be so hateful and vindinctive. A very one dimensional character.

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

I think if Theressa messes with J.J., and Bev gets the blame but Brady finds out and dumps her…or she and Kristen gets in a big fight over Brady and Kristen wins because she has brought Bradys baby boy(a prediction) to Salem with her…could happen or not…but i do see Brady and Theressa breaking up and getting back together over and over again like most soap couples usually do!!!

Johnny
Johnny

I think Eric and Greg Vaughan are two of the most talented, underrated actors in all of daytime. I wish they could be in a storyline like back in the good old DAYS where we rooted for couples and the couples were close friends….like Bo and Hope and Shane and Kimberly. Good guys battling the bad guys. Well I can wish.

4ever DAYS
4ever DAYS

EM for the win!

Ann Marie
Ann Marie

I know Eric likes this storyline but can’t they have Eric doing something else besides drugs. I m getting tired of him drinking all the time.

Jules
Jules

I really do think he chose the right reel. I loved both Kristen reveals last year, but Eric played a backseat to ED and though he was good, I didn’t think he was great. I thought, especially during the first reveal after her almost tryst with John, he just went too soapy. In this reel, I found him to be more rooted and grounded. He seemed much more in control of himself and had a more realistic handle on the writing.

I think his real competition is Bradford. But I’d love to see Eric pull it off. He had a great year of work overall, and this clip looks to me like the best choice to represent it all.

Rj
Rj

Love Eric/Brady! Glad he received a nomination, and hope he wins. He has consistently given strong performances displaying different emotional sides of Brady – loving, caring, angry, mean, sober, drunk, drug addict. Good Luck!

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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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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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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