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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS OF OUR LIVES: Hope Shoots Stefano!

Courtesy/NBC

Courtesy/NBC

Dark DAYS continue and this one has everyone abuzz, and serves up much conjecture!

On Friday in a major cliffhanger, after being baited and taunted by her arch-enemy Stefano DiMera (Joe Mascolo), a disraught Hope (Kristian Alfons0) plugs the guy with not one, not two, but three bullets to finish him off!  Now even though the Phoenix always rises again, did Hope murder the DiMera kingpin once and for all?  Hope came to the DiMera mansion to have it out with Stefano, and her tortured past at the hands of him gets dredged up.  Hope believes Stefano was behind Bo’s (Peter Reckell) capture and imprisonment that led to the escalation of his brain tumor and his ultimate death.

A very angry and revenge-filled Hope confronts Stefano, who to get her to leave tells her that she is right he did everything to Bo, even though he also added that what he is saying is bogus.  Stefano tells Hope she doesn’t have the guts to hurt him.  He even tells her to grab the gun in the drawer and shoot him.   She doesn’t have to do that.   You see, Hope brought her own gun.  And after Stefano’s continued insults and utter nastiness towards her, Hope loses it.  She screams out and fires three shots.  A bloody Stefano goes down  … chess piece and all!

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What did you think about the final scenes of Friday’s cliffhanger? Did Hope finally “checkmate” Stefan for good?  Watch a preview for next week’s DAYS with the latest promo from NBC, where Rafe  (Galen Gering) comes upon the scene and looks to be covering up Hope’s crime!

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Beth
Beth

I’m a little torn over this plot development. On the one hand, it was very well acted by KA and JM. Hope has lost her grip on reality and gunned down a major villain without having any proof that he was responsible for Bo’s death, although she did admit that his kidnapping and brainwashing her in the past (decades ago) stole precious time from her and Bo. It’s a huge plot development that should have long-term consequences for Hope, Andre, Chad, Rafe, and maybe Ciara. On the other hand, this wasn’t as big a surprise as DOOL probably wanted it to be, at least not to me. Thaao Penghlis had revealed something a few months back that hinted at Stefano’s death, and Ken Corday said there’d be a shocking murder in cold blood coming up, so putting 2 and 2 together, alot of fans figured out Hope would kill Stefano. It’s also the 2nd death of a major character this week, which is getting ridiculous. DOOL needs to stop killing off characters for awhile if his/her death is going to actually mean something to the characters in Salem and the viewers. Plus, I can’t help but feel that this is a story development designed to move Hope and Rafe to coupledom sooner rather than later, and that bugs me. Couples should come together more gradually, more naturally, than through plot twists and rushed pacing. She’s grieving Bo. She’d just married Aidan and planned on spending a life with him. They shouldn’t be pushing Hope and Rafe together artificially, IMO.

I will miss Joe Mascolo. He was a delight to watch on DOOL and we could always count on the Phoenix rising a few times, or having children who came out of the woodwork. Stefano DiMera will be missed.

CeeCee
CeeCee

Ugh, Beth….right? Hope and Rafe? Please NOOOOO!!!!!!!
Stefano was a baddie, but he was such a formidable, dominant figure. I don’t know; it’s kind of hard thinking of DAYS without Stefano causing havoc……my Great-Granmother was all excited because she saw Joseph on TV today…….JAWS 2. She lives on Martha’s Vineyard ( where the movies were filmed), and she was one of the extras (crowd). LOL. She is so proud of that!

CeeCee
CeeCee

Grandmother (sp. correction)

mary
mary

@Beth – Hope and Rafe have been very good friends for a long time. So it is not as if they suddenly introduced Rafe to the canvas. Also, Rafe promised Bo that he would look after Hope which is what he is trying to do. That is why I think Rafe will accept responsibility for killing Stefano. Rate could see allowing Hope to get away with killing Stefano as helping her so she’s free to care for Ciara.

I also hope that DOOL of our lives will stop killing off major characters but somehow I think there will be at least one more; Victor. He is the man who framed his own brother. Victor’s nephew Deimos is coming to Salem to avenge his father. That vengeance just might include killing his Uncle Victor. John Aniston is 82 years old and may want to retire from the show.

CeeCee
CeeCee

Hey, Mary.
Yes, we all know Bo asked Rafe to take ‘care’ of Hope. I doubt Bo’s intention included any sexual connotation. I have given my comment, earlier, for what it’s worth……but, of all the family members available and ready to take Hope into their ‘arms’, why ask Rafe? It is contrived. It is obvious TPTB want to start something between these two. I, personally, think it’s dumb, if not inconceivable. She is too old for Rafe. He is young and I always thought he wanted kids….she’s past her childbearing years. Maybe a fling? But why? Rafe deserves better than this problematic woman. And, more importantly, Rafe and Bo were never so close that Bo would give him the responsibility of undertaking such a task….because that is what it eventually be….A magnanimous TASK!!!!! It does not make sense and I do not buy it. Just sayin’.
I want John Aniston to stay put. I love him and his dry humor. He’s one of the reasons I watch.

Bil Thompson
Bil Thompson

I’m sorry to say that I personally think his acting is SO corny and over-the-top and that atrocious accent belongs in a local Playhouse production. Perhaps at one time he was better, I don’t know, I have only been watching this show for 2 1/2 years or so, and his acting always seemed very forced and unconvincing as compared to, say, Jon Aniston who always delivers a believable performance. So, if his character has to make an exit, might as well do it with a BANG…or 3.

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

Either Hope will get off with a temporary insanity plea or Rafe claims he shot Stephano!

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

Stefano!

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

Did they even show Jen in her coma…were Bill and Laura-Jen’s parents even mentioned-you think her parents would come and see her-Days would have enough money to bring them back for a brief visit hadnt they aged the kids!

4ever DAYS
4ever DAYS

Jennifer wasn’t in a coma, Jimmy.

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

4ever Days…i missed a couple of epps. and thought i read somewhere Jen was in a coma…thanks for letting me know!

Torqumada
Torqumada

I agree: temporary insanity and Hope is home free in time for sweeps.

JM went out strong. But if anyone should have shot him it should have been his Queen of the Night, Marlena.

Jim, I like your Corrie / Callum theory from awhile back. But if he’s alive, who’s rotting away under Gails bed?!

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

Not sure…maybe backed up sewage?

Patrick
Patrick

at least, had it been… ‘his” Queen of the Night, Marlena

this would have … “some” ramifications… for … Marlena ?

would have been a more provocative stirring twist… instead of Hope ?!?!

viewers have already disappeared with Bo. so… this was nothing more than a plot point… to usher out… the greatest ACT… done in by the new IT girl… Kristian Alfonso

mary
mary

I think Rafe will claim responsibility. That way Hope will be free to care for Ciara.

j9
j9

Is Stefano ever really dead for too long???

mary
mary

He is dead that is unless DOOL brings him back with a complete face change. JM has had health issues for a long time.

CeeCee
CeeCee

I was thinking the same thing. Is Stefano really dead? If it were not for his age and failing health, whisk is rumored so often, I would say probably not. We shall see.

CeeCee
CeeCee

Which, not whisk. Gawwwwd! Autocorrect!

Iakovos
Iakovos

This could be an interesting plot turn, especially if Stefano is dead for good this time.

Aria
Aria

Maybe he’s the major character being murdered !

Mateo
Mateo

Let me begin by saying that I am happy that they followed through on the threat of Hope shooting him. I was certain she would run out of the house all crying and full of shame and self pity. However, Hope as some renegade is an awful experience to watch. She is awful in this type of portrayal. It’s all overplayed and it looks like she’s acting instead of being believable. Let’s put it this way, her 30 years on this show with this storyline are as bad in this portrayal as the new Ciara after a couple of months. Hope is better as the victim/heroine. Not that she is all that in the first place but her angry/mean portrayal needs a dose of a class at Lee Strasberg. I hope that all the killing of characters ends at Stefano’s upteenth murder. I swear the writers solve everything by killing everyone off. I can’t imagine how scared the majority of the actors are knowing that at any moment a tie or bullet could be the end of their acting roles on DAYS. There must be a hellish amount of brown nosing to the writers.

CeeCee
CeeCee

Oh, yeah, right on, Mateo.

Patrick
Patrick

I’ve always said of Hope.

2 things

she does romance… so well… that, she owns it. ie: Bo and Aiden.
she owns the familial … her bonding with family … ’nuff said.

it’s a lot for her character to be going through…. or, did she?

no Bo
no Aiden
New Ciara

now she’s all commando and AMAZONIAN Woman hear me roar!

does it seem like she’s once again… the reigning queen… the new IT girl again… that… ( I don’t know about this ) that the show…is revolving in and around Kristian Alfonso ?

she no longer has a good support system… w/ Bo, Aiden, and Lauren Boles gone.

I’m actually liking Rafe acting over Hope.

sometimes when I look at her… Maria Shriver comes to mind.

after all the dust settles… how will Hope Fare?

I for one… truly hope Stefano doesn’t die at the hands of Hope ???? what will this do for her character ? will this ??? make all Salem’ites rally around her… and she’s the HEROine…

just doesn’t muster up that interesting… I would have wanted Stefano to go out bigger than this … perhaps at the hands of one of his own…. Andre… or even bring back Peter Blake or EJ … to do him in.

I thought it was so telling… STefano to Andre… ( not verbatim ) “I’m tired ” like he was foretelling Andre… that he has a bad feeling… that the DiMera is on it’s last leg… and that his Dynasty’ reign is not what it is…

at the time.. I thought… this is when Andre takes it upon himself to oust his own father.

so… I had wanted more Drama… to feature Joseph Mascolo… if this is how Stefano goes out… with three gun shots… this quickly…

I don’t know… I sure love the guy

ps: back to Hope… I’m not really jiving with; or feeling Hope; ( MEH ) watching her exact revenge… when I would have preferred watching her for wcwb a little bit … mourn for Bo… and even Aiden…. heck… eye nuCiara… with a blank stare

maybe she’ll collapse; shut down; and she’ll have to deal with all the fallout

CeeCee
CeeCee

Hope is waaaay too unnecessarily idolized. Her time has come and gone. I find no interest in her antics. Enough, I say! I get tired just thinking about her idiotic heroics of gallivanting around town looking for, W H A T?????? Golly Gee, by the time she’s done, she will completely disappear and become the invisible woman. She’s thin enough as she is. She will blow away with a good, hefty gust of wind.

xmascarol
xmascarol

I was actually shocked to see Hope go through with it .but I have this feeling deep down inside that Stephano is not dead. and if it turns out that he is oh well. I am sure he will return again in the near future..I didn’t hate Stephano but I think he got what was coming to him.Hey I dont believe for one minute that Kristian is dead either .but what do I know…Bare in mind that Hope did not shoot him in the head so who knows what may have happened. Looking forward to Monday to see what happens.

Mary greenlee
Mary greenlee

If stefano is dead , you might as well close the book on days of our lives. It looks like the new writers are managing to
Destroy one of the best day time series, that outlived all the rest. I only watch the show now, to see how long before the end finally happens.I guess all the new kids they hired, to replace veteran actors, will be collecting unemployment.

xmascarol
xmascarol

Stephano is such a hard man to hate but he is also hard to love.yet he is one of the biggest characters on the show, I am not for the young kids stories it ruined the show the last time they tried bringing in young blood.Lets hope it is not a repeat. Not happy they got rid of Kassy either , I liked her as Eve.. but that is another story.Do you think that Rafe will cover up her crime? I myself would love to see Rafe and Hope together.

L izzie
L izzie

Just think it’s a dream, people like him live
forever

Lia
Lia

I’m sick of Hope. She’s reacted to all of this so inappropriately in that she’s trying to kill people instead of letting Rafe and Roman handle it. She’s left her daughter, granddaughter, and mother in-law to run off chasing Bo’s kidnappers rather than grieve him with his family and friends. Has she given Chase any attention? The poor kid has no one but she and Ciara, and neither sit and let him talk. I hope Rafe or Roman arrests Hope or Andre kills her first. She’s beyond asinine imo. To the point where I hate seeing her. Why couldn’t she have died instead of Daniel or Bo?

Patrick
Patrick

well… DAYS production certainly does move things along … don’t they

it just smarts how fast DAYS is moving

with nothing to savor or give the audience an ending… that would help with closure… and solidify the writing…

Hope has yet to be shown grieving… for either Bo, or Aiden… and yes she needs to deal with Aiden

so now… Hope may be dealing with a murder charge ! let’s see how fast the Salem P.D. muck this all up… and Hope is set free…. and no one in Salem will care… as the big bad wolf is done!

CeeCee
CeeCee

I love you, Lia! Why can’t anyone else see this? You are the only one who seems to compartmentalize Hope, as she should be. I want the old Hope back….the sensible Hope. She has been going downhill since Aiden.
Unfortunately and soooo ridiculously, Rafe comes to the rescue. He is a lawman and is willfully breaking the law for this spastic, all-over-the-place woman. Why? Oh, yeah….he promised Bo. C’mon.
As you say, her daughter needs her….all of her. I can’t stand it when TPTB write mothers this way….that a man, a spouse, a lover takes precedence over her child. Caramba and sacrebleu, I say!

Lia
Lia

Her behavior is hard to overlook when she thinks it’s more important to go after thugs, than grieve the man she so calls love. To leave her child behind to grieve her dad alone, and worry about her mother’s safety. She’s abandoned Chase a young man who has no one to grieve his father with. She’s over the top outrageous, and my God look how Rafe had changed….for her. He’s ready to throw himself in the fire. So sad he lost all sense of right, because she’s such a pathetic woman and not worth it. And how laughable that of all the men in town Bo would choose Rafe as his replacement in her life. Lol Really?

Donna Dykema
Donna Dykema

Love the very talented Joe Mascolo but it’s time for another bad guy to surface. He has earned a wonderful rest in his golden years. Bless you Joe!

Patrick
Patrick

how can DAYS replace an ICON as huge as Stefano DiMera

tada!

Michael Muhney as Peter Blake

vs

Vincent Irizarry as Deimos ( Kiriakis ? )

CeeCee
CeeCee

I like that, Patrick. Two of my favorite actors.

Amy
Amy

Stefano is finally dead, that’s wonderful news. Joseph Mascolo had a good run. Now lets kill off Theresa. I hate her, what a witch. Hope and Rafe will be the next super couple.

James McDonald
James McDonald

Joseph Mascolo has had a good run on Days Of Our Lives since 1982. It could be that he is ready for retirement. Some sources say, he is the age of 86 or more. He deserves to be able to stay home and sleep in. I like the character of Stefano DiMera that only Mascolo can do. If this is the final demise of Stefano, perhaps this will keep Thaao P. on as “Andre” for a longer stay. I would have liked to have seen “Stefano” go out with a grand exit.

blake
blake

Is that really the way the great Stefano would go out? I would have imagined something bigger than that.

Patrick
Patrick

ditto !

I’m so disappointed… Hope did it? seriously!

blake
blake

I know what you mean. It should have been John, but for some reason Ken Corday loves him some Hope and she is NEVER on the back burner. Hell, she was on EVERY DAY in November. Seriously! God forbid, John and Marlena get that kind of airtime that Hope gets.

Mary SF
Mary SF

Well I have seen Stefano get pumped full of bullets before, seen him in his coffin, only to find out a few months down the road he is still alive. However it is obvious the actor playing him is not well and since I can’t imagined a recast perhaps this time Stefano finally met his end.

Without Stefano the show will need to find a new villain and Andre isn’t cutting it for me. I find Andre humorless and devoid of any emotion other than being pissed off. Stefano, was a mean sob, but over the years we saw he had layers also, even some tender moments when the house was filled with grandchildren. So losing another major character right now is yet another blow for this show.

And I’m not certain how this will change the character Hope but this dark version is not working for me. Much like when Anna “killed” Carlos on GH, I am finding it difficult to accept if Hope didn’t kill Stefano years ago for what he did to her and Bo and family, why now. I don’t buy the idea grief turns a morally upright person into a cold blooded killer. For me, when the heroines or heros resort to this type of behavior it is a cheap stunt that the writer will have to undo at some point, so why are you wasting my time with cheap manipulation?

If this was twenty years ago and there were lots of daytime drama to chose from, I would be shopping for a new soap right about now, but since Days is only one of four left I will watch, but just barely.

nicholas
nicholas

As many of you know Joe Mascolo is leaving Days due to health reasons . So Stefano was killed off for good this time , yes he is the one being murdered . This episode was amazing , one of the best in Days history . You see Stefano taunting Hope with the use of bad language , making a mockery of her and Bo and insulting a dead man ( Bo ) . Hope can’t take it anymore and out of her mind with grief and anger guns and kills Stefano with 3 bullets ! Amanda my next door neighbour is excited as much as i am . She is such a big Patch and Kayla fan and is thrilled to have them back on too ! People in my church community are now tuning back into Days and love it ! Some have given up for good on Bold and Beautiful and Young and restless because of the massive decline in quality of both soaps.

Angela Boyd
Angela Boyd

I think the house has finally fell on that wicked SOB. ..what will he return as a revival of HBO’s The Crip Keeper. Stefano knew she was a woman on the edge and he taunted her because he wanted out, he said himself to Andre that he was tired…Sammi of all people take money like that and the Phoenix can’t find her…lol He knew it was time to exit the game so he sent Andre away so he could make his final checkmate…what better way to leave than having a Brady go down for your murder..didn’t you guys see Joe laugh when the first bullet hit …genius. .only thing I am upset about is John didn’t get to do it !…I will miss you Joe

Rj
Rj

Well, while it appears that Stefano is dead – who knows since he has come back so many times. If JM is retiring then it could be.

As for me, I am not into so many murders and deaths on the show. This is what happens to days when they get into a mode they start to over do it, and do too much. I know they may have been trying to clean house to move and change the direction of the show and storylines, they are trying to grab ratings, but hey it is the 50th anniversary, let’s have some celebration and happiness too!

With this said, everyone has been giving good performances, but if someone is leaving can they walk into the sunset, and then move in another direction. Unfortunately, death and murders are a part of life, so I understand if they have some of that, but does it have to be all the time now, and so much. Sadly, we can watch the news for this. We watch soap operas as an escape from the horror of the news. . Days has a tendency to descend too deep into darkness at times.

Bring on the romance and happiness! This viewer will watch that.

mike
mike

Joe Mascolo has not looked well, maybe he has decided to retire and they let Stefano go out with a bang. Andre will now be head of the DiMera family.

xmascarol
xmascarol

If I am correct I think he has diabetes,maybe that is why he is in a wheel chair.

Belle
Belle

I will miss Stefano because he was a love/hate character; plus, he kept the show interesting. Someone mentioned Kristen, I forgot about her coming back to the show. I said Tony in other comments, but I meant to say Andre as the DiMera to take on the good citizens of Salem. Make Chad tougher since it can be done with the new Chad. Give these men loyal wives who will support them regardless . Why? When a woman marries a man with a shady character , she didn’t just learn this about him; she knew it from the beginning. These women let others tell them about their men and what they should do about them. Writers, give these DiMera men – women with ‘I don’t care attitudes.”

blake
blake

I will miss Stefano and I don’t blame the actor for retiring, he definitely deserves it and I hope he enjoys his retirement!

Mary greenlee
Mary greenlee

I thought stefeno looked pretty good when hope shot him.
Maybe he will be off and on, he is the only one that keeps dool jumping. They need to rewind, & bring back the old story line and go from there. Hope and rafe do not need to be a pair,
You dont forget a lost love that fast.she needed little ciara
to take care of.nicole needs dr.jonas

Mo
Mo

I didn’t think the shooting scene was that great. Maybe they were limited by Joe’s abilities/health.

Hope is no longer the romantic lead. She is a murderer. I don’t think it was the right path to go down. How can they redeem her?

Hope is Abby’s cousin. Hope just killed her baby’s daddy’s daddy. Wait till the ornament hanging this year. Should be fun!

Mary greenlee
Mary greenlee

I have the answer to keeping dool from going down the drain.
Everyone at the party was unknowingly given a mind altering drug, sending them into a drug induced sleep when they got
Home. Each one that was drugged ,awaken in their own beds,
with a big headache , but not injured or dead.
C’mon its not that crazy!!!
It’s rewinding.

CeeCee
CeeCee

Lol, Mo. Murderer, maybe. She is crazy, for sure. How about both?

Lonny
Lonny

I am SICK of this death and despair. So many wonderful actors and characters have left DOOL. It doesn’t even seem like the same show anymore. And please stop with all of these kids that noone recognizes! Come on DOOL get on track before you lose more viewers!

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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