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

Photos: NBC

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,

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.

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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Elaina SirmansAdamJacqueline EvansTerry GilchristMomo Recent comment authors
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Jimh
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Jimh

Sadly Days will always remain in 4th place…the major difference between Days and Passion as the latter was designed as a supernatural soap…Gosh i recall Days on Time Magazine…now it belongs at ComicCon and for all the wrong reasons

Annon
Guest
Annon

Exactly…absurd stories do nothing for days!

Violet Lemm2
Guest
Violet Lemm2

Well I am so glad that this is so much fun for the actors in this SL. I hate to burst their bubble but I for one am hating it! First of all it is too unbelievable, using two women who are supposed to be one. Some days I don’t even want to watch because of the SLs they have got going right now. Brady turned into an addled brained jerk, the same for Eric, his brother Rex and the twit Sarah. Just when I started liking Stefan, he marries La Senorita from hell. Oh, and then there is Xander… Read more »

Jacqueline Evans
Guest
Jacqueline Evans

I agree with you this is stupid Brady was dumb and stupid on the other soap opera he came from, why do they always give him a dumb part with a woman okay I can’t do Nicole again I can’t do this the girl with Kristen again but Stephen and his new girlfriend are those he sleeps around with everybody come on hope you’re getting on my nerves you should have kept the husband he had can’t do this again can’t do Stefano can’t do none of this stuff. give us a new story or I’m out

carol1952
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carol1952

First of all I want to say I love Stacy Haiduk she can play anyone. Susan makes me laugh always has. I am surprised because I thought that no one could ever take the place of
Eileen Davidson but she has. I do like the story it is not boring that is for sure. I do have a funny feeling that Kristen will show herself soon that she is Nicole,maybe not because she wanted to but perhaps while making love her masks will fall off.Can you imagine the look on Brady’s face if that happens?

Mary
Guest
Mary

I just want to see Anna go after Susan/Nicole

Elaina Sirmans
Guest
Elaina Sirmans

Yes

Padange
Guest
Padange

This is my favorite story on soaps (I am watching 3 of the 4) right now. As for believability – it’s definitely not less believable than people coming back from the dead. I don’t mind to suspend my sense of reality for a compelling story. I can’t wait to watch the reveal and the aftermath. As someone who fell in love with Brady/Kristen since day one in 2012, I want their drama to continue after the reveal. What I am looking for in this story (and other stories as well) is for the writing team to delve deeper into the… Read more »

Momo
Guest
Momo

Loving Kristen’s return. The story has been good. Loved when Kristen as Susan was coming onto Brady. Love Susan anyway. So funny. Keep it up Days!

Terry Gilchrist
Guest
Terry Gilchrist

I absolutely love this storyline and can’t wait to watch it every day! I applaud Ron for keeping us guessing! I cannot wait to see what he comes up with, because its always exciting! Stacy and Ari and Eric all deserve Emmy’s for their roles!

Adam
Guest
Adam

I really like Ron’s writing since he started on Days, but he has ruined the character of Kristen. She’s just a nymphomaniac who wants to kill everyone now. When Eileen portrayed Kristen, there were many layers to Kristen and she was always one of my favorite characters. I’m assuming Ron writes for Stacy because all she can do is act like a sexed crazed nympho and. yell orders to kill people.

Elaina Sirmans
Guest
Elaina Sirmans

I’ve only been watching days for the last 6 years and I love the soap I really do but they stay stuck on one thing too long then it gets corny so they need to change the storylines up a little bit and need to put some more happiness in there somewhere just having Eli and Lani getting married and engaged is not enough we need more happiness get these crimes settled so we can move on to better story lines. The story with Jack is dragging too long to Let’s get it on it’s getting too boring

Days Of Our Lives

Days of our Lives Episodes Offered On ‘Peacock’ Streaming Service One Day After Air On NBC

On Wednesday, Peacock the new NBCUniversal streaming service expanded its reach nationwide. Peacock will offer 13,000 hours on its free tier and 20,000 hours on its subscription level, sourced from a range of networks and studios both inside and outside of NBCU. Nine Peacock Original movies and shows are available at launch, with others following through the end of the year.

According to Deadline,  The Premium tier costs $5 a month, though some distribution partners (and Comcast) are bundling it at no extra cost to customers, at least on an extended-trial basis. Regardless of the price they pay for Premium, subscribers can also pay $5 more per month to get an ad-free version of Peacock.

Both free and Premium tiers will feature current NBC shows — on the free level, they will be available a week after linear air, and on Premium they’ll be there the next day.   Days of our Lives new episodes will be offered up on the streaming service one day after they air in their normal timeslot on NBC

NBC shows offered the day after their linear premieres along with Days of our Lives are: America’s Got Talent, Blindspot, Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, A Little Late with Lilly Singh, Saturday Night Live, Superstore, Law & Order: SVU, Chicago P.D., Chicago Fire, Chicago Med, New Amsterdam, Manifest, The Titan Games, Hollywood Game Night, World of Dance, The Kelly Clarkson Show, Access Hollywood, Dateline, NBC Nightly News and Meet the Press, and Telemundo series including 100 Días Para Enamorarnos, Celia, Cennet, Enemigo Intimo, La Doña, Minuto Para Ganar and Noticias Telemundo

Along with Comcast’s X1 and Flex, Peacock will be available on Apple and Google platforms, Microsoft’s Xbox, Vizio and LG smart TVs, Cox Contour and, starting next week, Sony PlayStation.

So, might you check out the new Peacock streaming platform? Comment below.

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Breaking News

Melissa Reeves Has NOT Been Fired From Days of our Lives

A technical error caused a bit of a firestorm on Monday night, and a retraction early Tuesday morning when an item appeared most notably on TV Line’s partner’s feed, Yahoo News, that had a headline stating that Melissa Reeves (Jennifer) had been fired from Days of our Lives.

If site visitors and readers looked closely, there were actually two versions of the opening line that appeared.  One of which was noting that Reeves was apologizing for “catching heat” from co-stars and fans for backing a post by Candace Owens that was Anti-Black Lives Matter, and the other one that she was fired from the NBC soap opera.

TV Line early Monday morning issued this statement to clarify what happened and confirmed that Reeves had NOT been fired from DAYS: “Due to technical error, a story was briefly published on TVLine on Monday evening — and has since surfaced on several of our partner feeds, most notably Yahoo — that erroneously claims Days of Our Lives has fired Melissa Reeves. The story is false. Melissa Reeves has not been fired from Days of Our Lives. In the meantime, we apologize for the error.”

So, what do you think of the mix-up? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Wally Kurth Delivers ‘The Power Performance of the Week’

Mark our words! Next year, Days of our Lives Wally Kurth (Justin Kiriakis) will once again be nominated for a Daytime Emmy for this week’s emotional and deeply-touching work on key episodes of the NBC daytime drama series.

As viewers saw, this was to be the happy nuptials of Justin and Kayla (Mary Beth Evans), who found love again after losing the previous loves of their lives.  They were dear friends to begin with, who through a set of horrific circumstances, found comfort with one another which eventually turned to love.

Photo: JPi

Problem was; Justin overheard Jennifer (Melissa Reeves) and Hope (Kristian Alfonso) before the ceremony discussing Steve’s (Stephen Nichols) feelings for Kayla and that he wants her back; something Kayla is unaware of.  So what will he do?  The noble thing and tell her the truth, or keep it to himself and marry her anyway?

As the Intel of what he learned weighed heavier and heavier on Justin, in the most dramatic of moments (when he was to say his “I do’s”), Justin stopped the ceremony and bared all to Kayla: that Steve wants her back and how Steve saw him propose to her and that is why he backed off.  Armed with the knowledge and that her friends and family kept it from her, Kayla does not know what to do.  Justin helps made it easy and clear for her when he questions her … if they would be standing here getting married, if Steve had told her his true feelings before Justin proposed to her?

Justin goes on to say to Kayla that maybe she has been avoiding her true feelings for Steve, because she did not want to hurt him.  Then Justin tells Kayla that he visited his late wife Adrienne’s (Judi Evans) grave, and told her that if things were different, and if she was alive they would still be married, and Kayla would be their dear, dear friend.

Photo: JPI

With seeing the look on Kayla’s eyes, Justin knows she loves Steve.  Heartbroken, but caught in an untenable situation, Justin tells Kayla he is happy for her.  Kayla wraps her arms around Justin as they both cry.  Kayla says she never wanted to hurt him, and when Wally as Justin says, “I know, honey,” it was one of the most honest and ten-hankie moments of the entire scenario.   Justin kisses her, tells the guests there will be no wedding today, and exits the Kiriakis mansion.

The emotional drama continues in the aftermath as Justin is at Kayla’s apartment boxing up all of his belongings and tears up recalling their nights together listening to jazz and cooking dinner.  Sonny (Freddie Smith) finds his dad, and tells him he did the noble thing and that time will heal all wounds, but after Sonny leaves, Justin breaks down a bit further before exiting Kayla’s for good.

And if that was not enough, Justin goes back to Adrienne’s gravesite to update her on the wedding that did not happen.   He talks to her that he understands Kayla and Steve’s deep and enduring love, which was just like theirs was.  Next, Justin thinks he is seeing Adrienne, when none other than Bonnie Lockhart (Judi Evans) reveals she is back in Salem – talk about kicking a guy when he is down!

Photo: JPI

Throughout this entire saga, moment to moment, Kurth delivered raw, genuine, adult emotions, in a very complex adult story and relationship.   In fact, the cast and crew thought so, too!  When Wally as Justin told Kayla that he can’t marry her and the speech that followed and his exit from the mansion that followed, all those on set applauded for him.  His work was that moving.   Wally was ably assisted throughout by the outstanding work of Mary Beth Evans in these scenes.

2020, while a difficult year for everyone thus far, has been a particular great year for Kurth on Days; as over the last six months he has really had a chance to shine in this story.  So for all of these reasons and more, Michael Fairman TV gives the “Power Performance of the Week” kudos to Wally Kurth.

Did you love Wally’s performance this week on Days? Did you reach for the hankies? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

 

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B&B’s Heather Tom talks with Michael Fairman immediately following her record-tying win in the Lead Actress category during the 47th annual Daytime Emmy Awards.  Heather and Erika now hold the most wins for an actress with 6! Leave A Comment

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Power Performance

Wally Kurth as Justin

Days of our Lives

Airdate: 7-09/10-2020

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