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Jen Lilley Delivers Power Performance As Theresa Leaves Salem On Days of our Lives!

Courtesy/NBC

Courtesy/NBC

She hit all the right notes of playing Theresa’s (Jen Lilley) inner turmoil, resolve and strength, and heartbreak, on her final air show on Days of our Lives!

For those who have witnessed Jen Lilley’s portrayal of former wild child, bad girl-turned-mother, who made the ultimate sacrifice for her child and the man she loves, it has been a tour de force performance all along the way.

In story, Theresa is exiting Salem with drug lord Mateo, who wants her back and is threatening harm to Brady and her son, Tate if she does not comply.  In a twist, Theresa is also helping her dad Shane (Charles Shaughnessy) and the ISA nab the guy for his criminal activities.

Lilley, who announced her exit from the long-running NBC series months ago, wrapped up her time on DAYS on Friday’s episode with quite a stellar line-up of goodbye scenes. Chief among the stellar scenes had Theresa looking at Brady Black (Eric Martsolf), the man she loves straight in the eye when he asks her, “There’s something you’re not telling me. What is it?”  When she offers nothing, Brady tells her to tell him she doesn’t love him.  Theresa’s reply … she is not sure she ever did! Crushing.

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To continue her charade to protect Brady and Tate, she really goes in for the low blow by telling Brady she’s outta there and not to leave the light on.  After she exits the Kiriakis mansion, Theresa sobs.  In that sequence of scenes, Lilley displayed a multitude of emotions from the cover-up to the raw truth of her situation, and the consequences of her actions.

And in another memorable scene it is Lilley and long time veteran icon, John Aniston (Victor) who broke our hearts.  When Theresa arrives at the Kiriakis mansion to pack her things and take some mementos with her, Victor informs her that the nanny just put Tate down so she can spend some final minutes with him.  Next, Theresa implores Victor to help Brady get through this.  She doesn’t want him using drugs again. Victor hopes she can get the goods on Mateo to put him behind bars forever, so everything she is sacrificing is worth it.  Victor tells Theresa how proud he is of her, adding “You’ve come a long way.”   Theresa is overcome.  Victor tells her he will always consider her part of the Kiriakis family. In Greek, he tells her to come back to them soon.  They share an emotional hug as Theresa then goes to share her last goodbyes to her son.

At the end of the episode, Theresa meets with Mateo and walks off out of Horton Town Square as Shane makes a call to someone to tell them, “They are on the move.”  Fade to black and the final performance of Jen Lilley on DAYS.

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Lilley tweeted on the overwhelming response to her final episode: “Thank you for the outpouring of love today #days fans!! I love each and every one of you!” Prior to the airing of the episode, Jen shared: “I don’t think I’ve fully processed that today is my last day airing on @nbcdays. I’m so grateful for every moment we’ve shared!” To her on-screen love interest, Eric Martsolf she said, “Oh how I miss this wonderful man.”

So, what did you think of Jen Lilley’s final bow on Days of our Lives as Theresa? Share your comments below!

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Anne
Anne

I hated this storyline. Cruel and preposterous. As though anyone’s family would supprt such deception and willingly abandoning a baby? There were other ways for this actor to leave.

mark
mark

I agree they shoulda killed her off

Celia
Celia

Agreed, Anne….the presumption of leaving one’s baby is outrageous and inconceivable for any mother; unless said mother is a heartless b**ch.
However, aside from the ridiculousness of the story, so typical of any soap, Lilley delivered a stunning performance. I am very partial to Jen, I love her to pieces as an actress, so, I tend to sing her praises at every opportunity. To put cream and cherry on her skillful acting, Jen is, also, gorgeous!!
I only hope we will see her again, either on Days, or elsewhere……whatever her endevors, I will be watching.

davlestev1
davlestev1

seriously? Theresa came in with years of bad baggage dragging behind her..it’s easy to see how mateo or any other loser she left hanging from her pre-salem days would come back to haunt her. He probably isn’t even the worst of them and her lying butt probably has another kid out there somewhere. With a well developed and portrayed anti heroheroine anything is is possible. She’ll be back..they scored a coup re casting abby so..on the other hand when all was said and done brady seemed relieved and gave up too easily..jmo.

davlestev1
davlestev1

on a brighter note anne leaves the hospital and becomes jen’s assistant at the spectator..hee hee i can’t wait for that pairing..don’t know how it comes about but it does.

Nicholas
Nicholas

jen lilley chose to leave the show , this is her decision . i am glad they didn’t kill off theresa . Days is really good at the moment . can’t wait for monday !

Celia
Celia

Absolutely, Nicholas. It is never a good idea to kill off a viable actor/character. Just look at Will. Many of us WANT him back. However, the good thing is that even when dead, there’s always hope of a return, in soaps. LOL.

ChandlerFan
ChandlerFan

If they bring back Chandler Massey as Will, then I will start watching the show regularly again. Until then, I will check-in occasionally, and likely check-out within a few minutes of boredom.

I fear that if they do bring Chandler back, they will fill his time with inane nonsense, rather than meaningful character growth. It will irritate me if they waste Chandler’s acting talents, but I’ll still watch anyway.

Although Chandler seemed to work well with any of the other actors on the screen, he seems to shine most in his scenes with Marlena doling out wise grandmotherly/psychiatrist advice.

If the only way to make Will’s character acceptable and palatable to the show’s core audience of squeamish blue-haired matrons is to have him primarily interacting with his mother and grandmothers (or showing how his actions affect the elder females in his life), then I could live with that.

Celia
Celia

@ChandlerFan.
Everything you said. When I think of ‘Will’, I think Chandler….love him forever.

Jackie Cullinane
Jackie Cullinane

Jen’s performance throughout these last few weeks has been amazing, but Friday’s performance was Award winning. It was impeccable. The scene with Victor was phenomenal and heart breaking at the same time. She is an amazingly talented actress. What Victor said in Greek , I say ditto.

Tim S.
Tim S.

Ageed! Great Acting and I did like the storyline.. We all need to remember it is a soap and we need to get a few wild soap stories out there. I liked how we finally realized why she did not go by her real name.. that now makes sense. .even though that was figured into this exit storyline. Great writing by the writers in my opinion…

tony
tony

Jen is a treasure and they masked horrible story points with her tour de force performance and stellar dialog from all the script writers this week, particularly Kreitman’s first script on Thursday, and of course, Carolyn Culliton’s Friday script. Couldn’t the head writers have connected Matteo to Eduardo and that budding story or instead of having Zander as the third wheel of the baddies who broke out of jail, they could have had Matteo getting out on a technicality and gunning for theresa and connecting him to Orpheus and Clyde. The lack of creating in creating an umbrella storyline is mind boggling given the writers had just launched their stories nine weeks ago.

Kelly
Kelly

Z
Loved this storyline ending!! Now she could always come back

4ever DAYS
4ever DAYS

Jen Lilley did a fine job, but I don’t want Theresa back unless she’s the mean bitch that I loved!

Celia
Celia

Yeah, 4ever, my friend. But, mean with a good heart. One who loves her man with powerful conviction. LOL.

Mateo
Mateo

DAYS lost another major talent with the loss of Jen Lilley. She was one bright spot in a really terrible show. I swear their desire to relive the 80’s is awful. The stories have ZERO depth. The couples they are focusing on are total snoozes. For once and for all — John and Marlena are not 25, they are well into their 60’s and 70’s and need story lines that focus on this. They are not secret agents or government employees. Patch and Kayla — sweet lord they are so boring. In the 80’s they fit together but now they are comic book characters in a comic book that you drip water on the page so their thought bubbles get blotted out. I know he is wearing the same leather jacket he wore in 1988. Time to grow up already. Hope going to prison, maybe realistic for what she did but now we will have the typical story of a prisoner getting beaten up by some gang chick with the Marlena doppelganger Hattie saving her. I swear these story lines aren’t even being written, they are just being re-acted by the same actors. DAYS needs to throw someone in a grave or bring back Satan or find a new serial killer. These pathetic excuses of stories are just awful. The Theresa story was only good in that it gave Jen Lilley a chance to act up a storm. But the excuse they made to get her out of town was just awful. The way it’s going now the next ax to fall on DAYS will be them hiring Jill Farren Phelps and Chuck Pratt to produce and write. Then that final nail will go in. It is sad because for awhile DAYS was cranking out some decent stories. Sami and EJ, Will and Sonny and Paul. Kristen. Eve and Jennifer. Theresa and Ann ganging up on Jennifer. Now we get a pirate who doesn’t want to grow up and some old codger with his psycho…oops I meant psychiatrist wife who wants to be a modern Lone Ranger. (C’mon Marlena, the theme from The Exorcist is playing, let’s get going one more time)….

mark
mark

I wish they would bring back sami too and those big gothic storylines

John Gordon
John Gordon

The storyline of Theresa’s exit was beyond ridiculous – I couldn’t even finish watching it the other day (I guess it was Friday’s episode) – combined with that stupid wedding, please. Maybe I have just seen one too many soap plots and after a while they are all EXACTLY the same idiotic formula. Bad girl turns good, turns her life around, becomes self-sacrificing like Mildred Pearce, it’s all redundant after a while.

James R. Poissant
James R. Poissant

The thing that really sucks about this is that Jen really had this character nailed down and it will be very tough to get another actress to follow in her footsteps should DAYS decide to recast. The soap world is/was lucky to have her because she can do a very good job playing anything she’s handed and I am talking about both her roles because she did an awesome job filling in for Kirsten Storms as Maxie on GH when Kirsten was ill. With luck, we’ll see her in something else very shortly!!!

Susan
Susan

I would much rather have had Shane and Victor arrange for Theresa to go into hiding until they could deal permanently with Matteo. That the writers would have a Mexican drug lord force Theresa to abandon Brady and her son to return to Mexico with him is awful.

Violet Lemm
Violet Lemm

I was very dissapointed in the outcome and goodbye to Jen Lilley. She promised months ago it would be sad but make us laugh also. Don’t know about anyone else, but I sure was not laughing. Where was her beloved grandmother Caroline, with some sort of goodbye. Hope she is well in real life. I am sure we all wish Jen good luck and we know it was her choice, but I really think it could have been done in a more realistic way.

John Gordon
John Gordon

Caroline was busy making sandwiches but did call Theresa to wish her a good trip…..okay I just made that up but this show is so stupid what’s the difference.

Violet Lemm
Violet Lemm

Yes, and drugs are stupid too, but after more than fifty years of watching these shows, I guess I am hooked, a soap opera junkie, or whatever.

Llanviewer717
Llanviewer717

Bravo to Jen Lilley for all of her scenes over the past 2 weeks and especially on Friday. As others have mentioned, I wasn’t thrilled with the ridiculous story; but, Jen did an excellent job playing what she was given. She portrayed the perfect amount of pain and guilt over leaving her family along with the resolve to make this break work. Jen had done a great job with Theresa growing from selfish, scheming wild-woman to a committed partner for Brady and mother to Tate.

Thank you and congratulations Jen. I wish you the very best life has to offer.

Patricio
Patricio

This actress deserved a better story! That said, her talent will shine through sub par writing. When she was on GH She took over a cpmlex role played by a beloved actress and made it her own.

Best of luck!

penny
penny

Zzzzzz.

Larysa Kramer
Larysa Kramer

You were brilliant! I felt your pain over the last couple of weeks and in that final moment you had me tears. Best of luck and I really hope you come back to days.

Joyce
Joyce

I think she played all her rolls quite well. When she was evil n causing trouble we all wanted to hate her n think some one should get rid of her. When she was lying or covering up her actions you wanted to say ” can’t some one see that she is lying”. What is wrong with the others that they can’t see what she was doing! I was horrified when Kristin stole her baby n claimed it was hers, what an awful thing for someone to do or even think of doing. You have some evil writers there! Wow!! Her last performance I thought was very, very thoughtful n kind. To give up your child n the man you truly love in order to help others get Mateo with the evidence they need to put him away I thought was so sad. I admire her for putting her family first that was totally an unselfish act. She was kind, n tormented that she had to do this. I don’t blame her for not telling Brady because he would have done just what she said he would do…go after Mateo n her. He would have ruined everything. She was so brave . She was hurting so bad when she played the part she did around Brady. She showed real love for her family. She showed how she really wanted to put Mateo away once n for all. It is too easy to just kill someone off to get rid of. But her performance showed real character, someone is doing something she hates to do with a real scumbag just for the RIGHT reasons. I applaud you for your final episode. You are very talented.

Judy Ursini
Judy Ursini

Definitely a great actress that surely will be missed, wish we new why she is leaving and if we will get to see her performe on some show or movie in the near future, thank you Lilley, for the best performance on Days of our Lives!

Mo
Mo

I think Jen and everyone did a great job, but I really despise the storyline. They should have recast the character.

Brady has horrible luck with women.

John Gordon
John Gordon

If they wanted to keep the character, they could have done a re-cast rather than come up with this absurd exit storyline.

Violet Lemm
Violet Lemm

I agree with you on that. I would almost rather they killed her off. As it is, if she ever returns in the future, the character will most likely be re-cast anyway.

Sharon Kolb
Sharon Kolb

Sorry you are leaving Days, Jen! I will miss you and Brady and your scenes together. Is there a chance you will be coming back someday? Hope so! Whatever you do I want to wish you good luck!

Libby
Libby

Jen Lilley have a wonderful performance. I cried during Baby Tate goodbye scenes.

I did not like this overall storyline. However, it gave Jen a diverse and powerful reel for her to take with her. Days does not always graciously give that opportunity. Jen Lilley was “all in” of her support of show from her first day.

Some of the early writing for Theresa was disappointing. so, by giving this rather odd send off story fixes some of the things for her and her time at Days.

Jen Lilley will be successful as a Mom and as a leading actress. She is an honorable and talented person who gave more to Days than she was given at the show on several key stories.

Godspeed to Jen Lilley. Looking forward to her many upcoming projects.

Lee
Lee

I’m certainly glad she was killed off. Wonderful actress! Hope she comes back to Days but wish her all the luck in her future !

Lee
Lee

Correction…. glad she Wasn’t killed off !!

June Kearsing
June Kearsing

I thought jen played a wonderful part. She is quite the actress . I hate to see her gone .maybe some time in the future she will come back. I,m glad she did not get killed off. My best to Jen

nancy
nancy

Awesome and memorable performance…..Jen Lilley deserves an Emmy for her performance these last few days……Jen you played this departure so believable that had my husband and I sitting with our mouths open and saying she is really playing this to the max…..we were feeling your pain along with you and then the moment with ‘Victor’…….this did bring tears to my eyes. Well Done Jen…….hope you will have a wonderful life and hope to see you in the future strutting your stuff. Love you girl.

Marie Harbaugh
Marie Harbaugh

I really never liked her and I never liked her and Brady together . I love him and Melanie together they had such charisma .

penny
penny

Some characters are so easily forgiven and some characters who are decent and respectable get shyt on and just disappear without a trace.

Michelle
Michelle

I like Theresa and Brady. I am sad to see this pairing end. Best wishes to Jen and I’m glad the writers didn’t kill Theresa off.

Mo
Mo

Brady, Tate, and Theresa should have gone into Witness Protection if that guy was really such a threat. It just doesn’t make sense. Just a way to have Theresa leave and Brady melt down…again. Poor Brady.

Allen saint james
Allen saint james

From my perspective
Im not sure anyone has to “act” ones age. What does acting ones age mean? How does one know if they are acting their age? Ageism? Steve and John have always been hero’s. They are characters born within Days heyday period history when action/adventure
Storylines were dominant. “Saving The day” plots are deeply imbedded not only in the shows dna but also in characters ofJohn and Patch. They’ve explored both couples struggles with aging and trying to escape the danger and chaos of Isa jobs. I think women of mature ages can still be written as as damsel on distress without ignoring the wisdom or know how of the the women in peril.

Ray
Ray

Jen has been amazing. I am glad the show did not kill off the character. Chances are, Theresa will return at a later date. I do not want to want to see another character come back from the grave. It was Jen’s decision to leave the show. Brady is too important to the core characters to leave. I want Brady to take some time off before he is paired with Nicole, Chloe or whomever.

I also agree it is time Marlena and John act age appropriate.

John Gordon
John Gordon

I think that Marlena and John should be discussing their Medicare coverage, and not these absurd teeny bopper storylines – it’s embarressing to watch them “cope” with problems that would normally be associated with a young married couple.

Violet Lemm
Violet Lemm

I am I the only one who doesn’t care about dumb Joey and his even dumber girlfriend having a baby? Am so sick of these teens, playing at being grownups and their problems.

John Gordon
John Gordon

No trust me you are not the only one who grows tired of the teen storyline. Most of the viewers are, I dare to say, 40+ in age – I could be wrong on that point, but I find Joey’s character rather one dimensional and uninteresting.

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Photo: NBC

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

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

Courtesy/NBC

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

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

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

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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!”

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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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