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On An Emotional DAYS: Daniel's Dead & Maggie Must Choose Who Gets His Heart … Brady Or Eric?

Courtesy/NBC

Courtesy/NBC

After months of waiting to see how Shawn Christan’s (Daniel) exit from Days of our Lives would play out, viewers got their answer on Monday’s episode of the NBC soap opera.

Following the New Year’s Eve car crash: Daniel, Jennifer (Melissa Reeves), Brady (Eric Martsolf) and Eric (Greg Vaughan) are wheeled into University Hospital neeeding urgent care, but Daniel did not make it.  Now he is being kept on a ventilator, only because he is a viable organ donor.  Fynn (Alexander Bruzt) reveals Daniel suffered head trauma and is brain dead.

When the family members are notified, DAYS showed each of the parents: John (Drake Hogestyn) and Marlena (Deidre Hall) –  Brady’s father and Eric’s mother, Maggie (Suzanne Rogers) and Victor (John Aniston) –  Daniel’s mother and godfather –  as well as Jennifer’s son, JJ (Casey Moss) all learning the news at the same time of the car crash, and who all rush to the hospital to be with their loved ones.

Courtesy/NBC

Meanwhile, Theresa (Jen Lilley), Kate (Lauren Koslow) and Nicole (Arianne Zucker) are having it out at the Basic Black New Year’s Eve fashion show party, when Nicole gets a call.  When she gets to the hospital, she learns Daniel is dead, and so too does Maggie and Victor all at the same time from Fynn.   Nicole then has an emotional goodbye with Daniel in the ICU.  When Nicole gets up to allow Maggie some time to sit alone with her son, she leaves the room.  Next, Maggie collapses on the floor in grief.  Victor then joins her so they can say goodbye to Daniel together.

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Elsewhere, Marlena gets to Eric’s room where Kayla (Mary Beth Evans) questions her if she remembers any past upper respitory infections that Eric might have had.  Kayla suspects something.  Roman (Josh Taylor) comes by and joins Marlena. He informs his ex-wife that their son was drunk at the time of the accident and is the one who ran into Jennifer.  Marlena is mortified.

Courtesy/NBC

John wants to see Brady, but Theresa is over his bedside willing him to fight to live and come back to their son Tate, and her.  An emotional John is overcome with grief seeing his son in such peril.

At the end of the episode, Kayla and Fynn tell Maggie and Victor that both Eric and Brady need a heart, and that Daniel’s is a match for both of them.   Maggie is overcome with the knowledge that she must be the one who must decide quickly who should get Daniel’s heart …  Eric or Brady?

Throughout the episode there were some heartbreaking moments delivered, in particular kudos go to Suzanne Rogers as the mother put in an impossible situation.  As well, Arianne Zucker finally had some very emotional moments to play, and Drake Hogestyn and John Aniston also had some touching moments om the male side.

READ MORE
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Now the question:  Who do you think will get Daniel’s heart … Eric or Brady?  What did you think of the episode  … thumbs up or thumbs down?  Whose performance had you reaching for the hankies the most?  Comment below!

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JeanneVery disappointed!MoElite AdvisorsChrystie_Delancey Recent comment authors
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Alan
Alan

Since Shawn Christian and Greg Vaughn are leaving the show I’m going to guess that Brady will get the heart…

Ces
Ces

Good guess 🙂

Chrystie_Delancey
Chrystie_Delancey

Eric could still get a heart from another donor. But if they go the way of killing off TWO more characters senselessly like this, then that is just awful. Why can’t anyone just move away these DAYS?

Ces
Ces

Chrystie, I think Eric (Greg Vaughn) is also leaving the show — hopefully they don’t kill the character off (haven’t watched today’s show yet); they COULD have sent Will off to live with Sonny in Paris if they wanted the character gone. Killing the character off was stupid and useless. Days just likes killing characters off and shove new ones we don’t care about down our throats.

Chrystie_Delancey
Chrystie_Delancey

I agree with you, Ces. Yes. I heard Greg Vaughn was leaving. Hopefully they will use this experimental protocol on him. At least that is what they sound like they are doing, making me pretty sure that Brady will get the heart. Eric probably recovers and then moves away to find himself. They have really messed up that poor character. What a shame.

I so agree about Will. No need to kill him off and so viciously at that. A message was sent loud and clear and received. Horrible!

Jeanne
Jeanne

I sure wouldn’t want to live in Salem!!!!! Think of how may people have died tragically in the past few months. This is a little TOO unrealistic. I’d be for getting out of there. Notice too that the characters very quickly get over their over loved one’s deaths. Only a few have realistic emotions even for a short time.

Torqumada
Torqumada

Did Eric go to the Newman School for drivers featuring Summer, Adam and Noah as head faculty?

Mo
Mo

A lot of characters in the hospital right now. It’s a trend.

robert
robert

really sad episode

Kelly
Kelly

Extremely sad episode!! All acting was superb. Especially Maggie and Nicole. Just heart wrenching. Very sad to see the character of Daniel and Shawn C. leave DOOL. I really enjoyed him:(

damien
damien

its one thing to kill daniel, albeit so suddenly in one episode… its another to kill off eric… if these short sighted writers kill off the beautiful and talented greg vaughan as the legacy eric … im officially done with days!!!
and we know nicole was engaged to daniel, but the real love of her life, eric was also in serious condition… she didnt even peek into his room. where s the agony? , she s not even remotley torn between grieving between the two men she s in love with. lately its been all about her and daniel, with the writers neglecting the real connection eric and nicole share!…. these writers better do serious damage control to the best couple on days , ericole!!!

Mo
Mo

Don’t forget–Nicole was involved with Brady too!

Ces
Ces

Well said. I stopped watching for a few years when Eric was a priest & thought Days made a big mistake not pairing Nicole with him. Was surprised to see Nicole with Daniel when I started watching again (PR’s return). Daniel has always been a dud; with her & Jen too. A shame to let Greg V go, he is very talented.

maddiehayes
maddiehayes

Exactly. All these scenes of Nicole crying over Daniel .. well, it’s just not convincing to me! Considering just last summer she was all about Eric, and had been for years! And even if she did choose Daniel over Eric, why doesn’t she seem to care at ALL that Eric is lying in a hospital room dying as well?! This just leaves a bad taste in my mouth and makes me even more glad Daniel’s gone (I never liked him much, he ALWAYS slept with his patients! I’m really surprised he didn’t sleep with Eve).

gloria
gloria

Oh My God,

First we lose Serena, Paige, nearly Marlena & Will to awful Ben-the necktie killer-ugh-why kill WILL? Recast him but don’t KILL him! Then Bo-oh, words fail me here. Too horrific for words-bring him back after so long only to come home to that awful scene at Hope’s which has been swept under the rug if you ask me. I mean, that house was decimated & then hours later nothing except that little blood stain on the rug. All that was played out too fast. What about Aiden-what is the story about his first wife-did he kill her or did Chase like he told Hope? I hate loose ends. I do not like Ciara, Chase & Theo aged, at all. I also do not like Chase bullying poor Theo.

Today’s show has nearly done me in. WHY so much tragedy in this tiny town in the space of 6 wks or so? Really?

WHY kill Daniel? RECAST! He has become the rock (like Nicole said today) of that show! I loved him & he helped everyone on there. Victor lost his son seems like last week & now Maggie-think of Parker, Melanie & Chloe, not to mention this was Nicole’s first & probably last chance at happiness in her entire LIFE! What Daniel meant to Jenn & JJ, etc. I cannot stand what the writers have done to Eric-ugh-I don’t care what happens to him & I used to love him! He was beyond drunk-he was like a rag doll who was driving asleep! GOD, Nicole should HAVE TAKEN HIS KEYS!

Give the heart to Brady who has a child & a woman in his life. Put Eric on the donor registry or something. This is just too much tragedy. Why on earth involve Jennifer? Her grandson is in the hospital-that’s enough. What are the odds-Jennifer, Brady, Daniel & Eric-all in the same car wreck-even for a soap . . . . I just hate the unnecessary killing of those who could just leave town & potentially come home again.

I also detest Andre & that crazy brainwashing he did to Chad. Just hate that. I do not like Belle or Claire-send them to Maine.

I am so sad-

Crazy for Days
Crazy for Days

Jennifer’s mom was in rehab for drug addition and that’s the path Jennifer will be heading for from the accident. She will need pain meds to cope and become addicted. Next story plot.

tim S
tim S

Great Episode.. Did not guess that storyline… Yeah!!!

CeeCee
CeeCee

A tear-jerker, for sure, tim S.

Llanviewer717
Llanviewer717

Just finished watching today’s episode. It’s just too tragic. I know I’m in the minority; but, I liked Daniel and will miss him terribly. There has been way too much death on this show lately.

Mo
Mo

I liked him too. I will miss him. I don’t like that they killed him. Poor Maggie.

Patrick
Patrick

Suzanne Rogers was riveting!

the way she backed up and collapsed to the floor

helplessly reeling !

if she could she’d have backed out of that room , but suddenly present… the pain

oh! major tears for Maggie!

I have come to adore Suzanne Rogers so much

remember after all those characters came back to life.. and she one of?

I’ve always looked to her character as under the radar but nevertheless a constant blip torching her share of the Horton…

she… along with Alison Sweeney in DAYS bleakest years… carried DOOL

then … she met Victor… and the rest is history… a loving heart tugging couple if there ever is

I love how Suzanne Rogers characterizes and envelops her characters love for family… just a delight

with Victor recent loss of his son Bo’ and now his wife… losing her “shared” son… Daniel

oh : hard tears to swallow

this couple reigns

I adore Maggie

nicholas
nicholas

A very sad episode but what a great episode . Most of the episodes on Days for the last few months have been amazing from the realism , the honesty and humanity of the feelings conveyed . Days is must see tv right now . Sure its sad but life has its moments of sadness . Days is showing us that life is not always about happiness , running around , being silly , jumping into bed . I command this soap for being so raw and real . The moments of happiness will be back , no doubt about it . Let’s just embrace the quality of the acting and writing on a soap that so deserved to turn 50 .

Starzz
Starzz

There weren’t enough tissues in the house! Nice touch with the phone calls. As a parent that is the one call you dread receiving. Right now it’s looking like Maggie will choose Brady because we know Shawn & Greg are leaving the show but somehow I thought they had other plans for Eric to take him off canvas (prison or priesthood again). Why kill off another legacy character??

Patrick
Patrick

I truly hope Greg Vaughan’ Eric… does not die

will he be kept at a respite till he gets his heart?

I certainly hope they keep the door open, should they bring him back

it’s shameful that here again… ( like Eve) another great character is wasted

it really makes you realize just how wonderful… and (choice of words) different .. perhaps not so much… in these trying times… to see just how well GV’ really is Father Eric

once again… DAYS production is really holding fast to their pace of storytelling… GV’ Eric will be gone that quickly… and we are left to assume that the lies and mistrust from both Serena and Nicole… did him in… and he never fully got over Kristen “rape”

you could truly see.. his pained expression… on that handsome face… so much more to tap

DAYS ! let up some

Brett
Brett

Death death and more death on DAYS!

Mo
Mo

I think it’s obvious Brady will get Dan’s heart. Eric is the drunk who killed Daniel. Plus, Brady is Victor’s grandson and Maggie is also very close with Brady.

Great performances from Maggie and Nicole especially. Very sad.

CeeCee
CeeCee

That is the most sound comment, Mo. Makes sense to me. As I mentioned in a previous thread, what are the chances Daniel is really Victor’s son?

Chrystie_Delancey
Chrystie_Delancey

Brady is also a father whereas, sad to say, Eric really has not done much with his life.

Mo
Mo

That’s what I was thinking too, Brady is a dad.

Has anyone told Maggie that Eric was driving drunk and caused the accident? Never mind having to look Marlena and John in the face if she chooses Brady, how are they going to look HER in the face knowing their drunk son killed her son.

But she is married to Victor–she needs to choose Brady. He is her family.

John coming in saying Brady can have my heart–I guess he’s a B&B fan. LOL Anyway, it’s just stupid.

Chrystie_Delancey
Chrystie_Delancey

OMG, Mo! When John came in and delivered those lines, Drake looked like he was parodying himself on SNL. He turned his head away as if HE could not believe he had to utter such words. 🙂

Nora
Nora

This show has little happiness,just death and plenty of funerals.

Dan S
Dan S

I was really impressed with the quality of acting in this episode. Both Nicole and Maggie were heart breaking. It was one of the saddest episodes, but also one of the best.

Anne
Anne

Dear days,

Stop the killings, now please.

Ray
Ray

I am a huge DOOL and have been for 35+ years. The show is in a much better place than it was this time last year. But, the time has come for the writers to realize that you don’t have to kill every character, simply send them out of town or recast the role. It seems that since EJ died, it has been one death scene after another in a morgue or hearing all-too-real respirators. EJ, Serena, Will, Aidan and Bo all had gut-wrenching death scenes or sad aftermaths. I thought maybe it would end after the Neck-Tie killer reveal was over. I am afraid that if the show doesn’t “cheer up” soon, the audience will start tuning out because we are not seeing a balance between death versus romance and comedy. Although there were parts of the show on Monday that was touching, it once again seemed things were happening too fast. The pacing is not allowing the audience to fully feel the fallout of Daniel’s impending death and the upcoming issues with Eric and Brady. Within one episode, all of the aforementioned characters were rushed to the hospital. Daniel was basically pronounced brain dead by newbie Fynn. I did not think Kayla reacted the way an aunt would if her nephew had life-threatening injuries. I also did not feel Theresa’s pain as she looked at Brady lying in the hospital bed. Marlena seeing Eric and discovering he had an upper respiratory issue that caused heart damage. Roman revealing Eric was driving drunk. Jennifer telling JJ about Thomas. Maggie asked to make a decision about Daniel’s heart. All of these things happening in one episode was too much and lost some of its emotional impact. I do not envy the writers of shows that must write dialogue five days a week, 52 weeks a year. But, I wish that all of the aforementioned stories could have been spread out over the course of a week instead of a day. A few suggestions would have been showing Eric having a scene with Daniel or Brady and telling them about his struggles with losing Serena and her not being the person he fell in love with years ago. Then, seeing him reflecting on his year and showing him drowning his sorrows. It was not impactful to see two scenes at a fashion show watching “Father Eric” getting hammered and then getting behind the wheel. Daniel has been MIA for weeks. If there would have been love scenes, planning the wedding with Nicole, scenes with Parker, etc., it would have made yesterday’s scenes more impactful. Shawn Christian has been involved in so many storylines and seemed to have carried the show at times with Ari Zucker. Why not give him a big sendoff instead of seeing him at a fashion show, talking to Eric while driving and then boom, your dead? There have been other missed opportunities. Why is Abby not even mentioning Ben and her ordeal? Instead all she does is… Read more »

Chrystie_Delancey
Chrystie_Delancey

“Daniel has been MIA for weeks.” Ray, that is exactly like when they killed of Michael Easton’s character, Silas, on GH. The timing is not right and you can’t get the full emotion that you could had you watched scenes of them before their death.

Elite Advisors
Elite Advisors

You know, I just simply wrap my head around the idea that SO MANY of the most beloved characters are dead now…. was there no other way to write these story lines?

Who is left to watch? I recently read that Jack is back ( briefly) I assume that means Abby will be killed off as well….as the actress is leaving the show….

The writers on this show are turning beyond dark and sadly there’s no turning back…these young actors will not be able to carry a show…does not look promising for Days.

Thank you Kate Mansi for your exceptional work over the last few months….

Chrystie_Delancey
Chrystie_Delancey

It’s true. She is leaving, but will air through May, supposedly.

Elite Advisors
Elite Advisors

Have you heard if there is a recast in the works? I fear that since Jack is said to return foe a short stint that maybe its another devastating ending….I cannot think of any other reason that Jack would be back unless a tragic situation …again.

Beth
Beth

IA that it’s been too much death at this point. IMO, when you see one grieving mother followed by another and another and another for each death that’s happened over the course of the last 4+ months, it diminishes the emotional impact of the scenes for me. KDP’s Eve cried and broke down, as did AS’s Sami, as did PM’s Caroline, as did SR’s Maggie. I not only feel overly saturated with grief scenes, but I find myself comparing KDP’s acting to AS’, to PM’s, to SR’s. Same with Bryan Dattilo’s grief scenes, along with John Aniston’s, etc. And I have to say that since I prefer my soaps to be escapist entertainment from the pain and grief of the real world, I pick and choose which episodes of DOOL I watch now, since I do not want to watch more people cry and grieve in each episode. Death is a part of life, but this much death is a plot-driven error, and DOOL’s ratings of late seem to confirm that. Sure, the acting is good for the most part, and it’s definitely dramatic storytelling. No one can accuse of DOOL of passive storytelling. But IMO, this is too much, and the “wow” factor isn’t there anymore when there are this many grief scenes, one right after the other.

I returned to DOOL to watch my favorites return, but the stories for them have been less than inspiring so far, and if I have to suffer through those so-so stories and watch endless crying/grief in the process, I won’t make DOOL Appointment TV, and that’s very, very disappointing to me.

Mo
Mo

Maybe the action will switch to Newsalem.

Mo
Mo

Or I guess that was Melaswen.

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

With so many killed off and leaving and with the aged teens, it already feel like a new Salem but not in the same way you mentioned…lol

Mo
Mo

Of gawd, those teen scenes yesterday were ridiculous. I did like Claire’s hair though. And who was that random friend with them? Did we even get a name? I’m sure Chad will be less than happy if he finds out about their little soiree in his club.

Allen saint james
Allen saint james

Days IS BRING ING THE DAMN TO daytime. Soaps are at their very best when hard choices must be made, when lives hang in the balance, and especially when the emotional st ales are high. I for one enjoy watching soaps to get my cry on. I find it cathartic and life affirming. Days is spectacular with its mix of fantasy (brainwashing) intrigue/danger (john black story) crazy (eva, necktie killer) romance (patch and kayla) and all of the realness of death and despair (bo, daniel,. Great drama.

Chrystie_Delancey
Chrystie_Delancey

I really hate episodes like this and furthermore it brings my disgust of celebrating “New Year” to light. I have never cared for celebrating New Year’s since I became a mother and an adult. Becoming a parent makes you more aware of your mortality than anything. I always see it as “who will we lose THIS year?” because when you are lucky enough as I was to have your maternal grandparents live into their mid 90s and you live across the country from most of your family, you know that eventually you will get “the call” that someone has passed. That was me in 2009, 2010, and 2012.

This episode of DOOL just proves my point. That celebrating the New Year is fruitless because it is just another day. Yeah so you are starting a new 12-month calendar, but it is just another day. So depressing.

That being said, I believe Daniel’s heart will go to Brady because he is a FATHER. Eric will either die or get a donor elsewhere, though people driving drunk should not be bumped up on the registry just because some big wig has lots of money to throw around.

I had a friend that just recently received a double lung transplant due to cystic fibrosis. He leapfrogged a lot of people that had been waiting about a year because he only had 10% lung capacity. The transplant is based on need. If they show Eric getting a heart over someone else then it is wrong.

Chrystie_Delancey
Chrystie_Delancey

Now there is a report that Kate Mansi (Abigail) is leaving. She has taped her last scenes but will be onscreen through May 2016.

Jp
Jp

She probably got killed off too.

Mo
Mo

I hope it’s not true.

Chrystie_Delancey
Chrystie_Delancey

She just confirmed on Instagram that the rumors are true. She is leaving.

Mo
Mo

Hopefully the role will be recast.

Mary SF
Mary SF

Okay, I wasn’t going to watch these episodes but the soap lover in me won out, and I need to support every last soap on, even if I don’t like what I am watching. I still believe unless the powers that be are trying to give every actress and actor on the show a stunning Emmy reel, then all this death and destruction is unnecessary.

First off the shock value of an untimely death is lost when you use the same plot device over and over, in a short span of time, by the third or fourth time it’s like been there done that.

Also as a viewer you can only empathy with all this grief up to a point and then it is overload and it just becomes background noise. For example today when Nicole climbed into bed with brain dead Daniel it meant nothing, but when Sami did it with EJ the first time around, it was a tender moment.

Also, weary of the plot device of someone who died being the organ donor to another character– got nothing against organ donation or raising awareness for the cause, but in this case Daniel should have just been a donor on the list. This whole unnecessary melodrama of both Eric and Brady suddenly needed a heart and only Maggie can decide which one gets the heart is sloppy manipulation at best. unless they are planning to kill off Eric which would be a mistake after killing legacy characters Will and Bo, I am going to assume both men will survive, so why do I have to watch the character Maggie agonize over a decision that in end won’t matter. And as noble as gesture it is that John wants to give his heart to Brady, what doctor is going to kill a person in order to save another– and I doubt the show will have John kill himself– not if they want to keep viewers– so all of this all made up melodrama–as was Thomas suddenly illness– and as a viewer it insulting. There are creative and better ways to create drama on a show so frankly I think Days writing is lazy right now. But congrats to the cast if you can’t win a Emmy with these reels then it wasn’t meant to be.

kathy
kathy

Suzanne is the best. Nice to see her get some well deserved recognition. If anyone can make a Solomon like decision it is Maggie.

Kelly
Kelly

I think the heart will go to Brady because Eric (Greg Vaughn) has left the show.

Patrick
Patrick

Arianne Zucker was her phenom self of ole’

could this be the rebirth of Nicole Walker?

where else does she have to go; with the demise of Daniel and the exit of Eric?

boy was she not the most wasted character and … for all intent and purpose… languishing in Days of ole’…. overkilled to the point of saturation… with Daniel, Eric, Brady, and Jennifer…

honestly… I pretty much had written her off… and that would have been a serious remiss… because… despite the fact that her character has no family support… few friends… she is a stand alone ACT! period

Monday’ ep: showed me glimpses since thought… long gone… and I was jubilant for Arianne Zucker ! ???

with Daniel and Eric out of the picture… Brady caught up in Theresa (w/Chloe on the horizon, perhaps) and Jennifer… DOA

it’s an interesting time and hope that Days production mines Arianne Zucker Talent.

Nicole always seems to have gotten the “short end of the stick” as it were.
never had the luck of the draw when it comes to true love, romance, and children.

talk about a clean slate for this character… I Want for her mother be alive… Fay.

Kathy
Kathy

I feel the same as so many others, tired of all of the death the ‘new’ writers have brought to DAYS. They’ve never tied up the Clyde Weston storyline, particularly problematic because it’s never been revealed that he was behind EJ’s murder. They ruined the Aiden character, who I’d actually come to accept, only to bring Bo back to kill him? Then they ruin Eric and make him even more of an aimless drifter only now to leave him at death’s door. Truly how much are the Hortons/Brady/Kiriakis clans to take? How much are the viewers to take? Is this and NBC plot to kill the show through attrition?

I’ve watched off and on since the late 70’s when I was a child. Love the Soap genre and I hope it makes a comeback someday. Would hate to see DAYS go away, still miss the all time best show – Santa Barbara. Now if the blasted writers would just give A Martinez something to work with.

Very disappointed!
Very disappointed!

WHY are you killing off another main character? I was totally blown away at Bo’s death. Mostly how quickly it happened. He was always a fave of mine. Daniel is another of my faves. I actually liked him and Nicole together. Balanced each other out. Eric, not so much. I have done nothing but cry since Bo exited. So very sad. I hope there are more good actors in line to take their place!!!!!

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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Days Of Our Lives

Matt Cedeno Debuts Tonight On ‘Ambitions’

Former Days of our Lives star Matt Cedeno (Ex-Brandon Walker) is set to begin his recurring role on tonight’s episode of OWN’s sudsy Ambitions.

Cedeno is taking on the role of Ignacio DeSantos, who is said to be the heir to a textiles conglomerate, and who crosses paths with up-and-coming fashion designer, Bella (Erica Page).

Ignacio is a said to also be a very dynamic character, who has quite the lifestyle! Hmmm.

Will passion ignite between Ignacio and Bella? Stay tuned.

Photo: OWN

Matt was most recently seen on Power in the role of Cristobal.

Ambitions airs Tuesday nights at 10PMEST/9PMCST.

For more on the series click here,

Excited to see Matt in his new role tonight? Comment below.

 

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GH icon Genie Francis chats with Michael Fairman about her return to the soap as Laura after being taken off-contract earlier this year. Leave A Comment

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