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THE ARIANNE ZUKER INTERVIEW – DAYS OF OUR LIVES

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She is in a front burner storyline that is getting rave reviews from soap fans and critics alike, as Nicole on “DAYS”. This week her storyline heats up as Nicole finally comes across a very pregnant Sami, which sets a whole chain of events in motion. Actress, Arianne Zuker, sat down with me to discuss Nicole’s machinations, and the final goodbyes to Deidre Hall and Drake Hogestyn. She also spoke about her winning performance in the online soap, “Life in General”, in which she has been recently nominated for a TV Guide Canada, “Soap Opera Spirit Award”.

However, this Saturday January 24th, Arianne is taking on yet another challenge. She is performing for the first time live on stage with the famed ACME Comedy Theatre Group. Sitting backstage with Ari on her first day of rehearsal, we chatted about working in “Sketch comedy” and all the latest developments in Nicole’s
baby drama.

If you are in the Los Angeles area, and would like to see Arianne live, go to http://www.acmecomedy.com for ticket and show information. It should be a hilarious and fun show.

Listen to the audio:

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MICHAEL:

This Saturday, you have decided to perform in the live sketch comedy show at the very famous ACME theatre here in Los Angeles. Why the decision?

ARIANNE:

By force, and my arm being twisted behind my back! Pain made me do it. Just kidding! I saw Bryan Dattilo (Lucas) do the show and it’s the equivalent of Saturday Night Live, which is hysterical. I was asked if I would consider doing it and I said, “Absolutely,” because I don’t get to do enough comedy on “DAYS”, and certainly not lately. Prior to me leaving the show the first time, I got a chance to do it.

MICHAEL:

So I am doing this interview with you backstage before you find out what the sketches will be for the performance. Can you veto anything and do a soap “Diva” trip on the cast?

ACME.jpgARIANNE:

I have to tell you, I have never been to a sketch meeting before, but I am looking forward to what they throw in front of me.

MICHAEL:

So, you will play many roles in the show that evening?

ARIANNE:

Yes, it could be anything. It will all be one big surprise.

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MICHAEL:

Are you a nervous wreck about the improv aspect of this kind of live comedy?

ARIANNE:

Not when it comes to humiliating myself. I don’t wear contacts, so I can’t read the Teleprompters. Of course, it will all come from memorization unless I wear my glasses. It should be really exciting, because I won’t be able to see that. Oh, well, whatever! It will be fun. (She laughs)

MICHAEL:

Who would you like to be in the audience to witness this?

ARIANNE:

I made sure that our “DAYS” PR office invited everyone from the show. I would love everyone to come out and see me and the theatre itself. It’s so much fun to see it live. I had done a workshop improv class for two years, the two years I was off “DAYS.” I did that, which may be why I feel comfortable doing this. Here at least, I get scripts as opposed to pure improv.

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MICHAEL:

Who would you want to be with in a sketch comedy show, if it was an all-star “DAYS” cast?

eric.jpgARIANNE:

I would have Eric Martsolf (Brady), because we have a great relationship outside the show. He is very funny and hysterical. I tell you; whenever we run our lines I have to get all the laughter out before we do our scenes. He’s got this quirky, dry sense of humor with this smirk on his face, all the time.

MICHAEL:

You are so heavy in story on “DAYS” right now, and currently the most compelling actress and, in the most compelling story on the show. Are you enjoying carrying the main storyline?

ARIANNE:

Yeah. I love my job and love the storyline right now. It’s definitely meaty. I am always usually the sidekick, but now I have hearty storyline, and I appreciate it very much.

MICHAEL:

So much has been written about you from all of us covering the soap genre, that you have really been amazing and risen to the top of the soap actors on TV.

ARIANNE:

It’s a team effort. When I came back to the show, I came back a bit of a different actress. I would like to give the writers credit, that they allowed me to take the storyline to a different place, as well. I could not do it by myself.

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MICHAEL:

This week in major desperation and determination, Nicole comes face-to-face with Sami!

sami.jpgARIANNE:

Chloe tells me where Sami is. You know, it’s funny knowing that Sami is involved in anything to do with her. First, she is going to lose it and get pissed off, and then come up with something or some plan. Interestingly enough, the whole story is not about finding out Sami’s pregnant. It’s an idea that Nicole gets concerning Sami’s baby. Maybe when we are in the storyline together, you will see that old relationship
come back.

MICHAEL:

We all see a ‘baby switch’ coming. Do you like the idea?

ARIANNE:

It’s written differently than your typical ‘baby switches’ that have happened in the past, at least on our show. I like how they are writing the character; very carefully.

MICHAEL:

You almost feel bad for Nicole, in a way. She is so desperate to hold on to EJ. Why?

ARIANNE:

He represents the child that she had. He represents that she fell in love again. I think Eric Brady was her first love, and she messed that up, again. The baby is half the reason EJ and Nicole fell in love in the first place. In Nicole’s eyes, she probably feels she could not have had EJ unless she was pregnant. I feel that is the whole reason she is doing this; to have a real family, and trying to escape her past that she can’t get out of. Even though everything she is doing is somehow related to her past, she is not trying to hurt anyone this time.

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MICHAEL:

Coming up in February, what can we say to “DAYS” fans about the on-going baby saga?

ari-james.jpgARIANNE:

Let’s just say, Nicole is not in the clear. I think with all the baby stuff happening, and the baby being born, let’s just say, I will get one. I think you will see more twists and surprises that I am happy about. There will be a little Melanie action, because she is working with EJ.

MICHAEL:

Now let’s discuss the pregnancy ‘padding’ you have been wearing. Ah, how dumb is EJ?

ARIANNE:

The great thing was, they kept EJ busy so he could never really touch me. There’s dedication for a guy. For someone so smart, he sure was stupid. (She laughs)

MICHAEL:

Couples and pairings have been changing on “DAYS” in recent months so quickly at times, it is jolting the fans. Do you think that is a good thing for the show, or a bad thing?

ARIANNE:

You know, I think that soaps the way they use to be, and the way they need to be now, are different. They need to move a little faster with the age of the Internet; even the promos are so fast now. People who watch the soaps are used to it one way. I think you have to test things, and if you don’t test, you don’t know what’s going to work. I love working with a variety of people, and our ratings have gone up. It is a good story with the constant cattiness between Sami and Nicole. Now with Alison coming back, it will get really interesting!

MICHAEL:

Alison Sweeney, (Sami) just gave birth last week to a baby girl. When can we expect her back on the canvas to ‘duke it out’ with Nicole?

Sweeny.jpgARIANNE:

Alison had her baby last Monday, and she will soon be coming back to the grind. I think she only took two weeks off, so it will be exciting.

MICHAEL:

What do you hope to feel when you come off the stage on Saturday night?

ARIANNE:

Laughter! Making people laugh, and coming on the heels of Tuesday’s presidential inauguration, there is a lot of positivity right now. I think laughter is the best medicine for everything. If I get my lines out right, it will be a success!

MICHAEL:

Speaking of lines, you have so much to memorize on “DAYS”. Do you ever check
out and say, “Enough,
I can’t anymore?”

ARIANNE:

By the end of the week, your brain gets a little mushy. I find that I have to work and prepare either right after I get off work, or stay at work and learn my lines, or at least the majority of them, or I have to get up at five in the morning. After dinner time, I am useless when it comes to memorization. It works out well, and boy are we working fast! Between getting my hair and make-up done at 6:15AM, and getting ready before we get on stage, I barely run my lines with my co-stars. That’s why I feel doing stuff like the ACME theatre will be really fun. I have a week or at least four days to rehearse my lines!

MICHAEL:

How is working with devious Dr. Baker, played by soap vet, John Callahan? Don’t you guys break up in laughter sometimes?

john.jpgARIANNE:

He cracks me up. We try to get the laughter out beforehand. Some of the lines coming up with the whole Sami situation are so funny coming from him. We get a kick out of the story. He is enjoying himself.

MICHAEL:

This is the week of the final performances of Deidre Hall and Drake Hogestyn. (Marlena and John) Were you on the set for their
goodbyes?

ARIANNE:

I was at the studio, and they did not want a big final ‘ta-do’. I watched them on the show as a ‘tween’ in summers with my cousin, and its nuts, but they have their reasons. I am sad to see them go. I don’t know if they are gone for good or who knows, but stranger things have happened on the soaps.

MICHAEL:

Did you set any New Year’s resolutions for 2009?

ARIANNE:

I set goals, like my grocery list, and they happen when they happen. I try to manifest everything I want in my life. New Year’s resolutions to me are like Valentine’s Day, and Valentines Day should be all the time.

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MICHAEL:

Now, I have to talk to you about my other favorite performance of the year. That is of you as the head writer on the online soap, “Life in General”. What if you win the Soap Opera Spirit Award on Wednesday? How do you feel about the project?

Ariane11.jpgARIANNE:

That would be so exciting to win! I really hope “Life in General” goes. I love Karen Harris. She is wonderful! Basically, I played Karen Harris, I think. I came across this role through my old producer on “DAYS”, Roy Steinberg, who was working on it. The heart behind the show is: no one is making any money and it’s a really great project, and a great idea. I am sure many people thought of the idea, but Karen pushed it through. It’s two shows in one. It’s clever and obviously has great actors (She laughs referring to herself) I mean, Jobeth Williams from “Poltergeist”, which was my favorite movie, was in it. I had to hold my self back and not say, “I am your biggest fan!”

MICHAEL:

During my “Life in General” interviews, I spoke with Brynn Thayer, and she also told me how much she loved working with you.

ARIANNE:

I tried to get Brynn as my mother on “DAYS”, so we will see if that happens. I would love to see the show move. It’s gotten great reviews. It’s just a matter of time before this whole internet thing is huge. I would love to see it go, and I would play that and do Nicole.

Ari-outside.jpgMICHAEL:

Then you must be a workaholic, right?

ARIANNE:

I love working, and when you are an actor you just eat it up. I would rather be exhausted from doing what I love to do, than anything else.

Days Of Our Lives

GH’s Maurice Benard and DAYS Kassie DePaiva Named “Power Performances of the Week”

Two daytime vets in two very opposing types of storylines delivered emotional and riveting work during their scenes.  First on General Hospital, Maurice Benard (Sonny) in yet another stellar knockout performance in the Alzheimer’s storyline; showed the anguish and pain of a son trying to come to terms with his father’s ultimate fate.

This week saw Sonny originally deciding to try to prolong Mike’s (Max Gail) life by having him placed on a feeding tube, but soon after seeing the fate of Yvonne, another Alzheimer’s patient, and a talk with Elizabeth (Rebecca Herbst), Sonny changed course, and did what’s best for Mike, not for himself, and decided to let his father die with dignity and with as least suffering as possible.

We don’t think there could have been a dry eye in the house when Sonny visited Mike’s hospital bedside, and told him that it’s OK for his dad to let go, and not have to stick around for him.  Max Gail, as per usual, was also so touching in these scenes.

Benard did not overplay a beat, and for anyone who has had a parent die of this dreadful disease, you could relate to what Sonny went through in the more than capable hands of this two-time Daytime Emmy winner.

Over on Days of our Lives, what a return for Kassie DePaiva in her role as Eve Donovan! This time, she has come back unhinged and at an emotional rock bottom, so much so that she had abducted Ben Weston (Rob Scott Wilson), had him taken to an abandoned warehouse, strapped him up, tortured him with an assist from Dr. Rolf’s protege, Vincent (Michael Teh), and came up with this twisted plot to have Ben turn back into the “necktie serial killer” and kill his bride, Ciara (Victoria Konefal).

Why, you say? Well, because Eve’s daughter, Paige was one of Ben’s victims and it has been eating Eve alive this whole time. She is a mama grieving for her daughter so deeply that she can’t understand why Paige is dead and he is left on earth to roam around free and find love and happiness… and we find out she was gutted when Ben got a last-minute reprieve when he was recently sentenced to death by lethal injection.

DePaiva played this arc of Eve’s story as a soapalicious villain, but when you really deconstruct it, Eve is just in so much pain… and all of that came through even in the darkest of scenes.  And … there is yet more to come!

Kudos to Maurice and Kassie for being named Michael Fairman TV’s “Power Performances of the Week”.

So, do you agree with our picks for Maurice and Kassie? What did you think of their work? Comment below.

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Days Of Our Lives

Kassie DePaiva Back as Eve on DAYS; What Did You Think of the Shocking Reveal?

If you caught Wednesdays’s episode of Days of our Lives, you know that Ben’s (Rob Scott Wilson) captor was revealed.  After many theories by fans on social media since Ben and Ciara’s (Victoria Konefal) wedding literally blew up in their faces, with Ben being kidnapped, it all came down to this moment.

Then, in a great entrance; soap veteran Kassie DePaiva made a return to the NBC soap opera as Eve Donovan, the woman behind the kidnapping.

Photo: JPI

It all goes down in a warehouse (somewhere yet to be determined to the audience)  where we see Ben strapped to a chair and man dressed in black coming into the room where he is being held introducing himself as Vincent played by actor Michael Teh.

Vincent tells Ben he blew up his wedding and was paid to do so by his employer.   The henchmen also notes that said employer is also the same person who sent the other wedding gift- that was the one that Ben thought Clyde (James Read) to be behind.

Ben wants to be released but Vincent takes a baton and strikes Ben’s leg as he yelps in pain, and then, lo and behold, from the doorway we hear, “That’s enough Vincent.”

Just then, Eve says she will ‘take it from here’ as Ben watches her in shock.  What will Eve’s next move be?  Has she snapped?  Is this payback for what Ben did for murdering her daughter, Paige?  Is Eve working with someone else for money as well to harm Ben and Ciara?

DePaiva tweeted on her return: “I’m baacckk!@nbcdays watch out Ben!”

Share your thoughts and theories on the return of Kassie DePaiva as Eve Donovan on DAYS; Did you think she was behind the bomb? Let us know  via the comment section below.   

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Breaking News

Greg Vaughan Shares Heartfelt Message On His Days Exit: “It’s With Love, Laughter & Tears Of Joy I Leave You.”

It’s been a rough few weeks for Days of our Lives fans with announcements and news of several key departures of the long-running NBC soap opera.  One of which was its Daytime Emmy-winning star, Greg Vaughan (Eric) revealing during an episode of GH’s Steve Burton and Bradford Anderson’s podcast, That’s Awesome that he was wrapped up his time at DAYS.

Now in a follow-up on Sunday, in his own words, Vaughan took to his Instagram account to share this emotions and thoughts on his departure he has called home since taking over the role of Eric Brady back in 2012.

Greg expressed: “It’s with love, laughter & tears of joy I leave you. I believe all things in our life’s path are meant to cross! When I joined the show, I made a list of what I hoped to achieve or give on this journey: my commitment, cherish the friendships & leave an impact! As DOOL continues, as a fan I know it will carry on & rise above it all! My unsung hero, Casting Director – Marnie for her love & passion, craft & commitment you give everyday to the show! I thank you Mr. Corday for your continuous love, dedication & allowing me to be apart of your DOOL’s family legacy! A remarkable Cast & Crew that whole heartedly makes this family soooo beautiful and why I LOVE YOU!!! The best for last, the generations of FANS around the WORLD!!! You make all that we do so rewarding, allowing my dreams to have a greater purpose!!! I THANK YOU & I LOVE YOU”

No final airdate has been given as to when Vaughan’s last episode will air, but as fans know DAYS has episodes in the bank till October.

Vaughan had been begun filming new episodes of the new season of OWN’s Queen Sugar, when production shutdown due to COVID-19,

So, what did you think of Greg’s message to the cast, crew, producers and fans of Days of our Lives? Will you miss him as Eric? Comment below.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

It’s with love, laughter & tears of joy I leave you. I believe all things in our life’s path are meant to cross! When I joined the show, I made a list of what I hoped to achieve or give on this journey: my commitment, cherish the friendships & leave an impact! As DOOL continues, as a fan I know it will carry on & rise above it all! My unsung hero, Casting Director – Marnie for her love & passion, craft & commitment you give everyday to the show! I thank you Mr. Corday for your continuous love, dedication & allowing me to be apart of your DOOL’s family legacy! A remarkable Cast & Crew that whole heartedly makes this family soooo beautiful and why I LOVE YOU!!! The best for last, the generations of FANS around the WORLD!!! You make all that we do so rewarding, allowing my dreams to have a greater purpose!!! I THANK YOU & I LOVE YOU ❤️ 🙏🏻 ❤️

A post shared by Greg Vaughan (@gregvaughan) on

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Video du Jour

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

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Power Performance

Maurice Benard as Sonny. KassieDePaiva as Eve

GH & DAYS

Airdates: Wk of 8-3-2020

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