Connect with us

Interviews

THE EILEEN DAVIDSON INTERVIEW – THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS

On “Y&R” and its crossover “B&B” she has played Ashley Abbott on numerous occasions over the past few decades. In October of 2008, Ashley returned to Genoa City with a rekindling of the legendary Victor/Ashley romance during the show’s Paris remote. But this time under very different circumstances. Will the relationship be fully explored and be built to last?

Actress Eileen Davidson shares her thoughts on: the show’s plans for Ashley and Victor, past attempts at “B&B” for her character’s love life, working with Eric Braeden 20 years later, and what makes this Abbott a force to be reckoned with.

EileenMain11.jpgMICHAEL:

Victor and Ashley’s romance is getting another chance after several missed opportunities during the last few times you were on the “Y&R” canvas. Did you know when you came back to the show this time that a romance with Victor would be imminent?

EILEEN:

Not initially, because they approached me last April.
By summer time they told me that’s what they
were planning.

MICHAEL:

Once you were told, I’m sure you felt good about it.

EILEEN:

I felt good about coming back before. Frankly, I had mixed feelings because it’s a real tricky subject, and it all depends on how it’s handled. It seemed they were bringing them back together rather quickly, but when I realized that the whole back drop with Paris and everything, it made sense. Victor and Ashley… they are sort of thrust together by circumstance, so she is not quite sure where it’s going. I have been trying to play it like that, because what intelligent woman wouldn’t under those circumstances?

MICHAEL:

She is treading water a bit….

EILEEN:

I don’t want to have her go 100% right back in like nothing happened. She has lived a lot of lifetimes, since the last time Ashley was with Victor. And so there has to be a little trepidation. There is still a little bit of trepidation, but it’s also the feeling that she needs to figure out what this is.

MICHAEL:

Was Ashley surprised that the old feelings were there, or did she know the feelings deep down would be there for Victor?

france33.jpgEILEEN:

I think that’s why she was kind of afraid to go save Victor in the first place. If there were nothing at stake, it would not be a problem. She has been down that road too many times and has been burned. Why would she want to go back in?

MICHAEL:

Nikki asks Ashley to go find Victor, and I really did like the plot device. Did you?

EILEEN:

I do like the plot device. I think Ashley was being sensitive to Nikki, and I know people are going to read what they want to read into that. But she does not want to hurt Nikki. She is trying to make peace with people in her life, but Nikki is coming at it as if she is all kind of pissed off with the whole thing.

MICHAEL:

It seems its been Ashley’s personal project to clear Victor.

EILEEN:

I think she knows he kind of has to do that, or there is no need to go forward. He needs to face the charges and the demons of his past, and to go forward.

MICHAEL:

You had left “B&B” and are now back to “Y&R”, and have gone back and forth. How is that for you?

EILEEN:

It’s really nice and I feel comfortable in both places. It’s a nice situation.

kyle.jpgMICHAEL:

Do you feel like your time on “B&B” was another botched opportunity for you and Ashley? When we last did an interview together it was you, Kyle Lowder (Rick, “B&B”) and me, discussing how things had fizzled on air with your on-screen romance; and the characters at that point had nothing to do!

EILEEN:

I got fired from “Y&R” and Brad
Bell picked me up and employed
me at “B&B”. I had the opportunity
to work with people and do something
different than I had been doing over
at “Y&R”. I am actually grateful now. I think Brad gave me the opportunity to breathe new life into Ashley. Things change. It did not work out the way I was hoping it would, but I don’t blame anybody for that, or have any ill will. The bottom line is it’s a really hard gig to figure out story, and story that works. I have learned the way Brad and other writer’s work: that is, that something will appear and you go with it. How can I feel bad about being employed, and being treated exceptionally well? They wanted me back over here and it’s like
I never missed a beat. So I think I would be incredibly
ungrateful if I had anything but gratitude to Brad Bell
and the show.

MICHAEL:

I think it’s a testament to you as an actress and to your on-screen popularity, as well. But on “B&B” it’s a lot less show to tape, so that must have worked well with your family life.

EILEEN:

Definitely! I got a lot of family time. It’s incredible. A lot of the cast has families or kids…. Ronn Moss (Ridge), Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke), and Lesli Kay (Felicia). I like them all so much, and Kyle Lowder, too. And by the way, I happened to see a scene with Kyle the other day, and I love what they are doing with him. I love him mean. I was like, “Oh my God. I wish they would have had him mean when I was there!”

MICHAEL:

It was rough for Ashley on “B&B”. She seemed to float around with no real family ties.

EILEEN:

On “Y&R” it’s a better fit on the level of having history and connections to people than at “B&B”.

EileenPink.jpgMICHAEL:

In a recent scene, the show brought back the old Abbott bickering breakfasts with Beth Maitland (Traci), Peter Bergman (Jack), you, and Billy. How is working with Billy Miller, as the new Billy Abbott?

EILEEN:

He is terrific! I like him very much. I have not done a lot of work with him yet, but it feels fine and nice. I worked with the new Abbe recently, and she is fifteen.

MICHAEL:

How did that come about? With in a blink of an eye, Abbe really suffered from a severe case of SORAS!

EILEEN:

Well, (A)…. they aged Noah and so they had to age Abbe if they aged Noah. And (B)… I now have a teenage daughter and I love it!

MICHAEL:

How is working this closely again with Eric Braeden as Victor?

EILEEN:

It’s very nice! Eric and I have a certain kind of groove we get into when we are working together. I think it works for the characters as well, that we are getting reacquainted as actors and as characters. I think that will work for us.

MICHAEL:

Should we expect there to be a commitment for a while in telling the Victor/Ashley romance?

EILEEN:

Reading ahead, there are a lot of problems with family coming up. It’s a good thing to have Ashley and Victor connected, and have Jack as the foil. It works so well.

MICHAEL:

What do you think is at Ashley’s core? What drives her?

EILEEN:

She basically is trying to get her life on track. She has been roaming around for a long time. I think at this point, coming back home and reconnecting with Victor is a real attempt at putting down some serious roots and figuring things out. Going into this relationship with Victor, and going in with her eyes open…. not knowing what’s going to happen with this because they never had any closure… is certainly something that drives her, as well.

MICHAEL:

How was the Paris Remote? Did you like it?

EILEEN:

I did. I thought it was epic. It was a lot of work, but I thought it was awesome!

eileen.jpgMICHAEL:

I hear that the Paris remote and schedule was very daunting at times?

EILEEN:

Yes, we got in on Sunday. Then Sunday afternoon we had a meeting, and then we went and did photo shoots, press conferences, talks shows… and I would have to shoot with early morning call times. Then, my son got sick so I had to take him to the hospital. Thank God it turned out to be nothing. The stuff I was supposed to do Thursday afternoon, I had to do Friday morning and that was all the stuff on the Seine with Victor. Then we had a luncheon with fans, and that evening was the Sony party. I had more publicity to do than anyone else, it seemed. I had new things added onto my plate everyday. In fact, there was a big party on Friday night after the Sony party that Billy Bell was doing for all of us, and I just couldn’t do it. It was this big fancy, expensive restaurant in Paris, and I was getting sick. I was so disappointed. Finally, when you get a chance to have fun! I was so wiped out. It was that kind of a trip, and I was back to work right away.

MICHAEL:

What did you think of “Katherine’s” funeral scenes, where you were sitting in the pew waiting for Victor and you knew as Ashley what was going to happen?

EILEEN:

I did not see the scenes, but I liked it and I thought it was a great set-up. I hope I did not come off as being too huffy! I was trying to play it as I am being protective of him, and that this is going to rock everybody’s world when he shows up!

MICHAEL:

What does Ashley think of Nikki?

EILEEN:

I think she’s thinks she is not stable. She is too emotional and freaking out all the time.

MICHAEL:

And Ashley is a much more controlled character?

EILEEN:

She is desperately more in control now, given her situation.

MICHAEL:

Wouldn’t you like to see her have a breakdown again?

dial11.jpgEILEEN:

No, I don’t think so, not for a while. She needs to have some stability and a life, and then she can have a breakdown. But you have to establish that first.

MICHAEL:

How is your book doing?

EILEEN:

Its doing great! I did some recent book signings over in Southern California. “Death in Daytime” is a mystery novel. It’s based around a female actress who is on a soap and all the things that go on behind the scenes, and then some. The second book is coming out in a few months, “Dial Emmy for Murder”. Basically, this is a soap opera series. The lead character is Alexis Peterson, who is an actress on a soap. In the first book, she is on the “Yearning Tide” and in the second book she is on “The Bare and the Brazen”, where she is presenting at the Emmys and the person she is presenting with is nowhere to be found. I just pitched the concept of the third one. It’s all about death! (She laughs) It’s available at Barnes and Nobles and Amazon.com.

MICHAEL:

What can we say is coming up for Ashley in 2009?

EILEEN:

More of Victor and Ashley, and a bumpy
ride. I am going to give it a shot. I like
that they are both giving their romance
a shot… and they are hoping it’s the
right time.

Days Of Our Lives

Matthew Ashford and Melissa Reeves Talk Return to DAYS for Doug’s Funeral, Susan Seaforth Hayes, and Their Enduring Friendship

Last week, Days of our Lives celebrated the taping of their 15,000th episode which is tentatively scheduled to air on December 3rd. The story will feature emotional and heart-tugging scenes of Doug Williams funeral and honor his portrayer, the beloved Bill Hayes, who passed away on January 12th at the age of 98.

While the actors, producers, and crew took a lunch time break to pose for some pictures and speak with the press, they knew they would have to get back to taping the funeral, which was going to make it a tough day, but also cathartic for all who loved Bill Hayes.

Several returns have thus far been announced including; Melissa Reeves reprising her signature role of Jennifer Horton (a part she first played in 1985), and Matthew Ashford as Jack Deveraux. Reeves had last appeared on the show back in 2021, and she was replaced by Emmy-winner Cady McClain in her absence when Jennifer was in storylines. In real-life, Melissa had moved full-time to Tennessee along with her husband, Scott Reeves (ex-DAYS, GH, Y&R). Now, and as previously reported, Reeves will first appear back on DAYS for the Thanksgiving episodes with the Hortons.

Photo: JPI

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Matt and Melissa during the 15,000th episode celebration to get their take on: being back for these special episodes, how it has been working with and watching Susan Seaforth Hayes portray Julie’s grief over losing Doug, and how they have supported each other through the years. Check out what they shared below.

Melissa, you are back on the set of Days of our Lives for this very emotional and special moment in the series history. How does it feel?

MELISSA: Oh, my goodness. I am honored. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else but to be here for Bill. He was like my real-life dance partner. He taught me how to ballroom dance. And to be here for Susan, of course, who’s just been our sweet hero this whole week. We’re just following her lead. She’s just been this incredibly strong example for us in the midst of this trial and season of her life. She is like just lifting us all up with her. It’s been incredible.

I was at Bill Hayes memorial service which was truly incredible and I know at the time you were in Tennessee. It was moving and celebratory of his life, all at the same time.

MELISSA: That’s all I have heard. I have to watch it on You Tube. They said it was just a real celebration of his life and I love that.

Photo: JPI

This must be difficult for Susan Seaforth Hayes depicting the death of Doug, when she is still grieving the loss of her beloved husband. (Susan pictured above with the returning Stephen Schnetzer who plays her on-screen brother, Steve Olson).

MELISSA: I’m sure Susan has those moments at home by herself, but she’s so good at being a leader and leading all of us. We’re following her, you know, and she’s like, “This is how I want to feel today.” And we’re just going along with her, you know? It’s so sweet.

Photo: JPI

How is it to see Matt Ashford again live and in-person?

MELISSA: You know, Matt and I can go years without talking, or seeing each other, and then the minute we see each other we’re chatting away.

MATT: Melissa was out on set doing a scene yesterday on the phone talking to a stage manager; as she was telling some really tough news on the phone. I’m like crying in the background, literally, I’m off-stage crying.

MELISSA: And then we get like back into normal life, and we’re like, okay, “What’s happening? What’s happening with this … or what’s happening with that?”

I had read, Melissa, that you were in touch with Matt about if there night be a possibility for you to reprise your role as Jennifer for these special episodes?

MELISSA: Yes. Well, Matt was like, “Hey! Would you want to come back? “And I was like, “Matt, you know, I would always come back. ”

MATT:  Every time I come here to Days of our Lives, they ask, “Where’s Missy? How’s Missy?” Everybody backstage says, “I miss her.” All of the crew is asking about her and saying, “It would be nice to see Missy. Nothing wrong with you Matt, but …”  They said, “Where is she?” I said, “She wants to come!”

Photo: JPI

There are some beautiful photos of Missy and Bill and Susan thorough the years that I found. It just reminded me of just the deep and entrenched history we all have had with the show, personally and professionally.

MATT: Missy is roughly the age where Francis Reid (ex-Alice Horton) was when she started the show, which is just crazy.

Photo: JPI

I’ve always said Missy was going to be the next generation Alice. Do you feel that Jennifer is the heir apparent matriarch of the Horton family?

MELISSA: Yes. I mean, this has been greatest blessing of my life, and that would be great. I told Ken Corday (executive producer, Days of our Lives) when I was 17 that this show would be my life. Ken always told me, “This is your home,” and I’ve always felt like that.

How have gotten through the scenes watching Susan Seaforth Hayes as Julie go through the loss of Doug?

MATT: Susan is bringing her best performance life for her and Bill. I mean, she’s a showbiz baby. She always has been one hundred percent, and she’s doing it for him, and this is who they’ve always been. So, you’re seeing this amazing performance colored by her life. She has her private life as Susan, but she has enough plugged into Julie that she’s done amazing work. The director, producers and writers are giving her room to live in these moments and it’s quite wonderful.

Photo: JPI

Have you already broken down in tears during the taping?

MELISSA: Yesterday, but today’s taping of the actual funeral I think they want us to try and be just more celebratory.

MATT: I mean, it is a beautiful long life for Bill Hayes and his character of Doug Williams, and so it will be about that. Then, you get a bunch of us together in the church pews, and there’s going to be hijinks.

MELISSA: We all have been through the waves of grief. You have that awful cry and then all of a sudden you feel okay.  There are those family situations we are portraying where you’re like, “What do we do? What do we do now? You know, no one knows what to do. But, it’s so sweet. I’m looking forward to seeing how the scenes all turn out.

So, are you glad that Matt and Melissa are back for the 15K episode and Doug’s funeral? From what we can tell, it’s going to be quite an emotional journey for Days of our Lives fans, and especially the performance of Susan Seaforth Hayes, 

Continue Reading

Days Of Our Lives

Ron Carlivati Talks on Decision to Make Days of our Lives 15000th Episode About Doug’s Funeral, and Previews Chances for WGA Award

This week, Days of our Lives celebrated the taping of their 15,000th episode. In of it itself, that is an incredible accomplishment for the long-running soap opera currently streaming on Peacock.

However, this on set gathering was a bit different. Though the show is celebrating their achievement, they are also in the middle of taping scenes surrounding the death and the funeral of Doug Williams, played by the late Bill Hayes, who passed away on January 12th of this year at the age of 98.

As previously revealed many longtime favorites are back to honor Bill and the character of Doug including: Gloria Loring (Liz), Melissa Reeves (Jennifer), Matthew Ashford (Jack), Maree Cheatham (Marie), Victoria Konefal (Ciara) and Stephen Schnetzer (Steve) to name but a few.

Photo: JPI

Michael Fairman TV was in attendance and spoke with Days of our Lives head writer, Ron Carlivati to gain some insight into how the 15,000 episode was crafted and the decision to honor the character of Doug Williams and Bill Hayes as its epicenter. In addition, Ron weighed-in on this Sunday’s April 14th WGA (Writers Guild of America) Awards, where he and his writing team are facing off with General Hospital for the daytime drama prize. Here’s what Ron shared below.

Was this your idea to make the 15,000th episode centered around Doug’s funeral and passing?

RON: It was. When you’re looking at it, and laying out the calendar for the whole year and you see 15,000 is coming up, we’re like, “What are we going to do?” And then, we got the news that Bill had passed away and something kind of clicked. I was like, “We should honor Doug on that show.” So then, we started to kind of build around that … when does he pass away? How does he pass away? Who could come back? You know, it’s a lot.  I’m very pleased with the returns that we got as there’s so much that you could do. We wanted everybody we could get. So, we put together a wish list and Janet Drucker (co-executive producer, Days of our Lives) made it happen.

Photo: JPI

You have Melissa Reeves back as Jennifer, when the role was last played by Cady McClain. What has it meant to have Missy back for these shows?

RON: It was so nice to see Missy Reeves. I think Cady has done such a good job, but on the 15,000th episode to see Missy as Jennifer, it’s a big deal. So having her was great, and overall, the milestone was a big undertaking, because you want to live up to it. You want the 15,000th episode to be good. Now, it has a lot of real emotion that you’re playing. because for the cast and the crew they’re honoring Bill Hayes just as much as we’re honoring Doug Williams.

Photo: JPI

Was it hard for you and the team to write this episode?

RON: Yes. I’ll tell you why it was hard to write.  When I wrote, for example, Asa’s (Phillip Carey) death on One Life to Live or Victor’s (John Aniston) on DAYS, Asa is a different type of character. Like, you could have characters going, “Oh! I’m glad he is dead.” You could have different points of view, but with Doug, you’re not having that. Every person loves this man. No one had a bad relationship with him. So, you’re challenge as a writer is how do you make it that not everybody’s saying the same thing and doing the same thing. And so, we tried to find ways to make the episode about all the familial relationships and yet, how do you make it about Doug and yet broaden the scope.

Photo: JPI

I had spoken to Susan Seaforth Hayes (Julie), a week after Bill’s memorial, for an interview. She said that she felt very fortunate that you did include her on discussions of how you would tackle Doug’s passing. How did that conversation go?

RON: First, I attended Bill’s funeral, which was incredible. I said to so many people it was an emotional service, but it was hard to be sad at this. The guy had an incredible life and it was an incredible celebration. And so, you’re sitting there watching this knowing that you now have to write something similar. And how do you write something that lives up to what you just witnessed? I wanted to talk to Susan to get her thoughts about, you know, how much do you want this to be about keeping Bill separate from Doug. How comfortable are you sharing your grief. She was incredible to talk to. It was a great chat.

You’re in the middle of taping these major scenes for the 15,000 episode to air in December. How do you think it’s going? Have you seen any of the scenes?

RON:  I haven’t seeing anything. I mean, we were still making changes to the script up till this morning!

Photo: JPI

The Writers Guild Awards are this Sunday, April 14th and once again this year there are two daytime drama nominees, General Hospital and Days of our Lives. How are you feeling about your chances this year?

RON: It is often just GH and us in the category. I’ve won three years in a row, so I’m kind of feeling like it’s their turn.

Photo: JPI

What episodes did you submit for contention? If I recall, they had to do with Victor’s memorial.

RON: The episodes we submitted were centered around Victor’s funeral. I think one has story with Vivian (Louise Sorel). We had some fun stuff, we had some emotional stuff at Victor’s death, and I am pretty sure that our submission was three episodes right around that time.

Did you make the decision to go with those episodes because there was a mix of humor and drama?

RON: I like to have some humor, but it was also the funeral, then there’s Sarah (Linsey Godfrey) giving birth, and then Vivian’s crashing the reading of the will. So, we had a lot of fun and it’s hard sometimes to pick three that tell a story, as opposed to submitting for the Daytime Emmys, where the writing team only submits two shows. So, we shall see how it goes on Sunday.

Courtesy/Peacock

So, are you looking forward to the emotional 15,000th episode of Days of our Lives? Do you think DAYS will take home the WGA writing award for daytime dramas for the 4th year in a row? Comment below.

Continue Reading

Days Of Our Lives

(INTERVIEW) Eric Martsolf Previews DAYS Stars on ‘Weakest Link’, How He Fared in the Game, Plus Welcoming New Tate, Leo Howard

Tuesday night on NBC’s Weakest Link (9 p.m. ET/PT), the stars of Days our of Lives test their knowledge, and try to win big money for the charity of their choice on the newest season of the popular game show hosted by Jane Lynch. In case you miss it, you can also catch the episode on Wednesday streaming on Peacock.

The question on everyone’s mind is … who will be revealed as Salem’s weakest link? Who will be left standing at the end of the game? DAYS favorites: Eric Martsolf (Brady) Brynn Dattilo (Lucas), Galen Gering (Rafe), Martha Madison (Belle), Victoria Konefal (ex-Ciara), Zach Tinker (Sonny), Tina Huang (Melinda) and Lindsay Arnold (ex-Allie) play while literally having the task of throwing their co-stars under the bus. The contestant who receives the highest number of votes leaves the game throughout, as Lynch declares their exit with the now iconic phrase, “You are the Weakest Link. Goodbye.” 

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Eric Martsolf, who daytime fans know is great as a host in his own right and oh-so-fun at playing any trivia game you throw at him. Martsolf gave us the inside scoop of what it was like to be on the set and backstage in a rather nerve-wracking environment, and trying to come off as smart while Jane Lynch roasts you at the same time!

Photo: NBC

In addition, Eric shared his thoughts on the new Tate, as Leo Howard takes over the role of his on-screen son from Jamie Martin Mann on the April 5th episode of Days of our Lives, plus working with Emily O’Brien as Theresa, and the loss of the legendary Bill Hayes. Check out what Eric had to say below.

Did you know about the game before? Had you watched the original version of the Weakest Link, or this latest incarnation?

ERIC: I was very, very familiar with the game because I found, as someone who enjoys hosting, that has to be one of the best hosting gigs out there because they just have extreme liberties in belittling the contestants, and it’s all done in jest of course, but it’s great. Jane Lynch is a master.

Did you get to meet Jane Lynch before she hit the stage for the taping?

ERIC: I don’t think any of us met her prior to being on the set. So, we’re standing there behind our podiums and these cyber lights just point all in one direction. At one point when we’re out there, it was kind of a hurry up and wait thing. We’re just like, “When is this going to start?” Then, here Jane comes and in all her glory in a beautiful navy-blue suit. She just prances onto stage and just glares over at us, and starts making fun of a silly soap opera actors like you wouldn’t believe. It was just great. I’ll let the public see what how she crucified us. But it was all done in fun.

Photo: NBC

Did she crucify you?

ERIC: I don’t think anybody got out unscathed to be honest with you.

For those that don’t know the game, you try to eliminate those that are the weakest in answering questions.

ERIC: Correct, and therein lies the problem. Historically, I think the Weakest Link is comprised of contestants that don’t really know each other, and in this case, you have not only coworkers, but almost family members because we all know each other very, very well. It’s a tight circle and even more so when you’re on the same show. So, we all went in into it pretty nervous because the premise of the game is to expose the inadequacy of people’s knowledge of general facts and information. So, essentially, you’re voting each other off because you don’t think they’re as smart as you are and that they’re the least smart in the group. So, I mean, that in itself is pretty, pretty tough to swallow. It was really hard, because you have to look at your friends in the eye and go, “yeah, I don’t think you’re going to get the next couple questions. You’re not the smartest, you’re not the crispiest chip in the bag. I’m going to let you go. ”

Did you feel bad about some of the eliminations?

ERIC: At one point, without giving away any spoilers, I voted off someone that without a doubt, has more smarts and education than I do. I just felt silly. But, you know, the way the game was going, I just felt it was the right. There is a bit of strategy involved. I’m worried about the airing of this particular episode because I did fumble some questions that people are going to turn their heads and go, “Really? You didn’t get that one?” It’s so much easier to answer these questions at home in your pajamas than it is, you know, looking at Jane Lynch in the eye with 6,000 lights at your face in front of cameras. Your brain tends to wander. So yes, we all had had some answers that we couldn’t believe we didn’t get at the time!

Photo: NBC

Did it get very competitive?

ERIC: There was little competition there. If I recall, it’s Galen and Bryan that went at it a little bit and had some laughs. But again, I can’t stress this enough, it was all done with fun. At the end of the day, every one of us wanted to win. I think the smartest person did actually come out victorious.

Now in the game, for those that have never seen it, you’re on your podium, and then Jane gives a question, right?

ERIC:  It’s a firing squad of questions. You only have a certain amount of time to answer. If you get the correct answer or the wrong answer, you immediately, go to the next contestant and you have a certain amount of time. And then, at the end of that line of questioning, everyone gets to vote as to who they believed was the biggest dummy in the group. (Laughs) Some questions are simple. You know, “What color is Santa Claus’ suit?” And then, the next question is “What is 648,000 times 14?” or what’s the population of some obscure country? So, that was the biggest challenge. Someone else might get, “What is the main ingredient of a banana split?” And my question could be like, “How much is 9,430 times x 59 million?” There’s an intimidation factor that Jane Lynch brings to it when she’s staring you down.

Photo: NBC

When the cast finished the entire game, what happened backstage?

ERIC:  The best part was there were these post interviews that the Weakest Link conducts where you have to go into a dark black room. I think my first question was, “How did you feel about that wrong answer?” They don’t let up. They just keep jabbing at you. “Did you feel ridiculous getting the wrong answer to that fourth-grade level question?” (Laughs) There was also a lot of trash talk with that happened after the show. It got so competitive. If I recall, we were all supposed to go out together and get a meal with everybody, and that never happened. They’re like, “I’m not eating lasagna with you right now. You just voted me off!” Now, even the first person that gets voted off, you’re going to be shocked, because I thought this person would probably win it. In the game, you want the best people to remain on the panel because that’s what drives up the money.

Photo: JPI

Later this week on DAYS, we will see the debut of your new on-screen son, Leo Howard, taking over from Jamie Martin Mann as Tate.

ERIC: How about that?  I just did a post on Instagram, because I saw that Jamie Martin Mann had liked and hearted a post about Leo Howard coming on the show. I just thought that was so classy of him. That’s the way it’s supposed to be, “This is the new guy. Embrace him. He’s good. I’ve met him. He is a good guy.” It’s about handing off the character baton sometimes, sort to speak. I was really proud of those guys. I reached out to Jamie. He just wants to go to college and be a student. I understand that. That’s important.

Photo: JPI

Is that challenging for you as an actor since you’ve built this relationship with the one guy as your son, and now you’ve got to pivot and create a different kind of energy with someone else taking on the part?

ERIC: Leo Howard has been in the industry for a while, with some very good credits to his name. He brings a certain charisma to this role that I think people are really going to love. And yes, he’s older, but he plays younger, and he has that ability and he’s pulling it off brilliantly. I can’t wait for people to see him, but of course I miss Jamie. Emily O’Brien (Theresa) and I really grew to love him very quickly because the storyline got so deep, so quickly, with the drug intervention and then him getting beat up in in prison. I mean, as a father, that’s the kind of stuff that you have nightmares about, you know, your kids being in pain.

Photo: JPI

I still love the fact that Emily O’Brien is still noticeably wearing a blonde wig as Theresa. What are your thoughts on how the transition has been for you, and for her pivoting to a completely different role?

ERIC: I hadn’t worked with Emily much before, because Gwen and Brady never really crossed paths. We all saw the transition that she had to make. When I became Brady, the character hadn’t been on the map for three years.  When she became Theresa, she walks out one gate and comes through the other as Theresa. We all had a good giggle about it. That’s hard to ask an audience to go,  OK, I’m Gwen, now I’m Theresa.” I was scrolling through X (formerly Twitter) and I saw a couple posts from fans that said how they were really weary, at first, about accepting Emily O’Brien as Theresa. But after today’s episode, they shared, “I’m loving her as Tate’s mom, and the chemistry she has with the family.” I texted Emily and I said, “I just want to let you know that you’re just bringing it home really brilliantly, and people are starting to come around.” I think they’ll do that with Leo Howard too.

Photo: JPI

What had it been like without the iconic Bill Hayes (Doug Williams) coming to work and being part of the Days of our Lives cast since his passing?

ERIC: You really do miss that presence in the hallways. He was a song and dance guy and I am a song and dance guy. as well. I kind of find myself the lone singer in the makeup room sometimes, but I could always count on Bill. He’d be humming some old tune from the sixties. I’d start humming along and he’d just kind of lean over and take a look at me, and give a little smile. Everyone else was probably irritated at us, but we just kept singing along. and it’s like 6:30 in the morning. I think Bill was a lot like the late John Aniston (ex-Victor), in the sense that I don’t really feel like he felt he was working. He was just always having fun right up until the end. That little number he did with his wife, Susan Seaforth Hayes (Julie), and Dick Van Dyke (guest starring as Timothy Robicheaux), where he was singing along, he was just living it. It was so cute and so adorable to watch.

Photo: JPI

Your final tease for the Weakest Link tonight is, “Fans should watch because …”

ERIC: Fans should watch it because if they thought we were smart before, wait till they see the show.

You can check out the cold open for tonight’s Weakest Link “Days of our Lives special” below.

Now let us know, will you be watching Eric and his co-stars, past and present, attempting to showcase their knowledge on the ‘Weakest Link? Intrigued to see Leo Howard and Eric in scenes as new Tate and his father, Brady? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

Continue Reading

Video Du Jour

Peter Reckell returns for a second visit with Michael Fairman following the wrap-up of his recent run as Bo Brady on Days of our Lives.Leave A Comment

Recent Comments

Power Performance

Eileen Davidson as Ashley

The Young and the Restless

Airdate: 4-12-2024

Popular