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Days Of Our Lives

THE NADIA BJORLIN INTERVIEW- DAYS OF OUR LIVES

Nadia-main.jpgBy Michael Fairman

Listen to the audio:

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TV SOAP:

How was it coming back to the show and working again with Jay Kenneth Johnson (Phillip)?

NADIA:

I love him, and I adore him, and I have the most utmost respect for him. He is beautiful and handsome, and we have a good time together and great chemistry. I think we have known each other for such a long time and we get each other. It’s fun on every level.

TV SOAP:

But was it odd to you that Phillip and Chloe were paired together?

NADIA:

When I came back this time, it was all new management and producers here, and Jay had been gone awhile. WE as people and actors have grown up so much in the meantime. I was not sure how we would come together again, and the first day I was having the best time… dying of laughing. It picked right back up where we left off. I have been very fortunate to have a really great guy to work with.

Jay-Nadia.jpgTV SOAP:

But the characters slept together!

NADIA:

After so many years they had us sleep together. It isn’t under the whole premise of love. It’s really, “friends with benefits”. Both people are hurting and in a bad place, and easing each other’s pain. I looked forward to all of those scenes. I thought they were great. We were looking forward to story together. We were looking forward to developing that relationship with our characters, and having the trials and tribulations, but they made it hot and steamy. It was tumultuous, and they did develop feelings for each other. Then they decided to not write us in scripts together anymore.

TV SOAP:

Why do you think they just stopped the pairing?

NADIA:

I think there were a series of scripts, where Jay and I noticed that our characters would kind of go, “Well, this isn’t working out”. It was very obvious that Jay was working more with Morgan and I was working more with Lucas. I guess that is the way the cookie crumbles. I think there is a misconception that the actors have any say into what happens to the characters and the story and we don’t. We try to sell what is written. I know a lot of people think we have influence with the writers and we really don’t.

TV SOAP:

From Chloe’s perspective, what happened to Brady? This was very hard for the viewers to swallow and follow, that Brady became a drug addict!

NADIA:

I think it was a quick way to salvage a story point they did not pan out. I think they thought they were going to get Kyle Lowder, (Ex-Brady) back on the show. That couldn’t happen because he is under contract as Rick on “B&B”. It was a quick way to explain where he is and why he has disappeared. I think originally, he was supposed to be part of that whole Colleen storyline in
Ireland. I think Brady was supposed to be kidnapped and then there was no Brady… so how do you explain that?

TV SOAP:

And then Chloe tagged along to
Ireland and she was kind of just standing there!

NADIA:

I had nothing to do, because originally there was supposed to be another person, I think. I was not told this, but we just deduced this by reading scripts. Phillip and Chloe were just standing there. But, then it turns out that Victor, who had never liked Chloe, had concocted this plan to make her look bad in front of Phillip and everybody else. It seemed like she had murdered Brady! But it’s found out in one episode through Nicole, that Brady has been holed up in a rehab clinic in
Switzerland! Victor had him kidnapped in the middle of the night, because Brady was not seeking help for himself from the evil Chloe… because we all know people turn other people into drug addicts. (She laughs) I guess Chloe took him away from his family and friends so he became a drug addict. He was going to run Titan in
Austria.

TV SOAP:

Do you know why Victor hates Chloe so much? We don’t!

NADIA:

I just remember it was something that Chloe broke Phillip’s heart at one point and then she moved on to his grandson. Victor was never thrilled by Chloe marrying Brady, but then again, at one point, I thought that was resolved because I thought Victor paid for Chloe’s wedding. But then I guess it was not resolved. (She laughs)

TV SOAP:

Does Chloe have an agenda? It seems a bit confusing to the audience.

NADIA:

I am confused to; the only way I could make sense of this is obviously she was really hurting from the whole Brady thing. I don’t think those feelings were resolved. They were kids when they got married. I don’t think they were ready to work through problems and issues. Brady is resentful towards Chloe, and she lost a part of herself. I was trying to find the reality that: people forget themselves when they become consumed in a relationship and marriage. Chloe got away to find out what happened to Brady and to figure her life out. She wanted to see Phillip, because Phillip is the one person who has been by her side, powerful, good and can get things done. In trying to get past some hurt, she was trying to find some love and validation; or acceptance and I think that was through Phillip. And later, seeing Phillip was not all quite there, I think Chloe’s self-esteem was so low that at this point, that she was trying to play people against each other.

TV SOAP:

Chloe seems a bit vindictive!

NADIA:

I think there is a little bit of a vindictive manipulative side now to her. It was fun playing bitter and cynical. She has kind of thrown the old Chloe persona away.

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TV SOAP:

She was our “Ghoul Girl”?

NADIA:

Personally, I loved that naïve and vulnerable side to Chloe, and that sweetness that was there. I really enjoyed it, but she was written so differently coming back. I have been trying to find that saying that it comes out of hurt. But its written like I have an agenda, but the problem is they write me with an agenda, but I don’t know what that agenda is, or why I am acting the way I am acting, so I am just creating these truths to myself. She is now trying to find some allies, and yet at the same time trying to make some guys a little jealous. That’s why I find myself befriending Lucas. Then I could see why Chloe would find Lucas endearing and kind. He became a friend who listens to her. When you are in a vulnerable state you start fall for somebody like that.

Chloe-Lucas.jpgTV SOAP:

There was that whole scene on the Warf with Lucas when you were crying. Isn’t that what t brought them together?

NADIA:

Yeah, and that’s where Chloe was when she and Brady got together. She was crying on the peer and Brady found her so… I think that’s where Chloe picks up men… on the peer. (She laughs) I think she seeks acceptance through somebody and the person who comes along.

TV SOAP:

What does she think about Nicole?

Chloe-flesh.jpgNADIA:

I don’t know. Personally, if you look at the history, I don’t know if I would be that forgiving. The fact that Nicole put the “flesh –eating” bacteria on the surgical equipment and messed her up and then totally played her against Brady is hard to get past. It’s so hard to look at the character of Nicole the same way because we are all being written so differently. Now I find her to be kind of charming and fun.

TV SOAP:

She does not despise her?

NADIA:

No. She used to despise her, but now we both realize we are both train wrecks. We are both miserable and divorced, and nobody will love us. We are both miserable company for each other. So, we now relate to each other more and are becoming friends. I love this storyline. I hope they write more stuff for us because Ariane Zuker (Nicole) and I are such good friends. She is one of my best friends in real life. We laugh so hard because it’s so hard for us to be mean for each other.

Nad-Chloe1.jpgTV SOAP:

Ariane is married to Kyle Lowder and you are dating Brandon Beemer both “B&B” men. When you guys hang out together, I assume it would be fun being now on two different soaps.

NADIA:

It’s kind of funny. We have dinner together, and we are all friends. When we are out and there are fans around and they are like, “Wait a minute.” They are confused. We were all on “DAYS” at one point. Kyle used to be my TV husband, and Kyle is Ariane’s real husband. The men get to tell us about their day at work, and we can tell them about our work. So it’s interesting.

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TV SOAP:

Have you watched
Brandon as Owen on “B&B”?

Brandon-Nadia.jpgNADIA:

I am a big fan now. I have been really impressed with his work, and it’s so different than the character he played here at “DAYS”. This goes to show, that he is really good. He is not the same person he was here. I think he has a more suitable character for him on “B&B”. At “DAYS”, Shawn was kind of beaten-down and wimpy. Now he is masculine, sexy, mysterious, and a bit of an opportunist. He gets to be more of a player and I think its fun to watch, and fun to watch the women with him who are obviously going to drool!

TV SOAP:

But, I have a question, every time I go to the “hot lists” on the Internet;
Brandon Beemer is always number one? What do you think of that?

NADIA:

Those are some smart people making those lists, but I could have told them that. (She laughs) Sometimes I even forget and I go, “Damn you’re good-looking” but probably his most endearing quality is that he is so humble and a nice guy. Sometimes he doesn’t really realize what’s going on. He blushes when someone gives him a compliment and he works so hard.

TV SOAP:

With the Lucas storyline, where you are at now? I know you made love in an elevator?

Brandon-solo.jpgNADIA:

I don’t know if it’s making love in the elevator, it was doing it. I would call it dirty and raunchy. (She laughs)

TV SOAP:

So, how was it doing those dirty and raunchy scenes?

NADIA:

How was it? It was interesting. I tell you, I had never done anything like that in an elevator before. I did not know that this is the first thing that comes to mind when you are stuck in an elevator. Lucas was trying to ease Chloe’s claustrophobia!

TV SOAP:

Did it help?

NADIA:

I think it did, because I forgot it about temporarily.


TV SOAP:

It was a pretty sexy scene.


NADIA:

It was a sexy scene. It was sexy for daytime. Trying to get some ratings! (She laughs) I don’t know how to explain our transition since then. Lucas and Chloe seemed to develop a friendship. I don’t know where it’s going, and I was reading scenes last week, and I had scenes last year with Shawn saying, “I can’t wait to have babies’ and this coming week, I tape a scene with Ali Sweeney ( Sami) where I am holding her baby, and I go, “Yuck! I don’t have a maternal bone in my body”. Sometimes, it’s hard to justify what you are saying, but that’s my job to make it work. The set-up for this is: we go away for this romantic getaway to this cabin with Lucas. It ends up including Sami and his kids. It’s hard for me to say where the character is going these days. In a recent episode Chloe helped Lucas pack and move out. Chloe does not have her own life right now.She is doading on Lucas and in real life I would be, “Honey I don’t have to work this hard OK?” (She laughs)


TV SOAP:

Would you like to work more with Jay again at some point?

NADIA:

I hope so, but they have not gone that way. We don’t even cross paths anymore. We are in separate storylines. It is fun to get to work with other people that I didn’t previously work with. It is refreshing and fun. I kind of like how they are integrating different storylines.


TV SOAP:

If you were writing the show, what would your story be? 

NADIA:

If I am writing the show and clearly I am not, (She laughs) I would be playing; “The Mac Daddy” and I would be playing all the guys. I would write it like; she is playing guys and play three guys against each other. They would not even know each other, and I would be weaving this web. It would be hot and sexy and I would be the puppet master with the boys. I think it’s time for one of the women to be like, “That’s right boys. You wanted you come get it!” I would have them feeding me grapes! That’s what I would write.

TV SOAP:

How is working with Bryan Dattilo? What would you say?

NADIA:

Out of control… funny… hilarious and he’s always on! Sometimes I ask him, “What goes through your head?”, because he just comes up with the most random things. He is always singing and rapping. He will just come up with a monologue as he is speaking, and it is the funniest thing you ever heard.

TV SOAP:

With all the backstage shake-ups at “DAYS” from executive producers and writing changes, how does that affect you and the cast?

NADIA:

It has been changing and I am definitely out of the loop. We hear rumors like the fans hear the rumors. Whatever goes on amongst the writers, producers and networks, is speculation to us, and so we are just as excited or worried. A really good thing here at “DAYS”, is we are all like a big family. So we do get anxious and we watch out for each other. We always hope things are going smoothly.

Chloe-sings.jpgTV SOAP:

Many people miss Chloe singing. Recently, you just did a few episodes where you sang again.

NADIA:

I am so happy we got to do the two “Film Noir” episodes that aired here in the States during the Olympics, where I got to be a torch singer. I sang the classic blues song called, “I Got It Bad and That Ain’t Good” and a new song. It’s fun. They don’t use my singing as part of my storyline anymore.

TV SOAP:

We hear you are working on a new recording!

NADIA:

I am working on a classical-crossover album. We are known as, “Bjorlin”, which is me and my brothers. We have four tracks available for download on iTunes. I am really excited about the project.

TV SOAP:

If “DAYS” is cancelled in 2009, would you consider doing soap?

NADIA:

I don’t know. I am not such a future planner. I would certainly entertainer the idea. Daytime has been really good for me. It’s challenging and great. I would keep that and all my doors open. If a great opportunity comes along, I may have to take that role.

All My Children

Soap Favorites Jason Cook, Brytni Sarpy and Jacob Young Visit the Michael Fairman Channel

On Wednesday night, February 28, Four for Fun, the movie written and directed by former Days of our Lives and General Hospital star, Jason Cook (ex-Shawn-Douglas; ex-Matt, respectively), which stars Brytni Sarpy (Elena, Y&R) and Jacob Young (ex-JR, AMC, Lucky, GH, and Rick, B&B), will have its premiere as part of The Golden State Film Festival.

If you’re in the Southern California area, tickets for the festival and to see Four for Fun showing at 7:30pm PT can be found here.

In the premise of the film, a dinner party between two couples experiencing eleven different endings, all of which points to the same conclusion – the best possible life comes from the one lived the most in the present. Sarpy and Young play one of the couples and actors Donovan Patton and Annika Foster, play the other.

Photo: FourforFun

After its premiere at the festival, on the next night, Jason, Brytni and Jacob will visit You Tube’s Michael Fairman Channel for a livestream conversation about the making of the film, working with each other, and a discussion on their numerous soap opera roles and much more.

It all begins on Thursday night, February 29th beginning at 8 pm ET/5 pm PT. Make sure to join us in the live chat, so you can ask your questions and share your comments with this talented trio.

Photo: FourforFun

Check out the trailer for Four for Fun below, followed by how to watch the livestream interview.

Then, drop any questions you would like us to pose to Jason, Brytni and Jacob in the comment section, and we just might ask it live on Thursday night.

 

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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Blake Berris to Chat Live on the Michael Fairman Channel as Everett & Bobby’s Story Heats Up

The tale of Everett Lynch and Bobby Stein is starting to reveal itself on Peacock’s Days of our Lives, which puts returning cast member, Blake Berris front and center in story.

On Monday’s, February 26th episode of DAYS, the results of Everett’s CAT scan indicate he suffered a traumatic brain injury which jives with his story that he was in a car accident and spent in a year in a coma, or does it?

Stephanie (Abigail Klein) and Everett are reeling that Everett as Bobby Stein was married to Jada Hunter (Elia Cantu) and treated her badly. While Everett claims he doesn’t remember anything about his time as Bobby, despite his fingerprints matching those of Robert Stein’s, Marlena (Deidre Hall) ponders if he could be suffering from PTSD, which might explain his memory loss.

Courtesy/Peacock

Everett wonders if he has a brain tumor, but Marlena points out that they would have found it on the CAT scan. While there is no obvious reason for his memory loss, Kayla wonders if he is faking his amnesia? Marlena tells Everett that she is a psychiatrist and they should set up sessions immediately. Will it be revealed that Everett and Bobby are split personalities living inside one man?

Blake Berris is set to chat about the latest storyline developments and more, when he visits the Michael Fairman Channel on Wednesday, February 28th beginning at 3 pm ET/Noon PT.  Make sure to join Michael and Blake in the live chat for your turn to share your questions and thoughts on the story.

Photo: JPI

Days of our Lives fans first met Blake when he played the character of Nick Fallon who was eventually murdered in 2014. Later, Nick made a few return appearances from ‘the grave’, in 2021 and 2023. Recently, Blake returned to the show in his newly-minted role of Everett Lynch at the end of October of last year.

Blake will talk about portraying Everett/Bobby, plus working his co-stars, and being a dad to his three boys, and more.  You can catch the livestream below.

Now, let us know, what is your theory about Everett Lynch and Bobby Stein? Looking forward to hearing what Blake has to say? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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Days Of Our Lives

Days of our Lives Legendary Susan Seaforth Hayes Talks on the Horton House Fire Storyline, Mourning the Loss of Husband Bill Hayes & His Near-to-Final Performances

It has been an emotional time for longtime fans of Days of our Lives and beloved veteran, Susan Seaforth Hayes (Julie Williams). On-screen, the iconic Horton home was burned to the ground in what appears to be a storyline-dictated decision that shocked many. In real life, Susan is mourning the loss of her husband and DAYS enduring favorite, Bill Hayes (Doug Williams), who passed away at 98 in January. Over the weekend, during the 2024 SAG Awards In Memoriam tribute, Hayes was remembered along with other motion pictures and television stars whom we lost over the past year.

Since the Peacock streaming soap opera tapes months ahead of air, the Horton home fire and its aftermath are currently playing out in all-new episodes with more on this story featuring Susan to come. Bill Hayes also appeared in several of these episodes making it all the more touching and heartfelt.

When Julie came back to the Horton home to see what remained of it after the fire, Days of our Lives fans were treated to a heart-tugging episode that streamed last Wednesday, February 21st. In it, newly-taped scenes of a young Tom (Zach Chyz) and Alice (Sydney Kathrann Smith) Horton telling the story of how they came to live in the house to raise their children, juxtaposed with Julie and Doug (and members of their family and friends), surveying what’s left of the beloved house, brought many a tear.

Michael Fairman TV talked with Susan Seaforth Hayes for this very candid and heartfelt conversation to get her feelings on the Horton house fire, and being given the opportunity to have a storyline at this point in her storied career. In addition, Susan provides some insight on what it was like for her ailing late husband to tape scenes at DAYS shortly before his death, what the series plans to do about writing off the character of Doug while honoring the legacy of Bill Hayes, and how she knew she had the greatest love affair that anyone could hope for in their lifetime, which in turn, has inspired all of us.

Photo: JPI

I was shocked when they decided to burn down the Horton house. Were you at first devastated … and did you know that there would be a big story surrounding it?

SUSAN: I did not know how big a story was with it. I knew that many years ago, another regime had planned on trashing the set and getting rid of the set because nobody cared about the Hortons anymore. It was stopped by one person, and I was eternally grateful for that. This time I thought, “Oh, my goodness! I guess I’ll be meeting people for a cup of coffee at the Horton Square. No home, no roots, no reason to be called in,” and thinking that’s the end of Julie. That’s the end of Doug and Julie. Then, when they began to structure a story around it, I think all of this came up during the writer’s strike. So of course, I was curious to see how this was going to turn out. I enjoyed the aftermath, because in the aftermath, and a little bit before the fire, if you saw the show, I get to talk a bit about the history of the household and the people in it.

Photo: JPI

In the special episode that aired last Wednesday, Julie gave Leo (Greg Rikaart) the family tree history of the Hortons for his story in the Spectactor.

SUSAN:  I’ve had a couple of good long soliloquies about the past. I’m fated to be the character that does that because I’m the one still standing. I must say, I do enjoy doing them. Emotionally, all I have to do is rerun some of the actors and my own family in my mind and the emotion starts to come, you know, the emotion starts to flow.

Julie talks to Maggie (Suzanne Rogers) immediately after the fire. She is upset that the Horton family Christmas ornaments are gone. Fans were not happy that they could possibly have burned up. Thank God! There was a happy ending when they were located and unscathed, or there would have been hell to pay! 

SUSAN: I knew that they were in the prop room and that they still existed. But how much they were going to put a story around their loss, I did not know. We don’t get to ponder the plot. We just get to show up and start doing it. I think on this particular matter, something as important as a structure of the original set of the show, there’s been quite a bit of interest. So, I can appreciate that.

Photo: JPI

I was thinking, ‘Did they decide to burn the house down, because they were finally retiring the old Horton home set?’ What was the purpose of it?

SUSAN: They’ve done everything to make quicker set changes, which is remarkable and very efficient right now. The set designer said, “I’ll be interested in your input,” which was nice. The one thing that I loved that had been done, didn’t work. You couldn’t shoot into it. It was a federal mirror over the mantle. I loved it. The size was perfect. I was just delighted. And then, we tried to shoot it, and because of the roundness of the mirror, you got a perfect view of camera one and camera three. So, it came down.

This is Julie’s project to renovate the home. She’s determined to bring back all the memories and redo it?

SUSAN: Absolutely, which is another nice note to play for my character. She’s determined to make the house something that her grandparents would recognize and still feel comfortable in.

Photo: JPI

What did you think of the episode that just aired where the show incorporated flashbacks of a young Tom and Alice Horton?

SUSAN: Well, I set it up. They had their own their own lovely scenes. I read them, and I’m sure the audience was charmed.

What do you remember when you first came to DAYS, and you were in that house, in that set?

SUSAN: What did I notice about the set? I noticed that it was a strange shade of green. (Laughs) It was explained to me that that dull color meant that your face would pop on color TV. I understood that. I loved the little window up the staircase. I’ve always loved that. And at one time, there was a model of the house that sat on the set on its own little pedestal, a little playhouse of the exterior of the house. Whenever the house was on (and remember this is when we were a half-hour and practically live, but not live, because there was no editing), there would also be the sound of a barking dog whenever we reached the Horton house neighborhood. We never saw the dog, but I’m sure his name was “Spot”, and I’m sure he belonged to someone.

PhotoL JPI

You shared so many scenes with Frances Reid (Alice) and MacDonald Carey (Tom) in the Horton living room set and up till they passed. Did they get along well with Bill? Looking back, how was your relationship with them?

SUSAN: They loved him. Well, Mac and Billy had worked together before in theater. Mac was very kind to me at the beginning and helpful. Frances was as well. As Frances got older, she got a bit testy. When someone says, “You’re not going to read the line like that … are you?” It catches your attention. (Laughs). I got peeved at Frances from time to time, but her intent was always to make everything as good as it possibly could be. I saw her come back from her stroke. learn to talk again, learn to do it all again. Not do it easily, but to do it at all was wonderful, and the same with Mac. In his last shows, he was very frail, but we’re actors. We liked being there.

Photo: JPI

During the taping of the episodes surrounding the Horton house fire, Bill was mostly in them with you. How was Bill doing at the time you taped these scenes?

SUSAN: He was okay. He was up for it. He had difficulty moving at that point. So, they restricted his movement a lot. Bill always enjoyed coming to work a lot, and it was extremely difficult for him because he was blind, and didn’t move very well. And now, to do a scene with people who may or may not, have rehearsed with you, who may or may not, give you the exact cue, and when they are attempting to have you look each other in the eye, you can’t see who’s eyes they are, that was the hard part. The easy part was working with him, which was lovely and was a gift. It was a gift from Corday Productions that he was able to work within three weeks of his death, which I thought was super and extraordinary.

Photo: JPI

That is amazing. Did Bill understand everything that was going on at the time of the tapings?

SUSAN: Absolutely. He understood what was going on. He just couldn’t see it or touch it.

The timing couldn’t have been easy for you with Bill’s declining health, and that the show was going to burn down the Horton home where you shared so many scenes and memories.

SUSAN: Well, it hasn’t been my greatest stretch. But I knew that life would be like this. I’ve had five decades of an absolutely wonderful, blessed marriage and a chance to work and a chance to live in my own home and travel, all good. And now, we’re going to have the epilogue. And the epilogue is the hard part, seeing rapid change around you and losing the people that were the center of your life. I’ve just been very fortunate to have cultivated some wonderful friendships, and to have a wonderful large family of Hayeses.

Photo: JPI

You do realize that you and Bill were the gold-standard of what we all should be lucky enough to have in our lives. What an incredible, beautiful, passionate, loving marriage that the two of you had. You don’t see marriages like that anymore. We were all just in awe of the two of you. To us, it was the greatest love affair. You got to have that which is so extraordinary.

SUSAN: I know, and it was all Bill. I mean, any idiot could have been married to Bill Hayes and been deliriously happy. The guy was so perfect in every way that you really would have to pick something and blow it out of proportion to ever complain about any of his traits of character. He was just all good character, goodwill, and good humor. I just followed along and tried to live my life for him, with him, and follow his style, which I hope to carry on. I hope to be as good to people as he was to people, and, not be selfish.

Photo: JPI

I always remembered how the two of you would come to the studio with your suitcases, ready to work no matter what material, large or small, they gave you. You showed up. You just had such great work ethic and you don’t see that as much anymore.

SUSAN: At the moment, it’s hard to find it everywhere. I think it’s probably generational. You cannot get too angry at people that are still holding up their phones in the one rehearsal that we have. I think it’s more convenient to receive your work electronically, but somehow it doesn’t seem quite as real. You don’t have a script in your hand anymore unless you print one up yourself.  Sometimes you haven’t met the person you’re working with. Well, that’s not unusual, but no rehearsal at all, that’s kind of marvelously new.

Photo: JPI

Does Julie lean on anybody for emotional support as she tries to rebuild the Horton home. Who’s there for her?

SUSAN: As far as I can tell, nobody. I’m supposed to be the wise woman, and Marlena (Deidre Hall) is supposed to be the other wise woman. I haven’t had any scenes with Marlena for help. I would think Marlena would be the person I would be going to for grief counseling, for friendship, for all of that. I haven’t seen it in the scripts, yet. I’m still deeply entwined with Chad’s (Billy Flynn) storyline.

How is Billy Flynn to work with?

SUSAN: A pleasure. Billy Flynn has grown a lot as a human being and as an actor since I’ve known him. I’m really enjoying his company and really enjoying doing scenes with him. We rehearse and then we get on other subjects and laugh and talk and inform each other. We’re interested in a lot of the same things. He’s a new parent. He’s really devoting himself to that, to that experience in the best possible way. So, I’m lucky.

Do Julie and Chad try to figure out who set the fire?

SUSAN: Oh yeah.

Photo: JPI

I kept thinking about how Julie got burned in the kitchen fire years ago and her face was scarred, At the time, your mother Elizabeth Harrower was writing DAYS and wrote that for Julie. Did you hate that story?

SUSAN: Well, I know where the story came from. It came up from something in mother’s own life. I knew the people involved, and I wasn’t crazy in love with the idea. Then, when it was supposed to go for six weeks and went on for months and months, I was concerned. Mainly, I was concerned that my face was going to be affected because of the appliance, the scars, that I was wearing. I was told by a dermatologist, “You’re going to have a little beard after this. Ripping your face every single day to get this off is going to be hard on you.” But, I seem to have survived.

Has the show even addressed with you how they plan to handle writing-off the character of Doug Williams, and how they want to honor Bill?

SUSAN: Only in the smallest way. I had a conference call with the producers and our head writer last Friday. I was informed about the immediate, immediate future. I’ve also been promised that they’re going to keep me busy. It’s a cast of over 40 people. I’ll be happy to show up and to be included.

Photo: JPI

I was just hoping that whatever they decide to do with the character of Doug that they were going to run it by you, first.

SUSAN: They have, and they have been very sweet about it.  I’ve got to tell you, this regime, they have a sign up on the wall now, that says, Things we expect on this stage.”  The first one at the top of the list is “kindness.”

Have you watched your work back all these years? I know some actor’s never like to watch the scenes they taped.

SUSAN: I think you learn by watching yourself, if you have an open mind, and if you are not hypercritical, or dismissive. I cannot be dismissive of a character that has given me such a wonderful life. I’m still interested in Julie, perhaps I wouldn’t have been if I’d been on the show for three years and never returned to it. But I’m quite interested in her now, and what she has to offer as a member of this ensemble.

Photo: JPI

Julie’s ties to the whole history of Days of our Lives from this point on are very important. How do you feel about that?

SUSAN:  There are those that don’t care about the history of the show. I know that. I know there are those that only care about continuing with something snappy to keep eyes on the screen through action, adventure, drama, death, kidnapping, missed opportunities, all that, which I suppose that’s what the audience craves. But, that’s not just what the show can do. What the show can do so well is character. There’s a lot of people over 70 who are still on the show now. I’m the oldest one, but I’m not the only one. We’re coming up on the 60th anniversary. I don’t think the show is worn out. And if it is, it’s had a remarkably successful six decades.

Lamon Archey (Eli) is back on DAYS for a stint. What has it been like to work with Lamon as his on-screen grandmother?

SUSAN: I think he’s terrific and visually he is so beautiful, so appealing. I think both Eli and Lani (Sal Stowers) are very appealing as characters. I’m delighted to be connected to Eli as a family member. That was a lucky break for me.

Photo: JPI

Do you think DAYS fans are going to continue to be emotional in the aftermath of this fire and all the story that comes out of it? Do you think we’ll be touched by what Julie goes through to get the remains all cleaned up for a new house?

SUSAN: I think anybody in America who’s gone through a disaster, and have unfortunately had the disruption of their home, will be sympathetic and interested in how it all turns out. It’s a nice note to play. We haven’t had to do that very often. We just go from one lovely apartment to another without much discussion. I think this is the one set that meant a lot to people. I was very sorry to lose “Julie’s Place,” as it turned into kind of a sandwich shop. I still loved having a business, a tangible place to be, and an alternate place for people to meet.

Photo: NBC

Upon reflection, what was your favorite scene with Bill? Was it when Julie and Doug got married on-screen, or was it something else that was much more intimate?

SUSAN: I think our last scene is going to be more important, emotionally. I think the first wedding was beautiful, but the material around the time of our second wedding, when Brenda Benet (ex-Lee) came back on the show and Doug stood up to her and says, “I’m not going to be manipulated anymore,” was also strong. There has been a lot of very important times – when Doug was killed-off by James Reilly, and we met in the tunnel of light. That was a day. That was a difficult day, which I certainly can’t revisit right now emotionally. When Julie found out Doug had run off and married her mother, Addie, that was a day. It was a day because, I went to the producer at the time, Jack Herzberg, and said, “Is this it? Am I not going to work with him anymore?”And he said, “Right! That’s it. You’re not working with Bill Hayes anymore.” We were not married at the time, and I thought I was going to go through the floor! That wasn’t a happy day.

Photo: JPI

In terms of Bill’s final day on the set with you, did you know that it was his last, and what would turn out to be his last scene?

SUSAN: Well, they didn’t know. But I knew. I had been allowed to rewrite it. So, I can’t tell you Bill’s last line now, of course, but I will in time.

What do you think about the sentiments shared by Susan on her late husband, and this storyline? How do hope the show properly honors Bill and Doug Williams when the series writes-off the character? Are you enjoying the Horton house fire story arc or does it upset you too much? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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