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The Phoenix Rises Again! Joseph Mascolo Returns to Days of our Lives!

Courtesy/NBC

Ah, you can’t keep the best villain on daytime soaps off the canvas for too long!  And now comes the news that soap fans have been waiting for!  Joseph Mascolo who was “killed-off”  in early June as Stefano DiMera is on his way back to Days of our Lives once again! Salem fans circle your calendars for next Tuesday August 21st! That is when you  will first see Mascolo back on your television screens.

In the latest issue of Soap Opera Digest on newsstands now, Mascolo addressed his return by stating that the plan was always in place for his comeback.  However, in his absence there was a writing regime change at the top that brought in Gary Tomlin and Chris Whitesell and ushered out Marlene McPherson and Darrell Ray Thomas Jr.

Joseph commented on McPherson and Thomas’s ideas for Stefano’ s story intimating, “I didn’t think they were so credible. But they wanted to tell Stefano’s story in a certain way, so we did.”    The outspoken soap veteran also did not like the fact that Stefano “died” before his daughter, Lexie.  “I thought there would be a little more than we had in our last scene together.  But Stefano went first, which was too bad.  If there was any time these two should have been together it was at the very end.”

Mascolo also said he was very thankful to the fans while he was away from DAYS.  “They always let me know how they feel and what they think,” he added.  “I have always found their insights to be right on the button.”

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So soapers, are you happy that Stefano and Mascolo are coming back? What do you think will happen once everyone knows Stefano is alive?  Weigh-in!

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Jim
Jim

Sorry, but they’ve brought Stefano back so many times he has lost his credibility as a legitimate villain. He’s nothing more than a cartoon character at this point. It’s all right to create new characters, writers, really.

maddiehayes
maddiehayes

IKR? I mean, who didn’t see this coming a mile away? And Jack, as well. You can only bring characters back from the dead so many times before it becomes a cliche.

paul
paul

I wish that they opted to keep him dead this time. The one thing that DAYS needs to do is revitalize the show but by keeping the notorious villian Stefano in the mix and front and center they will never be able to move forward. The fans know who he is and that HE NEVER DIES which just makes Days comical in a bad way.

The show should have kept him dead, got rid of Ian, and brought on a new villian but one that is just BAD ASS and not a murderous mob/underworld king pin living in a small town somewhere in middle america. It’s just too much unbelievable crap.

Sure, I like the character but when he just wasnt always sitting around. Now that budgets are TIGHTER than even the number of different characters that could have been brought on in lieu of Mascuolo’s salary would and could have made the show much better. (Speaking of characters, the DAYSaster did nothing to the enormous and dull cast. Gaby, Melanie, Hairy chest doc, Roman, and a slew of others should have died along with Madison or at least left town)

dave
dave

go away paul, stefano rules, he owns u

olivia
olivia

the Hernandulllllllll family should have DIE first and for most. They are epitome of useless and boring characters, shudder..

dg
dg

Thanks for that Jim. Stefano’s storylines are nothing but an insult to any intelligent viewer’s intelligent. That’s why I quit Days just before the shooting. It was a big lame cliche.
I returned to Days for the last reboot. I had quit the show in the mid 90s. It was great to see Deidra Hall, Alison Sweeny and Bryan Datillo again but I quickly got board with all the contrived plots and vapid melodrama that unfortunately have become a staple of soaps over the last 20 yrs. So I turned it off. No looking back.

margie
margie

Si I knew he was alive. Now Ian will get what he So Deserves!! Why did they before his beloved daughter Lexi? Ian’s dish will now be served cold!! Get him Senore’!!

TRACY
TRACY

I hope Kate is right there when it happens too!!!!

Patrick
Patrick

it’s been really touching and affecting… to watch Kate…. she’s really in LOVE, with Stefano… God… after all these years… I liked her with Victor as well… but, it’s Stefano, that really brings Kate, Full circle. ? She’s shown us, her true colors… When Stefano comes home… Kate will be home.

Patrick
Patrick

The DiMera’s are alive and well…. Classic. The epitome of Serial. The one family… to reign supreme in Salem. I cherish what Horton’s and Brady’s are left… however, the catalyst, for what drives story and channels intrigue… are the DiMera’s. I’m beside myself… ecstatic at the prospect.. of the phoenix rising once again from the ashes… and celebrating his brood… his beloved family…. Kristen, EJ, Chad… and the lovely Lex.

Jewals6
Jewals6

I thrilled that Joe Mascolo and his character Stefano has returned to Days. Welcome back .

carol
carol

I am happy too.Welcome back Joe.It is good to have you back.

Maggie
Maggie

So glad the Phoenix is back. Joe Mascolo rocks the role and Salem isn’t the same without him. Can’t wait to find out how his resurrection will be explained this time. Now to reunite Stephano and Kate! An EJ!

MK
MK

Stupid Ian was wearing gloves when he checked the vitals. Ian was too dumb to get rid of the Phoenix permanently.

PridEntONLINE
PridEntONLINE

I’ve missed Stefano. He was one of the legacy characters [along with Marlena Bo & Hope] that brought me back to Days after OLTL & AMC left the air. Since my return to Days I’ve become enraptured by the Will coming out storyline, Brady’s ‘addiction’ etc.

SZima
SZima

NO!
Being a relatively new viewer, I don’t have the history with the character, but what I saw I didn’t care for. It was a nice change to have Stefano gone and EJ conflicted over the situation. What is going to be resolved by him coming back?
Just asking…

olivia
olivia

i like Stefano but i quite agree, seeing Ej being finally his own man and more a grey conflicted character instead of Stefano’s yes man was great and interesting and quite character driven for once now i fear all of that will be take away..sigh..

Rodd
Rodd

Retread. How soon before that tire blows again? Not surprising, since this happens again and again and again. Don’t really care anymore. After the third time, I stopped trusting that the character was really going to be away too long. I like what they had going with Stefano and Kate, but otherwise, couldn’t have cared. Yawn.

Iakovos
Iakovos

Please allow me a yawn. I have come to enjoy DOOL but I tire of the endless death and resurrection stories here (and elsewhere). I love good storytelling but have to wonder why such important life points as marriages, births/children, and death are treated so poorly by daytime drama. People very close to me have died and what I would not give for them to so easily pop up again in my life. It does not happen and to see it on screen so often, well…

kim klinger
kim klinger

I always hoped he would return,I was worried he left because of illness,So glad he’s back!

shebra
shebra

i like stefano, but i would like to see them continue with EJ not being his son, i would like to see where he came from and who he is. but, if he turns out to be stefano’s son and mrs H’s letter was wrong hopefully the other evidence was wrong as well and hope and john arent really still married..

Daisy
Daisy

I really didn’t miss Stefano. I think it has been a better show without him. I knew he would ocme back eventually. I just wish we had more time without him.

Berna
Berna

Oh no!!!! He keeps comin bck and doesn’t hve any good of any1’s lives but himself! I was Glad he was gone. Ian blah but Stefano the only thing I liked abt him was his accent.

TRACY
TRACY

Berna..
No offense but you are loci in the cabesa!! You must have just started watching.. TRUE Long term fans KNOW What Joe/Stefano means to the show!!

Berna
Berna

I have been watching this show since I was 12 yrs old, it was my mother’s favorite show, Im not a new viewer. The only thing I like about him is his accent and how he handles his posser… but the way he treats the HORTONS AND BRADYS I don’t like at all.

Phil
Phil

SPOILER ALERT: Ej IS Stefano’s son! I wonder if that was part of the original plan as well, or is that a fix in response of public outcry? Call me crazy, but I am starting to enjoy DAYS again…I hope it stays this good!

lisa
lisa

YES I am so happy. I don’t think the show would be the same without him ever. There is no villian like stefano!!! His character is awesome. Thank you for returning him. I can watch Days again and like it…

Sonji
Sonji

I love Stephano and I am so glad he is coming back!

cesare jennings
cesare jennings

I am so happy that Stefano is coming back. He makes my day. I hope that he makes Ian pay before Ian’s departure time from the story is completed. Kate deserves some happiness and peace for a change.

olivia
olivia

euh Kate always tries (and sometimes succeeds) to destroy other people’s lives so why should she deserve some hapiness and peace exactly ?!

Matt
Matt

very happy. also glad EJ will really be Stefano’s son. The new writing team is fixing the mess at Days fast.

Dmitri
Dmitri

yes, but they still have to clean up the EJami mess

Lucy
Lucy

Ejami is one of the best thing on this soap, a Brady and Dimera couple : endless potential for storylines involving almost ALL the canvas.

TRACY
TRACY

I hope John is EJ’s daddy! Another fued beteen Stefano and his Pawn and lets not forget.. Kristen/john, Susan.john. susan.kristen… OHHH The possibiliyies are ENDLESS!!!

Patrick
Patrick

@Tracy.

I am giddy with excitement. !!!!!! love your post. I too, hope this is the case… oye! EJ is a DiMera. geez! story after the fact… EJ loves his father… and ditto… with Stefano… it was unbearable to go with the writers… and Joseph Mascolo said as much… and he thanks us… He hated the direction of Stefano disowning his son and “going” before his Alexandra.

The command that Stefano, Kristen, EJ, and Chad will reach…. in Salem… is present. I got you. LOL. Pure camp….escape.

My wish list… is bringing back peter blake… (Jason Brooks)… he would be excellent foible… and temptation for Hope, Billie, and Jenn.

Soaps… do translate real time drama. however, back from the dead… we should just put in the category of Escape… story. IMO. Stefano, belongs, forever on DAYS…. if he chooses to remain with DAYS… like our beloved Mother Horton… Gran. Francis Reid… then so be it. He catapulted DAYS.

DAYS… please! show us more Maggie and Victor… and Justin and Adrienne.

Patrick
Patrick

As difficult as it is to see what’s left of the Brady’s and Hortons’s… it would seem to me… that DAYS… should focus on the DiMera’s and Kiriakis’ CLANS. you have Stefano head to head with Victor…. and their wives… Kate and Maggie…. LOL…. woman to woman… fighting for their offspring. having said this…. and Marlena’s camp….. sammi, will, John etc…. all the elements, and certainly, gifted intelligent actors who captivate.

nancy
nancy

i adore and admire stephano so much he is the core of evil thst’s why they were inable to kill him off for good dool would be boring without stephano joesph mascolo deserves a daytime emmy he deserves one

nancy
nancy

i think they should continue with that story on who is ej’s parents only stephano would know by now who is ej’s parents

Scott
Scott

Stefano should have stayed DEAD. I hate him as a character. He’s better off staying dead. The show has been so much better without him.

Hilda
Hilda

Fantastic, glad Stefeno is coming back!!!!! DOOL is not the same with out him. I hope he had some time to rest and now he can get back to what fans love most,Stefeno!!!!

MBmomof3
MBmomof3

Saw it coming. They don’t call him The Phoenix for nothing. Happy, because I love to hate Stefano, but hope they put an original twist on it.

TS
TS

…… and when is Jack coming back form the Dead???? We all know that he is not dead and will be back.. they would never kill him off either… tick tock…. tick tock… I will try to act surprise when Jack is alive

Brian Greene
Brian Greene

I Knew This Was Coming–LOL! 😀

Thomas_1955
Thomas_1955

Days has “The Stefano Dimera Show” and GH has “The Sonny Corinthos Show”–the more things change the more they stay the same….

Dmitri
Dmitri

Days could also be “The Victor Kiriakis Show”. Well, maybe in the past, but Magic hasn’t been shown in a while. I hear they’re getting scenes soon though.

Dmitri
Dmitri

I wish Stefano stayed dead. But I’m glad that EJ is really a DiMera.

Jared
Jared

Everybody returns from the dead on DAYS. What would DAYS be without that plot element? I wish some talented writers would show us.

Hulet Sherry
Hulet Sherry

If a 64ys young lady could do summer salts from a wheelchair, I would be doing them all over my group home. I love Joe and just hope he takes it very slow. I hope he has a sofa in his dressing room so he can rest or nap between seen

Skyla
Skyla

i’m so ecstatic Stephano is coming back, killing him off however temporary this time was a dumb move, the only worse move MarDar made was making EJ not Stephano’s son though the Ejole reak up & making Nicole completely OOC & hanging with the likes of Rafe & Daniel certainly come close to the top of MarDar’s bad moves. here’s hoping bringing Stefano back is only the begining of Tomllin & Whitesell rectifying the previous writers’ mistakes.

Julie
Julie

My;; Ej and Nicole is maybe one of the worst and boring pairing Days have had therefore it was actually one of the BEST move MarDar did ! So let’s not go there again please !!!! Please, please, please.

Jennifer
Jennifer

OMG those who are not happy about his return are you KIDDING me right now??? This is the best news EVER!!! 🙂

Pauline
Pauline

I cant wait for your return, I dont like Ian he is no Stephano !!!!!

Brett
Brett

Some people are so mardy, of course we want him back!

Tina
Tina

OMG…. best news ever!!

TRACY
TRACY

To all the Stefano haters..
Stefano is one of the reasons that Days is still on, I have been watching my WHOLE LIFE & Days isnt what it is w/out Stefano!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank gawd the pheonix ALWAYS Risers! I for one. cant wait to hear what he has to say to evryone when he’s see’s them for what they said to him in his coffin!!!!

mo
mo

YAY!!!! Is he bringing Jack with him?

Trebleclef
Trebleclef

and to complete this venture, let EJ be his son. Making EJ not his sone didn’t feel right at all.

Glad to see Stephano back. he caters to the older fans.

Maria
Maria

Elated Stefano is returning.

Leanne
Leanne

I LOVE THAT YOU ARE COMING BACK I WAS MAD TOO THAT THEY KILLIED YOU OFF B4 LEXIE AND YOU ARE A GREAT ACTOR I LOVE TO HATE YOU .LOL

Debbie
Debbie

Welcome back Stefano! You’ve been missed. <3

laura
laura

I cant wait for stefano to come back it will clear ej and sami

Andy Gard
Andy Gard

Neither surprised nor excited that one of daytime’s hammiest actors is returning to one of the genre’s most ridiculous roles. Of course Stefano never dies; neither does Wylie E. Coyote in the Road Runner cartoons, which are on a par with Days storylines for derivative repetitiousness.

Darlene
Darlene

I am very happy to see Stefano return again. He is on of the Actors that makes Days. He is one of my favorite Actors on Days. Although I’m
Married. He is very Handsome. And he supports his age very well.
I did not know that he was that old. He carries his age very well.
Welcome back Stefano, welcome back. And do not change
your character, you are one that we love too late. You can really
act. You are truly a great and wonderful actor. He is one of the
Actors that make Days what it is.

Darlene
Darlene

Glad to hear that Stefano is back

bev s
bev s

one thing to say, thank God, life isn’t like this soap. I used to really like DOOL because it dealt with the real issues. But my goodness folks, how many times can one come back from the dead. Come on writers, let’s get real again and start writing like they used too back in the day when you could see your own lives through those in the soaps. This is just getting ridiculous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Marie
Marie

I agree.

Mary
Mary

Real issues? Bev what soap have you been watching? I’ve been watching since the early 80’s and all I ever seen were serial killers, sisters trying to steal sisters husbands, the ISA, pawns, people brainwashed to think they are someone else, and demon possession. This soap has always been a bit out there, plot driven, more than character written. Trying to figure out how Stefano is going to come back alive this time, is part of the fun. This show is pure escapism, I love it. If I want real issues, I will watch the news

Marie
Marie

I know people wanted Stefano back, but how unrealistic the story line. I know its fiction,but come on. I heard that Days of our lives is not so popular anymore could your
unbelievable story line have anything to do with it.

RJ4
RJ4

Stefano/JM is great. He is always right on the mark whatever emotion he is playing or scene he is in, so I am glad he is back, but how many times can one man ‘die’ and comeback? As everyone said, there is no surprise in his return although I did not expect him to be wearing the Hannibal Lecter mask – creepy.

Marjorie
Marjorie

Happy to see Stefano again…..he adds another dimentsion to EJ. Speaking of EJ, who is hotter in TV or the movies???? I want to know!! Love you, EJ.

James
James

I am so glad Joseph Mascolo is back as “Stefano DiMera”. I had no idea he was coming back and was I surprised when I saw him in the chair in the same room as EJ. The show felt really empty without Mr. Mascolo.
Although I realize the day may come when Joseph Mascolo may want to retire, I am glad he is staying with Days Of Our Lives for one more round.

PAUL WILLIAMS
PAUL WILLIAMS

Like this is news????? C’mon now, we all knew it was a matter of time before he’d be back again! I was just wondering when it would be!

Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Promo: What’s Going To Happen At Jarlena’s Wedding Anniversary Shindig?

Coming up next week on Days of our Lives, prepare for drama, drama, and more drama! From the looks of the latest promo for the NBC soap opera, the action takes place at Marlena (Deidre Hall) and John’s (Drake Hogestyn) surprise one-year wedding anniversary soirée, where things could take a deadly turn!

But with the Kristen (Stacy Haiduk) masquerading as “Nicole” plot reaching new heights, Anna DiMera (Leann Hunley) and Tony DiMera (Thaao Penghlis) back in Salem, and the promo telling viewers “For one guest, the party, is over” followed by Sonny (Freddie Smith) yelling, “She’s got a gun!” and Brady’s (Eric Martsolf) ending line, “Oh, my God!” there is plenty to conjecture.

Also seen in the teaser is Kate (Lauren Koslow) trying to rip off the face of Susan Banks (Stacy Haiduk), and Stefan (Brandon Barash) and Gabi (Camila Banus) getting hot and heavy and Eric (Greg Vaughan) yelling, “No!”

So, check out the promo below and then let us know via the comment section below, what you think is about to go down at Jarlena’s party, where last August at their nuptials … things did not go off without a hitch, either!

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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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