November 7th, 2008  |  Leave a comment

“A DAY OF DAYS” CAST INTERVIEWS PART ONE – DAYS OF OUR LIVES

In celebration of the shows 43rd Anniversary on November 8th, “On-Air On-Soaps” will bring you a series of interviews with the cast of Days of our Lives from last weekend’s “A Day of DAYS” fan fest. Here is part one!

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DRAKE HOGESTYN

As John Black, no character and actor in the history of daytime soaps has had so many different reincarnations. How does Drake keep it all straight? Read below from one half of DAYS most popular super-couple.

MICHAEL:

How do you like playing the “new” John Black?

DRAKE:

He is back…emotionally void…. he is loving it too. It’s a lot of fun.

MICHAEL:

But he sort of is showing signs of the “old’ John Black now too. Right?

DRAKE:

He has got a long way to go. He is a half-baked. The experiment really needed another month to run its course for the transformation to be complete. They had to hurry him up for the mission, and so he can say anything to you that is not politically correct, since he does not know what feelings are. Therefore, he can’t possibly hurt your feelings. It’s an interesting place to operate from. He is infatuated by machines because they are precision. He feels emotions are a sign of weakness, and that’s what can get you killed and leave you vulnerable. So he does not want to go to that spot. He is tired of people comparing him to the old John, because he is not equipped to present them for what they need to fulfill themselves. It’s easier to gravitate to people who have never met him before, and therefore they can accept him as who he is now.

MICHAEL:

What does he now feel for Marlena? It seems he has softened up on her!

john-marlena.jpgDRAKE:

I don’t know if he fell in love. It’s an undefined thread that has not been established yet, and that undefined thread is instinctually. There is a pull towards Marlena. From this new John’s existence, Marlena has freed him from the laboratory, but then she had him incarcerated in the hospital. So, she would get kudos there and a strike there, and it went back and forth. He is trying to find people who he can trust, and who he can line-up behind him that are on his side. He is trying to understand why there is this instinctual pull towards Marlena.

MICHAEL:

So your hope is that the path of true love between John and Marlena will be different this time around?

DRAKE:

First of all, they killed me off last year when John and Marlena were warm and fuzzy and do you want to go down that road again? Or do you want to explore a new persona? Now, who is to say, that when I started the show 22 years ago as a medical experiment in Miami called, “The Pawn,” whose to say, if I were to assume another personality it would not be the personality I had 24 years ago before I came to Salem? There are a lot of places he could go. Right now, he is exploring therapy at Marlena’s nudging. The therapist he is seeing says, “What’s wrong with you? You’re fine the way you are!” So she validates everything. So, maybe we can explore this new personality, and instead of being a precision machine- a little bit cyborg and a little bit robotic. We can oil him up and have him smooth out, and yet he still can carry some of the same traits.

MICHAEL:

Are you enjoying it?

DRAKE:

I am enjoying it. It’s hard to keep this character alive, when sometimes the writing wants to go back to the ‘Old’ John, and I can feel it without having any reason why.

MICHAEL:

How is working with your new executive producer, Gary Tomlin?

DRAKE:

From what I know, Gary has performed in all aspects of this business. If you have questions you can go to him. I have not asked him to take a meeting with me, and the writers. I had done that with the previous executive producer when this character first was coming back. And it might be a good time to do it now, because we are trying to turn a corner here, There are different philosophies, and I want to make sure we are all on the same page, and what is important here in soap opera, and where we are looking for a network renewal, and one that we want to keep vibrant and alive, is that you need a connection between the writer and the producer and the talent. If that connection is solid you have a concise idea of what you are bringing to the floor. If that does not happen, and you all have their own independent idea that it can muddy. But that’s what Gary is good at doing between the writer, producer and the talent. With that, you will see a tightening of our show, the characters will be redefined, and some have gotten a little fuzzy, and maybe that is what is happening with this character playing the ‘old’ John.

MICHAEL:

You must have loved being a Dimera!

DRAKE:

John is half Brady and half Dimera which is half good and half bad. For him to walk out of the Dimera Mansion and to say, “Stefano you win, take it all.” I was not on board with that as an actor. That’s not to say we can’t ‘go back at some point.

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MICHAEL:

How do you like working with Joe Mascolo (Stefano)?

DRAKE:

I love Joe, and I am realist from a selfish point of view. This is a boy storyline. Let me play with Joe and we will do that storyline. We are here to sell soap opera, and its boy and girl storyline. I just want to make sure when John and Marlena go down this road again, I just want to make sure, it’s not the same road we have been down ten times. It’s got to have different twists and conflicts. I want the audience throwing things at the TV and I want them to watch, and I want to give them something provocative. I want to challenge myself. I can honestly say, there is no else on this show, who has been on that long a time, without leaving the show, to go explore other avenues. But I have stayed here through thick and thin. I am very emotionally attached to the character and the show. I don’t want to get cheated, and I don’t want the fans to get cheated.

drake-fan.jpgMICHAEL:

How is participating in big fan events like this for you?

DRAKE:

I have always had close relationships with the fans. And I call them, “friends”. I travel around the country
and the world lately, and fans love “DAYS”. When we work on the set, we want someone who is ironing their clothes in Iowa to burn their husband’s shirt getting so mad at us. I want to entertain you all the time! This one particular day is a small way to say thank you in mass, by bringing in the whole cast in here, and have a tremendous turn out like this and thank you for keeping us on the air for


BLAKE BERRIS

As Nick Fallon, Blake has recently gotten to play another side to this quirky off-beat character and now it looks like Nick may have murdered Trent Robbins. Here’s how he is delivering his interesting performances.

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MICHAEL:

What’s going on with Nick? Has he flipped his cookies?

blake.jpgBLAKE:

Has he flipped his cookies? Well, yeah! This stuff was always kind of stuffed down. He kind of showed these obsessive tendencies toward Chelsea, and circumstances can make you do crazy things. That’s the fun part about being an actor, and the more imaginative you have to be.

MICHAEL:

Did you know this was going to happen to your character?

BLAKE:

I had a meeting with Gary Tomlin (executive producer, “DAYS”) a month or so ago. He gave me an inkling of what was going on, and how to kind of set my projections. Other than that, it’s script to script.

MICHAEL:

Some actors on soaps these days do not have the privilege of knowing their characters’ story in advance.

BLAKE:

I was lucky because he did tell me. For me, I like having as much information on the story as possible, because you calibrate your performances by that.

blake-molly.jpgMICHAEL:

How is working with Molly Burnett (Melanie)?

BLAKE:

She is wonderful and a firecracker. She’s ballsy, makes bold choices, and is a ton of fun to work with.

MICHAEL:

How are you tapping into this whacked-out side of Nick, while in your dressing room?

BLAKE:

I will say, I have had to do a lot more preparation in my dressing room! It’s getting pretty creepy in there! (He laughs) It’s great. It has given me the opportunity to go further than I am as a person…. I hope! (He laughs)

MICHAEL:

What about Nick and Chelsea? Recently, you had some scenes with her portrayer, Rachel Melvin.

BLAKE:

I love acting with Rachel, and she is one of the best people to play ping pong with. We have some cool scenes coming up.


BRYAN DATTILO

As Lucas (Roberts) Horton, Bryan has been a fan favorite. His recent love affair with Chloe has been a departure for the character that has always gone back to Sami.

MICHAEL:

How did your comedy performance go last weekend at the ACME Theatre?

bryandatilo.jpgBRYAN:

I heard it was scary and tough, and not easy. It was a lot of preparation and I lived to tell about it! Now, I am a survivor of the ACME Theatre. In all seriousness, it was fun.

MICHAEL:

How do you like these type of fan events?

BRYAN:

I love fan events, because what we do in our job is that we are so hard working and memorizing lines all the time, and we can be frustrated. One can wonder if people care. Then, you come here and people are just fanatical about it. It’s fun!

MICHAEL:

What about Lucas and Chloe? What’s next?

BRYAN:

Lucas asked Chloe to marry him and gave her a ring.  Look forward to a red herring with the possibility of them becoming a united couple taking on the world, and finding true happiness.

MICHAEL:

How did the ‘Sex in the Elevator’ scene go, between you and Chloe?

datilo-signs.jpgBRYAN:

It was tough. We were asked to do some things that are not part of the normal daytime lovemaking scenes. The director gave us the green light, and we did not know when they would yell, “Cut!” We were hoping to be restrained by the directors, and so it was steamy! My grandmother was quite offended by it and did not like it too much.

MICHAEL:

I have never had sex in an elevator, have you?

BRYAN:

I am not even part of the mile high club, so, “No”. I have not yet to take the up and down in an elevator… I would be nervous. Aren’t there cameras in those things? It was weird that everybody on that show had sex in an elevator.


DARIN BROOKS

Max Brady is having a tough time dealing with the murder of his father and his love life could be about to do a 180 as well.

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MICHAEL:

How is the fan fest for you?

DARIN:

People are cool! The best thing about this is, we have not done a big fan event in three years. The last time it was the CMA Music Festival and Rachel and I introduced Montgomery Gentry at Titan Stadium in Nashville. It was really cool. I did not know there would be this many dedicated people.

darinbrooks.jpgMICHAEL:

The current story has been so switcheroo! There was Stephanie and Chelsea. What do you think is going to happen? I think it’s Chelsea/Max!

DARIN:

I think that’s a 50/50er, which could be a choice. Max and Chelsea would be a good option and Max and Nicole would be good together. I would love to work with Ariane, because she is so cool. I would just love to have a scene with her. And there’s Chloe…. I think the only persons Max is not related to on the show are, Nicole and Chloe.

MICHAEL:

What would you love to see happen to Max if you were writing the show?

DARIN:

I think when Max was brought on the show he was a womanizer, and we did not even dabble into it. Now that he has tried the love thing, and tried to be the good guy, I would love to see him go through a downward spiral, because his real biological father died! One of the things I am trying to do with that character is that he had never heard his father say he loved him. When a human being is hoping for that, and let’s say, your father ‘dies’ and they don’t get to hear that, it can be very emotional and hard on someone. Max never heard Trent say, “I love you” and it can make somebody go into a crazy spiral like drinking, or womanizing, or something.

MICHAEL:

“DAYS” seem to be pulling out all the stops with trying to get the renewal with NBC?

DARIN:

We are in a war zone right now, and we don’t know if NBC is going to pick us up. Things look good, but nothing is ever sure.

MICHAEL:

Will “DAYS” wrap up the Trent murder storyline soon?

DARIN:

It should wrap up here soon. Right now we are putting on the finishing touches. I think it will all culminate in a few weeks.

MICHAEL:

You are wearing the cool dog tags from your charity “Tag the World”. How did that all come about and what is “Tag the World”, for those who still do not know.

DARIN:

It’s a charity where I am one of the spokesman and board members. It’s a way to bring all the charities together. There are five different causes: animals, cancer, children, the environment, and Africa. You can go to www.tagtheworld.com , and you can engrave things on these dog tags for a loved one or a lost family member, etc. It’s a sexy, trendy way to wear dog tags and a way to wear a lot of neck junk! I wear a lot of neck junk. (He laughs)


ERIC MARTSOLF

Salem just got hotter as ‘Soap Super Hunk’ Eric Martsolf debut this week as Brady Black. Find out what’s in store from the new 08’ version of Brady, and the very witty Mr. Martsolf.

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MICHAEL:

First of all, I want to commend you for your hosting skills on the DirecTV 101 “Passions” Live Show.

ericmart.jpgERIC:

You caught that? I love hosting.

MICHAEL:

I figured this out…

ERIC:

What have you figured out?

MICHAEL:

That you would also like to be a game show host …..

ERIC:

I thought about it.

MICHAEL:

You would make a good anchor for “Extra” or “ET”, and a great host for a game show.

ERIC:

My parents, who know me pretty darn well, have said the very same thing to me. “You know, why don’t you be Brady Black for the next 30 years and then do a game show?”

MICHAEL:

But, I am thinking you do a game show and be Brady Black?

ERIC:

How about “The Brady Black Show?” How about, “The Price is Brady?”

MICHAEL:

Now seriously, you were cast in the role and inherited it from another actor. How did it all come about? I heard NBC wanted you for the role.

ERIC:

I believe NBC wanted me for the role, but I am not quite sure about that. I have been a recast before; Ethan on “Passions” was a recast. I guess NBC knew that if you need a recast in this industry call Martsolf. It’s a challenge to me, and I want to change fan’s mind. I want them to think of me as Brady, and I will keep the historical integrity of the character, but put my own spin on it.

MICHAEL:

Is he a drug addict?

ERIC:

Apparently, he did some bad stuff and will he have a relapse? I don’t know, but he is coming to Salem clean. He has grown up a lot though, and I guess that’s what doing drugs and going to rehab does to someone.

MICHAEL:

Kyle Lowder, the ex-Brady and now Rick on “B&B”, and you are friends, right?

eric-signs.jpgERIC:

Kyle is a buddy of mine, and Ari is a good friend of mine. The funny thing about Ari and I is that we have a good sense of humor, and we are like two peas in a pod. We are yapping up this dialog and the producers come to us and say, “You are getting along too well right off the bat. You need to have a little more tension and awkwardness!” And to have Ari and I be awkward with each other, is ridiculous.

MICHAEL:

Now we come to the big questions.

ERIC:

He will be taking his shirt off soon, I get it.

MICHAEL:

I would say on “Passions” you had more shirtless scenes than any daytime actor ever!

ERIC:

I had six shirts in my closet the six years I was on “Passions”. I was totally exploited!

MICHAEL:

My favorite was the hospital scenes, where Ethan laid there in a coma with no shirt on!

ERIC:

In a coma, with my eyes open! They had me shirtless and they kept having me pull the blanket further down my torso and it was down to my….. Who? Who is in a coma like this?

MICHAEL:

So, are you OK with being a Soap Hunk?

ERIC:

I get the game. I know what I signed up for and that’s part of it, and I am fine with that.

MICHAEL:

It must be hard being the soap leading man and being able to land roles that are meatier, because of your looks?

ERIC:

It’s hard. In casting in LA you get pigeon-holed, and it’s hard for a guy who has been in soap opera to be taken seriously in primetime and movies. I did an episode for “NCIS” and they were happy with what I did. They actually came to me and apologized and said, “We thought you were just a soap actor… but you are an actor.”

MICHAEL:

How is working with Nadia Bjorlin (Chloe)?

ERIC:

She is not too tough to look at, and she’s kind of cute.


LaurenKoslow.jpgLAUREN KOSLOW

As Kate Roberts, Lauren has portrayed the heck out of her character for over a decade, and now comes the most challenging storyline of her DAYS career.

MICHAEL:

Today, all the actors have said how amazing these major scenes that you just finished taping were!

LAUREN:

I did have major scenes, and they were really exhausting and draining. I got in the car to drive home last Friday and I was a zombie. And this may sound really odd, but this is why we do what we do, and why we became actors in the beginning. It’s just that feeling and it’s a catharsis. It’s all of that, and everybody is doing that. It’s a storyline that is difficult.

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MICHAEL:

Tell us about Kate’s lung cancer storyline, and where we are with it at this point?

LAUREN:

Kate has lung cancer and she has just found out it’s stage-4 lung cancer, and she is dealing with finding out herself, her family, and Dr. Daniel, the ‘hottie” doctor. This is a story that is challenging, and for this story she has to deal with the family in a real way. Kate is trying to make her kids understand that there may come a time when she will not be there for them. She can be very independent. Shawn Christian (Daniel) is a fabulous actor and we have done some grueling scenes. We were on the same wave length, it seems. It’s when you can look into your scene partner’s eyes. He feeds the moment so well.

MICHAEL:

Did you do research on lung cancer to prepare for this storyline?

LAUREN:

I did some research, and unfortunately like most people, I have some family members and friends who have gone through similar things that Kate has gone through. As an actor, I am using that. Then, it’s been the writing that has been good, and from there going moment-to-moment with my fellow actors.


RENEE JONES

As Lexie Carver, one minute you love her and one minute you hate her. Read on to find out how Renee makes Lexie real and her take on the autism storyline,

MICHAEL:

How has it been when you first learned about the autism storyline, and how it is playing out with the pace of the storytelling?

reneejones.jpgRENEE:

I am so happy to have a storyline, and what was so wonderful about it is that we were immediately doing press on it. So, Jim Reynolds (Abe), myself and our head writer Dena Higley, were on a conference call, and her son has autism. She was talking about finding it out in her own life and her dealing with it. Then they
introduce me to “Autism Speaks” and gave me a bunch of literature. Then I watched, “Autism the Musical”, which is a documentary about six families dealing with different stages of autism, and the kids are all autistic. Autistic kids relate really well to music, so in the movie they are putting together a musical. Some families broke up, and some parents were in denial, some were angry at the world for it. I took a bit of each mother, and put that inside of me to play Lexie in this situation.

MICHAEL:

What is happening now with Abe and Lexie? He quits his job and then she quit her job!

RENEE:

What happened is it showed the miscommunication between Abe and Lexie. They both quit their jobs, which they did not have to do. I do hope they will show how expensive all these therapy sessions your child has to have: occupational therapy, speech therapy, and so many things that insurance does not cover in order to do this right. I think they wanted to put the Carvers in that situation and having a hard time affording it. Stefano is in my life again, and he is trying to kind of blackmail me. I do hope they continue with the struggles.

MICHAEL:

So, have you enjoyed this storyline as an actress?

RENEE:

This has been fun because I really hope when people see this that they will be more compassionate for what the parent is going through, and especially what the child is going through.

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MICHAEL:

But Lexie likes everything to be perfect. Having her have an autistic child really threw her off course! She was not good with it.

RENEE:

Lexie likes everything perfect. No, she was not good with it. That’s why I think it’s OK to play the victim, and have the rug pulled out from under you, even though Lexie is not the victim type. I heard a quote that said, “You have to mourn the child you had, in order to get out there and accept the child that you now have.” Now, she is getting better with the situation.

MICHAEL:

I have been so mad at Lexie! She is such a flirt! I thought Lexie might be paired with Dr. Daniel.

RENEE:

That’s what I thought, too, and then they brought him on. The producers called me to the office to tell me, “We have a great story line coming up for you!” and I go, “I know. Yup, it’s with me and Daniel” and they go “No. It’s an autistic storyline.” and I go, what?”

MICHAEL:

I think Abe should kick Lexie to the curb for all her adultery. I also think Abe should cheat on Lexie for a change!

RENEE:

I am feeling like he is weak for taking me back. I would love him to cheat on me, and have to deal with that as a woman. It would make her want him more.

MICHAEL:

How is getting to work with on-screen dad, Stefano again, played by Joe Mascolo?

RENEE:

I love it so much. I love working with James Scott (EJ) and Thaao Penghlis (Tony) as well. Lexie was like an orphan before… well…she had Celeste, but she had no family, and to have such a powerful family is so much fun. I loved when I went to Stefano and said, “This mayor is doing all this. Stop it!”

Want to read the rest of this series? Go to part two

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