As Days of our Lives is now a few weeks into their reboot bringing many longtime favorites back to the fold, viewers are starting to see the beginning seeds of many stories being planted for some time to come. One of the biggest returns was bringing the popular original supercouple pairing of Austin and Carrie back to the screen. One half of the duo, Christie Clark (Carrie) has taken a few trips to Salem over her career. She is back again in the fall of 2012, this time making Carrie Brady Reed more of a force to be reckoned with a distinct new career direction and fighting for justice.
On-Air On-Soaps had the chance to catch-up with Christie today. When we spoke to the earthy and honest actress, we got into the latest developments affecting the lives of Carrie and Austin, Sami and Rafe, and John Black. Plus, what it was like for Christie coming back to DAYS and working with her first leading man, Patrick Muldoon (Austin). Here’s what Christie had to say about it all!
Have you seen the show since the reboot? You had to wait a long time to see your work on-screen!
CHRISTIE: I did. I saw last week’s airshows, but I did not have a chance to check out my DVR this week. So, I don’t even remember what we have done! (Laughs) It seems like so long ago. It is kind of exciting for us in the cast to watch now.
Why the decision to come back to DAYS now? Was it just good timing for you? Or, did the stars just align?
CHRISTIE: A little of both. It seems to always happen that way for me with DAYS. I left in 1998. I went traveling, and studied some Shakespeare, and then I met my husband. Next, I kind of came back into Los Angeles while he was working up in San Francisco. I was twiddling my thumbs a little bit and then DAYS popped up again. Then, that ended and we decided to have a baby, and now we have two children. I love being a mommy, but it is nice being fulfilled artistically as well. Now I go back and forth from San Francisco to Los Angeles. I dip in and I dip out and it’s fantastic. I like both spots. I like L.A. for the obvious reasons of the nice weather and where my industry is, but San Francisco is about clean air and has a lot of Granola and hippie-types, and is more flavorful for me.
What was it like working with Patrick Muldoon again? It had to be trippy after 16 years!
CHRISTIE: It was really, really trippy! First of all, we think we are still the age we were, and then we look at each other and go, “Oh crap. We are not twenty anymore!” So that is a trip. Then, all of the memories we have. We are in the same building where everything happened 16 years ago. So we have all those fun times to reflect on, and it’s weird. It feels like 16 years have truly flown by!
I think though having Patrick back is very special too. Austin Peck did a good job at making the role his own, but I think Patrick held a special place in people’s hearts.
CHRISTIE: Yes. I heard that and think that, too. But I felt bad for Austin Peck, because when someone originates a role like Peter Reckell did with Bo Brady, for most people if they are really good, that is thee “Austin” or thee “Bo”. It can be hard for another actor coming in and making these signature roles their own.
And it had nothing to do with the actor that replaced them; it had more to do with who the fans identified with the roles. You were replaced at one time too!
CHRISTIE: Yes, I was. But first I replaced Andrea Barber, and then Tracy Middendorf came in for a year…
… That’s right and we all went, “Who’s this?” (Laughs) So now Carrie is a defense attorney! When you found out that you were going to be a “defense attorney” were you like, “bring it on I can do all this legalese?” Or, “Oh crap. Now I am going to have to learn this type of dialog?”
CHRISTIE: My first reaction was that I called Patrick and he called me. We found out what are jobs were going to be … and he is a Forensic Accountant!
…Which, if you listen to my last podcast with Patrick as special guest, just cracked me up!
CHRISTIE: We did, too! We just were cracking up thinking that these two professions were the two furthest things from either of us. But when it scares you, it’s a good thing. So it really scared the both of us, and I of course, was scared to learn all the lawyer jargon. However, I went and visited my wonderful girlfriend in San Francisco who was a defense attorney. From day one, I said, “OK, I can do this. I see these people and all is well. They are not that much different than me.” After that, I wasn’t scared at all.
So you have done some courtroom scenes now, and when you got to the point of saying, “Well, your honor…” … were you thinking, “This is so surreal?”
CHRISTIE: Yes! I was thinking that this was so surreal and even more than that. But it was such fun to get into those powerful business suits. (Laughs)
Yeah, she is a “smarty pants” which is great! Now you can kind of see coming up that Rafe and Sami’s relationship could be headed for trouble, and Carrie and Austin’s, since these two came back onto the canvas. It seems like Rafe and Carrie are being thrown together in all sorts of circumstances. Next week, Rafe gets fired and he contacts Carrie with vital information about John! Carrie follows up on Rafe’s lead. So don’t you think this clearly points to something?
CHRISTIE: It seems like that is a direction that could take place between Carrie and Rafe, but what is great about our new head writers is that we don’t really know. I mean, I am working with Galen Gering (Rafe) a lot and our characters are on the same page fighting for John, because Rafe fights for his family, and so we are connecting for sure.
And Austin is reconnecting with Sami, because we know she does not like John, and Austin has evidence to prove John’s guilt in the embezzlement and fraud charges!
CHRISTIE: Yes. Austin and Sami are finding a connection again, but they have not had too many scenes yet. So, I do not if that is the direction they are going to take. Carrie and Rafe are definitely working together, bonding, and having fun.
Now you know, if you got to have a sex-scene with Galen, you would be happy with that!
CHRISTIE: (Laughs) I think that would be swell sure! I like to make sure I have sexual tension with anyone I have scenes with.
Of course! Because in soaps the actors need to play that into their scenes if they want to indicate to the writers a pairing they think would work, or to show the writers how the pairing they have chosen will register on the screen to the viewers at home. And, most importantly if the fans will buy into it.
CHRISTIE: Exactly! And if the fans want it, great!
Have Alison Sweeney (Sami) and you had any bitch-fights yet as Sami and Carrie?
CHRISTIE: No, not yet. But you know people love that, so I am sure it will happen at some point. I am so enjoying that we are trying to get along, and trying to be the sisters we secretly always wanted to be, but we both find each other difficult to get along with!
I think that is true to life in families. Now on soaps and with you two, there may be a heightened sense of disgust with one another. I think there is that in family dynamics where siblings try to tolerate each other, but in the end it wears off and they go back to the old feelings they have for one another. Try as they might!
CHRISTIE: Yeah, and you just know how to push each others buttons.
I just never knew how Carrie could ever forgive Sami for all the heinous things she did to her!
CHRISTIE: No, and Carrie is trying and has always wanted to, but she was young back then and Sami seems so different now. I am playing it that Carrie does not trust her. I am so pleased that the writers have written that way. If I would just go back and trust Sami right away, that would be lame. They have written it very well.
What I want to see for you now is that Carrie would have a backbone, and not become that wimpy wipe-the- floor-with-her kind of girl again?
CHRISTIE: I agree. I want to know who the mastermind behind all of this is. I feel like it’s our co-executive producer, Greg Meng. I want to know who our Wizard of Oz is, and I am not sure. But honestly, I do think it’s Greg. He really loves Days of our Lives. Somebody is doing what the fans have always wanted. For one thing, they have always wanted Carrie to have a backbone, and they have always wanted the connection with Drake and Deidre as John and Marlena. Everyone wants to see Carrie, John, and Marlena, and that is who I grew up with, or Bo and Hope. I worked with them for years. We are now acknowledging each other and working with each other in terms of family, and it’s great!
Had you seen Deidre Hall (Marlena) and Alison since you had been away from daytime?
CHRISTIE: I had seen Ali, but unfortunately during my time away, Dee and I did not get a chance to see each other. It’s wonderful to see her again.
While you have been gone, Alison’s career has taken off more … and more … and more!
CHRISTIE: She has turned into quite the business lady and entrepreneur and I am loving watching that, and so impressed by her.
As we wrap up, if you were to describe Patrick Muldoon what would you say? And, most especially for all those Carrie and Austin fans who are very excited that the two of you are back in Salem?
CHRISTIE: I would say, Patrick is a romantic, animalistic Marlon Brando from “Streetcar!”