Yesterday, On-Air On-Soaps participated in a conference call with DAYS stars, Crystal Chappell and Peter Reckell, about Crystal’s return to DAYS as Dr. Carly Manning and the rekindling of the Bo/Carly Romance and story. In a roundtable style conference call set up by NBC, journalist participants took turn asking the stars questions concerning the upcoming storyline and their excitement over the opportunity to work together again after many years. Here is the transcript!
Since you left Days of Our Lives originally, you know, going to different soaps is there – are each one of them different? Is it a different feel? And how does it feel to be back on the Days set?
Crystal Chappell: Oh, you know, they’re all different. I think between my husband I we’ve done six, seven or eight soaps. Yeah, so every environment is different. But the process is pretty much the same so with the exception of Guiding Light the last year and a half that was very different. But, yeah, I mean it’s all good. It’s all what you make of it. And as far as coming back, I mean, I’m thrilled. I’m having probably the best time that I’ve had in years. It’s really, really been fun to play this character again and work with everybody again.
Well that’s great. And, you know, the soap audiences are changing as far as, you know, GUIDING LIGHT going off the air and do you think Internet is kind of the way to go? I mean you’re doing your show VENICE; is that kind of you think where the future is?
Crystal Chappell: I think daytime will be around for a very long time. I think it’s going to have to adapt to the changing, you know, economy and changing viewership. But if it can do that I think it can have a long life. I don’t want to see it go away because I find comfort in knowing that they’re there to be able to turn on my TV during the day and follow some, you know, my favorite stories. But, yeah, I mean, with that there’s the Internet and that’s – that’s moveable, that’s immediate. You can tune in any time you want. So, yeah, it’s a different way to watching, you know, TV shows or shows. I don’t know if that answered your question.
Tell us a little about Carly and Bo. When you were first on Days what were your first reactions to Bo the character and to Peter Reckell?
Crystal Chappell: Well Peter was – Peter’s just a kind guy, so, you know, it was very easy to work with him. And I think we have a nice easy energy with each other and learned to trust each very quickly out on set. And the character of Bo is just that classic, you know, hero. He’s the guy you want around. He’s the guy you want as a friend and as a romantic partner. And, you know, he’s that perfect guy. So…
And now you’re returning to the show in very imperfect conditions because you need – your help – you’ve killed someone is that right or tell me the thing that kind of throws you together again.
Crystal Chappell: Yeah, she kills someone. She knifes her husband but let’s no – that was really an accident. No, she, yeah, she obviously that’s not who she is, she’s a doctor, she’s someone who saves lives. But so something major – there was a major threat for her to do something like that. And she knew that Lawrence would be the person to follow through on his threat so the only way she could save someone that she loves is to eliminate him and get out of there. He basically held her captive so she had to get out of there, it was the only way for her to get out to go find someone to help her protect that person that she’s trying to save. So, yeah, Bo and Justin were the two people that she thought of.
Yeah. And so returning to Carly and Bo and the situation like this and there’s such peril and so forth, I mean, what’s that like? What’s it like to play the character now?
Crystal Chappell: Well I love that she’s come back and she’s imperfect. I love that she – she seems to be really, really good at the doctor thing and then just a total loser when it comes to relationships. So I appreciate that about a soap character. But, yeah, as much as she would like to think that she can handle everything on her own. She needs Bo and knows that they’ll come through.
So first off for Crystal you’ve mentioned that it’s kind of been nice coming back. Has it been really easy to get back into character or have you had to try to kind of work your way back in?
Peter Reckell: Now tell the truth.
Crystal Chappell: Tell the truth, it’s hard. You know what it is I wanted to come back but I wanted her to be different. I wanted her to be different so I sort of still finding my legs a little bit although I sort of feel now like I’m getting it. But everyone’s so nice and even just working my way back into this format has been kind of jarring because we were on hand-helds for a year and a half on Guiding Light so but everyone’s been great.
Oh that’s great. And Peter how has been having her back, this love interest that you have a history without Zach coming back.
Crystal Chappell: Be honest.
Peter Reckell: Yeah, there you go. There’s two levels, first of all just Bo and Hope have been together for so long and the writers have found it difficult to make our stories interesting. And bringing Carly back just – the character of Carly back makes it – obviously makes it a lot more exciting and interesting on a lot of new levels that, you know, when Crystal was here before we didn’t have, you know, because Hope wasn’t here. And so there’s a lot, you know, there’s a lot of history with both these women and so it’s pretty intense. And then on the other level of, you know, working with an amazing – two amazing actresses it’s – it makes my life fun.
Yeah, I bet. And Crystal are you worried at all of becoming like the most hated woman in America or something because the whole Bo and Hope thing they’re so like… they’re Bo and Hope it’s like they’re so perfect for each other, they’ve been together for so long and then here you come churning up the pot.
Crystal Chappell: Well first of all who could hate me I mean really, it’s just ridiculous talk. No, you know what, I spent ten years on Guiding Light and never getting to die. And I could really – it used to bother me – people used to come up and just say nasty things to me. And I played a nasty character. I mean she was just mean and evil and bitchy.
Peter Reckell: How much fun is that?
Crystal Chappell: So, it was so much fun I guess that’s my point is that I’d rather be the girl who loses. I’d rather be, you know, the one who stirs the pot. I have no issue with that whatsoever. And the fans are smart, you know, they’re really, really smart; they know that this, you know, ultimately Bo and Hope are going to live happily ever after.
But it gives them stories, it gives them a chance to, you know, watch a great story with their favorite couple.
Peter Reckell: Yeah, it just makes a perfect love story when the circumstances are what stirs the pot; it’s the circumstances more than the characters because the, you know, Carly was here when Hope wasn’t here. So there’s, you know, it’s kind of, you know, it brings in a whole different level.
Crystal Chappell: Yeah, Bo and Hope are fighting their way through something anyway. And so it’s just the timing of it that all this is happening at this particular time. But it’s a good story.
Peter Reckell: Yeah.
For Crystal, you know, last time we saw Carly she had been buried alive.
Crystal Chappell: Oh that.
Are they going to play ramifications of that? And also you just mentioned that her husband was holding her captive so what is it with her that people want to imprison her?
Crystal Chappell: That’s a really good question. She’s just kind of a wild thing isn’t she? I don’t know why they want to hold her captive, lock her up in little boxes. We do talk about the buried alive thing. The relationship was Carly and Vivian is so delicious, it’s so much fun to do.
And they joke about it, you know, the two of them. So it’s certainly going to be discussed. But, you know, they’re on to a whole another…
Peter Reckell: Was Vivian responsible for you being buried?
Crystal Chappell: Oh yeah, she’s buried me alive.
Peter Reckell: Oh nice. I wasn’t aware of that.
Crystal Chappell: Yeah, yeah. And Lawrence dug me up so there you go. I know isn’t that funny?
And Peter, you’ve been on the show quite a while, now do your fans – your current fans remember Carly or what kind of response are you getting from them about this new storyline?
Peter Reckell: I actually was really surprised of the response because the news came out when I went to New York on a – sort of a publicity tour for the Emmys and so I got to speak to a lot of fans and people like yourself. And almost everybody I spoke to was really, really excited about Crystal coming back to the show.
You’re both such wonderful artists. Both of your characters are very powerful with great leadership qualities and a well conveyed sense of independence. But who is the one person in your opinion who would have the most influence over your character? By that I mean another character.
Peter Reckell: I’m pretty strong headed so probably my daughter because I want the best for her. You know, I want my life to go in a way that will not hurt her. I was just thinking out of my own life on the way here.
Crystal Chappell: Yeah definitely. I don’t know, I’ll have to figure that out. I’m not quite sure yet who that person would be. I think she’s been pretty isolated for a long time so…
So do you think that Carly would turn mostly to Bo for advice or is there anybody else she might turn to?
Crystal Chappell: Sure, I mean, yeah, I think that she, you know, sort of being new to Salem again that he’s the person that she would go to because she knows him and she trusts him and he knows her and she’s aware of that, that she can tell him anything. And, yeah, probably, that would be Bo.
And for Peter who do you think would be the one person that Bo would turn to for advice?
Peter Reckell: Right now it’s kind of cool because there’s really nobody. I’m helping Carly so it’s – actually today we’re doing scenes about that where I’m, you know, Carly comes into town and she’s kind of a mess and so I feel good because I can help her but at the same time I’m frustrated because I usually go to Hope and our – we can’t have – we can’t talk anymore… so right now I’m kind of up in the air, kind of in limbo.
Do you think that Carly and Hope could ever become friends?
Crystal Chappell: Sure.
Peter Reckell: Both very powerful women and strong characters so, yeah.
Crystal Chappell: They’re not…
Peter Reckell: If that Bo guy wasn’t around to make…
Crystal Chappell: They’d totally hook up…
He might just be out.
Peter Reckell: Yeah.
Crystal Chappell: Yeah, I mean, it isn’t a mean spirited group – there isn’t the, you know, the evil interloper, it’s just like Peter said it’s the circumstances of their lives right now.
Crystal, wonderful having you back on the show. Great to see you back as Carly Manning. And one of the things that always has intrigued about your character is not just the Clary and Bo interactions but also the Carly and Vivian interactions as well. And one of the things that I’m wondering if you would like to have addressed on the show is I believe Carly has a son, Nicky, right?
Crystal Chappell: She does, yes.
Yeah would you like them to maybe have Carly’s son come back into the forefront which could kind of elevate more of the Carly and Vivian relationship?
Crystal Chappell: The more the merrier. Yes. Although, you know, at least at this point it’s perfect that it’s just Carly and Vivian. They have some catching up to do.
Crystal Chappell: Yeah. There’s some issues to resolve.
Yeah, that issue of being very alive. I think they have to settle right?
Crystal Chappell: I know, she’s so strange. She must have been (unintelligible) too. That’s what I’m thinking. Yeah, it’s a really fun relationship, Vivian and Carly. And it’s very serious, Vivian is a real threat. So – and, you know, as strong as Carly likes to think she is, you know, she’ll start to crumble; she’ll start to break down under the pressure and we’ll be there to help her.
Okay. Very good. And Peter, last time we talked – if I can ask this – I know we talked before about your guest stint on 30 ROCK. Do you have any idea who you’re playing yet?
Peter Reckell: Oh yeah I’m playing Bo, you know.
You are playing Bo?
Peter Reckell: Yeah, it’s – yeah. It’s – one of the characters on the show 30 Rock likes Days of Our Lives. And so that character turns on Days of Our Lives and they see Bo and Hope do one of their, you know, do a scene.
So is it a scene that they specifically written for that episode, it’s not…
Peter Reckell: Yeah, yeah. It’s a scene that they wrote for the show. It’s kind of tongue in cheek. It’s really cute. Some time in the beginning of February I think is when they said it’s going to air.
So Louise Sorel we saw her first on air, the audience, on Friday ripping up your picture, Carly’s picture. Have you actually taped scenes with her yet? And also when you were brought back in and you were going to sign your contract with Days and come back did you know that they were going to bring Vivian back to be a nemesis of yours?
Crystal Chappell: Yes, we’ve had scenes. We’ve had some really, really great scenes. They’re writing it – with a lot of, I mean, it’s intense. But there’s humor in it too. So it’s – these are two – these are – they’re good adversaries, you know, they’re both strong women and, you know, Carly has got a murder under her belt so she’s… Oh that silly murder. So she’s not the same woman that she was. So it’s a pretty evenly matched relationship. And no I didn’t know – I didn’t know – I signed my contract in June and then Louise called me, I don’t know, four weeks later or something like that, six weeks later and said they want me to come back. And that was great, it’s like perfect, you know. And especially I knew what the beginning of the story was so it made sense that Vivian would come back and, you know, avenge her nephew’s death.
And also you had scenes with Galen Gering when you helped him – medically helped him. Could we see that possibly she might become involved with his character as well?
Crystal Chappell: Well one can hope. He’s just so ugly, God help us. I don’t just poor thing; poor thing. Yes, I mean, I actually have scenes this week where we cross paths again. I don’t know where it’s going to go but… they’ll be friends. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I don’t know, I have no clue.
And Peter, you’ve got Crystal back and – Kristian back and what do you think – previewing Bo’s kind of thoughts – would he let himself truly – would he ever admit to himself he’s truly fallen in love back with Carly or will that be really hard for him to do if that comes to that because of Hope? Would he allow himself to feel what he’s going to feel? Is he going to be all conflicted and not know what to do eventually?
Peter Reckell: Oh yeah, it’s a perfect soap opera story. There’s all that conflict and turmoil and, you know, which direction do I go because, you know, when Carly was around before Hope wasn’t around so I’d let myself, you know, I totally fell in love with her. So the – it’s a huge – between a rock and a hard place – my problem here. You know, the fact that Bo and Hope are having problems makes me and Bo lean, you know, obviously the feelings for Carly just start to come up.
And then for both of you, you played – how long were you on with Crystal, the time you were on, and then Robert Kelso Kelly was on, right, so there was like a whole – did you guys have to figure out like what you were – where you were in the story with each other or the past when you were going back to these characters?
Peter Reckell: Oh yeah.
Crystal Chappell: I’m still confused.
Peter Reckell: And I’ve actually got a DVD sitting here on my desk reminding me of what our relationship was. You know, it was the whole wedding ceremony down in Chichen Itza and stuff. So it was pretty intense. So, yeah, it’s powerful stuff.
So I just wanted you to reflect on that because I read about how this coming weekend you’re going to be at that fan event. And I remember way back when you came back and did a hometown concert and one girl drove 650 miles from Montreal to see the concert and so forth. So if you could kind of reflect on first those early days and nowadays too as far as what – what are the fan reactions like? What kinds of reactions do you get when you just meet them at random like this?
Peter Reckell: Well I’ve been very fortunate, you know, it’s changed over the years because at first everybody’s screaming Bo, Bo, Bo and now it’s, you know, I’ve been around for so long that people now know my name and so they say Peter, hey, Peter and stuff.
And that – I have such fond memories of that event that my mom kind of helped put together and, I don’t know, I’ve just been very fortunate. I don’t know if Crystal has experienced this but the fans of Days of Our Lives are very passionate and loyal and they’ve put up with an awful lot over the last years but I think the show has really come together in this last few months to give them what they like. And so a lot of the fans that had left the show from the 80s and 90s are starting to come back and loving the kind of show that we’re giving them.
Yeah, it’s interesting to get an Emmy nomination after playing this guy for so long. That’s cool. First of all what was your first reaction when they first gave you the Bo character. What did you – because he was so different from TV standards then. And how is it that you think he’s evolved into this character now that, you know, has different layers so on and so on?
Peter Reckell: Well in the beginning I was just a naïve actor doing what I do and thrilled to have a job. And, you know, dove into it head first and did everything I could and just – and just having a blast. And the thing is is it really hasn’t changed that much, you know. I know the system a little better obviously these days. But the work we do it’s the same thing, I mean, you know, we go in and just play and have a great time. You know, Crystal coming back we’re building a new relationship here because obviously we’re more mature characters and actors and so the love relationship we had 10, 12, whatever many years ago it was is obviously, you know, going to be on a whole different level. So it’s, you know, we – I think Crystal coming back, man, we get to go in and have a blast.
Crystal Chappell: A lot of fun, a lot fun.
And just real briefly do you get to sing in public much anymore and how often do you ride your bike to work and how long does it take you to do that?
Peter Reckell: Well on the first part of that, once I married Kelly and found out what real singers are and what real musicians are like I sort of went… yeah, I had fun with that but I guess I’ll just stick to the acting thing because I’m – I do a little better with that. And riding my bike, I don’t do it quite as much. I had a pretty bad accident a couple years ago riding to work actually. So that part I stick to riding my mountain bike on the weekends and if I get lucky I’ll get out for a couple times during the week but it’s only like once a week now that it ride my bicycle into work.
This is a question for Peter. How would you characterize the differences between Bo’s relationship with Carly and Bo’s relationship with Hope like overall?
Peter Reckell: Well the Bo Hope, you know, that whole relationship started when we were both pretty young. And it’s kind of a first love – the depth and, you know, weight that that carries. And then the Carly relationship, you know, it was more of adult relationship and, you know, it’s kind of really. I guess that’s it, you know, there’s the first love and then there’s the love that comes after that.
And for Crystal which fan base is harder core – the Days fans or the Otalia…
Crystal Chappell: Oh you’re going to get me to answer that question. Yeah, it’s not going to happen. I will say this, I’m very aware of how passionate the DAYS fans are. And what better fan to have than a passionate fan; you want that fan base. The Otalia fans are incredibly loyal and supportive. And I’m just happy to have fans damn it.
Peter Reckell: And they seem to have all followed you over to this show which is cool.
Crystal Chappell: They’re all – they’re all terrific so, you know, I’m just happy to be here and, yeah. I’m happy.
Since Lawrence is played by your real life husband, Michael Sabatino, what was it like killing him on camera?
Crystal Chappell: Well, you know, dreams – no I’m not going to say that. You know, it’s weird – it was so weird. It was weird. And, you know, it was one of those things where you go, oh, of course, you know, it’s nothing that ever crossed my mind but he was such a good sport about it because I completely stuck a plastic blade into his gut and totally missed the stunt pad. And – but no it was weird. And I would never let my kids – if my kids saw that that would just scar them for life so mommy killing daddy. That’s terrible.
One brief final question; the rumors are the show has been renewed which is wonderful. Can you comment on that?
Peter Reckell: Wa-hoo.
Crystal Chappell: Yeah, I’ve heard the rumor, is it true? I know nothing.
Peter Reckell: That’s the first I heard so.
Crystal Chappell: I’ve heard rumors but I know nothing.
Do you ever, you know, just go in and say could this really happen in the real world? And then for my second question I would just like to know one thing you think that never happens on a soap that happens routinely in real life.
Peter Reckell: Well, let me start with – I never mix up reality with what we do on TV. And it never really – it doesn’t even come into my thought process about reality and what we do here on the show; it’s, you know, they’re obviously two very, very different things. So and that gives me the freedom to just be human and the only reality is as far as I’m concerned is just the reality of being a human being. But the circumstances and the things that we do reality doesn’t come into my consciousness.
Crystal Chappell: You know, I’ve kissed more people – my baseline career, it’s weird being an actor sometimes, you know. But, yeah, it’s all suspended beliefs and that’s what makes it fun. You know, we touch upon little real things, you know, relationship… conflict, love. All of it, it’s heightened, it’s distorted and, you know, hopefully makes for better story than real life.
I have a question for both of you, maybe Crystal you can go first. If you had your wish and you let your imagination run away with you, something that I actually try not to do unless there’s a dinner in it first, but anyway, let your imagination run away with you and if you had your way what would you like to see happen for Carly coming up over the next six months or so?
Crystal Chappell: Oh, I don’t know. I, you know, I like telling a love story. And, you know, with real good conflict and – I don’t know maybe some adventure. I wouldn’t mind going back to Mexico and shooting there.
Peter Reckell: Dreamer.
Crystal Chappell: I have a big budget right, in my imagination. Huge budget, so, yeah, I mean, I would love to go on some kind of location and do some kind of adventure story. It’d be a blast.
Sounds great. How about you Peter, what would you do?
Peter Reckell: Right along the same lines, you know, we used to do some pretty outstanding things when we could go out on locations and stuff, I mean, for example the Bo and Carly thing going to Chichen Itza, that was like what the heck. I’ve had some great adventures while working. So, yeah, something like that would be astounding, yeah.
And one last question, if you guys have any shout-outs to your fans what would you like to say to them or share with them about your, you know, current Carly and Bo storyline? Crystal, why don’t you go first.
Crystal Chappell: Oh, you know, I’m just – I’m so grateful for their support and just how lovely and passionate they are.
Peter Reckell: Oh I think, come on by on November – or next weekend and say hey, that would be perfect.
Crystal Chappell: Yeah.
Peter Reckell: You know, talking to the fans is really, really great. And to look in their eyes and see them one on one and hear what they have to say it’s great so come on by.
Crystal, how would you describe Carly when you played her before and how would you describe her now?
Crystal Chappell: Oh she – before, you know, she was younger, I think tightly wound and I don’t think she had a real good sense of who she was other than the doctor thing. You know, she only used that part of her brain. But now it’s, you know, she’s kind of had years of life experience, raised a child and just ended up in a very, very bad marriage and so she’s a little harder around the edges. And she also has a sense of humor about it so it’s much looser, a much more fun experience for me this time around.
Yeah. Peter, basically the same question for you; you played Bo all this time, how would you describe Bo now as opposed to the renegade that you started playing him as?
Peter Reckell: Yeah, back then, you know, when I came back to the show a couple years ago and Bo was a cop I was like what the – that’s the furthest thing from my mind; I never thought Bo would be a cop, you know, because his relationship with Roman was Roman was the cop and the white knight and rebelled against that and here I am a cop and now I’m one of the top cops. And it’s like what the heck? How did I get here? And but it’s been a natural progression. And, you know, maturing, having a family and being responsible but there’s still the – I think that renegade is still in there. And I’m hoping and thinking that with this storyline with Carly that that might come out a little bit more again.
I just have a quick little question for both of you. Now that it’s already November which is kind of crazy and Thanksgiving is coming up what are you guys most thankful for this year?
Crystal Chappell: Oh, wow, I have a great family. And I’ve got lots of work. That’s always good. These days where people are really, really struggling I’ve got just an embarrassment of riches in my life and I’m hugely thankful for that.
That’s fabulous, Peter.
Peter Reckell: Pretty much the same thing, yeah. My little girl just turned two last weekend and I’ve got a beautiful talented loving wife and I’ve got a job that is exciting and I love. So, you know, life couldn’t be any better.