Soaps.com recently chatted with Christie Clark, who just returned to "Days of our Lives" as Carrie Brady Reed. Find out what she told us about balancing her family life with the show, working with Patrick Muldoon (Austin) again and Carrie's onscreen relationships.
Soaps.com: How is it to be back on "Days of our Lives" and working with Patrick Muldoon again?
Christie: Oh, man, well, it's fantastic. Because Patrick and I started the Austin and Carrie thing and we stayed in contact with each other throughout the years, dear friends, and it's just wonderful to get back with him because it's the Romeo and Juliet thing. He was the bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks and Carrie was the good girl. It's just all there from memory. It doesn’t feel like 16 years ago. I'll tell you that. We still feel like we're the youngsters on the set. But we're not. We're not. It's sad. [chuckles]
Soaps.com: At least you feel that way. That's all that matters.
Christie: Yeah. [laughs] That's true.
Soaps.com: You've popped in and out of Salem over the years. Is there ever any nervousness about returning after a long hiatus?
Christie: No. Not really. I mean, probably the first day you have a bit of nerves, but all the same faces are behind the camera and on the boom. I'd say I know 85 percent of the people that work on the show and I've worked with them for 20-26 years, so it really is like seeing an uncle that I haven't seen for four years and popping right back in. It's shaky to start with just the first day. You think, 'Oh, God. Can I memorize lines anymore? Have I had too much wine recently?' [laughs] That's it. It's probably just the, 'Will my muscle expand and be able to hold these lines?' It's like riding a bike.
Soaps.com: You have two kids now. How do you balance your family life with your work life?
Christie: I'm still trying to figure that out. [laughter] So far it's been great. They've been very accommodating as far as helping me with the scheduling so I can have as much time with my family. They kind of bulk all my shows in together in about three days' time. I shoot for three days and I'm with my family the rest of the time. But it's still fresh. I'm still trying to figure out what the [best plans are].
Soaps.com: Have your kids seen you as Carrie and recognize that it's you on TV?
Christie: Yes. My three-and-a-half-year-old has, my one-year-old daughter has not seen any of it. The three-and-a-half-year-old is very interested in all of it. She knows how to work my iPhone, as most three-year-olds do, and she goes to YouTube because I've starred a couple of my favorite scenes from 1986 with Drake [Hogestyn, John] and Deidre [Hall, Marlena] just so when I'm about to do a scene with them I can slip back into that immediate connection. So she'll go on to my favorites on YouTube and ask me questions about Marlena and John. She'll say, 'Why does your TV dad call you Carrie and not Christie?' Because she likes to pretend, so I say, 'You like to pretend you’re the pizza lady or the water lady. That's just what I’m doing. I just have a different name and that's my TV dad.' And she went and met him. She said, 'I don't want to meet Marlena because she has that thing on her head.' This was from 1986, [Marlena] was in a coma with a bandage on her head, so she didn’t want to meet Marlena.
Christie: [laughs] Yeah.
Soaps.com: How long are Carrie and Austin sticking around Salem this time?
Christie: I don't know. That's a good question. Who knows? You never know in the soap opera world, but I think, we've both got two-year contracts, so we'll see.
Soaps.com: Do you see a difference in Carrie? Do you see her as a stronger character this time around or do you view her as the same?
Christie: Different. Different for sure. I think it all has to do with the writers and Greg [Meng, co-executive producer] coming up with a plan and Noel [Maxam, co-executive producer]. Definitely coming in stronger. Fighting for her family. And they're just really good about not forgetting the history of my connections with John and Marlena or my connection with Sami [Alison Sweeney]. We've had scenes where Sami and Carrie are very interested in finally becoming nice sisters, but you can't forget all that history and they've definitely written it that way, which is so wonderful.
Soaps.com: Do you think Carrie and Sami's truce will last or is there trouble ahead?
Christie: I think people really like to see us fight. I just hope they stretch it out a long time so there's a buildup. So it's a little more heartbreaking if we aren't so friendly later. I hope that we're friends for a while first. That would be nice.
Soaps.com: Do you prefer to play the friendship between the sisters or do you enjoy the conflict more?
Christie: Conflict's more interesting, so as an actor the conflict is fun, but I'm enjoying where it is for the moment, that's for sure. But I'm looking forward to the conflict too. [laughs] If you don’t have kids and you don't have conflict on a soap you're kind of in boringland and [Carrie] doesn't have kids yet so I'm going to work on that.
Soaps.com: Do you foresee Carrie and Austin having kids in the near future?
Christie: Yeah, for sure, but who's the father going to be? Right? [laughs] I'm sure that'll happen. We've had scenes talking about it and I hope so because that's a huge part of what's going on in my life and then what a lot of the viewers that are watching the show, a lot of mommies watch that stuff and can associate with that. I would love to.
Soaps.com: How do you view Carrie and Austin's relationship? Do you think it's a stable one?
Christie: It's definitely stable. It's just incredibly frustrating because I don’t really recognize this Austin at this particular moment. He usually is all about family and stepping up to the plate and having each other's back and he's not doing it for the man that means the most to me in my life beside him. So that's really troubling, but it's not like we're going to break up at the moment because of it.
Soaps.com: Is there anything else you can tease about what's to come for Carrie?
Christie: There's definitely…someone else is catching her eye for sure. That's all I can say, I'm guessing, about that.
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- Lori Wilson