On Wednesday May 9, The Paley Center presented "An Evening With Days Of Our Lives." The special event brought together stars Deidre Hall (Marlena Evans), Arianne Zucker (Nicole Walker), Chandler Massey (Will Horton), Lauren Koslow (Kate Roberts), Bryan Dattilo (Lucas Horton), Lisa Rinna (Billie Reed) and Galen Gering (Rafe Hernandez). Alison Sweeney (Sami Brady Hernandez) acted as the host of the event.
The actors discussed the most challenging times on the set, dealing with each other and their sometimes unpredictable characters. Kristian Alfonso said that, "Every storyline has been challenging and unpredictable, which I love." But she's loved every storyline she's been in. In particular, she found playing two different characters (Hope and Princess Gina) "incredibly challenging" and rewarding because she had to leap back and forth between them and even teach her double how to play her character. "I had a ball doing it. It was fantastic," she said.
Galen Gering also had the chance to play two roles. He commented on his time as Arnold, Rafe's evil double, "It was so fun. The worst part about it ultimately became driving her (Alison Sweeney) crazy which I loved in the beginning but then I was like, wow, she’s literally going to go insane." The character meant he also had to learn to leap back and forth, quite literally for the split screen scenes, and find new things for his character to do to distinguish him. "I feel so lucky to have had that experience. I play a good guy and I got to play this total prick and… it was pretty fun! I hope they don’t bring him back… I mean… for you," he joked to Sweeney.
A fan asked Gering how different it was from doing the reality TV series, Dirty Soap. "The hard thing with 'Dirty Soap' was you didn’t know how they were gonna to cut together what you did." That could lead to some surprises when later watching the footage and realizing that it was a different reality from the one he'd actually experienced. "That totally didn’t happen that way. That's interesting," he said, adding, "It would stress you out because you didn’t know what would happen but the cast and crew were great."
The set is also full of practical jokers. Some of Hall's former scene partners were even professional clowns. "I lost my amateur standing with Wayne Northrop (ex-Roman Brady). It went from on-stage to backstage," she said, adding that Eugene Bradford (John de Lancie) was also fun. She opened up about her favorite storyline and admitted it was being possessed by the devil. "I loved possession. It was so much fun for me because Marlena has to be loveable and likeable all the time, and trustworthy, and the devil didn't. It was so much fun to cut loose and killing Bill Hayes and killing Tony and killing Maggie and killing Josh... so much fun to do that and playing with my sister," she gushed.
Deidre Hall went on to talk about the cast and crew being family. She asked on-screen daughter Alison Sweeney what her most challenging scene was. Sweeney admitted she’s really uncomfortable answering questions but remembers her first line was, "Daddy, don't shoot!" She then joked that she's had to say exactly the same line a few times. She discussed all of the changes that come with going through so many different Head Writers, those who have made Sami grow up, for example. The most painful scene for her was when Grace died. "Because I am a mom and my daughter was the same age as the character," she explained, and that made her feel an obligation to tell the story right. "I feel like that really changed who Sami was." Alfonso agreed. She explained that the death of her character's son, Zach, was also very painful for her, especially considering she’s the mother of three boys. Regarding changes to the writing over the years, Alfonso reminisced about how often her character's nicknames for Bo (Peter Reckell) change. Sometimes she's even asked to call him "sweetie." "Hope would never do that. There are definitely some beats that are missed and things that I would not do," she said.
For more from the event, read Cast Interviews From The Paley Center on Soap Opera Fan Blog. Also check out these interviews with Bryan Dattilo and Chandler Massey. And be sure to check out Soaps.com's pictures from the Paley Event.
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- Matt Purvis/Christine Fix
Reporting by Deanna Barnert