Interview: Days’ Brandon Barash Reveals 1st Day Nerves Playing Stefan
General Hospital actor steps into Days of our Lives role.
As Soaps.com has reported, former Johnny Zacchara on General Hospital, Brandon Barash is the new Stefan DiMera on Days of our Lives, replacing Tyler Christopher. He reveals to Soap Opera Digest how he was contacted about taking over the role of Stefan. “I was at lunch with a friend, and I got a call from my manager saying, ‘Can you be at the Days of our Lives set to work tomorrow?’ And I said, ‘I think so.’ And that’s how it happened.” He stepped into the character, who is in the midst of a story involving protecting Chloe Lane (Nadia Bjorlin) from a Mexican cartel that is out to kill her, and Brady Black (Eric Martsolf) and Gabi Hernandez (Camilla Banus), who are trying to take him down. “I remember the first week I worked three days, did six shows, so two shows a day. It was a shock. I mean, I haven’t worked at this pace in four years or so. It was an adjustment. I’m used to doing at most six to eight pages a day. I think my first day I had about, I don’t know, between 20 and 30.” However, he notes the cast and crew made the job easy. “It’s a really special family. They got a good soup cooking over here, so they made it very easy.”
Even though Barash is a veteran of daytime, he admits he was nervous. “I was scared s–tless my first day just because I was like, ‘I don’t know how I’m going to get these 30 pages out.’ Once I got the first sentence out in the first scene, the pressure just lifted and all of a sudden it seemed like, ‘Okay, we’re back.” Fortunately, some of his first scenes were with Martsolf and Bjorlin, who he’s known for years through the soap circuit. His ex-wife Kirsten Storms (Maxie on General Hospital, former Belle Black on Days) was thrilled to hear of his new job. “I told her I was coming over here and she was excited. We would kind of share stories about people that she knew and people that I was just meeting and she’d be like, ‘Oh I love that person.'”
The importance of his character is not lost on the Days of our Lives newcomer. When he first walked on set he reveals, “I saw the portrait of Stefano, and growing up in America, how do you not recognize [the late] Joe Mascolo’s face? He’s kind of like the Eric Braeden (Victor Newman, Young and the Restless) of this show.” With six months between taping and first airing in the role he admits it’s strange. However he revealed, “Like people have been waiting for it and they’ve been excited.” As for what to expect from his Stefan he reveals, “He’s very light and comedic at times and on the other side of that coin, he can be very dark. The fun part is filling in all the other shades in between. Expect the unexpected.”