Days of Our Lives Exclusive: Deidre Hall Warns That the Next Marlena Story Will Have Fans Saying, ‘I Don’t Even Know If I Can Go for That!’
“I’ll be curious to see how this plays out” with the audience, the daytime legend admits.
When it comes to soapy storylines, it’s safe to say that since joining the cast of Days of Our Lives back in 1976, Deidre Hall has played ’em all. In fact, she’s played at least a few that we’re pretty sure nobody else on daytime can lay claim to. Who but Marlena can say that one of her daughters (Sami) tried to sell the other (Belle) on the black market? And don’t get us started on the whole possession thing!
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But what’s coming up is so different from anything Hall has played before that she’s actually a little nervous! While chatting with the iconic actress on the red carpet at the Daytime Emmys, Soaps.com correspondent Kristyn Burtt asked if there’s anything Marlena — long the moral compass of Salem — could do that fans wouldn’t accept.
The answer was not what Burtt expected. After a long pause, Hall revealed, “We’re on the verge of some of it. We’ve got something coming up in… about three months. You’re going to go, ‘I don’t even know if I can go for that!'”
Asked what it’s like to receive scripts which take things in so unexpected a direction, Hall admitted, “I never believe that it’s the actor’s job to dictate story. I believe it’s the actor’s job to interpret what’s on the page and make it come to life.
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“But,” she added with a twinkle in her eye, “these next few months? I have had such a rockin’ good time, and it’s gonna be all on the screen. It’s coming!”
As to what fans will think of the top-secret storyline, Hall isn’t quite sure. “I’ll be curious to see how this plays out,” she said, adding in a sly tone, “I’m treading a little lightly here!”
To hear what Hall has to say about a variety of topics ranging from new co-star Jackée Harry (“She’s a pip!”) to the guidance she happily offers newbies when asked, click PLAY on the video above. Then check out the gallery below in which we flash back to just some of the many, many highlights of Marlena’s time in Salem. And make sure to watch this year’s Daytime Emmys telecast, airing Friday, June 25, at 8/7c on CBS.
<p>In 1976, Dr. Marlena Evans hung her shingle at University Hospital and did her darnedest to help Mickey Horton recover from the nervous breakdown that he’d suffered upon learning that son Mike… well, <em>wasn’t</em> his son.</p>
<p>Marlena’s romance with wealthy attorney Don Craig was complicated by the arrival on the scene of her twin sister, Samantha. The green-eyed monster so envied her sibling’s life that she had Marlena institutionalized and flat-out stole it!</p>
<p>Once Marlena’s identity crisis was resolved, she and Don tied the knot and were all set to live happily ever after. Unfortunately, fate, as it so often does, had other plans for the couple.</p>
<p>Not only did Marlena make peace with Samantha, she made room in her heart for Don’s surprise daughter, troubled teen Donna Temple (who — fun fact — was played by Tracey E. Bregman on her way to the role of Lauren Fenmore on <em>Young & Restless</em>).</p>
<p>Marlena and Don’s marriage had withstood one blow after another. But it couldn’t recover from the heartbreaking demise of their newborn son DJ from SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).</p>
<p>Marlena was having a blast playing Frasier Crane as the host of her own radio show — that is, until she started receiving calls from the Salem Strangler. Why must there be one in every crowd?</p>
<p>On the plus side, the danger in which Marlena suddenly found herself introduced her to new love Roman Brady, the detective assigned to protect her. On the minus side, before the murderer was stopped, he mistook Samantha for Marlena and killed her!</p>
<p>When Roman’s estranged wife Anna showed up claiming that she hadn’t been sent to her grave but sold into white slavery, Marlena was faced with the prospect of becoming a stepmother to little Carrie (then Andrea Barber). Marlena’s response?</p>
<p>In February of 1983, Marlena and Roman exchanged vows that they hoped would bind them to one another for all aternity. But the honeymoon was cut tragically short when, not a year later, the groom was (cough) fatally shot by the nefarious Stefano DiMera.</p>
<p>While trying to help an amnesiac going to the name John Black recover his memory, Marlena became convinced that he was Stefano… and then Roman… and then Samantha. Just kidding about that last one. Once she settled on Roman, the “widow” remarried the man that she believed was the husband that she’d promised to love until death did them part.</p>
<p>After “dying” with all the finality that Roman had, Marlena was reunited with the fellow that she still believed was her true love, only to have the real McCoy turn up alive and well courtesy of — who else? — Stefano. Torn, Marlena recommitted herself to Roman but had so much trouble resisting John that… </p>
<p>Yup, despite her devotion to Roman, Marlena gave in to passion with John, and nine months later, a new branch was hung from the family tree for baby Belle. Cue Roman and Marlena’s daughter Sami trying to sell her half sister on the black market in three, two…</p>
<p>Over the years, refereeing Carrie and Sami’s fights became almost a second career for Marlena, especially when they were using Austin Reed as an especially buff rope in their never-ending tug-of-war.</p>
<p>Marlena found herself embroiled in another love triangle when John fell for Stefano’s daughter, Kristen (then Eileen Davidson). She seemed so nice at first, so forthright. But she turned out to be a chip off the ol’ block!</p>
<p>On the contrary, it went <em>down</em> in 1995, the year that Stefano’s messing with Marlena’s mind laid out an unintentional welcome mat for a demon to come on in and stay awhile. Thankfully, John was a priest at the time — what? It could happen! — and was able to prescribe the possessed an “exorcise” program that sent the devil packing straight back to hell.</p>
<p>In the late 1990s, everyone who was anyone tried to keep apart Marlena and John, from a “dying” Roman (as if) to John’s new squeeze, conniving Kristen DiMera, to his angsty teenage son, Brady. But, as it always does, love won, leading to the supercouple’s first marriage — with each of them knowing who the other was, anyway.</p>
<p>Marlena couldn’t have guessed when she once again took over her duties as the Frasier Crane of Salem radio how much she’d tick off her predecessor’s fans. One in particular, Hattie Adams, just happened to bear so striking a resemblance to the doc that a little plastic surgery was all it took for her to pull a Samantha and swipe her life.</p>
<p>Even more shocking than the way that the Salem Stalker laid waste to the town’s population was the reveal that Marlena, of all people, was the culprit. Except, of course, that she wasn’t really. She’d been brainwashed by Andre DiMera and, in fact, hadn’t killed anyone: Her friends and loved ones were still alive and well on Melaswen, the island replica of Salem (whose name was New Salem spelled backwards).</p>
<p>Over the years, Marlena fought to get past one roadblock (crazy Dr. Charlotte Taylor) after another (John’s paralysis) after another (his marriage to “Princess Gina”/Hope Brady) to build a life with the man she loves. But even <em>she</em> was ready to throw in the towel when she learned that he’d attempted to seduce old flame Kristen (then Eileen Davidson) in hopes of busting up her relationship with Brady.</p>
<p>Even after Stefano <em>died</em>-died, he wasn’t done with the object of his obsession. Henchman Wilhelm Rolf implanted in Steve Johnson his master’s “essence,” thereby allowing him — at least for a time — to continue to pursue Marlena from beyond the grave.</p>
<p>When the devil booked a return trip to Salem, he couldn’t resist making a pit stop in his favorite host body long enough to partake in some avant-garde tree-trimming on his way to possessing Ciara and Ben Weston’s baby, Bo. Because what demon’s endgame <em>isn’t</em> a plane full of creamed spinach headed for the hangar and a mild case of diaper rash?</p>
<p>No sooner had Satan been sent back to hell than Orpheus, partaking in every supervillain’s favorite pastime, sought revenge on John, Steve and Roman by kidnapping and drugging their lady loves, Marlena, Kayla Brady and Kate Roberts. Once they were rescued and cured, everyone thought that that was the end of it. But then Kate died. And so did Kayla. And… uh-oh.</p>
<p>Since <span style="text-decoration: line-through">Kristen</span> Megan DiMera withheld the orchid that would’ve saved Orpheus’ victims, Marlena was ushered by the bouncer at the pearly gates straight into the afterlife. Which, as has been well-documented, looked like a White Party that was attended by the cast of <em>The Walking Dead.</em></p>
<p>Soon after copycats Kayla Brady and Kate Roberts followed Marlena into the hereafter, they followed her right back out. All three of them were resurrected by Megan following what looked like exceedingly long and restful power naps.</p>
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