The DAYS OF OUR LIVES Cast Looks Back on Memorable Storylines with Deidre Hall - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

The DAYS OF OUR LIVES Cast Looks Back on Memorable Storylines with Deidre Hall

May 11, 2023 by  

Deidre Hall cast stories

DAYS OF OUR LIVES — Season 36 — Pictured: (l-r) Kirsten Storms as Belle Black, Kyle Lowder as Brady Black, Drake Hogestyn as John Black, Alison Sweeney as Sami Brady, Deidre Hall as Marlena Evans — (Photo by: Jeff Katz/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)

On Friday, May 12th, Deidre Hall celebrates her 5,000th episode of DAYS OF OUR LIVES, now streaming exclusively on Peacock.

Joining the cast in 1976 as Dr. Marlena Evans, Hall has been through everything you’d expect from a daytime drama. She’s been married to five different men, come back to life six times after being presumed dead, was the Salem Stalker serial killer, kept in a gilded cage in Paris, and, of course, been possessed by the devil—twice. She’s the warm-hearted therapist the entire town goes to for advice, half of one of the most dynamic, supportive, and loving supercouples in soap opera history, and the current matriarch of Salem, which is a title she more than deserves after four decades.

While several rounds of questions were directed at everyone, Give Me My Remote also wanted to get a feel for the specifics of each relationship, the nuances that make Hall’s relationship with each co-star special.

KYLE LOWDER, who now plays Rex Brady but once played Marlena’s step-son, Brady Black, speaks to those antagonistic scenes at the start of their working relationship and the beautiful scenes that came out of it.

DAYS OF OUR LIVES was your first role. What was it like coming in and starting your role with knock down, drag out fights with this legend and how did Deidre help you during that time?

I was 19 years old and it’s my first professional acting job. It was kind of like baptism by fire. Because I’m coming on, I’m as green as they come and now on this legendary television show, and my role— in the beginning—was to be the badass problem child that gave Deidre Hall, one of the legends of daytime drama, a hard time. It was so intimidating, and let me be very clear, not because Deidre was intimidating or exhibited any behavior like that; it was just the whole situation. I’m spewing off some pretty fresh lines to Deidre’s face. But Deidre could not have been better, could not have been nicer, could not have been more helpful to me. The genre of daytime drama is very fast paced. She really—and I hate to use the age old cliche—took me under her wing. She put me at ease and after slamming a door in her face [as Brady], she’d crack a smile, look at me and be like, “That was really good.” Deidre really was a mentor and friend for me. I couldn’t wait to drive onto the lot and go to work and work with her because I felt we developed such great chemistry as a result of her kindness and her offering up her expertise and professionalism.

Once Brady stopped being difficult, you had some really great family scenes between you, Deidre, Drake [Hogestyn (John Black)], and Kirsten [Storms (former Belle Black)]. It came across as so comfortable and so familiar. Was it always like that or did the four of you have to ease into it together?

No, actually, because of the volatile nature of the scenes between Brady and Marlena, it was kind of like an icebreaker in a sense. Because through that, you get real. You get real close to somebody when you’re working in the way that we did and the way the stories were that when it came time for the nice family scenes, it was so incredibly natural. I think that really translated to the actual shows themselves. There was a naturalness and a love and respect. Deidre and Drake and Kirsten all really just offered up their kindness and their expertise and professionalism that really translated to a strong bond with us off-camera, which really came through on-screen.


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There’s something inherently special about Marlena’s kinship with Brady that is evident every time they’re on-screen together. ERIC MARTSOLF, who took over the role of Brady nearly 16 years ago, speaks to the special relationship he has with Hall, off-screen as well.

From that first moment we saw you on screen, when Marlena comes rushing up to Brady, there’s so much love evident between the two of you. Had you spent any time with Deidre before that scene? Or was that mother/son chemistry there the entire time?

I remember the hug that she gave me like it was yesterday. I had not spoken to her. We had dry blocked the scene, but that was about it. There was no coffee time, there was no sit down, no “you’re gonna be my son.” It was jump right into the fire and work your way through and of course my first scene is with Deidre Hall and Drake Hogestyn. I’m walking into this legendary John and Marlena scenario. I’m a nervous wreck and as a replacement Brady Black to boot. I knew I had an uphill climb. But when I opened that door, she hugged me so hard—yet so tenderly. It had both elements. It had love but there was a “welcome to the show” feeling that I got from that hug. From that moment on, it kind of put me at ease. Right then and there. I remember staring at that door and not knowing what was going to be on the other side. And when she opened it, and gave me that giant smile—her eyes get so starry when she smiles and they kind of squint—she just grabs you and hugs you. It just made me feel at home. I felt like a member of the family right after that hug. And I’ll watch that every once in a while.

You had posted an adorable picture on Instagram of Deidre cutting your hair in the hair and makeup room. What led to that moment?

She said something like, “Well, I can cut hair.” I think my hair girl had to go to the restroom or something, and Deidre just picked up the shears and said, “Honey, I can finish this. Don’t worry about it.” And I just kind of looked at her and I had no reason not to trust this woman. I trust her implicitly on stage. I think I can trust her with my head. And she proceeded to give me not a bad haircut.

Oh, so she actually did give you a haircut?

Oh, yeah. She took some hairs off. She most certainly cut some hair. That was not a staged photograph. You can actually see the look in my eyes.I’m kind of looking off to the right going, “Is she really doing this, what’s happening here?” And she just went ahead and cut my hair. That’s what you do when you’ve been working with each other for almost 16 years now. It’s kind of like when your brother, your sister, or your cousin just picks up a pair of scissors saying, “Here let me cut your hair.” You’re like, alright. You trust them implicitly and that only comes with time and love.


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John and Marlena’s only biological child, Belle, born from the everlasting love of one of the best supercouples in daytime history, has such a rich history on the daytime drama. Belle’s portrayer, MARTHA MADISON, talks about Hall’s “mom energy” and what it’s like to work with someone she admired even before she was on the show.

Your first scenes with Deidre were so similar to the reunion you just shared with 18 years in between. What do you remember about that first scene and how has that changed over the past almost two decades?

Wow. Well, I honestly remember that scene so vividly. Because I had been there for a couple of months already and I feel like it was a blessing that I had a chance to get my bearings before having to work with [Deidre] because I was so nervous. I had not really even crossed paths with her at the studio until that day, and that day we got our makeup done next to each other, and she was so warm and gracious. I’m sure someone told her I was super nervous. She went out of her way to make me feel comfortable and I thought those scenes turned out remarkably well considering how nervous I was. Then, flash forward almost 19 years later. Our relationship is, I think, really special. She really is a great mentor and also a friend but definitely a lot of mom energy. She takes care of me, and she protects me, and she is always checking on me. I can go to her with anything and she’ll tell me the truth. She’ll listen and she’s just a wonderful person. I’m so lucky to have had her to work with all these years.

I remember you posting an Instagram story where you had a really early call time and Deidre had left you breakfast. Is that something she does for you often?

She doesn’t do that all the time, but we had an early call and she packed me a [box] for the day. It had things for breakfast, it had snacks, it had lunch, it had a little treat—exactly what your mom would pack you if you were going to school. It was hilarious, and that’s probably why I posted it because it was such a mom move. But she is always bringing trinkets or gifts or sending me funny memes or texting me funny stories. She’s always engaging in that kind of mom fashion. I love it.

Were you a DAYS fan beforehand?

I was. I watched religiously from the time I was eight years old. I had a VCR that had a tape in it that was just to record DAYS OF OUR LIVES. It was a big trip to start working there and not just work there but play [Marlena’s] daughter. Dream come true, for sure.


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A post shared by Deidre Hall (@deidrehall_official)

GREG VAUGHAN, who plays Marlena’s son, Eric Brady, speaks to the working relationship between himself and Hall and the deep admiration and respect for the woman behind his television mother.

I know you’ve mentioned before that Deidre is more than a co-star for you. She’s been a mentor, friend, and, of course, a mother. Can you speak to that relationship a little bit?

She’s priceless, not only to the show, but as a person. My birth mother has gotten to meet her and Deidre just embraced her with love, and a hug, and said, “You know, I’m like his second mother.” And she just has that vivacious energy that’s so addictive. She reaches out, always making sure I’m okay, sending holiday cards, birthday wishes. She goes to the end of the earth to make sure that those that she loves, and cares about, and thinks about—which is beyond just our day’s family, but her own family—are taken care of.

All of your scenes are amazing, but there’s something extra special about the emotion you pull out when it comes to emotional scenes with Deidre, whether it be her most recent death or even going back to when Eric was heading to prison for killing Daniel. How has that working relationship impacted your approach to how you handle scenes?

I value the leadership on our show. She is the matriarch, she is the anchor that keeps us in line. She likes to come in [to work] and she is professional, she knows her stuff, and my admiration for her, her commitment to the show, to the fans, to just her work, it’s never shy of reaching the highest mark you can make. We have a very close-knit relationship personally, but professionally I think that translates. She never calls it in, she just brings her best game all the time. And that’s just her, the level she is, and how much she means to the show and how much she loves the show. But that’s all we try to do. It’s really hard to go beyond words without getting emotional [when] talking about her, because she’s so close to me. I value what we do, and—I don’t like to get off subject because I know we’re talking about Deidre specifically—but Josh Taylor or Drake Hogestyn and that leadership, the value of what they all brought to the show, what they mean to the show, it’s just like you care. You wanna be at your best so they can be their best. We all do that. That’s just kinda the camaraderie on the show. So, it takes a like-minded group of people to bring their best.

The possession is such an iconic storyline for DAYS. What was it like playing alongside Deidre during this time and getting to perform the exorcism?

That was great. Because I mean, you’re paying tribute back to the [‘90s]. Having to revisit that was kind of crazy. I came in to play a guest star performance during that period of time and it was fun. It was different having the core family there, with Alison Sweeney (Sami Brady), with Martha, and Eric Martsolf, trying to revoke the Spirit and Satan and get [Marlena] back to normal. I think a lot of hats goes off to her for playing those two split characters. It took a lot of commitment.

Deidre Hall cast stories

DAYS OF OUR LIVES — “Days of our Lives: A Coming Out Celebration” — Pictured: (l-r) Deidre Hall, Chandler Massey — (Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)

CHANDLER MASSEY, also known as Marlena’s grandson, Will, has shared groundbreaking scenes with Hall that have helped many members of the LGBTQ+ community find the language to come out to their families, making this one of the most important storylines the show has ever done.

Having Will come out with Marlena’s help and compassion is one of the most beautiful storylines. What did you learn from playing off of Deidre so much during that time?
It’s where I became an adult, I think, or at least an adult actor. That’s what I felt and it couldn’t have happened without her. You saw on the screen Marlena being so incredibly supportive and loving and helpful to Will. Deidre was exactly the same way to me. She helped me tremendously. She is a model for someone I aspire to be in terms of professionalism and the respect she commands among the cast and crew and everybody. It was one of my great pleasures and privileges to do that storyline with her.

The genuine affection you two have for each other really comes off in those scenes together. What is it about the bond between these two that stands out to you the most?

It probably is Will’s least complicated and most pure relationship, putting Sonny aside because that’s for a romantic relationship. He’s had issues with both of his parents, kind of had a rough upbringing. And just to have his grandmother Marlena there, who was just a constant pillar of support, really shaped him. That provided some much needed stability that he wasn’t getting anywhere else.

Did Will and Marlena’s closeness bring you and Deidre closer? You had scenes before, but did this storyline bring out that relationship for you in person?

Oh, absolutely. The chance to work with her that closely, for that extended period of time, getting to know her… I was very much intimidated and a little afraid at first because she is a legend, an icon, but getting to know the person behind that, [this] really caring, kind, and compassionate person.


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A post shared by Deidre Hall (@deidrehall_official)

ALISON SWEENEY who plays Marlena’s troubled daughter, Sami, has worked with Hall for more than half her lifetime. While Sami isn’t always kind, Sweeney had nothing but amazing things to say about her co-star.

You started on this show when you were 16 years old which can be such a formative time, especially as an actress working to build her career. Not to mention you were a fan of the show before being on it. What was it like coming on to play the daughter of Deidre Hall? And how has your relationship evolved over time as you went from teenager to young adult to a mom of two?

Not only an impressionable teenager, but also a huge DAYS fan. So, of course, a Marlena fan! I was so in awe meeting Deidre. And I learned so much from her right away. From the basicshow to hit my mark, how to work with the camera operators, but also big picture concepts. Watching her being a working mom, a professional woman, all of it really was so inspiring.

I remember hearing Deidre once say that Sami is her favorite child of Marlena’s because there’s always some sort of trouble brewing. What is it about that bond between them that stands out to you the most, even during those tormented times?

There really is a bond between Dee and me because of the tortured dynamic between Sami and Marlena. It’s difficult to play complicated relationship scenes and those scenes are often so important to the storylines, so Deidre and I have been through a lot emotionally doing the drama, supporting each other. She’s always so present in those moments. I feel so lucky to have had those storylines with her over the years.

You’ve shared so many scenes with Deidre, some of them with Sami in a good place and being a loving daughter, but oftentimes blaming Marlena for her affair with John or being absent in her life growing up. What was it like shooting those antagonistic scenes with Deidre and did you prefer playing sweet Sami or defensive Sami beside her?

We so rarely have sweet Sami! I guess they are fun to play because usually we have something we are arguing about or Sami is lying about. Or Marlena is blaming Sami for something. There’s always a lot of undercurrent even in happy scenes. But those make it so fun to play. Deidre is always game to incorporate their complicated relationship in scenes so the complexity is there for the audience to enjoy.


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A post shared by Deidre Hall (@deidrehall_official)

While Ben Weston or Alex Kiriakis aren’t a part of Marlena’s family, their portrayer ROBERT SCOTT WILSON has found himself close to Hall after their characters have worked through many therapy sessions together.

It seems like you and Deidre have spent a lot of time together outside of set, doing press during TCA or Kelly Clarkson’s show which seemed like a lot of fun. But it’s obvious there’s a real connection between characters as well. Did that relationship develop on screen first and then you started your events together?

When I was playing Ben, I worked with Deidre a lot. She rallied for me from the beginning and I just have so much love for her, so much respect. I’m really grateful for our relationship. I was coming back as Ben a few years back and I wasn’t on contract and I’ll never forget she got on the mic and was like, “Put this baby on contract!” I was all red in the face. She just always rallied for me and it turned into us developing more communication and sharing stories. She sends me Christmas cards and birthday cards and she’s the sweetest and I’ll never forget that.

Alex goes to see Marlena for therapy, even though he doesn’t believe in shrinks. It was very reminiscent of those wonderful scenes you had with her when you were playing Ben. Was the idea to put Alex into therapy so the two of you would share more scenes together?

I hope so because, first of all, Alex needs the damn therapist. Marlena became somewhat of a maternal figure to Ben whereas Alex, he doesn’t want to do it at all. It feels very uncomfortable. When I read the scenes, and I thought about Alex and who he is and how he operates, it reminded me of the first time Tony Soprano started going to therapy, but didn’t want to be there. I love it. It’s been a blast. And I think they probably did it a little bit because Ben spent so much time in therapy and our connection. At the end of the day, it’s still me playing a character and Deidre playing Marlena and I think they want to try to revisit that as much as they can without making it a straight copy of what was written before.


In the next article, Give Me My Remote will get final comments from the members of the DAYS OF OUR LIVES cast.


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