DEVIL IN DETAIL
No soap star has seen their character through more trauma than DaysOfOurLives favourite Deidre Hall, writes Siobhan Duck
SHE’S been possessed by the devil, held captive on an island by an archvillain and fallen in love with a patient who was brainwashed into believing he was her dead husband… only for that “dead” husband to turn up later, very much alive. Since she first appeared on Days Of
Our Lives in 1976 as psychiatrist Marlena Evans, actor Deidre Hall has truly seen (and played) it all.
“I love the possession storyline, of course, because it brought us a much younger audience,” Hall says. “But I also loved when my [real-life] twin sister was on the show. She played [Marlena’s twin] Samantha first, until some idiot writer killed her off. And then she played Hattie Adams [Marlena’s doppelganger]. In real life, she is a special-education teacher; she is funny and free and outrageous. It was perfect for her.”
Last month, it was revealed the Days writers were planning to “revisit” the headline-making possession storyline (which played out in 1994-95). And hints of some devilish mayhem have already begun to screen here, which means that famous levitating scene could surely feature once again.
Soap operas are so renowned for their outlandish storylines that it became a running joke on the hit sitcom Friends, where Matt LeBlanc’s wannabe actor Joey Tribbiani played Dr Drake Ramoray and his evil twin on Days.
“I thought that was hilarious,” Hall says. “The Friends producer was a big fan of our show so it was a natural crossover. I think, too, there were fans who were like, ‘Wait a minute, Joey is going to be on Days Of Our Lives?!’”
Interestingly, Friends star Jennifer Aniston’s father John has played wily crime boss Victor Kiriakis on Days since 1985.
“Victor is a great villain, and, by the way,a very funny man in real life,” Hall says. “We have people on our show who are screamingly funny, and John is at the top of the list.”
Hall was thrilled to be back on-screen with her former
Days castmates for the recent miniseries special Days Of Our Lives: Beyond Salem. However, she says she is hardly clamouring to follow the lead of two of them – Lisa Rinna and Eileen Davidson, who have also been cast members on The Real Housewives Of
Beverly Hills – and consider a stint
on reality TV. “Let me think about that… no! I love scripted drama. I love taking somebody else’s words and bringing them to life, and then adding my own twist and imagination to it. Reality TV doesn’t speak to me. You won’t see that happen.”
Hall isn’t looking to leave
Salem behind anytime soon – no doubt delighting the show’s fiercely loyal fans.
“I’ve been there for 45 years, and it just becomes your home, your family and a great place to be creative, but to also have your other life,” she says.
“You get to know that you’ve always got a pay cheque. And my family – my kids – always knew where I was, my phone number and where my dressing room was. They could come to work with me when they were small.
“And [the cast and crew have] all been through so much together, year after year after year. I know people say it’s a family but, oh goodness, we’re family owned, family run.”
Devilish intrusions, torrid love affairs and surprisingly hard-to-kill spouses aside, she is certain of one thing: “We really are a family show.”
DAYS OF OUR LIVES