DEVIL IS IN THE DETAIL
No soap star has seen their character through more trauma than 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,” she says.
Days Of Our lives