Soap Hub Performer Of The Week For DAYS: Emily O’Brien

The actress placed all of her character’s pent-up emotions on full display.

emily o'brein the young and the restless performer of the weekEmily O'Brien as Gwen Rizczech.

With fire and brimstone and bravado and flair Emily O’Brien laid her alter-ego bare as Gwen did her damndest to sell ex-fiancée Xander Cook (Paul Telfer) on her new lover…but who was Miss Rizczech really trying to convince?

Emily O’Brien — Performer Of The Week

Upon catching a half-dressed Xander (Paul Telfer) and Chloe (Nadia Bjorlin) in a most compromising position O’Brien’s Gwen stole the scene with one particularly barbed clever remark aimed at her former lover [who’d attempted to hide his modesty behind a poster depicting anthropomorphism shrubbery].

“Xander, dear, your cactus is looking a bit pricklier from the last time I saw it. You might want to have a doctor have a look at it.”

Xander apologized for the sight that Gwen chanced upon. “You’re not nearly as sorry as I am” spit out O’Brien who quickly followed the declaration with a hollow laugh and the explanation that she most certainly wasn’t jealous. “No, not in the least…I don’t care if you’re having sex with Chloe Lane or Lady Gaga, or Miss ‘Bloody’ Piggy for that matter…Because I’m quite busy myself, actually. Yes, giving an amazing man the most amazing sex that a woman can give him. So there.”

That “amazing man” was, of course, Dimitri von Leuschner (Peter Porte). Xander was not the least bit impressed. Why would Gwen even consider marrying such a narcissistic, pompous jerk?

Perhaps because he’s none of those things. Perhaps because he’s “actually a very caring, generous, and loyal, wonderful person” who happens to be as head over heels in love with her as she is with him. And what’s more, she’s not “contemplating” marrying him, she’s said yes to him. She is marrying him. And she cannot wait to be his wife.

With that declared, O’Brien defiantly displayed the digit on which her wedding ring sat in a manner that most definitely implied Gwen giving Xander the finger. Genius props work!

But is she sure pressed Xander? She barely knows the guy — but she is well aware of the plethora of horrible things that he’s done. Gwen granted that her intented hasn’t led an “exemplary life” but “he says that I bring out the best in him. And we all know how I like bad boys. I’m no angel myself, am I?” The last two lines O’Brien choked out with a bitter, biting mixture of irony and self-deprecation.

When Xander floated the idea that Gwen’s decision had less to do with loving Dimitri and more to do with striking out against him and Chloe, Gwen balked. “Oh, God. Look, there it is again, you and your massive ego,” fired Gwen.

O’Brien circled Telfer, her body a jangle of raw nerves. Noticing Xander’s suit jacket on the floor, she viciously kicked it aside. Soon she was staring daggers at her co-star, clearly at a breaking point. Fighting back tears, O’Brien launched into quite the diatribe.

“You’ve moved on from me, haven’t you? I would very much like to move on from you. So, I would actually say this is a very positive step in the right direction, wouldn’t you?… Why can’t you just be happy for me, Xander? Jake cheated on me. Chad was in love with Abigail. And you, you never really got over Sarah, did you? And now, for the first time in my life, there is a man who wants to be with me and only me.”

Xander was finally sold-ish. And with her sterling performance, Emily O’Brien no doubt sold the masses on her reasons for diving headlong into a wholly unadvisable situation.

Days of our Lives airs weekdays on Peacock+ in the U.S. and The W Network or Global TV App in Canada. For more about what’s coming up in Salem, check out all the latest DAYS spoilers, and for an in-depth look at the show’s history, click here.

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