This year, the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) combined the categories of Outstanding Younger Actor and Outstanding Younger Actress in a Drama Series into one category. That makes Olivia Rose Keegan’s winning for playing Claire on Days of Our Lives all the more impressive!
Olivia Rose Keegan: Big Emmy Winner
Soap Hub was the first to chat with Keegan about her Daytime Emmy victor in the newly created category — Outstanding Young Performer — and what’s next for Claire now that she’s back in Salem! Read on for the scoop!
Congratulations! What was on your winning reel?
Thank you! It feels surreal. It hasn’t sunk in. This year is one for the books! I wanted my reel to tell the story of Claire’s breakdown. It had what led her on her path of destruction and ended with Ciara (Victoria Konefal) in the cabin.
Did you cut loose more with Claire’s antics when you knew you were leaving?
I actually didn’t find out I was leaving the show until towards the very end. But I definitely remember there being a change in the way they wrote Claire. I dug my nails into [the story] and brought it to life as much as I could. I had so much fun.
Claire comes from such a stable family. What pushed her over the edge?
We often see people who have these “perfect” upbringings with wonderful parents, but they still have mental health [issues]. Some people with the most seemingly perfect lives can have internal struggles. There was something in Claire that got loose and grew progressively worse. Mental health doesn’t discriminate.
An Amazing Night
What was it like shooting an acceptance speech in advance?
Everyone was in the same boat so, I just had fun with it. My family was with me, but we’ve all been safely quarantining together. We were only allowed 15 to 30 seconds to speak. It got cut on the broadcast, but I had added a ticker at the bottom of my screen thanking everyone. I was able to post that version to my Instagram.
How’d you react when you learned you were coming back?
I was so excited. It’s one big family reunion. There’s nothing like getting to work with your best friends and people you love. I was honored that they asked me back.
Are you familiar with your fellow nominees?
I know Thia [Megia, ex-Haley). I saw her do the most beautiful work. I was honored to be on the list with all the nominees. I know Eden [McCoy, Josslyn, General Hospital]. She is the sweetest girl and her reel brought me to tears. I’m getting chills right now because it’s just hit me again that I was among so many talented people. I respect and admire all of them.
You not only beat out the other younger actresses but also actors as the category was combined.
I knew that this Emmys would be my shot if I ever had one. Then, they announced that they were merging the [actor and actress] categories! I thought there goes my chance! Winning makes it all the more surreal.
Claire says she’s ready to come home and is doing better. Is she?
That’s the question. People are wondering whether Claire is being genuine or if she has some underlying obsessive tendencies going on.
What’s it like working with Martha Madison (Belle) and Brandon Beemer (Shawn) again?
Lovely. It’s always so nice to be able to work with them. They were there when I started on the show. They were so maternal and paternal with me. They showed me around and then, six months later, they were gone! So, it’s always nice to have them back.
Where are you going to keep your Emmy?
In my room. My parents want it downstairs. Maybe we can work something out where we’ll have it my room for half the year and downstairs for the other half?
Soap Hub congratulates Olivia Rose Keegan on her Daytime Emmy victory. Days of Our Lives airs weekdays on NBC. Check local listings for air times.