It’s double duty time for Days of Our Lives’ Deidre Hall, who begins a stint as Marlena lookalike Hattie the week of November 28. It’s her second time portraying the outrageous character, and Hall is absolutely thrilled.
“I get to do comedy,” she delivers with a smile. “And I love comedy so much. I’ve done stand up before. My problem is not getting there; my problem is reining it in.”
Hall found out about the turn when she received an upcoming work schedule. “I saw the [prison] location and the character, and I was like, ‘Oh! She’s back!’” recounts the actress. “That was it. I didn’t see the scenes at that point. Then, it turned out that I was working with Kristian [Alfonso, Hope], which I knew would be fun, because she’s a great sport. She’s game.”
As a result, Hall knew she could push the envelope–and she did at every turn–once Hattie meets up with Hope behind bars.
“I had my hands all over her,” notes Hall, referring to Alfonso. “I shove her. I shout at her. I insult her… ‘Hey, Slim.’ ‘You scrawny little thing. You won’t make it through the winter.’ I tell her to eat a cheeseburger… Whatever came to my mind, [I said]. It gets funnier and funnier.”
Hall describes Hattie as “a character who has no sensor. She’s got no moderation to her whatsoever,” she says. “Whatever comes into her head comes right out of her mouth. She’s physical. She’s bawdy. I love her.”
One of the best parts of the gig is the opportunity to ad lib, something Hall really can’t do with Marlena. “She’s pretty reined in,” admits the actress. “But with Hattie, I just did, because it’s the only way to do it. You’re in a big room and you’re moving around… It was great.”
Gum’s the Word
During her last run as Hattie, Hall memorably spit her gum straight at Peter Reckell’s face during a scene with Bo. “It landed right in the middle of his forehead and stuck,” Hall remembers with a laugh. “I said to him before the scene, ‘I’m going to spit my gum at you.’ He said, ‘No, you’re not.’ I said, ‘Yeah, I am.’ He said, ‘Do not do that.’ I said, ‘I can’t speak to it. It may happen.’”
Of course, it did. “During the scene, I spit the gum at him,” she continues. “Everybody froze. Because if we had laughed, we could never ever have duplicated that moment.”
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