You’ve both loved and loved to hate her as Nicole Walker Brady (though not Brady for much longer) on Days of our Lives. Arianne Zucker took a little time out of her busy schedule to chat with Soap Hub about her life in Salem and working with fellow actors on DAYS!
Exclusive Interview: Arianne Zucker
Whose work have you admired during your years on the show?
I’ve always loved watching Eileen [Davidson, ex-Kristen DiMera, ex-Susan Banks, et. al.] when she was on the show. She was doing so many different characters. She’s incredible to be able to just dive right in and not seem exhausted. Although, I’m sure after a while she was! She and I are huge fans of each other. “No, I’m a fan of yours!”
Who would you hang out with at the studio – in pre-COVID times, of course!
We have ‘the dorm room’ underneath the studio – dressing rooms downstairs. Depending on who was on the show at the time, different people would be in that area. There was Greg [Vaughan, ex-Eric Brady] and Nadia [Bjorlin, Chloe Lane]…we’d all have this welcoming vibe…people could hang out anytime unless we were running lines or working. Work comes first! We really love the idea of camaraderie at the show. We were together for so many years. We included everybody.
When did you feel you really had a handle on who Nicole is?
It actually took me several years. I was really studying to be a veterinarian [when I was cast as Nicole]. It was like, ‘Oh, my gosh! HOW do I do this?’ I wasn’t so seasoned. I stayed in acting classes until the day I had my daughter. Those classes helped me so much. I studied with acting teacher Steve Book. He busted my butt when it came to [helping me handle] emotional rollercoasters. When I came back to the show [after a break], I was so emotionally available. That’s when my life changed. I wanted to come back and play the bitch everyone loved to hate!
Who’d you like to have as a new love interest on Days of our Lives?
I’d love to see her be with someone who’s a real dark character. Nicole is so good right now. I would love to see Nicole almost get caught up with someone who makes me rethink what she’s been doing. Even though she’s learned after all these lessons, you can still fall for someone [dark].
Do you recall a particularly challenging moment?
It was during the baby switch storyline. That was the first big challenge I had to make sure that the fans didn’t hate me or that I wasn’t written into a corner. It’s so easy to go off to one side. It can be difficult to redeem yourself. I thought I had better make sure that if Nicole is stealing someone’s baby, she had better get redeemed! That was something I really had to think about.
Is there a storyline you’d like to do?
I’d like to do a dual role. We can’t do action/adventure right now [due to COVID]. That’s my favorite. I love the idea of a dual role, something drastic as far as looks-wise. Even if I wear a light prosthetic. I like magical characters and would like to play someone who could almost cast spells.
Is there someone you’d like to interact with whom you’re not right now – or have someone come back to the show?
Of course, I’d love to see Shawn [Christian, ex-Daniel] come back. He’s really the only character/actor I’d like to see come back. He wouldn’t even have to work with me or even be Daniel. He could come back as Daniel’s evil twin; he plays a fantastically evil character – so scrumptious and sexy! I’d love to see Shawn come back and work with someone else, but I’m biased – because he’s my [fiancé]!
Whose work on another show does Arianne Zucker like?
I have to say I’m a fan of Laura Wright’s [Carly Corinthos, General Hospital]. Every time I see her scenes, I’m like, ‘Oh, I just love you!’ I really like Heather Tom’s [Katie Logan, The Bold and the Beautiful] work, too. She just pulls things up [into her performances]. I’m like, ‘C’mon, man! I want to do that!’ I’ve seen work from that that is both real and raw.
Also, Katherine Kelly Lang [Brooke Logan Forrester, B&B] and Jacqui [MacInnes] Wood [Steffy, B&B]. I remember a photoshoot she was doing with Kyle [Lowder; ex-Rick, B&B; ex-Rex/ex-Brady, DAYS] and she skateboarded to the shoot. She is so awesome! She’s rad, a cool chick.