We Love Soaps: You played tortured Theresa for eight years on PASSIONS. What are the main differences you see between Theresa and Arianna on DAYS?
Lindsay Hartley: Theresa had this vision of what she wanted. And that’s exactly what it was, a vision. There was not a lot of solid evidence or facts to support this belief she had. It was more like a prayer. And it did come true, thankfully. But it was a gamble. It was like, “Is this real, is God real, is Santa Claus real,” that kind of thing. Arianna on the other hand, is more of a factual person. She knows the facts, she’s got the facts, and she has to deal with the situation at hand. She’s more realistic, even pessimistic.
We Love Soaps: You worked under one writer, James E. Reilly during all eight of those years. Now at DAYS you are working under a different writing team with a different style, with a different rhythm and a different tempo. Was it hard for you to adjust?
Lindsay Hartley: I actually like this writing. It’s easier to memorize. It’s quick to memorize. I can pass through a show now in a couple of reads and I’ve got it. Because there is a story involved, there is a beginning, a middle and an end, and there are consequences. It’s not like you’re memorizing the same scene over and over again. It’s hard to explain, but with consequences it’s easier to memorize.
We Love Soaps: And you’re not repeating the same dialogue every day.
Lindsay Hartley: Right. And some people may think that is easier but it’s not. It’s not about the words, it’s about what’s going on behind the words. So this is great, this job is great. I love the crew, I love the cast, I’m grateful for Gary [Tomlin] and Ken [Corday] and NBC. I’m having so much fun. I’m having a blast here.
We Love Soaps: Did your experience on PASSIONS give you an appreciation for working on DAYS?
Lindsay Hartley: Oh yes. And being off for a year and a half.
We Love Soaps: What did you do with that year and a half?
Lindsay Hartley: I was a full time mother. My husband [Justin Hartley, Smallville] was gone a lot, and we would go up to see him. This year [our daughter] started kindergarten so he’s been doing more of the traveling. I was a full time mother, I talked to my grandmother a lot and she would say you’re so lucky to get that time from [age] 3 1/2 to 5 to be with her. That’s such a big time in their life.
We Love Soaps: This past year was the 10 year anniversary of PASSIONS starting on the air. If you could go back and give yourself some advice, what would you say?
Lindsay Hartley: “Relax! Relax!” Because I was so new, that’s what I would say. “It’s okay, you’re going to make it through. Enjoy it a little bit more, I know the pressure that you have but let’s have more fun.” But they say the older you get, the more you learn, and that’s what I’m doing now. I just stressed out so much during that show. If you think about it, I had a lot of responsibility.
We Love Soaps: Are you applying that advice to yourself now on DAYS?
Lindsay Hartley: I’m innately in it now. I don’t have to tell myself that because it happens. It’s a good vibe. The cast really is this fun. The crew really is happy to be here. They’re working hard, but they’re having a good time doing it. At Passions it was hard to add comedy because the circumstances were comedic, and we had to play [the scene] dead serious. So here, we can have a bit more fun.
We Love Soaps: On DAYS you’re in a serious situation but you can bring levity to it, whereas that was the opposite on PASSIONS.
Lindsay Hartley: Right. We could not do comedy on PASSIONS because the scenario was so funny. I mean, knocking out a surrogate, going to Hell, I mean come on. We had to play the reality of that.
Editor's Note: To see my interview with Lindsay Hartley and Eric Martsolf together the next day, please click here.
And for more interviews from the DAYS OF OUR LIVES set, please check out:
Molly Burnett (Melanie)
Taylor Spreitler (Mia)
Eric Martsolf (Brady)
Mark Hapka (Nathan)
Shelley Hennig (Stephanie)
Casey Deidrick (Chad)
Damon L. Jacobs is a Marriage Family Therapist practicing in New York City, and the author of "Absolutely Should-less: The Secret to Living the Stress-Free Life You Deserve". He has started blogging again at www.shouldless.com..