WE LOVE SOAPS TV: I am so honored to meet you! It is with pride that I tell you I became interested in Psychology because of Marlena Evans on DAYS OF OUR LIVES.
Deidre Hall: Stop it!
WE LOVE SOAPS TV: Seriously.
Deidre Hall: I’m so pleased, thank you.
WE LOVE SOAPS TV: Laura Horton had been on the show before then, but never seemed to actually see any patients. Marlena always had patients coming in and out of her office, and she always helped them feel better.
Deidre Hall: And she will again.
WE LOVE SOAPS TV: A lot of Marlena’s early story involved her devotion to her work. Might we be seeing more of that?
Deidre Hall: Absolutely.
WE LOVE SOAPS TV: I can’t imagine what her professional insurance costs at this point after coming back from the dead and having been possessed so many times.
Deidre Hall: [Laughs] I never thought of that.
WE LOVE SOAPS TV: What are you most excited about upon this return to DAYS?
Deidre Hall: The most exciting part for me is having [Executive in Charge of Production] Greg Meng ask me to come back, persuading me that this was the right thing to do. He set in place a number of things that made it exciting. He said we are going back to the traditional family core values of the old DAYS OF OUR LIVES. We are family based, so we are returning to the old DAYS of the fabulous love stories, the real life drama, the human drama that we see every day in our newspapers. Not the ones that are made up and far fetched.
I think they have realized that as a community everyone is so scared now. What we are longing for is a safe place to visit, a safe place to come, share time with people that we love and trust, and to get some relief from the outside world. That happens to be what the show is going to be about. It will be stories taken from the headlines. John and Marlena return to their home because there is an enormous crisis that involves the entire community of Salem. It’s not unlike what our world is going through. It’s so clever.
WE LOVE SOAPS TV: When you mention the core value of the old DAYS, which DAYS are you referring to? The show has gone through so many creative transformations from reality based story telling to supernatural fantasies. Which do you think viewers want to see?
Deidre Hall: It’s family at its core. It’s Alice’s kitchen. It’s multigenerational stories. It’s sitting your kids down and wagging your finger at them. It’s listening to your grandchildren. It’s standing by your husband when he can’t stand for himself. It’s the loyalty, the dedication, and the comfort we are longing for right now. It’s those kinds of values.
WE LOVE SOAPS TV: Those were the kind of values that made me a devoted fan at a young age. Seeing the reality-based relationships Marlena had with Don, and later Roman, always made me want to tune in.
Deidre Hall: And they’re bringing back the whole family. Christie Clark (Carrie) and Patrick Muldoon (Austin) are back. Jack and Jennifer are back together. You will see those faces you grew up with. We are a family again, we are all tied together to take on this challenge.
WE LOVE SOAPS TV: Did you ever take Psychology classes?
Deidre Hall: I took Psychology in college. In preparation to play the part, when there were moments I was unsure of, I would spend time with professionals. Specifically with the crib death scenes. I didn’t understand. I wasn’t a mother at that point, I didn’t know about crib death and how it happens and what people do afterward. I spent a lot of time with professionals that regaled and astonished me with stories of people who had been through it.
WE LOVE SOAPS TV: The scenes of Marlena after losing her baby D.J. to SIDS are singed into my memory. I had never heard of crib death as a child, so that story was pretty shocking. Instead of Don (Jed Allan) and Marlena turning to each other they turned against each other.
Deidre Hall: It was too much pain to face each other.
WE LOVE SOAPS TV: In her book, Susan Hayes (Julie) describes you as possessing “healing ways.” Why does she describe you that way?
Deidre Hall: I can’t speak for Susan. I adore her--her cleverness, her brilliance, her love of her family. We had had several private times that led her to say that. It’s nothing I can discuss with you.
WE LOVE SOAPS TV: While away from DAYS you have been keeping busy. When thinking about “healing ways” I’m thinking about how much you have been an advocate for change and children’s nutrition in schools.
Deidre Hall: It’s all part and parcel of the same thing. It’s children. It’s taking care of children. It’s realizing that they spend so many hours in school, and if they’re not getting proper nutrition there then that is a big part of their day. Shamefully we have allowed the definition of “allowable” in a school meal to include things like candy and sugar and soda pop. It’s shameful. This had not been changed since the 1970s, it had not been updated. Just fighting to bring it up to standard has been a big fight.
WE LOVE SOAPS TV: I think that demonstrates your commitment to impacting our world, even without a camera on you.
Deidre Hall: I also wrote a book, "Deidre Hall's Kitchen Close-Up," which is more of the same thing. Every woman dreads those three words, “What’s for supper?” This is the answer. It is an easy way to put delicious, fun, nutritious meals in front of your family every day.
WE LOVE SOAPS TV: As a 40-year-old man in New York, what is the main thing I need to know about nutrition?
Deidre Hall: You need to eat raw. In New York you have ways that are wonderful to do that. You have all those salad bars, you have fruit stands on every corner. Pick up the book, it will tell you what you have to buy that is organic. On the top of my list are apples. Not because they are so polluted with pesticides. Get them on the street. You are in a perfect place for that because you are in New York, you can do it.
WE LOVE SOAPS TV: Alison Sweeney made her directorial debut this week. Have you thought about directing?
Deidre Hall: I’m completely satisfied and content to act and not be behind the cameras.
WE LOVE SOAPS TV: Will you be in scenes that she will be directing?
Deidre Hall: I have no idea.
WE LOVE SOAPS TV: Anything else you can tell us for now?
Deidre Hall: Please have people follow me on Facebook and Twitter. Until then, watch DAYS OF OUR LIVES now to see how we change!
**Special thank you to Julia Maxwell for the classic video clip.
Damon L. Jacobs is a Licensed Therapist in New York City who specializes in treating depression, stress management, anger management, ageism, and grief/loss issues. He is also the author of the popular book "Absolutely Should-less: The Secret to Living the Stress-Free Life You Deserve," currently available at Amazon.com. For more information about scheduling a Skype consultation or a speaking engagement, please email him at Shouldless@gmail.com.