WE LOVE SOAPS TV: How does Nicole fit into this DAYS OF OUR LIVES reboot?
Arianne Zucker: Nicole is in a very interesting transition in her life. She's made a choice to be on her own. Now, how long that choice really will last is up to her, but it's very interesting that she's decided to be the one to break off her relationship with Brady. It's by choice--not because she did something terrible, but because she had something terrible happen to her.
And she's not to use that fly-back-and-forth relationship between two men. One guy brings out one thing that might not be great about her, and the other one, she's delusional about. I think that the scare with Gus has made her take a look at who she really is. So that's the process that Nicole is going through at the moment.
Which is really kind of a cool thing for me, because I've played this drunken, bitchy, twirling, insecure woman for so long, that it's really great to see her attempt to make some change in her life. Because it's so scary to do that. So I'm looking forward to it. I'm looking forward to it as a challenge. And it's a challenge to still create an interesting character, so I'm excited. Hah! How's that answer? [she laughs]
WE LOVE SOAPS TV: Excellent! Now, will Nicole be sharing scenes with the new Madison character, played by Sarah Brown?
Arianne Zucker Well I certainly hope so. Ms. Sarah Brown, she's awesome. I can imagine that we'll definitely cross each other's paths at some point. How can you not in this town, it's so small? So I can safely say, "Yes."
WE LOVE SOAPS TV: Is there anything you can preview for us? Something that's coming up for Nicole in the next couple of months?
Arianne Zucker: Let's see, where are we right now? What can I say to give you a little taste? If I go along with the idea that she's trying to be a helpful person. . . okay:
She's trying to put her best foot forward, and be real and honest with people. So that's a huge change. So anybody who loves to hate my character, they're going to be like, "What? She's trying what? Come on!' And we'll see how that pans out for her.
WE LOVE SOAPS TV: As an actor, what is your favorite thing about playing Nicole?
Arianne Zucker: I've always been the kind of actor who would never quite say, "My character would never do that." Because I think we all do crazy things in our lives, and we all have boiling points, and we all react differently to things. So anytime I do get a script where I'm only in it a small amount, or even on heavy script days, I try to find things that, number one as an actor, are interesting choices. Things even that maybe the audience never catches, but it's interesting for me to think about while I'm playing it, because it keeps it exciting.
I'll even do some back story that maybe the writers didn't even think of, and again, it may not exactly come across. But I think this character, because she's so extreme, and she lives from moment to moment (she doesn't think very far ahead), that's what I enjoy so much about her. I'm in love with this character!
WE LOVE SOAPS TV: Speaking of love, would you say Nicole's true love is already on the canvas, or do you think she hasn't met him yet?
Arianne Zucker: I don't think she's met him yet. And this is just my personal experience, through Nicole. Because the men that she has fallen for, they never really, truly loved her, 1000%. They were in love with other women, first. Truly, their investments were in other women, she just happened to be there to pick up the pieces when the other women weren't. Brady is definitely a huge part of her life, but truly his heart will always lie with Chloe.
I think you can have a great relationship with a man (and this is from a woman's point of view) and you can have great sex (and that's what she's had with both characters, EJ and Brady) but, if she can't capture his heart, a thousand percent, she doesn't have him. If you can't capture their hearts, you don't have that one true love. And I think that's what's happened with her. I think people are capable of loving multiple people, and having deep relationships, but a one true love, soul mate type thing? I don't think she's met him yet.
WE LOVE SOAPS TV: The new docu-series DIRTY SOAP features a number of your former co-stars. Would you ever consider doing a show like that?
Arianne Zucker: I don't know. [she laughs] It's tough. I wouldn't want my little one exposed. That's just my choice. I loved it, I love, love, love it! I'm watching it again, I have it on Tivo. It's very intense, for sure. . . It's good!
As far as my life goes. . . because I'm trying to do so much positive work in my life, with my project, LifeCHANGE, that will be ongoing for the rest of my life, I need positivity. And let's face it, all reality shows like that will try to spin. And I don't want that for what I'm trying to project in my life. So for me, probably not.
WE LOVE SOAPS TV: I'd like to end with a fun, philosophical question. If you could travel back in time, to 1998, to the beginning of your run on DAYS, and give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?
Arianne Zucker: Let me rewind... [pause]. Okay, well. I was very insecure in my twenties, and this is a lot of the reason why I chose to do LifeCHANGE. I was 22 that year, and LifeCHANGE is for young adults 18 to 25. I was very lost. I decided to stop modeling, decided to go back to school to become a veterinarian.
I was taking my pre-vet courses and still auditioning, and doing commercials. I got the DAYS audition on a whim, and got the part, and I think the advice I would give myself is, "Believe in who you are. Trust that what you do is important, and you can be and will be a mentor to others." That would be the first thing I said to myself. So. Yay!
WE LOVE SOAPS TV: That sounds wonderful. Thank you so much much, again, for sharing your time with us this afternoon.
Arianne Zucker: Oh sure, thank you so much, Kevin. Take care!
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Kevin Mulcahy Jr. is a Harvard alum who is currently working as a staff contributor at welovesoaps.com writing theater and web series reviews as well as other in-depth features. Read all his Web Series reviews here. To contact Kevin, email firstname.lastname@example.org.