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INTERVIEW: Greg Vaughan On DAYS OF OUR LIVES, Learning From The Greats, and 'Two In'

Greg Vaughan made his debut as Eric Brady (now a priest!) on DAYS OF OUR LIVES earlier this month. Vaughan has played starring roles in primetime on MALIBU SHORES and BEVERLY HILLS 90210 and on daytime in GENERAL HOSPITAL and THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS. He has appeared in numerous other TV series and movies, and indie films as well. He plays the love interest of Alison Sweeney in the upcoming Hallmark movie, Two In, a big departure from playing her twin brother on DAYS. We Love Soaps caught up with Vaughan today to talk about his latest daytime role, juggling a busy home and work life, and loving what you do.

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: Have you been enjoying your return to daytime so far?
Greg Vaughan: It has been exciting. It's a roller coaster ride, and I'm still a newbie. It's a new experience and new journey, like the first day of school.

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: You had the opportunity to play a different role on DAYS last year but didn't take it.
Greg Vaughan: At the time it was brought to me it was still too early for me to think about returning. It was so exciting for me to be in the real world. In daytime there's so much hardship because it's so intense and so fast. It's like you're circuit training. You're really going at full speed like a bullet train. You're getting so much information so quickly and regurgitating that it's hard to keep up. For me there was something about standing up again and dusting myself off and enjoying not having to be like cramming for a test.

Daytime is like college. You build such a structure, you're used to this every day in and out lifestyle. I was getting to a point in my life and believed everything happens for a reason in my life, so I felt like one door closing was another door opening. It was too early for me at the time so I said, "I greatly appreciate this opportunity, but right now I'm exploring this direction. I hope you think of me in the future." It was very respectful.

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: So now you're playing Eric Brady, who has become a priest. Did they say, "Let's call Greg Vaughan. He would make the perfect priest."
Greg Vaughan: [Laughs] It's definitely out of my comfort zone by all means. I have family experience and history in a church setting, and have a deep respect for any kind of theology and religious beliefs and history. I think every person should have a choice in spiritual direction and a higher power, and I have my own and apply what I think is right. As an actor, you never want to find something in your comfort zone. You want to break out, and what better way to do that. I was a little scared but thought it could be really interesting and something people don't identify me with like the boy next door, fireman or cop roles.

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: You have three sons. When do you find time for peace and quiet to learn your lines?
Greg Vaughan: There's never time. I try to get in earlier than my call time at the office, but being the dad that I am I always drop the kids off at school. It's like a three-ring Barnum & Bailey Circus. It's high-energy, and everybody's on their game, getting teeth brushed, hair brushed, and I'm chasing kids. That is the hard work. Sometimes when I put my boys to sleep, I fall asleep with them then wake up at five in the morning and try to cram in some lines then.

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: Can you preview what's ahead for Eric on DAYS?
Greg Vaughan: There's this great journey that's going to unfold. Everybody's like, "Wow, you're a priest!" Eric is so about "Nicole, Nicole, Nicole" or "Sami, Sami, Sami" and making smart choices and "family, family, family," so the mirror hasn't been turned on him yet. Over a period of time we are definitely going to see that experience. You'll find out a little more about Eric's choice and where he's going.

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: Speaking of Sami, you just shot a Hallmark film, Two In, with Alison Sweeney.
Greg Vaughan: It's so coincidental and we were both shocked. We showed up on set and were both like, "What are you doing here?" I tested for the role, and within a week my manager called and said I'd been offered the part. I asked who it was with but they didn't have all the details. I really didn't know until I got there that the woman who was about to play my sister [on DAYS] was the same actress who was going to play my love interest in the film.

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: It will be interesting to see how the chemistry is different between the two of you in each role.
Greg Vaughan: It's definitely different. We focused on work while there, and never talked about DAYS while we were doing that. We tried to keep that uniqueness there so when we got to this point we could create something new with DAYS, a brother-sister tie, and I hope that shows on screen.

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: If you could go back to the beginning of your career, when you were doing MALIBU SHORES or BEVERLY HILLS 90210, and give yourself a piece of advice knowing what you know now, what would you tell yourself?
Greg Vaughan: I've always lived as if this is my last job so I put everything I have on the table and enjoy it. You have to enjoy it because if you don't, you miss out on so many great opportunities. You can apply that to life and work. Love what you do and do it well, and have fun doing it. And that's just kind of the way I am, putting one foot in front of the other. I always learned from the greater people I've worked with. I did a movie with Ernest Borgnine and just sat with him to hear his knowledge. We didn't talk so much about the work, but about the arts and museums, and family and being a father. And then Ed Asner. I feel so lucky to have worked with these people, but also being in an industry that I have so much appreciation for. It's a gift.

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Roger Newcomb is a producer and writer in New York City. Aside from co-hosting WE LOVE SOAPS TV, he has written and produced a full-length indie film, Manhattanites, and two radio soap operas, SCRIPTS & SCRUPLES and ROCKLAND COUNTY. He has also made acting appearances in indie web series IMAGINARY BITCHES and EMPIRE. He has consulted on numerous indie soaps, worked as a producer on the first two seasons of Emmy-nominated THE BAY, and is executive producer on the indie short May Mercy Lie, which is currently making the rounds at film festivals.

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