EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: 'Days of our Lives' Actress Aloma Wright Previews 'Second Chance Christmas'

Days of our Lives actress Aloma Wright in Second Chance Christmas.
Photo courtesy of TV One.
A graduate of New York's prestigious American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Aloma Wright toured with "Ain't Misbehavin'," and "The Gospel Truth with Jennifer Holiday, Tramaine Hawkins and Johnny Brown. She won two Drama Logue Awards, one in 1996 for her role in "The Visit" under the direction of Ted Lange and the other in 1997 for her work in "From the Mississippi Delta." She was also nominated by the NAACP Image Awards for Best Actress in 1994 for "First Breeze of Summer" and again in 1997 for "Four Queens no Trump."

From 2001 to 2009 she starred in the hit primetime comedy Scrubs as Nurse Laverne Roberts and, later, as Nurse Shirley. Since 2008, she has played Nurse Maxine on NBC's daytime drama Days of our Lives.

On Saturday, December 6, she stars in the TV One holiday movie Second Chance Christmas with McKinley Freeman (Hit The Floor), Michael Rainey Jr. (Power), Robinne Lee (Being Mary Jane), Kandi Burruss (R&B Singer and The Real Housewives of Atlanta cast member), Durrell “Tank” Babbs (R&B singer) Ella Joyce (Roc), Golden Brooks (Hollywood Divas) and Rolonda Watts (Days of our Lives).

In Second Chance Christmas, Maisie (Lee) and her 13-year-old son Lawrence (Rainey Jr.) form a small, yet tight-knit family unit. Lawrence knows his mother doesn't have the easiest life as a single mother, but it makes him happy simply to know that she is there for him. His prayers for his mother to find happiness are answered when Malcolm (Freeman) marries Maisie. Yet ironically, Lawrence is indifferent to Malcolm and is certainly not afraid to wear his feelings on his sleeve. However, when a tragic car accident takes Maisie’s life, Lawrence and Malcolm must learn to lean on one other and get by with an important piece of their lives missing.

We Love Soaps recently spoke with Aloma Wright about her career and role in Second Chance Christmas. Read our exclusive interview below:

WE LOVE SOAPS: Second Chance Christmas tells the story of a young boy's struggle to accept his stepfather after the untimely and tragic death of his mother. How does your character fit into the story?
ALOMA WRIGHT: My character is the social worker who actually takes the boy from the stepfather. The stepfather makes a decision that the child is acting out and he can't handle him. He figures the best thing for him to do is let him go with his biological grandparents because of the loss of his mother. I'm the case worker that initiates the process.

WE LOVE SOAPS: You worked with a great cast including McKinley Freeman, Michael Rainey, Jr., Robinne Lee. What was the shoot like?
ALOMA WRIGHT: It was great. I generally have a good time when I'm working. I love to work. I look for all silver linings and there were plenty of them there. Rolonda was a lot of fun to work with. I didn't get a chance to work with Ella Joyce but I did work with her husband. And the lead [McKinley Freeman] that plays the stepfather, I saw him on that basketball show...

WE LOVE SOAPS: Hit the Floor!
ALOMA WRIGHT: Yes, that's it! He was new to me but he was really kind, a hard worker and a joy to get to know.

WE LOVE SOAPS: When was the movie filmed?
ALOMA WRIGHT: It was filmed a couple of months ago, and for me that's a pretty quick turnaround. The challenge there was doing it during the summer when it was 90 degrees outside, and wearing three layers of clothing.

WE LOVE SOAPS: I know Days of our Lives taped their Christmas episodes in July or August so you had Christmas year round.
ALOMA WRIGHT: Days is inside in a controlled atmosphere. Generally they have the air on at Days of our Lives anyway so it's always cool. It's different when you're outside or in a building that can't use air because of the sound. The microphones are so sensitive they will pick it up.

WE LOVE SOAPS: Your Second Chance Christmas co-star Rolonda Watts appeared in 44 episodes of Days of our Lives from 2001-2008 as Cameron Reese. McKinley Freeman did 13 episodes as Evan Sayers in 2008-2011. Was there any Days on set?
ALOMA WRIGHT: I didn't know that. I don't think we made that connection.

WE LOVE SOAPS: Are you a big holiday person? Do you have any favorite holiday traditions?
ALOMA WRIGHT: I love Thanksgiving, and we just had that. I am the matriarch in my family. This year was the first year my daughter was not with me. She went to Europe with his husband for Thanksgiving. I have two granddaughters, one in her 20s and on that's 11. The 11 year old went to Florida because they hadn't seen each other that much. But I still had a houseful of people. I enjoy cooking and I put on my gospel music. I get started on Wednesday and sing and dance around the kitchen while I'm cooking my food.

WE LOVE SOAPS: Scrubs is one of my favorite shows so I was thrilled when you came to Days as Maxine. Had you ever watched the show before?
ALOMA WRIGHT: I used to watch Days of our Lives when I was in my teens. It's been on so long.  We had the Hollywood Christmas Parade here on Sunday and they honored Days for its 50th year.

WE LOVE SOAPS: Had you seen characters like Abe, played by James Reynolds?
ALOMA WRIGHT: Yes, I had. Back then Renee [Jones] was on as his wife. I was familiar with Deidre Hall (who plays Marlena), of course, because she's been there for years, and Suzanne Rogers (Maggie). There were a lot of main characters I knew from watching the show.

WE LOVE SOAPS: Having played a nurse for so long on TV, do people ever ask you for medical advice?
ALOMA WRIGHT: I'll tell you a very short story. I went to the bank one day and was standing in the business line. I heard a noise, and it was in the hood, so I'm thinking, "Oh god, what's going on now." There was a man lying on the floor and I heard someone say, "Flip him over." So they flipped him over on his back because he had fallen on his face. Then I heard someone say, "Is he breathing?" I waited about two second to see if anyone was going to do anything then got down on the floor and started doing CPR on him. 

I just keep screaming at him to breathe, and was pumping his chest. Another lady and I alternated doing that until the paramedics got there. Then it hit me, girl, you aren't trained to do CPR! [Laughs]

I have been doing this for so long on television, and at one time in my life I thought I wanted to be a nurse. I actually took nursing courses as a teenager. When I first graduated from high school I worked in a place call Rancho Los Amigos out here. I trained in it but that was 40 years ago.

Later on, I found he did survive, and they said if we had not done CPR he would not have because he was not breathing. So I don't know if they think I'm a nurse but sometimes I think I'm a nurse. [Laughs]

WE LOVE SOAPS: Maxine is so great at saying a lot with just a look. When pro baseball player Paul Narita (Christopher Sean) checked into the hospital recently, he was flirting shamelessly with all the women, but Maxine wasn't having it.
ALOMA WRIGHT: She's a bit intuitive.

WE LOVE SOAPS: She's great at reading people. Is there anything coming up for Maxine or the show that you can tease?
ALOMA WRIGHT: Not really. She had Abe for a hot minute, and I thought we were going to have a torrid love affair. [Laughs] But that ended very quickly. We had the "Day of Days" event recently at Universal CityWalk and I was asked about my favorite storyline. My favorite storyline has not been created yet. I have an affair with Victor Kiriakis (John Aniston). His wife, Maggie goes into a coma and I'm her nurse, taking care of her. During that I develop a relationship with her husband. That becomes the torrid affair. [Laughs]

Second Chance Christmas premieres Saturday,
December 6 at 8 p.m. ET on TV One.
WE LOVE SOAPS: That would be great. He's (John Aniston) so funny.
ALOMA WRIGHT: Oh my God, he is so witty. He played Santa very early on when I came on the show and it was the craziest Santa I have ever seen. I thought, "This is hysterical, we need to record this." He is just a wonderful guy. I enjoy working with him.

WE LOVE SOAPS: You were born in New York, and attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts here. Is there a chance we could get you back on a New York stage at some point soon?
ALOMA WRIGHT: I was just watching The View and one of the co-hosts asked about Broadway and I started thinking, "That was your dream, Aloma." I don't know. I still do theater here in L.A. but, of course, it's a very different monster here than in New York because New York is eight shows. I think if it's not a musical that I'm not singing and dancing in it, I could probably handle eight shows a week. Here in L.A., theater is Thursday through Sunday and maybe four shows a week, and you don't get paid. So it depends, but theater is still my first love and I would love to go to Broadway.

WE LOVE SOAPS: We would love to see you in New York! There are a lot of Christmas movies old and new that air during the holidays. What's special about Second Chance Christmas and why should people tune in?
ALOMA WRIGHT: It's a wonderful story about a relationship between a father and a son. So much of that is missing in today's society. This is not a blood relation but it takes a village. I think the message in this is we need to engage young men in today's society and teach them how to be men.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Don't miss Second Chance Christmas on Saturday, December 6 at 8 p.m. ET on TV One.

Roger Newcomb is a producer and writer in New York City. He has written and produced a full-length indie film, Manhattanites, and two radio soap operas. He founded and produces annually the Indie Series Awards, which honors the best in independent entertainment on the Web. He was executive producer on the indie short May Mercy Lie and, from 2009 to 2014, hosted We Love Soaps TV. He has also made acting appearances in shows such as Imaginary Bitches and Empire. Recent film appearances include the documentary Soap Life--ruminating alongside Agnes Nixon and Eileen Fulton--and James Franco's indie feature, Francophrenia.

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