Stephen Nichols and Mary Beth Evans speak out regarding their firing in the latest issue of Soap Opera Digest.
A month ago, fans were shocked when the news broke Mary Beth Evans and Stephen Nichols were fired from Days of Our Lives. Nichols and Evans spoke candidly with Soap Opera Digest and for different reasons, the two fired actors were not surprised they were let go from the show they called home.
The interview in the most recent issue of Soap Opera Digest reveals the feelings of both Mary Beth and Stephen on their firing and how the working environment back stage had changed once regime changes were made at the show. “Yes, I was surprised that they allowed two of the most beloved characters in the history of the show to just fade into the background and then eventually away. No, because the support and story had not been there since Ed Scott (former Executive Producer) was let go, which by the way was a huge mistake. Ed’s departure sent morale on the set into a downward spiral,” admits Nichols to SOD.
Mary Beth Evans was more disappointed about being fired because of her love for the show, “I was kind of disappointed because I love that show and have always been very sentimental about Kayla and the Bradys and Patch, so that part I didn’t want to lose. I don’t think it mattered who was popular or who wasn’t or whatever, obviously, so I wasn’t surprised.”
Stephen and Mary Beth had been a fixture on Days of Our Lives since 1986, Stephen leaving the show in 1990, but Mary Beth stayed another two years on the show before leaving in 1992. After 14 years, the two returned to DAYS in 2006. During their absence from the NBC soap, Stephen and Mary Beth found work on another soap, this time on ABC’s General Hospital. Mary Beth joined the cast in 1993 as Katherine Bell. Stephen joined his former cast mate in 1996, when he debuted as Stefan Cassadine, son of the infamous Mikkos & Helena Cassadine.
Upon their return to Days of Our Lives in 2006, Evans and Nichols enjoyed airtime as their characters were reunited since Patch’s “death” in the 90’s. Though the pair had enjoyed occasional front burner status since their return, they mainly played supporting roles. Fans speculated they would soon exit given their lack of storyline and hefty pricetag.
Nichols expressed his discontent about the exit story he and Mary Beth were given to SOD, “Mary Beth and I were surprised by that, but again, it is indicative of a writer who really does not want to write anything for you and a “cut and run” attitude that prevails. When they decide they are done with you, they don’t bother to give the characters the respect of resolving story.”
Like Stephen and Mary Beth, fans too, thought there was more story to tell between Patch and Kayla, and the writers would move the characters into a new direction. But unfortunately it didn’t happen. Nichols and Evans revealed their feelings about the storyline that was given to them when they returned to the soap and how there were opportunities the writers overlooked. “I wished it would have gone in a different direction, but I wasn’t really all that surprised. I thought Stephen and I brought value to the show, and I certainly know there was a fan base, and I thought we brought things to the canvas that other people didn’t, but it just didn’t seem to matter when it all came down. They had to make their bottom line,” expressed Evans. Nichols thought with the rich history the two characters had would develop into a good story for he and Evans. “Yes, but isn’t that always the case? However, because of the history of Patch and Kayla was so rich, I hoped there might be someone with a true vision for our return based on history. Unfortunately that was not to be. That was a big disappointment.”
So what is coming next for these two? According to the interview with SOD, Nichols will be directing and acting in a series of One Acts written by his wife, Lisa. Also he will be directing another film in the near future. As for Mary Beth Evans, she would love to stay in Daytime and would love to be able to work again with writer Hogan Sheffer at CBS’ The Young and the Restless. She is also going to be adding a Pie of the Month using her homemade pies at her site Mary Beth’s Apple Pies, this Fall. In addition, she is also a monthly contributor to Hybrid Mom Magazine and will be seen in the Spring Issue. “I don’t know what the future holds, but I feel really happy and optimistic about it.”