Days of our Lives star Arianne Zucker (Nicole) talks with TVSource Magazine about Nicole’s complicated 2012, harem of men and the return of DAYS execs Gary Tomlin and Christopher Whitesell.
Arianne Zucker had already put in a full day’s work (no pun intended) on Days of our Lives last Friday before she began a two hour interview press tour. In addition to being an actress, Zucker is also a wife (she wed fellow soap star Kyle Lowder in 2002), mother, and humanitarian. She and former co-star Jason Cook (ex-Matt, GH; ex-Shawn, DAYS), along with her brother Todd, spent two weeks in Johannesburg, Africa for filming for their project LifeCHANGE. It’s a wonder she has the energy to come to work every day. When asked if she was tired, she jokingly replied, “I don’t know what you’re talking about Omar, I’m fine! No seriously I’m exhausted,” before laughing and promised to “pump up” her energy. As it was my first time interviewing Ari, it was a little difficult to hold back my excitement.
In the final episode before Days of our Lives’ two week hiatus due to the Olympics, the show ended on a cliffhanger, dubbed a “DAYSaster,” Zucker’s chararacter Nicole was trapped amidst the falling debris. What does the actress have to say about her recent storylines? Find out below.
TVSource Magazine: If you could sum up the last seven months of Nicole’s life what would it be?
Arianne Zucker: God help her. I would say that she is trying to make a change in her life by surrounding herself with positive men and people, however making a horrible decision in the interim. This is basically surrounding herself with Rafe and Daniel but putting herself in a bad situation with EJ.”
TVSource: Let’s talk about the many men of Nicole. Since last August, Nicole’s gone from Brady to EJ to a crush on Rafe to a relationship with Daniel. The men of Salem love them some Nicole. How does it feel to have your own harem of hunks?
Zucker: Listen it’s a really tough job…thank god they pay me the big bucks [Laughs]. I really have to say it’s kind of a first for this character and the length of the time I’ve been on the show. It’s great [Laughs]. I think it’s more shocking especially with the two good guys — Rafe and Daniel — on her side. I think it’s very shocking to her. I don’t think Nicole understands the positive power she has. You know she manipulates and she does all this stuff but she doesn’t need to. And she doesn’t realize that she has to do that. And she didn’t have to do it with EJ either. But she chose, EJ and Nicole’s relationship started out in big lies anyway, but I think with these two other guys, she actually has the possibility of being this great woman. Regardless of where the relationships go, she just has positivity in her life and that’s exactly what she needs.”
TVSource: What is it about Rafe and Daniel that Nicole is attracted to?
Zucker: I think they’re sort of her knights in shining armor without really having to try. With Daniel, I think there’s some honesty there, there’s some truth. I mean here’s a man who wants to be with her and she’s pregnant, regardless of the outcome, he wants to be with her with the way she is at this point. He really likes her for who she is at this moment there’s no jokes, no tricks, no manipulations. He just is. And that’s a pretty amazing feeling for anyone if you ask me. I think the same with Rafe. There’s a friendship there in knowing Nicole and her way has her crush on him because he is this great guy. Of course was at one time, back and forth, Sami’s great guy. I had always said to her “You know you’ve got a really great guy I don’t know why you deserve him.” And there’s sort of a jealousy there in that respect, but there’s also this guy sauced into the time to step up and say he’s the father to a man that is his wife’s nemesis. And he never needed to do that. He’s a hero and a hero in two different ways. That’s the long, long version [Laughs].
TVSource: Is there a future for Daniel and Nicole?
Zucker: If she doesn’t mess it up, yup. That’s the thing about her. She just can’t see past her nose. She just reactions so I’m hoping at this point she maintains her truth with him. So it’ll be interesting and as anyone who knows this character, with the 14 years she’s been on here, she always self-sabotages. That’s what this character is known for — she sabotages her life. Even though years ago she’s the gold digger and this and that, but she’s still sabotaging her own life and not making great choices. So I as an actor, as I read these scripts, I go “I hope she doesn’t sabotage because this is a really great thing.” So that’s what I hope for.
TVSource: Scenes aired last week between you and Suzanne Rogers (Maggie). Did you continue to work with her after those scenes were filmed?
Zucker: I just love working with her by the way. Suzanne Rogers is just a wonderful actress and wonderful woman. As far as the two characters are concerned? Yeah, there’s a relationship. One of the nice things, especially about these writers, is everybody works with everybody. There are relationships within relationships in Salem. I can say now without saying anything as far as story is concerned, you’ll see people working with each other. So continuing relationships throughout this very small town you’ll start to see occur.
TVSource: What are your thoughts on Gary Tomlin and Christopher Whitesell returning to DAYS?
Zucker: Well I love Gary. When he came on as EP he just runs a tight ship. I like discipline. I can’t say I’ve always been a great student, but whenever I had a teacher who was really hard I always excelled. That was the one thing I really loved about him. Obviously this is a totally different position as he’s writing with Chris, but there’s a way in which he writes. This is a tough genre to write for, and I will always back up any writer that has ever been here. Whoever anyone approves or disapproves, this is not an easy genre to write for – that just being said for number one. And two, when you have someone who is a workhorse and works as hard as Gary and Chris do, and the creativity they have, it’s thrilling. I’m just so fortunate to still be here. I never underestimate what can happen in the entertainment world, so I’m always so appreciative of my job. But I love his work ethic, I like how he thinks and I do enjoy where’s he’s taking the story. I like them both.
TVSource: Before you go, fans are dying to know if you’ve worked with Greg Vaughan (Eric) yet.
Zucker: No, I haven’t worked with Greg yet. I have known him for a long time though. Actually when Jensen Ackles was playing the role, there was a very tight circle with some actors. We always used to hang out together, so there’s a familiarity there – and he’s kind of cute so whatever [Laughs].