Interview: Days of our Lives star Camila Banus Knows Who She Is, and What She Wants

Camila Banus
DAYS OF OUR LIVES -- Season: 51 -- Pictured: Camila Banus as Gabi Hernandez -- (Photo by: Chris Haston/NBC)
Abigail reveals to Gabi the father of her baby.

Yeah, that’s something our Deputy Editor mentioned on a recent podcast episode. She said it’s ironic that everything Abigail’s alter wanted to be, she couldn’t. Because she couldn’t copy Gabi. But she was inspired by everything.

Exactly, yeah! And, and, and it’s funny how she could be Gabi more with Stefan than she could be with Chad. You know, where she knew that by doing that we with Chad, that he would know it wasn’t the real Gabi. That he would know she was trying to be Gabi, you know. But here’s Stefan, someone that is, that has no knowledge of that other Gabi, or of those incidents or anything like that and with her, with him, she could get away with it.

Isn’t it ironic that the person that Stefan thought he loved was actually Gabi Hernandez all these months?”

Yeah, exactly!

Does Gabi feel remorse for the things she’s done to Chad, Abigail and Stefan?

The way that I’ve painted it in my mind – whether that comes across on screen or not, yes. I wouldn’t say there’s a lot of remorse, but it comes within small actions. For example, I think it hurts her to have [had] to drug her friends. But there are necessary steps to be taken for her plans to work. And so, her ultimate desire of that plan to work is so much greater than the smaller remorse that she feels for these smaller actions. That is hard for her to differentiate or have that, kind of, take precedence and understand that she’s doing something wrong.

Photo Credit: NBC.com

Do you prefer this version of Gabi?

Yeah. I mean, I think, I think that the way that I have rationalized it – ’cause it’s kind of like I’m trying to rationalize it as far as, you know, something was done to me, now therefore I have to do something back. I have to balance the scales. I think it’s more fun. I think it’s, um, I think it’s a more interesting perspective. I think it’s a more interesting way to go about it. I think Gabi going back to, well, just let everybody do whatever they want regardless of if it’s wrong or right is kind of a weaker take on it.

There’s been such, like a swell of support from fans that I haven’t, like, seen before and of course there are the people who always love Gabi. But then there are those who were like, “wow, I really understand this girl.” How did that make you feel?

Well, super. I mean, honestly, it’s been really like rewarding for me to see that the way I, kind of, rationalize these actions, these terrible actions, that more….I would say there’s a bigger percentage of people that understood than the percentage of people that kind of still hate her. So, for me, it’s, it was really cool. I mean, regardless, I don’t care if people understood or not. It wasn’t gonna affect me because, hey, I didn’t write it, you know?

Yeah.

But it was still nice because, at the end of the day, as a viewer myself, I kind of feel like Gabi got shitted on so bad for so many years. And I was, it was like a moment of me just separating myself from the show, where I was wanting and it’s just like, I find myself celebrating her victory. Because they’re evil victories, but it’s like she’s been pushed down so much, that, just any victory is something amazing for this character, you know? [Laughs]

[Laughs]

So, it’s nice. It’s nice to have people wanting to celebrate her victories even though they’ve been evil because it kind of makes me feel like my character’s understood a little bit.

I can see that. So, [laughs] obviously with Abby and Gabi’s friendship [laughs] destroyed…

Oh yeah. [That friendship]. Oh yeah. Done. [Laughs]

Because friendships are such a staple on the show, is there a chance for Gabi to develop a new friendship with someone else in town who might be able to understand, sort of, what she’s been dealing with?

See, I think that that’s something that has a huge potential to be a really great story. Whether it’s an unlikely friend or whether it’s somebody that you may know, I think that that’s something that could be really nice if you explore it a certain way. You know, if Gabi … depending on how it’s written, of course, it’d be really nice, I think, to see the guard that she has up for females, for women, in her life because of what has happened. Because it’s not only Abigail’s character but, you know, a group of women viciously attacked her in prison twice. So, there’s PTSD that all these experiences, and there’s traumas attached to them and it’s hard for her to trust people.

Yeah, Gabi does need to go see a therapist. Like, she needs someone who won’t judge her.

Yeah, she does.

One of the things we have seen less of is Gabi with her family. There was an interview you did a couple months ago when you were asked about Chandler Massey returning, you said you kind of hoped there would be more family scenes with Gabi, Will and Arianna, and that hasn’t happened. Is there something people can look forward to regarding that family unit? Even Gabi with Rafe.

Well, the only thing that I could probably, kind of like tease is that yes. There will be. I don’t think that they are going to be what everybody wants just because they’re very short. You know, there’s one scene here, one scene there, one with Will, one with Sonny, one with Rafe. Because there is a reason for that. That’s how her life is right now.

Will reunites with Gabi and Arianna.

Her life, the priority is not that. It’s not those people. It’s getting this mission done. And so, it’s, it’s nice to have these little scenes, but it also makes the point understandable that these people are trying to get a hold of Gabi too, and they’re not able to because she’s not making it a priority in her life to be there for them.

So, you know, there are aspects of that. There are aspects that play into just how invested she is into this plan that she has.

There was a lot of controversy with some fans regarding Gabi and her actions, and some of the people who seem to give you a lot of flak for it, despite you not being a writer for the show, so-

Right…

Is there a particular way that you handle that? And does the vitriol ever, kind of, like affect your mentality, like you personally? Because for some, social media is a great thing but there’s also the downside of it.

Right. So, um, I try to be, like, really real, like as much as I can on my social media and kind of be as real as I can when I go online. What a lot of people don’t know is that I, like … and what I was telling you about the other day, like earlier, that when I posted, like I really … It’s hard to control my mouth. It’s really hard for me to keep it quiet. So, in the same aspect, that’s how I am with, like, negative comments and stuff like that. Like, Camila immediately wants to start a fight, like let’s go. Every single person, like every single comment, I will fight you.

But I can’t do that, you know? I, I can’t, like I can’t do that. I can’t give them that power, I can’t give them that attention. Half the time that’s what people want. Half the time they’re just so miserable they would never be able to say this to me in front of me in real life, but that’s why they’re hiding behind their computer screen.

You see all these things … so you know, after I have my little moment of like, “oh hell no”, I am like, “okay. Fine. These are just miserable people. They’re having a miserable moment. Don’t give them the attention.” So I usually don’t. I will block people, or I’ll just be kind of like nonchalant about it, but, with a capital B, … There are some things, there are some people that are, worthy of a mention, because let me tell you something — and I said this a lot on my social media. I call out bullies. I don’t keep them protected. I am not going to keep my mouth quiet. I’m not going to look the other way. Because that, to me, has been how I have always resolved my bullies in my life.

People that have tried to step over me, no. I’m going to tell somebody bigger than you, more powerful than you, because that’s what I would do in high school. If somebody tried to bully me, it’s going straight to the principal. Put them on blast. And then, once they were put on blast, they were so embarrassed that everybody knew about that they were trying to lie about something that wasn’t true, they would never do it to me again.

Right.

I mean, of course, every case is different. There are people that are more violent than others. There’s, there’s neighborhoods that are worse than others, and there’s people that if you do that, they’re going to investigate more. But at the end of the day, this is how I have decided to live my life in my convictions. I am going to call them out. And like I said, there are some trolls, sort of, that are noteworthy, and mention-worthy, that need to be, you know, put out there, and people need to see that there are people that can get to a level that it’s just still disgusting that it there is. It’s in front of your face, and I’m going to call it out.

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