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)
Photo Credit: NBC.com

I feel like, obviously there are those who want the attention, and then there’re those who really feel like they said nothing wrong. And that, that always gets me it’s like, you know, there’s a difference between Gabi and Camila. There’s a difference between reel and real life, and blurring those, even if it has nothing to do with the show, just thinking that you can say these things to someone that you’ve never met before is like, it’s lousy and it’s ridiculous.

Exactly. Yeah, and I want to say for me, too, because I don’t know if people know this, but mostly on every television show, most on every movie, like, actors don’t get to change any of the dialogue. They don’t get to input whatever ideas they want. They don’t get to talk to the writer and say, “hey, this is what I want to do with my storyline now.” Like, no.

Unless you’re the creator of the show and you’re the one that’s putting in the money and you’re a producer, and you do everything, like, you’re the main character, okay, you get to decide that. But, at the end of the day, I’m at the mercy of not only Ron [Carlivati], but his team and the show runners, and the people that are involved with creating stories. And when I get a script, it doesn’t matter if I like it or not. I still have to do it.

Right.

And that’s just the case and … I maybe there’s a storyline that I really don’t like, and, yeah, I’ll probably fight them the whole way through but I still have to do it.

Right, because you’re a professional.

Because it is required of my job. Exactly. Yeah.

Is there anyone that you worked with that’s going to be airing over the next month or so that might spark fan interest? Or something that they can forward to?

Gabi and Stefan share an unexpected kiss. © jpistudios.com

Okay, um, yes. So, I think, um, a lot of people have asked me if, you know, we’re going back to, like, being the nice girl Gabi, and I’m just like, “why? Why, why would you want that?”. What would you want in Gabi’s life that she would need right now to be nice to achieve? Nothing, other than being a good mother. And I think that that doesn’t change regardless of her evilness or not. She’s always a good mom to Ari. That’s something that’s a constant.

Um, so, there is a particular someone that she’s … it’s gonna be really exciting. For me, at least, it has been. And, um, it’s going to be a little bit … let me see how I phrase this. It’s going to be interesting because it’s a little bit of a twist. Um, it’s kind of like … you know we love to do little triangle here and there. So, um, might be a little bit of a triangle and it’s going to be a little bit of a twist, and that’s gonna be the interesting part of it.

I’m super excited for that, honestly. So, switching gears a bit. You stay booked and busy, like whether it’s modeling or prime-time work, like, you’re always on the go.

Yeah.

STAR: L-R: William Levy and guest star Camila Banus in the “Someday We’ll All Be Free” episode of STAR airing Wednesday, Oct. 31 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2018 Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: Wilford Harewood/FOX.

Last year you landed a recurring role on Fox’s Star as Nina Ferrara. What is the difference between Nina and Gabi?

The difference is Nina’s a little bit older. I think that Nina had a harder upbringing than Gabi. She struggled more in her life, and it’s made her stronger than Gabi at a younger age, and that … and, therefore, solidified her business life. Right? So she’s just very … like, she’s very about her business. She’s very about her money. She’s very about nothing that has to do with her personal life. She’s put a personal life kind of on the back burner, whereas Gabi didn’t really care too much about business her whole life. She cared more about her personal life and cared about relationships that she had and friendships. And it’s now, within the last two years that she’s cared more about me. How the heck am I going to support myself? How the heck am I going to continue my business? And so they’ve kind of flipped.

Nina did all of that her whole life and now, on the show, you see her dabbling into her personal life. And then you have Gabi, that hasn’t dealt with any of that and now she’s dealing with her business life. And so it was nice to have this, kind of like, reversal, um, as two different character, but always at the end of the core they were both two very strong Latina women. And that, to me, was wonderful because it just shows you how two strong women can lead such different lives and come from different backgrounds … and different, um, you know one’s Cuban, one’s Mexican. And so it’s just a difference in everything. Difference in flavor of personality, of emotion, of physicality, and of course, being around the music, music industry gives her a different flavor as well.

Now, we know Nina is married to Mateo. Their marriages is open, not a real secret, and Nina’s been developing this deep connection with Simone. Like, it’s, obviously it’s complicated and a little bit messy but is there a little bit of a chance for them?

I think there’s a very slim little chance that that’s ever going to happen for her, but I think it was really important for Nina to express to Simone that it wasn’t just that she was lusting for her. That it wasn’t just that she thought that she was a beautiful woman and that she wanted to feel her skin. It was that she wanted to be there for her. That she wanted to be there for Simone the way that she’s never been there for somebody. She’s never been there for Mateo and that she’s never been there for anybody.

STAR: L-R: Brittany O’Grady and guest star Camila Banus behind the scenes in the “Roots and Wings” episode of STAR airing Wednesday, Nov. 28 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2018 Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: Wilford Harewood/FOX.

And for her to understand that … that Nina actually wanted to be there in that way for somebody was super eye-opening because she’s been so … I wouldn’t say cold with Mateo, but she’s been so black and white with him. It’s been about business. It’s been about us getting our paper. It’s been about us getting our money. It’s been about us rising, that she never stopped to really think about was she needed as a woman, as a person. And so, it was like a slap in her face to understand, like, “wow I actually need someone that cares about me in these ways … in this way, in my life. So I think that’s why she also had to leave Mateo, you know.

Are you still filming?

No.

It felt like you were in Atlanta for ever. [Laughs]

Oh my God, it … I was. I freaking felt like I was there forever. And you know what? That’s the brilliant thing that DAYS has worked so like, I’m so grateful because they worked with me and were able to give me the days off. So it was really amazing for me.

That’s good, that’s good.

Yes.

You’ve done a lot of different projects and there were things that you were involved in and they changed plans like Snowfall. I was super excited for you to get involved in that and then they were like we’re changing everything and it was like, “no!”

Yes.

But, like, what is it that always brings you back to DAYS? The fear from a lot of your fans, is… I mean they’re happy, obviously, that you’re doing other things, but they’re like, “oh my God, she’s gonna leave DAYS.” But yet you keep coming back. Why is that?

Well, I mean, here’s the thing. Like, I’m, I’m a very loyal person. I’ve been with my manager here in LA since … she’s been my only manager, right? There’s been nobody else. So I’m just a very loyal person and I like to say that I’m a mirror. I give what I get. If you’ve been good to me, if you’ve been kind to me, that’s how I’m going to give. That’s what I’m going to give you. That’s how I’m going to react. And DAYS is my home. DAYS has been there for me. People have been there for me, um, at DAYS when I needed them. My character has been there for me when I needed to kind of vent in my life, if in a weird… in a weird, sick way. Um, I feel emotionally very attracted to Gabi. I feel like she’s someone that I need to still speak for. I feel like she’s … someone I still need to represent.

Gabi witnesses a secret meeting between Kate and Stefan.

And the way that I’ve expressed to DAYS has been that, you know, no matter what I do in my life, I’m never gonna stop auditioning. That’s something that I personally … like, I like it. Like, I actually like it. To me it’s like fun. [Laughs] So that’s something that I don’t think that I will ever stop. Like, even, like, I’m doing other things I like. I personally like to go in front of an audition room and tell them, “This is what I prepared. This is what I want to show you. This is what I brought.” You know, and then have them work with me and direct me, like, I personally enjoy that. So regardless, I’m never going to stop doing that, but I’m always going to feel like Days of our Lives is my home because it is.

I grew up on the show. I got there when I was 20; I’m 28 now. And I feel like I’ve developed into a woman and really grown up on the show. And I love it so much. I’ve loved people that have come in and out, that are still there, that are not there right now. So for me, the way that I’ve expressed that to the crew is, as long as you’re happy, I will be there. Because I don’t see why not. I don’t see why not as long as they can keep working with me and trying to work around everyone’s schedule. I don’t see why not. It’s a beautiful thing that we’ve cultivated. And I think fans, especially, get so excited when they see people that have been there for a long periods of time. When they’ve seen people that they’ve really invested in.

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