Say what you will about “Days of our Lives’” Nancy Wesley, but she is definitely a character fans just love to hate. The same can’t be said of her portrayer, Patrika Darbo, who is loved, loved, loved all around for her humor, candidness and ability to play one of daytime’s baddest bitches!
“It is the best character to play,” raves Darbo of Chloe Lane’s mom, a role she originated back in 1998. “Every day, I thank goodness [for] the fact that I get to play this role that they created for me, and that they have kept her coming back.”
Unfortunately, Nancy’s story arc this time around has come to close. A rep confirms that Patrika’s final airdate was Wednesday, April 10. But you can bet you haven’t seen the last of the feisty female. “As an actor, you never know what the producers have in mind, and let me just say, if they ask me back, and my schedule allows, I’ll come back, because it’s like a second home,” Darbo says. “It’s a wonderful experience, every time I’ve been on the show.”
Well, maybe expect for the character arc that played out this time around! “I think there were some loose ends,” she admits. “As a viewer, I can go, ‘Well wait a second. Nancy should have gotten a gun out, before she left town, and done a little damage, [because] Nancy would not be in the town of Salem and not let Kate [Roberts, Lauren Koslow] have a piece of her mind!’” Plus, Darbo is pretty sure Nancy normally wouldn’t have been able to stand Nicole DiMera (Arianne Zucker) as well as she did this time around. “I don’t think she would have met Nicole in the room without socking her one time!” she says with a laugh. “So I think there could have been a little bit more arc going on, but that wasn’t the story they were telling this time.”
One thing in particular that she did love about this most recent reprisal, however, was Chloe (Nadia Bjorlin) and Nancy’s evolved relationship. “We weren’t devouring one another, we were taking care of one another, and I think that was great,” she says, adding that it’s wonderful to work with Bjorlin again. “When we first [started years ago], I was helping her with some of the acting things, because this was like her first job, and this time, with my coming back, things were so fast, and I wasn’t sure where everything was, so she was helping me! Life goes in a full circle.”
Speaking of things going in full circle, Soap Opera Network asked Darbo if she thinks “Step By Step” — the 90’s family sitcom on which she played Aunt Penny Baker alongside Suzanne Somers and Patrick Duffy (Bobby Ewing, “Dallas;” Stephen Logan, “The Bold and the Beautiful”) — could have a second life similar to the 90’s sitcom “Boy Meets World,” which is coming back for round two via the pilot “Girl Meets World,” filmed last month. “It would be fun!” the actress says with a smile. “It was a great experience… and I often think it would be fun to have Aunt Penny doing something whacky now. Never say never, because everything that was old is new again, and we are generational; you can introduce kids to anything.”
But if that were to happen, busy Darbo may not even have time! In addition to filming “My Trip Back to the Dark Side,” which also stars Sean Kanan (A.J. Quartermaine, “General Hospital;” ex-Deacon Sharpe, “The Young and the Restless” and “The Bold and the Beautiful”), she recently filmed an episode of the Eva Longoria (ex-Isabella Williams, “Y&R”) and Marc Cherry produced series “Devious Maids,” which premieres on Sunday, June 23, on Lifetime. “I filmed the seventh episode,” Darbo reveals of her appearance, adding that unfortunately, she did not get to work with Susan Lucci (ex-Erica Kane, “All My Children”), who plays Genevieve Delacourt on the series. “She wasn’t there that day. But what’s interesting, I worked with Roselyn [Sanchez, “Without A Trace”], and her husband, Eric Winter, was on “DAYS” [as Rex DiMera]. So there was a big “DAYS” connection. And in fact, Matt Cedeno [ex-Brandon Walker, “DAYS”] is a recurring character on “Devious Maids,” so it was kind of like an old home.”
When it comes to “Devious Maids,” a possible “Step By Step” reprisal or even just keeping “Days of our Lives” going strong, Darbo says the key is to make your voice of support loud and clear. “Whatever your favorite show is, embrace it, let the producers know, and let the people who sell their ads on there that you use their products; if you want to keep your shows on, you need to support them,” she says, adding that she’s thrilled that fan support has led to the reprisal of “AMC” and “One Life to Live.” “I’m just so glad that they realized that there were fans out there that missed that, and maybe “As the World Turns” will be another one!”