Eileen Davidson Takes a Second Ride Aboard the Crazy Train

Paul Skipper/JPI Studios
Paul Skipper/JPI Studios

If anyone knows what it’s like to play a quintessential soap opera character, it’s “’” (Kristen Blake; ex-Ashley Abbott, “” and “;” ex-Kelly Capwell, “Santa Barbara”). During her 1993 to 1998 stint in Salem, she played everything from helping save Marlena () from satanic possession, being presumed dead, buying a baby and even playing four other characters (Susan, Thomas, Sister Mary Moira and Penelope) in addition to her original role as Stefano’s adopted daughter. And the madness hasn’t slowed down since she’s returned to the show for a second run! “The storylines are always pretty nutty for Kristen,” the actress says with a laugh. “It doesn’t stop, that’s for sure.”

Paul Skipper/JPI Studios
Paul Skipper/JPI Studios

Kristen’s latest “oh no, she didn’t!” move was cozying up to Brady () in an attempt to get him to fall for her so she could leave him brokenhearted — just as his father, John (), had done to her. What she didn’t realize was that she’d fall for the hunky CEO and lose her nerve to go through with the twisted revenge plot! And since then, Davidson says her alter ego has been in a tailspin over the shift. “It’s not about John anymore,” she teases, adding that working with Martsolf has been fantastic. “He’s a really, really nice guy. He’s a terrific actor and a friend, and we have a lot of fun together.”

As for the overall writing on the show, the California native is pleasantly surprised. “It has been really fun to kind of explore this character in a different light,” she says. “I’ve been able to flesh her out more and get to know her better, which has been really great.”

And she also notes that the material she’s getting now is a complete 180 from the writing she was used to back in the 90s, most of which was penned by the late James Reilly. “It was definitely different,” the actress states of Reilly’s writing — which she admits she loved and hated at the same time. “You kind of had to throw a lot of what you were trained to do as an actor out the window. I remember having to find justification for everything that I was doing… because a lot of it was coming from left field. So it was very emancipating in a certain way, because you just had to go with it.”

[pullquote_left]I’ve been able to flesh her out more and get to know her better, which has been really great[/pullquote_left]

So does that mean she’s secretly hoping that things will take a turn in Reilly’s direction so she can play more outlandish stories like being multiple characters again? Maybe, maybe not! “Fans really loved it, the audience really loved it a lot, and it was a different stretch for me as an actor for sure… so I’m open to it,” she says with a slight bit of hesitance. “[Whether or not] it would it work on the show would be my main concern, because the show is so different than it used to be. But in that respect, I would be open to at least exploring it.”

Either way, Davidson is thrilled to be back playing the character she originated. “She’s so much fun; I can’t say enough good words about [her],” she raves. “She’s a bad girl, but you’ve got to love to hate her… and I feel so lucky.”

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  • Harlee

    She focused TomlinWhitesell when ED arrived back in Salem and has been great to watch her, she’s amazingly hot and can play anything and she’s proved it. She will always be Ashley Abbott to me….

  • alistaircrane

    I don’t care about Kristen. It’s SUSAN I want to see!!! Days needs more characters like her. Ditto for Celeste, Bonnie, and Hattie—I’d love to see them all back. Days is sorely lacking a sense of humour. Also, Sister Mary Moira would fit in perfectly with the Father Eric stuff.

  • Jim Fung

    DAYS has evolved way beyond Reilly’s writing and it’s so awesome to see this current version of DAYS that is 180 from his style. Can’t believe you asked that question! So glad the current DAYS is so character-based and the writing is so strong!

    • alistaircrane

      Ewww, I can’t believe you like this version of the show! Days was once my favorite soap and now it’s a shell of its former self. Tomsell are hacks. People who like this Days aren’t watching the real Days of Our Lives.

      James E. Reilly is a soap god, a genius. The only soaps worth watching are the ones written by him. Sadly, Days will never be good again unless TPTB get a Ouija board and conjure JER to write Days from beyond the grave.

      • lulu

        go away..

        • alistaircrane

          No, I’m here to stay, thanks muchly.

  • kevingm

    Eileen Davidson is breathing new life into DAYS!!! Her scenes with Eric Martsolf (Brady) are the hottest and sexiest in daytime, her adversarial relationship with Deidre Hall (Marlena) is providing fun and exciting drama like the Krystle/Alexis scenes of the Dynasty heydays and she even gets to show her softer, sympathetic side in scenes with Melissa Reeves (Jennifer). I’m so glad that Ms. Davidson is back on DAYS! She is a sexy, exciting, spitfire actress and is the shot in the arm that DAYS has desperately needed! Keep her front and center!!!!!!!!

    • lulu

      She is great on Days and is favored by some good writing (which can be rare on Days seriously) lucky her so while she is needed and a great addition to Days one character doesn’t make a show when it is an ensemble soap opera type of is not Buffy where Buffy was the central character.

  • CreatrixJudy

    I have LOVED having Eileen back on Days! I haven’t been a regular viewer, but remember how fantastic she was back in the ’90s, and she’s just as good now! I really have enjoyed watching Kristen fall in love for real and get her self back. I hope that they don’t let Brady’s anger send her down the crazy track again – I’d like him to see that she truly wants him and not revenge anymore and have them be happy together. Either way, it’s been a pleasure to watch such a talent do her thing!

  • Rich

    She is so wasted on Days. I want her back as Ashley!!

    • lulu

      euh..she is not wasted she is front burner..she has more storylines on Days she ever had on Y&R since at least a decade..wake up !

      • Harlee

        Yes she is front & center on Days…but what’s your problem with YR? I noticed slight digs about YR through out postings. Ashley always had story on YR granted some by MAB was lacking but no difference when it came to being front & center. Eileen played different type of character on YR, even on B&B but Ashley was always used to drive story. We will wait patiently because it will happen down the road but ED will return to YR her original role, after her contract wDays or Corday gets a wild hair and starts firing people or NBC once again.

        • alistaircrane

          Ashley is an awful character, a dreadful bore. Kristen is Days’ most supreme villainess of ALL TIME. Susan is one of Days’ most endearing heroines. Eileen’s Days roles are way better than that snoozefest Ashley Abbott. By the way, Brenda Epperson was a far better Ashley than Eileen ever was.

          • Harlee

            You are a boil on the butt of all these soap sites! You don’t even watch YR because you don’t care for character diven soaps and is why you are constantly bashing DOOL right now. You haven’t change in the least & was the same way on Daytime Confidential I been posting on soap sites for over 3 years and NEVER have read something POSITIVE from you about any soap….Patterns of unhappiness is shining brightly through and until ppl got tired of your constant rants about nothing and insulting everyone, your immature, combative for no reason, evidently you have no life but a sad one, always trying to start something with someone somewhere especially about JER, you NEVER have nothing to say positive about any soap….maybe you like ED better as Kirsten than Ashley that’s ok but I’m ALLOWED to enjoy ED as Ashley as my preference! I liked BE as much as ED so your point is moot with me. You suck as human being, you must not have any type of joy in life because these posts says quite a lot on the writing by the posters. I don’t go around bitching & moaning acting like some 3rd grade calling names to other posters. I’m OK to have a honest disagreement about a story or another poster if done in a way of not offending anyone but this is all you know how to do is be miserable and lash out on ppl…Just because I think JER is a HACK as MAB, as LML or DH doesn’t mean others do and like those as writers, it’s not my personal taste. You need to distinguish between ppl’s personal taste and not taking everything so personal. A smile is free you know….

          • alistaircrane

            I love Passions and classic Days. I always have something positive to say about them! Sadly, none of the current soaps are very good. They don’t tell stories I’m interested in watching. It’s a shame because I love the format: daily hour-long (or half-hour-long) serialized storytelling.
            ” I don’t go around bitching & moaning acting like some 3rd grade calling names to other posters.” Actually, you spend your entire post doing just this. I guess because it’s aimed at me it’s somehow acceptable.Now, your post is entirely ridiculous and all you do is bash me. That’s not very friendly or polite. It just makes you look crazy.
            And actually, the reason I don’t watch Y&R anymore is because they got rid of Nina, my favourite character. Maria Bell may not have been a great writer, but at least she wrote stories for Nina, unlike Josh Griffith, who fired her immediately.

          • Juan Vincente

            You go Harlee. You defend Miss Abbott!

        • lulu

          I love the actress Eileen Davidson and i like her in BOTH Days and Y&R, she is versatile because she can portray two pretty different characters : Ashley and Kristen.
          That being said i find the Kristen character most of the time more dynamic and interesting than the Ashley one who along the years could/can be fun to watch but too much often was/is boring or wasted. Her last stories with Tucker and Abby were a real bore and really secondary stories on the show. I did not like at all her pairing with Brad with the Victor sperm mess of story..yikes or also recently her being again pregnant with Victor and losing her baby because she saw Adam dress in a drag..awful.. And no as Ashley she was backburned lot’s of lots’ of times..The times where she was above all front burner were when she interacted or was paired with Victor Newman.. And for the record back in the day i loved Ashley’s love story with Victor even if it was obvious that Nicky will be always the number one with maybe Hope..Ashley came in 3rd position but like i said i loved Ashley/Victor’s love story and Davidson chemistry with Braden.
          On Days with Kristen Eileen has more leverage, the material is more heavy and meaty, she just has more stories and different type of scenes and layered emotions to play..therefore she is lucky to be on Days whereas in limbo on Y&R and i am pretty sure Eileen agree with me..

  • karen

    Where is Drake Hogestyn? Stopped watching