During a recent “Days of our Lives” fan event, actor Drake Hogestyn (John Black) told Soap Opera Network that he’d signed a new contract with the sudser, but that’s not all the actor revealed! He’s got a pretty good idea of upcoming story for his alter ego, and he assured us that loyal viewers just might get exactly what they wish for when it comes to the popular pairing of John and Marlena (Deidre Hall).
First thing’s first: Hogestyn admits that it’s sometimes tough to justify the actions his character takes — like John’s choice to break apart Brady (Eric Martsolf) and Kristen (Eileen Davidson) by convincing people that Kristen wanted him for herself — but he says his job isn’t to justify them at all. “You are called talent, and you don’t write the show. Your responsibility is to pick up a script and to the best of your ability, you bring [the writers’] vision onto the screen, regardless of what your interpretation is,” he explains. “You can’t change plot logic or character shading. Even if you develop a character for 25, 28 years, your job as talent is to look at the story and take that story and move it forward in the vision of the writers. And that is the respect that every actor has to have. Once you start blurring that line or changing plot logic, character shading, it just muddies the water and nobody wins.”
“So, as an actor, do they write something that John would consider out of character — this is back eight months ago or so — yeah. But how does he get around that?” the Indiana native continues. “He makes a decision, the biblical choice: Blood is thicker than water. And it’s like, ‘I will save my son at all costs to myself’ and by extension, hurting Marlena, which is the last thing he would ever want to do. But he’s got to save his son. So, now he’s back [in town] after all of the fall out. He knew this was not going to end well for Brady, and he’s not back to say ‘I told you so,’ but he will give all the support he can.”
Fortunately for fans of the actor, he’s just signed a new contract, which leaves plenty of time to tell a story viewers can be happy with. “I did not see this coming,” Hogestyn admits of the show asking him to return. “In fact, I had slowly been wrapping my head around the idea that it was time to move on to another facet of my life. I went on the ‘DAYS’ book tour, my farewell tour to say ‘Thank you, friends and fans, for the greatest ride ever,’ and then ‘DAYS’ circled back around with a contact offer.”
Funny enough, the actor had just sold his house in Malibu with plans to move back to Indiana — meaning he now has to search for a new Los Angeles abode! “My wife said, ‘Ok, now what, genius?!’” he says with a laugh. “And now we’re in the middle of sorting out years and years of VHS tapes and magazines. Just cleaning, cleaning, cleaning.”
Though it’s been a bit of a hassle, Hogestyn says he wouldn’t have had it any other way. “I would never say never to ‘Days of our Lives.’ It has been in my life,” he says. “I am emotionally attached to not only the show, but the character. I’m emotionally attached to the audience that has been so loyal and undying in their belief that they haven’t seen enough of John and Marlena. We haven’t had closure yet. We need to get back on track, and I’m very respectful of that… so hopefully we’ll get some communication going. John’s decisions [regarding Brady and Kristen] were made, but I’m thinking that his relationship with Marlena will be strong enough [to recover].”