EXCLUSIVE: ‘DAYS’ Cast Members Speak Out About Violent “Near Rape” Storyline! Will the Fallout Force Berris Off the Canvas?
As we previously reported, rumors are swirling that due to the current “Days or Our Lives” storyline in which Nick (Blake Berris) physically forced himself onto Gabi (Camila Banus) and subsequently found himself clocked with a rock and thrown into a river, Berris will be leaving the “Days” canvas. But is it true? Soap Opera Network caught up with the actor himself to get the scoop on what’s ahead for his alter ego, and guess what? Alison Sweeney (Sami), Lauren Koslow (Kate) and Banus also weighed in on the exciting story!
When Berris first saw the scripts in which Nick attacks Gabi and the subsequent scripts detailing the fallout from his alter ego’s horrendous actions, he admits he was a bit surprised. But that doesn’t mean he wasn’t a fan of the challenging material he was asked to play. “As an actor, that’s what you hope for,” he says of the dark material. “That’s one of the perks, as an actor, to be able to explore areas of our psyche that you might regard as taboo or dangerous or dark, so I think I’ve been really fortunate with the character of Nick, to be able to explore some really strange and dark and interesting material.”
And though it seemed as if Nick was about to rape Gabi before she clocked him over the head with a stone, Berris says that description is a little strong. “You can’t villainize your character. You have to figure it out through their eyes and how they rationalize it, and I don’t think he sees it as he’s raping Gabi,” the actor explains. “I think he loves her so much… and he has this vision of what they could be and the way it could be, and he’s just doing everything he can to make that happen. And then I think when the discrepancy between reality and fantasy become at odds with each other, there’s a bit of psychological cracking that happens.”
As fans saw onscreen, that’s not the only thing that cracked: Nick’s head literally did so when Gabi struck him with the rock. But even Banus doesn’t view the violence that occurred as “ attempted rape,” per se. “He wants to help remind her of the wonderful times they’ve had and how sensual and sexual their relationship is,” she explains of the scenes. “And Gabi just is not with it at the moment. She’s upset. And when a woman or anyone is upset, they want to be left alone.”
Unfortunately for Gabi, both Kate and Sami stormed onto the scene, and the ladies immediately launched into devising a plan to hide Nick’s body — in the river! But the plan didn’t last long, considering he popped back up once being thrown into the icy waters! “Those scenes were so amazing,” Banus raves. “[The three of us women have] had scenes a lot within the last year, everything with the baby, but to have scenes that were very physical was fun. We were joking every step of the way and having fun every step of the way. And oh my god, we had dirt everywhere — dirt in our boots, dirt in our fingernails! It was so much fun.”
Adds Sweeney: “I am so excited [to see Sami and Kate on the same side]. It was such a shock to see that, after Sami and Kate’s longstanding feud and being at odds. Lauren Koslow and I always talked about how, while we love fighting together and we love that we’ve had this dynamic for such a long history, we always sort of talked about how similar Sami and Kate were, so if we were ever put together, what would that be like? So now, to have this opportunity to be on the same side has been nothing but fun. We love it.”
Especially since the scenes and the elaborate river set are reminiscent of decades past. “It was kind of amazing what they created on the set,” Koslow says. “It’s like the 90s, because in the 90s we had huge sets. I remember being on a raft, and the raft was on shocks. So we did some crazy stuff back then, and they recreated it for this story. It was actually an adventure.”
Banus was also impressed with the multi-level set. “We read the script and heard it was going to be in a river, and we were like, ‘Oh, wow! How are they going to make that? Are we going to go to a river?’” she recalls. “And [when we saw the set], we were so shocked! It was two levels, and it was up five feet higher than what we shoot on, so the cameras were on little towers, which was great. Lauren and Alison were like, ‘This is how we used to shoot things! We used to shoot multi-level.’ That’s how it used to be. So it was nice for us to experience something like that, because they haven’t done that in a long time. We had a lot of safety meetings, because we were doing things in the water. And it was fun, because they had a lot of elements that were very true to life. And we were able to use our surroundings and our environment to further help with the scene.”
But what does all of this mean for Berris, whose alter ego has entered territory which, if he survives the river debacle, fans might not be able to forgive him for? “Well, I think people are always salvageable,” the actor teases. “I don’t think anybody is unsalvageable. And I think if Nick makes it through this chapter, that he might learn a lot. But whether he makes it remains to be seen.”