Eileen Davidson Takes a Second Ride Aboard the Crazy Train

Days of our Lives
"Days of our Lives"
Courtesy of Corday Productions, Inc.
Paul Skipper/JPI Studios
Paul Skipper/JPI Studios

If anyone knows what it’s like to play a quintessential soap opera character, it’s “Days of our Lives’” Eileen Davidson (Kristen Blake; ex-Ashley Abbott, “The Young and the Restless” and “The Bold and the Beautiful;” ex-Kelly Capwell, “Santa Barbara”). During her 1993 to 1998 stint in Salem, she played everything from helping save Marlena (Deidre Hall) 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 (Eric Martsolf) in an attempt to get him to fall for her so she could leave him brokenhearted — just as his father, John (Drake Hogestyn), 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.”