Former “General Hospital” star Brandon Barash (ex-Johnny Zacchara) made his debut today, March 22, as a recast Stefan DiMera on “Days of our Lives,” taking over the role from former “GH” co-star Tyler Christopher. With Christopher receiving a Daytime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series earlier this week for his portrayal, Barash definitely has some tough shoes to fill. But he’s up for the task.
Following Christopher’s final appearance as Stefan earlier this week, Barash thanked the actor for a graceful passing of the baton, tweeting, “Thank you, friend, for your graceful passing of the proverbial torch and the warm welcome into the ‘DAYS’ community.” His tweet followed Christopher’s welcome message on social media, wherein Christopher said, “Please welcome Brandon Barash into the role. Such a solid actor and an even better person.”
“I’m honored to join this iconic show that drips with integrity from the producers, to the crew members and the actors. I look forward to the exhilarating, albeit arduous, challenge of filling your shoes…as you are one of the greats, Tyler,” Barash continued. “Now, let’s put the O in Stefan O. DiMera.”
In an interview with Soap Opera Digest, on newsstands now, Barash revealed that he first learned of the show’s decision to recast the character after receiving a call from his manager. “I was at lunch with a friend, and I got a call from my manager saying, ‘Can you be at the ‘Days of our Lives’ set to work tomorrow?’” Barash remembers. “And I said, ‘I think so.’ And that’s how it happened. It was that simple.”
With the recasting of the character happening so suddenly, the actor was thrust into major storylines that found his character dealing with a multitude of people in Salem, including his involvement with Chloe Lane (Nadia Bjorlin), Brady Black (Eric Martsolf) and Gabi Hernandez (Camila Banus). Barash also had to deal with the semantics of an advanced taping schedule, where the show is six months ahead of what’s currently shown on screen.
“It was a tall order,” Barash says. “I remember the first week I worked three days, did six shows, so two shows a day. It was a shock. I mean, I haven’t worked at this pace in four or so years. It was an adjustment. I’m used to doing at most six to eight pages a day. I think my first day I had about, I don’t know, between 20 and 30. It was a lot, but the cast and crew here are just incredible.”
Further crediting the cast and crew for making him feel welcome, the actor says, “It’s really a special family. They got a good soup cooking over here, so they made it very easy.”
As for what’s next for his character now that he’s taken over the role, Barash teases, “He’s very light and comedic at times and on the other side of that coin, he can be very dark. The fun part is filling in all the other shades in between. Expect the unexpected.”
For more on Barash and his role, watch “Days of our Lives,” weekdays on NBC.
— Brandon Barash (@BrandonBarash) March 20, 2019