Stacy Haiduk reprised the role of Kristen DiMera on “Days of our Lives” last week, marking the first time she has appeared on screen working alongside Dan Feuerriegel, who took over the role of EJ DiMera, Kristen’s brother, earlier this year. Her return also marked the first time she’ll have worked with Stephen Nichols as his regular character, Steve Johnson – Haiduk last shared screen time with Nichols when he played Stefano, Kristen’s father, in 2019.
In a recent interview with Soap Opera Digest, Haiduk discusses how she got the call that the show was looking for her to return to the show, how she learned Eileen Davidson was going to play the character again on “Days of our Lives: Beyond Salem,” and what’s next for the character now that Kristen’s back in Salem.
Following the character’s July exit, fans weren’t sure when they’d get to see Haiduk back on “DAYS,” and with word that Davidson would be reprising the role again for the first time since 2017, it also gave Haiduk a reason to pause and ask “What’s going on?” to the show’s producers. Thankfully, the actress had nothing to worry about on both fronts.
“They mentioned that I would be back,” Haiduk told Digest of the show’s producers and their plans. “It was just not knowing when exactly, so when I got the email that said, ‘You’re coming back,’ I was kind of curious to know how. I was told that I would get to meet Kristen’s daughter, which was exciting.” As for the other Kristen question, “At first, I was a little like, ‘What’s going on?’ And it was hard but I get what they were doing and I understand it and I really love Eileen,” Haiduk shared. “I think she’s a wonderful woman and actress, so I get why they did what they did. But I had to call the producer and say, ‘Uh, is Eileen coming back?’ and he was like, ‘Yes, yes, she is, but not in the way that you think she is.’ So there was this panic that I went through because it was like, ‘No, I don’t want to not play Kristen,’ because I really, really enjoy it. But I knew exactly what they were going for and I hope it was a success!”
While we’ll never know how well “Days of our Lives: Beyond Salem” did on Peacock as the streaming service does not release performance numbers, Haiduk is happily enjoying her latest stint working opposite Feuerriegel and his portrayal of EJ particularly as she plays his character’s sister and mother which was a little confusing for her co-star at first. Calling him a pleasure to work with, Haiduk recalled their first meeting, saying, “It’s funny, when I first met him in the makeup room, I said, ‘Hi, I play your mom [as Susan Banks] and your sister.’ One of those weird, weird things to say, and he just looked at me, and I don’t think he really got it until we started working together. But he’s such a joy. He’s present. I love that we play sister/ brother and I love that we play mother/son. He’s such a joy and I hope down the road we get to do more.”
Meanwhile, reconnecting in scenes with Nicholas was a different experience for Haiduk. “It’s very, very different when he’s Steve and Stefano,” the actress says of Nichols. “They’re very different characters. Now he’s someone she really doesn’t like, so it becomes this cat-and-mouse game with him. I really enjoy working with him.”
For more from Haiduk discussing her return to “DAYS,” click here.