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Q) Coming back after so many years how are things different on Days now as compared to 14 years ago?
A) Well, when Jim Reilly was heading up it was pretty crazy over there and obviously I was doing five characters at the time, so it was quite different for me then. I have to say it was a breath of fresh air coming back to Days. Everybody was wonderful and I saw a lot of old friends and past faces. Itís been really great. Iíve had a great time and Iím actually having so much fun this time. Iíd never anticipated having such a great time.
Q) Well I just read that Kristen goes to work at a church. Like how did that happen?
A) Well, sheís trying to redeem herself with Salem and sheís trying to convince everybody that sheís changed, and that sheís had tons of therapy, and she wants to make amends and show that she is a better person. So what better way to do that then to be working in The House of the Lord.
Q) Can you talk about all of the rumors that at one point you were going to do double-duty and appear simultaneously on both Young and the Restless and Days of our Lives and whether if that opportunity arose now with the new writing team at Young and the Restless youíd be interested in it?
A) Iím having such a great time where Iím at now I donít really want to revisit stuff that happened a few months ago. But I will say that I have great fondness for both shows, clearly, and Iíd always be happy to work at both places. I have no issue with that whatsoever.
Q) I know thereís going to be a lot with Kristen and John. Can you talk about whether Kristen is going to have a relationship with E.J. who is sort of her brother, and if theyíre going to see Susan again who is, after all, E.J.ís mother?
A) E.J. is her little brother basically because theyíre all DiMeraís and Stefano very much wants her to kind of put the family back together. So sheíll be having a lot of interaction with E.J, which I love. I love working with James. Heís terrific. And in terms of Susan, I donít know. Like Iíve said before in different interviews, this show is such a different animal than it was 14 years ago. I think everybody knows that who was watching then and watching now that itís much more based in reality now than it was then. I donít know how Susan would fit into the format. Can you imagine her in Horton Square? I donít know. So Iím willing to try because I have such a fondness for the character, but weíll have to see.
Q) What is Kristenís agenda with respect to John? Does she want him back? Is she really out to breakup him and Marlena or is it all just a circumstantial misunderstanding?
A) Oh I think Kristen is always misunderstood. I mean ultimately she is a misunderstood woman. So you just have to stay tuned and see how the whole thing plays out. But I have to say itís been so much fun to play. Lots of twists and turns and sheís very authentic and, I think, very convincing in the fact that sheís wanting to be seen as a new woman now.
Q) When you go back into a role like this and several years have passed is it like just slipping on a comfortable shoe or are you actually going to make changes because you think that she would be in a different place?
A) Iíve certainly changed. I think everybody has changed in 14 years right? So Kristenís definitely a different woman. Sheís been through so, so much in her life. I mean we havenít seen it, but 14 years have passed and she wasnít in the best place the last time we saw her. So again she has had lots of therapy, so certainly sheís changed and sheís not the same as she was. I think sheís probably more mature and more together and ready for a brand new start.
Q) We know youíre not going to be playing the other Banks characters, but did you have a favorite and why?
A) Sister Mary probably. I mean I love Susan, but Sister Mary was so much fun to play and just - I think itís so crazy how easily I fell into playing that role. I mean I could play her again in a sec., youíd just have to hand me a ruler.
Q) So you went to Catholic school?
A) I did. No knock on Catholicism people.
Q) What do you do to work out and if you had any great beauty secrets you could share with them?
A) I work out just about every day one way or another. I use an elliptical; I do something called TRX, which is basically core body work with using your own body work - your own body weight with like a pulley system at the gym. I donít eat meat anymore. I mean I eat fish now. This kind of has happened organically over time. And other than that,I try to just live a pretty healthy lifestyle, nothing too boring. But I do use my microdermabrasion machine and just try to take generally good care of myself.
Q) What is it like to do love scenes now? Youíve done them so many times in your career, so many memorable ones. Do you still get nervous doing those?
A) I do. I think love scenes are incredibly nerve-wracking. Whether youíre doing them with someone youíve worked with before, or somebody thatís brand new, or whatever the thing is, youíre in a very intimate situation with 50 people watching you. You have to be so careful with how youíre being shot, and what it looks like, and is it this and is it that, and itís nerve-wracking. I never get over how nerve-wracking it is.
Q) What was it like, that first meeting with James?
A) The first time I saw him I gave him a big hug because I knew that we had scenes together that day. And I donít know - I was feeling very effusive and very happy to be back and everybody was so warm and welcoming I just gave him a big fat hug.And I love working with James. Heís very open to kind of improv and doing things in the moment and heís such a terrific actor that it was great from the very get-go. I hope people like it. I mean itís kind of fun the fact that what I did to his mother and him and now he is this grown man. Itís a very interesting history.
Q) And there was a scene coming up where it says he mistakes you for his mother. I guess when he first sees you?
A) I know, but Iím like, ďSeriously E.J.? Really, you know, come on.Ē But I think itís kind of a fun way for them to kind of meet that he goes, ďIs that you?Ē Maybe he saw an old picture of her when she was looking like Kristen I donít know.
Q) Are there any other men that sort of catch her eye when she comes to town?
A) I think all men catch her eye. I think sheís kind of reborn this time around in Salem and I think sheís interesting and - sheís interested in the opposite sex in lots of different shapes and forms. Sheís back better than ever.
Q) I want to talk to you a little bit about Kristenís ability to get people to trust her right now. I know sheís trying to convince people sheís changed. Whatís her relationship like with Brady?
A) Well heís very suspicious of her clearly because of Marlena and John. So, obviously he would be like, ďYou know, Iím not believing anything she says.Ē
Q) Are there sparks between them?
A) Like I said, she kind of has a thing about men in general when she comes back and sheís trying to also prove that sheís not interested in John. So are there sparks? I think there are just in terms of the fact that she has such a history with his father.
Q) And heís aware of it all?
A) Oh yes definitely. Heís very aware of everything and it poses a problem for her the way that heís trying to protect Marlena, so thereís definitely sparks between them.
Q) What about her relationship with Marlena?
A) Marlena just doesnít trust her and no matter what Kristen does it seems like she just canít convince her that sheís definitely changed. So thatís been like the biggest hurdle for Kristen to overcome is getting Marlena to trust her again. And sheís a hard nut to crack.
Q) What has it been like for you working with Deidre again?
A) We have been having a really, really good time I have to say. Even better than the first time even though the first time was such a hoot too. I donít know why. I guess because Iíd been doing kind of straight drama for so long that just - thereís just all of the history between these two women and the kind of dynamic between them and that Marlena kind of knows Kristen in a way that nobody else does. It kind of has so many different layers and different components to it. Itís been really fun for both of us to play. We laugh a lot.
Q) What is on your T.V. watch list?
A) Well I like CSI and I love The Voice. Iím a big fan of The Voice. And I just recently TiVoíd Days of our Lives. And what else? I have Modern Family; I have Saturday Night Live; Iíve got Chopped, because Iím like a closet foodie; and no really just the CSI Vegas one and some other T.V. that I just - Iíve got some of the Real Housewives. Okay I do, I do. I admit it. And Project Runway.
Q) Were there soaps that you always watched when they were in their heyday as inspiration?
A) Oh gosh, not really because I was so busy working on them. But clearly, you know, when I was on a show Iíd be watching that show just to see what was going on and thatís about it. No I wasnít really raised in a household that watched a lot of T.V. per se, but my sister kind of got me hooked, I think it was on Ryanís Hope, when I was like 17 for like a couple of years. Thatís about it.
Q) I wanted to ask whatís it like for you as an actress going from playing this aboveboard heroin on Y&R and now coming over to play more of a villainess on Days?
A) Itís been a lot of fun. And I never really got any kind of tips on who she was now and what has been going on, so I was just kind of winging it. But the writing was really kind of clear and easy to play that I just kind of snapped into it. Itís just been really, really fun for me because sheís written with a lot of latitude, Kristin is so different than Ashley. And thereís a certain freedom to playing her because of that. So itís been really easy and really nice. Iíve really been enjoying it a lot.
Q) And sheís going by the name DiMera now, is that correct?
A) Yes. Sheís proud of her name.
Q) What about working with Joe Mascolo again? Was it easy falling back into that?
A) Iíve had some really good times working with him. Itís been nice to see him again after all of this time. I think Iíd only seen him in the hallway at CBS when he was on B&B, but other than that I hadnít seen him in all this time. So thatís been really special.
Q) What is the secret to a lasting marriage?
A) This is my third. Are you sure you want to ask me that? I think itís just kind of realizing that, because weíre going on 10 years now, weíve been together for, gosh, 12, that - oh God what is it, because we, you know, weíre just happy. We make each other laugh and realize that youíre going to go through bumps and that doesnít mean that itís going to end when you go through like hard times or bad times, but in fact that is part of the tapestry of a very strong marriage. I just learned that this time around is going through these kind of more complicated down times and then coming out of them you feel more confident about your relationship, you feel more secure in your relationship and you realize that youíre weathering life together, raising your children together and it creates a very strong bond. There you have it.
Q) When is your anniversary?
A) Our anniversary is May 20.