STEPHEN NICHOLS ONLINE
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STEPHEN NICHOLS ONLINE @ stephennichols.org is a website dedicated to the work of American actor Stephen Nichols. I am in no way affiliated with his person, his management, nor his family. All content, except otherwise noted, is copyrighted to their original owners and no infringement is intended and no rights implied. Content contained within are subject to fair use and used here either in whole or in part as a commentary on the work and career of Stephen Nichols.
THE DYNAMIC EFFECT
They were both stars on General Hospital but never really crossed paths. Now Stephen Nichols and Tamara Braun are in each others pockets as Patch and Ava on Days of Our Lives. They share an unwavering mutual respect and agree that Avas arrival in Salem has added depth to storylines, but catch then while you can, because its not going to last…
Tamara, how did your decision to come back to Daytime and take on the role of Ava come about?
TAMARA: “I heard about the role of Ava and it intrigued me so much because shes unlike most characters I play. I like to play characters that are layered. I get bored with characters that are one-note. This one had a lot of emotional and psychological stuff deal with; she was troubled and full of history. I thought, ‘How can you pass up something like that?’
Stephen, how has Tamaras arrival affected the dynamics on set?
STEPHEN: “Having Tamara there reminds me of the time when Mary Beth Evans (Kayla) and I came back to the show. Some cast mates and crew would tell us the vibe was elevated. People can work on automatic pilot when there is no new energy around and they get stuck in a routine, so its always refreshing to have good actors come in who are committed and trying to find a deeper level in the work. Thats what Tamara does.”
How has Mary Beth dealt with the addition of a new lady from Patchs past?
STEPHEN: “Mary Beth is a dream. A lot of actresses would react negatively and be hurt and feel threatened. Mary Beth doesnt do any of that. She went, Oh, a new girl from the past! What is that about? Shes a great actress and she comes up with amazing performances. The first time Tamara worked with Mary Beth, Tamara said to me, ‘My God! She is just great!’
Tamara, whats your take on working at Days so far?
TAMARA: “Stephen is so nice and fun and dedicated to the work. He gives me that one good eye to work with, which has been the challenge . . . I joke! And on working with Mary Beth, she is the most positive human being. She is a joy to work with. She makes me laugh. If Mary Beth is on the set that day, I am going to smile, and thats a gift.”
Do you think Tamaras role is a difficult one to pull off?
STEPHEN: “Let me tell you something. With a lesser actress in the role and what she has to do with all the headaches and the drugs, it could have looked ridiculous. I cannot thank them enough for bringing Tamara in. I read with a bunch of really wonderful actresses and brought a few of them back the next day. Then Days Casting Director said, Tamara Braun is interested, but doesnt feel like reading. I said to our Executive Producer, Ed Scott, Ed, get her reel and if she wants to do it, get her. After a couple of weeks with Tamara, Ed said to me, Thanks for making me hire her.”
Stephen, how do you justify Patchs complex connection to Ava?
STEPHEN: “The first thing I had to do was talk to the producers and writers. I asked them to keep in mind, when I saw Ava in Ireland it had to be in the first time I remembered her. I couldn’t have remembered her and kept the information from Kayla. When Patch got his memory back about his life with Kayla, he said to her, There are big chunks I still dont remember, and that has to be one of them. Ava and Patch were in love and going to be married. This was a lot to have to justify for the character. It helped to remember what the DiMeras had done (wiped Patchs memory). Ava took him in and gave him a life, so anyone who was good to him during this time would be someone he would feel close to.”
Tamara, is there anything about Ava that you find challenging to portray?
TAMARA: “The hardest thing for me to navigate is cattiness, or just playing plain evil for no reason. If you give me a reason, I will play it like gangbusters. As the actor, its your job to ask yourself. Why? Why am I doing this? You have to come up with the answers for yourself.”
Are there any stand-out moments for you both from the recent Ava-Patch-Kayla storyline?
STEPHEN: “I think the scenes when we told the story of how we met and almost married. Mary Beth did a great job too, and what ended up on screen was worthy of the work everyone put into it.”
What do you think will happen with this trio moving forward?
STEPHEN: “Quite often, in soaps, the way story is told, theres an arc and once its over, it drops off. Then some of the characters are no longer involved with one another. In this case, Ava is redeemed very quickly and she is going to go here and there in Salem with no real contact with Patch and Kayla. I think its a missed opportunity. The aftermath isnt dealt with. Ava goes off on her merry way and gets involved with some other characters.”