Days of our Lives star Greg Vaughan (Eric Brady) was in Toronto this past weekend to meet with fans along with his co-stars at a fan event for Stars Canada Events, where a portion of the proceeds benefited Three to Be.
Greg took some time to discuss his role on DAYS (he joined the cast in November 2012), his past as Lucky Spencer on General Hospital and this week’s DAYS storyline which sees him confront his fiancée Nicole (Arianne Zucker) for withholding the proof that linked Dr. Chyka (Michael Benyaer) to Kristen DiMera (Eileen Davidson), the woman who drugged and seduced him.
Eric found out from Jennifer (Melissa Reeves) that Nicole destroyed the evidence that linked Dr. Chyka to Kristen. He confronts her this week. That’s going to be quite the showdown, isn’t it?
Things are coming out! [Nicole withheld] the evidence that could have given Eric the option to return to the priesthood, something very near and dear to Eric’s heart or follow his heart [and be with Nicole]. Without the evidence, he had been completely committed to moving forward with is life and followed his heart. He was free to be in love with the women he has always loved. It was a leap of faith, but at the same time, it’s also been a roller coaster ride.
Nicole will make one final plea before he walks out on her for good. What do you think it will take Eric to forgive Nicole? Has the trust between these two been completely lost?
It’s been heavily damaged. It’s betrayal.
For me, I look at it being contradictory since Eric has betrayed Nicole [when he accused her of the rape]. He was pointing the finger at her and had quite a harsh reaction towards her [while she mainted her innocence].
Eileen Davidson will soon be returning as Kristen. Many are speculating that she’ll come back with a kid, which could either be Eric’s or his step-brother Brady’s (Eric Martsolf).
[Laughs] Who’s the daddy? Oh god, that would be interesting, wouldn’t it?
Especially for Marlena’s (Deidre Hall) reaction. How did you explore the emotions involved in Eric discovering that he had been raped by Kristen.
Before filming those scenes, I had read up past the fact of what was taking place in the hotel and into the actual physical rapture moment. I tried to imagine what it would be like, to be violated like that and to have your privacy invaded. It was definitely an uncomfortable feeling and I took that emotional un-comfortableness and tried to project that.
Many DAYS fans wanted you to come on the show to play Eric when it was announced that you were leaving the role of Lucky Spencer on General Hospital in 2009. Before coming on as Eric in 2012, you did reveal that the show was interested in having you come in for another role but you declined.
At that time, I had some other opportunities but it wasn’t something that I was neglecting to entertain. When I left GH, I said “Never say never” [about doing another soap]. You never know what life is going to bring you. If it was right, then another opportunity would present itself and [at the time]I was having so much fun with some of my other projects [outside the genre; Greg had filmed a bunch of TV movies did guest spots on 90210 and The Closer]. I had also filmed some pilots, which unfortunately did not get picked up. But that’s the name of the game.
I really enjoyed your stint on GH, especially with the drug storyline. It was so heartbreaking to watch.
That was a dark time. I wanted to put as much emphasis on not just the downfall of it, but why he went there. I wanted to tap into a different place and make it mentally challenging. I had gone to a couple of meetings. I had some dear friends who had some self-medicating issues, so they were some good resources for me. I tried to get as deep into it as possible, without actually personally indulging in it. That’s the hard part, as an actor. “Hey, take the bottle and use it!” But then you’re completely incoherent and can’t be an actor. You want to be able to feel the feeling and project it.
I think a lot of the General Hospital fans enjoyed the 2007-2008 Writer’s Strike because it’s when the show actually wrote for Lucky.
Yeah, that was Garin Wolf. He gave me more opportunity at screen time during that period than I had experienced since joining the show.
The way they let you go really sucked.
You know what, other opportunities evolved from that. If those things didn’t happen, I may not have worked my way into this direction. But since I’ve come to Days of our Lives, they’ve been a family who have welcomed me with open arms and that’s great.
Eric’s a legacy character. But not only did you inherit this great role, but also the Eric & Nicole pairing. Were you nervous about taking this on?
No, because the character had been off the canvas for so long. Some of the new generation [of viewers]were not as familiar with Eric. I know Jensen Ackles [who played Eric from 1998-2000]very well. He reached out and called me and was so excited for me. It was refreshing. I got to re-create something that once existed but I also go to create something that was brand new.
Are there any cast mates that you’d love to work with more in future storylines?
You know what, I know everyone so well. I love working with everybody. Ari and I have great chemistry together. We truly do! She’s funny, off the cuff and can really be tongue and cheek really quickly!
It’s publicly known now that Alison Sweeney (Sami) is leaving… We didn’t get enough time to really work together as brother and sister.
You guys went from playing lovers in Lifetime’s Second Chances to playing siblings!
I had actually just screen-tested for the show a week before negotiating the movie. It was funny! I would have never guessed that my co-star was going to be Ali when I signed on to do the movie. We actually have a long history of knowing each other, so it was like, “What a great way for us to work together and see how we work.”
Back to the confrontation between Eric and Nicole. Will there still be a chance for them after the truth is revealed?
You know, this is one of those things that people are going to love or hate. They’re going to get frustrated! [Laughs]
When you’ve got a dynamic couple like this, there’s so much potential. At first they re-introduced the pairing, rebuilt it and now there’s a tug of war. There was so much push and pull and now it’s like this big Mack truck has come in and hit them…again! I don’t know how happy they’ll be but it’s going to be interesting! It makes for good drama.
Days of our Lives airs weekdays at 1 p.m. on Global and NBC. Canadian fans can catch up with the show on globaltv.com, on the Global Go app and on demand.