He’s back! Austin Peck (Austin Reed) returns to Salem and Days of our Lives after a three year absence, and he is ready to create new history, come back with a aura of mystery, and take on the ladies.
“You got it! Austin has changed. He’s moved on, is more mature, more focused, and less trivial then when he left. There will be questions to be asked, but I’m ready to go,” Peck said. “Remember my character was living the New York life for a few years, but all in all, the feeling to be back in truth is just awesome.”
Peck makes his debut arriving at Salem airport. He will be escorted into town via limo that will be driven by non other than Kathy Griffin, (Bravo’s Kathy Griffin: “My Life on the D-List"). It will definitely be “Must See TV.”
Peck confided that the only great thing about being off the show was being able to put things in a healthy perspective, prioritize his life, and focus on sharing time with his wife, Tara, being a dad to his sons, A.J. (three years-old), and Roman (six months), and catch frogs.
Peck’s return to Days of our Lives did not come from the usual phone call from the powers that be, but rather from a so-called “impromptu meeting.”
“One day I called Ken Corday (executive producer) and asked to meet. It was back and forth tag. Finally, we met and it was a meeting of just two old friends catching up and discussing life. There was no motive,” Peck said. “Then I received a call (from Ken) to come back and meet, and I was offered the role, along with a three year contract.”
Peck said that he accepted, and that it’s great to have a regular paycheck rather than be a freelance actor in Hollywood, not knowing the future and dealing with the stress.
He received a big welcome back from his former co-stars on the set, but was a nervous wreck the first day. “It was like coming back to school after a long summer vacation. But boy, it’s great to be home.”
Peck holds a great deal of respect for Days of our Lives, and holds no remorse for being written off three years ago. In fact, looking back he feels that being let go was a decision that he was glad they (powers that be) made.
“Days was my first gig. I was young and wanted to experiment. I wanted to do different things. It was always like should I stay or should I go?” Peck said. “I admit that it was a shock to be told I’m out, but then, there was a sense of excitement and the decision to stay or go was lifted. But I will tell you...I didn’t have the perspective of how great the job was until I left.”
Peck is surprised that the role of Austin (originally played by Patrick Muldoon) was never recast, because the character was an intricate part of the show with a rich and rather unique history. He also feels that it’s great to bring back the character in time for Days of our Lives 40th anniversary in November.
He looks forward to taking Austin in a new dimension that will allow him to explore the character more in depth. He also said that being able to act brings out his other qualities as a human being.
“I’m just normally goofy, childlike, and playful. Acting is being in the artistic environment that makes the other person in you come out,” Peck said. “You know, acting is like boxing (Peck’s hobby). There are different styles. Some days you’re light on your feet and other days heavy. You need to experiment and stay fresh. And with Austin, that is what I plan on doing.”
Peck said that he now has more respect for daytime TV, the actors, and the hard work. He refers to other acting jobs as “A cake walk.” He hopes to accomplish many goals, including more theater.
Recently he appeared at Theatre 40 in Beverly Hills in “Japanese Death Poems.,” iving up to the challenge of playing seven different characters, each with a full life.
“Theater is so great. It’s just you and the audience, and there is no greater feeling,” Peck said. “My ultimate desire is to be on Days of our Lives for the rest of my life, but be able to do and explore other options. I always want to remain in the entertainment business.”
Soapdom needs to know, do you have any message to your fans? “Yes! I’m so glad to be back, keep watching, and all I can say is that very exciting and interesting things with some surprises will be coming up.”
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