Soapdom.com’s Look Like a Soap Star fashion columnist, Arianne Zucker, got her feet wet as the deliciously malicious Nicole Walker Kiriakis on Days of our Lives in 1998. She was quite the upstart and one of Days fans’ favorite “love-to-hate” characters.
After eight years, Zucker left Days in 2006 to pursue other interests which included a starring role in the independent film, “The Last Resort,” a guest starring role on “CSI: Miami,” launching Lowd Suga’, a designer jewelry company, and taking on fashionista duties for Soapdom.com.
But as of March 3, 2008, Zucker is back on contract at Days of our Lives, much to the cheers of the fans.
“When Days approached me to return to the show, I couldn’t have been more delighted,” Zucker shared with Soapdom. “I am very excited to be back, playing Nicole and causing a ruckus in Salem. I am really thrilled to see what they are going to do.”
Soapdom had to ask -- what’s in store for the manipulative Nicole once Zucker returns? As it turns out, the powers that be at Days of our Lives aren’t spilling any beans, even to Zucker. “They are a lot more secretive,” she noted. “I know absolutely nothing at this point. I don’t even have my first script or anything yet, but gosh, there are always tons of possibilities. I love the freedom they’ve given Nicole -- and the collaboration. Being a bad girl you have more freedom – you get to do all the nasty stuff, but at the same time, since Nicole likes to have her cocktails now and again, she also gives a little comic relief. You never know what she’ll do then.”
For future reference, Nicole’s cocktail of choice is a dirty martini. But in reality, Zucker gets a prop – it’s a glass of water with an olive in it. Even though Nicole may be feeling a slight buzz from the booze, Zucker is using her sense of humor and acting chops to deliver the comedy in the scene.
Although she hasn’t a clue at this point as to what direction the powers that be will take Nicole this time around, Zucker does have her wish list. “I hope -- and I assume -- that there will be a little issue with Chloe about where the heck Brady is. I can imagine we’ll play that out for a little, but you never know. And I don’t think I’m divorced from Victor so I could be moving back into the mansion. I’d love to work with Jay Johnson (Philip), and I know that there are a lot of fans who’d like to see Nicole and EJ (James Scott) together. So who knows?”
Zucker went on to share that her favorite thing in the show is arguing with Victor and of course – Sami. “Uh oh -- Nicole’s back in town!,” Zucker continued, feigning Sami's sentiment.
Zucker next shared that she will love whatever the writer’s dish out, because they always give her a challenge. “I have a lot to thank the writers for,” she said. “Especially in years past, because without them and the clever ideas they’ve had for Nicole, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do all the fun stuff I’ve been able to do.”
After being out of daytime for a couple of years, does Zucker have any concerns about jumping back into the pool? “I visited the set a few weeks ago to just feel the vibe again. It felt like I never left,” she said. “I am so excited about coming back and seeing my stage family. I love those guys. The stage managers, the grips -- everyone. I can’t wait.”
In regard to learning all those lines and hitting your mark, Zucker revealed that once you acquire that muscle in your brain, it’s like getting back on a bike again and riding away. “I’ve always had a system about how I break down my scripts. If I get a week’s worth of scripts, I break them all down at the beginning of the week so I know what I am doing all week. It helps me get a plan going.”
Not only does Zucker learn her lines for the day, she learns her lines for the next day, too! “I will actually learn my lines for the next day while I am waiting to go on set for that day. We all work in different ways.”
Soapdom wondered if the Days of our Lives cast got any time to rehearse before taping. “If you’re not up first that day, then it depends on the actors,” Zucker revealed. “I could always drag John Aniston (Victor) on stage and work the blocking and dialog; same with Ali (Alison Sweeney, Sami). Either of them would come on stage with me to rehearse and it was great. Then, when we went to tape, we could do it in one take. We were emotionally prepared and invested in the scenes and were ready to go. The crew loved us because we could work so quickly.”
Zucker is eagerly looking forward to getting back into that. She hopes the fans are, too. In fact, she told me that she hopes to give the fans something different this time. She’s not sure what yet, but she promised it would be special. It will be fun to stay tuned and see just what she comes up with.
In the meantime, the founder of Lowd Suga’ jewelry also assured Soapdom that she will certainly be able to continue with her company, she will simply adjust her work habits to fit in with her taping schedule.
“We’ve been revamping the business for the last couple of months prepping for my return to the show,” she revealed. “I had to restructure a bit as I am no longer going to have all day to get everything done. There will be adjustments – right now there are certain days I ship, or certain days I order stuff, and that might have to change. I believe that it can work with my work schedule. As long as I stay focused and prepared, it all should be do-able.”
“Also, I’ll learn to take advantage of my downtime on the set. I can bring my computer and work online keeping Soapdom fans apprized of the latest fashion trends both on Days and on the runways or create jewelry for Lowd Suga in between scenes. When you really love something, you find the time to fit everything in.”
To the fans Zucker bellowed, “I LOVE YOU GUYS SOOO MUCH, but even though you might wanna rip Nicole’s hair out, please stay tuned and watch, watch, watch.” Zucker next confided that she never took offense when fans would say “I hate Nicole.” “I just took that to mean I was doing my job.”
So, when will you get to see Zucker do her job as Nicole this time? Her first airdate is set for Wednesday, April 2nd. Stay tuned!
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