Millions of viewers have been tuning into Days of Our Lives since its debut on Nov. 8, 1965. Since then, the soap opera has had nearly every story line imaginable, from love triangles to demonic possessions. Cast members Deidre Hall, Galen Gering, and Stephen Nichols sat down with HuffPost Live on Monday, Oct. 26 to discuss some of their favorite moments as the show’s 50th anniversary quickly approaches.
“To have a show that’s going in its 50th year, and to be able to say that, I think is pretty special,” Gering, 44, said.
In honor of the monumental 50th anniversary, co-executive producer Greg Meng compiled behind-the-scenes photographs from the show’s most memorable episodes into a coffee table book titled Days of Our Lives: 50 Years.
“This is a satellite view of 50 years,” Nichols, 64, said. “There are a lot of beautiful images in there and beautiful quotes from some of our actors, executive producers, soap press, and people all over the world. It’s a beautiful, beautiful book.”
Gering added, “It’s a trip down memory lane.”
One of the show’s most iconic memories was its historic gay wedding episode in 2014, which was the first daytime drama wedding between two men in television history.
“It was a big deal to get it right. We wanted it to be sensitive and elegant and tender,” Hall, 67, recalled. “The vows were extraordinary and we all were deeply moved by the speeches that were given and the vows that were exchanged.”
“The idealism that love can overcome all is an overriding theme and it’s a great theme,” Gering added.
As for the soap stars’ favorite story lines?
“I think the Emily and Gideon story line was a favorite of both mine and Mary Beth’s, who plays Kayla on the show,” Nichols revealed. “We found a diary in an old mansion in a trunk and it was the story of a Civil War couple, this tragic story. And we got to become those characters and go on location in South Carolina. It was beautiful down there and beautifully shot. It was gorgeous. There are some pictures of that in the book, in fact!”
Hall, meanwhile, referenced the time when her character, Marlena, was possessed by the devil in 1995. “People always think I’m going to say possession, which I sometimes do,” she joked. “I played with my identical twin sister, Andrea Hall-Gengler, for a while, once when she was Samantha and one time when she was the evil Hatti Adams, which was spectacular fun and so great to work with her.”
At one point during the interview, a fan asked the cast members to dish on their infamous sweaty sex scenes. “They spray [the sweat] on, and sometimes too much, Nichols joked. “Do you ever sweat that much? No.”
“I don’t even know how to handle this conversation. Oh my goodness!” Hall laughed. “I’m single… so sometimes that’s all the making out I get during the week!”
Days of Our Lives has aired over 12,700 episodes to date in its five decades on the air — but the stars believe that their best work is yet to come.
“The atmosphere on the set is very collaborative now,” Nichols said. “Everybody is doing their very best work. Most people leave ego at the door and want to work together and help each other get through these shows. It’s just an amazing, beautiful atmosphere now. I was on in the ‘80s and I think this is the best work we’ve done since that period in the ‘80s.”
“I feel like my character is more tuned in than he’s ever been,” Gering said. “Right now, the show is the strongest and the most well-written, I think, that it’s been, certainly since I’ve been there, and it’s a lot of fun.”
Nichols added, “Everyone should tune in now because it’s really, really good.”
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