Eric Brady is back in Salem, complete with a priest collar and a sympathetic ear for Nicole Walker. And while actor Greg Vaughan acknowledges there is a past between the two, he is only interested in listening - for now. "You don't want to start a book and go all the way to the end," Vaughan said. Read on for more insight into where the two might be going and why the Daytime vet is glad to be back.
Soaps.com: You appear so comfortable on set with all of the other actors. What has it been like stepping into the shoes of Eric Brady?
Greg: Well, it has been a wonderful ride so far, a very interesting journey. But they are a very demanding group of actors I am working with. I didn’t realize how much I was going to get hazed and how everyone was going to treat me – they abuse me! They totally take advantage of me being a newbie. No – they have been great, honestly. I have a long history with Galen Gering, we have known each other for 20 years. I have known Ari (Zucker) and Allison (Sweeney) for over 15 and I have history with a few other familiar faces I have worked with on other shows. Everyone describes NBC and "Days of Our Lives" as a family and that is truly what it has been like and it truly has been great to be a part of that. It has been a fun place and a wonderful working environment that has been the cherry on the top.
Soaps.com: What has been the response from your fans now that you are back on Daytime?
Greg: I have to say that there are a very devout group of individuals, whether from my Facebook or Twitter. Everyone has embraced me and supported it and been over 100 percent enthusiastic about me coming on board. It warms my heart that I have a great supportive following. One thing about Daytime that no one understands unless you have been in this realm is that fans love you and they are with you, and you have a deeper personal connection with them than any other show I have ever done. This is an amazing group of people that I love and I am happy to be a part of the journey and I hope that we have many, many years to come and that I meet every one of them.
Soaps.com: Is Eric happy being a priest? Will Nicole affect that?
Greg: It is going to have its hardships but with anything in life, if you make a decision to do whatever you do in life, you better be strong on that decision. I think he made a choice in life for the right reason and he stuck to it and he is committed to that. And it would be devastating and contradictory to his profession, his occupation, if he broke a vow. It wouldn’t look good on the show, it wouldn’t look good on my character if he was already breaking vows and frolicking in the sheets quite yet. I like the mystique, the mystery, the buildup. You don’t want to start a book and go right the end. You just want to build it, build the excitement. It is like "Moonlighting" - connect the dots you idiot! And that is kind of how I look at things. I am an older gentleman and go back to older stories in shows that I greatly appreciated where you were like, "When are they going to connect?" It is kind of like "X-Files." They just have something. But they do have history, which is great. They have this thing and he is there with purpose. In any kind of religious faith you follow the path that God has for everybody. Whether it is in the priesthood or being a minister or what have you. This is his calling and he is following that. It has brought him home, which I think is wonderful, and he has a lot of ties to clear up and relationships that were kind of left abandoned without any reason, so I think there is a lot of purpose behind him, not just his occupational choice.
Soaps.com: How does Eric think he can help Nicole right now?
Greg: I think it is just being a listening ear. If he went in with the intent to make a change and a difference then he would be less of a person I think. As I tell my own children, my oldest son, you have be as good of a listener as you are a talker, so you practice what you preach. I think in my own workshop of things, I try to apply that to my thoughts and into my doing. It is part of the challenge of why I took the role on because this was out of my comfort zone. The great thing about doing things as an actor, there are some things that are going to challenge you. And in some other shows things are a cake walk, doing it until the next real gig comes. The great thing about "Days," from drug stories to really deep hearted issues in life, this was something that was out of my box. No one would think that I would and that is what makes it interesting. I want to know where they are going to journey this thing so I just jumped on board. I am enjoying the ride and am excited. From what I have seen of what we have done and what is coming down the forefront, it is going to be even more interesting.
Soaps.com: We know Eric is facing some demons of his own. Is that the reason why he came back to Salem?
Greg: No. I don’t think he wants to reveal those demons. Everybody has secrets. Sami always says that, everyone has secrets. I just think he is coming there and his own shock and surprise that certain things occur and happen, he mentally is in a much bigger place and a much stronger place to face them. And I don’t think he was foreseeing that he would have things that he would kind of compartmentalize and put on the shelf, put in the filing box. It is not like that in life, generally. You are going to have to deal with it eventually in life, whatever you have personally. And I think that is kind of the way Eric is right now. He dealt with something that was very personal. I think he dealt with it the best that he could, but you need that somebody to open up to because it has to come out and it heals you. I think for the time being a lot of things and colors are going to hit the canvas and unfold before our very eyes. I think right now he is focusing on everyone else and reconnecting. He is not bringing too much attention to the collar, but he is proud of how he is and where he has been and what he has achieved and what knowledge he has gained.