It's been 12 years since Eric Brady called Salem home. His return to town couldn't have come at a better time for his family and friends. His ex-Nicole is coming off an emotional breakdown, his twin sister Sami is torn between her love for EJ and Rafe, his mother Marlena's paranoia about Kristen is out of control and his grandmother Caroline is battling Alzheimer's. It seems like Eric may be the one who needs a priest (and maybe a therapist)! One thing that's for sure, Eric is not the same person he was when he left Salem. Though he has a new outlook on life, Eric is haunted by something from his past. What happened to him while he was away? The soap will reveal some of what happened to Eric and led him on the path to the priesthood in mid-December.
TVSource Magazine spoke with Greg Vaughan on Friday about his character's return to Salem, how he felt when he learned he was playing a priest, working with Alison Sweeney and why he passed on Days of our Lives last year.
TVSource Magazine: You've been at Days of our Lives a few months now. What's it like working there?
Greg Vaughan: Well let me tell you, there are some divas and drama queens to deal with. There's some guys that have some issues. I just let the boys play and do their things, and I let the girls have their run and I just go to my room. [Laughs] No it's been awesome. Every day is a good day. We have a lot of fun. They're good people.
TVSource Magazine: There was a chance for you to join the show awhile back. Why did you pass on the role?
Vaughan: In a way it wasn't the right fit for me at the time. I was kind of exploring other opportunities. I had some irons and the fire and the timing was – well everything is about timing in life, and so it just kind of came about and wasn't a good fit. It wasn't right for me at that specific time. It was [still] really fresh after me leaving [General Hospital], so I said 'Thanks [but] with all due respect, it's just not right.' And look how it's worked out? I came back full circle and waited for the right one to stick. [Laughs]
TVSource Magazine: What can you share about your upcoming story?
Vaughan: Hmm…what's coming up – we're definitely going to dive more into Eric and the past twelve years and where he's journeyed along the way. The people who've come into his life and made such a huge impact and the choices to why he is and what he does in his choice of faith as a priest. It's the journey that he experienced and now it's the journey the audience is hopefully enjoying and that it's trying to come on screen and see that. And people are hoping to stay turned and be drawn in a little bit and see what sparks going to happen.
TVSource Magazine: How did you react when you learned you were playing a priest?
Vaughan: Like anybody would expect, I was like a deer in the headlights for a second. The more I kind of let it evolve within me and just kind of like absorbed it and thought about it, I knew that it's not what a lot of people's expectations were or something I would jump right at. The more I thought about it I said this could be a tremendous uphill challenge for me and allow me to expand beyond what I have done in my career and see what else I can learn to tap into.
TVSource Magazine: Eric's been away from Salem for a very long time. Will viewers learn why he was gone for so long?
Vaughan: We're going to hear a lot more not only about why he was gone, but the choices that had been made and what led him to go into the priesthood. You'll also learn about important, influential people he's met along the way. It's been a growing process for the character. By all means it's been a very positive, effective way in the way the results have come back and the kind of man he is more so than what he left with, what he's come back and kind of evolved.
TVSource Magazine: There are some great scenes coming up between Eric and Sami, where the audience learns Sami knew he was a priest before anyone else. Will there be more scenes between you and Alison Sweeney? Will that relationship be explored more?
Vaughan: There's definitely going to be more time for the twin love to come together. [Laughs] Ali and I were so fortunate to be cast in a movie together before I started working on the show. It was great to kind of be pre-exposed to be working together in a different environment. We had time to really connect as people. We've known each other for a good 15 years on a personal level but never on a professional, same stage. It was a nice introduction to her and her ability, her likes and dislikes.
Ali is an extremely talented actress and entrepreneur. It's like what doesn't she do? She's a mother of two beautiful children and she's like host of a show, and she's writing books left and right. It's like you name it she does it. She's running marathons, directing the show. It's like she a Jill of all trades. She is really good and so much fun. We have such a different dynamic that I've experienced since joining and being a sibling. It's translating, and I hope people accept it. It's different and hopefully people accept us being a little bit different.
TVSource Magazine: Nicole is obviously a wedge issue between Sami and Eric. On the other hand, we don't really know how Eric feels about Rafe and EJ in his sister's life. What kind of reaction will he have towards EJ and Rafe when they meet?
Vaughan: I think there's a little bit of [uneasiness]. You have to understand that even though Eric's been off camera for years, conversation has definitely happened. He's aware and understanding of what Sami's been going through, as well as his [parents]. [Sami's] been his confidant and connection to Salem and to the family and such. The thing is, I think with EJ being a DiMera and the history of Stefano, Eric is definitely going to have an informed opinion. It's just what actions are taken and where he goes from there. It's still pretty early in introducing everyone and Eric coming into play. He's heard a lot of about Rafe of course and his passion and appreciation for people. I think it's too early for Eric to make any judgments on people.
By Omar Nobles