Mary Beth Evans On….
- Kayla’s Future
- And Bringing Back Steve
By Bonnie Siegler
Staying on top of things is a challenge for all of us, but for moms with toddlers it’s even tougher. With topsy-turvy routines and little spare time, fitness and leisure activities take a back seat. So how does Mary Beth Evans, a.k.a. Kayla Brady Johnson on DAYS OF OUR LIVES, adored and admired by millions of daytime viewers, do it all? Her character always finds time for family and friends while nursing the sick back to health—most recently, her lover Shane Donovan. How does Mary Beth handle it all—with the traveling back and forth to the studio, memorizing lines, staying fit, and finding time for her family and little ones, Danny (4) and Katie (2)? Here she tells you how she organizes her hectic days.
Q: What kind of leisure activities do you most often partake in with your children?
A: For example, yesterday my husband and I took the kids rollerblading. We do that a lot. Danny is on a hockey team, and both my husband and I have our own rollerblades. When we all go, Katie goes in the baby jogger. It’s a double-baby jogger because we used to have Danny in there too, but now the other side is home to Katie’s dolls, unless Danny gets tired and sits in there with the rollerblades on. We also go on bike rides around our area. So we try and do family-oriented leisure things.
Q: Is this for quality time with the children, or is this to combine exercise with the quality time?
A: It’s definitely both. Anyone who has a 4 ½ -year-old boy knows that you have to get them out a bit and run them like a horse (laughs). They really need to get rid of some of their energy.
Q: I understand that Danny also takes tennis lessons?
A: He does that twice-a-week. His teacher said that he was just moving on to serves, and I think that he’s going to be better than I could ever be. But we just have him enrolled in sports to help him release some of that energy–not for him to become this super athlete. I don’t like to have my kids come home and sit in front of the TV. I like to keep them busy, and he’s happy with these activities.
Q: Your home boasts beautiful grounds and gardens. Is this Mary Beth’s own quality time?
A: Right, I’m a big gardener. Now I’m trying to plan my front yard because spring is here. Danny and I went out yesterday to pick up a Wisteria Vine. In my neighborhood, there are a lot of homes that have this Wisteria Vine, but I’m always picking up flowers, vines…a couple of times a month. Actually, Danny is at this age where he helps me. He planted a little herb garden in the back last week. So I’m trying to make gardening a project for all of us now that he’s a bit older.
Q: Your home reminds me of the large homes found back east or down south. Have you put a lot of time into fixing it up?
A: This place was a disaster when we moved in five years ago, and we’re remodeled every inch of it. Somebody had lived here since 1938; the house was built in 1912. It has yellow carpets, yellowing walls….there was even honey dripping on the living room wall from a beehive in the walls. And the front yard was very ugly. The shutters were hanging sideways like a haunted house. We just bought new bedroom furniture…. So it’s a long process, but it’s another family project.
Q: I remember the last time that we spoke—you were taking cooking lessons. Still have interests there?
A: I’d like to go to chef school someday. The kids and I cook a lot—we just made cookies today. We try and do that a lot.
Q: What are your cherished moments with the children?
A: That’s funny you ask. This morning, my husband and ZI was laying in bed—Danny was laying there cuddling, being very quiet (which is rare), and Katie was sitting on the floor reading….or rather babbling about a book. I said to my husband: ‘This is the best time of the day.’ Once everyone is up, it’s non-stop till everyone is asleep in bed.
Q: On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate yourself as a mother?
A: Oh gosh. I used to think that I was a good 3-4, but the older my son gets, the more I think that I’m a 6. I think that I’m a good mother, but when your children get older, you’re faced with more challenging things—like the proper discipline. I try hard, and it’s all consuming for me—my life is my family and my job. But my family and children by far, number one.
Q: Do you think that you’ll have more children?
A: I think so. My husband and I are always talking about it, but luckily it’s at off-times. Danny keeps saying that he wants a baby brother for himself and a baby sister for Katie. I look at my family, where there’s four kids all grown up, and think how wonderful it is that we have brothers and sisters. I think that I’d like to give that to my children. When my mom had her kids, she had all four by the time that she was 22. But I love little babies…and they smell so good. They’re just incredible.
Q: Would you like to see Kayla interact more with her daughter?
A: Definitely. When Patch and Kayla got married, we both said, ‘Let’s show a happily married couple and family.’ I kept saying that I do a lot of interesting things in my personal life and there’s still conflict, but I’m not always chasing a bad guy and giving the children to my parents.
Q: Do you know what’s in store for Kayla?
A: I honestly don’t. I wish that they’d bring Stephen (Nichols) back and let us just get back together. I love Charlie to pieces, and I think that the Kayla/Shane storyline would have worked better if they had written it differently—something like ‘Green Card.’ But they didn’t, so it’s just been a hard year.
Q: When I spoke to Stephen recently, he said that he’d like to have a fresh start on a soap with both of you at the helm. With your contract up soon on DAYS, what are your feelings?
A: I don’t think that I would do that. I wouldn’t want such a big responsibility. Besides, I love working three-days-a-week and having the rest of the time for my family. Let’s just say that I have no plans at the moment to not come back to DAYS.
Q: We know Kayla always get together for family gatherings. But what will Mary Beth be doing for this Mother’s Day?
A: I’ll probably have this huge brunch with china and crystal. My house is great for entertaining, and the whole family will get together. That’s my gift to my family—making these incredible dinners. And nobody has to do the dishes afterwards!
Photos by Michael Broemer