The Breakfast Club
CBS Soaps In Depth, February 14, 2011
These days, DAYS OF OUR LIVES’ Steve and Kayla may be separated by a continent (she’s in Salem, while he’s in Africa) – not to mention a network – but their portrayers, Stephen Nichols (now Tucker, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS) and Mary Beth Evans (Sierra, AS THE WORLD TURNS) recently got together for breakfast with a group of loyal fans. Soaps In Depth was on the scene and chatted with the fan favorite duo about being apart, anniversaries, empty nests and being reunited on screen!
Soaps In Depth: It’s great that you two get together with your fans even though you’re not currently working together.
Stephen Nichols: A week after our event, our coordinator is on us to do another one.
Mary Beth Evans: I always wonder, “Who’s going to come? “I also have this child who’s a sports dude, and it’s hard to make plans [because he’ll have a game]. But I’m so happy to see people who I’ve gotten to know over the years. Some make it a road trip to come out here. They’ve made great friends with each other. How swell is that?
In Depth: It’s hard to believe it’s been 25 years since you started working together.
Evans: Yes. It’s been 25 years since Stephen and I met. I was married 25 years in November, and I started DAYS right after that.
Nichols: I celebrated 26 years [of marriage] in October.
Evans: We’re the rarities out here.
In Depth: The first anniversary gift is paper; what’s for the 25th?
Evans: (Wryly) Oh, I don’t go by that. For me, it’s diamonds, diamonds, diamonds. (Nichols laughs).
In Depth: What’s it like working apart?
Nichols: I think of Mary Beth quite often when I’m working on another show.
Evans: Stephen and I are lucky in that we have a connection and a trust and a super-old friendship. We don’t hassle each other, but if we don’t think something’s working, we’ll tell each other. We’re not “divas” – we just get the work done. We have been lucky to be on two different shows together. (Evans and Nichols also played Katherine and Stefan on GENERAL HOSPITAL, in the late 1990s).
In Depth: Could there be a third time, say at Y&R?
Evans: I don’t see me going there. There are too many people in my age range already there.
Nichols: They recently hired another one, too.
Evans: Maura [West, Diane, Carly, ATWT]? She’s not in my age range.
Nichols: She isn’t?
Evans: No. She’s a lot younger than I am. I don’t see that as a possibility.
In Depth: They could have you as a third in a triangle with Tucker and Ashley.
Evans: That’d be cool. We have such a track record. GH, depending on who was writing at the time, did well by us.
Nichols: The challenge at Y&R is that there are so many characters that they have to serve….so many really good actors. I love the actors whom I’m working with. The writing is a cut above the rest. You wait until it’s your turn for stories.
Evans: All the shows are like that.
In Depth: Speaking of Maura, are you in touch with her?
Evans: Yes. We’ve been trading tests. She sent me one about Stephen that read. “He’s so gooooooood” —- lots of “O’s.” Also, I recommended my hairstylist to her. I was in to see him years ago. I’m in the middle of him working on my hair, then Lindsay Lohan came in, and he walks away! I looked in the mirror and saw him with Lindsay. [But] I couldn’t leave. I was so irritated. (Wryly) Thank goodness she’s busy now. I need my attention!
Nichols: Maura is great. It’s the same with Eileen Davidson (Ashley). She throws stuff at me on set that I don’t see [coming]. It’s the same with Maura. There’s stuff coming at you that you can react to and play off of – it’s all good acting.
In Depth: Mary Beth, was the picture of your character’s daughter in your CRIMINAL MINDS episode your real-life daughter, Katie?
Evans: Yes. It’s like a Where’s Waldo? deal. After I got the part, producers asked me if I could bring in photos [from my real life] with my daughter. Katie was like, “cool! I have a cameo.” I brought in some pictures of her, including one when she was a year old, and we were on a carousel at Disneyland. My character’s daughter was murdered in the episode. I asked Katie if she was okay with [the show using the photo]. She said, “I don’t care!” My husband, who is so practical, said, “Can you not separate television from reality?” So I gave them the pictures. My daughter had to sign off on them. It was very exciting.
In Depth: Stephen, how are you and your wife coping with the empty nest?
Nichols: The separation was [initially] very difficult. But my daughter said she’s having such a great time at college. She loves all her new friends. We’re doing great. It’s nice to be able to run around the house naked.
In Depth: Do you have a favorite scene from over the years?
Nichols: One of my favorites from DAYS was when Kayla was drunk.
Evans: Shelly Henning, who plays our daughter [Stephanie on DAYS], told me recently that she saw that, and she loved it. I love the scene where I took the patch off [Stephen]. I love the vulnerability that Stephen brings to his scenes.
In Depth: Steve and Kayla were recently reunited when she returned to Africa to care for him.
Evans: Yes. Steve has malaria.
Nichols: I do? Steve has malaria? They’re going to kill me off.
Evans: (Wryly.) But you know the body won’t be found.