At a Glance: Kayla
Soap Opera Weekly, September 28, 2010
By Janet Di Lauro
Worried that Stephanie is spinning out of control, Adrienne summons Kayla back to Salem this week. Mary Beth Evans give us the lowdown on her DAYS return and her new Web series, THE BAY.
Weekly: What was your reaction when you heard what Stephanie’s been up to?
Evans: It was like a revolving door hit me in the face a few times. I was like, “What? Whaaat?” I wasn’t disappointed as much as I was shocked Kayla comes back and is like, “snap out of it.” She doesn’t want to lose Steph to the other side so to speak. She wants to bring her back before she goes over the deep end.
Weekly: Are you scenes with Shelley Hennig (Stephanie) intense?
Evans: We’ve had some amazing stuff together. I love her. We’ve always been very close, since the day she started here. I have a daughter who’s about Shelley’s age and equally as sweet as her. It’s a nice extension for me, since my daughter is at college.
Weekly: Ultimately, Kayla end sup overhearing Ian and Stephanie discussing the mysterious paternity test results.
Evans: Yes. Kayla starts finding out more things and it gets shockingly worse. Things start to spiral out of control. It becomes a big thing, trying to figure out if they were switched or weren’t switched. And why is Stephanie afraid for the whole thing to come out, anyway? Kayla wants to make sure Steph knows that whatever happens, she can’t be afraid of it. She’s trying to give Stephanie a little backbone and get her to do the right thing…be the person she was raised to be and not be insecure and a wreck. It’s a great arc. I certainly give it my all, and I loved being with everybody. I’m on for about 25 shows. This might be what happens to me at DAYS, now. I come in, do an arc, and then go on my way. It wouldn’t have been my choice to be let go from DAYS, but in many ways, I think these things are mixed blessings. It forces you to get your act together and do other things.
Weekly: Like your gig as Sara on the Web series THE BAY?
Evans: When I met with (creator/director) Gregori J. Martin, I didn’t realize it was for the lead role. Sara is involved with or slept with or has a kid with every last person on the cast. Oh, my God! This project has blossomed into a lot of things. Now I do a lot of producing with Gregori and help cast it. The cool thing is all these incredible people are involved – Martha Madison (ex-Belle, DAYS), Matt Ashford (ex-Jack, DAYS), Nicolas Coster (ex-Lionel, SANTA BARBARA).
Weekly: How do you relate to Sara?
Evans: Well, she has three kids and none of them like her. And here, I, Mary Beth, pride myself on mothering. But I understand people like that. I know people like that. They just put their emotional well-being in front of their kids. It doesn’t mean they don’t love them. They’re just more selfish and narcissistic. Sara didn’t mean to be a bad mother or neglect her kids. It’s just that something else came up.
Weekly: How do you think THE BAY rates as a soap?
Evans: Gregori has these incredible backstories for everybody. Everybody is intertwined. THE BAY has the juicy flavor of DYNASTY and classic soap operas. All that drama. I think viewers are going to love it. Nowadays, soaps try a lot of different things and veer off that formula trying to reinvent themselves, but that doesn’t necessarily work.
DONNING A NEW ‘DO
There’s something different about Kayla this time around: her hair! “I’ve had the same style for about seven years,” says Mary Beth Evans. “When I left DAYS, I felt like I needed a change. That’s what sparked it. I went on a moratorium and didn’t cut it one little smidgen for a solid year.”
So far, Evans’ decision has been paying off. “I’ve been auditioning for a lot of stuff, having good response, and getting things,” she reports, noting her new look “is probably a little more middle-of-the-road than my short, sassy thing, which I loved, but you can do more things with this length. I like it.”
Her husband, however, “loves it short. He always saying to me, ‘When are you going to go get it cut?’ He doesn’t like change,” admits Evans. “My husband is the opposite of all men. He thinks flannels are sexy,” she chuckles. “He used to buy me Laura Ashley dresses. What normal people think is sexy he doesn’t think is sexy.”
DINNER WITH THE DAYS FAMILY
Although the circumstances surrounding her last DAYS stint – returning to tape Alice’s memorial after the death of veteran actress Francis Reid – were sad, Mary Beth Evans was happy “to be reunited with so many fun people” from her Salem past.
“I had such a great time seeing everyone, especially Charlie Shaughnessy (ex-Shane), who’s one of my favorite people on the planet,” says Evans. “I had Charlie and Wally (Kurth, Justin) and their wives over for dinner, which I’ve never done in 25 years. I just love those guys.”
Apparently, the dinner party was a roaring success. “At, like, 1 in the morning, Charlie said, ‘I don’t think I’ve ever been over at anybody’s house this late,’” recounts Evans. “We were laughing. We had so much fun. I really love them and realized what family these people are to me.”