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DAYS: TV Guide interview with Stephen Nichols

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Here's a link to a TV Guide interview with Stephen Nichols:


Patch work

Stephen Nichols returns to the role that made him a daytime superstar — and this time he’s not leaving.

If there is any doubt that the ‘80s are back, you need to look no further than Days of Our Lives.

While most soaps mishandle superstar comebacks, the Global/NBC sudser welcomed back Stephen Nichols — arguably the biggest star the series has ever produced next to Deidre Hall (Marlena) — as Steve “Patch” Johnson earlier this fall. He returned after a 16-year absence by paying homage to the anti-hero’s history with a spellbinding story that not only pleased old-time fans, but also seduced a new generation of viewers.

Of course, it helped that Days also brought back Steve’s love of life, Mary Beth Evans (Kayla), at the same time. This allowed the actors — who were unsuccessfully re-teamed on General Hospital as Stefan and Katherine in the ‘90s, but who were a big hit independently — to bring integrity, nostalgia, catharsis and closure to their pre-empted love story that abruptly ended in 1987, when Nichols left the soap and Steve was presumed dead.

We caught up with the Emmy-nominated actor just before Nichols embarked on his holiday vacation to spend time with his wife and three children.

TV Guide: Were you scared that Days might have screwed up Steve and Kayla’s comeback? After all, it’s been 16 years!Stephen Nichols: Yeah, we felt a responsibility to bring these characters back in a way that would live up to what we had done in the past. The writing is an integral part of that, and we came in during a transition [head writer Hogan Sheffer joined the soap around the same time]. But all things considered, I think writing staff has done an excellent job.

TVG. Did playing Steve again after all these years feel like riding a bike?

SN: In some respects, yes, but for the five months there was the memory loss issue and I was playing more of a Nick/Steve hybrid. Now I'm back to riding the bike.

TVG: What’s it like wearing the “patch” again?

SN: A pain in the ass, but I love it. [Laughs].

TVG: Fans aren’t warming up to the Billie/Patch flirtation — what are your feelings?

SN: I love working with Julie Pinson (Billie), but it was never going to happen with Billie, Steve and Kayla because Steve was Nick at the time.

TVG: Why do you think Stefan and Katherine didn’t work on GH when you and Mary Beth were re-teamed?

SN: Mary Beth and I were indelibly identified as the couple Patch and Kayla, and those two characters were direct polar opposites of Katherine and Stefan. Number two, there was a richer history with Laura and Stefan.

TVG: Is it odd having Judi Evans on the show as a different character and not as Steve’s sister?SN: Now that she’s not going to be playing Bonnie anymore [Judi Evans is leaving the series], maybe the door is open for her to come back as Adrienne. We had some great stuff together as brother and sister.

TVG: What’s the mood on the set now that Hogan Sheffer is on board?

SN: Everyone seems to be excited! When they get their scripts, they’re eager to see what’s in store. I, for one, knew of Hogan’s work on ATWT because I watched Mary Beth on it. I always thought that the writing was some of the best in daytime.

TVG: How has daytime changed since joined daytime in the ‘80s?

SN: Dramatically.

TVG: If Patch and Kayla ever remarry, do you want another splashy wedding for the characters?

SN: Hell yes! And this time on a battleship with a banner behind us that says, “mission accomplished!”

TVG: Do you keep in touch with anyone from GH, or still watch the show?

SN: Yes, Tyler [Christopher; Nicholas] and I speak once in a while. Kimberly McCullough (Robin) and I run into each other at filmmaker events.

TVG: Finally, why do you think Steve — and Patch and Kayla — resonate with viewers after all this time?SN: Steve has always been a unique character. Don’t ask me why — it’s a mystery, but I likes it. Patch and Kayla have a very strong connection to each other, and a lot of that has to do with the friendship between Mary Beth and me. There's a lot of trust and I'm sure that comes through. We're not afraid to fail with each other.


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So happy he is pleased with the writing at DAYS! Too many actors that have returned and then left just hated the writing, this is a refreshing change!

I am still amazed at how much DAYS has turned itself around, it REALLY is trying hard to return to its roots and bring some respect back to NBC Daytime!

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Nichols played the very complex Stefan Cassadine so well that he made me a fan of his character. If he's ever fired by K. Corday or chooses to quit, I hope GH snatches him up in a hot second. They made the mistake of killing off Katherine Bell. We don't know with certainty that Stefan is really dead & it'll be great if he returned. His scenes with T. Christopher, G. Francis. M.B. Evans & C. Towers were amazing! He belongs on GH! Let the GH/Days casting wars continue!

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GH made the character of Stefan turn into a joke and his death was played out just like that. That hospital room scene was pathetic. Like they did frequently, GH didn't know what to do with him and they ended up mocking the character and ruining him.

This interview was nice. Their returns were a bit shaky at first but both ME and SN are so capable they made it work. Now it is only getting better and I hope it continues.

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I agree. Some of the lines that Mary Beth Evans was given for Kayla - cringeworthy. But the great thing about these two is that they are able to do a lot of acting without words. At times, that is all that made things bearable. Things are MUCH improved now and I am glad to see them finally able to exercise their acting chops.

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LOVE him. Loved him as Patch way back when, loved him as Stefan (which he totally made his own, despite the HUGE shadow cast by his role on Days), love him back on the show where he got his start.

And every post or interview he makes just reinforces my view of him as a funny, gracious person. He's a class-act.

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