NBC’s ‘Days of Our Lives‘ is proving that good love stories can involve characters of all ages by putting the Maggie-Victor-Vivian love triangle front burner. I spoke with the actors who portray them, Suzanne Rogers, John Aniston, and Louise Sorel, about romance, villainy, and that darned sarcophagus.
Victor and Maggie have so many beautifully written scenes. Do you think the relationship inspires the writers to come up with their best dialogue?
Aniston: I don’t know what’s inspiring them, but we’re very grateful for it. We have some great scenes together.
When is Maggie going to give Victor a chance?
Rogers: I think she gets her comeuppance a little bit from Vivian first. So I don’t know then what happens. I’m not sure what happens down the road.
Aniston: Ultimately, Victor will get lucky at some point.
Rogers: I hope so.
Do you think the two of them are meant to be?
Aniston: Certainly they’re meant to be together from a soap opera point-of-view. It’s a recipe fraught with disaster.
What’s more likely: Maggie makes Victor into a better man, or Victor brings out the bad girl in Maggie?
Rogers: I think a little of both.
Aniston: We’re both moving in those directions.
Rogers: She’s found her voice. I don’t think she had a voice for a long time. He brings out the voice in her.
Aniston: The other day I said to her, ‘You’re getting to be more and more of a Kiriakis every day.”
Rogers: I think that’s nice. It gives her something else to play.
Victor has some of the best insults on television. What are your favorites?
Aniston: There have been so many good ones. I can’t even remember them. The one everybody’s quoting is what I said to Nicole: “You money grubbing, boozehound whore.”
How will Maggie react once she finds out that Victor left Vivian in the sarcophogous?
Aniston: She gets very pissy. I think the funny thing about that whole story is that more and more people kept finding out what happened to Vivian and were like, “Good!”
You have both been with the show for such a long time. What does 45 years of ‘Days of Our Lives’ mean to you?
Rogers: Well, I’m lucky. I’m lucky the show has been on that long. I’m grateful.
Aniston: Indeed. The normal life of the actor is to be unemployed. I was working with an actor, George Romero, years ago. He was written off the show. He came out of the producers office and he told me, “I’m off the show. I guess I have to go back to being an actor.”
What was your guest-starring role on ‘Mad Men’ like?
Aniston: That was a lot of fun. Actually, I just did a show last week which was even more fun. It’s [the] Paul Reiser [Show]. I play an 83 year old lecherous billionaire.
What have been your all time favorite ‘Days’ storylines?
Rogers: Right now.
Aniston: I had some good storylines where I traveled a lot. We went to Greece.
Do you think Maggie and Victor need to go on a romantic vacation to Paris?
Aniston: I offered her that just the other day. She turned me down.
Your character spent a month and a half in a sarcophagus. How did you approach that from an acting standpoint?
Sorel: It was somewhat confining. I didn’t have to rehearse because I could just get in there and lie down. [There was] no blocking. This is a good thing. I had to invent things to do. I said, “I can’t lie here in the sarcophagus. It’s boring.” It went on for maybe too long. It was fun. It was a challenge to be in there. It got to the point where I said, “Can I still act standing up?”
How did it impact Vivian finding out that everyone in Salem wants to let her rot?
Sorel: I have to put up with that because I do all these horrible things. It’s fun because if you’re going to do one of those shows, you want to play someone like that. She’s just doing what she has to do. I never realized she was psychotic until somebody pointed it out to me.
What is Vivian going to do now that she’s free?
Sorel: She won’t be for long. Something quite funny happens rather quickly. I seem to be free. I seem to be now in control. Then in a split second I’m in a totally ridiculous situation. It’s very funny.
Does she still want to be with Victor knowing how much he hates her?
Sorel: No. She wants to give him hell. He’s been so nasty to me.
How do you find the reality in playing such an over the top character?
Sorel: There’s only one thing you can do, and that is to play that she’s in jeopardy. If you think about it, it’s like looking at Monty Python. You laugh at it, but they base it on something. They explain that they are these characters, and then they can do anything.