Longtime Daytime Confidential readers will likely remember I wasn't very happy when Blake Berris was let go from Days of Our Lives back in 2009. Imagine my pleasant surprise when news broke that the amazingly-talented actor was bringing lovable geek-turned-murderer Nick Fallon back to the series!
I recently caught up with Berris—who has been making a name for himself on the indie film circuit—to talk about what brought him back to soaps and his upcoming turns in buzzy films like Meth Head and House of Last Things. Berris also previewed the storyline which finds Nick's cousin Julie (Susan Seaforth Hayes) organizing the Horton family effort to get him paroled. How will Melanie (Molly Burnett) react to Nick getting out? Will the plot twist have anything to do with Burnett's exit from the series? Keep reading to find out.
Daytime Confidential: Welcome back to Salem! I know you've been really busy doing a lot of edgy, indie projects lately, like Meth Head and House of Last Things. What made you decide to return to Days of Our Lives?
Blake Berris: They basically gave me a really great offer. What they wanted to do with the character sounded like a really awesome storyline, so I kind of just decided to do it.
Photo by Michael Abrams
DC: How long are you back for?
BB: We're not sure. The contract is a year.
DC: Okay, awesome!
BB: Well, it's six months-to-a-year. I guess after six months they'll make a decision as to whether-or-not they want to use the last six months.
DC: Your character, Horton great-grandson Nick Fallon, has been in prison since 2009. How has prison changed him?
BB: I don't think anybody can go into prison for that amount of time and not be significantly changed. He's definitely different. He's had to change basically everything about himself. He's still Nick, but he's gone through a lot.
DC: Nick's cousin Julie, played by Days of Our Lives icon Susan Seaforth Hayes, is spearheading the effort to get him paroled. Have you filmed a lot of scenes with Hayes?
BB: I did film some scenes with Susan. She and Aunt Maggie and Hope. I kind of did the whole gamut of the Days of Our Lives legends. [Laughs] They're all coming in to talk to me while I'm in prison. There's Suzanne Rogers and Kristian Alfonso; Deidre Hall comes and even a surprise throwback...
DC: Could you possibly mean Jean Bruce Scott as Nick's mom Jessica Blake Fallon? It's already out there, so we won't be spoiling anything!
BB: It's already out there? Okay! [Laughs]
DC: Yeah, it's out there. What was it like working with her?
BB: She was fantastic. I loved working with her! We got in touch about a week or so before. As soon as she found out [she was returning], she contacted me through Facebook. We were able to kind of just start communicating, so that when we got to set, we were able to jump right into a relationship that wasn't totally foreign to both of us. She is the loveliest woman in the world and a really wonderful actress. I had a great time working with her.
DC: Were you familiar with any of Jessica's back history, the split personalities?
BB: Yeah! I think it's interesting that her character was sort of mentally unstable as well. It kind of makes sense, because that stuff is genetic.
DC: Nick went to jail for killing Melanie's abusive, adoptive dad Trent. He also kidnapped and almost killed Melanie! How does your return impact Molly Burnett's upcoming exit?
BB: As you can imagine, Melanie is quite uncomfortable with the potential release of Nick back into the civilian world. This is something that is very difficult for both Nick and Melanie to navigate.
DC: The moment news of your return to DAYS broke, fans online started mentioning Chelsea Brady. Are you still in touch with Rachel Melvin?
BB: I am in touch with Rachel. I know she's working on a bunch of other stuff right now, so I'm not sure if she will be back on DAYS or not. I would certainly love to do some scenes with Nick and Chelsea again. I'd love to!
DC: The Salem young adult scene has changed quite a bit in just the few short years you've been gone. How will Nick interact with his cousin Will and Will's friends?
BB: I've filmed a bunch of scenes with Chandler [Massey]. We actually did some today. He's a really great young talent on the show. I was very excited to do scenes with him, because I'd seen some of his work. I was there when he won his Emmy. That was unbelievably exciting — for him and the show.
DC: Since you're back for a long stint, who are we going to see in terms of a romantic connection for Nick?
BB: You know, there aren't that many eligible bachelorettes in Salem! [Laughs]
DC: Abigail's your cousin, so that rules that out. Those Hortons really procreated in that town!
BB: [Laughs] If they hooked up, it probably wouldn't be the first time [cousins hooked up on a soap]!
DC: You were on the Daytime Emmy red carpet with Camila Banus...
BB: Yes. I was with Camila...Gabi and Nick, we've done a lot of scenes together. I don't know if I can define it, but there's certainly a connection.
DC: Meth Head is getting crazy buzz. What can you share about your character, seductive drug dealer Dusty?
BB: I was ecstatic and honored to work on that project. It was just an unbelievable role. When my manager first emailed it to me, I saw it was very, very intense material. It's exactly the kind of stuff I've always wanted to work on. When Nick went dark in the first go round on DAYS, I loved exploring that stuff. The content in Meth Head gives you a lot as an actor to sink your teeth into. My character is sort of a small time party guy/drug dealer. He's not like a head honcho of any sort. He's a guy around town who does drugs and deals. He ends up meeting Lukas Haas' character [Kyle] out and Lukas and I sort of develop a friendship in drugs. We become partners in crime. One thing leads to another and it goes pretty dark. We end up prostituting ourselves. It shows the lengths you will go to when you have a drug addiction. It's pretty profound. It's an interesting dynamic, because his character is gay and my character isn't — though we definitely have a strong friendship. The three of us—Lukas and Necar Zadegan, she has a new show on The CW called Emily Owens, M.D— we become a dysfunctional family, then it all sort of spirals out of control.
DC: When does Meth Head premiere?
BB: We are hoping to announce a festival premiere in the next month.
DC: I remember seeing the trailer and thinking, "That's Nick being a badass!"
BB: It's a really moving film. It's not easy to watch, but it's wonderful. I'm really proud of it.
DC: From the trailer, House of Last Things looks a bit trippier than Meth Head.
BB: Yeah, it's definitely a huge trip! Jesse in House of Last Things was an incredible role. Without giving too much away, me and Lindsey Haun's character, we're kind of these Portland trailer trash characters who move into this house—they're house-sitting—and there's a supernatural aspect to the house. It's kind of transforming them as people. It was really an awesome role to craft, because my character, from beginning to end, really becomes a different person.
Blake Berris returns as Nick Fallon today, Aug. 27 on NBC's Days of Our Lives.