Eileen Davidson on DAYS Departure: “I Needed to Get Off The Train For a Minute”





Is Days of Our Lives' intense production schedule to blame for one of the soap's most popular stars ever exiting the serial? It sure seems that way, after reading Eileen Davidson's exit interview with TV Guide Magazine's Michael Logan. Here's a snippet:

TV Guide Magazine: Why couldn't they consolidate all your scenes to, say, two days a week? You're gold. You are the reason to watch Days. Steve Burton has 20 days a month off at Y&R. Why couldn't Sony, which oversees both soaps, work a similar deal?

Davidson: It's just not feasible. At Days they work around other people like that and I have no bad feelings about it, but that's just not me. I don't want to keep the show from doing what it needs to do in order to stay on the air. And you can't put Kristen on the back burner because then there's no point to her. She's always got that foot on the pedal, and that's exhausting. Even when we were dark one week a month, I'd go home with 10 scripts. I was driving my son to school or taking him on outings, and always had scripts with me in the car. My stepsons are both going to be in college, as of this year, and I've been watching their lives fly by because I am at work. I needed to get off the train for a minute.


As much as I will miss Davidson as Salem's malevolent Kristen Blake DiMera, I applaud the soap superstar for doing what's best for herself and her family. Godspeed, sisterfriend!

34 Responses

  1. Avatar of Yoryla
    Yoryla

    Very glad she gave this interview, and made it crystal clear that SHE herself made the decision to exit.

    EXTREMELY glad to hear that Days would have bent over backwards to keep her on, and offered to work around her schedule to accommodate her. She certainly was the one who would have deserved that.

    HOWEVER: Y&R hasn’t even contacted her to return!!? There goes how much they supposedly wanted her back!

    Eileen: “I was treading water on Y&R, so being written off that show was for the best.”

  2. Avatar of soapjunkie88
    soapjunkie88

    [quote=Yoryla]HOWEVER: Y&R hasn’t even contacted her to return!!? There goes how much they supposedly wanted her back![/quote]

    I figured that much. JFP is going after the younger generation. There wouldn’t be much to do for her under the current regime. As I said yesterday, if they wanted her back they could have worked something out as soon as MAB left. She was the only one standing in the way of Eileen doing both – Y&R and DAYS.

    I hope that Eileen takes the time with her family enjoys it and then will return to DAYS in the near future. Maybe her return will be announced before we see her last appearance of her current stint. ;)

    Anyway I’m happy about every interview Michael Logan is doing. Always giving so much and leaving not much room for any gossip or made up rumors.

  3. Avatar of SoapArmageddon
    SoapArmageddon

    I tried to hold off criticizing TPTB but it’s freaking unbelievable that they couldn’t find a way to work this out. I love seeing her three or four times a week; however, I would be OK with seeing her less frequently, as opposed to not at all.

    Every scene Kristen appears in is enjoyable; but they are often repetitive. All they had to do was write less of those.

  4. Avatar of soapjunkie88
    soapjunkie88

    [quote=SoapArmageddon]I tried to hold off criticizing TPTB but it’s freaking unbelievable that they couldn’t find a way to work this out. I love seeing her three or four times a week; however, I would be OK with seeing her less frequently, as opposed to not at all.[/quote]

    And Eileen gives a very honest and personal answer to that. She didn’t want any special treatment with her work hours and doesn’t think that Kristen is a character that can be left on the back burner for a while. And I can agree with her opinion on that.

    TPTB tried to talk her into staying by changing her work schedule, as this interview revealed. Eileen was the one who “needed to get off the train” and didn’t want any special treatment. ;)

  5. Avatar of Yoryla
    Yoryla

    [quote=soapjunkie88]Anyway I’m happy about every interview Michael Logan is doing. Always giving so much and leaving not much room for any gossip or made up rumors.[/quote]

    Agreed! I really appreciate and respect Michael Logan’s interviews – he seems to be held in a high esteem in the industry, the actors trust him, and his interviews always come off as professional. Really great to get this interview from him.

    And yes, here’s hoping we get to hear ED’s return announcement before she actually leaves! 2017 will be here before we know it! :D

    For once I am very glad about Days’ long shooting period.

  6. Avatar of Cornfed
    Cornfed

    I said yesterday “hopefully Logan will get her first exit interview”, and there it was! Awesome interview.

    @nysam – i think that’s her son, no? :)

    It’s possible Eileen’s scheduling comment was referring more so to Alison Sweeney than Steve Burton…

  7. Avatar of blake3b
    blake3b

    [quote=soapjunkie88]And Eileen gives a very honest and personal answer to that. She didn’t want any special treatment with her work hours and doesn’t think that Kristen is a character that can be left on the back burner for a while. And I can agree with her opinion on that.

    TPTB tried to talk her into staying by changing her work schedule, as this interview revealed. Eileen was the one who “needed to get off the train” and didn’t want any special treatment. ;)[/quote]

    I agree that it’s great she didn’t want special treatment like other stars get for shooting and that she doesn’t want to do that to her co-stars. That says so much about her!

    I am glad that she’s not going back to Y&R, that show is a hot mess! But it sounds like she just needs the break with her family and she’ll hopefully be back at Days soon! Man I hope so!

  8. Avatar of Santa_Barbara_4Ever
    Santa_Barbara_4Ever

    I had a feeling this was the reason…..very similar to the last time she left DAYS. You can tell that playing Kristen et. all is very draining. Look at the emotion she puts in every damn scene! She has to be thrilled but overwhelmed at the same time. YR never gave Ashley the material DAYS would give her to work with. God knows I hope she comes back very soon. I waited 14 years for this return! Kristen is my favorite all time DAYS character…besides Susan Banks LOL…..either way ED is behind both of them! Get some rest, enjoy your family and come back soon!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Avatar of richalan67
    richalan67

    I HATE the character of Kristen! With that said, I LOVE ED as Ashley. I do believe that she will return to YR in the very near future. We have Tracey back and now Ashley hopefully is not far behind. As for YR being a hot mess, Days sucks putty water in my opinion. It should be called “Days of Sami Brady”

  10. Avatar of Secrets and Lies
    Secrets and Lies

    Reading between the lines I think they didn’t go far enough to try to accommodate her. I think she’d trying to send them a message.

    Obviously there’s only room for *one* front burner star to get the “out by noon” treatment or it screws up the entire production beyond reair. Right now that is Alison Sweeney with The Biggest loser and her other projects. Corday knows he needs Eileen and that’s why he took this public — he’s hoping for an outcry. She’s a once-in-a-lifetime talent in this role.

    But big decisions like this are ultimately up to NBC. Which do they want worse: Ali doing double duty or Eileen on at all. Eileen *deserves* the treatment b/c she proved her box office by driving the ratings. Ali’s never been off the air (except for “Stan”) so we don’t know if people tune in for her or not.

    My feeling is that once Eileen is off the air and the ratings drop, NBC will find a way to make it all work – even if they have to kick in a bit of extra $$$ on top of their license fee. It’s just too good an opportunity to pass up.

  11. Avatar of EricasBlackSon
    EricasBlackSon

    Eileen Davidson is one of the few people who can make me tolerate a Michael Logan interview. I STILL remember how vicious and unprofessional he was when he sucker punched Tonya Pinkins during that soap opera show he once had. He generally came across as passive agressively bitchy, and not in a good campy way, and he went out of his way to trash AMC. At least when Jamey trashes a show you end up laughing. Yeah, I know it was a long time ago and I don’t care. I hate that guy and wish him nothing but ill.

    Anyway, I’m taking Kristen leaving the show pretty hard. She’s why I started watching on a regualar basis again and I think they’re getting ready to approach some of that 1990s Secret Room craziness that I’ve been looking for. Eileen Davidson is composed of intelligence, wit, and sex that was mixed by a goddess with Miranda Priestly’s hot coffee and served up with pop rocks and caviar. I had the privilige of meeting her in LA years ago. Even though I was nervous around her, she went out of her way to be nice and chatty to me and I just love her.

    I’m just so confused about the way they make soap operas. This whole bit about the one camera take and you’re done rule. Huh? I heard Robin Strasser and Erica Slezak mention that practice on the recent Larry King interview. He was woefully unprepared for that interview, by the way. The intern who props him up and cattle prods him awake needs to give Uncle Larry his cliff notes sooner.

    But as I heard Robin, Erica, and now Eileen tell these stories of rushed productions and one takes I can’t help but wonder why. Even with the economic pressures, are you telling me that’s the most efficeint way to produce a soap? Will somebody PLEASE quit treating these divas like Motel 6 one night stands and escort them to the Four Seasons instead?

    I mean really.

  12. Avatar of SoapArmageddon
    SoapArmageddon

    [quote=richalan67]I HATE the character of Kristen! With that said, I LOVE ED as Ashley. I do believe that she will return to YR in the very near future. We have Tracey back and now Ashley hopefully is not far behind. As for YR being a hot mess, Days sucks putty water in my opinion. It should be called “Days of Sami Brady”[/quote]

    You, Sir, are an absolute DOUCHE. The fans of this show are obviously devastated and yet you cannot find the keys on your reeking laptop to form words that show the least bit of respect for that.

    Your assholery must make the lives of those poor, long-suffering individuals who gingerly sustain contact with you an utter MISERY.

  13. Avatar of LizzieVee
    LizzieVee

    Glad I wasn’t the only one who noticed how unprepared Larry King was when he interviewed RobinStasser and Erica Slezak. Also thought Erica did most of the talking and Robin was just there.

    It is both true and sad that with budget cuts they don’t have the luxury any more rehearse properly and do retakes like they did in the past. I think that started happening when soaps went from 1/2 hour to a 1 hour. More actors, quicker pace, everything still had to be done in the same time frame.

    I also think it really helps prepare actors when they go onto other jobs.

  14. Avatar of EricasBlackSon
    EricasBlackSon

    [quote=LizzieVee]Glad I wasn’t the only one who noticed how unprepared Larry King was when he interviewed RobinStasser and Erica Slezak. Also thought Erica did most of the talking and Robin was just there.[/quote]

    It was soooo insulting. He didn’t seem to understand that Robin was still on the show. His only frame of reference seemed to be Soap Dish. Ugh!

  15. Avatar of RebeccaJ
    RebeccaJ

    Twenty days a month off?! Gawd, I’m in the wrong line of work.

    I like ED a lot, but I hope they DON’T bring her back to Y&R. Her character is SO boring when she’s on. She’s much feistier and sexier on Days.

  16. Avatar of jeremy in chicago
    jeremy in chicago

    I’m sorry… but if you do not like Eileen OR Kristen, then you have pretty awful taste. She is the best character on ANY soap as well as the best actress. But there have always been people who have inexplicably favored the horribly dull, boring, and life-draining characters like Roman, Jennifer, Daniel, and Abe. Those characters only exist to highlight how awesome characters like Kristen, Kate, and Nicole are. True divas. And sorry to say, but without Kristen, Marlena will go back to storyline hell. Watch and see. And Ken Corday’s terrible interview in SOD indicates that newbies are being brought on just to give Hope and Rafe storylines. The way he downplayed Kristen/Eileen in the interview was so obviously manipulative. He said Jennifer Horton is “a character we want to see every day.” Ummm… how out of touch with the fans are you, dude? Everyone hates Jennifer and her sticked-up ass. And I don’t mean stuck-up, I mean she has a stick up it.

    Sorry for the rants – I WORSHIP Eileen/Kristen and IMO, this is a death blow for Days. She is THE star of the show. They gave her just a little too much air time and wore her out… now they are screwed because when she leaves, they are going to have to work really hard to build new stories and on top of it all, they are bringing Crishele and a new guy for Hope… then Chandler Massey – definitely one of the top 5 actors on the show, following suit… it’s not going to be pretty.

  17. Avatar of Yoryla
    Yoryla

    Jeremy, ITA 100%. Perfectly put.

    The Ken Corday interview was truly awful. It made Days sound just as hideous as it was last year. Lines like “There will be a lot more EJami” – how the hell can there BE any more EJami?! Ali Sweeney has eaten up half of the show already! I’m hoping Corday just doesn’t know how to do these interviews. Because that was some majorly bad press right there.

    Do they not realize that NOW is the time when they really have to pull out all the stops they can possibly come up with to keep the momentum of this show going? These losses are of epic proportions. No way are people just going to watch a show built around Dannifer, JJ/Theresa, Rafe/CS’s character or even EJami. There’s just no way. I know I won’t be watching.

  18. Avatar of SoapArmageddon
    SoapArmageddon

    Ken Corday needs to STFU. The truth is that he has no idea what is good for the show, never has, and I hope to God that he is not going to start giving storyline directions to the writers again.

    2013 has been a good year for Days; but the prospects are not looking too bright for next year and even more so if that fool interferes. :(

    It must be said though that a lot of the crap he says in interviews often has nothing to do with what eventually plays out on the screen.

  19. Avatar of kelley850
    kelley850

    True about Corday. Remember when he said if Drake’s and Deidre’s fans want to see them, they could go to their fan club dinners? This was after he fired them. He could’ve said that about anyone, including his obsession at the time, Molly Burnett.

  20. Avatar of Santa_Barbara_4Ever
    Santa_Barbara_4Ever

    OK. Let’s say that you are the DAYS casting director and your assignment is to recast the role of Kristen Blake because ED is leaving. Who would be your choices that come to mind? You have no choice not to recast, those are your orders per Sony/Corday tee hee hee….

    Mine (in no particular order)…..

    Stacy Haiduk
    Nina Arvesen
    Cynthia Watros
    Anne Heche
    Michelle Stafford
    sherilyn wolter

    I’d work my ass off to get one of these.

  21. Avatar of Margaret Thatcher
    Margaret Thatcher

    Eileen Davidson is the best addition DOOL has made in years. She’s fun, fierce, talented and fearless. Oh well, now there will be even more time for Ken Corday to give the hack, Missy Reeves, face time. As if the current 18 minutes an episode isn’t enough.

  22. Avatar of kelley850
    kelley850

    Haiduk failed twice at Y&R, Arvesen and Wolter haven’t been heard from in decades, Heche is going to be on Michael J. Fox’s new show, Watros is still getting hired in Hollywood, and why would Stafford stay on daytime if it’s not Y&R?

  23. Avatar of Santa_Barbara_4Ever
    Santa_Barbara_4Ever

    Haiduk failed?? I thought she did a great job IMO. I am well aware of the situations you pointed out, that’s why this is just a ‘game’ so to speak. Who would you want and go after? Obviously, they could say ‘no’….but you gotta have a list to start with.

    IDK the reasons why MS left Y&R (obviously there are many ‘rumors’ on the boards.) If it’s true she demands front burner stories all the time and this and that (I’m not saying it is), then Kristen would be a fit for her. Both times ED left has been due to exhaustion/lack of time with family etc. because it is such an emotional, demanding role to play.

  24. Avatar of Cornfed
    Cornfed

    [quote=richalan67]I HATE the character of Kristen! With that said, I LOVE ED as Ashley. I do believe that she will return to YR in the very near future. We have Tracey back and now Ashley hopefully is not far behind. As for YR being a hot mess, Days sucks putty water in my opinion. It should be called “Days of Sami Brady”[/quote]

    Umm yeah, right. Not a wise move comparing Y/R to DOOL, at least in its current state. Any show being ran [into the ground] by Jill F’ing Phelps is NOT the better show. ITA that too much Sami is a bad thing, but she happens to be a relatable character with roots in a lot of the stories. She definitely wasn’t on any more than Kristen was, and yeah i’d rather have Eileen too, but there’s no doubt how well Sweeney knows her character. I’d rather TPTB work around Eileen’s schedule than Sweeney’s!

  25. Avatar of Cornfed
    Cornfed

    [quote=EricasBlackSon]Eileen Davidson is one of the few people who can make me tolerate a Michael Logan interview. Anyway, I’m taking Kristen leaving the show pretty hard. She’s why I started watching on a regualar basis again and I think they’re getting ready to approach some of that 1990s Secret Room craziness that I’ve been looking for. Eileen Davidson is composed of intelligence, wit, and sex that was mixed by a goddess with Miranda Priestly’s hot coffee and served up with pop rocks and caviar. I had the privilige of meeting her in LA years ago. Even though I was nervous around her, she went out of her way to be nice and chatty to me and I just love her. But as I heard Robin, Erica, and now Eileen tell these stories of rushed productions and one takes I can’t help but wonder why. Even with the economic pressures, are you telling me that’s the most efficeint way to produce a soap? Will somebody PLEASE quit treating these divas like Motel 6 one night stands and escort them to the Four Seasons instead? I mean really.[/quote]

    EBS, please come and post more regularly, i love this! You perfectly described why Eileen is FIYAH in this role. And that self-effacing thing she did in the beginning when the whole town didn’t roll out the red carpet — well, that just made her even MORE attractive, if that’s possible. And please tell me more about meeting Eileen, i’d probably keel over myself!

  26. Avatar of Cornfed
    Cornfed

    ROTF @ Yoryla’s post. So effin true. I don’t wanna see Corday’s version of the show play out on my screen. And is everyone saying here that “Rate” aren’t gonna stay together? Let’s just say i’m one foot out the door in Salem once Kristen is off and Alfonso and Gerring start getting more airtime. Yeesh!

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