INTERVIEW: Days of Our Lives’ Kate Mansi on “Giving Up” Birthday For Charity:Water and Abigail Losing Her V-Card

How many salacious stories have we read online, or in the tabloids about some young, hot-mess starlet having a debaucherous birthday party, solely for the purpose of exposing her unmentionables to ready camera lens and/or hooking up with the latest rapper, boy band member or troubled Hollyweird matinee idol? It's a good thing Days of Our Lives' Kate Mansi isn't your typical Hollywood starlet.

The popular actress chose to celebrate her big day by bringing awareness to a cause she believes in — getting clean water to countries lacking the critical resource. I caught up with Mansi to find out more about the organization she's involved with, charity: water.  We also dished her alter ego Abigail Deveraux finally losing her V-card on DAYS.

Is Mansi sad to see leading men Casey Deidrick (Chad) and Nathan Owens (Cameron) leaving the serial? How does she feel about working with Casey Moss—who plays Abigail's bad seed brother JJ—and veteran actress Melissa Reeves, as their long-suffering mother Jennifer Horton? Keep reading to find out!

Daytime Confidential: Happy birthday! It's cool that you used your big day to bring awareness to a charity you're passionate about. How did you become involved with raising awareness about issues concerning water?

Kate Mansi: I found out about the water crisis on World Water Day this March. Upon more research I learned that charity:water was one of the leading nonprofits bringing clean water to underdeveloped countries for the first time. They also pioneered a nonprofit model that allows donors a unique experience of getting media, GPS coordinates and photos with information on where their donations are being used. I saw that people were "giving up their birthdays" to raise money for water projects and I felt called to join. Additionally, the most powerful element of charity:water that encouraged me to start a birthday campaign of my own was learning about how they tailor each water project to the chosen community, to allow for a system that can sustain itself long after it is implemented. Ultimately, I realized that there are simple solutions to get water, our most basic and essential resource, to the 800 million people in the world suffering without it. charity:water determines carefully which locations are most in need, which system—of nine possible systems such as hand dug wells and rainwater catchments etc.—will be the most efficient and effective solution that the community can sustain.

Because I received such outstanding support and feedback from friends and fans during my birthday campaign, charity:water has offered to continue my campaign until Dec. 31 so we can reach our goal of $20,000! Therefore, what started as a month-long campaign is now going to be a three-month champion fundraiser to raise $20,000 for Orissa, India in order to give the communities latrines to aid the water crisis there. People can find out how to get involved in the next events and how to win more fun prizes and packages from DAYS via my twitter @Katemansi.

DC: As an actor on a very popular soap opera you have quite the platform. What other charitable organizations and endeavors are you involved in?

KM: Charity:water is my main focus right now and I am so thrilled to have had such fantastic feedback from this event that they have allowed me to continue the fundraising campaign until Dec 31! So keep donations coming! I hope to reach my $20,000 goal and then eventually go visit the community of clean water we have helped some day!

DC: DAYS fans screamed with orgasmic glee when Abigail finally lost her virginity to Chad recently. After playing such a chaste character for so long, was it weird to film a soap opera love scene?

KM: Not at all! I had some experience with it from my fantasy scenes with Austin and Casey is such a gentleman. I never felt uncomfortable with those scenes.

DC: Abigail has been in a love triangle with Chad and Cameron for quite some time. Now both actors are leaving the show! What will become of the storyline now that Casey Deidrick and Nathan Owens are exiting?

KM: You will have to watch and find out! I enjoyed working with both actors very much. Casey leaving the show was one of the hardest things I have experienced in my career yet. I feel like we grew up together. He is one of my best friends, so it was quite an adjustment. I couldn’t even rehearse our final scenes, because I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep myself together for taping!

DC: Last year Abigail morphed into a bit of a schemer when she tried her best to steal Austin from Carrie. Do you prefer playing those types of storylines, or are you okay with Abby being the young adult heroine of Salem?

KM: I like when they give Abigail meaty storylines where she is struggling with finding who she is. I think when we are in our 20’s that’s true to life. We think we know exactly who we are and what we are about and then something happens that shakes us to our core and we explore new aspects of ourselves and then straighten ourselves out eventually, but we are never the same as when we started. I enjoy when Abby has some struggling and growing up in front of her.

DC: In 2013, it's been Abigail's baby brother JJ causing all of the drama. What's it like sharing scenes with Casey Moss?

KM: I am so happy to have an entire family now to work with on DAYS! Marnie [Saitta] did a terrific job casting Moss as JJ. Ironically, just as I felt with Missy, there was an instantaneous familiarity that Moss and I shared very much like brother and sister. We have a lot of fun working together.

DC: The Deveraux family turmoil is so relatable — a mother who lost her husband, two young adults grieving a father, as their mom dates a new man. Have you had conversations with Melissa Reeves (Jennifer) and Moss about what it means to bring such a grounded storyline to daytime amid some of the more over-the-top sagas on the air?

KM: One of the reasons I really enjoy playing Abigail is because, like me, Abigail has an incredibly strong set of family values. She is fiercely loyal to her family and friends. This is something that Missy and I speak of often in relation to our characters and we feel lucky to portray that image to our audiences, because we think it mirrors many of the values held by our audiences as well.

DC: In the 80's, Jennifer Horton battled Eve Donovan among the Salem younger set. Now Eve's equally bitchy little sister Theresa (Jen Lilley) is in town. Will we see Abigail and Theresa pick up a rivalry where their predecessors left off?

KM: It looks that way! Theresa is causing lots of trouble and Abigail is not one to let it go when someone messes with her family.

To learn more about charity:water's Birthday Project click here.

Photo credit: PHPR


6 Responses

  1. Profile photo of blake3b

    I like this actress a lot, and I love Abigail. I hope she stays on longer because to me she’s the best younger actress they have. She does amazingly well when she has to be a bitch, like when Jack came back from “death”. I hope she and Theresa go at it all the time. And I hope she gets a hot love interest soon too!

  2. Profile photo of ChrisGa

    I’ve always loved Kate Mansi; despite all the acclaim some of the show’s younger set gets(Chandler Massey and, to a lesser degree, Freddie Smith) I think Mansi is actually DAYS’ best actor–along with Blake Berris–among the young adult set. And I’m sad to see Casey Diedrick go because those two are great together.

  3. Profile photo of Yoryla

    I also love Kate Mansi, and think she is one of the best actors of the young generation on DAYS, along with CM, FS, CD and BB. She is definitely the leading female in that category.

    However, I wish the writing for Abigail had been better this past year. Firstly, when you have two interesting, legacy characters, like Abigail and Chad, A Horton and a DiMera, respectively, plus two great actors portraying them, you shouldn’t go wrong. The storyline should practically write itself. But no, first they were backburned, then weird Cameron was brought in to form a forced, chemistry-free “triangle”, and most of the development and beats played happened off-screen. Most of the time Abigail has been on screen has been to talk about Dannifer and/or JJ. That is unfathomable to me, especially given how much screentime Camila Banus as Gabi has received in comparison.

    And now, finally when there has been some real movement in Chabby (after a YEAR!) Chad is lying AND leaving. And coincidentally, so is Cameron. Which I’m not sad about, per se, but it’s still very strange. And so what will happen to Abigail after they’re both gone? My guess is her duties will consist of 100 % Dannifer and JJ propping and meddling. What a shame.

  4. Profile photo of Yoryla

    Chad’s definitely leaving. We would have heard something by now, if they had recast the role, especially since CD already taped his last scenes in May-June.

    That of course doesn’t mean they won’t recast Chad at a later date.

  5. Profile photo of SoapArmageddon

    Despite Casey’s departure, nobody knows if Chad is leaving. There has been no statement from the show on that as far as I know.

    I pretty much agree with everything Yoryla said above. For the most part the show has been excellent since this year began but the writing for the young adult set has not been that good.

Leave a Reply