Just got back from the Luxury Gift Suite for the 37th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, where nominees and presenters can partake in some of the pimp swag Sway Presents (a division of Phoenix-based event planning company, Sway Events) has assembled for them. While I was checking out the snazzy, throw pillows on display from LDC Furniture, sponsors of the VIP lounge, where the stars can toss back a Dragon Bleu cocktail or three, I looked over to spy a familiar face singing along to one of the Top 40 hits being spun by Neuro Drink-sponsored DJ Green. It was none other than Days of Our Lives heartthrob Mark Hapka (Nate).
I pulled Hapka away from his pals, including a little-known-actress by the name of Crystal Chappell (Carly, DAYS), to chat for a few seconds about the recent passing of DAYS Grandma Alice Horton (the late Frances Reid), the DAYS legends Gram's onscreen passing brought back to Salem and of course the red-hot Melanie/Nathan/Stephanie triangle. Is Hapka,Team Melanie (Molly Burnett) or Team Stephanie (Shelley Hennig)? Stephanie fans might be needing a swig of that there Dragon Bleu after reading this!
Daytime Confidential: You guys are just finishing up a big storyline in Salem revolving around the death of Grandma Horton, played by the late Frances Reid. What's it been like getting to work with classic Hortons like Marie (Maree Cheatham) and Jennifer (Melissa Reeves)?
Mark Hapka: For such an unfortunate event, it was great to have so many Hortons together. It was awesome to see all of those flashbacks of the show. The cool thing about a show like DAYS having been on the air almost 45 years is that when you go back into flashbacks, they're really true flashbacks from back in the day. Meeting all of the show's legends has been amazing. I worked with a new person from the past every day!
DC: When you joined the show last June, a lot of DAYS fans rejoiced, because the Horton presence had diminished in Salem in recent years. How does it feel to sort of represent the next generation of the Horton family?
MH: It's kinda like art imitating life. On the show Nathan is very nervous about the situation, because he has a lot to live up to. He's attempting to fill the shoes of Great-Grandpa Tom Horton (the late Macdonald Carey), who was on the show from episode one, and that's who he's being compared to, so there's a lot at stake.
DC: Speaking of being nervous. Nathan is currently caught between two warring women on the show, Melanie and Stephanie. So as the actor, Team Melanie or Team Stephanie?
MH (looks around the room): Um, she's gone right?
MH: Shelley, she was just here [laughs]! I think the audience wants to see a little more Mate—Melanie and Nate. I think they're the real soulmates, you know?
DC: Yeah, I agree.
MH: I don't know where it's going, but that's what I think.
DC: It's really becoming an old-school soap love triangle.
MH: Yeah, I think Nathan has more fun with Melanie. Stephanie is definitely the safe choice, but with Melanie there's a risk.
Keep checking back with Daytime Confidential.com all weekend long for more coverage of the 37th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards.