With the passing of Joseph Mascolo (Stefano, Days of Our Lives), Salem lost a patriarch. So when head writer Ron Carlivati decided to bring back the DiMera don - but in the body of beloved Steve "Patch" Johnson - Patch's portrayer, Stephen Nichols, colored himself confused.
Nichols told Soap Opera Digest of his initial reaction:
WTF?!! Then my brain went immediately into hyperdrive considering how in the world I was going to do it.
And what better way to embody Stefano DiMera than by watching Mascolo himself? Nichols put in the work while learning Mascolo's mannerisms. He said:
I knew I didn’t want to do a cheap imitation. I wanted to get Stefano’s essence. I knew that Stefano’s and Steve’s physicality was very different, but what I could do was try to carry my body like Stefano. Standing tall. Leading with the chest. After all, posture is mostly psychological. I studied his gestures. I chose a few that he used more than others. He used his hands in a very particular way; sometimes he looked as if he was conducting an orchestra. Psychologically speaking, I felt I would have no limitations because the chip made Steve 100 percent Stefano. Language was there, so he would have his accent but coming from Steve’s mouth. My thinking was that Steve was completely erased except for his body, so he was Stefano as long as that chip was there.
The latest issue of SOD is on shelves now.