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Chatting with Emily O’Brien of ‘Days of Our Lives’

Emmy-nominated actress Emily O’Brien chatted about being a part of the Peacock daytime drama “Days of Our Lives.”

Emily O'Brien of 'Days of Our Lives'
Emily O'Brien of 'Days of Our Lives.' Photo Credit: Paul Smith
Emily O'Brien of 'Days of Our Lives.' Photo Credit: Paul Smith

Emmy-nominated actress Emily O’Brien chatted about being a part of the Peacock daytime drama “Days of Our Lives.”

‘Days of Our Lives’

O’Brien is known for her portrayal of Gwen Rizczech and Theresa Donovan.

“It has been interesting juggling between the two roles,” she said. “There is a major contrast between these two characters, one being the blonde wig. It has been very fun; I feel blessed to get to play two characters on the show.”

“I have been very lucky with the actors that I have been teamed up with on ‘Days of Our Lives’,” she added.

Working with Robert Scott Wilson

O’Brien opened up about working with Robert “Rob” Scott Wilson as part of the Theresa and Alex (“Thalex”) on-screen relationship.

“Rob is incredible,” she exclaimed. “We have become very good friends. We trust each other, and he is incredibly open with my ideas. Rob is very easy to work with, and he is a respectful gentleman. I am a lucky girl.”

Robert Scott Wilson
Robert Scott Wilson. Photo Credit: Todd Williamson, NBCUniversal

When asked how she would feel (as Emily the actress, not as Theresa) once the truth comes out about her character Theresa and the things she did to Alex, she remarked, “I think he would be completely devastated, and I think he would be a fool to stay with her.”

We shall see where the daytime drama’s writers take this relationship.

Working with Eric Martsolf and Jamie Martin Mann

In the role of Theresa, she is also enjoying being a part of the Brady (Eric Martsolf) and Tate (Jamie Martin Mann) storyline.

“Jamie is wonderful, he is an absolute professional,” she said about her on-screen son. “I feel very lucky to work with him.”

“Eric [Martsolf] is a dream to work with,” she admitted. “Eric is so incredibly involved, and he took me under his wing. He explained to me Theresa’s backstory, and he really took the time to tell me about what they had gone through and to develop this new chemistry with me. Eric is always looking out for me.”

Stage of her life

On the title of the current chapter of her life, O’Brien said, “Change.”

“Change is the only thing constant, so that’s what my chapter would be right now,” she explained.

Star Image Entertainment virtual fan events

Speaking of Martsolf, O’Brien shared that she enjoyed doing virtual fan events with him for Star Image Entertainment, hosted by Penny MacGregor, which benefits the Canadian charity Cedars CanSupport.

“Those were really great. I have done two with Penny, and the fans asked me some really interesting questions and I had a lot of fun with them,” she said.

“I love the cause,” she said about Cedars CanSupport. “I am on board with anything that is going to help cancer patients. I was happy to do that.”

Marci Miller

O’Brien had wonderful remarks about doing scenes with Emmy-nominated actress Marci Miller, who played Abigail Deveraux DiMera.

“I loved working with Marci, she is an absolute gem,” O’Brien said. “Marci is a true professional, and I love watching her work. She is an incredibly beautiful person. Marci is a very giving actress, and simply amazing.”

Working with Peter Porte

O’Brien also had kind words to say about Peter Porte, who played her former love interest Dimitri Von Leuschner on “Days of Our Lives.”

“When I found out that he was coming on the show, I was really excited, and then, when I found out that he was going to be a part of my storyline, it was like winning the lottery,” she said.

“Peter is such a star. He never brought his script to the set, he was always a professional and had it memorized in advance,” she added.

Emily O'Brien with Greg Rikaart and Peter Porte
Emily O’Brien with Greg Rikaart and Peter Porte. Photo Courtesy of JPI.

Working with Greg Rikaart

She noted that she goes way back with Greg Rikaart to her days on “The Young and The Restless.” “I’ve worked with him on ‘The Young and The Restless,’ so it’s like no time has passed really,” she said.

“We are still having the same old fun. We used to laugh a lot and now we are laughing in a new hysterical way as part of this dynamic we have as Gwen and Leo (also known as Matty), so that has been really fun. Greg is a great partner, a jokester, and he’s a team player. We have each other’s backs,” she elaborated.

Colton Little as her character Theresa’s on-screen brother

O’Brien also had positive words about Colton Little, who played her on-screen brother Andrew Donovan (in her role as Theresa). Colton Little is “so cute, I love him playing my brother.”

The digital age

On being an actress in the digital age, O’Brien said, “Peacock was a pretty smooth transition. I think it’s nice because you can go back and watch anything from two seasons ago. Peacock has been an amazing platform for us.”

“As far as social media goes, I have not really been very good with social media. That is something new for me. I am realizing what a wonderful outlet it is to speak your voice and your truth,” she noted.

“I am not one to put up my social life on social media. I have never posted a story, ever. I try to post something if it has to do with travels or my work. I am still getting better at social media. I am not the best at it,” she said with a sweet laugh.

Three Emmy nominations

Throughout her career, she earned three Daytime Emmy nominations for “Outstanding Younger Actress in a Drama Series” for her acting work in “The Young and The Restless.” “Those were a very long time ago, but it’s always an accomplishment to have that so I am grateful for those Emmy nods,” she recalled.

“Who knows what the future will bring but I am grateful for those three,” she acknowledged.

Superpower of choice

If she were to have any superpower, it would be “to be able to fly.” “That would be incredible. Also, I would love to move in time, where I can go forward or backward in time.”

2024 Star Struck fan event in New Jersey

O’Brien noted that she is looking forward to being a part of the “Star Struck” fan event in Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey, on April 13 and 14. It will have a “To the Races” theme to it, and he will be joined by her co-stars Stacy Haiduk, Arianne Zucker, Peter Porte, Paul Telfer, and Eric Martsolf.

“I am looking forward to that event,” she exclaimed. “That should be a good one because it has a horse race theme to it.”

Advice for hopefuls in acting

For young and aspiring actors, she said, “When I was younger, I was always told to be like someone, dress like someone, talk like someone, and act like someone, and I hated that because I didn’t know how to do that.”

O’Brien continued, “I only knew how to be comfortable with what I know and what I am. I spent a lot of time molding myself and putting on a persona because I was told that was what I was supposed to do.”

“This is advice that I wished I had received, and this is the advice that I would give someone younger than me,” she added.

Success

On her definition of the word success, O’Brien said, “Feeling completely fulfilled as a human being, and doing what you love and feeling completely content by that.”

Message for her fans and supporters

For her soap opera fans and supporters, O’Brien said, “Thank you so much for seeing past the maliciousness that is sometimes what people see in Gwen, especially initially.”

“When you roll back the layers, what you really see is a person who is desperate for love. That is initially where my fans came from, and they felt for Gwen. I appreciate the fans being able to see that,” she explained.

“Also, I guess they think I’m really evil in real life, so I must be doing my job right,” she said with a sweet laugh.

To learn more about actress Emily O’Brien, follow her on Instagram and check out her IMDb page.

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 21,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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