Already have an account?
Get back to the


Aketra Sevillian On Joining DAYS

Getting cast as a doctor who’s masquerading as a baker on DAYS didn’t give actress Aketra Sevillian (Talia) any pause. “I wasn’t surprised at all by the storyline,” she begins. “This is a soap opera. I’m ready for all the twists and turns that come with it.”

Sevillian grew up watching soaps at the knee of her grandmother, Madeline. “She was in love with DAYS OF OUR LIVES and GENERAL HOSPITAL,” shares Sevillian, adding that it helped her to be well-versed in daytime before joining the soap. “I was just praying and hoping that I was going to be the good girl, that I was never going to be the villain. But that might be too much to ask for in the soap opera world.”

It took Sevillian a couple of tries before finally landing a role on DAYS. She’d auditioned for the show before, including the part of Talia’s sister, Jada. Despite being “confident” in herself and knowing she’d done “a great job,” she says, “I was kind of bummed when I didn’t get the roles, but it made sense. As an actress you realize some roles just don’t fit you.”

A couple of months later, Sevillian’s manager and agent called with good news: DAYS finally had a role they thought she was perfect for. “I didn’t even have to audition. I just sent them some of my tapes, because I had tested for them twice,” she explains. “They came with an offer a couple of days later, and I was ecstatic.”

Sevillian admits she felt a connection to Talia upon perusing the breakdown for the character. “Instantly,” she asserts. “I read her like a book. I relate to this girl so much. She’s youthful, fun, outgoing … She pushes people to the limits in the sense that YOLO, you only live once. I’m the same way. I’m that friend that’s going to encourage you to live your best life and have fun.”

So when Casting Director Marnie Saitta urged Sevillian to “Make Talia you,” she took her advice. “I have,” says Sevillian. “I relate to my character so much. Talia is like me. I’m like her. I actually wanted to pursue being a doctor in college. So this is funny to me a little bit.”

The whole DAYS experience has been moving along smoothly ever since, although Sevillian cops to being “a little nervous” her first day on the job. Fortunately, a few co-stars helped quell her fears. “I’m in love with Ari [Zucker, Nicole],” praises the actress. “She is like a mother hen on the show. We’ve had really in-depth conversations where she’s told me the ins and outs of soap operas and being on set, how I can make the character my own, be relaxed and have fun. She’s given me a lot of advice that still sticks with me to this day.

“Greg Vaughan [Eric] has helped me, too,” Sevillian continues. “We joke around on set and a lot in hair and makeup. He’s given me a lot of advice. And so has Elia [Cantu, Jada]. She’s literally like my sister. We have an amazing relationship. She’s also an Aquarius, so we bonded over that. The night before I went on set, we had a FaceTime call. We were just catching up on life and getting to know each other as if we really were sisters.”

Sevillian has also found a new pal in Raven Bowens (Chanel). “Raven has be-come one of my really good friends,” she reports. “She’s someone I can call. We are in a book club together. We do events together. We hang out together outside of work. We FaceTime. We talk about boys.”

Prior to delving into daytime, Sevillian’s credits included roles on the prime-time series GROWN-ISH and THE SEX LIVES OF COLLEGE GIRLS, a medium she found “definitely different” from soaps. “In prime-time, you get to do the same scene over in different ways and at different angles,” she notes. “With soaps, you’ve got to learn really quickly that it’s a one-time act. You go out there, do your lines once and move on. That’s something I had to get adjusted to. One take. One and done. I think I’m going to be a better actress because of soaps.”

And Sevillian is embracing that opportunity. “This is amazing,” says Sevillian of her DAYS gig. “I’m living my dream. I’ve worked so hard. I’ve only been acting about four years. I’ve been waiting for my big break. I wanted to be a lead in a show. That’s every actor’s dream. When this finally happened for me, I could only thank God. My dreams are finally coming true. I finally have a lead role that I can take in my hands and bring to life. I’m loving it and giving it my all, and I’m praying that the fans are going to love me.”