Ayda Field returns to daytime this week as B&B mystery woman Cecile over two decades after she wrapped as Angela Moroni on DAYS.
Field, who played the mafia princess in Salem from 2000-01, was excited to delve back into daytime. “I miss my soap days,” she shares. “It’s always been a really warm spot in my life and it was fun to revisit it. It was a kick for me and I brought my mom and my daughter Teddy to set with me, so it was really great to share this part of my life that has meant so much to me.”
Field also enjoyed that Cecile is French. “I speak French and my grandmother spoke French and I just had a really nice full-circle moment with it,” she explains. And though Cecile is a mystery, Field teases, “We kept kind of saying it was a TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL moment. I was able to channel Cecile in the most fabulous French way in a beautiful setting, with a cast that I instantly clicked with, and Brad [Bell, B&B’s executive producer/head writer], whom I love, and my family right there. So I felt very empowered in the moment and I think Cecile did exactly what Cecile was supposed to do.”
The actress, who married British pop star Robbie Williams in 2010, and has welcomed four children with him, has continued to act and has served as a host of shows, so nerves didn’t really come into play during filming. “I was more excited than nervous,” she notes, “but I don’t know what I’ve done on camera since Covid. So that was kind of weird because I haven’t done it in two years to this extent. I’ve done podcast and film things but not a TV show, so there was an element of nerves in me, wanting to make sure I hit the right mark, and Brad was happy and my daughter was proud. I think if you don’t have any nerves, then you just don’t care.”
Reconnecting with Jacqueline MacInnes Wood (Steffy) was a meaningful moment for Field. “She and I had shot together years ago [PARTY ON, a 2014 travel show for E!], and it was quite an impactful thing,” Field begins. “I had been offered a job in Istanbul and it just happened to be the two days that I had off [from work], and it felt like this real calling to do the show. My father and his side of the family are in Istanbul, and I didn’t really grow up with my father, so it was a moment where the universe calls you to something and you don’t know why, but you really feel like you’re being pulled in a direction. Teddy was 10 months old and I thought, ‘I’ve got to bring my daughter because I need her to meet her great-grandmother, who I only met once, and I need her to meet my father for the first time.’ So I went to Istanbul and brought my mother and my daughter and had this two- or three- day shoot in Istanbul with Jacqui. It was really powerful. Little did I know that was going to be the last time I ever saw my grandmother, because she died several months later, and then my father unexpectedly died a couple of months after that. But I was so grateful that I went and that I did this random gig and really listened to the universe. So, the night before we shot in Monaco, I went to the BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL party and I saw Jacqui, who I hadn’t seen since Istanbul and it was a really beautiful feeling; there was just a complete moment of gratitude for these adventures and being open to them, and opening the door to fun, especially after Covid.”
Covid proved a fruitful time for Field, who embarked on a new business venture: an eponymous athleisure line that just launched in May (shopayda.com). “It was definitely a joyful process,” she enthuses. “I think the pandemic was a great moment to pivot for the first time in our lives in a different way. I was living in my athleisure during Covid and thought, ‘How can I make this better? Because this is what I wear. I’m not wearing any dresses or jeans.’ For me, joy is family and the core collection is the Gwen, after my mom, and I have the Teddy and the Coco for my daughters. My husband, Robbie, is wondering why nothing has been named after him. The fall collection will feature the boys. There will be a Charlie, a Beau [for her sons] and a Robbie.”
And now that she’s acted again, she’s hoping to continue on that path. “I have to say, being on set and being with a wonderful group of people did turn a switch back on in me, like, ‘I really like doing this. I missed it.
I want to do more of
this,’ ” she relays. “This was a lot of fun. When I got to play Angela Moroni, I was a 21-year-old girl, not in a relationship, not a mother, just embarking on the world in my own way. And now, coming back onto a soap, I’m a mom, a wife and a businesswoman, so Cecile got to have a different dimension to her. I still feel Angela with me. And now Cecile’s with me. These European women are dancing in my heart
As she looks back on the path she’s taken since she was last in daytime, Field reflects, “I think I had all sorts of big dreams when I left DAYS, but I feel like I’ve surpassed all of those dreams because I never could have imagined that my life could be so full.”