Arianne Zucker pops back into DAYS as Nicole
Soap Opera Digest: When did you get the call to come back and how did you react?
Arianne Zucker: It was the beginning of the year, and when they asked if I’d come back, I was like, “I’m not ready yet!” Then they said, “Will you come back for a story arc?” So I said yes because it wasn’t going to be a long-term thing, which I thought was really fun, because it was just perfect timing with everything that I was shooting — and then shooting in April with summer coming up and [daughter] Izzy getting out of school, it all just worked out great. I’m always happy to work there, for sure.
Digest: Were you nervous?
Zucker: Well, I wasn’t nervous, I guess maybe nervous/excited. It’s like seeing your family that you haven’t seen for a long time. It’s like getting off an airplane and everyone’s like, “Oh, my God! It’s so great that you’re back.” But then it’s also like you never missed a step.
Digest: Did it feel like you had just been there?
Zucker: Yes, because I think I was gone less than a year. I think technically what would’ve been my last episode was June of 2017. I filmed in April of 2018, so it wasn’t quite a year. What I love about this particular character and what the fans want, and what works in conjunction with the show, is the feeling of love that I have. I’m trying to explain it without sounding conceited, but it’s such a good feeling that people want this character on the show. When I come back, that’s the feeling I have. I know when this character airs, there’s always some sort of loving hatred for her. I think more loving now that her character’s changed a lot through the years, but it is a good feeling. I’ve tried to give so much to the fans emotionally, especially. It’s very good to feel wanted. Who doesn’t want to feel wanted?
Digest: Did Nicole come right back to you?
Zucker: Oh yeah, for sure. Nowadays, with Nicole comes a lot of emotion. As I’ve gotten older, I realize that I do kind of have this heavy heart when I play her because she is always so emotional, so that I had to get back into, which was a little harder. I’ve had this free time with my daughter and I’m doing these little movies and I’ve had a bigger break. With DAYS I’ve worked 30 episodes in a row and I’ve just been crying all the time. It’s exhausting!
Digest: How would you describe your time away? Did you get what you
wanted out of it?
Zucker: I did, especially with Izzy. She’s going to be 9 in December, but it was harder for her in school going from first grade to second grade. I’m really glad I was able to be there so much for her at drop-off and pickup and on the playground. I’m just there and can pick her up after school and we do so much together, which I felt was really important. The timing worked out beautifully. Forget career for a second. I feel like it was such a smart move, and who knew that this would work out so well as mother and daughter. I think it’s really important to spend quality time with your kids if you can because it changes them and molds them and you just don’t realize how much. You’re always looking down at your phone and you’re doing this and you’re doing business and it’s like, “What time do you put that aside and make it about your family?” And that’s what I found out this year has given me a lot. I mean, even though Shawn [Christian, ex-Daniel, her real-life beau] and I are doing these once-a-month work trips for our company and building that, I stop, I have a four-day work week, I stop at 3 o’clock to go get Izzy, so I’ve changed how I work so we can have the family time. It’s been pretty great.
Digest: Tell me about working and traveling with Shawn.
Zucker: Ever since I’ve known him, he has loved traveling, probably more than I have. I traveled a ton when I modeled. Even with my family growing up, we traveled a lot, we took a lot of road trips and [went] waterskiing in different lakes around the country, just a lot of fun. He has always wanted to create something where he was traveling. He started this company, Lux Soul Traveler, which really was his baby. I see him working so hard and it’s this one man doing all these things. We talked about ideas and how could I help. I’m pretty organized, so I help him stay organized and help him with time management. He doesn’t sleep a lot because he doesn’t need to, so he’s either writing or coming up with some kind of creative idea. And then I can help him make it happen, is what we’re learning, what our skills are, not only as business partners but as a couple, which is pretty cool. So really, we just started doing this in February together. We’re learning a lot along the way as anyone should as you’re building a business. Each trip really teaches us something new on how to really tighten it up and make it exactly unique to us. It’s been pretty awesome working with him. I mean, you never know if you’re going to work well with your partner or not.
Digest: This visit is just an arc. Would you be willing to come back on a more permanent basis?
Zucker: Yeah! When I left the show I said never say never. It was definitely trying a new adventure because if you don’t try, you’ll never know. DAYS has always been my home since I was a teenager, basically. Well, just after a teenager! It’s hard to say no. It really is. And it circles back around; it’s so nice to feel wanted in any capacity.
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