Kyle Lowder talks about his return to DAYS 13 years after he left Salem
In 2000, Kyle Lowder joined DAYS as Brady Black and became an integral part of the show’s younger cast. After leaving Salem in 2005, he landed as B&B’s Rick from 2007-11, then appeared in Rock of Ages in Las Vegas, and produced and starred in LADIES OF THE LAKE. Now, the actor is back on DAYS, but this time he’s playing Rex Brady.
Soap Opera Digest: When did the show first approach you about coming back and what was your reaction?
Kyle Lowder: So, Ken [Corday, executive producer] and I have always been in contact over the years. One day in March, he called me up and said, “What do you think about coming back to the show? Ron [Carlivati, head writer] has a killer story.” I said, “What is it?” and he’s like, “You’re playing Rex.” All of a sudden, I go back into the history of DAYS and the character of Rex. It was the tail end of my time there and I didn’t really work with Rex a lot. Eric Winter played the role then. I didn’t really remember much of the character or his storyline. He started to tell me what was going on and I turned into a little child on Christmas morning. I got so giddy and so excited about it. It was just an overflow of emotions of memories about my first day on set in July of 2000, and being a kid on that show and growing up on that show. It started to sink in that I was going back to a show that really means the world to me. I’ve been very grateful to have worked all over the world on a lot of really great projects, but for some reason, maybe because it’s the first professional acting job I ever had, DAYS always kind of held that special place in my heart. You remember your first time no matter what it is, and DAYS was my first professional acting job.
Digest: Were you nervous to return?
Lowder: It’s funny, you go from all of this jubilation and excitement and anticipation to all the self-doubt. I’m just like, “Oh, my God, am I TV-ready? I gotta get in shape!” It was 99.9 percent positive and then the fear and loathing and insecurities come in. And then it was just anticipation. I did a lot of research into the history of the character and started at the end of April.
Digest: What was it like when you came back to set?
Lowder: It was this funny kind of dance between feeling like I never left and then feeling like I hadn’t done it in 13 years, which is like a lifetime. So part of it is that old cliché of riding a bike and the other part is not like riding a bike. I did have this cool feeling of when they called my name to report to set for my scenes. Honestly, I left my dressing room, walked up the stairs and walked onto the stage and saw all of these familiar faces and sights and sounds and smells of the soundstage, the familiar Brady pub, which I had millions of scenes in before. From then on, the second I got to set, it was like I never left. It just kind of snapped back in. The only thing was that I was a different person, both personally as Kyle, 13 years older Kyle, father now Kyle and a lot more life experience Kyle, but also playing a different person in terms of Rex. This is a different guy with a different history and different personality. I’m sitting down not talking about Brady stuff, I’m sitting down talking about how everybody thought I was an alien, literally.
Digest: Oh, so does that get mentioned?
Lowder: The writers did a great job of taking the first couple of episodes and recapping who Rex is and what his history is without it sounding like exposition or explaining line for line who this guy is. It is tied into the dialogue when he’s catching up with people, whether he’s talking to his dad, Roman, or his mom, Kate, or he and Mimi are talking about “good times,” and that’s how they kind of explain to the fans that don’t know who Rex is or weren’t watching 14 or 15 years ago.
Digest: What is it like working with Lauren Koslow [Kate] and Josh Taylor [Roman] as your parents this time around?
Lowder: You know, it’s cool. I was very close with Lauren and Josh when I was there before playing a different character. I don’t think I saw them for the 13 years that I was away from that show, but I gotta tell you, again, it felt like I never left. And now I’m playing their son! It was just an immediate feeling of family. It’s funny because when I played Brady, Josh and I had this huge storyline when I first got on the show where he shot Brady in the back and paralyzed him. We had a lot of scenes and got very close during that time, but that was almost 20 years ago. I guess that professional bond doesn’t die. It was still there. And then Lauren and I have such a hilarious, realistic, organic mother/son relationship, as well. They’re awesome people. To have them be my parents is just a bonus on the show.
Digest: How was it to see Drake Hogestyn [John]. again?
Lowder: That’s my guy! When I was first on the show, I left New York to go to L.A. and I left my family and my friends. Drake became my L.A. dad. I learned so much from him, not just about DAYS, about finding your light and hitting your mark and memorizing your lines — tricks and the ins and outs of DAYS and being an actor on one of these shows — but then life stuff, as well. I really, really looked up to him as my L.A./TV second father. The relationship with him was different from everybody else. I had a great relationship and still do with everybody else in that cast, but he transcended that. I maybe saw him once or twice at the most outside of the set during my hiatus there. At first, we were in the makeup room and I didn’t see him yet, I just heard the voice. I don’t want to say I was going to cry, but it was emotional. I was like, “Oh, my God, man, it’s so good to see you!” I got out of the chair and just gave him a hug. It was a very special personal moment for me to see him again. I think I’ve shared one scene with him so far on the show since I’ve been back, but it wasn’t that extensive. I’m looking forward to actually working with him again. Even just spending time with him personally at work, I’ll take that right now.
Digest: Some fans thought you might be playing Brady again, but Eric Martsolf is in that role. Is it strange for you to be back as someone else?
Lowder: I’ve known Eric for so long and we’ve never worked together. The only time I’ve really spent with him has been personal time away from work. He and I are so similar; he’s one of my favorite people. With regards to playing Brady, I feel like I did everything I could possibly do with that role and on top of that, it was so long ago. Eric has played that role longer than I’ve played the role. It’s his role. Seeing him on set was purely just, “Dude it’s awesome to see you again. I’m looking forward to working with you” type of thing. It was never about Brady whatsoever.
Digest: The show dropped a teaser of your first scene together. What did you think of it?
Lowder: That was great. It was just hilarious. Everybody was just laughing ’cause it’s so great. I loved the boldness of that and the tongue-in-cheek-ness, if you will, of the scene where you’re just kind of like, “Yeah, Kyle Lowder’s back, Eric Martsolf’s Brady. Kyle’s playing Rex and this is how it’s going to be and it’s going to be fun,” as opposed to dancing around the issue.
Digest: You’ve been filming for six months. How does it feel to finally be airing?
Lowder: I was on two shows and on both those shows, I don’t think we were ever more than a month and a half or two months maybe, at the most, ahead. So, the six months is interesting because when I was on the set doing the work in the old days, I knew it was going to be airing in a month and I would be excited to see what the fans’ reaction was and I didn’t have to wait very long for it. I think this is a situation where I can’t wait for people to see this work, whether they love it or hate it; I just want to know! I’m excited to get back on the air. It’s just a long time to wait. I think ultimately it’s a good thing for the show, but it’s taken a little getting used to. I can’t wait to start airing. From everything I’ve read and the messages I’ve gotten from the fans they can’t wait for it either. I’m ready!
Digest: How would you describe your feelings about returning so far?
Lowder: It is a full spectrum of emotions. I feel immense gratitude. This is going to sound like a Hallmark card, but it’s true. I read this somewhere a long time ago; I think I was too young to really kind of grasp it, but I’ve never forgotten it. It’s something to the effect of, “To do what you love to do for a living is a blessing.” Not everybody gets that opportunity in life. The second thing is, if you get to do what you love to do for a living in a place that you love, then that’s even better. And then the third part of that is you work with the people you love to work with — then you know you’ve won the lottery. That’s how I feel with DAYS. I get to do what I love to do for a living as an actor and as an artist, and I get to do it on a show that I have a very close, personal connection with. Everybody that works here is just awesome. I mean, I’ve known most of these people since I was 19 years old. I’m pushing 40 now! I have all three of those things with this job, and with that just comes an unbelievably immense, soulful gratitude that I don’t take for granted. I just love going to work there every day.
Brotherly Love: Lowder posed with on-screen sib Greg Vaughan (Eric) back in July.
New Beginnings: Lowder fell into an easy rhythm with Josh Taylor (Roman) upon his return.
5 Facts About Rex
1. The character was played by Eric Winter from 2002-06.
2. He and sister Cassie arrived on the night of a meteor shower and were presumed to be aliens. They were known as the Gemini Twins.
3. The twins were revealed to be the biological children of Roman and Kate, conceived in a lab.
4. Rex has a very high IQ.
5. Rex and Mimi were in love. She became pregnant with his child, didn’t tell him and had an abortion. When he learned the truth, they split.
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