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ICYMI - Tyler Christopher Interview

Check Out This Interview With Tyler Christopher

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Though he had been in daytime for over 20 years, Tyler Christopher (ex-Nikolas, GH) admits that when the news broke that he was joining DAYS as Stefan DiMera, “I didn’t know how the fans would react,” he recalls. “GENERAL HOSPITAL fans are GENERAL HOSPITAL fans and DAYS fans are DAYS fans. That’s the way it’s always been and when someone comes in invading their territory, you don’t know how they’re going to take it.” Fortunately, he relays, “Everyone has been welcoming me with open arms, like, ‘We loved you over there, but we love having you in Salem,’ so it’s been very well-received.”

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Christopher understands that there are viewers who would prefer to see him in Port Charles, and he was near to inking a deal to go back to the soap before he moved on to DAYS. “I’m sorry that we weren’t able to work it out when we were attempting to work it out,” he shares. “I was very close to coming back for a minute there. I’ve been gone before and come back, but this is my home now and I’m happy where I’m at and I’m happy with the story I’ve been given. But they still talk about Nikolas, so as long as his name is still being mentioned, I’m still alive in some way.”

The actor is pleased to report that his new gig has exceeded his expectations. “It’s a joyful experience that’s akin to when I first started in 1996,” he raves. “I’m not saying that where I was wasn’t, but you have to make comparisons. We all do. You never know what kind of set you’re walking into, especially one that’s been around for 52 years. You wonder, ‘Are people tired? Are they angry? Have they had enough?’ And when you come here, it’s just the opposite. It’s like we started a new series and we just got picked up for the first time; everyone’s attitude is amazing. I didn’t expect that. It would be okay if it wasn’t like that. I get it. We’re forced to turn out a product so fast and there’s reason and room to complain about that, but nobody does.”

Though Christopher was familiar with many of his new castmates — “I had known everybody here just from running in the circles” — he was especially happy to be reunited with Stephen Nichols (Steve) and Mary Beth Evans (Kayla), who he worked closely with when they were playing GH’s Stefan and Katherine. “It goes back to my first day of acting ever, 22 years ago,” Christopher muses. “To be able to come full circle with that and still be here and still working with them? It’s very surreal and I appreciate it so much. And Greg [Vaughan, Eric; ex-Lucky, GH]? He and I had a good thing going there for a few years as brothers on GENERAL HOSPITAL. We have not crossed paths yet [on-screen], so that would be nice. Thaao [Penghlis, Andre] played my uncle [Victor] on GH, brother on DAYS OF OUR LIVES. We went right back into it and it was just like old times.”

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There are aspects of his former workplace that he misses, however. “I do miss the relationships,” he says. “The friendships that I acquired while I was there. Back when I first started, we would be there all day, 50 weeks a year, with two weeks off for Christmas and we were shooting constantly. You arguably spend more time with [your co-workers] than you do with your own family. So when I look back on that time, and coming on the set and asking everyone how their break was, how their families are, and intimate details about each other, I don’t take that lightly or for granted. I miss that part and I’m happy now that I have the opportunity to get to know a new group of people.”

Christopher is already impressed with his castmates at DAYS. “We’ve got a great group here,” he praises. “Everyone works so fast. We do more per hour than GENERAL HOSPITAL does, if you can imagine getting faster, and we do that here. The amount of rehearsal that needs to be done outside of the actual taping is ungodly, and everyone from the new people on down to Deidre [Hall, Marlena] and anyone else that’s been here for decades, are like, ‘Let’s rehearse, let’s run these, let’s get it done, let’s figure it out.’ That’s pretty special because when it comes to taping, there’s no time to really figure it out then. Top to bottom, everyone here is on it and comes prepared and I really appreciate that.”

The actor, who relocated his family to Indiana post-GH, is traveling to work, which, he admits, can be a challenge. “I’ve been cross-country commuting, as does Steve Burton [Jason, GH] and Missy Reeves [Jennifer, DAYS],” he says. “It is difficult having two young children who don’t understand why I’m not there all the time, and I try to explain it to them, but they don’t get it. So it’s difficult. I do miss my family, but this is what I signed up for.”

When he is with them, though, they get his full attention in a way that wasn’t possible when they were in California. “It just makes the time I do have with them when I go home all the better because I have no responsibilities when I’m there other than just to be with them,” he explains. “Whereas when we lived here in Los Angeles, it was a long commute and by the time I got home, I had to study for the next day and I didn’t get to see them then, either, so when I am present, I get to be with them and them only, which is super-cool.”

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His kids, Greysun, 8, and Bohème, 2, are “amazing,” he reports. “Greysun is settling into school there. It’s a different pace in Indiana than it is in California. But he’s adjusting. Her personality is changing daily. She’s much more aware. It seems every time I come home, she’s growing into a completely different person.”

Christopher can say the same about himself, though there has been one constant: his work. “There have been so many chapters in my life, personally, professionally,” he reflects. “The one thing that sticks out is that I’m grateful that I’m still around. So many people come and go and I’ve just been so blessed to be able to call daytime really my home. Retrospect has given me the opportunity to look back on what is becoming a lifelong career for me. I was 22 years old when I started and I’m 45 now and I look back on some of those old scenes and I was playing a teenager and I can’t believe I am still here.” 

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