Nadia Bjorlin On Her Return To DAYS

When Nadia Bjorlin wrapped up on DAYS in early 2019, shy of marking her 20th anniversary with the show, she admits a return wasn’t a sure thing in her mind. “I’ve come and gone several times, and it never feels like the end, but that time it felt particularly abrupt,” she reflects. “I thought it was really going someplace, so I guess I felt more disappointed because I was looking forward to something, and due to what- ever circumstances, whatever happened, my story just veered off a cliff.”

She was back in the mix, however, when she filmed the “Last Blast Reunion” for the DOOL App later that year. “I was like, ‘Okay, this is cool,’ and I started to feel like I was back there and then I did a couple of shows that aired in August, so I guess you feel like once you’re part of that family, you never really leave,” she muses. “They’re not sending you out to pasture, especially if they don’t kill you, which, I’m proud to say they’ve never killed me once. That is such a weird thing to say, that I haven’t been killed….”

It wasn’t long after she filmed for the app that rumors of her return began to spread, but the pandemic hit and plans were put on hold. “It was frustrating, obviously,” she sighs. “I was so looking forward to seeing what was going to happen, but not unlike the rest of the planet, that had to come to a screeching halt. I’m no exception to the rule of feeling really discouraged and wondering what’s going to happen in the world, because I found out in January that I was coming back and I was like, ‘Oh, okay, great. What’s the story going to be?’ So you’re sort of mentally preparing and then it was like, ‘What’s my start date?’ And it kept getting pushed and my first start date back was supposed to be literally when the whole world shut down, so then I just spent months eating my feelings and wearing pants with elastic like a lot of the rest of the world, too. And decided it was a good time to start growing my hair because I couldn’t get that done. I became hairy and chubby. Good times!”

DAYS resumed production in September and Bjorlin is home again in Salem, working with Jay Kenneth Johnson’s Philip. “It feels really great,” she says of sharing scenes with Johnson, who she first met in 1999. “It feels nostalgic, and it’s kind of funny because we’re both grown-ups now and we’re different people in different phases of our lives, but there’s still such a familiarity there and a comfort. We have fun working with each other, and especially our first week back, we would reminisce or be like, ‘Remember when that happened?’ ‘Can you believe …’ And some of the dialogue, which has been nice, is like, ‘Remember when we were kids and our young love and that was a lifetime ago,’ so we sort of reference it on the show, as well. It’s fun to bring it up. That place also is such a time warp. Anytime you walk into those hallways, you can’t remember how much time has passed, so it doesn’t feel completely like we haven’t seen each other for so long, but we really haven’t seen each other in such a long time. We were sort of reacquainting and I was like, ‘Yeah, I have two kids now,’ and he was like, ‘What?! Whoa!’ ”

It’s not lost on the actress how much of a role DAYS has played in her life. “There’s something so special about that place, especially for me because I can’t say I’ve known anybody in my entire life as long as I’ve known most of the people on that show,” she explains. “I don’t have that many friends from my high school days, or I can count them on less than one hand, so it is kind of surreal that we all go back so far together and all kind of grew up together.”

This time around, Chloe has a new job — working with Nicole at Basic Black. “I’m glad to be out from behind a bar,” she cracks. “The reason she comes back to town is because she has this opportunity, and Nicole has offered her this job to work at Basic Black, even though she doesn’t have any actual experience as a fashion exec. But you know what? Chloe was valedictorian so she’s smart and resourceful. I’m going with that. Nicole’s like, ‘I always thought you had really nice style, and it’s nice to have a fresh perspective and a new set of eyes.’ So that’s been fun.”

Bjorlin is looking forward to seeing where Chloe’s journey takes her, and appreciates that the writers keep finding a way to bring her back into the fold. “It means the whole world,” she says. “It obviously feels really good that they keep believing in me and keep throwing different things at me and feeling like I can tackle whatever they throw my way, storyline-wise or character-wise, and that’s why it’s always exciting when I come back, to see what they have in store for me this time. Because nothing seems to be off-limits in that place [laughs].”