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Quick Take With DAYS OF OUR LIVES's Brandon Barash (Stefan)

Brandon Barash


When Camila Banus (ex-Gabi) left the show, were you at all worried about what they were going to do with your character? “I wasn’t sure. I mean, I was confident enough in my storytelling abilities to know that I wasn’t just going to go on the back burner and ride off into the sunset. But I was curious as to who they were going to pair me with, what that pairing was going to look like, and what those characters were going to do together.”



Honeymoon’s Over: Stefan and Gabi (Camila Banus) remarried in 2023, before she was carted off to prison.

I appreciate that they’re keeping Gabi alive, so to speak, by having Stefan mention her from time to time, even though she’s off the canvas. “I mean, honestly, at the end of the day, it leaves it very open-ended for her return… for plot points to develop. It’s very smart of the writers to dangle that proverbial carrot.”

Are you rooting for the character of Gabi to return so that you can resume telling the Gabi/Stefan tale? “I’m hoping for a return in any form, be it Camila coming back or a recast.”

Do you worry about the whole chemistry factor, if and when you have to connect with a new Gabi? “There has to be chemistry. Thank you for bringing that up, because chemistry is one of the most important elements of that relationship. These two characters have a carnal lust for one another, but they love each other deeply. I don’t want to speak for Gabi, but certainly for Stefan, he’s never really known that that kind of love was even possible. He loves that woman with every molecule and fiber of his being. So yes, chemistry is very important.”

In your current storyline, you’re working with two fellow vets of your first daytime home, GENERAL HOSPITAL, where you played Johnny: Tamara Braun (Ava, DAYS; ex-Carly, GH) and Steve Burton (Harris, DAYS; ex-Jason, GH). What has that been like? “I worked with Steve for a time on GH. We were even allies at one point. And obviously we work together in our band [Port Chuck] off-screen. But Tamara and I weren’t on GH at the same time, so we never worked together. We did work together on DAYS, as Ava and Jake [Barash’s former character]. They were engaged.”

Steve Burton, Brandon Barash

Howard Wise/

The Way We Were: Barash as Johnny and Steve Burton as Jason on GH in 2011.

What were your thoughts when you saw you’d be working with Tamara again as Stefan? “She’s great to work with. I’m always excited when I get to work with somebody who I know is going to show up as prepared as I am and put as much into the work as I do. That’s always very refreshing. I remember passing her in the hallway, and being like, ‘Here we go again! It’ll be fun to do the same pairing, but different.’ ”

It’s definitely different than when Ava and Jake were engaged before, as now, your characters are both being blackmailed by Clyde to push drugs through The Bistro. Is that something you’re enjoying playing? “I love it, because when you’re playing a villain or somebody who is an antagonist in a storyline, you have to justify their actions. As an actor, you’re obligated to find the human side of this character. What is it in this human that compels him to act in the way that he’s acting and commit the actions that he’s committing? That’s the yummy, juicy stuff for me as an actor. That’s why I vastly prefer playing a villain over your everyday leading [man] good guy, because you really have to delve into the psyche of these people.”

And, of course, Stefan and Ava are only involved in this drug trafficking to protect Gabi, and Tripp, Stefan’s wife and Ava’s son, whose lives Clyde has threatened. “Right. And by that rationale, they’re not doing bad things. They’re doing exactly what they need to do in order to survive and for their loved ones to survive.”

Tamara Braun, Brandon Barash


Happily Never After: Barash’s Jake proposed to Tamara Braun’s Ava shortly before being shot dead.

What was it like when Steve Burton’s character, Harris, entered the plot picture? “Oh, I was ecstatic. I love Steve as a person. I enjoy him as an actor. He’s another one who always shows up prepared and willing to play. He takes his job seriously, but still has fun. I consider him one of my closest friends.”

You’re playing adversaries again. Is that an easy dynamic to tap into? “It is, yeah. It’s always fun to play an adversarial relationship with someone who you are the complete opposite with off-screen. It’s fun to go head to head.”

Have there been any scenes that have really stood out to you as this storyline has unfolded? “All of the scenes where you can see how tortured Stefan is doing all of this, and where you can see him justifying the actions through his humanity. Any of those scenes, and they’re abundant. Probably every episode that we’re in, Stefan is grappling with that. I enjoy playing that duality.”