Stacy Haiduk On Her DAYS Return

Stacy Haiduk, whose Kristen was last seen in Salem in May, returns to town this week, which was welcome news for the actress. “They mentioned that I would be back,” says Haiduk, who taped a couple of episodes that aired in June and July. “It was just not knowing when exactly, so when I got the email that said, ‘You’re coming back,’ I was kind of curious to know how. I was told that I would get to meet Kristen’s daughter, which was exciting.”

Haiduk, who has come and gone several times since assuming the role in 2018, reports that she slips back into her alter ego easily. “For me, it’s just getting into the headspace of where she’s at at that time,” she explains. “Once you get through the process of hair and makeup and you put an outfit on, Kristen comes back to life again pretty quickly, and I love her because she’s a presence that I love to walk into.”

Kristen first crosses paths with her brother EJ, now played by Dan Feuerriegel. “Well, I gotta tell you, it was a pleasure to work with Dan,” she raves. “He’s absolutely sweet. But it’s funny, when I first met him in the makeup room, I said, ‘Hi, I play your mom [as Susan] and your sister.’ One of those weird, weird things to say, and he just looked at me, and I don’t think he really got it until we started working together. But he’s such a joy. He’s present. I love that we play sister/ brother and I love that we play mother/son. He’s such a joy and I hope down the road we get to do more. We hit it off right away. That’s what actors do; sometimes they can just click in and they become whatever they are [in the script] and it’s just lovely.”

Kristen also tangles with Steve, then Brady. As for sharing scenes with Stephen Nichols (Steve), Haiduk notes, “We only worked together when he was ‘Stefano’ and I had such a blast working with him. It’s very, very different when he’s Steve and Stefano. They’re very different characters. Now he’s someone she really doesn’t like, so it becomes this cat-and-mouse game with him. I really enjoy working with him. Kristen is feisty. She’s desperate to not go back to prison, so it’s hard for her at this point in time.”

While Haiduk was off screen, Kristen’s original portrayer, Eileen Davidson (Ashley, Y&R), reprised the role on the Peacock series DAYS: BEYOND SALEM, which came as a surprise, initially, to the actress. “At first, I was a little like, ‘What’s going on?’ And it was hard but I get what they were doing and I understand it and I really love Eileen,” Haiduk notes. “I think she’s a wonderful woman and actress, so I get why they did what they did. But I had to call the producer and say, ‘Uh, is Eileen coming back?’ and he was like, ‘Yes, yes, she is, but not in the way that you think she is.’ So there was this panic that I went through because it was like, ‘No, I don’t want to not play Kristen,’ because I really, really enjoy it. But I knew exactly what they were going for and I hope it was a success!”