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Tamara Braun On Her Days of our Lives Comeback

Ava Vitali is back on the DAYS scene, which marks the return of Tamara Braun, whose alter ego was last seen heading to Bayview sanitarium, after blowing up a church and orchestrating the death of Susan Banks.

“I received a call from Albert [Alarr, former co-executive producer] saying that he was curious if I would be willing to come back,” recounts Braun. “He had an idea and wanted to know my thoughts on it. That’s how it came about.”

Braun was on board for another run. “I’m back. I absolutely love Ava,” Braun declares. “She’s had different incarnations. Some I’ve enjoyed better than others, but what’s beautiful about her is that she has so many layers to her, and there’s a lot of history there. It’s always fun to see what avenue whoever’s writing at the time is going to take with her. I was interested to see where she was going to go this time. Even when they let you know, you never really know where it’s ultimately going to go. That definitely keeps you on your toes and keeps it fun and exciting and new.”

Although it had been 10 months since Braun stopped filming at DAYS, once she stepped foot back on set, “It was the same in a lot of ways,” she notes. “I was excited to see my cast members and the crew that are so wonderful. People who work at DAYS really enjoy one another. It’s a nice thing. Whenever I’ve come and gone, it’s always a lovely welcome and a sad good-bye.”
Braun had some nice reunions on set, particularly with her TV son, Lucas Adams (Tripp). “Oh, I love him,” gushes the actress. “It’s always a nice reunion with Mr. Lucas Adams. He is truly the sweetest guy ever. I had some scenes with him, and they were lovely as always.”

She did not, however, get her old dressing room back. “Dan [Feuerriegel, EJ] commandeered that immediately when I left,” reveals the actress, who had one of the biggest quarters at the studio. “I let him know when I was leaving, so he could put that [request] in, because he kept saying, ‘If you ever leave, I’m taking your dressing room.’ So that’s his. I floated around for about a month until they had a room for me. Dan’s got my old one and has not invited me in for a coffee or a tea or anything.”

When viewers first see Ava, she’s still at Bayview. “Ava was sent there because she had another breakdown and was having hallucinations. So she’s dealing with that and getting treatment,” explains Braun. “Let’s leave it at that, because I don’t want to give too much away.”

Getting back into Ava mode is always interesting for Braun. “I’ve lived with Ava since 2008, on and off,” she says, referring to the year she debuted on DAYS. “I love her. It’s just a matter of figuring out what headspace she’s in, because she can be in varied states. I wasn’t really sure until I got the first script. But it was like just getting on a bike again and pedaling.”

Braun is getting the chance to work with her former GH co-star Steve Burton — the pair played best friends Carly and Jason — since Ava and Harris are both patients at the same facility. “Steve and I have always had a good working relationship,” notes Braun. “I certainly wanted to capitalize on that. We seem to have a good chemistry and flow, so it was an easy thing to jump into. We were in real early on my first day, so there wasn’t a lot of time to chat. But the next day we had the ability to talk and try to figure out where these two characters were going and what it was about.”

During her months away from DAYS, Braun has been “chugging along. I’ll be honest, it’s been a heavy year,” she opens up. “There’s been a lot of loss of friends and people I love and people who are too young. It’s not been the easiest [time]. It’s been an emotional year in terms of having to say good-bye to people that I love and not having a chance to say good-bye to people that I love because it happened too quick. It’s been a year…. I’ve been living life and feeling grateful for it. I’ve done a lot of mourning and a lot of celebrating for life that was.”

As she moves forward, Braun is thankful that the powers-that-be at DAYS continue to bring Ava back into the mix. “It’s been fantastic,” says Braun. “I love that the writers continue to want to use Ava. She’s an incredible character and there are a lot of places that you can go with her. And the fans seem to love her — love to hate her and hate to love her. It’s nice to know that they’re happy when Ava’s back on the canvas. I appreciate it so much. It makes me feel that Ava is somebody they’re invested in.”

Braun is equally invested in her current run on the soap. “It’s been fun working with Steve again and getting to play there,” she notes. “I don’t want to give much away, but what I will say is that I get to mix with a lot of the characters from Ava’s past and a few new ones, and it’s a lot of fun.”

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