“I think I’ve always been typecast as the ingénue or the sexy girl,” muses DAYS OF OUR LIVES’s Nadia Bjorlin. It’s easy to see why — even in sweats and with barely any makeup on, she’s breathtaking. But dig a little deeper and you’ll understand why DAYS cast against type, tapping the actress for the role of wallflower Chloe.
Bjorlin possesses a maturity and a polish beyond her years, thanks to a cosmopolitan childhood that included music, travel … and tragedy. “Around age 6, I started playing the piano and flute,” she explains. “I also liked to sing. I was shy at first, but I realized I had a voice and liked using it.” It was hardly a surprise to her family — her father, Ulf, was a conductor of classical music and her mother, Fary, an interior designer, could sing. Before long, Bjorlin and two of her siblings were performing professionally in a group called The Bjorlin Trio. While her peers were on the playground, the actress was singing opera for European dignitaries.
The Rhode Island native moved to Sweden, her father’s native country, when she was 2 months old. The family alternated between Europe and the States over the next few years until Bjorlin’s father took a job conducting the Florida Philharmonic and the Palm Beach symphony. In spite of the shuffling around, Bjorlin describes her upbringing as perfect. “I loved my childhood,” she says. “I have three brothers and two sisters, so I always had a lot of siblings and playmates. Everyone I cared about most in my life was with me, so it didn’t really matter.”
The fairy tale came to an end when Bjorlin’s beloved father passed away when she was 12. The close-knit clan responded to the tragedy by growing even closer. “We’re very tight and very open,” reflects Bjorlin. “My mom’s my best friend.”
A move to New York was next, where Bjorlin attended the Professional Children’s School. After graduating last May, she decided to shift her focus to acting; by the fall she’d landed a role on DAYS that seemed tailor-made for her. “I never imagined there would be a character who sang opera,” she marvels. The family packed up and headed west.
Adjusting to life in Salem was made easier by the newcomer’s on-screen parents, Kevin Spirtas (Craig) and Patrika Darbo (Nancy). “It was intimidating at first; now it’s second nature,” she notes. “Kevin and Patrika took time out of their regular lives to practice and give me pointers, which I greatly appreciated. The most fun I have is when I hang out with Kevin and Patrika and the older cast members. I do adult things better, too. I don’t necessarily enjoy kids’ stuff. To sit there and gossip is not really my thing.”
But between spending time at the mall and at the movies, Bjorlin’s Salem peers may bring out the teenager in her yet. “We’re all friends off-camera,” smiles Bjorlin. “Usually a fan will see one of us and say, ‘Oh, you’re from the show.’ All of a sudden, they’ll look around and freak out because we’re all there.” And the actress is too smart to let success spoil her. “Someone told me the other day, ‘I’m glad you’re not one of those girls who lets everything go to her head,’ ” recalls Bjorlin. “I’m like, ‘Should it have?’ I just think it’s such a waste of energy. People like that are going to be unhappy and miserable one day — and clearly disappointed. Why not have fun and be yourself and enjoy everyone around you?”
Nadia Bjorlin admits it’s hard to not get upset when Salem’s teen set teases her outcast character, Chloe. “I actually feel it. I really feel it,” she says. “I’m like, ‘This is my worst nightmare come true,’ because you do experience some of this in school. No matter what happens, someone’s always going to pick on you or be mean to you. Doing some of these scenes, like the classroom scenes where I walked in and everyone turned around and just glared at me, I just wanted to cry for real! They’re like, ‘No, Chloe’s strong, she doesn’t cry.’ I’m like, ‘Well, I want to cry.’ This is so horrible!”
Just The Facts:
Birthday: August 2
Fine Arts: In 1996, Bjorlin won a medal in an international vocal competition held in Verona, Italy; in 1999, she won first place in the Metro Lyric Opera Competition in New York City.
La Vida Loca: Bjorlin danced in Ricky Martin’s (ex-Miguel, GENERAL HOSPITAL) music video for “Shake Your Bon Bon.”
Worst Quality: “I have a lot [laughs]. Mostly, it’s impatience.”
Favorite Movies: “I loved Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Braveheart.”
On Being Recognized: “I was totally surprised. I don’t know if that’s an insult to me that I’m recognized without looking like how awful I look on the show.”
She’d Like To Work With: “Jensen Ackles [Eric]. Me and the rest of the world wants to work with him.”
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