Can Ciara Save Ben on 'Days of Our Lives'? Victoria Konefal on Why She Stands by Her Man
The good news for Ciara (Victoria Konefal) on Days of Our Lives is that her grandfather, Victor (John Aniston), looks like he’s going to pull through following his recent health scare this week. The bad news is that he may not have the information she wants that will help get her boyfriend Ben (Robert Scott Wilson) off of death row.
Some would say death for a murder he didn’t commit would be ironic justice for Ben, aka the Necktie Killer, who was reformed and released from prison thanks to medication, a recommendation from Dr. Marlena Evans (Deidre Hall) — and the skillful writing of the show’s top scribe, Ron Carlivati.
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TV Insider recently chatted with Konefal about Ciara’s current predicament, the show’s much-talked about “time jump” storyline, Ciara’s late father Bo (daytime legend Peter Reckell), her character’s chic new look, and how she makes Ciara falling in love with a killer work!
This current story has had you in scenes with TV grandad John Aniston (Victor) more than usual.
Victoria Konefal: Yes. I haven’t worked with him particularly in the past a great deal but, ever since the time jump, Ciara’s been involved in Victor’s business. I’ve had more scenes with John than ever before and I’m very grateful for that.
Your look on the show changed a lot in the time jump.
Every character had to have an aesthetic difference in the time jump; my character is famous for her big curly hair. They decided a drastic change would be to straighten it. She started wearing red lipstick, blazers…her entire look changed.
It’s an effective way to point out the show has jumped a year ahead; what have you enjoyed about this new look?
I just enjoy that it’s a change for the audience. I’ve had mostly the same look, but this is a more mature one. I appreciate what the hair and makeup department did for me.
'This is a great way to reset things in Salem,' says executive producer Ken Corday of the time jump.
How much story do they tell you, specifically, about the time jump. Or do you learn it as the viewers do?
Well, now, I know a lot because all of our episodes airing now were shot 7 months ago! But, as we were shooting them, we were in the dark. I’ll occasionally ask a director about a certain theory I have, but they choose not to tell us because they want us to find out when we read the scripts. They love keeping us in the dark! The director will sometimes come out to the floor and give us a note as we shoot, but overall, we’re not told about things [till we get the scripts]. We play the scenes day by day.
Ciara and Ben not only have a great romance and following, but the coolest combo name – Cin!
[Laughs] Yes! Fans came up with it. They started tweeting it. Robert and I both really liked that name. The Cin fans call themselves ‘Cinners’ – it could have been ‘Biara,’ which doesn’t quite sound the same!
You took part in a panel of SAG last year along with Beth Maitland (Traci, Young and the Restless), Marci Miller (ex-Abby, DAYS) and Mishael Morgan (Amanda, Y&R). What did you learn about daytime that night?
I absorbed as much as I possibly could. I learned how different soaps tape. DAYS has a unique schedule in terms of how far in advance we are – about 7 to 8 months ahead. The other shows don’t have nearly as much of a lead time. We’re all in the same game, but I learned how we’re all different. Participating in that panel was an absolutely dream.
DAYS has always had its share of bad boys. Ciara’s dad Bo was a few years older than her mom Hope (Kristian Alfonso) and also, he wore a leather jacket and rode a motorcycle – the definition of being a bad boy on TV. Patch (Stephen Nichols) lost an eye in a fight. But Ben takes things to a different level, having committed multiple murders. He’s on meds and did some time in jail, but he’s a killer. How do you play the ‘Cin’ love story realistically?
That was most difficult to do when Ben and Ciara first started getting romantically involved. Now, I think Ciara has come to terms with [his past]. She doesn’t dwell on it. As far as she’s concerned, he’s a completely reformed man. Initially, though, it was difficult to make that choice of forgiving a serial killer and then falling in love with him – difficult tasks! I found [it helpful] for Ciara to cling to the humanity in Ben. Every time I had doubts about where Ciara was headed, I thought back to the scenes in the cabin where he took such good care of her. That’s what Ciara hangs onto if there are ever doubts about Ben relapsing.
Why is she so convinced that he didn’t kill Jordan (Chrishell Hartley)?
She just trusts him. Even though the evidence is stacked against him. She could easily believe what everyone else is saying but her faith in him is so strong and has been for so long that it won’t shatter. Also, when she found Ben in the cabin with Jordan’s corpse, she saw that he was devastated. She helped him come back to earth. Robert did such an incredible job with those scene. Ciara was desperate to bring him back to reality. She wants him to know she has full faith in him. That’s not going to waiver.
Xander (Paul Telfer) has been targeting Ciara, seeing her as a threat. What’s it like working with Paul?
Paul is absolutely one of my favorite people to work with. We bounce off each other so well. I think our scenes flow effortlessly. There’s something about working with Paul, and I think my costars would agree, there’s something so raw and natural [in his performances]. Off-camera, he’s the sweetest human being to ever step foot on this planet and yet, he plays a villain so convincingly. It’s something special to watch. I always look forward to shooting scenes with him and then watching them later.
Have you ever met Peter Reckell?
No. I haven’t, unfortunately, and I would love to.
So would the fans.
Maybe he can come to the Daytime Emmys or something? I have watched clips of Peter and Kristian. I researched the show when I got the role. Bo’s such an iconic character. It was important for me to understand Ciara’s roots and see where her parents had come from so that she could take on some of their traits and attributes from both of them.
We caught up with the cast — Cin! Jarlena! Elani! — at the annual fan event, just as the show jumps forward a year.
Do you ever wish or have fans ever asked you about the show doing a re-write and making it where Ben was not the Necktie Killer?
I’ve seen that [bandied about] a few times on Twitter. Personally, I think it’d be pointless [to rewrite Ben’s history as a killer]. A lot of the appeal in Ben and Ciara comes from that he’s a bad boy and that his and Ciara’s love, in a way, is forbidden. Ciara vouching for him is where their love stems from. She’s fought for him. If he hadn’t killed all those people, then, maybe, that would have been for nothing? I think Ron [Carlivati, head writer] has done an excellent job. I love the storyline. I love dark storylines. I’m thankful that Ron ended up bringing on a guy for Caria. [Robert] was an incredible choice.
Very soon, Victor’s going to tell Ciara something that will make her fight to save Ben be even more difficult. Is it fair to say we’re going to see just how far her commitment to Ben will go?
Yeah. Absolutely. Ciara is going to go places emotionally that she’s never gone before. I’m excited for the fans to see that. Ciara has always been a badass, but it’s nothing compared to what’s coming up.
— Days of our Lives (@nbcdays) January 4, 2020
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