'Days of Our Lives' Eric Martsolf on Brady Finding Out His Daughter Is Really Alive
Father’s Day is coming a little early for Days of Our Lives' Brady Black (Eric Martsolf) this year. The character has learned that daughter Rachel with Kristen DiMera (Stacy Haiduk) is alive and has been living for the last year as Mackenzie aka “Mickey,” and being raised by Sarah Horton (Linsey Godfrey).
This story is going to impact not only two sets of parents but also relationships and dynamics among many other characters. TV Insider recently chatted with Martsolf for a preview of the fallout, appearing in To the Beat: Back 2 School alongside DAYS sibling Martha Madison (Belle), and if his twin sons, Mason and Chase, will follow in his performing footsteps. Read on for the scoop!
First, how are you doing with staying quarantined?
Eric Martsolf: I think I’m OK. We’re fortunate enough that we have a pool and a little basketball court. We’re getting outside, but I’m a social guy. I’m having a real hard time not being social.
It was my sons’ birthday [recently] and we organized a drive through thing for them. I have to say as a result of the quarantine, I’ve had some really great conversations with them. Maybe they’re things I wouldn’t have talked to them about otherwise? We’re on top of each other so we have to talk. Teenage boys aren’t always the most talkative people. I’ll ask how was your day? “Good.” How so? “It was cool.” But now, they’re “trapped” with me. They have to elaborate. We’re trying to find the positivity in all this.
It’s interesting that Kristen and Brady were able to sustain their relationship given that the loss of a child can sometimes cause a couple to split.
That’s a nice observation. I started to think about that as this story was heating up in terms of what we’re going through right now. Sometimes out of tragedy can come life and goodness. You look at this coronavirus but we’re seeing beautiful things happening to the environment as a result of people not polluting the waters; the air is cleaner and there are dolphins swimming in the canals of Venice. We’re hitting a reset button.
Kristen and Brady are similar in that they’ve taken this tragedy and have bonded. They’ve become closer to one another. Their baby [whom they thought died] represented something Kristen has wanted her entire life. She’s gone to ridiculous lengths to make that happen. This story making a U-turn could spell out good things for their future but in true soap opera fashion, I don’t know if happiness will last too long.
It’s a great, happy shock. This is also a tragedy for Sarah and Eric (Greg Vaughan).
Yes, and with this reveal of [Rachel] being alive, Brady will have disdain for his grandfather [Victor, John Aniston] whom he’s been at odds with. They’ve always butted heads, but this is a big betrayer. He let his grandson think that his baby had died. This will carry on throughout the coming weeks. [Brady’s] not going to take this well. It’s going to be bad.
It’s safe to say that Kristen will also not respond well to the people who kept her baby from her.
Brady asks her to please quietly stay in her cage. He’s familiar with what this woman is capable of. Even though she’s on her journey to reformation, and she has redeemed herself in many people’s eyes. Does a tiger truly change its stripes? That’s debatable. Brady tells Kristen that they should celebrate what they’ve found out. Not to his surprise, he’ll return to their room and find out she is not there. It’s pretty horrific what she does [after finding out the truth].
DAYS’ most famous baby reveal – Mike Horton (Wesley Eure) was Bill’s (Ed Mallory) son and not Mickey’s (John Clarke) – pushed the show to the top of the ratings and also took about seven years to climax. What’s your thought on today’s pacing?
I agree that I’m a big fan of “keeping the roast in the oven.” I started my soap opera career playing Ethan on Passions and that show was all about the Gwen (Liza Huber; Natalie Zea), Ethan, and Theresa (Lindsay Hartley) triangle. Talk about taking your time! (Note: Ethan and Theresa wed in the series finale.) That trio never wavered. That was the story. I’m a fan of taking time as long as the investment is worth the wait. I think, overall, it’s moved rather quickly. I think most of our stories these days do.
In fact, Ron [Carlivati, head writer] did a pretty good job of constructing this by interlacing a lot of stories together. There are a lot of characters that are affected by this and relationships are going to be ripped to shreds as a result of the deceit – Maggie’s (Suzanne Rogers) world is just crushed. Everyone is a player in this. It’s not just two people who found out that their baby is alive. It’s a giant cast of characters across the spectrum who will find their lives completely overturned. I love it.
You appear in To the Beat: Back 2 School, a teen movie in which you and your DAYS half-sister Martha Madison (Belle) play husband and wife.
It was the big joke on set. The "brother and sister" were now "husband and wife." Fortunately, there were no love scenes is this made-for-teens movie.
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A hashtag couple name for your DAYS characters would be “Brelle” or…well, “Brady”!
Ha, yes. Martha and I had so much in common. We have the exact same birthday. We look at the world in the same way. We both love being in the business world and now we’re playing husband and wife. That completes the circle. She’s lovely and we have the same sense of humor.
Your son, Mason, is in the film, too?
Yes. Susan Bernhardt produced it. Her daughter Jillian Clare, who used to play Abby, directed it. [Susan] called me up and said please come and do the original film. For the sequel, she said to me, "I saw some pictures of your son on social media. I want him to play the heartthrob to [Avery Hewitt] who plays your daughter." I was like, "Really?" She said, ‘Yeah, you know the guy from the ‘80s movies who has nothing to say, but just walks down the hall [in high school] in slow motion?’
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How did it go?
The first day of shooting he had to film a dance sequence. He had to dance with [Avery] and she looked into his eyes. With shooting and lighting, it took about an hour. I had the time of my life watching him. He told me he’s not sure he can do this again. He said it took longer to shoot than the whole movie is. He said he was there for [a total of] nine hours and the movie is only 90 minutes long. I said, "Yes, it’s like cooking. It takes longer to make than it does to see."
Are you cool if your sons want to go into the business?
I’m not going to steer them away from or towards the business. They’ll have to decide that for themselves. I just hope that they become brain surgeons and take care of me.
Days of Our Lives, Weekdays, NBC