Five Days of our Lives stars traveled from Salem to Philadelphia to help build homes for Habitat for Humanity. During a break between hammering nails and clearing trees from one of the lots where houses would soon be built, those stars took time out to chat with soapcentral.com's Dan J Kroll -- and his mom, who's been a DAYS fan from day one.
Arianne Zucker has been a part of the Days of our Lives cast since 1998. In this exclusive interview, the actress talks about how she is using her celebrity to make a difference in the lives of others. In truly soap opera fashion, the interview is interrupted by a catfight.
: Tell me a little bit about your experience here today in Philadelphia.
Arianne Zucker: This is my third time in Philly I want to say -- except the first two were modeling, so I didn't really get to see much. And this time, it's funny, 'cuz [Eric Martsolf's] friend here was asking a bunch of questions. What building is that? What building is that? He was like, that's the uh (whispers) "I don't know." But it's funny when you're in your hometown… if people asked me about any of the buildings in downtown L.A. I'd be like, "I don't know." You don't visit it or appreciate it as much. But it's a beautiful, beautiful city.
And on top of that, we're here for such a great reason. This is my second build. And just to see, to really see areas develop and change and grow for proactive reasons… people wanting to make a difference in their lives and finding ways to do it. And the fact that there is Habitat for Humanity to do it with is really an unbelievably huge blessing in people's lives. I know for myself, I wanted to do something bigger and how these chips came about and coming to Philly -- and hopefully we'll be back -- is to really hit all these major cities, not just come and sign autographs, but to physically help somebody else. And that's really why we're here in the Philadelphia area. And we'll definitely be back to do more.
But it's beautiful here. We got to go to the Phillies game last night. What a game! I mean, I feel so fortunate for all the things -- which again is why we're here.
I think it's important, too, that I saw on Twitter you were reminding people, "Hey, next time you think about sending us gifts, why not make a donation."
I think it's really important. As awesome as it is to want to send a gift to your favorite actor, and maybe a smaller one and send the other half to Habitat…
[Loud, horrific howling noises in the background]
Kitty fight! Catfight.
Is that what that is?
It's a catfight!
(Voice of DAYS publicist Kyley Jolna)
: I thought it was more like Raaaarrrrr!
Nope. Goodness, it's a catfight. Right in our interview. Awesome.
It's not the kind of catfight I expected to ask you about.
Gosh, where were we? I think that your five dollars [saved] for a lighter shipping [cost] and somebody else's five dollars and somebody else's five dollars really makes such a big difference. If you want to give a gift, give it to someone who really, really, really needs it.
I hate to … you don't want to force people. I mean, you're gonna give if you want to give. A great way to segue if you're going to do something anyway, how about try it this way. But again, it's awesome and I think that I try to do the same. If I'm not giving physically, especially now, they need it financially. Who doesn't? I get it. Who doesn't need it financially? But right now they have 1,500 volunteers when they need $1,500 a week.
So instead of physically coming out, a couple of bucks can make a difference. I save my change in big "quarter things" and then when I go to the bank, I donate it. It's kind of a fun way to say, "I saved this money."
And obviously if it's sitting somewhere in a jar, you're not really "missing" it.
Exactly. I am in a fortunate situation where I can write a check. I can do that. Absolutely. But for people who go, "I don't know how to save money." If you saved your change -- or your pennies. Nobody uses pennies! Save your pennies. Turn it in and see how much you can save!
So now it's the confession portion of the interview.
Do you consider yourself to be a handy person?
I think that I am a very handy person. I just need to know what I'm doing. But I am not afraid to ask for help. I don't want to do it and mess it up and have it have to be redone anyway. I kept asking the guys, "Arrggh! I hammered that in wrong. Can you get that out?" Some of it just takes brute strength and I don't have it, but I enjoy it, and it's still an art even though it's building. You've gotta deal with shapes and whatnot. Still being in the creative world, I enjoy it. It's like a giant, GIANT birdhouse. It's awesome.
And Kyle (Lowder), my husband, is very handy. He's a huge landscaper, an excellent landscaper. We don't have a garden because where we live, we actually ended up putting in… we have a little triangle lot. Not a huge amount of land, but enough. Most of our hillside is all ivy. I guess you could plant down that. But we're trying to be green. We're starting to, anyway. We put in all the ecofriendly fake grass.
I've never heard of this!
He researches everything. He researched the grass. We tried it on one side of our house, and it's a little bit older, because it was when they were still trying to perfect it, but they layer it with sand and rock and sand and rock and sand. And then they put the grass -- the fake grass -- over it. Then they put this rubber in it… this tiny, tiny, tiny little rubber tire pieces, so that it lifts the grass and makes it feel like ground. Then when it drains, it goes through the rock and the sand and into the drainage. It saves on water.
They have since come up with a better way, more ecofriendly way. It lasts for like 15 years. It all adds up over 15, 20 years. The color will last. And it's just gonna get better. Everything gets bigger and better and more affordable. Next is looking into solar panel roofing. Again, that is expensive, but they're gonna figure it out someday.
My thought is that if they can make the big LCD and plasma televisions so much cheaper now than they were when they first came out, they can come up with a way to do solar panels.
And in the same amount of time that they've done all these TV screens, I'm sure it's already out there… but let's not get into that part. (laughs
Now what I am doing is that I am doing my shout here. My mom is along -- she just happened to visit this weekend -- so I am going to see if she has a question for you.
I love it! Wait, this is your mom? You look beautiful. How is he your son?
Gee, thanks! (laughs)
) I don't mean that against you at all. That's wonderful.
You're so beautiful, how did you have such an ugly child?!
Age-wise! Age-wise! (laughs
) How'd you get this guy?
(Mom) It wasn't easy!
That's a topic that the writers are working on for your show.
(Mom) Yes, this is my son.
Ahhh… I love it.
(Mom) I'm a lot older than people think
So am I! It's amazing!
(To Dan) You do have a babyface. Well, gee, you have great genes.
Yeah, I'm very happy
You should be!
I don't know where I got the height from, though.
(Mom) I'm only 4'10" and he's 6-something
(To Mom) That's amazing. Hey, you know, maybe he ate a little bean or something. Who knows?
As a quick side note, and Ari you probably don't need to hear this, but mom, when [my grandmother] was down for Thanksgiving and I was in the kitchen getting everything ready, [my grandmother] was in the living room by herself and all of a sudden she just yells out, "You dumb bitch." I poked my head into the room to see what she was doing, and she was talking to Nicole. So I am really glad that she didn't decide to come down for a visit today.
Oh, my gosh -- she would have smacked me! And then it would have been on
(Mom) Are you a California native?
I am. I was born at North Ridge Hospital, and moved to [...] the heart of the valley. (In a valley girl voice) so I am total
Valley Girl. Ohmigosh.
(Mom) You just recently had a little one...
She just turned 10 months.
But you wouldn't know it.
Thank you! P90X®. Go to p90x.com Anyway… No (laughs
). It's a great workout system for moms because you can work out from home. When they put me in a bikini five months after I gave birth, I thought, "Oh, I better work out."
Anyway, our daughter's just started walking. She chose to wait for me to leave. My husband said, she literally… she was walking, holding her hand onto the sides of things… but she decided that she wanted to go into the kitchen from her little playroom and got up and walked over there. Kyle was like "I'm walking right behind her right now. She's walking!"
Why wasn't he filming it?
Uh, I know! I know!
I'm sure he has an iPhone that he could have used.
You know he is so behind the times. He had a Razr which is just a regular phone until just two months ago. But we've got her walking, but not literally getting the first time.
(Mom) You play the role so well. A role that you can… you really want to get in there and shake her
I am so glad. That just means that I am doing my job. It's fun. Also, I'm lucky that I am the actress I am now. It's the greatest thing ever. It's just given me so many opportunities. And going back to Habitat. This
is why I do what I do.
Photo Credit: Dan J Kroll/soapcentral.com