Days of our Lives' fans were thrilled to hear the news that fan favorite Stephen Nichols would be returning to Salem as Steve "Patch" Johnson. However, even though he is a much-loved actor, his character.... well, not so much, at least by Salemites. But whether they love it or hate it, he's back for the time being.
"He's not welcomed at all -- by anyone, least of all by Kayla [Mary Beth Evans]," the actor teased to TV Insider. "He tells her right off the bat that he wants her back, and that he wants his family back. But she's not having it. How can this man just take off for years and be out of contact like that? For all of Kayla's sweetness and light, she's not going to put up with any more s--t from Patch!"
Of course, that doesn't mean that the former lovebirds won't give their romance another go. After all, their on-screen wedding garnered the second highest audience for a soap opera wedding, just behind the nuptials for General Hospital's Luke (Anthony Geary) and Laura (Genie Francis). "Magic is a tricky thing, but Patch and Kayla must eventually get back together, right? In soap operas, that's the law," Nichols opines. "In my first scene back, when Patch walks off that elevator, and he and Kayla look into each other's eyes, the connection is still there. That's not going to go away, no matter what. She's not prepared to take him back but he's not leaving... Emotionally, though, I think our characters are still very much the same. Who they are is in their DNA. The producers told us, 'We want the audience to fall in love with the Patch and Kayla of today, not the Patch and Kayla of the past.' I said, 'Well, I understand what you're saying, but they are who they are, and you can't really change that.'"
Speaking of the producers and other higher-ups, Nichols wasn't sure what to expect from the new regime, considering it's been six years since he's been in Salem. However, he had no qualms about coming "home," so to speak. "It is really, really great in the studio right now," he shares. "The atmosphere is so different. The show is being run by a group of people with real vision. [Executive producer] Ken Corday is very proud of what's happening and he's walking around the hallways so happy. He has such great love for the show and its history, and recognizes the importance of getting everything back on track for the 50th anniversary. And I am so proud to be part of that history. Everyone is so happy now, and I have been on other shows where that was not the case and you just dread going to work. Look, it will never be like it was in the '80s. That was the golden age of soaps, even though we didn't know it at the time. There was more money, the sets were more lavish, the production values were higher, and there was a really strong, rabid audience for our show, for all the shows. The viewers remember that time so fondly. We actors do, too. I don't think we knew what we had back then, but I think we can get some of that back. I really do. It was an extremely magical time in my life, personally and artistically. I always tell that to Ken. Days of our Lives means so much to me. It was one of the first jobs I landed and, right from the get-go, a truly creative experience. That has never changed!"
For more from Nichols, including revealing tidbits about his experience as The Young and the Restless' Tucker McCall and General Hospital's Stefan Cassadine, check out TV Insider's full interview here.
What do you think about Nichols' return to DAYS? What would you like to see for Patch and Kayla now that Patch is back in town? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below, on our message boards, or by submitting Feedback.
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