NBC's Days of our Lives took another dark turn this week when Chase Jennings (Jonathan McClendon) raped Hope's teenage daughter, Ciara (Vivian Jovanni). The heartbreaking turn of events was spurred by Andre DiMera (Thaao Penghlis), who has taken poor Chase under his vengeful influence as part of his payback aimed at Hope (Kristian Alfonso), who shot and killed his father, Stefano (Joseph Mascolo), last month. The result was a horrifying on-screen experience that gave young newcomers Jovanni and McClendon some very emotionally intense material to play.
"We wanted the scene to be as realistic and spontaneous as possible," Jovanni told Soap Opera Digest. "I was nervous at first, but also very grateful to be getting the opportunity to explore this complex and layered storyline... I didn't talk to anyone about it. I didn't even tell my parents because they are fans of the show. I don't share storyline with them."
In the end, though the content of the scenes was difficult to play, the actress says the tough experience has helped her develop as a performer. "Playing emotional material like this has opened my eyes as an actor, because I never expected that scene to get as real as it did for me. Material like this is what helps you grow as an actor and I'm grateful for the opportunity."
For the full interview with Jovanni, check out the upcoming issue of SOD. And if you would like more information about rape and sexual assault, visit www.rainn.org.
What did you think about the scenes in which Chase raped Ciara? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.