The last several weeks have been quite a ride for Days of our Lives' Nadia Bjorlin (Chloe Lane), who gave birth to her first child, Torin, in May and returned to work in a full-time, permanent capacity shortly thereafter. Fans have been chomping at the bit for details surrounding the juicy storyline she has going with Arianne Zucker (Nicole Walker) and Vincent Irizarry (Deimos Kiriakis), the potential romance Chloe will have with John-Paul Lavoisier's Philip, and how she has settled into being a mom. Luckily, Soap Central had the opportunity to sit down with the stunning actress to get the answers to those questions and many, many more.
soapcentral.com: Welcome back to DAYS! What made you decide to finally come back to the canvas full-time? Was it storyline that convinced you to stay long term?
Nadia Bjorlin: It just felt like a really good time. It was storyline, and then the funny thing is there was a shift in the writing team, so it has changed again. But it still feels like a good decision to be back. There's never a lack of excitement around there, so just when you feel like it's going to go one way, it ends up going another way. So it's been fun, really fun. So the storyline was one thing [that convinced me to return full-time] and then right when I was back on the show, I found out I was pregnant in real life. That made it even more interesting! So they were like, "Okay, well... Maybe we can use it." So that made it extra fun.
soapcentral.com: Oh, I'll bet! But when you found out you were pregnant, did you suddenly doubt your decision to return full-time, like maybe you didn't want to be back at work after all?
Bjorlin: It was a sort of gamut of all kinds of thoughts that went through my head. Obviously, I was excited about it. But then I thought, "Wait, is this somehow going to affect the work? Is it going to be able to be used, or not used?" You just think of all of those things, but right from the beginning, [the powers that be] were so great about it. They said, "No, this is awesome! This is great. We'll totally use it, and let's not give you the pressure of feeling like we have to hide it." So that was really amazing. Even though, the funny thing is, we sort of ended up hiding it most of the time. It was a shooting time line issue unbeknownst to everybody, with the hiatus that had to be had by the show that wasn't in the schedule to begin with. So they really kind of had to hide it for a while, and then it kind of became this funny joke where the directors were like, "Are we still hiding this thing?" as I'm nine months pregnant. They're like, "Wait a minute, we're not showing this yet?" So now, when I actually came back from my maternity leave, I've had to wear a fake stomach for a bit.
soapcentral.com: I feel like you came back to work really quick after having the baby.
Bjorlin: Yeah, it feels like it was crazy fast. It was six weeks to the day when I came back, and I'm not going to lie: That was tough. I didn't realize beforehand, [how it would feel]. I'm such a workhorse, and I had a really great pregnancy. I felt really good, except for the first trimester. I felt really good in the end, and I was like, "I'm fine. I can keep working. Everything is good." And I even remember them asking if I was okay, like, "When do you want to stop working?" And I was like, "I feel good, I'm fine. I'm still going to the gym." And then during the aftermath, the postpartum part, I was like, "Oh -- this is hard!" [Laughs] When you actually have the baby, you're like, "Oh -- there's no sleep?" The six weeks went by really quickly. It was a lot harder than I thought. But it was also kind of nice to get back to feeling a little bit like a human being again, not being housebound and feeling like I'm using my brain again. So it was nice. But now the show is off again for a couple of weeks, so they kind of fed me back into it for a week and a half, and now we're on hiatus again.
soapcentral.com: Are you able to bring the baby to work? Or have you had to leave him at home?
Bjorlin: I will be able to, but I haven't yet just because he's so young. He hasn't even had his first shots yet. So I want to wait until he's at least three months old before I bring him to work. But they've been really cool about it. I'll be able to bring him, and he can hang out in my dressing room while I'm working. He'll be in there with a nanny, obviously. And I've had plenty of volunteers from people at work saying, "We'll watch him!" And I'm like, "Yeah, you say that now. But they'll quickly say, 'Well, that was fun.'" [Laughs]
soapcentral.com: Over at The Bold and the Beautiful, Heather Tom (Katie Logan) had a baby, and the storyline called for a baby, so they used her real-life son to play the part. Considering Chloe is pregnant, they'll most likely need a baby for the show. Would you be open to allowing Torin to appear as Chloe's baby?
Bjorlin: I didn't even really think of it, because I always thought they had to use twins due to the child labor laws.
soapcentral.com: Usually, yes, but her baby isn't a twin, and they somehow made it work.
Bjorlin: Interesting. Yeah, there's a part of me that thinks, "Yeah, that would be amazing," because I'd get to have his little life documented. And then there's another part of me that thinks, "I don't know if I'd want to do that to my kid." I don't know! But the idea of it is really cute, to make it a big DAYS family and bring everyone on board.
soapcentral.com: Is being a mom what you expected or what you thought it would be like?
Bjorlin: I feel like I'm still figuring it all out. It's been so surreal. When someone says, "You're a mother," or when I think I'm someone's mom, [it's strange]. My husband and I were just talking this weekend, saying, "Can you believe we're parents?!" It's still so strange. It's so cool, and just looking at him is the most amazing feeling in the world. It's indescribable. Now I get it. You don't really understand; you think you know love, and when you hear people talk [about their kids], you're like, "That's nice," or "That's sweet." But when you're in it, you're like, "Oh, okay. Now I get it." So it is what I thought it would be, but then it isn't at the same time. You can't describe it, the highs and the lows so far. Like being overwhelmed -- it's definitely overwhelming and intimidating at times and kind of scary. But then it's also super amazing, and you just have to trust yourself. But it gets easier. The first two weeks, I was like, "Oh, my God, this is so hard. How do people do it?" And now it's like, "Okay, I'm getting the hang of things. It's getting easier." But I'm sure as time goes on, it'll get more and more easy, because you get used to not sleeping! That was a tough one, not having any sort of schedule. Your life really isn't yours anymore. It's not about you anymore. It's like, "Okay, this is how it's going to be from now on. Nobody cares about me, it's all about him!"
soapcentral.com: Does your husband help out with everything, diaper duty included?
Bjorlin: He does, actually! He's gotten really good with diaper duty and also the swaddling. He's very proud of himself for being able to conquer that. But there's nothing like being the mom in the equation. Mom does kind of do more of everything. Women really are superheroes. And this is one kid; I can't imagine having babies back to back. It's a full-time job! You don't have time for a nap or to sit down and do anything because you're constantly doing something for him. So, yeah, he's been helpful. But he also works, so he's not home during the day, so it's been a balancing and juggling act. But we're making it work. And having your family, I mean, my sister has just been invaluable. She's been an amazing help. Before I had the baby, she was like, "I'll be there for you, I'll help you." And I was like, "Oh, that's so nice. But I won't need it." [Laughs] Meanwhile, I'm calling and texting her every day. It'll be like 5:00 in the morning, and I'm like, "Where are you? I need help." And she's like, "I knew it!" She has three kids herself, so she knew. People always think they know what it's going to be like, and then it happens, and it's totally different. You're helpless, and all you can do is say, "Help!" [Laughs] "I need another pair of hands. Oh, my God, I want to take a shower." Those things become a luxury, and I'm like, "Oh, okay. I'm understanding it now." It's humbling, that's the word. It's all very humbling.
soapcentral.com: Well, you're making it look easy, at least judging from the photos on social media. Somehow you managed to look so beautiful after giving birth, while most women look like trolls.
Bjorlin: Well, you're so sweet, because I don't feel I've been looking my greatest. But happiness really takes over, if anything. And my husband is so sweet. He says, "Oh, you've never looked more gorgeous." He loves, as I call them, taking awful pictures of me. Like walking around in my pajamas all day long or in the hospital and stuff. And he's the one person who says, "I love these pictures of you! It just looks like you, so beautiful." I'm like, "You're so nice," but oh, my gosh.
soapcentral.com: But take it down!
soapcentral.com: It's only been about two months since you had the baby. Since you're back to work and on camera, do you feel pressure to hurry and get back into a pre-baby body?
Bjorlin: I actually really don't, and it's kind of great. Even when I was pregnant, the entire time I was pregnant, even then I was on camera. I think maybe a week leading up to going back to work, I was like, "Oh, man, should I worry about this?" But then I was like, eh, screw it. Probably because I feel so good, and everyone is like family and is so familiar around there. Everybody is just so accepting, and that never seems to be an issue around there. You hear about shows where they put a lot of pressure on their actors, but they really don't. I feel good, and I just want to be healthy. And even now, I haven't had the energy or the will to even care. I've still just kind of let it go, and your body just kind of figures it out. Do I look the way that I did? No. But do I have time? Sure. I think being nonjudgmental and forgiving of yourself is really good. It's getting there, but with that being said, I woke up today and was like, "Okay, I think I'm going to have to try and go back to the gym." [Laughs] I can't use being pregnant or just having had a baby as my excuse to just not do anything and eat cheeseburgers like I've been doing. So I think I'm going to attempt that. I'll feel good, but I think initially it will be tough. I think the last time I was at the gym was in April, so, oh boy!
soapcentral.com: And you never know if they'll throw a love scene at you when you're back from the summer hiatus.
Bjorlin: Right! We're off for a few weeks now, so I have no excuse. But yeah, another things is that even though it's summer time now, on the show, it's wintertime. And I'm also having to wear prosthetics, because Chloe is pregnant. So I'm wearing winter clothes and a stomach, so I was like, "Eh, I'm fine!" [Laughs] I've got time. They're not throwing me in a bikini or anything and adding to the pressure.
soapcentral.com: It's been really fun to see Chloe and Deimos on-screen together. What do you think about the two of them as cohorts?
Bjorlin: It's interesting, that's for sure. It's really interesting, because even as the actors, you get a little bit of advanced storyline, but even we don't get to know everything, and we don't get to hear details. So it was really fun to read all of this stuff as it was unfolding. Even I was like, "Wait a minute -- what is their relationship? What are they doing?" And we were trying to figure it out. And I've met Vincent before in the whole circle of soaps -- we did this whole soap cruise thing together years ago -- and he's really fun. I was like, "Hey, we get to work together now!" And he's just so great. He's such a great actor, and he's fun to work with. And I love that I get to work with one of the bad guys now, too! It's fun, and it's been interesting because it's taking Chloe into a different circle.
soapcentral.com: That must feel great, because I can imagine that when you're working with the same characters over and over, it could become a bit frustrating, just because there's a whole canvas of characters out there.
Bjorlin: Yes, exactly. It can become a bit monotonous and stagnant. And it's also fun to be taken out of your comfort zone, to be working with people you're not used to working with. Everyone has a different energy and dynamic, and it's been really fun working with Vincent and figuring out where it's going and what our relationship is. Really, all the stuff that's airing right now, we were still trying to figure it out, too. They weren't telling us what it is, details like what their relationship has been, how long they'd known each other. And as the audience gets to know what happened, so will we, in terms of their history. There are a lot of flashbacks [that tell the story] of how we met, and all of that was really fun. And they further intertwine the characters on the show, because there are more who've had story with Deimos. I don't know what I'm allowed to talk about, so I'm being extremely vague! But the flashbacks have been fun. Sometimes we don't have that, because we're living out our characters' lives on-screen. But this worked, because I've been gone and Chloe hasn't been on the canvas, so they've been able [to get creative] to show what she's been up to.
soapcentral.com: It's also fun that there seems to be the potential for a triangle between Chloe, Deimos, and Nicole. What do you think about the three of them possibly being in that situation?
Bjorlin: [Laughs] Oh, gosh, those two women can never have just a nice, regular friendship! We joke about that all the time, like, "We should just be in a relationship on the show, Chloe and Nicole." I love that we have such a fun friendship that's been wacky over the years. But at least there are two girlfriends on the show, because that doesn't always happen. They're usually always fighting over a man, so it's going to be fun to see how this unfolds, the potential love triangle or quadrangle -- or maybe nothing at all. Maybe it won't go in that direction, we're not so sure. But yeah, I'll definitely be working with Ari a lot, which I'm excited about, because we just work well together. I think we have great chemistry, because we really like each other. We've known each other for several years, and it seems to work. We have fun working together, and I think that shows. Chemistry can be with a man and woman or a woman and woman; it's just a person, and I like that the writers see that we have chemistry, and they want to show that and work with that.
soapcentral.com: What do you think about Chloe and Deimos' chemistry?
Bjorlin: You know, it's been a challenge because Vincent and I have had to create this backstory and create this thing that had happened off-camera. And of course, you feel it's your responsibility to really sell it and to sell the idea. He made it really easy, and it's been great. You know, we were essentially strangers, and we were thrown into this together, like, "You guys need to create this thing, now go." I think it turned out really well, and we really had fun with it. We really bounced off each other well. I was happy about that, and we've both been pleased. But sometimes it doesn't go the way you think or the way they're hoping it's going to go. So, yeah, I would say it was great. It was kind of hot. I mean, he's a sexy man! And he's really nice and open. That's not always the case when you work with new people; it can take them awhile to warm up. But he was like, "Hey, let's just go for it," and "What do you want? How do you feel about this?" And he really loves the work. He loves being there, and it really shows. That's probably why he's had such a great career for so many years, because he truly loves it, and he comes to work really prepared.
soapcentral.com: Of course we have to talk about John-Paul Lavoisier, as well. What do you think about the possibility that Chloe and Philip could maybe come back together?
Bjorlin: I love it because they've been star-crossed lovers since they were kids. They always find their way back to each other, and then something happens. There's been so much push and pull between the two of them, and I'm excited about the idea of it. I had met John-Paul, but I had never worked with him, and considering this is like the third or fourth Philip, there was some pressure of like, "Oh, is this going to work again?" Because it's a different person, so we'll have different chemistry. But he's been really great to work with. It's a different chemistry than Jay Kenneth Johnson, a really different energy. But I think it's because he's not trying to play Philip the way he used to be. He's doing his own thing with it, and it can be justified because this is a grown-up version of Philip now, and this is the person he is now; his personality has changed. But I really like the way they are together. John-Paul has added his own personal charm and kind of quirkiness. He's hilarious. And he's also this non-stop trivia of dialogue from movies and TV shows. He'll just be sitting there quoting scenes, and I'll be like, "I have no idea what that's from."
soapcentral.com: Have you heard him quote his favorite movie Glengarry Glen Ross?
Bjorlin: Is that his favorite movie? Of course it is, with those epic monologues [Laughs]. He's always telling me, "You need to go watch this movie this weekend. You really need to go see this," or "You need to go see that." But yeah, he makes me laugh so much, and that helps. But it's been fun, because it's just a different Chloe and Philip. I like it, and I certainly wouldn't be opposed to it going in that direction.
soapcentral.com: As you said, Philip has grown up. Has Chloe grown up, too?
Bjorlin: Yeah, I think so. Even if you don't realize it in real life, we're all just changing and getting older, and it's different. We're in different parts of our lives. I know I am, whether I realize it or not. I'm more weathered [Laughs]. Old, bitter, cynical. Just kidding. But, yeah, it is different. I'm married now, and I have a child, and I'm much more grown up now. If I look at Chloe from years ago and look at where I was, I'm like, "Okay, she's going to read differently now." I can't help but be different with her, to play her differently. And it's also whoever I work with. Nicole is different now, Philip is different now. We're just growing and evolving into different people, and how we're being written is different, too. Hopefully it helps keep it interesting.
soapcentral.com: Something that will be familiar, at least for fans and for Chloe, is the return of Patrika Darbo in the role of Chloe's mom, Nancy. How did that feel, to reunite with her?
Bjorlin: It's so fun, because I didn't know she was coming back, either, until basically she was there. It's good for Chloe to be able to have some of that support. It makes it very real, the stuff that's coming up, it makes it very real, because she would have family around her to help her and protect her. Because the plot is definitely going to thicken! It's really fun stuff. And I've always loved working with Patrika. She's hilarious and wonderful. We have such great chemistry, and we love working together. It feels good to be back.
soapcentral.com: I sense something juicy between the lines there! If you could sum up Chloe's summer without revealing so much that it gets you in trouble, what would you say?
Bjorlin: You can expect for Chloe to come back with a big bang and certainly for her and everyone else's life to be turned upside down. There's going to be a lot of drama and lot of shocking twists and turns. I know that's super vague, but it's really hard to not give too much away!
soapcentral.com: Would you say the drama is mostly centered around romance? I mean, there is this whole pregnancy thing that's going to blow up the canvas.
Bjorlin: Not necessarily! [Laughs] It's going to be juicy in the love department, but that's not really everything. There's going to be some other stuff, so you'll have to wait and see. Just when you think it's going to one way, you're like, "Wait, what?!" All of the actors have been realizing that lately, and we beg the writers to tell us what's happening, but they're like, "Nope!" It's cool.
What would you like to see for Chloe moving forward? Should she reunite with Philip? Or would you rather she see where things goo with Deimos, instead? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.