Former Days of our Lives star Kate Mansi (ex-Abigail Deveraux) is thrilled to have landed a Daytime Emmy nomination in this year's Outstanding Supporting Actress category. Find out what made her decide to skip out on submitting herself as a lead actress like in years past and how it feels for her to return to daytime after deciding to walk away from the genre last year.
soapcentral.com: Congratulations on your nomination!
Kate Mansi: Thank you! I can't even imagine. It's really cool.
soapcentral.com: How did you find out that you'd been nominated?
Mansi: Well, Maya [from our publicity department] had called me, she FaceTimed me and told me. And right at the same time, my director and the AD on the film I just wrapped, called Baby Moon, they are in Bermuda, and they were watching, so I hung up with Maya and was so excited and still digesting it, and then they sent me this big congratulations video, screaming and so excited, because when I was putting my final reel together, I was simultaneously shooting this film in Bermuda, and there was a huge, huge storm that was happening actually, and so I could not get the reel to load, the one they had submitted to me. We were shooting in a hotel, and I had to go down to the bottom of the kitchen in a corner to try and get service to look at the thing and get back to Deliah [in our publicity department] and tell her, "Okay, I think I want to do this and that," so they were kind of with me during the whole journey of it, which was exciting for us.
soapcentral.com: Did you know immediately that you wanted to submit yourself, even though you had made the decision to leave the daytime world?
Mansi: Yeah, I definitely wanted to submit. But I wasn't sure I wanted to submit in leading category this year. I mean, I submitted in that one before, but this year, I felt like it wasn't really fair to all of the women who have been working on some of these shows all year long. I just felt like it wasn't really appropriate. So it was a decision we made to go into supporting because, for me, it just felt like that was really more true to my work there and the amount of work I did.
soapcentral.com: What scenes did you end up submitting?
Mansi: It's so funny, I totally went back and forth with so many, and ultimately, I ended up submitting the scenes that, for me, they felt the most truthful. Blake Berris [ex-Nick Fallon] and I are still very good friends, and I asked his opinion on what I should submit, and he looked at the two choices I had and he said, "You know, this is not a battle of the head, it's a battle of the heart, and you have to go with what pulls you emotionally, because that's going to pull other people in." And that really reminded me that no matter what the outcome was, I wanted to submit something that I felt good about. So I submitted the scenes where I'm with Ben [Robert Scott Wilson], lighting him on fire, seducing him up to the bedroom and then lighting him on fire, and then when Chad [Billy Flynn] comes in and stops me and then I run downstairs and I'm explaining to Chad what happened as I'm holding Thomas. And then the next episode was checking myself into the mental institution. I submitted that whole section because I felt like it was a really complete part of the arc for the character, and mental health is so, so important to me, and I spent so much time diving into mental illness for this character, that we found the scenes where I'm committing myself into the institution with Chad, which just broke my heart. And Billy and I, in the moment, we felt really heartbroken doing those scenes, so I knew that felt right. And then I ended with a scene that I had with J.J. [Casey Moss] that ends on a more realistic, calm note instead of the chaotic place that Abigail was in before.
soapcentral.com: Even just the couple of scenes that you just described makes me remember just how much material you had last year, and how much great material you had.
Mansi: I know, it was so much. And it's really not just about you when you're submitting. There were some scenes that I felt so good in, because my costar or whoever I was working with, felt so connected. There are so many different things to consider in your choice.
soapcentral.com: Did the new rules this year make it easier for you? Or did it actually make the decision process more difficult?
Mansi: To be honest, Maya and Deliah were so helpful to me in this process, and they said, "Just because you can submit a lot, try to stick to submitting stuff that you feel is powerful on its own and not get swayed by the option to have more time." And that really helped me. I don't think I needed as much time as they were giving this year. I think I just submitted something under ten minutes or something like that.
soapcentral.com: Actually I think that's helpful for the judges as well, the judges who have to watch the material. No matter how stellar your reel is, there comes a point when it's just too much.
Mansi: Yeah, totally. I was judging this year also, and I remember part of it I was judging when I was in Bermuda, and I didn't have any Internet because of that storm, so I was running around the hotel, trying to get service, and I remember the ones that felt like really, really concise and specific [felt better]. There's a point where you can just continue adding material, but if you can really cut back and trim the fat and just submit exactly what those power scenes are for you, those were the most powerful ones that I saw, as well, in other people's reels.
soapcentral.com: How does it feel for you to come back to the daytime world after being gone for a period of time?
Mansi: Yeah, it's so funny because I was just thinking about that. Mary Beth [Evans, Kayla] just called me to congratulate me, and bless that woman, since last year even, she's been saying, "You're going to win this year. You're going to get an Emmy this year." And I'm like, "Okay, settle down!" But we're really good friends, and... we were just saying how great it is that I get to see everybody again. So for me, it's going to be really fun for me to see all my friends again, because when does that happen? And it is interesting because I'm definitely in a different place now. That character is always going to be a part of me, and that story is one that I really feel blessed to have had and feel really lucky to have executed, but it's a different angle now.
soapcentral.com: You must be so excited for Billy, who made it into the lead category.
Mansi: Of course! And James Lastovic [Joey Johnson] I'm so excited for. And John Aniston, there are so many. I mean, I'm really bummed to not see Kristian [Hope Brady] there. It is bittersweet, because this is my fifth year now and my last year now to ever be included in this. I do feel also that weighed down feeling of sort of like it's really heavy. No matter how you play it, it's the sport of the game; it still stings when you don't see your name on the list. So I feel for all those people who should have been on there and weren't. We all should be, but I'm lucky that I'm on it.
soapcentral.com: You just said it's the last year you'll ever be included, so does that mean you're absolutely sure you don't have any desire to come back sometime in the future?
Mansi: Well, I mean with Abigail and my story that was, right now, that is what it is. But who knows what the future holds? That's the last time for that run of it.
soapcentral.com: Do you have any plans to celebrate your nomination?
Mansi: My sister has identical twin boys that are only a few months old, so all of my plans lately have surrounded around them. I am so excited to just go squeeze them. So we'll probably make a big dinner and be with all the family and stuff. But yeah, I'm really so excited and so happy for Days of our Lives. And again, it took me back, when I was creating my reel also. This was a role of a lifetime for me. It changed my whole life, and regardless of the results and the outcome now, this is a really nice honor. But I've already been given such a great experience there. I'm really lucky.
soapcentral.com: Will you be attending the ceremony?
Mansi: Yes, I will be! Of course. I can't wait. My sister's wedding is the day before, so I'm going to have to do some extensive travel rescheduling, but yes, I will be there.
soapcentral.com: Do you have any idea what you might wear? Or do you still have to go hunting for an outfit?
Mansi: Oh, gosh, I don't know! Maya will probably have to help, as she's done before.
soapcentral.com: Maybe the dress you wear for your sister's wedding will be so spectacular, it works for both?
Mansi: I know, right? That would be so funny to come straight from the wedding and go straight there! Actually, I'm wearing a pantsuit to the wedding, because I love men's inspired clothes, so I'm wearing a pale lavender pantsuit. So if you see that, it means I literally just got right off the plane!
soapcentral.com: Is there anything else you want to add?
Mansi: I'm just so grateful for the exciting news, and I'm so thrilled for the nominees, and I'm really honored to be included with all of those women.
What do you think about Mansi receiving a Daytime Emmy Award nomination? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.