After a career of playing sexy leading men, soap opera vet Greg Vaughan (ex-Diego Guttierez, The Bold and the Beautiful; ex-Lucky Spencer, General Hospital) is back on the daytime scene in a unique role. He’s playing Eric Brady, a Roman Catholic priest, on Days of Our Lives. While it’s a bit of a stretch for Vaughan, he’s been handling it with ease. “I just took from my upbringing, absorbed my experiences, and applied it,” notes the actor. Vaughan discusses his latest acting challenge, leading ladies Arianne Zucker (Nicole) and Alison Sweeney (Sami), and whether or not he thinks there’s a rendition of The Thornbirds in his Salem future.
When you learned you’d be playing a priest, was there any part of you that was hesitant or nervous?
I was like, Really? Can I do this? Are people going to take me seriously? But that’s the thing about being an actor. You want to be taken out of your comfort level. The challenging part for me is convincing people and to make them stop looking at the collar and focus on what I’m communicating.
A handsome guy portraying a man of God conjures up thoughts of The Thornbirds. Have you given any thought to perhaps playing that kind of story, down the line?
That thought never even crossed my mind, not to this day. Personally, I don’t think of it as, How long is this going to last? I hope they keep me in this [collar] for a while.
Your wife (model/actress Touriya Haoud) has got to love you playing this role. She doesn’t have to worry about seeing you in bed with other women onscreen. Has she said anything about that?
As long as I’m bringing home the bacon, it doesn’t matter. We have a wonderfully respectful and trustworthy relationship and three beautiful boys. That’s never been a question. She knows what comes with the territory as I do. She did a movie opposite Ryan Philippe and had a little romantic love scene. I’ve had romantic scenes. The list is too long to even go through... She’s like, “You know what? Go. Whatever.” She’s European. It’s not something that gives her trust issues or anything whatsoever.
You’re playing Sami’s twin. Did that require getting together with Alison Sweeney beforehand, so the two of you could bond and discuss that relationship?
After I was cast and before I came on board and started filming Days, I did a Hallmark movie, Two In, which actually co-starred Alison Sweeney. It’s a romantic comedy coming out around Valentine's Day. We play love interests. She’s a 911 operator; I’m a fireman. We decided to focus on the movie, and whatever translated to Days translated. It’s been like night and day. A 180 difference. It’s a whole other world playing brother and sister. One minute, we’re all soft and cuddly; the next minute, we’re punching each other. (Laughs).
You screentested with Arianne Zucker (Nicole), who you’ve been working with closely. What has that been like?
It’s been phenomenal. She’s brilliant, and I have a great respect for her. She’s been a team player and a great book of knowledge for me any time I need it.
You knew Ari before joining the show, didn’t you?
Yes. We were already friends, off canvas. Having been on daytime for ten years, we’ve done a lot of the same award shows and events. I also knew Ari, because one of my ex-girlfriends (Julianne Morris, ex-Greta Von Amburg) used to be on the show.
We’d go out to parties and events with a lot of people from Corday Productions.
Was it important for you to come onto Days as a core member of the Brady family as opposed to a random new character?
Yes. It was very important to me. One of my many questions before I considered [joining the show] is I wanted to know that there was going to be a bloodline, that there was going to be longevity. I didn’t want to just come in and be an arc. I said, “If I’m going to commit to this I’m going to give you 150 per cent of me.” They said, “This is going to be as important for us as it is for you.” We kind of had a nice meeting of the minds on the matter. I’m excited about where we are now and moving ahead to what’s going to be [next].