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Patrika Darbo from 'Days' to 'Desperate Housewives' and Back

The Actress Tells All about Her Two Favorite Soaps


Patrika Darbo from 'Days' to 'Desperate Housewives' and Back

Patrika Darbo

Courtesy: Getty Images/Michael Loccisano

Fan favorite Patrika Darbo is back on the Days of Our Lives set resurrecting her role as troublemaker extraordinaire Nancy Wesley. What brings the character back to Salem and might she be avenging anyone who crossed her daughter, Chloe, while she was gone? Darbo dishes it all; plus, weighs in on what it was like guesting on the series finale of Desperate Housewives.

Welcome back. How did your return come about?
They called my agent and asked if I was I available. I said I was, we worked things out, and I’m back. I’ve always said that [being on daytime] was some of the most fun I’ve ever had. It was also the hardest work I’ve ever done. Of course, now I’m back going, “Oh my God! I’m older, and my brain is older. Look at all these words.”

What can you share about your first day?
I saw Ali (Sweeney, Sami) and Bryan (Datillo, Lucas). They were both very sweet. They welcomed me back. I also got to see my “daughter” (Nadia Bjorlin, Chloe) and Shawn Christian (Daniel). He reminded me that we had met at a Kentucky Derby party back in January. I taped a bunch of phone calls my first day, which was pretty easy.

Why is Nancy coming back to Salem?
She’s going to be supporting her daughter; whether she’s right or whether she’s wrong. Family takes care of family.

What’s it like working with Nadia again?
We just fell right back into it. Besides being two actors who play mother and daughter, we are also friends. We have continued to be friends even though I haven’t been on the show. We see each other. I see her family.

Will we be seeing a different Nancy, this time around, or is she the same conniving woman she always was?
Ohhhhhhh. The bitch is back. Do not mess with mine. Don’t mess with anybody who belongs to me.

Does the character hit the ground running, when you resurface?
Nancy’s not a runner. Nancy sort of just saunters in, looks around, and makes a plan. She’s like the queen of the spiders. She sits in the middle of her web, weaving and weaving.

Is there any mention of Nancy’s husband, Craig?
No, except for the fact that he and Joy are at home. We acknowledge that they’re home and send their best to Daniel. Nancy’s there to take care of Chloe.

Has there been any explanation as to where Nancy’s been the last few years? Because Chloe’s life has been a mess and she really could have used her mother.
It really hasn’t come up... As far as back story, there has to be something that was going on that Nancy couldn’t be there. I don’t think some of the things that happened to Chloe would have happened, if Nancy had been there. However, she’s back now, and she might start taking care of those people who hurt her daughter.

Did you know that Chloe was a hooker, while you were gone?
Look out Kate! (Laughs) Nancy is there to help her daughter for however long she’s back... Nancy has always been [all about] protecting her child.

While you were gone from Days, you got to guest on the finale of Desperate Housewives. What was that like?
While I was gone, I got to do two Desperate Housewives. I played Jean the seamstress. The first episode, I worked with Eva Longoria. On the finale, it was Vanessa Williams. It was very flattering of them to ask me to reprise a role. They could have cast anybody else to do that.

Was it an enjoyable experience?
It was. I found that that was a loyal set. They took care of their own. It was kind of like my experience with Days, where the same people were playing maitre d’s in restaurants and nurses for years. That was one of the best parts about being on Desperate Housewives. It was family oriented. People were close. It was a nice set. And I’ve been on some sets where you stay in your trailer until they want you to come out, because it’s not safe.

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