Deidre Hall and Drake Hogestyn of 'Days of Our Lives' talk balance in new book | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Deidre Hall and Drake Hogestyn of 'Days of Our Lives' talk balance in new book

Actors Deidre Hall and Drake Hogestyn pose during the 48th Monte Carlo television festival, Tuesday, June 10, 2008 in Monaco. The pair are featured in the new book "Days of our Lives Better Living: Cast Secrets for a Healthier Balanced Life." THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Lionel Cironneau

TORONTO - Onscreen, she's been possessed by the devil and survived a fall from the 30th floor of a building, among other outrageous plotlines. Meanwhile, his character has been shot, stabbed by a syringe and struck by a car.

But offscreen, "Days of Our Lives" cast members Deidre Hall and Drake Hogestyn — who play longtime on-again, off-again lovers Dr. Marlena Evans and John Black respectively — have had decidedly healthier journeys, which are outlined in the new book "Days of our Lives Better Living: Cast Secrets for a Healthier Balanced Life."

"I think what we're all saying is, it's balance," Hall, 66, said during a recent stop in Toronto.

"When you have a demanding job, as we have — which is not the way it used to be, but it's still demanding — and you have families and you have friends and you have a life outside and you have activities and you have hobbies, that's a very careful balance."

The glossy coffee-table-style hardback includes photos of stars of the daytime drama along with their tips for nutrition, exercise and spirituality.

Hall said she's been been passionate about nutrition since she was young and even joined the board of her children's school lunch program so she could make it healthier.

"Then at one point I got involved with the Child Nutrition Act and went to D.C. and campaigned for that renewal among members of Congress and wrote a book about it and planted a garden," said Hall, who joined the Emmy Award-winning soap in 1976.

Hogestyn was also into nutrition early in his career, having played professional baseball with a Yankees farm team in the '70s.

Still, it can be tough to find that balance while living in a TV world of hectic schedules and stress over whether your character will survive, they admit.

"There were some kids that came on the show years ago (saying): 'Mr. Hogestyn, I've watched you forever,'" said the 60-year-old, who joined the cast in 1986. "And I said, 'Let me show you something. You see my name? Watch how fast it comes off the door.'

"If you get your rest, if you don't go out and party, if you don't buy into the Soap Opera Digest magazine covers that you're the best thing since Wonder Bread and just be a professional, you can have a really good stay here, a really good life here."

For Hall and Hogestyn, it's been a particularly taxing ride, with their characters garnering "supercouple" status and a rabid fan base demanding more onscreen time for the duo.

"I remember when I first started and we had a different schedule. That first day I went, 'I don't think I can do this,'" said Hogestyn, who's known for his pronounced eyebrow raise.

Hall also felt the same way when she first signed on.

"We work year-round," she said. "We have one week off a month now, but we've got to crank it out all the time."

Hence cast member Alison Sweeney's decision to leave the show at the end of this year — more than two decades after signing on.

"When Alison Sweeney joined the show, she was such a wide-eyed kid and has taken over sort of the lead role on the show and works every day, and her scenes are long and complicated and demanding and she has just said, 'My kids need me now, I can't keep doing it,'" said Hall.

"You can't get that time back," added Hogestyn. "All my kids, I watched them grow up in the bed. I'd come home and they'd all be asleep, I'd kiss their foreheads, I'd get three to four hours of sleep, I'd wake up and I'd kiss their foreheads again."

Hall said the cast is "devastated" Sweeney is leaving.

But they understand that she wants to be there for her kids, and they note she can still return to the show.

"This is a big family on 'Days of Our Lives' and you will orbit in and you can orbit back out," said Hogestyn.

He and Hall have already left and come back, in some cases after their characters were presumed dead.

Working together for so long requires "kindness, gentleness, generosity," said Hall.

"We genuinely like each other, we love each other, and I think that translates," added Hogestyn. "Obviously people pick that up on camera. We complete each other's thoughts.

"She's often said we're a safety net for each other, which we are."


Follow @VictoriaAhearn on Twitter.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2014
The Canadian Press

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