EXCLUSIVE: DAYS' Eric Martsolf Gets Real About Eileen Davidson, "Bristen" and Brady Black Being an Addict, Not an Idiot
Brady Black's (Eric Martsolf) shocking, sinful dalliance with Kristen DiMera (Eileen Davidson)—his father's ex-lover, who once tried to kill his stepmother—has brought the House of Black crumbling down on NBC Daytime's Days of Our Lives.
I caught up with Martsolf at the recent Days of Our Lives Charity Event for Autism Speaks in Atlanta.The hunky actor dished what it's been like working with soap legend Davidson. He also shared how glad he is Brady is no longer hopping from relationship to relationship. Martsolf then revealed his belief that Brady turning a blind eye to Kristen's manipulations doesn't mean he's stupid, it just means he's addicted to love.
Daytime Confidential: Brady is in one of the hottest pairings on soaps right now, with Kristen.
Eric Martsolf: I like that.
DC: Are you happy? They've put Brady with so many girls over the course of the last few years and it was kind of just hit or miss. Now you're in a pairing that is red-hot!
EM: Thank you for the comment. I'm ecstatic and I was ecstatic when I found out I was going to be working with Eileen. I hadn't met Eileen, but like almost everybody in this room I've spoke to, they all remember her as Ashley on The Young and the Restless. I myself remember her as Ashley and being impressed with her. I think the opportunity to work with her has been terrific. Thank God they actually took some time to invest in a relationship with Brady, because you're right. It's been very...just jumping from lilypad to lilypad. It's like, when is this frog gonna find a home? They have invested in it. It's under interesting circumstances, but that's what makes good soap.
DC: It's Oedipal, Greek tragedy. I remember when Kristen was almost a step-parent to little boy Brady. Now she's calling him Daddy!
EM: Yeah, now it's "Who's Your Daddy?" [Laughs]
(Eric gets pulled away temporarily.)
DC: You were telling me what it's like working with Eileen.
EM: She's a veteran, of course, but she doesn't act like a veteran. She comes to work every day and she's genuinely enthusiastic about what we're doing and the scenes that we have. Even if they're on the page, seemingly typical and not much is going on, she's always finding something interesting to do. I think that's probably why she's so successful, because she tends to make something out of seemingly nothing. That's fun as an actor.
DC: The storyline has been deliciously soapy, but a lot of fans have said they can't believe Brady is this clueless. He's John Black's son and he can't figure out she's playing him? Do you think maybe he's seeing what he wants to be the end result — that she really does love him?
EM: Absolutely. I think Brady is an addict. He's a drug addict. He's a power addict and he's also a love addict. I think the guy, and addicts in general, don't really know what they're doing until someone slaps them across the face as hard as they can, puts them in rehab and says, "This is what you were doing wrong". I think right now, people are kind of confusing stupidity with addiction. When you're an addict, you really don't care what everyone else is telling you. You think you have control over what is going on.
DC: So he's addicted to Kristen?
EM: I think Kristen could pull as much wool over his eyes as she wants to, and he's not going to see the light until a bomb goes off.
DC: How is Brady reconciling what this relationship is doing to his father?
EM: His relationship with his dad is very, very tainted at this point. Brady made the decision to get involved with his father's ex-girlfriend. Their bond [John and Brady's], it's on the cutting board right now, because of pure jealousy. He truly believes his dad still has some feelings for this woman. How rough is it for a father to watch his son going down this path, he's determined is going to lead him into a hellhole?
DC: And now it's wrecked John and Marlena's marriage.
EM: I know. It's been a relationship divider all around.