Days of our Lives' Arianne Zucker just earned her fifth Daytime Emmy nomination for her work as Nicole Walker, and the actress has her fingers crossed that in her case, the fifth time will be the charm. She has yet to take home the gold in her 24-year history with the NBC soap, but this year could be the game-changer.
"[Lead Actress] is a strong category, and you think [what's on your reel] is your best work, but we're our own worst critics all of the time, of course, and so, it was really a blessing to know that I was nominated," Zucker shares in an interview with Michael Fairman. "I really loved the scenes. Greg Vaughan [Eric Brady] always brings it for me when we're working together and we have emotional scenes. So, hopefully this will be the one this year. Who knows?"
The Emmy-nominated scenes she's referring to are some of the more dramatic moments that happened when Eric returned from his eight-month trip in Africa.
"He had found out at our party that we threw together that I had cheated on him with Xander [Paul Telfer]," the actress shares of what she submitted on her reel. "It was basically him leaving, going back to Africa to do his good work, and really taking responsibility, both 50/50, because he was gone for so long, and we had just gotten married."
She continues, "Is it right to cheat? No. But is it right for him to be gone for so long? No, not so much, either. So, those were the scenes I submitted. I feel like they were really well-written, realistic, adult scenes where you're having to leave somebody that you absolutely love but it just doesn't make sense for the two of you."
Zucker shares that after scenes in which she has to put herself through such an emotional roller coaster, she likes to lighten the mood on set before she heads home for the day.
"I definitely like to leave my scenes on stage, so, when I used to have all my emotional scenes and crying scenes, I'd say to one of our camera guys, 'Mark, tell me a joke!' Because it's so heavy -- your body doesn't know the difference, you know? It just knows that you're upset," she says. "So, I always try to throw a joke in there whenever I can."
Speaking of jokes, the actress says that when the publicist for DAYS contacted her to let her know that she'd been nominated this year, her first thought was that she was in trouble! Once she realized that the publicist was actually calling with good news, she freaked out -- in a good way, of course.
"I called Shawn [Christian, ex-Daniel Jonas] and he was busy, so, I texted him and I left him a message that was like, 'Guess who got nominated?! I'll give you one guess!' And I, strangely enough, didn't tell my parents until the next day; I forgot!" she says with a laugh, adding that she also reached out to her daughter, Isabella, before she and Shawn had to go to Isabella's school for an open house night. "Shawn and I had some time, and we quickly went and got a margarita, because it was Cinco de Mayo, right? So, we had some nice tequila breath for the open house and the teachers!"
As for what's ahead for Nicole in the next few weeks, Zucker jokes that it's business as usual. "Nicole has been such a relatively good girl for the last few years, so, you can expect some more good girl. Really exciting! Riveting," she says with a laugh, adding, "The one thing I do love about this character is she always has some sort of emotional turmoil, and I think that will be revving up a little bit in the next weeks for sure."
What do you think about Ari Zucker being nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award? What did you think about her work as Nicole last year? Do you think the actress will finally take home the gold during the 2022 Daytime Emmy Awards? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.