‘Days of Our Lives’: Stars Reveal Secrets of Filming Love Scenes

Since 1965 Days of Our Lives has been enthralling fans with its epic romances. The NBC soap opera created supercouples such as Bo and Hope Brady (Peter Reckell and Kristian Alfonso) and John Black (Drake Hogestyn), and Marlena Evans (Deidre Hall). As with any soap opera courtship, love scenes are a must. So how do the actors prep for filming?

'Days of Our Lives' actor Stephen Nichols in black shirt, jacket, and hat, and Mary Beth Evans in a white blouse pose on the red carpet at a SoapNet party.
Stephen Nichols and Mary Beth Evans I David Livingston/Getty Images

‘Days of Our Lives’ stars Mary Beth Evans and Stephen Nichols are comfortable with love scenes

Most soap opera actors agree love scenes can be awkward, but having the right onscreen partner makes things better. Stephen Nichols and Mary Beth Evans are veteran actors who are used to this type of work. Their characters Steve Johnson and Kayla Brady, are a famous Days of Our Lives couple. The couple’s onscreen chemistry is credited with Nichols and Evans’ real-life friendship.

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In an interview with SoapCentral.com, Evans reveals how easy it is to film love scenes with Nichols. “Because Stephen and I know each other so well, we already know what those things are with each other, number one, and number two, we’re just so comfortable with each other,” she explained. Although Steve and Kayla have had a lot of romantic moments, directors used a body double for the couple’s first love scene due to Evans’ pregnancy.

The scenes are too choreographed

Onscreen loves scenes look perfect and send the hearts of fans racing. However, behind-the-scenes rehearsals help the actors get into the moment. Although this is an important step in filming, for actors it can be a hassle. “The sex scenes are the most technically complex things that we do. They’re so choreographed when so much of the other stuff isn’t, so there’s so much you have to think about that it never really becomes sexy,” Nadia Bjorlin explained to Soap Central.

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Victoria Konefal, who plays Ciara Brady on the soap, was nervous about her love scene with Robert Scott Wilson. As Days of Our Lives popular young couple Ciara and Ben, expectations were high for the couple’s first time hitting the sheets. In a 2019 interview with Soap Opera Digest, Konefal explained filming was nerve-wracking due to her being topless and the crew members around. Despite the uncomfortableness, Konefal was happy with the result. “I think it came out pretty good, and the fans seemed to love it, so it made me feel better about the situation.”

How the Covid-19 pandemic changed filming for ‘Days of Our Lives’?

Like many other soap operas, Days of Our Lives was affected by the coronavirus pandemic. New guidelines changed the production, including filming love scenes. When newer episodes aired following the shutdown, there was little physical contact with the actors. However, the producers had a solution for loves scenes.

In an interview with Backstage.com, Eric Martsolf revealed his wife was on standby if needed as a body double. Aside from using the actors’ real-life partners, the show also has its cast and crew tested every day for filming. Although the new guidelines are for everyone’s health and safety, it’s hurt production. In the past, the soap opera was able to film seven to nine episodes a week; now, it’s been reduced to five.