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Daytime Icons Stephen Nichols and A. Martinez Reflect on the Success of Steve and Kayla and Cruz and Eden

Kin Shriner, Stephen Nichols, A Martinez, Doug
Davidson, Don Diamont and Michael. E. Knight.
Photo Credit: Ramona Rosales
Michael Logan from TV Insider recently sat down with soap superstars Kin Shriner (Scotty Baldwin, General Hospital), Stephen Nichols (“Patch” Johnson, Days of our Lives), A Martinez (Cruz Castillo, Santa Barbara), Doug Davidson (Paul Williams, The Young and the Restless), Don Diamont (Brad Carlton, Y&R) and Michael E. Knight (Tad “the Cad” Martin, All My Children) where they spoke about stardom and survival in the soap world.

Super Couples were all the rage in the 1980s, and who better to talk about successful couples than A. Martinez and Stephen Nichols! Steve and Kayla (Mary Beth Evans) and Cruz and Eden (Marcy Walker) were magical together.

Martinez: Stephen and Mary Beth Evans [Kayla] have survived what’s largely perceived to be unsurvivable—playing out a romance on TV for 30 years. How do they still do it? You always hear stories of people who play lovers and how it so often hits the rocks and how they wind up not being able to tolerate each other off camera. With Marcy Walker [Eden on Santa Barbara], I remember being really concerned about how we could have all that intimacy on screen and not have it mess with us. And it did mess with us. We were lucky because we fought our way out of that, but a lot of actors don’t. It can eat you alive.

Nichols: Mary Beth and I have had our ups and downs, but there is such a deep level of trust between us. We’re not afraid to tell each other anything—or tell each other off—and it has helped us stay connected. When things are rocky with us and a scene just isn’t working, Mary Beth will say, “Look in my eyes. Look in my eyes.” And we’re instantly where we need to be. I know actors who’ve been partnered for years and have a very contentious relationship. I’d have to walk away from that. I would have to say, “I can’t do this job.”

Martinez: Cruz and Eden only happened because Santa Barbara wasn’t clicking with the audience. Everyone was looking for a solution and [executive producer] Jill Phelps thought it was worth taking a chance on us. They wrote three episodes for Marcy and me—some kind of situation where we were trapped together—and Jill said, “You’ve got three days. This is your shot. Make it work. You can make excuses that the writing is inconsistent, or that you don’t like the directors, or you can basically decide to succeed. Your choice.” And it worked.

You can read the full interview with all six daytime icons here

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