|Staci Greason with Drake Hogestyn|
Staci Greason has officially announced that she's leaving Days of our Lives, effective October 31, after three years on the show. (Her last airdate will be around the middle of November.)
"I've been faced with the decision [to re-sign or resign] for a long time," Greason says. "Before Christmas DAYS asked me to stay on for two years." Although the actress had never intended to remain with the soap past her original agreement, she did weigh her options carefully.
"I was really hesitant about leaving for financial reasons," she admits. The turning point was when "I started seeing myself turning into someone that I didn't want to be," Greason explains. "I was getting too tired and too cranky. Also, as an artist, there's always that fear of getting too comfortable. And DAYS has become too comfortable. It's like high school," she continues. "Now, it's time to graduate, but not in a bad sense. I've learned from this experience."
Greason recalls some wonderful times on DAYS. "I've had so much fun with Drake Hogestyn (John). We laugh so much. And I'll never forget the time Isabella got stuck in an elevator with Johnny Corelli (played by Antony Alda). I never laughed so hard in my whole life. I also enjoyed working with a couple of the directors, especially Bill Ludel."
Greason blushes before confiding her most memorable outtake to Soap Opera Weekly. "Isabella was meeting Roman, when Drake was still Roman, at a cabin," she says. "She comes out of the bathroom in a towel. I was supposed to fall into his arms and drop the towel; I had on a body stocking. But as I threw up my arms-- because I have no breasts-- my body stocking also fell to my waist. There I was standing topless in front of everyone."
Fans, who have heard rumors of Greason's probable departure from DAYS, have been writing her for weeks. "I've been getting a lot of mail. Many people are very upset," she says. "They've said things like, 'We've supported you all this time. How could you do this to us?' I find that kind of strange. I feel I've worked really hard these last three years. I've given it my best through numerous producers and head writers. It's time to go give my best somewhere else, whether it's acting, writing, directing -- whatever's out there next. That's the great part about life."
Greason's first post-Isabella venture will be a six-week holiday in Europe with her roommate. "I've never been there, and that's what I want to do-- take time off and travel," she says. "We'll start in Paris and work our way down. Then we're going to Italy."
When she returns, Greason plans to start auditioning. "I had gotten to the point where I thought I didn't like acting anymore," she notes. "Then, when I was in New York for the Daytime Emmys, I went to see The Secret Garden, I felt like I was 10 years old again. I realized I still love acting, it just has to be in a different form."
Whatever her next project may be, she has to play Izzy B's last days in Salem, because DAYS won't be recasting the part. "The other day I told (DAYS co-executive producer) Tom Langan, 'If you recast, I hope the girl's just terrible and Drake hates working with her,'" laughs Greason. "I was just kidding. I realize DAYS has to do what's best for the show."
A dramatic exit is planned for Isabella. "I'm very excited about that," Greason says. "If it's written well, it will be a really good story....a real story. It's not a story about lockets or chains or faraway mystical places or cruises. It's a real story about what happens between two people."