It’s been nearly five years since Carrie Brady was last in Salem, but come the new year—January 11, to be exact—fan favorite Christie Clark returns to Days of our Lives. Joining her is TV husband Austin Peck, who she last worked with nearly 10 years ago. (“That’s so crazy!” Clark exclaims.) While Clark—who has been playing Carrie on and off since 1986—is only scheduled to be back for “six or seven episodes” this time around, she teases the possibility of more, especially now that Carrie and Austin have an expanding family (but more on that below).
So, what brings one of daytime’s favorite super couples back to the fold? And what other major character from the past is returning with them? In this exclusive interview, Clark fills us in on what’s to come, how her return happened, and why the role of Carrie is more empowering than ever.
Glamour: I’m thrilled you’re back. How did your return come about?
Christie Clark: It was a simple email this time saying, “Do you want to come back?” and I always say yes. It’s always so much fun to fill out Carrie Brady’s shoes and get all glammed up, so it was that simple.
Glamour: Patrick Muldoon played Austin the last time we saw you guys on screen, but this time it’s Austin Peck who’s returning with you. When did they tell you that?
Christie: They told me straight away. They know that Patrick and I are great dear friends, as are Austin Peck and I. I was thrilled because I haven’t worked with Austin Peck for quite some time, and it had been a while because he had been on the east coast. It was absolutely lovely to see him and work with him.
Glamour: You, Austin Peck, and Patrick Muldoon were all at the 50th anniversary party last year too.
Christie: We were, we were! My two Austins. It was great, and they hit it off, which was nice. They hadn’t really met each other [before], so I think they enjoyed hanging out.
Glamour: Who else did you love catching up with at the 50th celebration?
Christie: Well, obviously, Ali Sweeney, Kristian Alfonso, Galen Gering. Kate Mansi—[Kate and I] got ready together for that party. We hang out quite a bit. And then the one I was most excited about because it had been so long was Amy Yasbeck. She was on Days [in the late ’80s]. She was John Black’s love interest (Olivia Reed) when Deidre [Hall] wasn’t on the show. It was Genie Francis (Diana Colville) and Amy who were his love interests. We were great friends, though I was a little girl, but she was so kind to me when I was very young. We were just over the moon to see each other [at the 50th].
Glamour: You mentioned Galen Gering. Last time Carrie was in Salem, she and Rafe had quite the heated storyline.
Christie: I couldn’t control myself! I had to leave town! [Laughs]
Glamour: Do you and Galen share any scenes together this time around?
Christie: We did! Galen and I had a lot of fun, so it was really nice [to see him again]. He had six shows to film that day, so luckily we went straight to it. We didn’t really have time to rehearse, but because we have so much fun together the scenes worked well. It was nice to work with him again.
Glamour: But it’s all about Carrie and Austin now, and they are parents!
Christie: Yes! Finally! Geez! Woohoo!
Glamour: So do we finally meet the baby?
Christie: No! I know, I know, I know! It’s a little boy, and you’ll have to tune in to find out his name. It’s terribly exciting that Carrie finally has a child with Austin. It’s awesome!
Glamour: Getting back to Austin Peck, what was your first memory when you met him?
Christie: This is going to sound horrible, but I was a bit boy obsessed during that period of my life. He had to take off his shirt, and I don’t know if you remember Austin Peck’s body, but it’s one of the best in the business, that’s for sure. [Laughs] It’s absolutely stunning, what looks like an eight-pack, if that’s possible. [I was always] trying to act cool like “Wow, OK, this is who I get to be in scenes with, this is terrible exciting.” I’m blushing right now just thinking about that!
Glamour: Did you ever tell him that?
Christie: Well, he knows that…sadly, his shirt was off for him all the time. Happily for me and all the other ladies on the set it was off all the time, but he loved it. He knows what he has underneath those clothes! We’ve had a vote [with some of the other actresses who used to work with him on Days], and he’s the best kisser that any of us have ever experienced in acting on Days of our Lives world. So he knows that…[Laughs].
Glamour: Meanwhile, Leann Hunley (Anna) is back for this storyline with Carrie. What was that like?
Christie: So thrilling. When I came in 1986, she was just leaving the show. So, we had maybe four episodes total together. And that’s Carrie’s mom—her real mom—and that’s a huge thing to have your mom leave you. I just felt like that storyline was never touched on very much, so it was just awesome to have that storyline with her [now] and to work with her. She’s a really wonderful actress. Each time it’s a different scene that she plays. She’s so fun to kind of just ride the wave with. I enjoyed that immensely.
Glamour: Without giving too much away, Carrie has to rescue Anna because she’s trying to make Stefano pay for what she did to her and Tony. What do you love about this story in particular?
Christie: The fact that Carrie’s mom left her—I mean, she had Marlena and John, who raised her mostly, and then Roman hopped into the picture—I love that Carrie has turned into the woman that she is. She’s a high-flying lawyer that oddly enough can practice law in all different countries I just found out. [Laughs] That’s really spectacular! She’s got her shit together considering she should have some mommy issues, so I’m just proud of who she’s become.
Glamour: It’s nice to see a woman coming to the rescue instead of it being the guy, which is normally how it is.
Christie: Yes. Absolutely, to have Carrie be the strong, clever, independent woman that could wrap things up and take care of her family and get a result is huge.
Glamour: Stefano figures into your storyline. At the time you taped your episodes, his portrayer, Joe Mascolo, was still alive. Given his recent passing, what are some of your favorite memories of working with him?
Christie: Joe was always just a wise soul who gave advice and was cracking jokes constantly. The first time I worked with him—I think it was ’86 or ’87—and Stefano had kidnapped Carrie and, I think, Kayla. Patch and everybody was looking for us back in the day, and [Joe] kind of scared me with that deep voice. I was only 11, but he was the all-powerful Stefano! I remember all that. He was just always helpful with acting and directing and always willing to drop hints to the younger actors. I do remember he always had scotch [in his dressing room] because Stefano was always drinking. [Laughs] He would say, “You can’t have any yet, but one day maybe you too can have some real scotch!”
Glamour: Oh my God. Did you ever have some with him once you turned 21?
Christie: Yes, definitely, at the anniversary parties and such. Cigars and scotch, out by the fire pit. I remember one time, me, Joe, and a couple of the directors, I think I was green the next day from trying to hang with the boys, but that’s OK. [Laughs]
Glamour: I remember Drake Hogestyn telling me a few years ago that the minute Joe drove up to the set, he was Stefano. He never broke character while he was there, even if he was on a break.
Christie: Never. I remember being at a party with him outside of the set, and it was so strange to hear his real voice. You just only heard the Stefano voice on the set.
Glamour: The way that your story ends this time around, is there a chance that Carrie and Austin will return with their baby?
Christie: I think there’s a huge chance. You know, they’ve never been in Salem without Sami, and it’s a different thing and it would be exciting to experience that. I have a feeling that if Austin and Carrie were in Salem, Sami would not be far behind. I don’t think she could help herself with getting back to Salem. There’s so much to tell as far as [Austin’s] mother issues [and] Carrie’s mother issues. It would be so much fun to explore so many different elements of these characters and maybe have a second child, and just dealing with being a lawyer, a mother. and life.
Glamour: What’s next for you in 2017?
Christie: I’ve just got a lot of creativity flowing at the moment. All three of my kids are finally in school from 8 A.M. to 2:30 P.M. I need to feel like I have my life back! [Laughs] It’s been spectacular to raise them, but goodness it’s fun to have them in school! I’ve got a lot of projects that I’m working with some friends…some movies that they’ve been writing, and I’m going to do some producing. I’m excited just to get my feet back into the creativity of making productions or movies. And I’m taking a jewelry design course, so creativity, man! I’m just so excited to have some time for myself.
Days of our Lives airs weekdays on NBC.