Days of our Lives fans are in for one heck of a ride this summer, because Olivia Rose Keegan is bringing her troublemaking character, Claire Brady, back to Salem. We caught up with the actress to get her thoughts on how much her alter ego has changed -- if at all -- since her stay in Bayview, and also to celebrate the actress' recent Daytime Emmy nomination in the Outstanding Younger Performer category. Will her third nomination be the charm that leads to a win?
Soap Central: Congratulations on your Emmy nomination!
Olivia Rose Keegan: Thank you! Thank you so much.
Soap Central: You must be so excited!
Keegan: Yes, it definitely does not get any less humbling or exciting, especially this year. I did not have my hopes up this year at all, because they combined the male and female contenders into one category for the Young Actor category, so I was very pleasantly surprised.
Soap Central: I was surprised that it ended up being all girls, actually. I was like, "Whoa, girl power!"
Keegan: I know, right? I do have to say I was also surprised, because I know how many talented young guys there are in the daytime community, but I mean, I think there's something cool to be said that for, you know? It's a woman's year!
Soap Central: How do you feel about the other talented performers that you share the category with?
Keegan: Oh, my God, they're my peers that I look up to, and I'm honored to be in the same category as them. Especially Thia [Megia, Haley Chen]. She did a beautiful job with the material that she was given, and she's just such an awesome person inside and out, and I am so beyond thrilled for her because she was just absolutely [stunning in her scenes]; it's so well deserved.
Soap Central: Does it feel any more or less competitive when you're up against friends or people from your own show versus the others?
Keegan: It does not really make a difference, no. I don't think it matters whether you happen to be on the same show. I just feel honored to be able to have witnessed her do awesome work in front of my eyes! [Laughs] So, it's cool. And it's Days of our Lives pride -- family pride -- and when you know somebody and love them, you're just that much more happy for them. So, it matters in that way, but as far as competitiveness, that's never really affected any part of it for me.
Soap Central: How did you find out that you'd been nominated?
Keegan: I was up in Oregon with my boyfriend at his family's cabin. There isn't great service, as it is, so I wasn't trying to stay updated on it. I was actually trying to just live my life and not worry too much about it, and then my mom and dad called me and gave me the news, which was really fun and great.
Soap Central: I'm sure it feels great to get the news from people you care about. I mean, I'm sure it's great no matter how you get news like that! But especially nice from your family.
Keegan: Yes! It was really nice to hear it from my parents. Apparently, they had six different web pages open and were refreshing every single one of them. They're big cheerleaders of mine, and I love them very much for that.
Soap Central: How did your boyfriend and his family react, as I assume you were with them when you heard the news? Did you guys celebrate?
Keegan: Yes, we had a great day -- his family is just the best, and I love them so much. We celebrated and had a great day. And just being in Oregon, we were in such a beautiful, refreshing place, so it was nice to celebrate with nature.
Soap Central: I know you said the service wasn't great there, but were you able to, or have you since, been in touch with any of your DAYS costars about their nominations or vice versa?
Keegan: Yes, absolutely! I didn't have enough service for web pages and all, but I could still text somehow and received lots of nice text messages from people, and I couldn't wait to reach out to my DAYS family and congratulate them. So, I had just enough service to do all the fun, important stuff!
Soap Central: Which scenes did you end up submitting on your reel?
Keegan: The whole reel pretty much revolved around Claire's path of destruction and dealing with her mental illness. So, the majority of my reel takes place in the cabin where I have Ciara [Victoria Konefal], and I'm in a state and really just unwell. And before that, I used a lot of things that led up to that. I used some material with Kassie DePaiva [Eve Donovan], who I love so much. I feel like we really brought out interesting dynamics in each other when we worked together. She is such a blast to work with, and so present. And then, I submitted some stuff with Lucas [Adams], who plays Tripp [Dalton].
Soap Central: Was it difficult for you to narrow down the scenes, or did you know right away what you wanted?
Keegan: I knew what storyline I wanted to use, and I knew what would be the most powerful in that sense. But it's hard to watch yourself on TV, as is [laughs], and I always find it very hard to be able to judge and critique your own material and judge what you think is the very best of your best for an Emmy reel. So, I needed a lot of outside help from my family and my manager. I definitely needed an outside perspective to help me figure out what to do.
Soap Central: Your fans are so excited to have you back on the show, which is happening this week. I know you're not back at the moment because of the production shutdown, but what was it like for you to return at the time?
Keegan: It was like a big family reunion. It's so lovely. There's nothing like it, really, going back to a workplace that just doesn't even feel like work, where you just know everybody, and there is so much love there -- love and history. So, it was a ball getting to go back and see everyone. I had a ton of fun.
Soap Central: Can you tease anything about how Claire might be different after her time in Bayview? Or even maybe the same, because you just never know!
Keegan: [Laughs] Well, I can definitely say that I think people will be wondering that exact question for some time. I think people will be on edge and questioning Claire's sanity and questioning whether she's genuine or not. It's going to be a fun little adventure.
Soap Central: As it always is when Claire is involved!
Keegan: Exactly! Is she crazy Claire again? I guess we'll have to wait and see.
Soap Central: How much do you miss being on set and stepping into Claire's shoes?
Keegan: I do miss it, I really do. Once you start working on a character for a while, especially because I was Claire for five years almost, you definitely grow to love and find a certain comfort in getting to know a character. So, there's definitely something very comforting about that that I miss, but it has been really fun to jump into other auditions and have time to dive into the craft again, into my craft again.
View this post on Instagram
Dear Days of Our Lives, Thank you for the best 4 years of my life❤️ To everyone who watches the show: I cannot thank you enough for sticking with Claire through the good, bad, and batsh*t. Reading everyone's comments/tweets this past week has been the most overwhelmingly amazing thing- It means more than you know ❤️ I also owe a huge thank you to the @nbcdays writers for giving me an opportunity to dig my nails into some fascinating material with this past storyline- as well as shine a light onto mental health awareness. It would be too difficult to explain how much I love every single person in my @nbcdays family. It was a 4 year dream. I met lifelong friends, learned an infinite amount, and simply loved every minute of it. Farewell from Salem's newest pyro ❤️
Soap Central: Speaking of being back on TV, the Emmy awards are going to be televised again for the first time in years, so how do you feel about that?
Keegan: I think the fact that it's being televised is so exciting. I think it brings a lot of the magic back to the ceremony that people were scared was going to be lost with not having an in-person ceremony -- which there is definitely, of course, going to be things that are missed without an in-person ceremony. I'm going to miss hugging all of my loved ones and my DAYS family, but I think it really does bring a lot of magic back. It hasn't happened in I don't know how many years, but it has been a long time, and it's never been televised since I joined the show, so it's really exciting.
Soap Central: How do you feel about the possibility of accepting an award on something like Zoom?
Keegan: Of course, it's not quite the same, but I also think it's a very special year, and it's one for the books. Hopefully, we can get back to in-person gatherings after this year, but I think we'll one day look back on this ceremony and realize how interesting and different and unique it was. So, I think there's something to be said for that.
Soap Central: I am so looking forward to what kind of goofs we might see, just because many actors have told me that they're not entirely comfortable or great with computers, so it's going to be interesting, for sure!
Keegan: Oh, that's so funny! Yeah, I was even thinking, because we haven't gotten any information yet, are we supposed to dress up?! Or be in sweats?
Soap Central: I was actually going to ask you that very question! Do you think you'll dress up for an at-home broadcast?
Keegan: Well, I have thought about that, and I'm very curious. I've sort of been waiting for instructions, because I don't want to be in a gown if everyone else is in a tracksuit! [Laughs] So, I'm just waiting for more information about that. But I think it would be fun to dress up, just a little bit. Maybe a fancy, elaborate blouse and then if people wanna wear sweats on their bottom half, that's a good compromise.
Soap Central: Normally, we just focus on what you're wearing, but this year, we have to ask what you think your background might be!
Keegan: Oh! It would be really fun if everybody did a green screen of the Emmy auditorium, right? But I think it will be interesting to see people's homes. I kind of like that aspect. My background will probably be my bedroom, I don't know! [Laughs] And my family can hopefully be there, my boyfriend, my sister.
Soap Central: Well, congratulations again. Is there anything else that you'd like to add that I didn't ask you about?
Keegan: I'm just excited for everyone to see Claire again, and I had such a blast going back and filming. And I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy and sane during these crazy times!
What do you think about Olivia Rose Keegan receiving an Emmy nomination for her work as DAYS' Claire? Do you think she'll take home the gold? We want to hear from you -- so drop your comments in the Comments section below, tweet about it on Twitter, share it on Facebook, or chat about it on our Message Boards.