Days of our Lives fans can expect to welcome back a member of the show's iconic Horton family in the weeks ahead. Roark Critchlow will reprise the role of Mike Horton, a role he last played regularly more than 20 years ago.
While the exact number of episodes Critchlow's character will star in have yet to be announced, the actor recently opened up about his return in an interview with Soap Opera Digest.
"It was a pleasant surprise, but it's hard to explain," Critchlow told SOD. "I've been back twice, I think, since I left the show. It is just an unexpected pleasure when it happens."
Critchlow took over the role of Mike in 1994 and stayed on contract until 1999 as the son of Bill Horton and Laura Spencer. He returned to the show in 2010 for a special episode that centered around the death of Alice Horton after the real-life death of actress Frances Reid, who played Alice for over 40 years.
After concluding his initial run on DAYS, Critchlow returned to NBC's daytime lineup in 2003 when he played Dr. Ackland on Passions. Critchlow also appeared in a limited run on The Bold and the Beautiful in 2007.
Outside of daytime, Critchlow's career has extended into primetime and film roles, most notably as Tom Marin in the teen drama series Pretty Little Liars.
Critchlow called his return to DAYS "out of the blue," and he said the first scenes he'd taped were with Susan (Julie Williams) and Bill Hayes (Doug Williams), the town's eldest residents.
"They wrote stuff that made sense about what Mike would think and feel," Critchlow said. "We actually had a couple of lovely scenes. It was like the people that you knew from 20 years ago or whatever. It was so genuine because they were both coming from a human place. It wasn't just the actors and the characters. I really enjoyed those scenes."
Critchlow also teased that he'd taped scenes with Matthew Ashford (Jack Deveraux; ex-Tom Hardy, General Hospital) and Cady McClain (Jennifer Deveraux; ex-Dixie, All My Children; ex-Rosanna, As the World Turns). While Critchlow's character had been involved with both Jack and Jennifer during his tenure on the show, he noted that both Jack and Jennifer were portrayed by different actors at the time. Mark Valley had stepped into the role of Jack beginning in 1994. McClain made her first appearance as Jennifer in 2000. She has been splitting the role with Jennifer's original portrayer, Melissa Reeves.
"(As actors), you have to drop into a level of intimacy that you would normally share in real life with someone you've known your whole life," Critchlow noted. "In the soap opera, Jennifer is someone I worked with my whole career there, so it's virtually the same thing. Her character is going through a lot. Cady and I chatted. We got on good. In terms of the story, I thought we pulled it off nicely as being people who've known each other their whole lives."
To read the full interview with Critchlow on his return to Salem, click here.
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