Fans of Days of our Lives' Arianne Zucker were ecstatic to see the return of Nicole Walker on last week's cliffhanger Friday episode. It's been almost exactly one year since the character was last seen in Salem, and her face was a welcome sight for longtime viewers. However, though Zucker herself was also thrilled about Nicole's return, she admits that reprising the character wasn't easy.
"I realize that I do kind of have this heavy heart when I play her because she is always so emotional, so that I had to get back into, which was a little harder," she explains to Soap Opera Digest. "I've had all this free time with my daughter and I'm doing these little movies and I've had a bigger break. With DAYS, I've worked 30 episodes in a row and I've just been crying all the time. It's exhausting!"
The last time viewers saw Nicole, she had dumped Eric (Greg Vaughan) and was forced to leave Salem after Brady (Eric Martsolf) threatened to expose her for the murder of Deimos Kiriakis (Vincent Irizarry). Eric, who has since learned of his brother's machinations, has just found Nicole and is hoping they still have a chance to be together.
Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like the pair will find their happily ever after: Zucker, who left the show in 2017 after nearly 20 years, wasn't ready to come back to Salem full-time and will only be appearing for a short story arc.
"It's such a good feeling that people want this character on the show. When I come back, that's the feeling I have," the Emmy-nominated actress says of her limited run. "I know when this character airs, there's always some sort of loving hatred for her. I think more loving now that her character's changed a lot through the years."
Since leaving DAYS, Zucker has filmed a second season of the Emmy-nominated series Ladies of the Lake and appeared in the controversial Lifetime film Web Cam Girls. She and her partner, Shawn Christian (ex-Daniel Jonas), also travel once a month as part of a new business they began called Lux Soul Traveler, which helps promote exotic destinations and experiences.
"It's been pretty awesome working with him," Zucker reports. "I mean, you never know if you're going to work well with your partner or not."
As for whether or not she'd return to DAYS permanently, Zucker teases, "When I left the show I said never say never. It's hard to say no. And it circles back around; it's so nice to feel wanted in any capacity."
How do you feel about Nicole being back on the canvas at DAYS? What do you hope the writers have penned for Zucker's short stint back in Salem? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.