Camila Banus has been playing Days of our Lives' Gabi Hernandez for nearly ten years, having taken the character from the girl next door to a vengeful woman in her own right. And the actress says she's grateful that the decade of material has provided both viewers and herself the opportunity to watch Gabi's major metamorphosis, almost in real time.
The actress recently did an interview with TV Source Magazine and shares that Gabi's storyline went from watching the character take care of others to watching the character take care of herself.
"At the beginning of her existence on the show, she was there for a lot of people in Salem," Banus recalls. "She listened to a lot of people, she opened her heart for a lot of people, and got to know everybody's circumstances, and situations, and gossip, and, you know, everything that was going on in town. But it never really was about her life."
However, the actress says that has changed dramatically: "Within the last five years, Gabi has taken it upon herself to -- and I mean the writers -- took it upon her life to kind of take control of her life. Kind of take a stand and say, 'Hey, wait, hold on. I'm kind of living for other people and doing things for other people, and why aren't people doing things for me? Why am I not doing things for myself?'"
The biggest catalyst to that thinking was when Gabi went to prison for killing Nick Fallon, which Banus says was the most influential thing to have happened to her alter ego.
"It takes a really big thing in your life for you to look at yourself and really realize that you're not doing the most you can for yourself. You're not giving yourself that kind of love," she says. "I think going to prison for the first time was a really big deal for her. And the trajectory of just the ups and downs of her learning, as a person, that life's not going to be all sunshine and rainbows, you know? And then you're going to get kicked and it's going to be tough, and you're going to need a frickin' helmet sometimes because that's how life is. But if you have a sturdy enough helmet, you can try to like, you know, chug along and get through it."
And it was when Gabi went to prison a second time -- this time for a murder she didn't commit -- that acted as the straw that broke the camel's back.
"I think even from before the second time that she gets sent to prison, there's already is a turn in her. There's already a, 'that's it, no, there's no going back.' The nice Gabi is dead. That Gabi that everyone knew got buried in that prison, and she's never coming back," Banus says. "When I read [she was going to prison again], I said to myself, 'Well hot damn. All right. This is what I've been waiting for, for a while. This is the meat of it.' This is what I wanted, what I had been asking for, so for me it was super exciting and I haven't looked back one second."
What do you think about the transformation of Days of our Lives' Gabi? Do you like the direction the writers have taken the character? Or do you miss the sweet version of Gabi that Banus played in her early years? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.