Now that soap opera fans have had a chance to recover from the shocking news that Greg Vaughan will no longer be playing the role of Days of our Lives' Eric Brady, the actor has chosen to reveal more details about why he decided to exit the series he's been a part of since 2012.
Upon news of his departure in July, Vaughan shared that his decision to leave was a mix of the show "not knowing where they were going to go" during the renewal upheaval last fall and him feeling like "my time was coming to an end, anyways." However, in a new interview with Soap Opera Digest, Vaughan admits that he first began contemplating his departure all the way back in 2017, when Eric was sent to prison. He explains that he was off the canvas for thirteen weeks, and both he and his fans were not thrilled with what happened when he returned.
"People were disappointed. They weren't happy. I think because the scenes that they never really delivered on, which was they brought Eric back on the canvas, was for a reunion of Eric and Nicole (Arianne Zucker)," he opines. "I mean, that has been a really long thread of history, a supercouple that never really blossomed."
Vaughan also reveals that he began to feel very disconnected from DAYS at that point, almost as if he and his character were just props for other things going on in Salem.
"A lot of things that were said to me or promised to me never came to fruition. I didn't feel like all of the things that were being told to me were being delivered," he explains. "I felt like a glorified extra in everybody else's storyline, and I never felt like Ari and I were given a, 'Hey, you're going to be our couple.' So, it was time. My deal was over and that's it."
Vaughan notes that the show's producers tried to convince him to stay, all the way up until his final moments on the show.
"They kept trying, right to my very last day, to keep me. [Co-executive producer] Albert Alarr pulled me aside and said, 'Six more months. Give six more months.' But the shape of the show, the direction of the show, was kind of a little bit everywhere," Vaughan recalls. "The more and more I started to pull away, the more and more I felt that I wasn't connected anymore. I didn't feel that they had their eye on me in any way to grow with me."
So, does this mean that Vaughan will never step back into the shoes into Eric Brady? Fortunately, back in July, the actor stated that his time as DAYS' Eric doesn't feel like it's entirely over, and he described his decision to leave as "taking a break, if you will." The show's head writer, Ron Carlivati, also indicated that the door has been left wide open for Vaughan's return. He tweeted at the time, "Wishing all the best to the Emmy-winning @greg_vaughan as he begins his next chapter. Please come back and see us sometime, Greg!"
Additionally, Vaughan explains in his Soap Opera Digest interview that he feels like he will always be a part of the show -- even though he's currently focusing on other aspects of his life.
"I love Days of Our Lives. I'm glad to be a part of that. I will forever be connected to it," he states. "But there's so much more of me to continue to grow. And my being a father is my number one job. And now I get to be a husband again someday [to my fiancée, Angie Harmon]. These are my new priorities right now."
For more information about Vaughan's decision to leave DAYS, including the full exit statement he released in July, check out Soap Central's original article on his exit here.
How do you feel about the behind-the-scenes happenings that prompted Greg Vaughan to exit DAYS? Do you think he'll ever return as Eric Brady? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.