The following article was posted on Knoxnews.com in anticipation of Deidre’s appearance in Pigeon Forge, TN. Read the original article here.
“It’s the people I get to live with two or three days a week and year after year,” said Hall, who’s played Marlena Evans off and on since 1976.
“Living with them through their triumphs and their tragedies and their excitement and their growth, it truly is a second family, and I know people say that in the industry, and for ours, it truly is … the genuine respect and affection is so extrodinary … that it’s just a safe place to be.”
Hall and other cast members from the NBC soap opera will make a stop in Pigeon Forge from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31, at the Titanic Museum for a book signing. The event will feature “Days of Our Lives: 50 Years,” a book with a collection of photos that reflect the show’s history and celebrate its anniversary.
Author and co-producer Greg Meng wrote the book, and it will be released on Oct. 27. Copies of the book will be available to purchase at the event. Cast members Kristian Alfonso, Lauren Koslow, Stephen Nichols, Jen Lilley, Melissa Reeves, Bryan Dattilo and Thaao Penghlis will join Hall and Meng at the Pigeon Forge signing.
“Days of Our Lives: 50 Years” covers some of the most popular and controversial storylines that the show has presented throughout its run.
“This book is a love story to the fans,” said Hall.
She recalled some of her favorite stories from the show including the twin storyline with Marlena and Samantha Evans because she got to act with her real life sister Andrea Gengler. And of course, the possession storyline, where Marlena was the first character to be possessed by the devil in any soap opera, had an impact on her.
“Possession, obviously will be on my tombstone. That was notorious and insanely well-received, and it was cutting new ground for daytime,” said Hall. “Daytime had not done that sort of cheeky, outrageous, irreverent story before.”
Another tragic storyline on the show involved Marlena’s son D.J. dying of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
“I did the first crib death ever on television,” said Hall. “I was told, ‘We’re going to do this, and we’re not sure how we’re going to do it, whether or not the audience will be forewarned …’ and at the end of the day, the executives decided that a mother who walks into that room doesn’t get a warning, and so they said not to. … It still kills me because it’s such an unspeakable tragedy, and what they wanted to see was how does Marlena do it? How does she survive it? And her life flew apart, but it was brilliantly done.”
But portraying Marlena almost didn’t happen for Hall. She auditioned for the part alongside several famous faces. Hall completed her audition and thought, “You know what, I’m not going to get that. They’re going to use these (big) name people.” After hearing that she got the part, Hall was still skeptical.
“I thought, ‘You know what there’s something wrong with this job. ‘Cause everybody else must have turned it down. All those famous people must have turned it down.’”
She didn’t realize she was the first choice for those casting for the show. Her agent revealed that to her not long after, and the rest was history.
“It just got placed in my lap, and I got to be, well, lucky enough to be chosen,” said Hall.
Hall is looking forward to seeing her fans in at the book signing events in Los Angeles, Phoenix, New York, Northvale, N.J., Denver, Dallas, Kansas City, Atlanta and Pigeon Forge. She’ll be in Pigeon Forge on her birthday.
“It is the best because we invite them into our living room every single day … and they come in and they share our lives, but we don’t get to have them talk back to us,” she said. “So this is a time when the rest of us are going to get a lot of feedback … I think it’s as vital for us as it is for the writers and producers.”