Deidre Hall doesn’t believe in such a thing as a perfect life.
“It’s all about prioritizing, balancing and giving yourself a break,” says the actress who originated the role of Dr. Marlena Evans on “Days of Our Lives” more than 30 years ago.
Tonight, she stars in the Hallmark Channel’s “Lucky In Love,” about a woman, Mira, played by Jessica Szohr, who dreams of a perfect life. When she finally starts getting what she’s dreamed of, she realized it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.
“Every grown up wishes they had time to work out or even just to call mom. It’s a fast-paced world,” says Hall, who plays Erin, the CEO of a very large media company and Mira’s boss. “There are three important things for me to do when I wake up in the morning – learn my lines, get to work on time and be professional – but I don’t have it all. I want to work in my garden, exercise, cook and knit more.”
Hall says that she liked the role, but was more concerned that she’d be able to film around her “Days” schedule. Luckily, it worked out and, she says, the experiences with this cast and crew, which also includes Benjamin Hollingsworth as Jonah, was very enjoyable.
“While I was on the set, Jessica asked me what I was doing and, before the end of that day, I had yarn in her hand because knitting is a passion of mine,” she says. “The pace at which we shot was fast, and the sense of camaraderie and support for the greater good was everywhere. There were actors helping actors and everybody really pulling together to make this a quality production. There was no temperament and no ego in the piece. We were just glad to be there and, yes, we were tired, but we had a good time.”
Fans of Hall’s legendary Marlena Evans character will be pleased to know that there’s a little bit of Marlena in Erin too. “I’m always going to be some version of Marlena – that is who I am,” she says. “That’s the body of which I live, and the perspective and voice of which I live. Erin is very much like Marlena too. She’s compassionate, kind, patient, and you get to see those qualities coming out of someone who looks and sounds like me. If you’re a ‘Days’ fan, it’s very welcoming.”
Hall says that playing Marlena is a beloved responsibility. “I play a character that makes me proud every day,” she said. “I get to walk on stage and play someone who’s kind, considerate, has her priorities straight and, no matter what she’s going through, is completely accepting of people.”
Sometime this year, Deidre Hall will be awarded her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, an honor she calls ‘surreal.’ “I didn’t know about it right away, my fan club told me,” she said. “If you’re lucky enough to spend time in Los Angeles, you see the Walk of Fame and you realize who’s there, such as James Cagney, and floods of memories and emotions come up when you pass each name. At one point, there will be a time where my children bring their children and they bring them to my star and it’s something that will outlive our lives. It’s amazing.”
Hall admits that, as a young actress, she never even considered the thought that her name would be on a star on the Walk of Fame one day. “Surprisingly, it was never even on my radar,” she said.
“Lucky in Love” premieres tonight, Saturday, April 5 at 9 p.m. on Hallmark Channel. The story follows Mira (Szohr), who finds herself promoted to the perfect job, dating the perfect man and living in the perfect home. Mira’s newly upgraded life involves working with her CEO (Hall) and her good friend, on a coveted work project.
But when these seemingly positive changes result in big challenges, Mira realizes that the pursuit of perfection is a fool’s errand. In order to achieve a life that’s perfect for her, Mira must let go of perfection and chase what brings her true happiness.