Viewers may have been shocked when DAYS OF OUR LIVES recast the role of Stefan DiMera only to kill him off, but portrayer Brandon Barash knew all about the plan when he was hired to take over for Tyler Christopher on the NBC sudser. Of course, he then promptly forgot about it!
“I was half-shocked and half-not-shocked when they killed Stefan,” he admitted to Soap Opera Digest. “When I took the job, they said, ‘We’ll work you for a month or two, and then we’re going to write the character out.’ But then I took over the role and everybody loved what I did with the part, so they extended it. It ended up lasting [seven] months, and I thought it was going to keep going.”
Of course, all good things must come to an end, and Barash was reminded that Stefan’s days were numbered. Still, that ended up being just the beginning of his time with DAYS. “I was equally as surprised when they called a few months later and said, ‘Yeah, we made a mistake. Would you like to come back?’” he recalled. “‘We’re going to create this character and we welcome your input. We can kind of build it together.’ That’s what we did and of course, I was very honored. It’s not very often that you get to do that.”
And blue-collar mechanic Jake was a far cry from the moody Stefan, giving Barash the opportunity to enjoy flexing his acting muscles. “Jake is a lot of fun to play because he’s very loose,” he explained. “He’s the antithesis of Stefan. He’s funny. He likes to laugh. He likes to make people laugh. Stefan was intense, brooding, and calculating. He was way more deliberate than Jake. Those moments when Stefan died and Jake came into the picture? Feeling the difference between the two was a lot of fun.”
Plus, it was soon revealed that Jake is also a DiMera, tying the character to one of Salem’s legacy families. “They’re an iconic family, not just in daytime television but in television, period,” Barash declared. “I enjoy that very much. Jake is kind of the black sheep. He broke the mold of DiMera men by being this happy-go-lucky, free-flowing guy.”
So stay tuned to DAYS to see where Barash takes his alter ego next!