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Royal Reporter

Video of his return:

Welcome Wally Kurth!

Young playboy Justin Kiriakis first arrived in Salem in 1987. It wasn't long before he met and fell in love with Adrienne, but his connections to his Uncle Victor and the illegal Kiriakis dealings pushed her away. But how could she resist his charms? Justin and Adrienne were married in an elaborate ceremony in Greece but his previous relationship with Angelica Deveraux and the son they'd had together didn't make things easy. Justin and Adrienne went their separate ways, but eventually reunited. They adopted twins, as Adrienne had already lost a baby, but she then became pregnant. Needing a fresh start, they moved to Texas and started a construction company. Somehow, they ended up in Dubai, and somewhere along the way, Justin went to law school. Now, Victor has brought his nephew back to help in his godson Daniel's criminal case. We sat down with Wally to get his take on Justin and on daytime in general.

Days_Allison: First of all, how is it to be back?

Wally Kurth: I'm loving it. I really am. Honestly? I didn't know how I'd feel. I'd been gone for so long and I'm returning to an old character, but I love the fact that he's an attorney now. I like that; it's fun. I'm working with Peter and Kristian, it's been a joy. Old friends but a new story. I really trust the writers. I think they're writing a really strong show. I watch the show, I Tivo it every day, and I've been watching it for a couple of months now, since I found out, and I've become a fan. I'm happy to be here and to add whatever I can, to just be part of the team. I'm very excited.

Days_Allison: It must be kind of like old home week, there are so many people here now who were here before.

Wally Kurth: Yes. It's great seeing John. He and I work together almost every day. And this is where I got started. Sure, I spent fourteen years on General Hospital, but this was really a very, very sweet time for me as an actor. It was the beginning. And it was back in the eighties; it was a real heyday with all of the personal appearances and fans and all of that stuff. It was just such a mind-blower, from an actor's standpoint. You're just not ready for all of that stuff that comes with it. They don't tell you how to start a fan club or how to respond to fan mail or sign autographs. That time in my life was pretty magical.

Days_Allison: It seems that daytime has in general changed quite a bit.

Wally Kurth: It's different. I like the schedule, to be quite honest. I know it's kind of radical. We really cook, but I love the fact that Gary's on the floor when we tape and everybody has to step up and be prepared. It's just nice. Everyone's on the ball and we plow through it and I think it actually helps. It gives you an improv feel and that's good energy. I think it helps the performances.

Days_Allison: Do you have any favorite moments from when you were here before?

Wally Kurth: We were just talking about this the other day. I think it was my very first year. I arrived here in January and I think that August we took the show on a remote to Greece. We flew into Athens and we shot all over the Parthenon and all over this beautiful little seaside resort called Nafplion. There was a castle there and it was just really wow! It was just incredible. Then we came back and shot the interiors within the church at this beautiful, beautiful Greek Orthodox Church downtown. We had a beautiful ceremony there. And that whole romance Justin and Adrienne just really took off. Again, that was my very first year in the television business. Talk about shot out of a cannon! I should've known right there it was going to all be downhill from there. That was definitely a special time.

Days_Allison: And the whole Justin and Adrienne romance was pretty special.

Wally Kurth: They got wind that I could play the guitar and I could sing. Then they had this whole story where I played this song called "Give Me Wings" and I must've sung that song at least ten times on the show, in various reprises. That was fun. That was kind of cool for the fans and very romantic. I sang a lot of songs to Adrienne. It was incredibly romantic. It was every teenage girl's fantasy! To the point where there were a lot of guys who hated me. In fact, my wife's really good friend, when he found out that she was going out with me, he said "I don't like that guy." It was because I was so perfect! He said "that guy, he's too smooth! He's Mr. Romantic. I couldn't go out with anyone because they all wanted me to act like him!" Justin was completely unrealistic. He was over-the-top romantic. No boy could ever, ever duplicate it. I think on the Fourth of July, he gave Adrienne a private fireworks display! When he asked her to marry him for the first time, he made these paper boats and put the engagement ring in a boat and then blew it across a little pond and she picked it up. It was incredible.

I've always said that soap operas are romance novels on videotape. And if they're not romantic and they're not some sort of a fantasy of somebody generally women! you're not doing your job.

Days_Allison: What is it about daytime that keeps you here?

Wally Kurth: It's interesting. From an actor's standpoint, I really enjoy the process, the three cameras, three walls, like a proscenium stage. It's probably the closest that an actor's going to get to acting in the theater, but on camera. You get a three or four page scene often, sometimes even longer. You've got your blocking. You don't have a camera in your face, you're not repeating it over and over again. It's basically 5-4-3-2 and you're on. It's up to you to live or die. It's just like when the curtain goes up. You're on. Hopefully you know what you're doing because the audience is there to watch you. Just like here. The cameras are there to record you. I like that part because I'm a big fan of the theater and that's where I got started. And I like the stories. Romance stories and love stories, to me those are the best stories. When you watch nighttime, it's all cop shows and medical dramas, which is great but those are a completely different thing. You don't see many love stories going on. I think Grey's Anatomy is probably as popular as it is because there is a love story. For the most part, they're not too soapy. But that's why I think it's kind of nice. We're telling specifically relationship stories. Relationships with the couples that we're involved in and our parents and our grandfathers and children. You don't see that all that much in television and I love that part. It's great. I can totally relate to that.

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