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Since Kristen's return to Salem, we've been seeing a different side of Marlena. After all, she's usually the calm voice of reason. Of course, maybe she is still the voice of reason, it's just that certain members of her family aren't exactly seeing it that way. And we had to wonder, why is Marlena reacting so strongly to Kristen's return. Turns out, the answer is pretty simple. "Well, first of all, she tried to kill her, so I think that's probably a main reason," Deidre told us about the relationship between Kristen and Marlena. "And I also think that what she's seen so far is that Kristen keeps popping up and surprising people, which is a little sinister... It's not just that she's back, it's she's back and, oh my gosh, here she is! And I think the moment she began to tell John what was going on and he waved her off, it became very scary. Because now it was, wait a minute, there's danger here, and you all are not getting the joke about it. So that's why."
he normal calm that envelopes Marlena, then, would seem to be out the window. "Yeah, she's panicked," Deidre agreed. "And the stakes are high. The more John turns toward believing Kristen, the higher the stakes get. And then she sees her going after Sami, and then after Brady.

"It's so obvious to everyone watching that it's trouble and when you see him not accept that, it's very scary," Deidre continued.

What exactly has Marlena done that viewers might consider out of character? Perhaps breaking into Kristen's hotel room to try to get the dirt on her? Doesn't seem very Marlena-like, even considering that there's a DiMera involved. The mama bear who will do anything to protect her family is coming out. "I guess you saw me go into her hotel and take her stuff and oh well!" Deidre laughed. "And then dodging her, groping for the pad, I mean, I saw that thing and played it back over and over and over and over! It made me laugh every time. And I am entertained by Eileen Davidson. I am mad for her!"

We can only imagine how enjoyable it must be for these two daytime diva veterans are having playing opposite one another again, so much so that it might even come as a surprise if their fans were to see them together. "We're having entirely too much fun," Deidre agreed. "It shouldn't even be fair! Years ago, many, many, many years ago, I visited I think it was One Life to Live. I can't remember. I think I was hanging out with Erika Slezak . Anyway, I went over to the set and I had seen that soap... And, although I'd been on a soap for several years, I was still struck by ... what are you doing talking to her? She's talking behind your back! You know what I mean? I was having a fan response to things. And I thought, if Eileen and I ever went out for coffee, it would astonish people. Because we're just ... we're like a couple of little kids. It would be an odd thing to see. But we laugh so hard."

And with some of these scenes - sneaking into Kristen's hotel room, deleting phone messages, not telling John the whole truth - we're seeing Marlena behave in a way that some people might not care for, even if she's doing it to defend her family.

And while she loves working with Eileen, she doesn't exactly relish playing the not-so-nice girl. "My hat is off to her," Deidre said in reference to Eileen, "as it is to Alison Sweeney and to Lauren Koslow, because they play the b***h full out. And never having been asked to do that - well, on a couple of occasions - I know the tendency to want the audience to like you or not to alarm them and I found that when I was going in to her apartment, I though, ooh, I don't like having to do this! This doesn't feel good. The audience is going to be angry at me. I don't like this! And they do it all day long. They are my heroes.

"I'm not used to it. Perhaps," Deidre mused. "When I was possessed it was a lot of fun. Maybe I'm just sensitive."

The opportunity for the audience to see a new and different side of Marlena meant her portrayer had to figure out how to make it work, how to make us believe that she would do these things. "I struggled with how to play it for a while," Deidre said.
"Then I thought, it's entitlement. Play it with entitlement. You know? The rules are out the window, there is no rule book for this stuff. Honor and dignity - integrity - are not part of this game. And rather than being self-conscious and mysterious and contrite, I saw the scenes and I think I just sat up and said, yeah? So? What? She just entitled herself to be there."

It seems understandable, then, for Marlena to try to get some kind of evidence to prove to others that the way she feels about Kristen is the right way. Okay, we get that. But, after she caught Kristen and Brady in bed together, why did she keep this knowledge to herself? As a psychiatrist, Marlena would likely counsel against not being honest in a relationship.

"She knew that Kristen saw her," Deidre told us. "And then she realized that Kristen had not told him that ... I think probably the writers' explanation would have been that Kristen was up to something and this was a no win. If she and Marlena both knew, that she was in bed with Brady, and Kristen hadn't told Brady that I knew, I don't know what the trap is, but I know I'm about to step into it and I'm not going to. I was going to stay away from this because it was the safest route!"

Stay safe, Marlena. Because while it is pretty fun to watch this different side of you, it feels like dangerous territory. Dangerous, but enjoyable

Edited by Partnersincrime, Dec 19 2012, 10:24 AM.
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