ICYMI Brandon Barash Interview – Soap Opera Digest


BThe DAYS race at randon Barash was an unconventional mix of surprise starts, sudden stops and unexpected returns. Originally hired as an emergency recast to reprise the role of Stefan DiMera, the actor was eventually killed off the soap, only to be called back a few months later to play an all-new character, Stefan’s twin, Jake. .

Reflecting on his three-year mad dash, Barash admits, “I was half shocked and half unshocked when they killed Stefan. When I accepted the job, they said to me, “We’ll work with you for a month or two, and then we’ll write the character. But then I took over the role, and everyone loved what I did with the role, so they extended it. It ended up lasting [seven] months, and I thought it was going to continue.

Barash then received a call that the soap opera was planning to kill Stefan. “I was like, ‘Oh, okay. That was the original intention,'” he recalled. “I was just as surprised when they called me a few months later and said : ‘Yes, we made a mistake. Would you like to come back? We are going to create this character and we appreciate 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 this.

Barash’s most notable contribution to the tough Jake, a blue-collar mechanic, was his gruff accent. “They said they wanted something from the East Coast. I didn’t want to do anything from New York or New Jersey because it’s way too close to Johnny Zacchara,” Barash says, referring to the character he portrayed in GH. “I had recently auditioned for a show and got on tape for [the role of a guy] with a Pittsburgh accent. I sent this tape to DAYS. They loved it, so we developed a guy who had kind of bounced all over Pennsylvania.

Accents and dialects have long been Barash’s thing. “It’s something I’ve always done,” he notes. “I remember being a kid at family events and making people laugh. I was doing impressions of, like, Mr. Miyagi from Karate KidWhich one is prohibited now. This stuff is frowned upon, but we didn’t know it then. I would do impressions of different people. That’s kind of how I fell in love with acting. I would hear something on TV, sometimes record it on a boom box, then go to my room and try to play it back. At the time, I had no idea that I was getting involved in acting. I guess I was putting the pieces back together.

This all helped prepare Barash for his opposing roles on DAYS, and the actor insists he has no preference between the two. “They’re both kind of like kids,” he rationalizes with a laugh. “I love each of them for their independent attributes. Jake is great fun to play because he’s very loose. He’s the antithesis of Stefan. He’s fun. He likes to laugh. He likes to make people laugh. Stefan “He was intense, brooding, and calculating. He was way more deliberate than Jake. Those moments when Stefan died and Jake walked in? Feeling the difference between the two was a lot of fun.”

Still, there were a few constants with his Salem alter egos. Namely, Stefan and Jake’s relationships with Gabi and Ben. “They were very different, so it wasn’t ‘Let’s pick up where we left off,'” Barash clarified. “Jake must have formed a relationship with both of them. But it was easy in the sense that I had already formed a relationship with Camila [Banus, Gabi] and Rob [Scott Wilson, Ben].”

Moving into a new on-screen romance with Banus has been particularly rewarding for Barash. “I love working with her,” he exclaims. “She is one of those very generous actresses who are ready to try anything. I get along well with people like that. It’s like playing tennis. You hit her the ball a certain way and she’s going to have to react, and she does.

Barash was also happy to still be a member of the show’s DiMera clan. “They’re an iconic family, not just on daytime TV but on TV, period,” he says. “I appreciate that a lot. Jake is kind of a black sheep. He broke the DiMera men’s mold by being this carefree, free-flowing guy.

As happy as Barash is professionally, he’s even more giddy about his personal life. The divorced actor, who shares 8-year-old daughter Harper with his first wife, Kirsten Storms (Maxie, GH), is engaged to marry his longtime girlfriend, Isabella Devoto, and the pair have already started dating. plan their wedding. “We have a date. It will be before the end of the year,” reveals Barash, who shared a video of his perfectly orchestrated cliffside proposal on Instagram. And, let’s just say, it could rival any season finale of THE BACHELOR.

“I didn’t want to propose at a sporting event or a crowded restaurant with a ring hidden in a glass of champagne,” he explains. “I wanted to do something personal and intimate. I ended up hiking because Harper, Isa and I always hike together, and we often hike with Isa’s parents. So I thought, ‘Okay, how can I make it fun and different?’ ”

Before long, Barash arranged for Isabella’s mother to take a casual photo of him, Isabella and Harper with her phone. Then, as Isabella and Harper walked away, he faked a twist of his ankle and fell to the ground, while Isabella’s mother went into video recording mode. “Finally I got down on my knees and had everything ready to go,” Barash proudly recalled.

Barash wanted his daughter to be involved in the big moment. “Isa and I met because of Harper,” he explains. “She was his Spanish teacher at summer camp. I wanted the day to be so special for Harper. I wanted her to feel part of it. I decided to give her a pair of earrings so she and Isa could both have diamonds on her special day.

Needless to say, Devoto said yes, and Barash’s production of shorts was a big hit. “That’s what it ended up being,” the actor concedes. “It’s funny. So many people said, ‘Oh my God. I was so nervous you were going to fall off the mountain. There was probably 10 or 20 feet you couldn’t see behind that rock. [where we were standing]. No one was in danger. No humans or animals were harmed during the making of this film.

For Barash, finding that special someone to share his life with, let alone live up to his expectations as Harper’s mother-in-law, was a daunting task. How did he know he had found the right woman? “Un, she’s not an actress,” he laughs. “It was the first thing she had going for her. Seriously, she and Harper fell in love before we did. They got on really well, spent a lot of time together after summer camp, and developed a very special relationship. As a public person, you should always be on your toes about who you date. Do they have pure intentions? Do they like my daughter because they really like my daughter or do they like my daughter because they’re trying to impress me? There was never any bullshit with Isa. We dated for over two years and there were never any red flags. She’s always been very real and she comes from a big family.

Before meeting Devoto, Barash had resigned himself to the fact that remarrying might not be in the cards. “I had gotten to a point where I thought, ‘You know what? I have this child. She is magical. If I never have another child and die single at 90 or 100, I don’t care. I don’t run after anything. Then I met Isa and thought, “I would love to have kids with her and start a family. ”

Luckily, Harper has been on board for it all. “Harper has been begging me, pretty much ever since Isa and I told him we were a couple, to make Isa his stepmom,” Barash shares. “So much so that we’d be in the car together and she’d be like, ‘Dad, do you like Isa?’ I would say, ‘Yeah, more than anything.’ She said, ‘Well, daddy, you gotta put a ring on it.’ ”

Storms is also thrilled about his engagement to Devoto. “It makes life a lot easier,” Barash notes. “There’s really nothing to hate about Isa. She is always very deferential and respectful with Kirsten and never tries to step on her toes. She even told Kirsten, “I would never, ever want to replace you.” I want to have a relationship with Harper, but she only has a mother, and I know that. ”

With a wedding set in the not too distant future, Barash’s daughter is ready for the next step. In fact, she has already started asking her father and Isa when she is going to have a little sister or a little brother. “All the time. All time,” Barash points out. “She’ll ask, ‘Is Isa already pregnant?’ We tell him, ‘Slow down. To slow down.’ ”

The friend zone

Teaming up with Jake and Ben as friends was an easy call for DAYS. “They are both outcasts,” observes Barash. “Granted, Jake is an outcast, especially in Salem when he came home and was running from his past. Ben was also running from his past.

This move took advantage of the relationship Barash had already developed with Robert Scott Wilson (Ben) when he portrayed Stefan. “Stefan wasn’t running from his past,” Barash notes. “He saw everyone as a possible enemy or competitor, but let his guard down a bit with Ben. This is how this relationship was born with these two characters.

As often happens on soaps, Barash and Wilson also forged an actual friendship. “We have a great off-screen relationship. We hung out. We pick up the phone and shoot shit, text each other, and meet at the studio.

The couple has a lot in common, especially sports. “We encourage rival teams,” says Barash. “It’s a Pats [New England Patriots] fan. I’m a Chiefs fan. He’s a Celtics fan. I am a Lakers fan. We will fight up our opposing teams and like to talk to each other. Yeah, we definitely relate to that, that’s for sure.


just the facts

Birthday: October 4

Just: St. Louis, Missouri

DAY DETAILS: Played Stefan from March to October 2019; debuted as Jake in April 2020.

Also known as: GH’s Johnny Zacchara (2007-13, 2014-15, 2015-16)

Favorite food: “If I could only eat one type of cuisine for the rest of my life, it would be Japanese. I like sushi.”

BARRY frantically: “I’m currently watching season 3 of BARRY, and it’s one of my favorite shows. It’s funny and dark as hell. Bill Hader and Anthony Carrigan are both brilliant.

Become technical: “My massage gun is my favorite technical device. I use it after workouts. It helps me with muscle soreness and recovery.

The training game: “I do a lot of HIIT workouts, which are high intensity interval training. I would say yoga is my favorite workout, but I can’t seem to get the results I want from doing yoga every day. So I bounce between HIIT, yoga and swimming.

Dad/daughter days: “Before the pandemic hit, we used to go to the Museum of Natural History, which Harper and I called the Dinosaur Museum. It’s been closed for a long time, and we live pretty far away now. Our other special place is Legoland. We love Legoland.


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