After more than 15 years in daytime TV Greg Vaughan earned his very first Daytime Emmy nomination this year: Best Supporting Actor for his role as Eric Brady on “Days of Our Lives.” The role had previously been played by current “Supernatural” star Jensen Ackles, who earned Younger Actor nominations from 1998-2000. Vaughan took over in 2012 and has been playing the role ever since. Will it bring him his first Emmy? The winners will be announced on April 29, but they’ve already been decided in the drama acting categories by blue ribbon panels that viewed sample performance reels. Watch Vaughan’s submission above.
Vaughan’s reel focuses on the tumultuous relationship between Eric and Nicole Walker (Arianne Zucker). In the first scene Eric tracks down Nicole, who has run away from Salem. Eric admits that he’s in love with her despite her relationship with his stepbrother Brady (Eric Martsolf), and Nicole feels the same way, but in the next scene, after they have spent a night together, she tries to push him away by telling him she doesn’t really have feelings for him after all.
Eric later confides in Jennifer (Melissa Reeves) about his dilemma and how he believes Brady is responsible for manipulating or shaming Nicole into ending their relationship. Then Eric angrily confronts Brady and reveals that he and Nicole had plans to run away together. Brady is smug, but Eric demands, “What did you say to make her leave?”
Will Vaughan win Best Supporting Actor with this performance against Wally Kurth (“General Hospital”), Chandler Massey (“Days”), Anthony Montgomery (“GH”) and Greg Rikaart (“The Young and the Restless”)? Let’s consider the pros and cons.
The scenes follow a clear emotional arc that effectively establishes the relationship between Eric and Nicole and the conflict with Brady, who has jealously tried to force them apart.
The scenes consist entirely of two-handers in which Vaughan gets to spar effectively with his co-stars, giving him plenty of material with which to impress voters.
Vaughan gives an expressive, impactful performance, especially in the second scene when he is heartbroken over Nicole’s abrupt change of heart and demands to know how or why she could have changed her mind about him.
Only one “Days” actor has ever won Best Supporting Actor: Vaughan’s scene partner Martsolf in 2014. Can Vaughan overcome the show’s spotty track record in this race?
The reel ends with a confrontation between Eric and Brady that lacks resolution when it’s over, so the reel doesn’t give Vaughan the opportunity to bring the story to a satisfying climax or catharsis.
Vaughan plays lovelorn throughout the reel, so while he delivers a number of impactful moments, it might not demonstrate enough of his emotional range to appeal to Emmy voters who often like to reward well-rounded acting showcases.
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