Since his appearance in the trailer for the new season, longtime DAYS OF OUR LIVES fans have been eagerly awaiting the return of Roark Critchlow as Dr. Mike Horton, a role that he originally played from 1994-99. He returned in 2010 for a few episodes to attend Alice’s funeral following the passing of her portrayer, Frances Reid, and now, 12 years later, the actor is gearing up for another visit to Salem!
“I’m not really sure how it evolved,” he admitted to Soap Opera Digest of how the offer came about. “They just contacted my agent. He was like, ‘Hey, they’ve got a couple of episodes. Do you want to go?’ I was like, ‘Hell yeah. That sounds good.’ I got to see some friends. Saw the kids. Saw [my ex-wife] Maria, too. It was all good.”
And Critchlow also revealed that stepping back into the role even after all this time was a breeze. “It’s funny, because playing the part is not that tough at all,” he confided. “They wrote stuff that made sense about what Mike would think and feel. My first scenes are with Susan [Seaforth Hayes, Julie] and Bill [Hayes, Doug] and I was nervous. You get back in there and you just feel… it’s not like a heavy weight, but it’s a heritage. To be able to work with people who have been at it as well and as long as they have? We actually had a couple of lovely scenes.”
He was also able to catch up with former DAYS castmates like Patrika Darbo (Nancy) and Kevin Spirtas (Craig). Although he was working opposite a different Jack and Jennifer this time around! “When I was on, it was Mark Valley (ex-Jack),” Critchlow said. “That was actually kind of fun, because he and I shared a whole bunch of stories. Now we’re both in the same spot in our careers.”
Critchlow also had to establish a connection with his television sister, now being played by Cady McClain. “She and I dropped in really easily, I felt,” he declared. “It was a very nice, natural care for each other. It wasn’t difficult, that’s for sure. I thought we pulled it off nicely as being people who’ve known each other their whole lives.”
Being a soap, who knows what the future may have in store, but Critchlow would be happy to visit Salem again one day. “It was a pleasant surprise, but it’s hard to explain,” he admitted. “I’ve been back twice, I think, since I left the show. It is just an unexpected pleasure when it happens.”