Interview With Christie Clark

How the star, wife, and mom juggles it all

Actors Kate Mansi, Patrick Muldoon, Christie Clark, Austin Peck and Terri Conn attend the Days Of Our Lives' 50th Anniversary Celebration at Hollywood Palladium
Clark is in the center. Vivien Killilea / Getty Images

Christie Clark is living the best kind of double life. Three days a week, she’s a glamorous soap star, playing Carrie Reed on Days of Our Lives. Four days a week, she’s a devoted wife and mother back home in San Francisco, cooking dinner for her husband Tom Barnes and nurturing their two daughters, Hannah and Emma. Clark calls it "a dream life" and eagerly reflects on every rewarding minute of it.

The 2011 Interview

It’s been a while since you’ve been on Days full-time. What have you missed most about the gig?
Hair, makeup, wardrobe... kissing cute boys and getting paid for it. Also, just acting and being in Salem, which has so much history for me.

Who among the cast did you share the warmest reunion with?
Drake Hogestyn (John) and Patrick Muldoon (Austin). Patrick and I have really stayed in touch. Drake and I have that connection of him being like a father to me when I was growing up. He’s such a warm, loving man. I adore him. It was nice to see Deidre Hall (Marlena) and Alison Sweeney (Sami), too. We have such a history together.

Back in your youthful heyday, you were the queen of pranks behind the scenes. Do you still pull any?
I wish I had time to come up with funny little pranks. My biggest thing right now is trying to juggle my time between living in Salem and living in San Francisco. There’s no time to think about that fun stuff.

What’s it like commuting back and forth to Burbank?
Actually, it’s fine. I work Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. We get 16 weeks off a year, now. That is phenomenal.

When you were told Carrie would be returning as a lawyer what was your reaction?
At first, I giggled. I thought, Oh my goodness. Me, play a lawyer? It scared the sh** out me! Luckily one of my best friends in San Francisco is a top defense attorney. So I shadowed her for a couple of days. I went to court with her and saw that it actually was something I could do. These people were just like me. All was well from that point. I wasn’t scared anymore.

Are you a fan of any TV law shows?
I like The Good Wife. That’s a good one. I also like the chick from the HBO show Treme. She (Melissa Leo) just won the Oscar.

Do you model Carrie after either of them?
I try to take little things that I like from my girlfriend. Also, I’ve watched a lot of youtube on Kamala Harris, who was our district attorney in San Francisco.

Legal stuff aside, are you hoping the show revs up the drama between Sami and Carrie?
I’m hoping they keep it where it is right now, which is we’re trying to get along like sisters normally do, but there’s that underlying bad blood that you can’t really get over no matter how hard you try.

It looks like something might be developing between Carrie and Sami’s husband Rafe. Is that something you’d welcome?
Everyone seems to be thinking that, and it’s interesting. I’ve been given the two funniest, most handsome men on the show to work with. So I’m in heaven.

What about your real-life husband, Tom? How is he dealing with having his wife gone three days a week when you’re working on?
Tom’s life has definitely taken a downward turn as far as having food on the table. He has to come home and do the last hour of putting the girls to bed when I’m not there. It’s a little hard on that front, but then his wife comes home really fulfilled as a woman. So, hopefully, that makes up for it. We’re also getting closer to paying off our house.

You have two daughters. Do you and Tom ever talk about trying for a third child, hopefully, a boy?
Absolutely. We’re in negotiations. At the moment I’m just interested in doing a good job on the show. So it’s going to be put off a little bit. We’ve always both wanted three children. So I think that’s in our future.

Will you do anything to up the odds of having a boy?
We can definitely try. There are all kinds of things you can do... [have sex] in funny positions and lean against the wall upside down. But I’m fairly certain if we tried for a third child, it would end up being Hannah and her sisters.