Bundle of Joy
From Soap Opera Digest – September 26, 2016
Nadia Bjorlin made her DAYS debut in 1999 at age 19, and her recent birthday in early August prompted her to reflect on the changes in her life since first playing Chloe. “I’ve grown up in front of the cameras,” she says. “When I had my birthday, I was thinking about how I’ve been at DAYS almost half of my life. I used to be one of the kids around here, and now I’m one of the grown-ups. It’s funny to see early footage of when I started on DAYS. My voice was lighter and I looked like a baby. At that age, I thought I knew everything.”
Seventeen years later, Bjorlin, who became a wife and mother over a 12-month span, is certainly getting a crash course in life lessons. “It’s been incredibly humbling,” she notes of welcoming son Torin on May 4. “Before becoming a mom, when people talked about the first few months being hard, I’d just brush it off and think, ‘Oh, it will be fine.’ As an actor, we have crazy hours and sometimes we don’t sleep, or we have to be up in the middle of the night for an early call time. This isn’t like any of that [laughs]. It’s just really hard. You can read every parenting book in the world and think that you’re prepared, but then you just have to throw all of that away. There’s never really order. It ebbs and flows in how you feel and how you cope. It’s basically trying to stay sane.” Still, despite the chaotic roller-coaster ride of dizzying adjustments, Bjorlin smiles, “It’s also incredible and rewarding. Every day I see Torin grow and change.”
Bjorlin and hubby Grant Turnbull always planned on having children someday, but three months into their marriage, when Bjorlin went for an annual doctor’s exam, the actress learned she was two weeks pregnant. “It was a beautiful surprise,” she shares. “I was really glad that I found out so soon because we were going on a vacation in Hawaii. If I started to feel really horrible while we were there, I wouldn’t have to think that it was something I ate. So the news couldn’t have come at a better time.”
With a big return planned at DAYS, however, Bjorlin recalls, “I said, ‘How is this going to work?’ So we waited until the safe period [after the first trimester], and when I went in for a story meeting, they were amazing about it. There was another writer here at the time and he said, ‘I can really use that.’” With the soap’s advanced shooting schedule, Chloe’s pregnancy wasn’t written in for months. “The ironic part was that we didn’t really use it for the longest time,” she explains. “It ended up being a timeline issue that was out of everybody’s control. I didn’t start working until December, and then we had the break, and then the show went on hiatus for five weeks. When you’re pregnant, every week matters, so by the time I came back, in the Chloe pregnancy test scenes, I was eight months pregnant.”
The wardrobe department camouflaged Bjorlin’s expanding belly by dressing her in black, and she was seated in most scenes. “From what I’m seeing on-screen, it’s hidden pretty well,” she comments. “I look a little rounder in my face than usual, but the pregnancy isn’t obvious.”
After a six-week maternity leave, Bjorlin returned to the DAYS set with mixed emotions. “I don’t think there is ever a good time for when you should go back to work after having a baby,” she asserts. “I felt terrible about leaving Torin. He was so small.” And Chloe was still pregnant. “I had to wear a fake belly for a bit,” she shrugs. “They said, ‘We’re so sorry for making you go through this again!’ I told them, ‘At least it’s still fresh in my mind [laughs].’”
The actress feels her recent life changes have helped her performances. “Without even realizing it, my own personal evolution is reflected in Chloe,” she observes. “I think Chloe has become more confident and stronger in her choices. I love that I’m a mom because now it gives me a new perspective on Chloe. All of the choices that she’s making in the story are based on her wanting to be a good mom and a good person. I think that’s different. The last few times Chloe has been back, I always felt it was about her needing somebody and fighting to be loved. That’s changed. She’s become more grown-up.”
So has Bjorlin, who says she couldn’t have imagined the road she would travel when she first joined DAYS. “At the time, I was so happy and grateful to be working on this amazing TV show. I was excited about where I was in my life,” she relays. “Even though the circumstances are different today with the passage of time, I’m still excited about being on DAYS and grateful for the life that I have.”
And Baby Makes Three
Bjorlin had some memorable set encounters while pregnant with Torin. “There was the one love scene I had to do with Vincent [Irizarry, Deimos],” she shares. “Poor Vincent. He’s so nice. He said, ‘I feel really weird doing this. It’s like there are three of us on the set [laughs].’ I was totally fine with it. John-Paul Lavoisier [Philip] was a little freaked out. He said, ‘This is my first time ever making out with a pregnant woman.’ I made him feel my belly. I said, ‘Let’s not make it weird here. Touch the belly. Okay, now we can kiss.’ ” As for Bryan R. Dattilo (Lucas), the first castmate she told about her pregnancy, “The funny thing is, just as I came back from my maternity leave, I saw Bryan in the hallway and he asked, ‘So, when are you having your baby?’ I told him, ‘I had the baby already, Bryan.’ I reminded him that I told him in November. It’s such a time warp around here. He was like, ‘I didn’t think you looked pregnant. I was wondering, “How many months does she have left?”
Just the Facts
Birthday: August 2
Hails From: Newport, RI, but moved to Sweden when she was 2 months old.
Supportive Spouse: Bjorlin married Grant Turnbull on May 15, 2015 in Palm Springs, CA. “When you have a baby, you realize who you are married to, his strengths and weaknesses. We balance each other out. God bless him. When he comes home from work, he’s hands-on, changes diapers, the whole thing. But he’s not as good at sleep deprivation as I am.”
Boy Wonder: Torin Mathias Turnbull was born on May 4. “He’s a happy baby who likes to laugh. He’s also strong. He was able to sit up after a few weeks.”
Food, Glorious Food: Bjorlin had specific cravings during her pregnancy. “I ate like a teenage boy. It was probably because I was having a boy. I was eating things I wouldn’t normally eat, like pasta with meat sauce, cheeseburgers, anything meaty or cheesy was what I wanted all the time. It was very savory, hearty food.”
Are You Experienced? “My mother had six children. I asked her, ‘How in the world did you manage?’ And she answered, ‘Because I’m amazing [laughs].’” Sister Kamilla, she praises, “has been a godsend. Before I had Torin, Kamilla said that she would be there for me, and I told her that I’d be fine. But then after Torin was born, I would text my sister at 4 in the morning with so many questions. You think that you can do everything, but you realize that all moms are superwomen because it’s an incredible juggling act.”
In case you have been living under a rock, Nadia has wrapped her role as ‘Chloe Lane’ on NBC’s daytime drama, Days of our Lives. She will continue to air until late September (tentatively September 28, 2011).
“It’s a bittersweet moment for me, but fortunately I have been at these crossroads before, and I’ve always rose to the challenge in everything I pursued. I will miss the cast and crew dearly, and they — including [executive producer] Ken Corday — will always be considered family to me. At the same time, I am excited for where this next chapter in my life takes me.”
Nadia told Michael Fairman,
“Days of our Lives has been such an amazing huge part of my life and I will always be so grateful to them. It would have been 12 years come this October for me on the show as that is when I started working there. I loved playing “Ghoul Girl”. And I adore Chloe and all of her faults as well. Realistically, I was not happy towards the end. OK, I was not happy at all. I felt it was really out of character for Chloe to end up this way. I tried my best to redeem her, but sometimes as an actress there is only so much you can do. But I have always adored the place and everyone who works there.
On one level it does feel like the end of an era, but it does not feel like the end for me. Never say never on Days of our Lives and off screen, all of these people will continue to be in my life. And you never know what is going to happen.”
Stay tuned to see what happens next in Nadia’s career!
Naughty, Naughty Nadia!
From Stun Magazine — April 2002
Take one look at Nadia Bjorlin and you will fall hard for this exotic beauty! If your girlfriend has ever turned on Days of Our Lives (and we’re sure she has at one point or another) you most likely caught a glimpse of our STUN! cover girl.
Lovely Nadia beat out thousands of hopefuls for the role of Chloe, a 17-year-old with a mysterious past. In reality, this girl is anything but an underage innocent! Her character is caught between the affections of two guys (lucky, lucky bastards). If Nadia is collecting men, we want to be included!
Your character (on DOOL) is in quite the little love triangle right now.
Yeah, it’s really tough! Two really good-looking guys fighting over me. (Sigh) Someone’s gotta do it!
What would you do if you had to choose between two men?
I’d keep ’em both. Have both of them…why not? They both have to be good in their own ways right? I guess I would have them prove themselves to me. In many ways, but not with their fists. I’d want to be swept off my feet. That’s any girl’s dream I think.
How did you get started on this whole soap thing?
I had just graduated from high school when this role came about. I auditioned for it in New York City, where I was living at the time. Then they flew me out to California for a screen test. It was only about two days later that they called me and said, “You got it; you’re packing up your life this weekend!” I found out on a Friday and I had to fly out on a Monday to California with no place to live or anything else. It was definitely a big change. Kind of scary and surreal. It never really hit me. I don’t think it ever really did hit me.
Were you one of those obsessive soap fans before you got on the show?
No, I wasn’t. I had seen Days Of Our Lives and certain other shows, but I wasn’t an avid watcher. Now doing it, I have such a great appreciation for the art form and everybody who works on the soaps. Whether it’s the cast or crew or actors or writers…everyone! There is just so much going on! Production is going on 24 hours a day. I definitely think we have some of the hardest working people in the business.
Have you had any psycho fan stalkings yet?
No, none of that yet. I have some websites online, that have been created by fans. I’ve also had some amazing gifts and things sent to me. I don’t even know how to respond to them, because these people put so much thought into these things! So far, no scary stalker experiences yet!
Those soap stars seem like a wild bunch. How often do catfights break out on the set? Please describe them in detail.
You know there’s always something! Actually, if there are catfights, I haven’t seen them! I think we have an unusually nice cast. I have heard stories about other people from friends who work on other shows and it’s not necessarily good there, but our cast is like a big family. I like the fact that we have such a big age variety on the show because we can learn so much from the veterans, the people who have been there for so long and are so good at what they do. They are really helpful. They want to help and give advice.
How much input do you get to give about your character?
We get no input at all! We don’t know the storylines that far ahead. Usually people say ‘Oh, you just have to keep your mouth shut,’ because we don’t get any outlines or anything. We usually know a week ahead of time, sometimes a day before if something happens. It’s exciting in that sense because then I am reading it and it’s a big mystery to me too! If it’s a major progression into something, the producer or one of the writers might say,’Hey, look this is the direction we’re going in and I want you to do this, just so you’re not totally lost as to what your character is doing.’ They don’t want anyone to all of a sudden be like,’Oohh bad character choice!’ Or,’Whoa I didn’t know that was going to happen!'”
Your character, Chloe, is only 17. Do you worry about fans’ reactions to her being cast as too sexy?
It’s not anything for me to really worry about. I do concern myself with how I deliver lines or carry myself. Acting is about everything from body language to expressions. People have to realize that there are different levels of people at age 17. Some are very innocent or naive and they might be more vulnerable and not understand certain things. It’s really more the worry of the writers. They are constantly thinking about that. They want to portray a positive message and don’t want it to be about mindless nudity or sex. There is so much of that on TV as it is.
Do you keep your character’s age in mind when you choose projects that portray you in a sexy light?
There is both sides to think about. I wouldn’t want to play something wildly different with no meaning, I guess you could say. Unless it was an important role, something that means a lot to me and it’s something I would want to play. If there’s a talented actor involved, or it would be a good career move, there are so many factors that go into choosing things like that. In the end I want to have a good image, I want to be responsible and keep a good image.
How did it feel doing a photo shoot like this?
Oh God! Even that was nerve-wracking for me! I kept trying to put more clothes on. I really was, but they wouldn’t approve a turtleneck! Ha-ha!
You have such an exotic look. What nationality are you?
I am a mutt! My mother is Persian and my father is Swedish. I generally say I am Swedish when people ask, because that’s my first language. I grew up in Sweden. My family and I moved to Palm Beach, Florida from Sweden when I was seven. I started school there barely knowing any English!
Who taught you English?
American television, baby! I was always watching cartoons and things like that! TV was not very good in Sweden when I was little, so most of the time I was outside playing cowboys and Indians or something. Television was really fascinating when we came here!
So, are there any more like you at home?
I am number five out of six! I am almost the baby. I am the youngest girl. In order, there’s my oldest sister, then a brother, sister, brother, then me and then I have a little brother. We came in order like the Brady Bunch. All of my siblings and I, we all look different, but you put us together and you can tell we’re a family!
If you dropped the whole soap gig, what would you do?
Oh, singing definitely! That’s definitely something I dc want to pursue. It is the first thing I discovered about myself that I really enjoyed doing. When I was six-years old it was the first thing that I started doing. I would love to have a career as a recording artist as well. I would like to do pop music. Some people find that surprising since I have studied classical music and opera and that’s basically what I’ve done my entire life, but I have gained an appreciation for pop music. Not the cookie cutter style, but that will be the fun part. Discovering who I am and adding part of myself to my music. I want to be Madonna!
In her cone bra phase?
Ha-ha…No! But I respect her so much! She is one of the greatest female performers of all time! She constantly reinvents herself and says. “No limits!” She wants to do it all and she does! I have the same mentality. I would like to do film and sing and dance and change my style of music. I don’t want to have her exact career, but along the same lines.
Please tell us what a guy needs to have or do to win you over?
I like a guy to have a really big….brain. Ha-ha! It’s not necessarily about the exterior looks. I am so attracted to intelligent people with a great sense of humor and wit. I love witty people, but I have to tell the truth I always look at the eyes. Eyes are the most important part on a person. Great arms and a great ass would be really nice too, a nice six-pack could be good too, but the eyes are really important. You can see so much about a person or read so much about them by the eyes.
Have you ever done anything you just wish you could take back?
I try to live by the motto of no regrets. I think we all sometimes say we regret certain things we did, but I appreciate all the good things and the bad things and all the good and bad choices I make because I learn from them. I try to look at everything as a learning experience. Those are the things that help you in the future and make you who you are as a person. So far I don’t think I’ve done too bad career-wise or anything else. I am just being who I am.
Where are you calling home these days?
I am in Calabasas right now, which is right before Malibu. It’s very family-oriented. I do want an incentive to come back to New York though. I miss it, I love it there. The last time I was there was for the Emmys. I miss the liveliness and the energy of all the different cultures. It’s just very different from the East Coast and the West Coast. Everything from the music to the culture in food and everything else. It’s just very different. Ideally, I would like to live in both places one day. Bicoastal, the best of both worlds.
It must not be hard for you to find a date on a Friday night though!
Well thank you, but hell…it’s not easy at all! I haven’t really been in the dating world out here, because I haven’t been here that long. Dating in the industry is difficult, though! What can I say, it’s Hollywood! It’s hard when you work so many hours.
What’s up next for you?
I’m really happy where I am right now. I just want to do a little bit of everything before I die, so I don’t miss out on anything. We’ll see what comes. It wouldn’t be too bad to conquer the world one day. I’ll just take everything one day at a time.
Q&A with Nadia – circa 2000
What is your middle name?
What is your favorite CD right at this moment?
My favorite CD depends on what mood I’m in, sometimes it’s Santana, sometimes Ricky Martin, Lenny Kravitz, whatever.
What is your favorite color?
Who is your favorite author/book?
Favorite author: Cynthia Voigt; Book: Song of the Lark by Willa Cather
What is your favorite movie?
Don’t know…lots… 🙂
What is your favorite candy?
I love any sugar!! All kinds of candy, but I do have an immense weakness for chocolate, and I love Twizzlers and good gummy bears.
Where is your favorite place to visit?
I love to visit my home in Sweden.
Where is the favorite place you have been?
Italy is my favorite place I’ve been to.
What is your favorite vegetable or fruit?
I really love all kinds of fruits and veggies, but especially apples.
Do you watch yourself on television?
Rarely, I hate watching myself on tv. It’s kinda embarrassing and I find myself analyzing every little thing. But, if I’m really curious on how a scene turned out with someone I’ll watch it. Maybe I’ll learn something.
What is your favorite quote?
“Music makes life a symphony when God is the conductor.”
Do you get along with your siblings? What is your family like?
I love my siblings, we have so much fun together. I have three brothers and two sisters, so I have a really big family and we always manage to have a good time with each other.
Which is your favorite season?
I have a favorite Season depending on where I am at the moment. I hate summers in Florida, but love summers in Sweden. I love winter in New York for the ambiance, but at the same time I prefer warm weather to cold.
What is your favorite piece of clothing?
I go through phases on which is my favorite article of clothing, but I must say that I always love to wear jeans.
What do you like to do right before you go to bed?
Before I go to sleep? Usually I read my script for the next day, and probably watch a little tv. I also like to eat before I go to bed….which maybe sounds weird, but I love to eat all the time, so….. 🙂