Days Of Our Lives Star Was Born To Perform
Edmonton Journal – September 3, 2000
Nadia Bjorlin is a dichotomy.
She shook her sexy booty in the Ricky Martin music video ‘Shake Your Bon Bon’ yet played a dowdy wallflower with greasy hair, bulky clothes and nerd glasses as tormented, introverted teenaged Chloe on Days Of Our Lives. It is amazing that she ever got recognized in clean hair and makeup on the street.
“They used to put a lot of grease through my hair and makeup on to cover by eyebrows,” she explains. “Then they got tired of it and gradually, I didn’t put any makeup on and the hair got a little cleaner.”
Which can’t do much for a girl’s self-esteem.
“Chloe’s had it rough and she’s bitter,” Bjorlin allows, “but she keeps up a facade of being very strong and impenetrable. She’s become a little more easygoing and has developed a softer side that she rarely lets anyone see. She’s been the victim basically her whole life and her hard exterior is a way to avoid the real world.”
Bjorlin, on the other hand, has a happy if unorthodox upbringing. She is the fifth child of six born to Swedish conductor/composer Ulf Bjorlin and his Persian wife, Fary, an interior designer.
Bjorlin was born in Newport, R.I., but had a peripatetic upbringing, depending on where her father was conducting. The Bjorlins moved back to Sweden when she was two months old, living abroad until her father accepted a job conducting the Florida Philharmonic and Palm Beach Symphony.
“I loved my childhood,” she enthuses. “I have three brothers and two sisters, so I always had a lot of siblings and playmates. Everyone I cared about most in my life was with me, so the shuffling back and forth didn’t really matter.”
It was only natural, immersed in music as she was, that Bjorlin should perform. In fact, all the kids do or did at some point.
She herself started performing professionally at age 8, singing with two of her brothers as the Bjorlin Trio. She also did concerts with her father and brothers, mixing Broadway, jazz and pop music, and sang with the Palm Beach Opera for two years. And she not only sang, she played piano, harp and flute — she has since taken up the guitar.
And the lady will dance, you can ask her.
“I especially love Latin music and Latin dance, such as the salsa and merengue, and I am also a fan of Persian and Arabic music. My mom taught me to belly dance as a child.”
In her mid-teens, she enrolled in the Professional Children’s School in New York, where her classmates included Julia Stiles and Gaby Hoffmann. After graduating in May 1999, she decided to focus on acting.
One week after landing an agent, she auditioned for Chloe.
“A couple of days after signing me, the agency got a breakdown for a character and needed an actress who could sing opera. I never imagined there would be a character who sang opera!”
So there she was on a plane to California for her first acting audition.
“I was nervous, but in a subdued way,” she admits. “I was happy with what I did but really didn’t think that I was going to get it. So I flew back to New York and started to get back to my life. Three days later, on a Friday, my agent called to say, ‘You got it. They want you to fly out there on Monday.’ ”
She not only got the gig, she got a pair of onscreen parents, Kevin Spirtas (Craig) and Patrika Darbo (Nancy), with whom she has bonded.