Nadia appeared on the cover and in the pages of Fixation Magazine‘s August 2008 Issue with Brandon Beemer. The magazine was featured on newsstands in southern California.
Nadia Bjorlin of NBC’s Days of our Lives and feature film Redline was the #1 Top Search on Yahoo for June 16 and 17, 2008. Redline is featured on Starz network this month and Nadia is part of the ensemble musical group, The Bjorlin Trio, with her two brothers Ulf and Jean-Paul.
The actress was a presenter on the live ABC telecast of the Daytime Emmys on June 20.
Coexistence – 2007 Issue
Nadia Bjorlin’s life began on August 2nd in Newport, Rhode Island. She is the fifth child out of six of Ulf and Fary Bjorlin. When Nadia was two months old, the Bjorlin family moved to Sweden, her father’s native country. Nadia’s father was a conductor and composer of classical music, which Nadia grew to love.
For those of you who don’t know who Nadia is, Nadia has been a popular star on NBC’s, Days of our Lives. Earlier in 2007, Nadia was the lead actress in the octane adrenaline film, Redline. She starred along side Eddie Griffin and some of the world’s most exotic supercars.
Nadia Bjorlin as Darwin would describe is evolution at its best. Not only is our Swedish-Iranian actress stunning like a muse, but she has the brains to back it up as well. You can catch Nadia once again on Days of our Lives and also, be on the lookout of Nadia’s upcoming music career. She and her siblings once again are embarking on their previous successful music cameo.
Q. Did you face any difficulties when growing up in Sweden? Were there any levels of racism you encountered since you are half-Iranian?
A. I had a really wonderful childhood with extremely loving parents and lots of siblings to lean on, so I was oblivious to any racial tensions going on in Sweden at the time. I never went to school in Sweden, but some of my siblings did, and they did experience some torment from classmates. There wasn’t a large Persian community at all in Sweden at the time, and I suppose ignorance breeds racism.
Q. Being of Iranian descent, have you encountered any difficulty in entering the American mainstream market?
A. I don’t think it necessarily has to do with the Iranian descent, but looking different and not being identifiable in any ONE category can be helpful in some ways and difficult in others. People can usually never guess my ethnic background, so I can use that as an advantage in being seen for roles of different ethnicities. The problem is when you don’t look Persian, Swedish, Italian, Russian, American, or whatever, enough! It can be frustrating to not be stereotypical.
Q. A lot of our readers want to know, can you speak Farsi?
A. No, unfortunately, I don’t. I understand, especially when I’m being reprimanded by my mother! Ha! Kidding…kind of. I was born after the Revolution in Iran, and I don’t want to recite a history lesson, but at the time, Iranians were not looked highly upon in most places of the world, I believe. Frankly, my mother was frightened to teach her younger children Farsi to spare us from racism. My oldest sister, Katja, is fluent in Farsi and my older brother, Kaj, and other sister, Kamilla, also speak a little.
Nadia on Playboy Radio
Nadia was interviewed on Playboy Radio on April 10. The show was heard by SIRIUS radio subscribers on the Playboy Radio channel 198.
Nadia on The Tom Green Live Show
Nadia appeared on The Tom Green Live Show on April 11 along with friend, Lance Bass.
Nadia on CNN Headline News (California)
Nadia appeared on CNN Headline News in southern California on May 3. She was interviewed for a segment about celebrities and their causes.
In the movie Redline she drives some of the most amazing cars in the world…but which one is her favorite?
We first saw her on the popular daytime soap opera Days of Our Lives where she played a mysterious young opera singer named Chloe Lane. Now she’s driving some of the most exotic cars in the world in the movie Redline.
Introducing Nadia Bjorlin…
Born in the United States and raised in Sweden, Bjorlin, 26, has lived a very cultured life. Daughter of a famous music conductor and composer of classical music, Bjorlin grew up with a refined appreciation of the arts, even performing professionally when she was only 6. After being with various orchestras, she went on to compete in several vocal competitions around the world.
Then came acting. She soon landed Days of Our Lives and shortly thereafter, Hollywood began to take notice.
“Well, let’s see. I’m a Leo. I like long walks in the rain, puppy dogs, and rainbows,” she laughs. “I’m kinda sarcastic as well.”
But she’s serious about her acting career.
Nadia appeared on the cover and in the pages of 21 Magazine, which hit the news stands March/April 2007 (Spring Issue).
The Swede Sound of Music
Written by Nima Ghazai; Photos by Gerry Garcia
NYLA Magazine – July 2006 Issue
Persian-Swedish actress Nadia Bjorlin talks about life as the daughter of famous European composer, her role as Chloe Lane in NBC’s Days of Our Lives, and her pursuit of becoming the next Wonder Woman.
It’s a common dream of young kids to grow up with aspirations of becoming a star musician, whether it’s ruminations of rock stardom or a fancy for the philharmonic. But few people can boast a family rich in musical talent, unless, of course, you are Nadia Bjorlin, the daughter of the late world-renowned Swedish classical composer, Ulf Bjorlin. In such a case, it would be adamantly expected of you to follow in your father’s footsteps as an opera singer.
Unless, of course, you are Nadia Bjorlin.
“You hear horror stories of ‘stage parents,’ when it comes to acting or music, but my father was so non-intimidating in that he allowed me to develop my own style,” Bjorlin says. “My mom was so proud too, but she never pushed anything either.” It should be no surprise either that two of her brothers are nearing the pinnacle of their respective musical academia; one, a full-fledged opera singer, is working on a Masters at Juilliard, while the other was schooled at the Manhattan School of Music. Having this type of pedigree sans the inherent pressures made it easy for Nadia to explore her inner talent.
Not only was her father her biggest supporter, but he provided each child with a separate teacher for every aspect of music. He never actually gave any piano lessons because he didn’t want to put any extra pressure upon Nadia or any of her other siblings. “I started off with classical music, played the harp and flute along with the piano at age 6,” Nadia remembers. “My brothers would then pick different instruments so that we could play together as a band.”
Nadia was the fifth of six children born to Ulf Bjorlin and his Persian wife, Fary, while the couple was in America for a symphony in 1980. Soon thereafter, the family returned to Stockholm, Sweden where Nadia was raised. At the age of 7, she relocated to Florida and then moved to New York for the second half of high school before arriving in California.
Although her talent in classical music emanated from her exposure to the genre by her father, Nadia’s love for it is not exclusive. She is currently segueing into the mainstream facet of music. “I’ve sort of moved into a little bit of Pop and R&B. I’m working on a soon to be released album right now with a French-Canadian artist Barnev Valsaint, who’s been touring with Celine Dion.”
A Remarkable Composition Of Talent and Beauty
By Rebecca Gray
Westlake Magazine – Fall 2005 Issue
Actress and singer Nadia Bjorlin, along with her five brothers and sisters, have been compared to ‘The Sound Of Music’s Von Trapp family’ in their earlier years. The Bjorlin family may very well be the finest composition ever produced by their father, the late world-renowned Swedish classical music composer, Ulf Bjorlin Sr.
Nadia Bjorlin, who played ‘Chloe Lane’ on NBC’s Daytime Drama Days of our Lives for the last six years, recently said good-bye to her cast and crew and moved to primetime television. She describes her new one-hour dramedy series, Sex, Love and Secrets, as a contemporary Melrose Place with the narration and comic relief of Desperate Housewives. The UPN show which recently premiered on September 27th, 2005, airs on Tuesday evenings at 9:00 pm ET/PT. The series features a talented cast including other screen stars like Denise Richards and Eric Balfour. “My character, Meg (a flight attendant), is a modern-day Betty Paige…carefree and spirited.” says Bjorlin. Silver Lake, California will replace Days’ town of Salem for Bjorlin in Sex, Love and Secrets.
In addition to the multitude of talents that have been bestowed on the Bjorlin family, Nadia and her five siblings are incredibly striking in appearance. The handsome Swedish father and their exotic Persian mother, Fary Bjorlin, lived and traveled around the world until her father passed away from Leukemia in 1993. Nadia was seven years old when she moved from Sweden to America and resided in Palm Beach, Florida. She learned English by studying television programs. Now her repertoire of languages includes Swedish, German, Danish, Italian, French, a little Russian and English of course. Equally impressive is the fact that she studied opera and dance in addition to playing the piano, flute, guitar and harp. Each sibling plays at least one musical instrument and they are multi-lingual. “Playing the piano was a prerequisite in the Bjorlin family,” chuckles Nadia.
Her brother, the handsome Ulf Bjorlin Jr., one year older than Nadia, is featured in this issue’s fashion spread with Nadia. Ulf, who also plays several musical instruments, above all the trombone, is also a film and television actor who hopes to produce one day. The eldest sister, Katja, a towering 5’10” former high fashion model (who was once the face of Christian Dior) is now living in Sweden with her husband and three children. Kaj, the oldest brother, a former concert pianist, now owns and operates his own Los Angeles based computer-consulting firm. Kamilla, her beautiful sister who landed in the middle of this line up, is also an actress and an established dance choreographer. And last but not least, her youngest brother, Jean-Paul is currently graduating with his masters from the prestigious Juilliard University and is yet another talented chip off the Bjorlin block. Nadia says, tongue in cheek, “I like to credit myself for playing a significant role in my younger brother, Jean-Paul’s future stardom.”
The three youngest, Ulf Jr., Nadia and Jean-Paul were also known as the “Bjorlin Trio” while growing up, making special appearances, opening for symphony concerts and performing together for various stage productions. All of the Bjorlin children grew up and proved to be accomplished individuals, excelling in all facets of the performing arts and the family remains very close. Nadia’s extremely proud Mother, Fary, travels between her homes in Sweden and America and is one of her closest friends and advisors. Nadia is clearly a fine composition of talent and beauty.
From SoapTalk – August 13, 2002 episode
Nadia Bjorlin plays Chloe on Days of our Lives. Nadia’s current storyline hits close to home. Her character was just diagnosed with Leukemia. Nadia’s father passed away from the same disease. Nadia admits that at first, her scenes were very hard to play and she was scared to do them. She had to take it as an actor’s challenge even though it was tough because she had to relive some of the experiences that she went through with her dad. Nadia has learned a lot from playing this storyline. Nadia is touched that many fans have donated money in Nadia’s father’s name to the Leukemia Society.
On a lighter note, Lisa brings up Kevin Spirtas and Patrika Darbo. As Lisa says, Kevin is a kick in the pants. Nadia thinks that they are the best people to work with. Nadia confirms that after playing a prank on Kevin, he chased her naked through the studio as Patrika howled with laughter. Nadia admits that she has a crush on both Ewan MacGregor and Jude Law. Other than the obvious, she thinks that they are both so talented — and the accents don’t hurt either!
Speaking of talented, Nadia shared hers with the SoapTalk audience and sings — in German — a stunning a capella rendition of “Ave Maria”.
From TV Guide Online
Nadia Bjorlin has been experiencing some heavy emotional moments portraying Chloe’s bout with leukemia on Days of Our Lives. Even before the story got intense, her onscreen mom, Patrika Darbo (Nancy) was feeling for the young actress. Knowing that Bjorlin’s real-life father, Ulf Bjorlin Sr., succumbed to the illness, Darbo planned to offer her TV daughter an extra dose of TLC.
“I knew this storyline was going to be a little tough for Nadia because of her dad,” she told TV Guide Online. “I always had that in the back of my mind.” Darbo’s answer was to experience any painful memories right along with Bjorlin. “There’s going to be an empathy in Patrika, knowing that what’s happening to Nadia will bring back a loss that she’s already been through,” she candidly shared. Days of Our Lives will air a fictitious “Light the Night Walk,” a fundraising effort that benefits The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, on Sept. 20. The dedicated actresses will both participate in real Light the Night Walks (lightthenight.org) throughout California beginning Sept. 27.
From The NY Daily News
“I am the ambassador for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society,” says Nadia Bjorlin, who plays Chloe and whose father (conductor and composer Ulf Bjorlin) died of leukemia. “I have gotten to do some public service announcements, which has been a really good thing, since my family was so affected by this disease.”
The only problem with the episode?
“My character is not even in the ‘Light the Night’ walk!” Bjorlin says. “Chloe is stuck in North Dakota looking for her biological father with Brady, trying to find a bone marrow match. She is supposed to be back in time but she doesn’t make it.”
Chloe does, however, end up in a sleeping bag with Brady.
“Philip will always be her first love,” Bjorlin says, referring to her character’s recently booted boyfriend. “She’s very heartbroken, obviously, that she has been betrayed once again. But this has been a long time coming. Ooh, la la.”
Bjorlin knows that rabid “Days” fans – divided into two camps, PHLOE (for Philip and Chloe) and BROE (for Brady and Chloe) – will be upset.
Of course, Chloe and Brady will grow closer, culminating in a big moment at her 18th birthday party.
Getting closer with Brady won’t rock her character. “I’ve been naked in the stables with Philip, so it’s no big deal,” she says.
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.
Soaps’ Hottest Newcomers
Soap Opera Digest – August 15, 2000
Who makes you laugh?
Patrika [Darbo, Nancy] and Kevin [Spirtas, Craig]. We have so much fun. Everyone here is fun; we get giddy together.
Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Night owl, big time. I’m at my best at night; my creative energy flows. My father used to compose late at night and play the piano all through the night. I would fall asleep to him playing.
If you could have three wishes, what would they be?
It would be nice to have my dad back, that would definitely be my first. That would make my mom happy and make the family a family again. I would want everyone in my family to have a perfect, wonderful life. My last wish would be to have many more wishes.
Describe a perfect date.
I don’t think I’ve ever had a perfect date! I like to do things that are different: I don’t like cliches. I would probably prefer to be at home with someone, making food and watching a movie.
What qualities do you look for in a guy?
Someone with a sense of humor, who can make me laugh. I like sweet and innocent guys, not cocky ones. Someone who will be devoted to me, who is honest and trustworthy. Usually it’s what’s on the inside. I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone and gone ‘Ooh.’ But good-looking doesn’t hurt!
“Aside from her talent and her beauty and her soft-spoken and delicate ways, she’s got this quiet fire within her that I think is very charismatic,” says Kevin Spirtas. “I think she’s destined for greatness, I really do. Not a wink of the eye; I think she has a big future if she chooses to keep doing it. She has quite a gift.”
Not Just Another Pretty Face
Soap Opera Weekly – June 6, 2000
“Everyone has either known or been a ‘Chloe,'” Nadia Bjorlin says.
She’s referring, of course, to the tormented, introverted teen who sticks out like a sore thumb amidst the other teens on Days of Our Lives. Bjorlin joined the cast in late 1999, and, shrouded in black clothing and hidden behind a pair of bulky glasses, her Chloe immediately became the pariah of Salem High School. She’s been teased incessantly by her schoolmates, who have gone so far as to leave a dead chicken on her doorstep. “I can’t say that I didn’t experience a little bit of that type of thing in school, as well as see other kids being treated even worse,” the actress says. As if suffering through teen angst isn’t enough, Chloe’s life has been further complicated by Nancy, the mother she never knew she had. No wonder the girl is such a mess. “Chloe’s had it rough, and she’s bitter, but she keeps up a facade of being very strong and impenetrable,” Bjorlin says, but reveals that the sourpuss has lightened up — if only a bit. “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.”
During her first weeks on Days, Bjorlin recalls that the show’s makeup department took extreme measures to make her look as “blah” as possible. “They used to put a lot of grease through my hair and makeup on to cover my eyebrows,” she explains. “Then they got tired of it and now, I don’t put any makeup on and the hair’s a little cleaner.” Despite her dowdy on-air appearance, the real-life stunner is surprised that she is recognized, and jokes that she’s not sure if that’s a good thing.
It is, because even Chloe’s glasses can’t hide the fact that Bjorlin is a gifted, memorable actress whose love of performing is in her family’s blood. “I have three brothers and two sisters, and we have all been involved with the business at some point,” she says.
Bjorlin’s father, Ulf, a Swedish conductor/composer, and mother Fary, an interior designer, undoubtedly fueled their artistic interests. Music became the favorite pastime in the house thanks to Ulf, and went a step further when Nadia and two of her brothers took their act on the road, so to speak. “The three of us decided that we wanted to take piano lessons,” she explains. “We started singing, too, and it just kind of happened.” “It” was an incarnation of The Sound of Music’s von Trapp family. Nadia began performing concerts with her father and brothers, mixing Broadway, jazz and pop music. During that exciting time, Nadia not only sang, she also played piano, harp and flute.
Soap Opera Digest – May 30, 2000
“I think I’ve always been typecast as the ingenue or the sexy girl,” muses DAYS OF OUR LIVES’ Nadia Bjorlin. It’s easy to see why — even in sweats and with barely any makeup on, she’s breathtaking. But dig a little deeper and you’ll understand why DAYS’ cast against type, tapping the actress for the role of wallflower Chloe.
Bjorlin possesses a maturity and a polish beyond her years, thanks to a cosmopolitan childhood that included music, travel … and tragedy. “Around age 6, I started playing the piano and flute,” she explains. “I also liked to sing. I was shy at first, but I realized I had a voice and I started using it.” It was hardly a surprise to her family — her father, Ulf, was a conductor of classical music and her mother, Fary, an interior designer, could sing. Before long, Bjorlin and two of her siblings were performing professionally in a group called The Bjorlin Trio. While her peers were on the playground, the actress was singing opera for European dignitaries.
The Rhode Island native moved to Sweden, her father’s native country, when she was 2 months old. The family alternated between Europe and the States over the next few years until Bjorlin’s father took a job conducting the Florida Philharmonic and the Palm Beach Symphony. In spite of the shuffling around, Bjorlin describes her upbringing as perfect. “I loved my childhood,” she says. “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 it didn’t really matter.”
The fairy tale came to an end when Bjorlin’s beloved father passed away when she was 12. The close-knit clan responded to the tragedy by growing even closer. “We’re very tight and very open,” reflects Bjorlin. “My mom’s my best friend.”
A move to New York was next, where Bjorlin attended the Professional Children’s School. After graduating last May, she decided to shift her focus to acting; by the fall, she’d landed a role on DAYS that seemed tailor-made for her. “I never imagined there would be a character who sang opera,” she marvels. The family packed up and headed West.
Adjusting to life in Salem was made easier by the newcomer’s on-screen parents, Kevin Spirtas (Craig) and Patrika Darbo (Nancy). “It was intimidating at first; now it’s second nature,” she notes. “Kevin and Patrika took time out of their regular lives to practice and give me pointers, which I greatly appreciated. The most fun I have is when I hang out with Kevin and Patrika and the older cast members. I do adult things better, too. I don’t necessarily enjoy kids’ stuff. To sit there and gossip is not really my thing.”
But between spending time at the mall and at the movies, Bjorlin’s Salem peers may bring out the teenager in her yet. “We’re all friends off-camera,” smiles Bjorlin. Usually, a fan will see one of us and say, ‘Oh, you’re from that show.’ All of a sudden, they’ll look around and freak out because we’re all there.” And the actress is too smart to let success spoil her. “Someone told me the other day, ‘I’m glad you’re not one of those girls who lets everything go to your head,'” recalls Bjorlin. “I’m like, ‘Should it have?’ I just think it’s such a waste of energy. People like that are going to be unhappy and miserable one day — and clearly disappointed. Why not have fun and be yourself and enjoy everyone around you?”
Who’s New? NADIA BJORLIN
Soap Opera Weekly – January 18, 2000
BIRTHDAY: Aug. 2
BIRTHPLACE: Newport, R.I. My family moved back to Sweden when I was 2 months old. Then, when I was 7, we moved to Palm Beach, Fla.
MARITAL STATUS: Single
PREVIOUS CREDITS: I haven’t done any television before Days, but I have been singing professionally since I was a child.
Is Days of Our Lives your first big break?
It was my very first audition. I just graduated from high school in New York, got an agent, and a week later I got the job.
How did you celebrate getting your Days job?
I didn’t have time to celebrate. I had a weekend to move out here. I celebrated by packing my bags.
Singing was your way into show business?
Yes. My parents — my mom, Fary, and my father, Ulf (a conductor and classical music composer, respectively), are well-known in Europe. We used to do this little ‘Von Trapp family’ thing. Since my brothers and sisters and I all played instruments and sang, my father used to bring us up onstage when he would have recitals or smaller concerts. ‘Here are my children. Let them do something for you.’ We started becoming really popular. Eventually I started studying classical music and opera.
Did anybody at Days take you under their wing?
Patrika Darbo (Nancy) has been so sweet to me since the first moment we met. She told me a lot of little things like how to get used to being on the set, how to know which camera is on you, etc. She also reminded me that the microphone is always on, so be careful what you say.
Are you modeling Chloe after anyone?
She’s a little bit of me, a little bit of what I’ve seen in high school of kids who get picked on. She’s a bit of an outcast. Everybody’s going to think that she’s a big freak and a nerd, especially because she sings and likes opera.
How would you describe Chloe?
She’s a little bit of everything right now. You can’t really tell what’s going on inside her head. Obviously, she feels very scared, betrayed and hurt. So much has hit her at once.
Your look on the show is different from the real you, isn’t it?
They’re playing me down. I wear fake eyeglasses. No makeup. They brush my eyebrows down so it looks like I don’t pluck them. My hair is really ratty and frizzy. I won’t be dressing like the other kids.
Is it hard to be on TV this way?
It’s kind of funny. At first it was like, ‘I don’t want to look like this in front of the camera,’ especially since this is the first real thing I’m doing. I didn’t want people’s first impression of me to be, ‘Ewwww! look what she looks like!’
What’s your real look?
The complete opposite of Chloe. I don’t think anyone would recognize me if they saw me on the street.
Little Girl, Big Voice
TV Guide – November 27, 1999
Days of Our Lives is putting the opera in soap opera. Starting with the NBC serial’s November 26 episode, viewers are being slowly introduced to a new Charlotte Church-like character named Chloe, a 15-year-old classical music prodigy who has the voice of an angel. This being a soap, she also has a mother who’s a devil — Nancy Wesley, the social-climbing villain played by Patrika Darbo (it will soon be revealed that Nancy gave birth to Chloe out of wedlock and kept her existence a secret to avoid public scandal). Says Days head writer-executiver producer Tom Langan: “Chloe has been knocked around from one foster home to another, and like a lot of kids who are abused or overweight or don’t fit in with their peer groups, she finds a way to vent her pain. In her case it’s singing opera, and it’s been her salvation.”
The tough-to-cast role went to Nadia Bjorlin, who Langan describes as “a serene, fascinating beauty who floats through a room.” But don’t plan on seeing that anytime soon, because her character is downright dowdy. Says Bjorlin: “Chloe has a very low self-image. She’s very closed off, very dark, but someone I hope young viewers will eventually admire.” Bjorlin — whose first language is Swedish — is quite a find: Daughter of the late Ulf Bjorlin, one of the world’s most acclaimed orchestra conductors, she is not only a classically trained singer, but a flutist, pianist, fashion model, and sexpot dancer (Check her out in the Ricky Martin video “Shake Your Bon-Bon”!).
With the addition of her character, Days, which alternates with NBC’s Passions as the top soap among viewers age 12-17, will be exposing many youngsters to opera for the first time. “I’m used to being in performing arts schools where kids already have an appreciation for classical music,” says Bjorlin. “I don’t know how the kids who watch Days will respond to it. They may think it’s weird. This will be a learning experience for all of us.”
– Michael Logan