Love Story - Soap Opera Digest

After three years on front-burner storyline, and words of encouragement from superstar DAYS fan Julia Roberts, it wasn't a tough decision when the show approached Nadia Bjorlin (Chloe) about signing a new contract. "I went with my heart, my instinct and my gut," recalls the actress. "I've learned so much; I work with such great people. It's been the best experience of my life."

Because the show had a long-term storyline planned for Chloe, the powers-that-be came to the actress almost a year before her contract expired. "Really early, actually," she marvels. "That in itself is flattering and an honor. For the head writers and [Executive Producer] Ken Corday to some ask me personally; I mean, who am I? They talked to me about a storyline that they were excited about writing and it made me say, 'Hey, let's do it.'"

That storyline — Chloe's leukemia — is currently playing out on-screen. Though the actress is looking forward to what lies ahead, she admits to some initial uneasiness. "It really hit home for me because my dad died of leukemia," she says softly. "The show didn't know that. They knew that he died, and they heard it was cancer, but didn't know what it was exactly. I had a little hesitation because I didn't know if it would be hard for me. In the end, I look at it more as probably an actor challenge. Hopefully, I can do it justice." Plus, the storyline "is not meant to be depressing, it's more to show the rareness of leukemia and just get information out there, too."

Nevertheless, Bjorlin's mother, Fary, with whom she still lives, wasn't comfortable with the idea of watching her daughter portray the illness. "She said, 'I'm sorry, I'm not going to watch the show for, like, the next year. No offense.' I completely understand." As for her five siblings, "When I mentioned the storyline, they were like, 'Oh, God, that really sucks.' They weren't happy about it, but they haven't mentioned anything as much as my mom."

Mom might not be watching DAYS right now, but "she is definitely my best friend," says Bjorlin. "She's always been there for me; she's my rock. She's not at all like a stage mom. It's fun to have that support and to have her at home and be babied once in awhile."

After two-and-a-half years in Salem, though, the actress sees more of her co-workers than she does her family. And that's just fine. "I can't imagine living without them at this point," she smiles. "I'm completely dependent on everyone here. Jay [Kenneth Johnson, Philip], Kyle [Lowder, Brady], Patrika [Darbo, Nancy] and Kevin [Spirtas, Craig] are closest to me and have been like my best friends; we're always hanging out or together. I have so much fun with Patrika and Kevin. I call her Mom and I call Kevin Dad."

Still, she's managed to sqeeze in quality time with her siblings on-set, too. Her sister, Kamilla, played the serpent during the Virtual Reality storyline, and her brother, Ulf, is a regular teen extra. "He does YOUNG AND RESTLESS, too. It's funny — he has this little fan following; I see it on my Web site. I put a picture up on my Web site of him and people are like, 'He's so cute.' I don't tell him that, but he's very handsome. And he's as good-hearted as he is good-looking. He's a good actor, too."

The actress doesn't do the Hollywood scene, preferring to hang out with her sibs, listen to music and go to the movies. "There are a lot of people who say, 'How come I never see you out?'" she says. "I cherish down time. I think we all go through our phases. I can definitely say I'm not a Hollywood-type person. I enjoy just being mellow, relaxing. Going to parties and getting dressed up is work." Not that she's a wallflower. "It's fun sometimes to go out with friends, but I could probably count on one or two hands the amount of times I go out all year," she shares. "I have no idea where places are or what places are really 'in.' I haven't been to most places that are popular."

On the subject of men, Bjorlin is guarded. "I guess I'm dating," she says, "but I consider myself currently single." As for rumors that she's been squired around town by actors Stephen Dorff and Owen Wilson, the actress demures, "I'm not going to say no. I mean, in the end, everyone's normal. Acting just happens to be a profession they do. Some people might let it go to their heads, but that's dumb. I've met a lot of big-time actors who are fun, nice, down-to-earth people." She tactfully — and humorously — puts the subject to bed by saying, "I'm keeping the whole single image thing here in case some hot guy reads this!"

And he just might. Bjorlin says the biggest surprise about daytime has ben seeing how passionate soap fans are. "They are literally the most loyal people on the planet," she praises. "It's fun; it's flattering. There is not a stereotype of a person who watches, either. People I wouldn't expect — Hollywood actors, Julia Roberts, Faith Hill, all these young guys who have done American Pie — I meet them and become friends with them and they go, 'We love the show. We've been watching forever.' It makes it worth coming in here every day — even if it's 5 in the morning and I have to drag myself out of bed!"

Just The Facts

Favorite Movie: "Moulin Rouge has been my favorite this year, but A Beautiful Mind after that."

Celebrity Crush: "I have a major crush on Ewan McGregor. I think he's married and has kids, too. I'm not gonna let that stop my fantasies."

How She Keeps Her Figure: "My 'healthy' figure? That would be courtesy of ice cream, actually. Ice cream and weight training. I have a big sweet tooth."

On New York Vs. Los Angeles: "I love food. I know that's unheard of here. That was one big culture shock moving here from New York. In New York, people don't care what they eat. I've never experienced any other place in the world where even men care what they eat. That's not life. You've gotta live a little bit. You can be healthy in moderation. Even though I say, 'Everything in moderation,' I'm not a very moderate person. I'll eat ice cream; I'll eat the whole box!"

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: "Anything that has to do with chocolate. I love Ben & Jerry's Phish Food."