Model turned Emmy-nominated actress, Arianne is best known for her role as Nicole Walker on NBC's beloved daytime drama Days of Our Lives. Arianne's passion comes out in all aspects of her life - not just acting. She is an ambassador for the San Fernando Valley Habitat for Humanity in California. In a recent trip to New Orleans Arianne worked with the St. Bernard Project and alongside fellow Days of Our Lives cast members to build homes and raise money for those displaced by Hurricane Katrina.
Recently Arianne has launched a new project called LifeCHANGE with a mission to give people the opportunity and the means to challenge themselves and work towards their goals.
Arianne talked to us about her career, making a difference with LifeCHANGE, and life in the City of Angels.
Tell us a bit about your work. We understand you modeled before you started acting. How did you make the transition from modeling to acting?
Modeling for me was just a job. I worked hard as a young adult...modeling wasn't the only thing. When I decided to go back to school and start my pre-vet courses, I was still modeling and doing commercials as one of my three jobs. "Days of our Lives" was my fourth TV show audition. They needed a model on the show. Go figure!
You play Nicole DiMera on the long-running soap opera "Days of our Lives." What are some of the joys and challenges of playing Nicole?
Keeping Nicole exciting to watch will always be my biggest challenge. Every time I get a script, I try to always think about the fans. It's like reinventing yourself every day. The joy is the fan response and commitment to keep watching the show.
“Days of our Lives” is a veritable institution. How did you end up on the show?
I auditioned with a lot of other girls.
Do you ever find yourself identifying with your Nicole?
Well, after 14 years, there is definitely a connection between us. I love this character. We are not similar in our choices we make in life, but of course there is a part of me that lives in Nicole.
What is your favorite part of being on "Days of our Lives"?
Hands down, the crew...without them, we don't have a show. They are the meat and potatoes!
Tell us about LifeCHANGE. Where did the idea come from and what’s your role?
LifeCHANGE was co-created in September of 2007 by myself and my older brother Todd Zucker. It is dedicated to:
- Challenging people to realize the full potential of their character and their inner strength in a positive environment.
- Helping them discover that they can change the lives of others in the process of changing their own.
- Creating an environment for success in whatever dreams they have visualized for their future.
- Opening a path for young people to be a positive influence on their peers.
LifeCHANGE is constantly growing just as we do in life...
How are the participants selected?
LifeCHANGE is growing in many different ways. The selection process for the documentary was a simple two-minute video describing who you are and why you need a life change.
What kind of learning experiences and obstacles are they expected to deal with?
We have a leadership boot camp where the formula is catered to the specific needs of each young adult that is part of the program. We learn about them – who they are and their background – and focus on building upon their strong attributes. The program is written by my brother, Todd, and our Executive Director, Steve Fenske.
How will LifeCHANGE give the participants an opportunity to change their lives? What is it that is unique to LifeCHANGE that the participants could not get elsewhere?
The first challenge is to take a chance. It is a commitment to make changes in your life. The goals below are what we hope to do…
LifeCHANGE’s goals for our participants are:
- Presence: feeling present and finding purpose in every step you take.
- Hope: an ability to generate optimism in yourself and others, even in harsh times, and to set inspired, hopeful goals. Yours is a future without limits.
- Awareness: to act with personal and social responsibility.
- Confidence and self-esteem: knowing that when you walk into a room, your opinion matters. There are people around you who care about your well-being and who are willing to help.
- Leadership: When you are given an opportunity to help someone else you prove that you are a leader and a mentor.
- What’s coming up for LifeCHANGE and what can we expect to see from you personally this year?
We are creating bonds with other non-profit organizations and gaining recognition in what we do. We will have more sneak peeks at our documentary and some overseas travels to several countries.
This is a lifelong project for me. My personal goal is to motivate young adults to fight for their dreams and, in return, inspire those around them to do the same. Imagine a world where we treat each other with respect and dignity every day. That is my goal this year and every year going forward.