Soap Opera Weekly
August 14, 2001

Applause! Applause!
Outstanding performer for the week of july 16

Viewers may have understand the complexities of Fay and Paul's relationship on Days of Our Lives (or how she could sleep with him again!), but one thing was very clear: Valerie Wildman turned in a haunting performance as Fay came face to face with the abusive husband she just can't seem to shake.

From the moment she spied Paul across the diner, Wildman's Fay slipped into survival mode. When he suprised her later, she behaved like a prisoner in her own home. Her body froze with terror, and her eyes glistened with tears. She looked to the door for a way out, but there was no way to escap her innermost fear as Paul chased her around the room and told her how much he wanted her. "Stop it!" she cried as she slapped away his outstretched hand. "If you're expecting to stay here and pick up like nothing happened, you can forget it!"

Wildman conveyed Fay's racing heart with her own quick, irregular breathing as Paul caressed her face, slowly wearing down her resistance. "I was weark because of you, Paul, because of what you did to me," she whispered. THen, desperately trying to be strong, her voice rose: "We are not starting now, and I am not going to be beat up by you again...It's over." Wildman then let out a yelp when she thought Paul was coming at her with a lit cigarette.

These scenes were demanding. Wildman had to make viewers believe that Paul had won Fay over (even if just for a moment), sell Fay's hope that Paul had changed, and articulate the attraction and history between them. She succeeded on all three counts.

Afterward, Fay was utterly disgusted with herself for sleeping with Paul. Wildman pulled her robe tight as Fay called herself stupid. Maybe Fay was stupid, but Wildman's performance was brilliant.