The Lady and the Jock

She's a legend of the small screen. He's a baseball player turned daytime star. But to Days of Our Lives viewers, Genie Francis and Drake Hogestyn have become Diana and Roman, the show's latest super couple--a shining example of the battle of the sexes and the principle that opposites attract. Roman's a cop. Diana's a reporter. She's impulsive and covert. He's straightforward and righteous. He's seasoned, she isn't. Yet in some ways, they are incredibly similar. They're both stubborn, determined to get his or her own way and very, very attracted to each other.

What makes them click? What are they like off camera? What's it like to work with them? How do they really feel about each other?

To get answers and some insight into this intriguing pair, we spoke to castmates, friends, and family members. Here's what the people who know them best had to say:

BECKY GREENLAW, Producer, Days of Our Lives, on why Genie and Drake work well together:

Drake is a jock. He is the all-time jock. He's a wonderful guy but he's a jock and Genie's the lady. It's just great chemistry between them.

GENIE FRANCIS reveals how Drake inspires her and why they never argue:

"He's a very down to earth kind of guy. As far as working with him goes, I couldn't be happier. Drake is very, very hard working. He has such a wonderful attitude, he's excited and he always says to me 'I think it's really important to have fun at work.' And he does just that, he keeps it really light and he's not filled with ego. There's a lot of that in this business as we all know but he's not like that. What I was trying to say in a sort of jumbled up way is that I think that Drake manages to take his work seriously without taking himself seriously. It's wonderful to spend a day with someone like that. We never argue. We used to come up here (her dressing room) after the dry block every morning and sit on the floor and we'd just keep working and working on those scenes and he's very good about all of that. I wanted to see more comedy in the beginning of our relationship and he was like a kid with a new toy. He came up with wonderful, funny stuff. He's got a great sense of humor so it's a very healthy working relationship. I like romantic comedy, it's one of my favorite things to do. I have a good time with him and he's really a good friend of mine."

DRAKE HOGESTYN tells why he minds his manners with Genie and how she's different from Diana:

"Genie is a lady. Genie reminds me in a lot of respects of my wife, Victoria, from the standpoint that I can be very funny and throw out some zingers, so that my wife is always telling me 'Remember that I'm in the room with you when you're saying these kinds of things.'

"I think Genie's character is probably the furthest removed from what she actually is. Diana is very dynamic and forceful and opinionated and speaks her point. Genie is reserved, very. I wouldn't use the word withdrawn, but Genie will sit on a lot of things and she'll watch and observe and then formulate the opinions. However, I think just a bit of Diana Colville is starting to come out in Genie.

"I'm not a real actor, I mean I didn't grow up wanting to do this, thinking that this was going to happen. It kind of fell into my lap. Genie grew up in a theater family. So this is what she knows. The other day she was talking about how she saw a play and got goosebumps and felt this need to create and to really become better as an actress. I never got goosebumps doing a play, I never got butterflies. I never got butterflies here, I got butterflies before every game - I would just have to pull myself together. So that way I know that feeling: How she feels about this work, how she wants to create and to get herself better - and how she can get upset if she maybe missed something in a scene that she was striving for and it didn't work. Whereas I can get upset too, but I don't expect a whole lot out of myself. If something happens, it happens. She wants to do some theater work and I can see this light in her when she talks about that."

"I think I'm getting to know her pretty well. She's not moody but I can tell right when I come to work in the morning if I can be my usual jovial self or if I've got to put on some white gloves and just let her work it out. And she knows it, too, if I don't...I don't know how many times it's happened, but maybe around 2:00 pm she'll go 'I feel good now.' And I'll say, 'All right, listen to this joke!' And we just take off on that. But I'm pretty perceptive to her needs and her attitude. There are shifts, there are big swings, we all have them, but I can see hers right away and I don't like to step into that boundary; let her have her space and it makes for a much better working relationship."

"Things do bother her. I don't know everything that she had before, but she's talked about that once or twice, you know, having all this attention....Her first kiss was a stage kiss, to me that said a lot right there, growing up like that, getting your education on a set and dealing mainly in an adult world while you're growing as a child. That would probably be pretty tough for anybody. She's very protective of herself and she doesn't open up to a lot of people. But she's deep and she's complex. She talks about a new stage of her life, motherhood and marriage and I can see she's really looking forward to that."

JOE COLLIGAN, (Ethan Reilly Days) on what it's like to work with them:

"I don't know anybody that doesn't get along with Drake. I don't know anybody that doesn't get along with Genie. Drake's fun, Genie's there. It's a different thing from when I work with Arleen Sorkin, (Calliope) and you never know what's going to happen because it's always last-minute. You're kind of on edge. With Genie, it's smooth. It's so nice, it's so clean, it's like you just know. I like both things but it's just a total difference."

"Drake is open to any creativity. I'm getting to know him a little better since on crowded days we share a dressing room. He's just always, always, always a pistol."

CHARLES SHAUGHNESSY, (Shane Donovan, Days) a private joke?

"As long as Drake doesn't come anywhere near me with that whipped cream he can do what he likes."

ZORA SLOAN, Days Hair Stylist, on what she sees in the makeup room:

"Drake will always have a funny story to tell us and it's endless - he will come in day after day and tell us the craziest stories. He makes things funny. And Genie laughs at him and thinks he's very silly. He makes her laugh."

MICHAEL T. WEISS, (Mike Horton, Days), tells how Genie surprised him, and how he surprises Drake:

"When Genie first came on, I thought 'Uh oh, Genie's going to be this big star, I'm going to have to beat her up to get her to be normal,' and she's the biggest sweetheart and became one of my closest friends. And Drake, I call up in the middle of the day or night every time I hear a dirty joke. I catch him at home and tell him my dirty joke over the telephone. We have a running thing going, so anyone out there who has dirty jokes, please send them to Drake or Michael T. Weiss in care of Days."

CHRISTIE CLARK, (Carrie Brady, Days) on why she loves to work with Drake:

"Drake's always funny and always in a good mood. We play practical jokes on each other a lot. Once he forgot his wallet at home and I heard him say it, so I gave him half of my sandwich and I put fart powder in it. Then Melissa Brennan (Jennifer) and I went down to his dressing room and yelled, 'Drake.' He was in there for about five minutes and when he came out he just looked at me and said, 'Well, I think it works.' It was so funny. Plus we have all these fake doggie-dos or "poopsicles." We goof around. He said he was going to get me back soon but he hasn't yet. Now Genie thinks I'm going to be doing something to her pretty soon because she asked me, 'Christie, what are you up to?' Everyone around here knows about that fart powder thing."

ARLEEN SORKIN, (Calliope Bradford, Days) on why Drake and Genie have good chemistry:

"I think the characters on the show that really work are the ones that incorporate humor because that's true-to-life, that's what people do. When people are upset they try to make jokes about it. That is the natural instinct much more than playing everything very seriously. Drake and Genie both have a very good sense of humor. I think that's probably why they have such good chemistry and have had that right from the very beginning."

"Drake is a constant kidder, a constant joker. He says things that shock the hell out of you, the things that come out of his mouth. And Genie is fun, she loves to laugh and she's always got funny things to say, but Drake likes to shock her. He says things - wow - I mean people think that I'm shocking - he'll say things that shock me."

LEE SMITH, (Days Costume Designer,) explains why they're easy to dress:

"Genie is very co-operative. She's got a terrific figure and wears clothes very well. She looks good in those pastels and then for evening things, I can go for a real burst of color or something real glamorous.

What's great about Drake is that he's willing to try something, he's great about fittings. He loves to put everything on and sort of get the feel of it. We've gotten a few almost trendy things on him, which is kind of fun because Drake wears that stuff very well.

BILL HOGESTYN, (Drake's older brother,) on what it was like to grow up with Drake:

"We're farm boys. We grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and our family is a tight group. We had the typical sit-down, meat'n potatoes meals with everybody telling stories. Drake always had a quick wit and the gift of gab. He'd have everybody roaring while our dad would be saying, 'You don't do that at the table.' We're only two years apart, so we had those cat-and-dog fights, but it was hard to get the better of Drake. One time we really got going, and Drake broke a test tube from my chemistry set and put the pieces in the bottom of my bed between the sheets. I got cut up, so, to pay him back, I made a blow gun out of another test tube and sent a little homemade dart into his rear. It cost me five bucks to keep him quiet because he was going to tell my parents."

"As an athlete, he was fast as greased lightning and one hell of a pitcher. He played on an older team and matured very fast in the sport. His attitude was: 'Baseball is my life.' Even now, there's no doubt in my mind that is his first love. He's pretty relaxed about acting, though I would say he's probably his own worst critic. He tries to be a perfectionist. His attitude has always been: 'I can do better,' and it's the same about his acting. He's kept a level head over the years. He's a down-to-earth guy who likes to please the crowd and who also likes his privacy."

KIN SHRINER, Scotty, General Hospital, Relates what it was like working with Genie:

"It seems like it was so long ago that she was Laura. It's been ten years, it's like another lifetime. There was such newness then, and fun. We really had fun doing the show. GH was taking off in the ratings. We were all swept along with it. Doing a soap wasn't a job back then. It was the best time and Genie and I had a lot of laughs. There are so many memories of being together, spending time. I haven't spoken to her in a while, but we still keep in touch. I call her every year on her birthday--May 26. The thing about Genie is, she's shy. She keeps things to herself. Remember, she went through a lot of tough stuff at a young age, but she bounces back. She wants to be happy and, I think, she's always really wanted to settle down with someone."

VICTORIA HOGESTYN (Drake's wife,) shares what she always knew about him:

"I've known Drake since I was twelve years old and even then I had a feeling he'd be a great father, which was important to me because I love kids. He certainly didn't disappoint me. He is a wonderful father who's genuinely interested in kids and that's why I'm happy to report we're expecting our second in December."

JONATHAN FRAKES, Genie's husband, on why he's looking forward to spending his life with her:

"Genie is the hardest-working actress in show business. I think people forget that she's been working for twelve years. During that time, she has not become jaded, and with all that she went through, it could have gone the other way. She loves acting and that love comes from her father (Ivor, a well-known character-actor and respected drama coach). I knew him for about a year and a half before he died. He was one of those guys who make you proud to be in the profession. She's like him in her passion for the craft. You know, lots of people go into this profession without support. Their parents are waiting for them to give up acting and to get a 'real job.' Genie was lucky not to have had that. Her parents have been behind her. It's going to be fun spending the rest of my life with her. It definitely won't be boring. And I'm looking forward to being her nighttime husband."

Thanks to Linda for letting me copy this article from her site! :)