Ayda Field returns to daytime this week as B&B mystery woman Cecile more than two decades after wrapping as Angela Moroni on DAYS.
Field, who played the mafia princess in Salem from 2000 to 2001, was thrilled to look back on the day. “I miss my soap days,” she shares. “It’s always been a really warm place in my life and it was fun to revisit. It was a kicker for me and I brought my mum and daughter Teddy on set with me, so it was really great to share this part of my life that meant so much to me.
Field also appreciated that Cécile was French. “I speak French and my grandmother spoke French and I just had a really good loop time with that,” she explains. And while Cecile is a mystery, Field teases, “We kept saying it was an ANGEL TOUCHED moment. I was able to channel Cécile in the most fabulous French way in a beautiful setting, with a cast I instantly clicked with, and Brad [Bell, B&B’s executive producer/head writer], which I love, and my family there. So I felt very independent at the time and I think Cécile did exactly what Cécile was supposed to do.
The actress, who married British pop star Robbie Williams in 2010 and welcomed four children with him, continued to act and hosted shows, so nerves didn’t really run high during filming. “I was more excited than nervous,” she notes, “but I don’t know what I’ve been doing on camera since Covid. It was kind of weird because I hadn’t done it at this point for two years. I’ve done podcasts and movies, but not a TV show, so there was an element of edginess in me, wanting to make sure I hit the right target, and Brad was happy and my daughter was proud. I think if you don’t have nerves, then you don’t care.
Reconnecting with Jacqueline MacInnes Wood (Steffy) was a significant moment for Field. “She and I toured together years ago. [PARTY ON, a 2014 travel show for E!], and it was a pretty impactful thing,” Field begins. “I had been offered a job in Istanbul and it just so happened that those were the two days I got [from work], and it felt like this real call to do the show. My dad and his side of the family are in Istanbul, and I didn’t really grow up with my dad, so it was a time when the universe is calling you to something and you don’t know why, but you feel really like you’re pulled in one direction. Teddy was 10 months old and I thought, “I have to bring my daughter because I need her to meet her great-grandmother, who I’ve only met once, and meet my father for the first time. So I went to Istanbul and brought my mother and daughter and had this two or three day shoot in Istanbul with Jacqui. It was really powerful. I didn’t know that would be the last time I would see my grandmother, because she passed away several months later, and then my father passed away unexpectedly a few months later. But I was so thankful that I went there and did this random gig and really listened to the universe. So, the day before the shooting in Monaco, I went to the BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL party and I saw Jacqui, whom I hadn’t seen since Istanbul and it was a very nice feeling; there was just a full moment of gratitude for these adventures and being open to them, and opening the door to fun, especially after Covid.
Covid has proven to be a fruitful time for Field, who has embarked on a new business venture: an eponymous athleisure line that just launched in May (shopayda.com). “It was definitely a joyful process,” she enthuses. “I think the pandemic was a great time to pivot for the first time in our lives in a different way. I was living in my athleisure during Covid and I thought, ‘How can I improve this? Because that’s what I wear. I don’t wear dresses or jeans. For me, joy is family and the heart of the collection is the Gwen, according to my mum, and I have the Teddy and the Coco for my daughters. My husband, Robbie, wonders why nothing is named after him. The fall collection will feature the boys. There will be a Charlie, a Beau [for her sons] and a Robbie.
And now that she’s performed again, she hopes to continue on this path. “I have to say, being on set and being with such a great group of people turned on a switch in me, like, ‘I really like doing this. I missed it.
i want to do more
that’,” she says. ” It was very fun. When I started playing Angela Moroni, I was a 21 year old girl, not in a relationship, not a mother, I was just throwing myself into the world in my own way. And now, going back to a soap opera, I’m a mother, a wife and a businesswoman, so Cécile must have had a different dimension for her. I still feel Angela with me. And now Cécile is with me. These European women are dancing in my heart
As she looks back on the path she’s been on since her last outing today, Field reflects, “I think I had all kinds of big dreams when I left DAYS, but I feel like to have exceeded all these dreams because I never could I imagined that my life could be so full.