How Days Alum Jensen Ackles Poked Fun At His Soap Gig On His Most Iconic TV Show

Eric Brady is not prepared for part two of the one-two gut punch he's eventually going to receive on "Days of Our Lives." His current girlfriend Sloan Petersen (Jessica Serfaty), suffered a miscarriage in August 2023 (gut punch one), and Nicole Walker (Arianne Zucker) is also pregnant with his child, but E.J. DiMera (Daniel Feuerriegel) thinks he's the father (gut punch two). The on and off love story of Eric and Nicole goes all the way back to 1997 when Jensen Ackles stepped into the part as a young adult. The two had insane chemistry, and fans hope they'll get back together one day. 

When Ackles' Eric Brady first met Zucker's Nicole Walker on "Days of Our Lives," she was a waitress serving him at a restaurant. On the February 27, 2023 episode, Walker recalled, "The day I took his order, he took my heart." The two would go on to have a steamy romance, but her affair with Lucas Horton (Bryan Dattilo) ruined their relationship, and even though Brady tried moving on, he still had feelings for her. Eventually, the Ackles version of Eric would leave Salem in 2000, but not before letting her know this.

The actor would go on to make fun of his time on "Days" throughout the years.

Supernatural riffed on Ackles' previous Days gig

During his run on "Days of Our Lives," a reporter from Teen People asked Jensen Ackles a few questions, and when the topic of fan mail came up, he grinned and gushed about the gifts fans sent him, noting that they were all "Very supportive, very cool. I love them all to death." In 2005, Ackles' career would skyrocket when he joined the CW's horror-themed series "Supernatural," as Dean Winchester, brother of Sam Winchester (Jared Padalecki). The two are Hunters by trade — people who root out evil wherever it may be and protect the world.

Ackles' three-year run on "Days" was lampooned on the extremely meta Season 6 episode of "Supernatural," titled "The French Mistake." The angel Balthazar sends Sam and Dean Winchester to a parallel Earth in which there is no magic, monsters, or anything supernatural. There, the brothers find that they're actors named "Jared Padalecki" and "Jensen Ackles" respectively, and star on a TV show called "Supernatural" that depicts their real exploits. As the two try to find a way back home, they go through "Ackles'" production trailer to find information on him, learn that he acted in a soap opera, and watch one of his "Days" clips on a computer. "I don't like this universe, Sammy. We need to get out of this universe," says Dean, to which Sam — clearly uncomfortable after watching the video — replies, "Yeah, no argument here."

Ackles enjoys making fun of his time on Days

A fan posted a video clip of Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki at a "Supernatural" convention in which the two were onstage discussing the scene from "The French Mistake" episode. When the brothers Winchester viewed the video clip of him from "Days of Our Lives," Ackles recalled, "I didn't even recognize me. I was like, 'That's not — oh my Lord.'" Fangasm reported on Ackles' Q&A session at the 70th World Science Fiction Convention in an October 29, 2012 post. Discussing his growth as an actor, he explained that playing a character for several years can be difficult for some actors. "I learned that early on when I was on 'Days of Our Lives,' because there are characters who have been on for 25 years or something," he said. "I remember Alison Sweeney [Sami Brady] said how they have to constantly reinvent themselves so the character doesn't get stale. You want to change it up so the audience doesn't lose interest."

In a June 2022 interview on "Late Night with Seth Meyers," he described his shock when a flight attendant on a plane recognized him from "Days" and asked questions like, "What's Marlena [Deidre Hall] like?" In a surprising reaction to this, Ackles stated he was happy to have been asked a question that didn't involve "Supernatural." Ackles' run as Eric Brady is still fondly remembered by fans today.