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Chandler Massey Talks Freddie Smith, How He Would Have Handled His DAYS Exit Differently & What He Learned From Playing Will Horton!

Courtesy/After Buzz

Courtesy/After Buzz

On Sunday, three-time Daytime Emmy winner and former Days of our Lives star Chandler Massey (Ex-Will Horton) was featured on an all-new episode of After Buzz TV Spotlight On with Dishin DAYS co-hosts: Tony Moore, Mark. J. Freeman and James Lott Jr.

During the entertaining interview, Chandler was asked a myriad of questions including: working with some of his former DAYS co-stars.  When asked how he felt about working with Freddie Smith (Sonny), Chandler replied: “Freddie’s got this thing where I have never seen him push ever, which is go great and is so rare, because he kind of just lives it.  Freddie kind of just lives the role and so it was so great to work with him.”   When the hosts revealed to Chandler that this week is Freddie’s last on-screen episode, Chandler in a bittersweet moment remarked, “That’s sad.”

Later, when asked what he learned the most from playing the role of Will Horton, Chandler related: “I grew to care about marriage equality, because before I was largely ignorant.   I didn’t really know, so I didn’t really care.  Then, I got to learn so much playing this character, and I thought, “You know what? There’s something going on that needs to be addressed and that needs to be fixed.”   So it changed me that way.  It made me a better person, honestly.

When asked to clarify the events that went down when the powers-that-be realized that Chandler was not signing a new contract, and then replaced him with Guy Wilson as Will, Chandler explained what he learned from the whole experience: “Tell your employer what you are planning to do about your contract, before you tell everybody else.  So after the Emmys in 2012, I got asked the question what was I planning to do when my contract was up.  I said I was going back to school which was my plan.  I originally should have approached them (DAYS) first and tell them what I was going to do,  but I was just short-sighted.  I should have really told them (DAYS) what I was planning to do.  Of course, they want to carry the character on, because it’s a really important character and the stories around him are very important.  I feel like I blind-sided them accidentally by doing that, and so I really didn’t leave them with any choice except to bring in somebody else, and that was kind of the nature of it.  It was very sudden and I didn’t know until that day.   That’s how they like to do things and they run a tight-ship, and keep information close to the vest, because it creates less distractions.  It allowed me to work up until my last day without somebody over my shoulder waiting in the wings.”

Watch Chandler after the jump on After Buzz!  Then let us know what you thought about Chandler’s comments on how he would have handled letting the DAYS brass know he was not planning on staying with the show, thoughts on working with Freddie Smith, and what he learned from his time as Will Horton and more!

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In the interview, Chandler says that he never thought to ask his people how he should handle the press, especially if the question came up.

It seems to me that wasn’t his responsibility. It was the responsibility of his agent or PR person whoever they may be to prep him and all their clients. Had they done their job maybe he would have worked all the way to the end.

I might be off on the timing, but the way i add it up, Chandler could have been the Will to marry Sonny. Then they could have gone off on a honeymoon, and when they got back then Guy Wilson would be the new Will.

No one will ever forget Chandler!! Great interview .. and miss him so much.. come back to the show Chandler , Days has never been the same without you!

hey Eddie, I think it was best for DAYS to have Guy Wilson as Will marry Sonny, especially for the use of flashbacks, and it made more sense to incorporate and utilize Guy Wilson into the role of Will, as it seems that Guy is going to remain in story going forward. 🙂 Rumors of Guy’s departure don’t seem to be true according to Guy’s recent tweet.

It’s great seeing Chandler Massey again. I really hope he can return as Will soon. I know he’s been in college but I’m still hoping.

If the show didn’t fire him right away out of spite we probably would have gotten a better recast since they had to do it so quick.

definitely… here, here to your 2nd paragraph

it would have made all the difference in the realm of carrying this epic tour de force

They didn’t fire him out of spite. It’s dollars and cents….it always is.

They put out a casting call for a recast Will.
They found Guy.
They liked Guy.
They hired Guy.
They didn’t want to pay two people when only one was going to play the part.

Simple.

I like CM too and didn’t want him to go at all, but fans need to see the bigger picture here. It’s not some vendetta against the actor.

Thank you for being a voice of reason.

Wow- what a fun interview- thanks for posting. I really miss Chandler- I wish he’d return to a Days.

It was a wonderful interview. He was humble and classy like always.

This is the first we’re hearing from CM in 2 years.

I’m so happy to hear him taking responsibility for his part in what went down with his exit. Fans were in such an uproar that DAYS did what they did, but I’m glad at least he sees that he tied their hands into it. They couldn’t just let the character go after CM would leave, and when they found a replacement as quickly as they did, they couldn’t pay 2 actors.

He was a great Will. A sensitive, caring and mature Will. He had some amazing stories in his years at DAYS from catching EJami in the act, his coming out, Arianna, and the entire Nick blackmail plot. That all mattered and counted for something. I wish him well as he follows his new path. I’m sure GH will snatch him up once he becomes a free agent again.

Sounds to me like he was conflicted with leaving the role of Will, but that in the end, it was something he needed to do in order to pursue his education. Honestly, while I did like Chandler as Will, he felt too comfortable in the role and when you’re watching a character, I never want you to appear comfortable in the role. And I feel as if he made the right decision in leaving at the end of his contract, and I wish him well on his future endeavors in whatever he does.

I miss him so much. Guy has been a major fail.

Chandler could not have pulled off this Bitchy, grasping, ambitious, scheming version ofWill. Guy Wilson plays the hell out of it though. This is Sami 2.0!

I think Chandler Massey will be playing Will when Freddie Smith returns for a couple episodes.

That would be wonderful.

When I think back to the episodes in the months before they unceremoniously ejected Chandler Massey, I keep thinking “missed opportunity.” There were so many interesting and meaningful stories related to aspects of Sonny/Will’s relationship which easily could have been explored. Yet, the writers filled Massey’s last few months with pure drivel.

If the writers were stumped as to how to write such stories, all they had to do was consult with the very same people who gave them realistic information from which they melded Will’s coming out story. Even if the writers might be forced by the show’s target demographic to water-down and vanilla-ify such stories (as they did with Will’s coming out story), almost anything would have been more meaningful than the material on which they needlessly wasted Massey’s talent.

Frankly, the best-written material in Will’s coming out story seemed to be the scenes showing how it affected his grandmothers and mother — in an obvious sop to the show’s target audience (e.g. “I can’t believe my grandmother is my best friend.”) The writers easily could have continued along the same lines to show how grandmothers and mothers would/should react the events certain to arise from a grandchild or child growing into a more fully realized gay person.

The best dialogue lines in Will’s coming out story seemed to be a veritable guide-book instructing the grandmothers/mothers of the audience exactly what to say (or not to say) when confronted with this same situation in their own lines. The show easily could have continued presenting Will’s story along such lines, if that’s what it took to get good material out there. Instead, they gave Chandler very little significant to do in those last six months or so.

Missed opportunity.

Whilst I fully u der stand the greater-good of continuing with Guy as NuWill; they could’ve at least chosen someone semi attractive to play Will to jeep realism up… There were always dorks physically between Freddie and Chandker playing on-screen livers. However, there us ZERO natural chemistry between Guy and Freddue, it seems so forced every scene. “WilSon” would’ve been better possibly using a different character to play Will opposite Sonny, because his look and portrayal of a supposed fresh-faced Will just doesn’t cut it, when he wears the same screwed up facial expression in every single scene! Sorry… Not a Guy fan for the role of Will.

I really miss Chandler Massey as Will. Guy Wilson has destroyed the role. Guy Wilson has zero charisma and his acting is stilted and phony.

Chandler is doing the right thing by sticking to a script, including scripted answers, for this interview, but scripted is what it is. A friend of mine met him, Casey, Blake, Camilla, and Brendon shortly after Chandler was fired – and he was fired. If you look at the timeline an interview appeared in one of the soap mags the end of one week in which Chandler sort of laughed off the idea of going, to the point where you could bet money he wasn’t going anywhere. His answer to that question at the time was that he had mentioned he wanted to go back to school but that nothing had been decided about his status with the show. The following Friday – Aug.23 – he was canned. Oddly enough, Chandler was the kindest one of the five and even Camilla came out and actually said the words, that what Days did to him was wrong. As we have all seen since, letting Chandler go was a VERY BIG mistake.

Can someone explain to me what chandler meant when he was talking about Freddie. What he mean when he said he had to pour some out for the homies and also when he said he had never seen Freddie push. SOMEONE PLEASE ANSWER!
Thanks X

Chandler was a great actor in days of our live. And he was super hot at the same time. We miss u chandler. Mwah

Days Of Our Lives

Days of our Lives wins WGA Award for Daytime Drama Series

Sunday night, April 14th in concurrent ceremonies in Los Angeles and New York City, the Writers Guild of America is handing out their 76th annual WGA Awards in the fields of motion picture, television, news media, and radio/audio.

In the Daytime Drama category, Peacock’s Days of our Lives was the winner, taking home its fourth WGA Award in this category in a row.

The DAYS winning writing team consisted of Head Writer Ron Carlivati Creative Consultant Ryan Quan and Writers Sonja Alar, Jazmen Darnell Brown, Joanna Cohen, Carolyn Culliton, Richard Culliton, Cheryl Davis, Kirk Doering, Christopher Dunn, Jamey Giddens, David Kreizman, Henry Newman, Dave Ryan, and Katherine D. Schock.

Photo: JPI

The team from Days of our Lives bested the only other team in the category from General Hospital, which consisted of former GH head writers: Dan O’Connor, Chris Van Etten Writers Ashley Cook, Emily Culliton, Suzanne Flynn, Charlotte Gibson, Lucky Gold, Kate Hall, Elizabeth Korte, Shannon Peace, Stacey Pulwer, Dave Rupel, Lisa Seidman, and Scott Sickles.

Courtesy/Peacock

As previously reported, a show spokesperson for Days of our Lives shared that the episodes submitted for the competition were #14663, #14678 & #14679, and mostly centered around the death, and the funeral of Victor Kiriakis played by the late John Aniston.

This week, DAYS head scribe, Ron Carlivati, confirmed that, and told Michael Fairman TV on the decision of the scripts the team submitted: “I like to have some humor, but it was also the funeral, and then there was Sarah (Linsey Godfrey) giving birth, and then Vivian’s (Louise Sorel) crashing the reading of the will.”

You can follow along with the live updated list of all the winners from tonight’s WGA ceremonies here.

Michael Fairman TV will have more on DAYS WGA Award win as it becomes available.

So, what do you think of Days of our Lives winning the WGA Award writing award for a Daytime Drama series for the fourth year in a row? Comment below.

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Days Of Our Lives

Matthew Ashford and Melissa Reeves Talk Return to DAYS for Doug’s Funeral, Susan Seaforth Hayes, and Their Enduring Friendship

Last week, Days of our Lives celebrated the taping of their 15,000th episode which is tentatively scheduled to air on December 3rd. The story will feature emotional and heart-tugging scenes of Doug Williams funeral and honor his portrayer, the beloved Bill Hayes, who passed away on January 12th at the age of 98.

While the actors, producers, and crew took a lunch time break to pose for some pictures and speak with the press, they knew they would have to get back to taping the funeral, which was going to make it a tough day, but also cathartic for all who loved Bill Hayes.

Several returns have thus far been announced including; Melissa Reeves reprising her signature role of Jennifer Horton (a part she first played in 1985), and Matthew Ashford as Jack Deveraux. Reeves had last appeared on the show back in 2021, and she was replaced by Emmy-winner Cady McClain in her absence when Jennifer was in storylines. In real-life, Melissa had moved full-time to Tennessee along with her husband, Scott Reeves (ex-DAYS, GH, Y&R). Now, and as previously reported, Reeves will first appear back on DAYS for the Thanksgiving episodes with the Hortons.

Photo: JPI

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Matt and Melissa during the 15,000th episode celebration to get their take on: being back for these special episodes, how it has been working with and watching Susan Seaforth Hayes portray Julie’s grief over losing Doug, and how they have supported each other through the years. Check out what they shared below.

Melissa, you are back on the set of Days of our Lives for this very emotional and special moment in the series history. How does it feel?

MELISSA: Oh, my goodness. I am honored. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else but to be here for Bill. He was like my real-life dance partner. He taught me how to ballroom dance. And to be here for Susan, of course, who’s just been our sweet hero this whole week. We’re just following her lead. She’s just been this incredibly strong example for us in the midst of this trial and season of her life. She is like just lifting us all up with her. It’s been incredible.

I was at Bill Hayes memorial service which was truly incredible and I know at the time you were in Tennessee. It was moving and celebratory of his life, all at the same time.

MELISSA: That’s all I have heard. I have to watch it on You Tube. They said it was just a real celebration of his life and I love that.

Photo: JPI

This must be difficult for Susan Seaforth Hayes depicting the death of Doug, when she is still grieving the loss of her beloved husband. (Susan pictured above with the returning Stephen Schnetzer who plays her on-screen brother, Steve Olson).

MELISSA: I’m sure Susan has those moments at home by herself, but she’s so good at being a leader and leading all of us. We’re following her, you know, and she’s like, “This is how I want to feel today.” And we’re just going along with her, you know? It’s so sweet.

Photo: JPI

How is it to see Matt Ashford again live and in-person?

MELISSA: You know, Matt and I can go years without talking, or seeing each other, and then the minute we see each other we’re chatting away.

MATT: Melissa was out on set doing a scene yesterday on the phone talking to a stage manager; as she was telling some really tough news on the phone. I’m like crying in the background, literally, I’m off-stage crying.

MELISSA: And then we get like back into normal life, and we’re like, okay, “What’s happening? What’s happening with this … or what’s happening with that?”

I had read, Melissa, that you were in touch with Matt about if there night be a possibility for you to reprise your role as Jennifer for these special episodes?

MELISSA: Yes. Well, Matt was like, “Hey! Would you want to come back? “And I was like, “Matt, you know, I would always come back. ”

MATT:  Every time I come here to Days of our Lives, they ask, “Where’s Missy? How’s Missy?” Everybody backstage says, “I miss her.” All of the crew is asking about her and saying, “It would be nice to see Missy. Nothing wrong with you Matt, but …”  They said, “Where is she?” I said, “She wants to come!”

Photo: JPI

There are some beautiful photos of Missy and Bill and Susan thorough the years that I found. It just reminded me of just the deep and entrenched history we all have had with the show, personally and professionally.

MATT: Missy is roughly the age where Francis Reid (ex-Alice Horton) was when she started the show, which is just crazy.

Photo: JPI

I’ve always said Missy was going to be the next generation Alice. Do you feel that Jennifer is the heir apparent matriarch of the Horton family?

MELISSA: Yes. I mean, this has been greatest blessing of my life, and that would be great. I told Ken Corday (executive producer, Days of our Lives) when I was 17 that this show would be my life. Ken always told me, “This is your home,” and I’ve always felt like that.

How have gotten through the scenes watching Susan Seaforth Hayes as Julie go through the loss of Doug?

MATT: Susan is bringing her best performance life for her and Bill. I mean, she’s a showbiz baby. She always has been one hundred percent, and she’s doing it for him, and this is who they’ve always been. So, you’re seeing this amazing performance colored by her life. She has her private life as Susan, but she has enough plugged into Julie that she’s done amazing work. The director, producers and writers are giving her room to live in these moments and it’s quite wonderful.

Photo: JPI

Have you already broken down in tears during the taping?

MELISSA: Yesterday, but today’s taping of the actual funeral I think they want us to try and be just more celebratory.

MATT: I mean, it is a beautiful long life for Bill Hayes and his character of Doug Williams, and so it will be about that. Then, you get a bunch of us together in the church pews, and there’s going to be hijinks.

MELISSA: We all have been through the waves of grief. You have that awful cry and then all of a sudden you feel okay.  There are those family situations we are portraying where you’re like, “What do we do? What do we do now? You know, no one knows what to do. But, it’s so sweet. I’m looking forward to seeing how the scenes all turn out.

So, are you glad that Matt and Melissa are back for the 15K episode and Doug’s funeral? From what we can tell, it’s going to be quite an emotional journey for Days of our Lives fans, and especially the performance of Susan Seaforth Hayes, 

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Days Of Our Lives

Ron Carlivati Talks on Decision to Make Days of our Lives 15000th Episode About Doug’s Funeral, and Previews Chances for WGA Award

This week, Days of our Lives celebrated the taping of their 15,000th episode. In of it itself, that is an incredible accomplishment for the long-running soap opera currently streaming on Peacock.

However, this on set gathering was a bit different. Though the show is celebrating their achievement, they are also in the middle of taping scenes surrounding the death and the funeral of Doug Williams, played by the late Bill Hayes, who passed away on January 12th of this year at the age of 98.

As previously revealed many longtime favorites are back to honor Bill and the character of Doug including: Gloria Loring (Liz), Melissa Reeves (Jennifer), Matthew Ashford (Jack), Maree Cheatham (Marie), Victoria Konefal (Ciara) and Stephen Schnetzer (Steve) to name but a few.

Photo: JPI

Michael Fairman TV was in attendance and spoke with Days of our Lives head writer, Ron Carlivati to gain some insight into how the 15,000 episode was crafted and the decision to honor the character of Doug Williams and Bill Hayes as its epicenter. In addition, Ron weighed-in on this Sunday’s April 14th WGA (Writers Guild of America) Awards, where he and his writing team are facing off with General Hospital for the daytime drama prize. Here’s what Ron shared below.

Was this your idea to make the 15,000th episode centered around Doug’s funeral and passing?

RON: It was. When you’re looking at it, and laying out the calendar for the whole year and you see 15,000 is coming up, we’re like, “What are we going to do?” And then, we got the news that Bill had passed away and something kind of clicked. I was like, “We should honor Doug on that show.” So then, we started to kind of build around that … when does he pass away? How does he pass away? Who could come back? You know, it’s a lot.  I’m very pleased with the returns that we got as there’s so much that you could do. We wanted everybody we could get. So, we put together a wish list and Janet Drucker (co-executive producer, Days of our Lives) made it happen.

Photo: JPI

You have Melissa Reeves back as Jennifer, when the role was last played by Cady McClain. What has it meant to have Missy back for these shows?

RON: It was so nice to see Missy Reeves. I think Cady has done such a good job, but on the 15,000th episode to see Missy as Jennifer, it’s a big deal. So having her was great, and overall, the milestone was a big undertaking, because you want to live up to it. You want the 15,000th episode to be good. Now, it has a lot of real emotion that you’re playing. because for the cast and the crew they’re honoring Bill Hayes just as much as we’re honoring Doug Williams.

Photo: JPI

Was it hard for you and the team to write this episode?

RON: Yes. I’ll tell you why it was hard to write.  When I wrote, for example, Asa’s (Phillip Carey) death on One Life to Live or Victor’s (John Aniston) on DAYS, Asa is a different type of character. Like, you could have characters going, “Oh! I’m glad he is dead.” You could have different points of view, but with Doug, you’re not having that. Every person loves this man. No one had a bad relationship with him. So, you’re challenge as a writer is how do you make it that not everybody’s saying the same thing and doing the same thing. And so, we tried to find ways to make the episode about all the familial relationships and yet, how do you make it about Doug and yet broaden the scope.

Photo: JPI

I had spoken to Susan Seaforth Hayes (Julie), a week after Bill’s memorial, for an interview. She said that she felt very fortunate that you did include her on discussions of how you would tackle Doug’s passing. How did that conversation go?

RON: First, I attended Bill’s funeral, which was incredible. I said to so many people it was an emotional service, but it was hard to be sad at this. The guy had an incredible life and it was an incredible celebration. And so, you’re sitting there watching this knowing that you now have to write something similar. And how do you write something that lives up to what you just witnessed? I wanted to talk to Susan to get her thoughts about, you know, how much do you want this to be about keeping Bill separate from Doug. How comfortable are you sharing your grief. She was incredible to talk to. It was a great chat.

You’re in the middle of taping these major scenes for the 15,000 episode to air in December. How do you think it’s going? Have you seen any of the scenes?

RON:  I haven’t seeing anything. I mean, we were still making changes to the script up till this morning!

Photo: JPI

The Writers Guild Awards are this Sunday, April 14th and once again this year there are two daytime drama nominees, General Hospital and Days of our Lives. How are you feeling about your chances this year?

RON: It is often just GH and us in the category. I’ve won three years in a row, so I’m kind of feeling like it’s their turn.

Photo: JPI

What episodes did you submit for contention? If I recall, they had to do with Victor’s memorial.

RON: The episodes we submitted were centered around Victor’s funeral. I think one has story with Vivian (Louise Sorel). We had some fun stuff, we had some emotional stuff at Victor’s death, and I am pretty sure that our submission was three episodes right around that time.

Did you make the decision to go with those episodes because there was a mix of humor and drama?

RON: I like to have some humor, but it was also the funeral, then there’s Sarah (Linsey Godfrey) giving birth, and then Vivian’s crashing the reading of the will. So, we had a lot of fun and it’s hard sometimes to pick three that tell a story, as opposed to submitting for the Daytime Emmys, where the writing team only submits two shows. So, we shall see how it goes on Sunday.

Courtesy/Peacock

So, are you looking forward to the emotional 15,000th episode of Days of our Lives? Do you think DAYS will take home the WGA writing award for daytime dramas for the 4th year in a row? Comment below.

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