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DAYS Bryan Dattilo Interview: When Lucas returns how will he react to Will, EJ, Sami and more?

Photo Credit: PR Photo

Photo Credit: Peter Randolph

It’s been several years since fan favorite Bryan Dattilo (Lucas Horton) has been on-screen on Days of our Lives mixing it up with the characters of Salem.  Well, that’s all about to change in a few weeks when Lucas returns on-air and gets swept up, and is placed smack dab in the middle, of all the family drama surrounding Will’s coming out story, Sami’s secret romp with EJ, and his mother Kate’s business dealings, and that’s just for starters!

In this revealing interview with On-Air On-Soaps, the once rowdy bad-boy of the Salem scene discusses how time away has changed his perspective on the soap opera working environment. Plus, how Lucas will deal with Will’s struggles, and what it has been like for Bryan to work side by side again with his co-stars: James Scott (EJ), Alison Sweeney (Sami), Chandler Massey (Will) and Lauren Koslow (Kate).  In addition, the actor chats openly about how being a father in real life means being supportive of your child’s struggles whatever they may be.

Here’s our chat with Mr. Dattilo and we want to add, a big “Welcome Home!”

Bryan, your fans have missed you so much. They are a very devoted and loyal group, always coming to this website, and on my Twitter page, wanting to know when you will return, and now you’re back!   How are things this time so far for you at DAYS? Are you coming in with a fresh perspective?

BRYAN: That is awesome to know about the fans!   I feel a lot different.  I think before I was always into having a good time and just doing the work, but mostly having a good time. That was my priority. But now that I am back, I am just trying to sink into the work as much as I can, and make it as good as I can.  I want to go home at the end of the day and feel proud of what I’ve done and not thinking that there was something I should’ve done.  I don’t like to go home feeling regretful about my job.  It’s hard because it’s every day on a soap opera.  You can’t do great every day but I am trying, as opposed to before when I would just laugh off a bad day.  I am trying to take the job more seriously and make it about the work and not be the “comic relief” so much because people then tend to have you fall into that role everyday. But the people at DAYS are great. I am working with a lot of familiar faces and since I was gone, a lot of people came back to the show as well. It’s cool to see everyone, and you don’t realize how much you miss certain people until you go away for a couple of years.  Everyone from the people who run the show, to the Associate Directors, to the cameramen, to the sound people, to hair and make-up; they really become your family when you are here.  It’s great to be back and to figure out where I fit in the best and where I can plug myself in the best.

How do you think you have changed the most during your time away from soaps?

Photo Credit: Adam Campbell

BRYAN: I have changed a little in a couple of years.  I got married and settled down.  I don’t run around with the crazy guys anymore.  I am like an old man overnight now! I try not to do anything crazy. (Laughs)  My goal is to stay out of trouble and I am trying to apply that to being on the set, too.

What most people are excited to see is how Lucas will react and be a part of his son, Will’s coming story.  How is working with Chandler Massey?

BRYAN: I did not really work with Chandler but for a couple of times before I left the show last time. He was just starting at that time, and now I see how much he has grown and how he has gotten comfortable.  I think he was a great actor then, but he is exceptional now.  It helps to have someone to play off of that gives you that kind of interaction. Chandler is a really good listener, and he is really good at adapting to a scene. So if something comes up unexpectedly, he is not thrown by it. Chandler kind of adapts with it and that is when he really turns it up.  I am kind of the same way whereas I want things to happen that aren’t predicted in the rehearsals, or are in the blocking.

How do you feel they are writing Lucas’s reaction to Will’s sexuality?

BRYAN: I have got to give the writers a hand (clapping-hands), because they totally had my character understanding and accepting of what this kid is going through.  I think the love of your child is the thing that overrides anything that comes between the two of you or anything that comes up in the future … knowing you always have that relationship to fall back on.  I honor the writers for it.

People were very concerned that they could possibly make Lucas the homophobe of the Horton family where he would shun his son.  If that were to have happened, I think fans would have been very upset!

Courtesy/NBC

BRYAN: I would have been disturbed by that as an actor, too.  In real life, I have a son and he is twelve, and he is getting to the point where he is interested in “things” and how “things” work and curious. If he came to me and said his sexuality was a thing he was struggling with, I would handle it the exact same way Lucas did, and that was supportive and loving.   I would say something along the lines of, “I care about you.  I honor your way of living your life and I love you anyway.  In fact, I love you more, because you have the guts to talk to me about it, or not.”  For my kid, whatever happens in his life, it’s important for kids to know that their parents are always there for them.  So I was happy Lucas was supportive, but I think Lucas’s fear was more about how other people were going to treat Will once they found out.

That is very common that parents have a deep concern of how society will view their child if they know they are gay, and that is because no parent ultimately wants to see their child hurt by people’s perceptions!

BRYAN: Right! I think that Chandler brings so many levels to it that there is so much to have going on between the two of them outside of whatever he is struggling with and his identity. I respected the writing and storyline, because it is written how you would want your parents to take the news.

It will be interesting to see how Sami and Lucas come together for Will, or are different sides of the fence with it.  Can you preview any part of that leg of the story beat?

BRYAN: It’s interesting. They have not brought that up yet as far as Lucas and Sami dealing with that because Will is still denying his preference, and Sami knows that something is going on with him, but does not know what.  I do anticipate having these scenes in the future with Alison about it.  It will be interesting to see Sami’s reaction to it.  I think she would probably react similar to Lucas, but Sami is a little more affected by what people think. So it might force her into some sort of frenzy!   I can’t wait to play those scenes out with Alison to see where the writing goes with that.

Courtesy/NBC

Hopefully, there will be a new woman for Lucas? Or, will it be Sami, Sami, Sami?

BRYAN: Well, he has got this fiancé in Hong Kong!  I don’t know how long that will last, or if it’s a speed bump between Lucas and Sami, or Lucas and anybody.  I have been playing it that Lucas is very concerned about Sami which he always has been and wanting to be there for his kids, and the fact that they share two kids together, and the fact that they have this history.  I think Lucas is coming back with some sort of agenda to make sure he is supposed to be engaged, and to make sure that his chapter with Sami is closed.

Can we expect Lucas to give EJ a piece of his mind for how he had used his control to really implode his family?

BRYAN: We have had some scenes where we have locked horns.  Lucas’s beef with EJ is how Will is working for him and he is subjected to all these things that Lucas finds inappropriate.  Most of the confrontations scenes I have had with EJ are about Will, but Lucas had also threatened EJ to stay away from Sami, but he has always done that and that never goes anywhere! (Laughs)  EJ is kind of in the same boat as Lucas with Sami, in that they have the history and they have kids. And like it or not, they are always going to be a part of each others lives.  Lucas is very suspicious of EJ’s motives and he can’t believe he wants to be Mayor!  It’s like “WHAT?” But James Scott brings a lot of levels to his performance, so it’s kinda cool to play ram against ram.

Why is working with James Scott so cool?

BRYAN: He is a good actor, and he always knows where he is going with a scene, and again, when something comes up in a scene that is not planned, he always is willing to roll with it.  I think that is a big quality in an actor.  Working with James is always a challenge and making sure I am not the one in the scene just whining to him to leave Sami or Will alone. I kind of have to pick my moments to challenge him, because the more you challenge a character like that, the more they revel that they are getting to you.  As an actor, I get notes from the producers or the directors to really turn it up on James, but there are moments that I think are more effective, to hit him with what I feel, rather than play the anger and the argument, because that just shows the other person that you are truly affected.  If you show that, then EJ automatically wins that confrontation.

Courtesy/NBC

How long have you actually been back at the studio now?

BRYAN: I have been back taping for a month. It’s been a challenge getting used to work load again, but hopefully I am cutting it!

It’s so good to have you back Bryan! You were always my bud on the red carpet at all the award shows, like the Emmys! 

BRYAN: And we will do it again someday!

If you were to preview for the fans what to expect from Lucas, what would you say?

BRYAN: I would say he is more present and accounted for. He is more involved with a variety of people in the way that he can be, because he has so much history with so many of the characters on the canvas.  Lucas is one of those characters that can tap into any storyline.

How is working with the amazing Lauren Koslow again?  Lucas and his on-screen mom always had such an interesting relationship?

Photo Credit: PR Photo

BRYAN: Oh, we have had great scenes! Lauren has always been, and is the best person to work with.  I have such a great dynamic with her. I love Lauren’s pace and delivery. We are very similar in real life in a lot of ways. So, we get to play that out in a lot of our scenes as mother and son, which is kind of interesting.  It’s an older and more refined relationship, too.

And then you have all of your other on-screen half-brothers, sisters, etc, too?

BRYAN: That goes to Austin, to Billie, to Carrie, and then that gets me into the Rafe thing, and then the Sami/Rafe thing, and then the Sami/EJ thing, and the Will thing, and then the mother, and then the mother having trouble with her relationships and how he affects those, and the business that they are all kind of involved with together.  I don’t know what the show did without me … to tell you the truth! (Laughs)

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Great interview! Yeah he’s right I don’t know how the show did some of those s/ls without Lucas. So glad he’s back to stay.

Love having BD back; I have missed Lucas! However, please NO LUMI! Lucas is great and has an awesome wit about him and I love EJ and Lucas scenes…but this fan wants EJAMI and nothing else!

Welcome back BD!
Go EJAMI Go!!!

I am glad that Lucas is returning to be supportive of Will. It is refreshing to know the writers are not planning another Sami-Lucas romance. I hope we will actually get to see his fiancee.

Yeah I’m so glad Lucus is back esp Bryan he’s an amazing actor he sees and tackles each role he has in Lucas being an alcoholic to a scorned lover i. I can’t wait for Lucas Sami and Ej. Always loved Lucas his siblings

YAY!!! I’m so excited Lucas is back! I can’t wait to see him on my television screen again! I’ve really missed him. I absolutely loved Sami/Lucas. Side note: I think it was a mistake to make Sami have two kids with EJ. I’m just saying….

Great interview! Really looking forward to Lucas’ return. Hope he is paired with his true love, Sami!

Very interesting interview, I cannot wait for Lucas’ return to Salem. And especially his scenes with his mom, Kate. And, of course, with his sexually-confused son, Will.

I love Lucas! I’m so glad Bryan is back and I really want to see what the future holds in store for Lucas, Lumi, Lucas and his siblings, Lucas and his kids, Lucas and Ej…you name it, like Bryan said, Lucas is one of those characters that can tap into any story and make it more interesting.

So glad and I can’t wait until Feb. 29.

Welcome back Bryan. Yes please no more whining to EJ. You’re right, much more effective when you play cool and collected with EJ. Liked Lucas and Sami back in the day, but that’s the past. It’s time for Sami to be with her true love, EJ DiMera.

LOL missed bryan, maybe I can accept Lucas this time around. As long as he doesn’t get involved with Sami I am free of bias!

I have started watching Days since AMC ended back in September. I know a little of the family tree. When I first started to watch the storylines were slow but now things are getting good! ABC’s loss is NBC’s gain!

Another great interview Michael!!!!
Welcome back Bryan. I hope these writers do you justice and give you an amazing story line!!!
GO GO GO EJAMI!!!!

What a fabulous, fabulous interview!!! Welcome Back Bryan!!! It certainly hasn’t been the same without him and I can’t wait till his scenes start airing. Lucas has always been one of my favorite characters since he came home from military school and I’m hoping he and Sami will find their way back together!!!

SO glad Bryan’s back….did NOT enjoy this period of Days without Lucas. I’ll take Lucas with or without Lumi, but if they do go down the Sami/Lucas road again I hope they do it justice. Bry/Ali have great chemistry

I am glad that he is back but no to Lumi!

Wow, Bryan is still as immature as he was 5 years ago when Days fired him. His comments about James Scott are completely juvenile. If he says he has ‘matured’ as a person he has claimed since he has a son and has been married since, then he shouldn’t feel so threatened by and inferior to a person like James. He should actually feel more comfortable at work because he’s been on the show on 15 years, and if he was so grown up, he wouldn’t be asking producers or directors for ways to ‘one up’ James. It’s obvious he can get along with Ali or Lauren, why not James? It just shows me that Bryan finds James inferior, that he really hasn’t grown up, and he loves drama. I have missed Lucas too, but Bryan needs to gain some confidence or stop playing games with other people. Days is a work environment. Act professional with your co-workers, and leave the fake drama at home Bryan.

Agreed!!!! Yeah, James is Very talented & Professional Actor.

yeah and if James is so talented and professional,he would not be on a 1.0
soap LOL

LOL @@
where did you read that LOLA
Bryan/Lucas is very talented and professional and he knows how to have FUN.
welcome home Bry/Lucas

I read it in the article. Did you read it?

Wow, you completely misinterpreted what he was saying.

Days didn’t fire him 5 years ago. What articles are you reading. ALL his interviews last week have been praised by those that are fans and those that aren’t. To each his own…I love Bryan and can’t wait for Lucas to get back to Salem, Days isn’t the same without him around.

thank you michael – this is such an awesome interview – can’t wait to see bryan back on screen!

Ive been watching days of our lives since abc ripped all my children out of my life ,I am still trying to get every ones name in my head ,decades ago I use to watch it , then it went on the same time as one life to live and that I wasnt giving up.I watched when hope was just a baby,mickey and magie were together,marlana and I think a guy named jed were a idem ,did not watch when marlana was satin,I remember reading about it thinking thats dumb,well its one heck of a long time ago,who is this guy bryan,why did jenn and jack break up,where is mickey and bill horton , is sammy a bitch ? cant figure her out and where can I go to get all of my questions answered?

I’ve tried to watch. I just can’t get into it at all. Terrible IMO.

OLTL was so incredible, nothing can compare.
This soap is soooooooooooo bad. The accents on some, the storylines..???horrible, and so phony.

carol ,you have a point there ,oltl was the best ,we were spoiled,Its so hard to believe that abc canceled that show ,one more time ,the wrong soap was canceled.I will continue to support dool ,have to keep what soaps that are left .Im hoping that general hospital continues,its 4th and we have to make it the number 1 soap,it cant get canceled.and I do believe abc knows one way or the other,they cant ,or wont share that news with us ,because they dont want to put the final nail in the coffin of the soap fans,not yet anyway.

Glad he will accept his son, and be Sami’s friend. I want to see a Rafe-Lucas friendship.

LUCAS! TOOK YOU LONG ENOUGH! I fucking love Lucas, and I’m so happy he’s going to be around in time for Will to come out. I don’t want him back with Sami though. I like Lucas. I don’t like Sami. She’s a selfish, manipulative hobag.

Thank you for the good interview. Glad to have Lucas back! Bryan will add a nice dimension to the show as he can be intense, but he can also be humorous. Look forward to seeing the father son scenes when Lucas learns that Will is gay. Glad that he will be suppotive. Lucas and Sami being supportive and caring to each other as ex-spouses will be good to watch, and actually I thought EJ/Lucas were good and even funny together at times. I hope they will have many Ej/Lucas scenes.

Welcome back Bryan Dattilo.I love the character Lucas, he is so much fun.I am glad Lucas will be back in Sami and EJ orbits where he belongs.The there of you as actors and characters are perfect together,exciting to watch,so much FUN.

Days Of Our Lives

Days of our Lives Legendary Susan Seaforth Hayes Talks on the Horton House Fire Storyline, Mourning the Loss of Husband Bill Hayes & His Near-to-Final Performances

It has been an emotional time for longtime fans of Days of our Lives and beloved veteran, Susan Seaforth Hayes (Julie Williams). On-screen, the iconic Horton home was burned to the ground in what appears to be a storyline-dictated decision that shocked many. In real life, Susan is mourning the loss of her husband and DAYS enduring favorite, Bill Hayes (Doug Williams), who passed away at 98 in January. Over the weekend, during the 2024 SAG Awards In Memoriam tribute, Hayes was remembered along with other motion pictures and television stars whom we lost over the past year.

Since the Peacock streaming soap opera tapes months ahead of air, the Horton home fire and its aftermath are currently playing out in all-new episodes with more on this story featuring Susan to come. Bill Hayes also appeared in several of these episodes making it all the more touching and heartfelt.

When Julie came back to the Horton home to see what remained of it after the fire, Days of our Lives fans were treated to a heart-tugging episode that streamed last Wednesday, February 21st. In it, newly-taped scenes of a young Tom (Zach Chyz) and Alice (Sydney Kathrann Smith) Horton telling the story of how they came to live in the house to raise their children, juxtaposed with Julie and Doug (and members of their family and friends), surveying what’s left of the beloved house, brought many a tear.

Michael Fairman TV talked with Susan Seaforth Hayes for this very candid and heartfelt conversation to get her feelings on the Horton house fire, and being given the opportunity to have a storyline at this point in her storied career. In addition, Susan provides some insight on what it was like for her ailing late husband to tape scenes at DAYS shortly before his death, what the series plans to do about writing off the character of Doug while honoring the legacy of Bill Hayes, and how she knew she had the greatest love affair that anyone could hope for in their lifetime, which in turn, has inspired all of us.

Photo: JPI

I was shocked when they decided to burn down the Horton house. Were you at first devastated … and did you know that there would be a big story surrounding it?

SUSAN: I did not know how big a story was with it. I knew that many years ago, another regime had planned on trashing the set and getting rid of the set because nobody cared about the Hortons anymore. It was stopped by one person, and I was eternally grateful for that. This time I thought, “Oh, my goodness! I guess I’ll be meeting people for a cup of coffee at the Horton Square. No home, no roots, no reason to be called in,” and thinking that’s the end of Julie. That’s the end of Doug and Julie. Then, when they began to structure a story around it, I think all of this came up during the writer’s strike. So of course, I was curious to see how this was going to turn out. I enjoyed the aftermath, because in the aftermath, and a little bit before the fire, if you saw the show, I get to talk a bit about the history of the household and the people in it.

Photo: JPI

In the special episode that aired last Wednesday, Julie gave Leo (Greg Rikaart) the family tree history of the Hortons for his story in the Spectactor.

SUSAN:  I’ve had a couple of good long soliloquies about the past. I’m fated to be the character that does that because I’m the one still standing. I must say, I do enjoy doing them. Emotionally, all I have to do is rerun some of the actors and my own family in my mind and the emotion starts to come, you know, the emotion starts to flow.

Julie talks to Maggie (Suzanne Rogers) immediately after the fire. She is upset that the Horton family Christmas ornaments are gone. Fans were not happy that they could possibly have burned up. Thank God! There was a happy ending when they were located and unscathed, or there would have been hell to pay! 

SUSAN: I knew that they were in the prop room and that they still existed. But how much they were going to put a story around their loss, I did not know. We don’t get to ponder the plot. We just get to show up and start doing it. I think on this particular matter, something as important as a structure of the original set of the show, there’s been quite a bit of interest. So, I can appreciate that.

Photo: JPI

I was thinking, ‘Did they decide to burn the house down, because they were finally retiring the old Horton home set?’ What was the purpose of it?

SUSAN: They’ve done everything to make quicker set changes, which is remarkable and very efficient right now. The set designer said, “I’ll be interested in your input,” which was nice. The one thing that I loved that had been done, didn’t work. You couldn’t shoot into it. It was a federal mirror over the mantle. I loved it. The size was perfect. I was just delighted. And then, we tried to shoot it, and because of the roundness of the mirror, you got a perfect view of camera one and camera three. So, it came down.

This is Julie’s project to renovate the home. She’s determined to bring back all the memories and redo it?

SUSAN: Absolutely, which is another nice note to play for my character. She’s determined to make the house something that her grandparents would recognize and still feel comfortable in.

Photo: JPI

What did you think of the episode that just aired where the show incorporated flashbacks of a young Tom and Alice Horton?

SUSAN: Well, I set it up. They had their own their own lovely scenes. I read them, and I’m sure the audience was charmed.

What do you remember when you first came to DAYS, and you were in that house, in that set?

SUSAN: What did I notice about the set? I noticed that it was a strange shade of green. (Laughs) It was explained to me that that dull color meant that your face would pop on color TV. I understood that. I loved the little window up the staircase. I’ve always loved that. And at one time, there was a model of the house that sat on the set on its own little pedestal, a little playhouse of the exterior of the house. Whenever the house was on (and remember this is when we were a half-hour and practically live, but not live, because there was no editing), there would also be the sound of a barking dog whenever we reached the Horton house neighborhood. We never saw the dog, but I’m sure his name was “Spot”, and I’m sure he belonged to someone.

PhotoL JPI

You shared so many scenes with Frances Reid (Alice) and MacDonald Carey (Tom) in the Horton living room set and up till they passed. Did they get along well with Bill? Looking back, how was your relationship with them?

SUSAN: They loved him. Well, Mac and Billy had worked together before in theater. Mac was very kind to me at the beginning and helpful. Frances was as well. As Frances got older, she got a bit testy. When someone says, “You’re not going to read the line like that … are you?” It catches your attention. (Laughs). I got peeved at Frances from time to time, but her intent was always to make everything as good as it possibly could be. I saw her come back from her stroke. learn to talk again, learn to do it all again. Not do it easily, but to do it at all was wonderful, and the same with Mac. In his last shows, he was very frail, but we’re actors. We liked being there.

Photo: JPI

During the taping of the episodes surrounding the Horton house fire, Bill was mostly in them with you. How was Bill doing at the time you taped these scenes?

SUSAN: He was okay. He was up for it. He had difficulty moving at that point. So, they restricted his movement a lot. Bill always enjoyed coming to work a lot, and it was extremely difficult for him because he was blind, and didn’t move very well. And now, to do a scene with people who may or may not, have rehearsed with you, who may or may not, give you the exact cue, and when they are attempting to have you look each other in the eye, you can’t see who’s eyes they are, that was the hard part. The easy part was working with him, which was lovely and was a gift. It was a gift from Corday Productions that he was able to work within three weeks of his death, which I thought was super and extraordinary.

Photo: JPI

That is amazing. Did Bill understand everything that was going on at the time of the tapings?

SUSAN: Absolutely. He understood what was going on. He just couldn’t see it or touch it.

The timing couldn’t have been easy for you with Bill’s declining health, and that the show was going to burn down the Horton home where you shared so many scenes and memories.

SUSAN: Well, it hasn’t been my greatest stretch. But I knew that life would be like this. I’ve had five decades of an absolutely wonderful, blessed marriage and a chance to work and a chance to live in my own home and travel, all good. And now, we’re going to have the epilogue. And the epilogue is the hard part, seeing rapid change around you and losing the people that were the center of your life. I’ve just been very fortunate to have cultivated some wonderful friendships, and to have a wonderful large family of Hayeses.

Photo: JPI

You do realize that you and Bill were the gold-standard of what we all should be lucky enough to have in our lives. What an incredible, beautiful, passionate, loving marriage that the two of you had. You don’t see marriages like that anymore. We were all just in awe of the two of you. To us, it was the greatest love affair. You got to have that which is so extraordinary.

SUSAN: I know, and it was all Bill. I mean, any idiot could have been married to Bill Hayes and been deliriously happy. The guy was so perfect in every way that you really would have to pick something and blow it out of proportion to ever complain about any of his traits of character. He was just all good character, goodwill, and good humor. I just followed along and tried to live my life for him, with him, and follow his style, which I hope to carry on. I hope to be as good to people as he was to people, and, not be selfish.

Photo: JPI

I always remembered how the two of you would come to the studio with your suitcases, ready to work no matter what material, large or small, they gave you. You showed up. You just had such great work ethic and you don’t see that as much anymore.

SUSAN: At the moment, it’s hard to find it everywhere. I think it’s probably generational. You cannot get too angry at people that are still holding up their phones in the one rehearsal that we have. I think it’s more convenient to receive your work electronically, but somehow it doesn’t seem quite as real. You don’t have a script in your hand anymore unless you print one up yourself.  Sometimes you haven’t met the person you’re working with. Well, that’s not unusual, but no rehearsal at all, that’s kind of marvelously new.

Photo: JPI

Does Julie lean on anybody for emotional support as she tries to rebuild the Horton home. Who’s there for her?

SUSAN: As far as I can tell, nobody. I’m supposed to be the wise woman, and Marlena (Deidre Hall) is supposed to be the other wise woman. I haven’t had any scenes with Marlena for help. I would think Marlena would be the person I would be going to for grief counseling, for friendship, for all of that. I haven’t seen it in the scripts, yet. I’m still deeply entwined with Chad’s (Billy Flynn) storyline.

How is Billy Flynn to work with?

SUSAN: A pleasure. Billy Flynn has grown a lot as a human being and as an actor since I’ve known him. I’m really enjoying his company and really enjoying doing scenes with him. We rehearse and then we get on other subjects and laugh and talk and inform each other. We’re interested in a lot of the same things. He’s a new parent. He’s really devoting himself to that, to that experience in the best possible way. So, I’m lucky.

Do Julie and Chad try to figure out who set the fire?

SUSAN: Oh yeah.

Photo: JPI

I kept thinking about how Julie got burned in the kitchen fire years ago and her face was scarred, At the time, your mother Elizabeth Harrower was writing DAYS and wrote that for Julie. Did you hate that story?

SUSAN: Well, I know where the story came from. It came up from something in mother’s own life. I knew the people involved, and I wasn’t crazy in love with the idea. Then, when it was supposed to go for six weeks and went on for months and months, I was concerned. Mainly, I was concerned that my face was going to be affected because of the appliance, the scars, that I was wearing. I was told by a dermatologist, “You’re going to have a little beard after this. Ripping your face every single day to get this off is going to be hard on you.” But, I seem to have survived.

Has the show even addressed with you how they plan to handle writing-off the character of Doug Williams, and how they want to honor Bill?

SUSAN: Only in the smallest way. I had a conference call with the producers and our head writer last Friday. I was informed about the immediate, immediate future. I’ve also been promised that they’re going to keep me busy. It’s a cast of over 40 people. I’ll be happy to show up and to be included.

Photo: JPI

I was just hoping that whatever they decide to do with the character of Doug that they were going to run it by you, first.

SUSAN: They have, and they have been very sweet about it.  I’ve got to tell you, this regime, they have a sign up on the wall now, that says, Things we expect on this stage.”  The first one at the top of the list is “kindness.”

Have you watched your work back all these years? I know some actor’s never like to watch the scenes they taped.

SUSAN: I think you learn by watching yourself, if you have an open mind, and if you are not hypercritical, or dismissive. I cannot be dismissive of a character that has given me such a wonderful life. I’m still interested in Julie, perhaps I wouldn’t have been if I’d been on the show for three years and never returned to it. But I’m quite interested in her now, and what she has to offer as a member of this ensemble.

Photo: JPI

Julie’s ties to the whole history of Days of our Lives from this point on are very important. How do you feel about that?

SUSAN:  There are those that don’t care about the history of the show. I know that. I know there are those that only care about continuing with something snappy to keep eyes on the screen through action, adventure, drama, death, kidnapping, missed opportunities, all that, which I suppose that’s what the audience craves. But, that’s not just what the show can do. What the show can do so well is character. There’s a lot of people over 70 who are still on the show now. I’m the oldest one, but I’m not the only one. We’re coming up on the 60th anniversary. I don’t think the show is worn out. And if it is, it’s had a remarkably successful six decades.

Lamon Archey (Eli) is back on DAYS for a stint. What has it been like to work with Lamon as his on-screen grandmother?

SUSAN: I think he’s terrific and visually he is so beautiful, so appealing. I think both Eli and Lani (Sal Stowers) are very appealing as characters. I’m delighted to be connected to Eli as a family member. That was a lucky break for me.

Photo: JPI

Do you think DAYS fans are going to continue to be emotional in the aftermath of this fire and all the story that comes out of it? Do you think we’ll be touched by what Julie goes through to get the remains all cleaned up for a new house?

SUSAN: I think anybody in America who’s gone through a disaster, and have unfortunately had the disruption of their home, will be sympathetic and interested in how it all turns out. It’s a nice note to play. We haven’t had to do that very often. We just go from one lovely apartment to another without much discussion. I think this is the one set that meant a lot to people. I was very sorry to lose “Julie’s Place,” as it turned into kind of a sandwich shop. I still loved having a business, a tangible place to be, and an alternate place for people to meet.

Photo: NBC

Upon reflection, what was your favorite scene with Bill? Was it when Julie and Doug got married on-screen, or was it something else that was much more intimate?

SUSAN: I think our last scene is going to be more important, emotionally. I think the first wedding was beautiful, but the material around the time of our second wedding, when Brenda Benet (ex-Lee) came back on the show and Doug stood up to her and says, “I’m not going to be manipulated anymore,” was also strong. There has been a lot of very important times – when Doug was killed-off by James Reilly, and we met in the tunnel of light. That was a day. That was a difficult day, which I certainly can’t revisit right now emotionally. When Julie found out Doug had run off and married her mother, Addie, that was a day. It was a day because, I went to the producer at the time, Jack Herzberg, and said, “Is this it? Am I not going to work with him anymore?”And he said, “Right! That’s it. You’re not working with Bill Hayes anymore.” We were not married at the time, and I thought I was going to go through the floor! That wasn’t a happy day.

Photo: JPI

In terms of Bill’s final day on the set with you, did you know that it was his last, and what would turn out to be his last scene?

SUSAN: Well, they didn’t know. But I knew. I had been allowed to rewrite it. So, I can’t tell you Bill’s last line now, of course, but I will in time.

What do you think about the sentiments shared by Susan on her late husband, and this storyline? How do hope the show properly honors Bill and Doug Williams when the series writes-off the character? Are you enjoying the Horton house fire story arc or does it upset you too much? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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Daytime Stars We Lost Remembered in 2024 SAG Awards In-Memoriam Tribute

On Saturday night at the 30th annual SAG Awards streaming on Netflix, several stars from the world of soap opera were remembered in a very moving In-Memoriam segment.

Honoring those actors we lost this past year, and set to the song “How do I Say Goodbye” by Dean Lewis, the screen was filled with so many heartbreaking losses.

Those who were remembered in the tribute included: Bill Hayes (Doug, Days of our Lives), Ellen Holly (Carla, One Life to Live), Nicolas Coster (Lionel, Santa Barbara et al), Tyler Christopher (Nikolas, GH, Stefan DAYS), Billy Miller (Billy, Y&R and Drew, GH), Sharon Farrell (Flo, Y&R), Arlene Sorkin (Calliope, DAYS), Kamar de los Reyes (Antonio, OLTL), Jeffrey Carlson (Zoe/Zarf, AMC) and Mark Goddard (Ted, OLTL).

Photo: ABC

Other notable stars who passed away and were included in the tribute were: Chita Rivera, Andre Braugher, Suzanne Somers, and Matthew Perry.

Before the video package was played, actress Naomi Watts took to the stage and shared, “We have lost so many extraordinary actors in the past year, but because they touched the world with their talent, we all share their loss. To those of us who worked with them, alongside them, we feel their loss and their absence deeply.”

Photo: Netflix

She added, “Of course their memory will live on in our recollections of the precious time we shared together — and through their work, their performances captured in countless frames of images, ever ready to dance across the screen and come to life again, if only for a while.”

What did you think of the In-Memoriam Tribute at the 2024 SAG Awards and seeing a lot of familiar faces being included who represent the soaps? Comment. below.

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Days Of Our Lives

SAG AWARDS 2024: Jennifer Aniston to Present Barbra Streisand with SAG Life Achievement Award

This Saturday night the 30th annual SAG Awards will be handed out for acting performances in motion picture and television. One of the high points of the evening will be legendary actress, singer, producer, writer and director Barbra Streisand receiving the SAG’s Life Achievement Award.

Scheduled to present the award to Barbra will be Jennifer Aniston. Streisand becomes the 59th recipient of  SAG-AFTRA’s highest honor for her career accomplishments and humanitarian efforts.

The 30th annual SAG Awards stream live on Netflix this Saturday February 24th at 8pm ET/PT.  Winners in SAG’s 15 categories will be announced that evening. The SAG Awards historically have been a predictor of who will win the top performer categories and potentially Best Picture.

Photo: SAG-AFTRA

Additional presenters for the evening include a reunion of  the stars of A Devil Wears Prada with Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway and Emily Blunt.

Others on the presenter list include: Erika Alexander, Danielle Brooks, Sterling K. Brown, Michael Cera, Colman Domingo, Robert Downey Jr., Fran Drescher, Phil Dunster, Billie Eilish, America Ferrera, Brendan Fraser, Taraji P. Henson, Troy Kotsur, Greta Lee, Melissa McCarthy, Cillian Murphy, Glen Powell, Issa Rae, Storm Reid, Tracee Ellis Ross, Alexander Skarsgård, Omar Sy, Hannah Waddingham, Naomi Watts, Jeffrey Wright, and more.

In the nominations, Barbie and Oppenheimer lead the motion picture categories with four nominations apiece, while the television nominations saw Succession receive five followed by Ted Lasso, The Bear and The Last of Us.

The Morning Show and Friends star. Jennifer Aniston, is the daughter of the late Days of our Lives legend, John Aniston, who passed away on November 11, 2022.

So, looking forward to Barbra Streisand receiving the SAG Life Achievement Award? Comment below.

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Peter Reckell returns for a second visit with Michael Fairman following the wrap-up of his recent run as Bo Brady on Days of our Lives.Leave A Comment

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Airdate: 7-24- 2023

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