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DAYS Camila Banus Dishes On The Dark Side Of Gabi & Her Ultimate Revenge Plan On Abby And Those Who Wronged Her

Photo: NBC

On Days of our Lives, Gabi Hernandez has been through the wringer, and now she is about to put everyone else through the wringer, too!  For the last few months, viewers of the NBC daytime drama have witnessed the turn in the character, played to the hilt by Camila Banus.  After suffering major mental and physical anguish, and being sent to prison for a crime she did not commit along the way (thanks Stefan and “Gabby”!), this spitfire is ready to takedown Abby (Marci Miller) and Stefan (Tyler Christopher), and whoever else is the way as part of her collateral damage in her revenge schemes.

Thus far, Gabi has already switched the DNA paternity results of Abby’s unborn child from Chad (Billy Flynn) to Stefan. She has been egging on her ex Chad to divorce Abigail, although that seems to be backfiring on her at the present.  So, what’s a girl to do?  The key to her plot may be poor Abigail’s delicate mental state; after all, Abby suffered from DID and created “Gabby”, and “Dr. Laura” to try to cope with the fact that she murdered Andre DiMera (Thaao Penghlis).

While Banus is getting the chance to show off her chops on DAYS, she has been landing many exciting projects in primetime and film. Chief among them, Camila has joined the cast of the Fox drama, Star, where she will be making an impact in her new role of Nina Ferrera on the show’s upcoming third season.  Michael Fairman TV caught up with this talented young woman to get her take on how playing bad feels so good. Check out what Camila had to say below.

When you found out that Gabi was going to the dark side, was this something you had hoped would happen?

CAMILA:  Yes.  I think when Ron Carlivati (head writer, Days of our Lives) first arrived; I had a phone conversation with him where he kind of knew I wanted a strong storyline: something that I thought would be worthwhile; something that I thought would be very strong for Gabi.  I didn’t give him a direction.  I thought it was just cool that he did go this way with her.  I think, I even mentioned to him, “I don’t care if she goes crazy.  I don’t care if she has multiple personalities,” but obviously as it turned out, he was doing that with the character of Abigail, but it’s cool, because Gabi’s able to interact with that storyline and play her own dramatic situations that are going on.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

When you were One Life to Live’s Lola Montez, didn’t Ron write for you then as well?

CAMILA:  He was on board when that was happening.

She turned bad too, didn’t she?

CAMILA:  She didn’t turn bad.  She just took acid on her prom night.  Actually, she kind of did turn bad.  She poked holes in her cousin’s condom, but whatever. (Laughs)  It is what it is.  (Laughs)

Courtesy/ABC

I’m watching the scenes where Gabi is sipping on a martini, and being this bitch on wheels.  You’ve got it down! 

CAMILA:  Thanks!  It’s been a long time, and Gabi has been kind of been s**t on for a while (laughs), so it feels good to have a little redemption, you know?  It’s so fun!

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Gabi is so upset.  She gets beaten up in prison, thrown in there from a crime she did not commit, she learns she may never be able to have children again because of it, and her daughter seems to not like her now and Abby gets pregnant!  You could see how it all could pile up and lead to a spiteful and revenge-filled Gabi Hernandez!

CAMILA:  Well, her daughter is feeling resentment because she’s abandoned her twice, for a very long time, both times.  Arianna is a very small little girl who needs her mom.  She’s pretty angry at her now and she can express it better.  Arianna chooses to act this way, act out, and tell Gabi how she’s feeling.  I think that just goes to show what a great mom Gabi is that her kid is able to speak so freely to her.  It’s been a pretty rough couple of months for Gabi, and then, this last straw has been to hear that she cannot create life again.  She cannot sustain life in her body.  That happened from being beaten in prison and getting a really bad infection that scarred her and that does not allow her to carry a child to term.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

And then she finds out Abigail is pregnant, and we start to see Gabi’s wheels turning!

CAMILA:  Yes, because the worst thing is that she finds out that Abigail is pregnant.  That really is a punch to her uterus.  It sucks, because she’s been given this other news, and it’s like, “What? Are you serious?”  This gift has been given to the woman that did all of the horrible things to her.

Also, Gabi was in love with Chad.  Is that another reason why she wants to destroy Abigail? 

CAMILA:  I don’t really think that plays into this.  Mostly, it’s just the backstabbing, the lying, and the setting her up for a murder that she did not commit; allowing her to sit and rot in prison, allowing her to be away from her daughter for so long.  It’s pretty hard to forgive.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

When Gabi found out that it was Abby’s alter, “Gabby” that was framing her for murder, is that still no excuse in Gabi’s mind?  Even though Abby was mentally ill at the time?

CAMILA:  I guess the way Gabi is playing it is, “At the end of the day that was Abigail.  Abigail could have come out at some point and saved me if that was the case and did not.  If that was the case, why wasn’t she seeking therapy?  Why did I have to be the one who was harmed in all of this?  It’s not fair regardless.  So, yeah, I’m kind of blaming it on her.”

Then there’s Gabi’s resentment and anger at Stefan, who was part of the “Gabby” cover-up.

CAMILA:  Stefan just fed the fire of the personality.  He knew what was happening and didn’t do anything about it.  He made it worse

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Speaking of Stefan, what has it been like working with Tyler Christopher?

CAMILA:  It’s been fun!  I loved throwing the cup at him and just all of the fiery conversations that Gabi and Stefan get to have.  It’s great to fight with such a big, powerful character.  It makes me have a lot of power too, so it’s just been great.

Photo Credit: JPI Studops

This week unveils the next leg of Gabi’s plan, where she sets out to try to make it look like Abigail is suffering from DID again.  Do you think the audience will be tweeting, “How could Gabi do that to someone with a serious mental illness?” 

CAMILA:  Karma is a bitch.  That’s how it’s been written, and that’s how I’m playing it.  I think that it doesn’t matter if I like it or not.

Gabi seems to have conjured up this plan, but what does she think that the endgame is?

CAMILA:  She has some plan, but obviously you can’t be prepared for anything.  You can have plan A, plan B, plan C, but you’re always going to get an X-factor or variables.  It’s never going to be something that is going to go your way, especially for Gabi, because she’s not a savvy, dark side person.  She’s just getting into this dark side business.  She had to do what she had to do to Nick Fallon (Blake Berris), but that’s not something that she was planning.  That’s just something she did to protect herself.  I think she’s rolling with the punches.  She’s got Kate (Lauren Koslow), who is her compass in all of this, telling her, “What are you doing?”

Photo Credit: JPi Studios

Marci Miller made the decision to leave the show.  How do you feel about her exit when the two of you built this drama between your characters?

CAMILA:  People come and go all of the time from our show.  I left; I’ve come back.  It’s just something that is just part of our business.  It sucks to not have her around every single day.  We get used to having people here every single day, and then we just try to keep up, and stay in touch when someone leaves.

I thought it was great that your Lifetime movie Killer Caregiver came out at the same time that Gabi started becoming dark on Days of our Lives.  How was playing that role? 

CAMILA: That movie was so fun to play, because I feel like it had a lot of ‘Lifetime’ elements to it, but it also felt really edgy.  It was very, “Hand That Rocks the Cradle.”  I loved playing that role.  It was fun to be such a bad, bad girl.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

You have been cast on Fox’s hit music dramatic series, Star opposite William Levy. Congrats!  What can you tell us about the role of Nina? Have you already shot your scenes?

CAMILA: Thank you!  I have shot scenes for my role on Star.  Nina Ferrera is a bold and savvy business owner that equals her powerhouse husband.  We are both go-getters and determined to make our mark in the industry and I can tell you that she’s extremely fashionable!

You have such passionate fans, who always want the best for you.  They are vocal on social media.  What have they thought of the turn in your character?

CAMILA:  It’s interesting.  I’m not getting that many haters, which I have in the past when she’s gone a little to the dark side.

Photo: CBanusInstagta,

I remember when that happened, and I was like, “What is going on?”

CAMILA:  Yeah, I’m not really getting too many haters.  I think people feel bad for me!  I think they feel bad that Gabi’s had it so tough.  I mean, being falsely accused of murder … when Gabi was on trial, she went to a maximum-security facility.  That’s not okay.  Melinda Trask had it out for her.  I think that’s why people kind of understand.

They want Gabi to stir the pot!

CAMILA:  Yeah!  We’re in a soap opera.  We’re on a show.  We need drama.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

When you’re doing certain types of scenes where you have to look at the camera with the martini, or make certain comments to yourself, do you ever worry that it’ll be too over the top?

CAMILA:  I worry every single time, and I know every single time that it will be over the top, because who sits with a martini glass talking to themselves?  (Laughs)  Of course, obviously, I’m not psychotic!  (Laughs)  Again, it’s just part of our business.  It’s part of the scandal of it all, part of the drama.  I get these scenes, and I can say to the producers and the director, “Hey, I don’t want to do this,” and the only thing they’re going to tell me is, “You’ve got to do this.”  (Laughs)  You just try to make it as natural as possible, and roll with it.

Photo Credit: JPI Studiops

How will Gabi’s dear friend and father of her child, Will Horton (Chandler Massey) fit into all of this?  Will Gabi care what Will thinks if he finds out what she is doing?

CAMILA:  Will comes into this a little bit after this story develops as kind of a Jiminy Cricket character, in a guidance kind of situation that she may, or may not heed.

Do you think fans will see bad Gabi continue once this story is over?

CAMILA:  Gabi will continue to be bad as long as people continue to wrong her.  If people stop messing with her, everything will be fine.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Isn’t she worried her brother Rafe (Galen Gering), who works for the Salem PD, might arrest her if he finds out what she’s doing? 

CAMILA:  No.  (Laughs)  Honestly, that’s the honest answer.  She’s not worried.  She’s really just not thinking about that at all … at all!

Is her company “Gabi Chic” going to continue?

CAMILA:  She cannot have any other baby.  Her other baby is her company, so she’s going to fight for it.

You’ll have great stuff for Emmy time next year.  Is there one particular scene that you’ve loved so far in this story line?

CAMILA:  Yes, but it hasn’t aired yet.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

What did you like about those scenes; without saying what they are specifically?

CAMILA:  You get to see a little bit of raw Gabi, and a moment of understanding of where all of this is coming from.

She switched the DNA results to make it look like Stefan is the bio-dad of Abigail’s baby when it is Chad’s.  Interesting how she pulled that off! (Laughs)

CAMILA:  It was very convenient.  It just kind of worked out for her, and that’s why it was something that just kind of happened.  Kayla’s (Mary Beth Evans) assistant came in and dropped the results at the precise time Gabi was standing there.

Courtesy/NBC

So, in a broad stroke, you would say to the viewers to look for Gabi to continue to terrorize those who wronged her?

CAMILA:  Yes! Look for Gabi to get the revenge she deserves.

What do you think of Gabi’s plans to get payback on Abby and Stefan?  Do you hope she succeeds  … or that someone will stop her before she hurts so many people?  Are you excited that Camila will be on the upcoming season of Star?  What has been your favorite Gabi bad girl moment thus far? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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4ever DAYSCeliaViolet Lemmrebecca1Jbj Recent comment authors
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DaysFan
Guest
DaysFan

Great interview. Oh,how I love Chad and Gabi together. Such GREAT chemistry.

Whitney Williams
Guest
Whitney Williams

Great thing they won’t end up together. Chad will be with his wife Abby the love of his life and the mother of his children. Chad and Gabi have no chemistry.

Ray
Guest
Ray

Excellent story. I have always thought Camila was one of the best actresses on the show. Gabi reminds me of a young Kristen. If fans remember, Kristen was a good girl when she came to town. I hope to see her on the show for years to come and see her share the stage next year with Marci Miller when they accept their Daytime Emmy AWards

Me d
Guest
Me d

No reason is good enough for what she is doing….her mamaa would be ashamed

Troy Pasquale
Guest
Troy Pasquale

I love Camila and Gabi and I haven’t been thrilled with direction Gabi has been going in even though Camila has been rocking it. But having read Camila’s perspective on the storyline I feel a bit better. Although Gabi is in a dark place right now I do not believe she is evil and I’ve been wanting to see some balance between her light and dark side. From what she said about Will’s role in this we’ll see some of that of course it all depends on how much she listens to him. As far as her answer to the… Read more »

Joanne
Guest
Joanne

Gabi needs to teach Abigail a good lesson.

Whitney Williams
Guest
Whitney Williams

I hate the story line no reason is good enough to go after a mentally ill women. I am just happy in the end Chad and Abby will be happy together and in love with their children away from Gabi.

Stephanie
Guest
Stephanie

I don’t like gabi with Chad she looks better with Eli put loni with no aga in and dont break up chad and abby please keep Marci on days shes a great actor loves her

Lex
Guest
Lex

My fave on DAYS. Camila is killing it. Every soap needs a vixen.

Violet Lemm
Guest
Violet Lemm

I used to like Gabbi,but honestly can not condone what she is doing to a family,that includes two innocent children. Camilla seems not to only like this part she’s now playing, but thinks all the revenge and destruction she’s causing, is justified. Two wrongs do not make a right.If all the rumors are right with Abby and Chad leaving Salem together, where will that leave Gabby?

Jbj
Guest
Jbj

What rumors about Chad and Abby leaving? Billy re-signed his contract and Kate Mansi has been taping as Abby for months already despite Marci’s Abby remaining on air until November.

Violet Lemm
Guest
Violet Lemm

Jbj,sorry to burst your bubble, but if you Google Billy FLynn, you will see, he’s leaving .in Oct.

rebecca1
Guest
rebecca1

Unfortunately Billy Flynn is leaving; though I’m not sure if they’re sending the fictional couple off into the sunset together or if they’re recasting.

Violet Lemm
Guest
Violet Lemm

Hi Rebecca
I did read somewhere that Kate M. Would be back for the baby reveal, and then they would leave together. Don’t remember where I read it, or if it’s entirely true. I am so very disappointed in this show right now, that I don’t care much who comes or goes. Oh, what a liar I am. That’s what bothers me the most, losing Steve,Lucas,etc,etc. I,will hang in there though, I always do. I just have to moan and groan some. Thanks for “listening” Rebecca.

Kacy
Guest
Kacy

Camila is killing it! I get why Gabi wants revenge. It’s entertaining. I hope she raises hell against Agifail and Cad. I love having everyone, fans including shaking in their boots.

Lee
Guest
Lee

I miss her an Eli. I wish she would try to forgive him because he appeals to the better side of her nature. Eli sees the darkness in her and tries to turn her back to the light. I don’t want them to end up together, just to think about it instead of forever chasing Chad because her scenes with Julie who despises her are priceless.

Celia
Guest
Celia

Bad, bad girl Gabi with the most gorgeous hair on TV. Camila truly is a beautiful girl.
Off topic: I did not recognize Mimi. Is it just moi? She has really changed!!

4ever DAYS
Guest
4ever DAYS

Camila is beautiful, Celia. As for Farrah, she may have had fat transfered from her face to her lips. If so, then if someone wants to slap her face, the mouth would be the target. lol

Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Alison Sweeney on Working with Bryan Dattilo: “28 Years Later, Some Things Never Change. Still Laughing Between Takes and Grateful to Have Such a Talented Supportive Co-Star”

This week, Days of our Lives viewers have witnessed that Sami Brady DiMera (Alison Sweeney) and Lucas Horton (Bryan Dattilo) hit the sheets, and Lumi fans everywhere rejoiced!

On and off, for almost three decades. Alison Sweeney and Bryan Dattilo have played the relationship between these two exes who share children together to the hilt, because Sami and Lucas’ history is well … complicated.

But, what will happen if and when EJ finds out that Sami had sex with her ex? Stay tuned.

In the meantime, Alison took to her Instagram and shared her thoughts alongside photos of her and Bryan, then and now.

Over the years, Bryan had remained one of Alison’s good friends.

Sweeney expressed: “I have always had such fun working with @bryan.dattilo !! 28 years later, some things never change. Still laughing between takes and grateful to have such a talented, supportive costar. Thanks @nbc for this great archive photo! And so grateful to @nbcdays for the incredible opportunity to play Sami.”

What did you think of the scenes where Sami and Lucas slept together and its aftermath thus far? Comment below.

 

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A post shared by Ali Sweeney (@alisweeney)

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Days Of Our Lives

Kevin Spirtas Talks ‘After Forever’s’ Digital Special ‘Riley’s Unforgettable School Project’, The Loss of Michael Slade, and a Chance to Reprise DAYS Craig Wesley

The coronavirus pandemic has put to the test many content creators on just how they would keep their projects moving forward in ways they never dreamed of. However, out of that situation has come some of the most compelling, unique series, specials, and features currently streaming for viewers. One of which is Riley’s Unforgettable School Project, brought to you by the team from the six-time Daytime Emmy Award-winning series, After Forever.

Former Days of our Lives star, Kevin Spirtas (Ex-Craig Wesley) has starred in and created the first two seasons of what has become the most honored Emmy-awarded LGBTQ-themed drama series on any platform.  Along with his ‘After Forever’ writing/producing partner, the late Michael Slade (DAYS, OLTL, Passions, Another World), the two also conceptualized and delivered this latest documentary-style offering now on Amazon Prime Video.

What makes Riley’s Unforgettable School Project so noteworthy is not just how they were able to execute the series based on fictional 11-year-old Riley’s virtual school project and utilize its cast, which includes: Spirtas, Cady Huffman, Jamison Stern, Lenny Wolpe, Erin Cherry, Anita Gillette, Christopher J. Hanke, and Finn Douglas, but that it was made while Slade was succumbing to his battle with cancer, and that this special marks the final script from this talented writer.

 

Michael Fairman TV spoke with Spirtas about making the special during Covid-19, how the death of Michael Slade has made a lasting impact on his life, what After Forever has personally meant to him, and how an official third season is still in the works, and … if he would consider a return to Salem and Days of our Lives, should they come a-calling.  Here’s what Kevin had to say about it all.

Photo: AfterForever

I think the entire story of this digital special has become even more meaningful with Michael Slade’s passing. What was the genesis of the concept? You wanted to continue the telling of the story of After Forever … but we are all in the middle of a pandemic?

KEVIN:  Yes and… when we filmed season 2, we had the scripts for season 3 already completed. It was our hope and desire to film them at the same time, back-to-back, so that we would have had all of our cast and crew together, and we could have gotten through it because we’ve always imagined this story being told in a trilogy so to speak – a beginning, middle, and end to Brian (Spirtas) and Jason, (Mitchell Anderson) and Brian’s healing or his steps towards healing through grief.  Schedules turned out that they couldn’t really work out for us to hold all the people and hold all of the sets for that amount of time.  So, we thought, “We’ve got the scripts for season 3 ready.  We’ll come back to it in the following year,” and that was always the intention, and then the pandemic hit.  So, it was shut down immediately that we weren’t going to do anything, but we wanted to stay current, and instead of going back in and telling the third installment of After Forever as a Covid-19 story as well, Michael and I sat down and looked at a way of staying relevant and current with a story within COVID, and there was born the idea to do this documentary style story/special about the characters of After Forever told through the lens of the character of Riley, the 11-year-old boy, who is now being homeschooled during the pandemic. He gets an assignment to do a project about the most unforgettable person he has ever met, and he, of course, chooses his best friend, the late Jason Adams, and he enlists all of Jason’s friends and family to join in.  Michael actually said, “What if we tell a story about Riley being homeschooled?” And, not only is Riley a technical genius at 11-years-old in the story, but Finn Douglas, who plays Riley, is a technical genius.

And didn’t Finn perform and write the song “Forever There” contained within the special?

KEVIN. Yes. He is this incredible musician.  Michael thought, “What would it be like if we asked to have the character of Finn sing a song for Jason?”  I said, “Well, what kind of song would we have him sing?”  Finn could play anything, I’m sure, because he’s self-taught, he plays by ear – guitar, piano, and drums.  Michael said, “What if we ask him to see if he could write a song?” and when we heard this song, we all called each other and we all got on Zoom and went, “Can you believe this song?  Can you believe this came out of this 11-year-old?”  It’s pretty incredible.  Michael did a gorgeous job of weaving the stories in and out and how they just sort of dove-tailed into each other, and then it was framed by Riley opening the project and ending the project.  During the Zoom reading we wanted to hear the song out loud.  We said to Finn, “Would you want to sing the song?”  We all just watched everybody on that Zoom call just fall apart.  It was just so beautiful. He’s an amazing talent.

Where is your character within this?

KEVIN:  I still stand in the center of the story of Jason because my character, Brian, was married to Jason, and it sort of connects us all, and through Riley’s understanding of how we all connect to Jason, is how we are all sort of spread out throughout the story.  Michael jokingly said, “You know, you’re not going to be the star of this special,” and I said, “I don’t think it’s about being the star.  It’s really about the storytelling.”  The beauty of Riley’s Unforgettable School Project is that we get to see moments of each person’s relationship with Jason, which Riley sets out to say, “Answer these three questions: What did you like most about Jason?  What did you like least about Jason? And what’s your favorite memory?”  Those three things, cut back and forth is where we all kind of fit in.  Nobody has more of a story than the next person, and it’s all telling honest portrayals of how they’re dealing with their loss of their good friend, or their child, or partner.

It’s a very inventive idea during Covid-19 to continue it in a way where you weren’t having to go shoot a full season of episodes.

KEVIN:  Well, we couldn’t. I have to say, Allison Vanore, who not only produced this special, but she also stepped up saying, “I’d love to direct this,” and I said, “Yes, please!”  She knows the characters.  She understands the story because she’s been a part of it for the last two seasons.  Allison also has this extraordinary amount of knowledge and expertise with the camera and what was needed for a remote shoot, and to also be able to organize filming 13 people in 2 different countries and 5 different cities… that’s just the technical side of it, but having that in our back pocket, knowing that it was a remote shoot, we had to send the camera, the computer, the ring light, and the microphone to each person’s house.  We had to location scout over Zoom.  We had to do wardrobe over Zoom.  It was all this big puzzle putting it together, and once you look at that board of storytelling and how we were going to do it, it kind of fell into place.  I feel blessed that a) we still had Michael with us, at that point, and b) Allison had the know-how to do this.  We all feel that at least this pandemic didn’t keep us from doing what we love.

Photo: AfterForever

In terms of the contribution of Michael Slade in this special, was it the construction of the story, and how was he able to work and write this during his illness?

KEVIN:  Michael’s contribution to the special was no less than the contribution to season 1 and season 2, and the future of season 3, because the scripts are written.  We did everything on Zoom, and we worked around his schedule of treatment.  We scheduled 2 people per day, and we spread them out over two weeks.  He was very present, and when there would be a day where he would say, “I’m going to be an hour late, let’s just push that call time,” I would ask, “Is this too much right now?  We can shelve it; we can stop it.” He’d then say, “Absolutely not, otherwise cancer will win.”  He was determined to stay focused and to stay active because it took his mind off of what was happening to him.

Photo: AfterForever

It would be lovely moment if you both were to win a Daytime Emmy for this project. 

KEVIN:  It’s our last collaboration together as a team, as I said, season 3 has been scripted, and it is on the calendar to get made.  We are just waiting for the COVID restrictions to lift a little bit and everyone to get vaccinated.  Michael was really hit hard with cancer – to stay healthy was so challenging for him.  Sadly, he didn’t make it to see the final edit of the special, and he died four days before we launched, but he had seen the cuts before that and was very approving of it, and had made some decisions, and offered some suggestions, and if God gives him an Emmy for this, it’s not because he died.  It’s because it’s great work.  It just happens to be that the work that was involved in this particular special was very tricky.  It brought up everything, like life itself to have to deal with.  Here we are dealing with the loss of a colleague, the loss of a friend, someone’s brother, someone’s son, this is life imitating art, imitating art imitating life. I can’t tell you the darkness that I went through just experiencing the need to stay focused on getting everything edited, and everything ready, and everything aligned for a release of this project that we had put into motion.  On top of it, our editor lost his mother just before Michael passed, and Allison’s mom was sick at the time, as well.  It took a lot of heavy deep breaths with Michael’s death, and the pandemic, and the loss has, for me, on a personal level, sent me back to really questioning my spiritual muscle and to help remind me that we have to come out of this better than we went into this.  I had many dark nights of the soul this last year, and December was probably the darkest.  I feel like I’m just kind of coming out of it now with the spring revealing itself.

Photo: AfterForever

It must have been extraordinarily difficult for you to also go to New York during a pandemic and also knowing Michael did not have much time left.

KEVIN:  I will say this: I am grateful that I was able to stay in touch with my heart and my instinct and go out to New York to let that be my remote location.  Yes, maybe there was some risk involved.  I wore my mask; I was Covid-19 negative, and I was determined to be fine.  Once I got to New York, I would visit him very protectively with our masks and our gloves, and I’d sit across the room, and then I’d go back to the house I was at.  It was a gift that I was able to see him at that time.  We had some good talks then about how he was feeling, and I think he was still being optimistic, and then once we got the project in the can there was maybe this psychic letting go. That’s when everything really started to reveal itself as this could be the end.  I did go back to see him when he was in hospice.  I think I was there the last two days that he really was able to really stay coherent.  He would close his eyes and be at peace and quiet for a minute, and he would finish a conversation and sort of close his eyes, not to sleep and not to go away, but I remember watching him going, “Look how peaceful he is,” and then he’d open his eyes and he’d remember that he is in this body that has been given a time limit of life, and he’s on his way out.  I’d watch the fear go back in his eyes.  At one point, he did say, “I’m so scared,” and I just held his hand, and I said, “I’m scared too.  Let’s be scared through this together.”  I don’t know how to navigate grief like that.  We are all going to be in a position at some point where we are going to be on the other side of the hand holding.  The wonderful thing is that we were able to have honest communication about our feelings.  I thanked him for everything that he has done for me and how he believed in my talent and creativity and our partnership.  I will always take that with me.  I waved my finger at him, and I said, “Listen.  Now, we wrote a series about a man talking to his deceased husband.  You’d better talk to me!”  So, we laughed about that.

Photo: AfterForever

You’ve done a lot of things in your career from Broadway to television, and of course, daytime fans know you best as Dr. Craig Wesley on DAYS.  How does the entire After Forever project stack up to you within all that you have done?

KEVIN:  Former DAYS casting director Fran Bascom, sought me out and offered me this 2-day role on Days of Our Lives, and those 2 days turned into 8 years, and unbeknownst to me at the time, the final 3 months of that contract of those 8 years, Michael Slade was brought in to write.  We didn’t cross paths at that point, but years later, when we did cross paths in New York, and then After Forever was born, that was that universal crossing point.  I am most proud of the fact that we were able create something fresh, and real, and personal to ourselves that we didn’t have to cater to any “powers that be” that had their vision and their tinkering, that they thought that it could be better in this way or that way.  Then for After Forever to gain such recognition, within the film festivals, and the Emmys, and then, just after Michael died, we won the GLAAD award for Special Recognition this year.  We don’t even fit into one of their categories!  They found a way to acknowledge this project.  If another Emmy happens again, that might be another one to put up on the shelf for After Forever that would be beautiful, and I couldn’t have done it without Michael.

For the Daytime Emmys this year, what category have you entered Riley’s Unforgettable School Project?

KEVIN:  We are not a series this year, we are a daytime fiction special, and the “Daytime Fiction Special” category is a special class.  It’s anything that’s digital in the construct of less than 40 minutes.  NATAS (National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences) is being bombarded with so much content, they’re trying to find ways to put categories together.

Photo: JPI

So, now, when we last saw Days of Lives’ Dr. Craig Wesley, where was he? (Laughs)

KEVIN: (Laughs) He was in a flash from the past or something in the DOOL app’s Last Blast Reunion series. I had a fun time working with Patrika Darbo (Nancy) and Nadia Bjorlin (Chloe), once again.

So, if they were to want Craig to come back to DAYS, would you be all for it?

KEVIN:  Hell yes!

Photo: JPI

Now, what story would you want to be told involving Craig? 

KEVIN:  When Craig was first on the canvas in Salem, there was a lot of mustache twirling and a lot of hand wringing.  He was always plotting; most of the time with Nancy.  It was kind of this high drama, evil villain storyline being told, but when the writers created an opportunity for us to be on after those first three months by bringing on Chloe without a father, there was something real about it.  It may have been told under the construct of soap opera storytelling, but there was a reality-based story about, “You have a daughter, and we are just now finding out about it?”  Then, finding a cure to her health was another realistic story, and finding out that Craig was her real father.  Anything that’s reality based is what I’m getting to.  I would welcome any job that brings me back and gives me an opportunity to dive into something real.

Photo: JPI

Would you welcome the opportunity to play a gay character on daytime; in a medium where there are very few represented in storylines?

KEVIN:  I’d have no problem with that.  Do you know anybody who is starting that?  Let’s do it!  (Laughs) First of all, there’s nothing to hide anymore.  There’s nothing to pretend you’re not anymore.  I would think that bringing in a storyline that deals with anything outside the norm that we are used to seeing would be interesting.  How many times can you retell a story?  How many times can you set the same story up with another couple?  So, why not be diverse and have a stylized story being told through the lens of a gay person.

Photo: AfterForever

In closing, so many go through life without acknowledging people who had an impact them.  We don’t give pats on the back, often enough, and especially in Hollywood, where people can be very self-involved.  You have already paid tribute to Michael Slade in our discussion, but what gift from him is your personal takeaway?

KEVIN:  The gift that Michael really gave to me is to remember to be kind to myself and to others, and to acknowledge and salute the person who is in front of us, because we don’t know when we will have, or if we will have, another moment to do that.

Now below, check out the trailer for Riley’s Unforgettable School Project.  Then let us know, what do you think of its concept? Kevin’s thoughts on the passing of his collaborator on the project, Michael Slade? And, do you hope DAYS brings back Dr. Craig Wesley? Share your thoughts via the comment section.

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Breaking News

REPORT: Dan Feuerriegel is DAYS New EJ DiMera

Could Days of our Lives finally found their new EJ? Rumors have been circulating on the internet for weeks that the character of EJ DiMera may finally have a new face and a new actor portraying and heading back to Salem, especially since Sami (Alison Sweeney) is back on the canvas.

The role was previously played by longtime fan favorite James Scott, who had made it very clear he would never return to Days of our Lives.

Photo: DFeuerriegelIG

Now according to Daytime Confidential and their report from setside sources, the new EJ will actually be played by former Spartacus actor Dan Feuerriegel.

The Australian-born actor has been seen in Starz’ Spartacus franchise in the role of Agron.

According to the report, look for the new EJ to make his debut sometime this summer.

DAYS fans know that in story, EJ was brought back form the dead, from the serum from Dr. Rolf, but then was injured in an explosion and had reunited with Sami and had been recovery in Europe.

So, if this reports turns out to be true, what do you think of the new EJ? Comment below.

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Y&R’s Joshua Morrow, Amelie Heinle, Mark Grossman, Hunter King and Melissa Ordway chat with Michael Fairman about being a part of and portraying the Newman Children as the show celebrates its 48th anniversary.Leave A Comment

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