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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Casey Moss Delivers Poignant and Evocative Performance As JJ Contemplates Ending His Life

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

In one of the most riveting performances and episodes of the soaps in 2017, Days of our Lives’  Casey Moss (JJ) was front and center, and had the opportunity to show his depth as an actor, while delivering a powerful message to the audience, and in an issue that faces many people who spiral down the depths of depression, and have lost all hope.

This is juxtaposed against Christmas Eve in Salem when families come together and celebrate, while JJ’s sorrow provides the drama.

The Wednesday installment of the NBC daytime drama series was a perfecty crafted standalone episode from head writer, Ron Carlivati, where the viewers watch JJ decide to end his life, and look on as he goes through the steps he feels he must take to prepare for his own demise.  This included writing heart-breaking letters to his loved ones, and of course, to the young man he shot, Theo (Kyler Pettis) and his grieving father, Abe (James Reynolds).  Each move of JJ’s inner torment played to perfection by Moss, took the audience on a gut-wrenching journey.

Throughout, JJ flashes back on his life and reflects on when he was younger and key moments in his relationship with his mother, Jennifer (Melissa Reeves), and his father, Jack. Viewers were treated to a return by Matthew Ashford, who reminded us all of why we love Jack Deveraux.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

In the story, at first disheveled from his overriding depression and guilt,  JJ  decides to take a shower and shave before his final steps in his plan.  He lays out and then puts on his police dress uniform. as he continues to organize this thoughts through his agony.

When JJ writes his suicide note to Theo, he begins: “Dear Theo, I said I wanted you to have all the things you wanted, and now you have nothing, because of me. I’ve come to see that I can only pay for taking your life by taking my own, so I’m going out to the square, to the same place where I shot you, with the same gun, and maybe, in some small way, it will help balance out the universe …  make up for what I took from you.  I have left something to everyone else I love, but I have nothing to give you…except my life.”  After signing the letter, JJ seals the envelope, and write “Theo” on the front, and adds it to the pile, which included a hankie-inducing letter to his mother.

Photo Credit:

When he writes his goodbye letter to Abe, JJ pens: “Dear Abe, how do I say I’m sorry for something that is unforgivable, especially when it was you who first made me understand just what this badge means.”  Taking a moment, JJ recalls the day via a flashback that Abe encouraged him to apply to the police academy. JJ continues writing: “I saw how angry you were when I got it back. You thought it was dead wrong, and I think you were right, so I’m giving it back to you.”  JJ seals his letter to Abe in an envelope, and adds his police badge on top of it.

As the episode nears its conclusion, and after finishing all his letters, and with the stack of envelopes in front of him, JJ pulls out a gun from his desk drawer and inserts the clip, and seems ready to end his life.

So, what did you think of the performance by Casey Moss? What did you think about the construction of the episode, and how it played out? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Iakovos
Guest
Iakovos

I like JJ. Have since he returned and was a thorn in his mother Jennifer’s side. There has been an arc with JJ and I appreciate it. Suicide is a major issue in our society and good for DAYS to tackle it. I appreciate a human story apart from crazy resurrections and endless repetitive love games. This story has been moving to me. Thank you.

Celia
Guest
Celia

How true, Iacovos!- JJ has been a prime example how youth can turn its life around. Yes, he was a vey stinging thorn in his mother’s side……he slew his demons, as it were…..not permanently slain, I guess. He feels so much guilt, I don’t know if anyone could ever come out of that—especially if Theo does not wake-up….such a compelling story. I cried!! I was so impressed by the scene……how methodically, almost lovingly, as macabre as it sounds, he sought to the future of those he loves, by endieng his life…..a life for a life? Very poignant. Such a sensitive,… Read more »

Celia
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Celia

Ending….

Debra m
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Debra m

Ron C. continues to impress me with his great writing. Instead of introducing new characters he is using the entire cast in various storylines. This gives Casey a time to shine at his best, but the whole cast has been wonderful. It just proves, give good writing and the actors will shine. I stopped watching DOOL for a number of years because the writing was awful and the acting to me was just not good. But wow, what a change in the show now and the actors have really stepped up. I see alot of Emmy noms. next year. DOOL… Read more »

AH
Guest
AH

Casey deserves a Emmy as well as the show for best drama. This storyline is riveting. I’m glad this story is being told. Kudos Ron Carlivati and the writing team. Also Kudos to Casey for a heartfelt performance.

Sharon M Edmark
Guest
Sharon M Edmark

I agree that Casey Moss deserves an Emmy – I have been watching Days for over 40 yrs and he brought me to tears – I have never seen such great acting from someone so young. I am 59 and watched Days for along time, Casey – you brought me to tears. i LOVE all the actors on DAYS – but JJ your pulled it off,

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

shucks… per your words – ” i LOVE all the actors on DAYS ”

it’s a marvel to watch writing and acting so in sync with each other. dang it !

it’s been a dream to tune in

i’m about a week behind… can’t wait to see the new DiMera.. played by Tyler Christopher… WITH his onscreen mother… Vivian Alamaine… played by the grand dame of all … OK I know there are plenty others… she’s in the top echelon… Louise Sorel

YES

blast off

again… @ DAYS

blake
Guest
blake

Casey Moss deserves an Emmy for this episode. So great of Ron C. to write and focus on Casey and JJ, he’s such a great and underrated talent.

I hate seeing JJ go through this, especially when he’s not at fault, he was only doing his job and protecting himself!

Llanviewer717
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Llanviewer717

It was an absolutely heartbreaking episode to watch. Poor JJ is such a tragic figure. Casey Moss did an excellent job. When given powerful material, he delivers.

Jimh
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Jimh

I attempted suicide in my younger years the last time nearly 20 years ago so watching someone contemplating suicide is a bit uncomfortable even if it is just a soap and knowing JJ really wont go all the way-brings back so many bad memories…CM is doing a fine job in his role-i smell an emmy nomination!!!!

Celia
Guest
Celia

….Proud of you, Jimmy. You are a conqueror, you know that?? Bless you.

Celia
Guest
Celia

Love Robin, Jimmy….but, can you imagine if the mom, mysteriously, turns out to be Vivian? Can’t beat that!!

Joseph Tyler
Guest
Joseph Tyler

To be honest, I found it to be overly drawn out and difficult to watch (albeit well acted) while watching what, I guess, were supposed to be “older scenes” re-enacted (I don’t know for sure, have only been watching since 2013) – I understand that JJ is upset, but it seemed ultra-melodramatic to me.
I certainly do understand however, how people can spiral downward into a depressed state that seems insurmountable and was glad that there was a full panel displayed for The Suicide Prevention League.

Mo
Guest
Mo

Those scenes were recently created. As far as I can remember, Jack was already dead when JJ, in the form of Casey, returned to Salem.

I don’t know if it was difficult to watch, but not really interesting/entertaining, but maybe it wasn’t supposed to be. Some of it was sad, the letter he wrote to Theo saying he’s giving his life for Theo.

Why didn’t the Salem PD get JJ into counseling?

Jamesj75
Guest
Jamesj75

Outstanding stuff! I could watch Casey Moss all day. We’ll leave it at that…

Celia
Guest
Celia

You bet, James……so much good stuff on Days…..
….heard through the grapevine that Tyler Christoper will be playing another one Stefano’ s long lost sons….his name is Stefan O. DiMera…..So very clever, that. Can’t wait for the mayhem to begin at chez DiMera’s, James….everyone vying for number one rooster-son in the great, vast mansion. Can’t you just hear the echoing of angry voices bouncing off the walls? LOL….Love it!!

Jamesj75
Guest
Jamesj75

Thanks for your reply, Celia! You’re absolutely right. Interesting stuff about Tyler. It’s so refreshing to see DOOL firing on all cylinders again. “echoing of angry voices bouncing off the walls” — hysterical! Take care, Friend. 🙂

Jimh
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Jimh

If true i hope Lee turns out to be his mom and played by Robin Strasser

ChandlerFan
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ChandlerFan

Agree completely. I did enjoy his youthful persona as a dedicated irritant to Dr. Dan. (Loved it when he broke Jonas’ expensive toys.) However, both his character and himself as an actor seem to have grown into an interesting 3-dimensional troubadour/protector. I was surprised that this episode did not portray JJ giving away his treasured guitar to someone. (Perhaps I missed the guitar getting buried with Page?) Gotta say, JJ’s bearded, unkempt rakish troubled period gave him a fleshed-out much more grown-up appearance, making a more interesting person that we’d like to learn more about. I’d like to see his… Read more »

4ever DAYS
Guest
4ever DAYS

Eric and JJ aren’t cousins or related in any way, ChandlerFan. Eric’s parents are Roman Brady and Marlena (Evans) Brady Black. JJ’s parents are Jack (AKA Billy Johnson) Deveraux and Jennifer (Horton) Deveraux.

Jamesj75
Guest
Jamesj75

Thanks for your reply, ChandlerFan!

So glad you are a MossFan, too! You make some great points about his growth as an actor as well as the character’s development. I also enjoyed JJ’s interactions with Dr. Dan. Take care, Friend!

anne gagnon
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anne gagnon

Casey’s performance was excellent <I really felt bad for him made me cry.I don;t know how he did it, he may need therapy after that great performance. I hope the episode helped alot of people. Now Theo needs to come out of the coma so his dad won't be so mean' and I understand why he is.

vinman
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vinman

Kudos Casey Moss…Ron Carlivati…and all the actors in this truly amazing episode!!!

Mo
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Mo

Personally, didn’t totally enjoy it, but I understand where they were going with it. I guess today’s ep will take up where this one left off.

M. Clay
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M. Clay

An amazing 2 day performance by Casey. Suicide during the holoday’s Is becoming more common, especially among law enforcement and the military. Emmy worthy performance….

Damien
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Damien

JJ s been my favorite character since he showed up with an axe to grind in Salem
Im glad Rons writing for Jj and bringing him back to his best storyline since the time he tore up the square when he had uncovered that Jack had raped kayla
Casey s the next leading man on Days

Mo
Guest
Mo

He needs a partner comparable to his acting and Sal Stowers is not it.

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

I haven’t seen so much heated energies light up my telee… since Chad and Gabs JJ and Lani are WOW… I enjoy this twosome. the natural sensuality between these two is smitten Sal Stowers has proven to be GOOD for this show and good for Abe Carver family. PLUS she has shown good work as an employee of SPD AND as a daughter to Abe, and sister to Theo…. SO .. i’d say Sal Stowers is across the board melding quite nicely with the whole production. I don’t know what to think… is she preggers from Eli or JJ ?… Read more »

Sandy Oliver
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Sandy Oliver

Casey’s performance was exceptional and so real to life. It showed the audience exactly what the monster of depression can do to people. I think Casey deserves an award for his performance.

JMER
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JMER

Does anyone know who the ep’s script writer and/or breakdown writer is? All I know is this is my mom’s show, and I’ve been helping her through my dad’s death. She was watching Days daily, which she has done since before I was born, and I noticed the Theo shooting story. Now I’m hooked plus holidays are always something to tune in for on Days, whether story is good or not. This standalone ep had me mesmerized. It is unlike anything I’ve seen on DT in ages. I know Days has some excellent Classic writers going back to the 80s… Read more »

Sharon M Edmark
Guest
Sharon M Edmark

Very good story line – need it during the Holidays

Sharon M Edmark
Guest
Sharon M Edmark

I have watched Days for over 40 yrs and I was in tears over Casey’s performance – I was in tears and Gabi’s actress helped me. I saw Gabi save the day!!! I knew she would dave JJ. Too bad for Lani though – she thinks that JJ slept with Gabi – There goes the SOAP!!

mike
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mike

The kid has stepped up to match the good writing. This is great soap opera.

Fine75
Guest
Fine75

Dec. 20th episode was a great powerful show j j did a great job glad days devoted the time on the subject (depression) Dec 21st with j j and Gabi was a tearjerker I think at one time or another as gone through depression it’s a part of Life some people pull throw and some don’t

Ray
Guest
Ray

Casey and James Reynolds deserve Emmy nominations.

Tania
Guest
Tania

Liked very much sad but Casey hit out the park it was nice seeing Matthew Ashford again I wish stay on for good . Only issue I had no Steve and Adrienne they are JJ family too

Robert in Jersey City
Guest
Robert in Jersey City

Stunning. Just watched it. Ron reversed the flashback tool from folks laughing on a sofa to a real day problem.

xmascarol
Guest
xmascarol

At first I did not like JJ at all but now I feel for the guy what was he suppose to do he thought that Teo had a gun so he had to protect himself.Abe son isn’t no angel here.As one who suffers from anxieties and depression I know how he felt.Some days you just feel like giving up.While I never came close to suicide I have thought about it ,but I am to chicken to die,Well back to the show enough about me,Casey did an excellent job I could really feel his pain.I am so glad that Abby stopped… Read more »

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

ABOUT – the only time I think Abe.. may have … got side tracked. was when he was at the SPD with Rafe and JJ… as they read the report… from INTERNAL AFFAIRS … and JJ was found “not guilty” sorry.. lack of a better term… Abe flying between being the father of.. and his upholding the law… and his relationship with JJ I thought Abe emotions got the best of him… did you watch the scenes between him and Jennifer… as she pleaded with him for understanding any way… the 12 /25 episode of miracle.. happened it’s going to… Read more »

Lou Piikes
Guest
Lou Piikes

Casey Moss not only deserves an Emmy, but an Oscar as well.

Steve
Guest
Steve

What motion picture was he in to deserve an Oscar?

Lou Piikes
Guest
Lou Piikes

Once Upon a Time in Salem.

Rodd
Guest
Rodd

I congratulate all involved with this storyline! Suicide is an all too common issue that people face on a daily basis, especially at this time of year. And while the majority of those thinking of suicide didn’t have the circumstances that JJ did, they face real struggles. This story is timely and very important. I am glad to see DOOL address this in such a gripping way, a way that is sure to garner a lot of attention and hopefully save lives. All those involved, especially Casey have been doing a remarkable job. It has truly been the most moving… Read more »

Kathy Smith
Guest
Kathy Smith

As someone who has struggled mightily with depression my whole life, I could not be more impressed with the writing and the performance by Casey Moss. If he does not win the Emmy, it will be nothing short of highway robbery. I was touched deeply, as I’m sure were others…those of us who have been there know a better job could not have been done. Simply outstanding. Thank you, Casey.

rpm
Guest
rpm

Casey Moss delivered!!!! Great episode

Kelly
Guest
Kelly

Excellent writing by Ron and bravo to delivering a fantastic performance Casey, of a man contemplating and planning to end his life. Emmy worthy for sure!!!

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.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

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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