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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Cast Shines In Saddest Of Episodes As Salem Learns That Will Has Been Murdered!

Courtesy/NBC

Courtesy/NBC

If you ever needed to reach for the hankies watching your favorite daytime drama, look no further than Monday’s episode of NBC’s Days of our Lives. 

The series picked-up their unimaginable Friday cliffhanger with Gabi (Camila Banus) finding the strangled Will (Guy Wilson) dead on his apartment floor.  As the episode unfolded, key characters including: family members, loved ones, friends, and Will’s husband, Sonny (Freddie Smith) all learned of Will’s demise.

Gabi called her brother Rafe (Galen Gering) first, who comes to the crime scene.  Rafe is later followed by Hope (Kristian Alfonso).  And in very touching performances by both Galen Gering and Kristian Alfonso, the two cops try valiantly to hold it together, but can’t as they struggle to come to terms with the murder of the beloved Will.   Hope than decides she will be the one to call Will’s father, Lucas (Bryan Dattilo), and break the news to him.  She urges Lucas to get to Will’s apartment right away.   When he does, Lucas is beyond griefstricken in a heartbreaking performance by Bryan Dattilo.  When he calls Will, “My boy!” … major hankies were needed.  Lucas is then the one who has to tell the devastating news to Sami (Alison Sweeney) – Will’s mother.

Courtesy/NBC

Will’s grandmother Marlena (Deidre Hall), who has always been by Will’s side through his coming out, and supported him emotionally can barely hold it together when she learns of the news.

Marlena interuppts John (Drake Hogestyn) and Steve (Stephen Nichols) conversation, while they are talking about Bo’s (Peter Reckell) whearabouts, to tell them what happened and is shell-shocked. In Paris, Sonny (Freddie Smith) hears Will’s voice message where Will finally says to Sonny that everything that happened was his fault, and he loves Sonny so much.  Sonny decides he is going to head back to Salem and see Will and try to make his marriage work.  But he is stopped by a tragic phone call from his Uncle Victor (John Aniston).   Sonny learns Will has been murdered and crumbles to the floor.  Back in Salem, Abigail (Kate Mansi) while in bed with her fiance’  … killer Ben (Rob Scott Wilson) … reels when her mother calls her to tell her the shocking news of her cousin’s murder.  Ben tries to say that Chad (Billy Flynn) struck again, and murdered poor Will!

Courtesy/NBC

Abby goes to meet Gabi who is with her little girl Arianna trying to process Will’s murder, and how on earth she is going to tell the baby girl her daddy is gone! Will’s dear friend, Chad (while hiding out in the DiMera mansion) learns via computer that Will had been murdered by the necktie serial killer! Chad is griefstricken, and then is desperately trying to piece together three murders and who could be framing him.  And he does!  He realizes it’s Ben! And at the end of the episode, he confront the killer! Finally, as Marlena, Lucas , Rafe, John, and Hope have gathered at the Salem PD, in comes Sami who has arrived in Salem looking emotionless and shattered, and goes to her mother for her a very sad hug.

Major kudos have to go to the performance of the cast of Days of our Lives for this one:  In particular the men: Bryan Dattilo, Galen Gering and Freddie Smith really broke our hearts, and the ladies: Kristian Alfonso, Deidre Hall, Camila Banus, Kate Mansi all played their reactions spot on in this most saddest of episodes for long time Will Horton and WilSon fans.

So, did you need to reach for the hankies during Monday’s DAYS?  Which performance was a stand-out to you? Did you  how the residents of Salem found out about the death of Will?   Even though, the series killed off this legacy and important character of Will Horton, do you think it provides DAYS with long term story, or just a short term temporary shocker?  Share your thoughts in the comment section below, as the sadness continues all week long in Salem.

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Angela
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Angela

Where the heck was Kate in all of this?? She was a doting Grandmother to Will, doing everything she could to help him! Why wasn’t she just as important in this storyline?????? GEEZZZZZ Writers get it together! She should have been there!!! Lauren Koslow would have knocked it out of the park!

blake
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blake

you are right, Kate and Will were very close and she should have been there for sure!

kelly
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kelly

Maybe the writers will have Kate show up for the funeral.

Myra
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Myra

That’s true were was Kate I wonder how she is gonna take this the writers forgot about Kate?lol
So sad he was killed I hope they don’t drag this for long and show who the killer is

Carolina
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Carolina

I quit watching “Days of Our Lives” a good 22 or 23 years ago and so I have to ask: Are they intentionally trying to lower their ratings?!

davlestev1
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davlestev1

what does it matter if you don’t watch? why even weigh in that’s so silly…BYE FELICIA

ces
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ces

agreed.

ces
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ces

with Angela — Kate should have been around for these scenes.

LeeAnn
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LeeAnn

I was wondering about Kate too. Is anyone going to tell her? Marlena was told right away.

Reney
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Reney

When they did show Kate on todays show she shed a few tears with Lucas,in the park.Then it was back to everything as usual….Kate should have been very upset.. crying her eyes out!!She was supposed to love Will so much.Shame..SMH

LeeAnn
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LeeAnn

They are doing an amazing job! Looking forward to the rest of the week and maybe next as well.

nancy dillingham
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nancy dillingham

Yes, me too! The fight between Ben and Chad–great to “save” Chad by putting him the the hospital–and now the truth can slowly come out–and “love can conquer all.”
That’s what we want to see, isn’t it? (And for Ben to be caught, of course!).

Mariama bah
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Mariama bah

True

LeeAnn
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LeeAnn

yes..Ben is, like my aunt used to say, crazier than a bedbug!..lol

Les
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Les

Ben is chillingly creepy and the suspense is ratcheting up. Abby and Chad are both so vulnerable now. Yes, Nancy, a slow reveal and love conquering all is just what we want to see!

kelly
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kelly

All of Salem is supposed to find out that Ben is the neck tie killer during the 50th Anniversary events. Does anyone really think that the whack job will not end up going after Abby. And how could Abby be so dense!! Anyone with half a brain could tell there is something not right with Ben. I spotted it almost from the beginning.

Beth
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Beth

I just have to say, Bryan Dattilo was outstanding. The rest of the cast, IMO, ranged from okay to not so good in their acting, but BD kicked butt and took names. I cried during his scenes, and I wasn’t a big Will fan to begin with. However, I now think the decision to kill Will was a mistake for a few reasons, and at the top of the list is that there is too much loss, death, presumed death, and near death on this show, and that’s just in one episode. Caroline is teetering near death, Bo is presumed… Read more »

Les
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Les

I agree, Bryan Dattilo hit it out of the park. You really feel his character’s pain.

edie bailey
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edie bailey

Totally, totally agree!! Bravo to Bryan R. Dattilo who was the one standout character who actually resonated and made me feel his true anguish. Bryan always delivers and is my favorite actor on the show. Losing his only son so soon on the heels of Adrienne breaking up with him is way too much heartbreak to bear!! I sincerely hope with all my heart that Bryan submits these scenes for much overdue Daytime Emmy consideration. His range of talent and popularity both have been greatly ignored by TPTB!!! Moreover, I concur that DAYS is focusing entirely too much on death,… Read more »

ces
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ces

Agree Beth — Bryan stepped up to the plate on these scenes. Dee can always cry on cue. Poor Kristian, she never has been able to squeeze out tears. Loved Will played by Chandler Massey so not broken up terribly with this Will being gone, but still, they probably just should have sent the character away with Sonny.

Dottie
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Dottie

If you don’t think Kristian can cry go back and look at the scenes of Zach’s death. She rocked then and broke everyone’s hearts

Patrick
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Patrick

LOL “…Poor Kristian, she never has been able to squeeze out tears. ” I agree… they should never have panned her so much Kristian Alfonso excells… in two areas 1. Lovelorn… romance… 2. as a mother and familial bonding yeah… with all the drama going on… i thought… hello? what’s up with this? but then again…. we never see KA’ Hope emoting too much beyond coppers, romance, and family bonding that’s enough for me tip my hat to @Ray… the drama was all their for Deidre Hall’ Marlena to lose it and with poster’ @Angela…. “DAYS” !!!!! do not rob… Read more »

mollie
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mollie

I do like the way that Days is tightening up it’s cast though, even if it requires this serial killer story and other “bummer” events….Clyde getting hauled off to jail, Eve leaving town soon etc. Looks like Aidan and Dr. Dan are out as well. I HOPE Days doesn’t add too many new characters! And, YES, Bryan D was so touching today. So good.

John loves Marlena
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John loves Marlena

Loved Deidre and Drake’s understated performances. Did they cut a scene where Marlena collapses into John’s arms? My only gripe is that she didn’t. Or at least, we never saw it. It’s very unlike John and Marlena to be so distant at a time like this.

Tim Welles
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Tim Welles

To say that their performances are understated is being kind. I like them, and I’ve only been watching the show for two years or so, but I find Deidre Hall’s performacnes to be a bit stoic and distanced – Marlena doesn’t seem quite real to me, and John with that raspy one toned voice of his, I don’t know, they just don’t impress me as great actors (albiet competent ones). I’m saddened that Will was “written off” in this harsh manner and that there shall no longer be a “sonny and will” to go back to. It could possibly mean… Read more »

Elissa
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Elissa

I agree that Marlena’s performance was lacking. That is what brought me to this page.

John loves Marlena
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John loves Marlena

I respectfully disagree. Both Deidre’s and Drake’s tears were very real to me. It’s a shame that the show chooses to move on so quickly from their scenes to focus on others. When Deidre and Drake are given meaty material, they shine. I wish the show would focus on them more as core and leading characters rather than supporting two bit players.

Eileen Hargis
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Eileen Hargis

I think the writers went for short, temporary shocker and in the end, no ratings boost and a loss of a core family character. As usual, with Days and Ken Corday, another HUGE mistake!!!

Vicky
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Vicky

An exceptional show filled with exceptional performances. Pointles but everyone was wonderful. Give Freddie another Emmy, please!

blake
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blake

Yes, Freddie definitely deserves another Emmy for this.

Tim Welles
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Tim Welles

Another Emmy? No offense (I like Freddie as Sonny and wish he hadn’t chosen to vacate the role) but all he did was slump to the floor in disbelief, I mean any capable actor should be able to do that. I think his overall portrayal of Sonny has always been good. On another note, I wish they would have re-cast Sonny and given more storyline to Will and Sonny – but then the writers run the risk of “offending” the older viewers who aren’t interested in the gay characters escapades. So, in this manner, they don’t have to worry about… Read more »

4ever DAYS
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4ever DAYS

Another stellar episode! More on their way!!!!!

Mark
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Mark

Outstanding episode. Whether you agree or disagree with the killing of Will, all of the actors did an amazing job. Kudos to everyone!

Llanviewer717
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Llanviewer717

I totally agree. All the performances have been superb.

MBmomof3
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MBmomof3

Well said. Outstanding.

Mary SF
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Mary SF

Much like the death of Delia on Y&R two years ago, this story basically writes itself and many of the performances we have seen will be in Emmy reels this year. But I do hope the show can lighten up just a bit– between watching Eve grieving and now the Horton and Brady’s grieve Will we could use a breather— a romance in the making, a baby’s birth, something positive right about now would be nice.

Patrick
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Patrick

i thought this was where they were going with good news for Adrienne and with the “cure” for Caroline ? altho… I too have to agree with posts… that they should not have strayed from her having Alzheimers’ and should have let this antidote put her in remission…. ??? although yet again…. I have to agree with more posts… that huh? this is what Bo has been held captive all this time… for not revealing this secret formula? dang it tho! didnt Peter Reckell look muscled toned out and ahem… sexy we haven’t seen Eve in a while… shoot… this… Read more »

4ever DAYS
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4ever DAYS

I don’t know if you’ve seen today’s episode (10-13-15), Patrick, but it appears that Aiden is entertaining the idea of being a copycat necktie killer for Hope’s $5,000,000 life insurance! Remember seeing DAYS’ 50th anniversary promo? In the promo Hope is attacked and retaliates with a pair of scissors!!!!!

mollie
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mollie

I have to say, the Delia’s death story on Y&R was even sadder than the three deaths so far on Days . What a tear jerker! Y&R is still playing out that tragedy today. And many viewers were ticked that Delia was killed off because she was a legacy character as both a Newman and an Abbott. Sooo, maybe legacy character Will’s death will provide much more Day’s story, like Delia’s did? Several Y&R actors also rec’d Emmys for their Delia death performances (Billy Miller and Amelia Heinle).

Mo
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Mo

Yes, I was tearing up.

Ray
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Ray

DOOL was fantastic Monday. It has been a long time since I re-watched certain scenes. I agree that Bryan D did an excellent job. I think not having Kate notified yesterday at the same time was a big oversight. I would have liked to have seen everything that happened yesterday play out over a few days to make it more believable. Marlena should have started screaming in the bedroom and John should have picked her up. She should have been inconsolable and should have aluded to that she was waiting on him to respond to their “Words with Friends” game.… Read more »

edie bailey
Guest
edie bailey

I absolutely agree with you that Bryan R. Dattilo was magnificent, giving an Emmy-worthy performance! Lucas stood out and made you feel how shattered he was down to his core!!
Also, not including his mother, Kate, was a significant omission.

Llanviewer717
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Llanviewer717

Bryan Dattilo is doing an outstanding job.

I can understand not including Kate on Monday. Lucas is completely devastated by Will’s death. If that dreadful woman was my mother, I wouldn’t be too anxious to see her now either.

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

it was with absolute wonderment… as we bear witness with Lucas…. “go in to shock mode” with both Rafe and Hope

yeah… I hope for big scenes with Kate… and even Adrienne

let alone Sami

big time

blake
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blake

Monday’s episode would be a great Emmy contender.

PGP
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PGP

Loved Camilla Banus, Brian Datillo, Dierdre Hall, Kristen Alfonso and Kate Mansi most. Cannot wait to see other performances.

Dylan
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Dylan

This is what a soap death should be! Real, raw, heart breaking, far reaching, and long lasting impact!! Bravo to the writers, crew, and actors. No more being held on an island by Stefano. I hope what Corday says is true and that dead people stay dead!! Days is by far the best soap on the air!!

Elissa
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Elissa

They are already planning to bring EJ back, so he didn’t stay dead for long lol!

Mateo
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Mateo

First I have to say that the scenes of each character learning of Will’s death have been jaw droppingly realistic. So powerful. Right off the bat Camila Banus gets major props for her portrayal. This young woman is stunning in her portrayals. She killed it when Nick was murdered too. I am so glad she is back in action in Salem. This is what the show needs. When Lucas found out (Bryan Dattillo) he surprised me at his depth. Usually this actor knows one range when he reacts but for whatever reason he just expressed so many layers to his… Read more »

Stephen
Guest
Stephen

I too would have liked to have seen Marlena really lose it! That would have been amazing. I mean Will was her “favourite person in the world”. It didn’t seem right to me at all that, after the initial phonecall, she appeared serene.

That said, I think she is very often excellent. And the Will and Marlena scenes are legend.

Stephen
Guest
Stephen

Peggy McCay is too good to be wasted on Alzheimer’s and stroke stories, where she is barely functional. Thank goodness that it over. Please let it be so! My dad had Alzheimer’s and it is certainly bizarre to have a story with fake Alzheimer’s and a one-dose fake cure. What really disappoints me though is the non-rational decision-making. Kayla is initially right to question the lack of sound testing and controls. But having decided to give her mum the drug, a real professional would never have said that we’re not going to record it. She would have recorded it, so… Read more »

Maria nielsen
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Maria nielsen

Great job everybody!!!

mike
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mike

No matter how good they are I will not watch. They are a group of quality actors, they have just been given a bad story to play.

nicholas
Guest
nicholas

Shame about Kate really . Why sadness and grief for the show ‘s 50th anniversary ? This should have been a celebration ! when you have a show struggling in the ratings you don’t take risks , you bring on the characters the audience loves . All the soaps are going down the drain ! Bold and the beautiful is totally unwatchable . It is the worst of the soaps on the air . Thank god it only goes for a half hour but then i stopped watching it for good last month so who cares .

Tony
Guest
Tony

Shout out to Danielle Page for her nuanced Monday script. It was only her third or fourth script and she did an outstanding job. Too bad the story point i.e. Will’s murder is one of the worst creative decisions any soap has ever made.

LeeAnn
Guest
LeeAnn

Killing Will was a huge mistake. Alison (Sami) has stated her anger at this turn of events. It was said to have been done to make room for previous players coming back, but from what I hear none are staying for the long haul so what is the point?

Alan
Guest
Alan

Long term story generated from Will’s death? Not likely. In fact, I’d be surprised if the character is even mentioned in a few months. I think this was a “shock” meant to get new and lapsed viewers to tune in and hopefully stick around once they sampled what the show is offering these days (a tired rehash of the infinitely superior Salem Strangler story from the 80s).

Unfortunately for DAYS I think Will’s death will be regarded as a HUGE mistake much like the death of Maureen Bauer on GUIDING LIGHT.

mrsnoahdrake
Guest
mrsnoahdrake

Bryan Datillo gave an Emmy worthy performance! Camilla Banus was wonderful as well. Alison Sweeney did well playing stoic Sami. Looking forward to seeing the real Sami come out.
Was surprised that we didn’t see Eric or Kate. Perhaps Greg Vaughn was on vacation?
And what about T? He was one of Will’s closest friends.

Ces
Guest
Ces

I am not looking forward yo the real Sami coming out. She’ll be blaming everyone under the stars and Ali will do her ususl scenery chewing. Bryan was perfect yesterday.

Elissa
Guest
Elissa

I wonder why Kate was not included in the scenes, she is Will’s grandmother and Lucas’ mother,

Jp
Guest
Jp

Great episode. Bryan D. was superb and def deserves to be nominated , along with kassie d. For her portrayal of eve, for a gut-wretching performance for the loss of a child. You felt their pain and unimaginable sorrow. Even though will was a main character to the shows history, I think the performances were superb.

Michael
Guest
Michael

I was thinking (hoping) that there would be a continuing story line between Sonny and Paul Narita. If Freddie isn’t going to come back for the long term, that only leaves two gay characters left. I started watching DOOL because it was the only show dealing with that as a major story line. Without it, DOOL is just moving characters around to do stories that we’ve all seen before.

jj
Guest
jj

I didn’t tear up one time. I knew what was going to happen and I was so angry at the writers for continuing to destroy the show that I could not even get into the storyline. RIP Will, RIP DOOL

Annie
Guest
Annie

I am having my doubts over these new writers. The plots are the same as twenty years ago. What’s going to happen when Bo leaves. Why fire Daniel Cosgrove? Why completely ruin Eric and Nicole. They had so much potential. A true soap love story. Why let Eve go. She was wonderful and Paige was really coming into her own. Terrible decisions. Another serial killer plot line for the 50th anniversary. How original!!! Why bring back all these so called legacy characters to save a soap. Days is dead in the water. RIP days. I will still miss you. Been… Read more »

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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