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DAYS Chandler Massey Interview: Will Becomes A Dad, His Daytime Emmy Nomination & What's Next for WilSon?

Courtesy/NBC

Photo Credit: Adam Campbell

This past week on Days of our Lives, Will Horton’s story continued to provide the drama and the emotional heart of the NBC series, as Will (Chandler Massey) and Sonny (Freddie Smith) saved Gabi (Camila Banus) and Nick (Blake Berris) from Jensen (Derek Magyar)!  In the process, Will is shot!  Nick’s past is revealed, Gabi gives birth to her and Will’s child with an assist from Sonny, and oh my!  The stage is set for more drama in episodes coming right after the Memorial Day weekend!

And while there were plenty of occurrences in Salem and Smith Island last week, off-screen Chandler Massey recently landed another Daytime Emmy nomination in the Outstanding Younger Lead Actor category for this year’s 40th annual Daytime Emmy Awards to be handed out on Sunday Night, June 16th, and broadcast live on HLN. Will Chandler make it two in a row with another one of his astounding performances?

On-Air On-Soaps caught up with Chandler to get a preview of: what is to come this week and in the future for Will and Sonny, what he thought of the just aired exciting episodes, and what he thinks it will be like for Will to be a young father!  Plus, Chandler shares his thoughts on working with Blake Berris as his on-screen adversary, and we talk … Daytime Emmy time! 

Last week, DAYS was on fire!  What did you think about the big fight scene between Will and Jensen (Derek Magyar) that saved the day for Nick?

Courtesy/NBC

CHANDLER:  We filmed the scenes in episodes that aired last Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, all in one day.  We were out there from ten in the morning till six at night, doing these scenes with really no break.  So, we blocked the fight, we choreographed it, and we rehearsed it over and over again.  And then the time came for the take, and it was my job to throw the first punch.  And of course, my adrenaline was pumping so much that I hit him.  I hit Derek right in the face!  Not hard, but I hit him!  And then the fight got so real for me.  I went, “Oh no!  He is going to kick my ass now!”  I obviously apologized to Derek profusely after it, and he was O.K.   But it was crazy, and really fun to do.  99% of the time in soaps, you sit down, or are standing and having a conversation with somebody, and maybe at one point you walk around in a scene.  So this was great to be able to do.

Soaps are not action adventure in nature!

CHANDLER:  The story in soaps is told in dialog, so this was so cool, because you can tell story another way.  I did not have a single line in that whole episode!  So … I loved it! (Laughs)

So when you saw the scripts that detailed Will is shot, Gabi gives birth, and all the suspense around it, what did you think?

Courtesy/NBC

CHANDLER:  I had to laugh, because the circumstances had to be the craziest thing. Like Sonny delivers the baby in some warehouse somewhere?  Of course!  And a few other things I had a laugh at, like no cell service on the island!  But on the whole, I was very excited.  I knew it was going to be a big moment, and therefore people would tune-in and see something different.  I always appreciate something different.

Do you think now that Will saved Nick, there will be a definitive turn in the contentious relationship between the two of them?

CHANDLER:   It does in a way, or at least there is an understanding of Nick’s life from Will’s perspective.  Still I think without getting into too many details, just because you know the rationale for why somebody is doing something, even if it’s a terrible thing that happened to this person that made them this way, such as to Nick, he has got to take some responsibility for his own actions.  Just because of what he went through does not mean he can do whatever he wants to people.

What you are saying is very true in life!  So many people are abused sexually or emotionally, and just because of that it does not, or should not, give the license to hurt others who had nothing to do with the situation, or who then become innocent victims.

CHANDLER:   It’s terrible what happened to Nick.  That is something no one would wish on anybody, but in Will’s mind it does not give him a free pass.  I can say, Will does feel sorry for him, absolutely.  Will can understand the reason Nick starting developing the positions that he had when it came to homophobia.

Courtesy/NBC

What did you think about the scenes after Will is shot, where basically you are laying there in the hospital set and all the cast is acting around you?  (Laughs)

CHANDLER:  It was great!  I got to skip dry blocking, and come in the morning and lie in bed and go to sleep! (Laughs)   It was a nice break.  I was so exhausted from the previous day’s work that it was just nice to lay there and be unconscious for a while. I truly think it was some of my best work! (Laughs)

What did you think of your on-screen mom, Alison Sweeney’s (Sami) performance at Will’s bedside?

CHANDLER: Alison was fantastic in those scenes, of course as usual, and everybody involved in the story did a great job.

Next week, Will sees his baby girl for the first time!  How was that to play?

Photo Credit: Ryan Forbes

CHANDLER:  Yes!  They are two twin girls and their names are Sydney and Harper in real life.  I was very nervous at what to expect.  I had never really held an infant before. These girls are so beautiful and cute!  I got chills in the scene!

So meeting his baby daughter for the first time is going to be big moment for Will and the fans who love him?

CHANDLER:   I hope the fans will love the scenes.  It does kind of change everything.  I have even kind of approached playing Will differently because he is a dad now.  He is now not his first priority, anymore.  His daughter is, and will always be.  It filters everything that happens to him, and allows him to react differently than he would have before.

Now that the child is born, and due to the circumstances surrounding her birth, do you think everyone will work together now to raise the baby … Will and Sonny… Gabi and Will? 

CHANDLER:  That would be nice, but this is Days of our Lives and people in Salem rarely just work together.  When Will’s child is brought to him, not only does Will have a life changing moment, something changes in Nick, too.  He sees a visceral bond between a father and his child, and kind of brings to light for him what he was doing.   There is a sense of community and harmony, at least for a little awhile.  And let’s not forget, Will saved Nick’s ass, so he better be grateful. (Laughs)

Courtesy/NBC

Are Sonny and Will finally heading for a period of some happiness?

CHANDLER:  Yes, they are.  I have to give credit to the writers on this.  They really did an amazing job.  Will and Sonny are such a united front, and they love each other so much.  The writers did a good job of showing that through their behavior and actions. You can tell how much they love each other, and that they are in this together.

We had talked quite a while ago that at one point DAYS and NBC had put the brakes on developing the love story between Will and Sonny.  Finally everything moved forward.  Do you feel now, after all this time and all the stops and starts, that yours and Freddie’s on-screen relationship is working better now?

CHANDLER:   It really does work better now.  I feel like it’s great, just how Sonny and Will had to learn.  They started from being this awkward couple learning to love each other.  Freddie and I have kind of grown along the same vein, and are becoming more and more comfortable with each other.  I think our scenes only get better each time.

What are your hopes for Will in the future?  What would you like to have the opportunity to play?

CHANDLER:   I would like, and this might seem boring on a soap where all these crazy things keep happening, but I would like Will to fumble his way through and learn to be a dad.  And if that is all he has got going on his plate, then trust me, that should be enough. That is what I would like to do … have scenes with my on-screen daughter!

Courtesy/NBC

Blake Berris’ portrayal of Nick Fallon has been outstanding!  You and I have often talked about what a terrific job he has done with the part.  What is it like for you when you’re are working and performing in scenes with him?  Also, there was that issue of Blake getting pushback for playing a homophobe against Will!

CHANDLER:  Sometimes Blake and I laugh about that.  But you can tell when you are in a scene with him, he has this great combination.   He does his homework.  Blake will go read these scripts and he will make super interesting choices, but when he is on set and you are doing a scene with him, he has got that as his base, but he is so present and spontaneous that you know that he is listening to you.  You can see it in his eyes that he is actually invested in what is going on.  He has got a hell of a presence in a scene.  I think he has taken material in general and made Nick the most interesting character on the show.  I think Blake is the greatest gift to the younger generation of actors on DAYS that we have had in a long time.

Do you, at your young age, now feel like an “old pro” at DAYS?  Is it hard to make your performances fresh with the material given to you, every single episode that you are in?

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

CHANDLER:  An old something! (Laughs) But that is actually a good question, because you do have to find a lot of the times a way to keep things fresh.  I will have déjà vu and I don’t know if that is in my head, or I am actually saying the things that I am saying for the first time.  In a new episode every day, you cannot always come up with something completely original.  I approach every scene as if it was the only scene I was going to do on Days of our Lives.  I come in and do the best that I can in that scene, and then do it in every other scene.  I think the best way to keep things interesting is to be open to the spontaneous action from your scene partner.  Little accidents, that happen that were not even scripted, become the greatest gifts you can get.

Do you feel like the daytime soap opera “poster boy” for the LGBT community? When you first came on the show, and through the coming out story, you were everywhere in print and online interviews, and features.

CHANDLER:  I don’t know I consider myself the “poster boy”.  I think when the story first started to come out and I was doing a bunch of press, maybe I felt that way, and then Freddie was also brought on.  I think we are kind of like equals with it.  I do obviously support the cause, and help outside of the set in anyway that I can.

This year, you are once again nominated in the Outstanding Younger Actor in a Drama Series category for the 40th annual Daytime Emmys.  Deidre Hall (Marlena) was once again in your Emmy scenes.  Was Deidre being in them an important part of picking the episode, in any way?

Courtesy/NBC

CHANDLER: Truthfully, I ask my mom what her favorite scenes are, and then she tells me.  Last Emmys she said, “Pick this”, and it worked!  The most important thing I consider when choosing a scene for Emmy contention is the other person in the scene. Deidre challenged me in those scenes, and really brought me up and elevated my performance to her level.  That is one of the reasons, I love working with her.  I went with a scene with her last year, where I tell Marlena I walked in on Sami having sex with EJ (James Scott) and cheating on Rafe (Galen Gering).

In case anyone is still wondering, what episode did you submit, and why did you choose it?

CHANDLER:  I submitted the episode from February 2012 where Will has his first kiss with a guy, and his name was Neil (Jesse Kristofferson).  Will gets caught, and he is embarrassed and he runs to Marlena to talk to her about it and he ends up asking her if she thinks he might be gay? The reason I chose the episode was I felt like it painted a complete picture of what Will is going through, and as I said, mom picked it and she liked it.

Now looking back, do you think Will’s coming out story was truly the tip of the iceberg for the character?

CHANDLER:  I don’t know if I would say his coming out was the tip of the iceberg, but I do like that it opened doors for storylines that would have never opened up if Will hadn’t came out.  I am really enjoying what is going on now.  I feel the best material and scenes are ahead for the viewers.  We shoot three to four months ahead.  It kind of paved the way for me, for what it is all truly about … Will growing up and becoming a man.  If Will had never gone thought that process, I don’t think he would be ready to kind of deal with what is going on and what we are filming, which is him preparing himself to be a father and fatherhood.  Will has definitely benefitted from the experiences he had and the trouble that he had coming out, and it helped him grow up.  Hopefully, he will be a little bit wiser! (Laughs)

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

What did you think about being nominated against your co-star and on-screen love interest, Freddie Smith, in the same category for this year’s Daytime Emmy?

CHANDLER: I think it’s great, and I am happy for Freddie.  He deserved a nomination, absolutely. 

Did you judge this year on a Daytime Emmy blue-ribbon panel?  If so, what category, and what did you think of the caliber of work you saw?

CHANDLER:   I judged the ‘Supporting Actor’ category, and I was very impressed!  Now, I might be a little bias because I am on DAYS, but Jim Reynolds’ (Abe) reel was so heartbreaking, oh my gosh!  So I was very surprised he did not get in.  But basically, every one in the category put up astounding work and performances.  It could have gone any way, and I was definitely not bored watching the reels for one second.  It was a great experience.

I know you don’t tweet much on your Twitter account, but your fans must have been happy upon hearing the news of your Daytime Emmy nomination this year.

Courtesy/NBC

CHANDLER: I don’t tweet a lot, but I do read what I can what fans are tweeting to me. Everyone seems to be really happy that DAYS did so well.  We also got acting nominations for Peggy McKay (Caroline) and Arianne Zuker (Nicole)!  We also got 17 nominations in total, and a Best Show nomination, which is awesome!

So you have already won one Daytime Emmy, you may very well add a second one to your trophy case this year.  Has winning an Emmy in anyway changed anything? Made a difference for you?

CHANDLER:  It is an honor to be recognized by your peers, in that way.  So that is great.  I think the main difference is; once I received the first Emmy I knew that every scene I did from there on in my mind had to be Emmy caliber, because now I basically set a standard for myself.  So it has made me work harder.

In closing, what can you preview that is coming up for fans of Will’s story and journey?

Courtesy/NBC

CHANDLER: I would say the best stuff is going to air from July through August.  I am thoroughly enjoying myself in these scenes.  I can tell you that Gabi, Sonny and Will, almost find themselves in a very comical situation where they all have to work together to achieve what they want.  It makes for some really great, interesting, and funny scenes too, which I love, and in scarce supply on Days of our Lives and for Will’s life, seriously. (Laughs)

So DAYS fans, what do you think about Will becoming a dad? Are you looking forward to seeing Will meet his baby girl? What did you think of this past week’s episode involving, Gabi, Nick, Sonny and Will?  Are you rooting for Chandler to win another Daytime Emmy in a few weeks for his performance?  Let us know your thoughts!

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jimh
Guest
jimh

He’s a winner no matter what. A great person and a gifted actor i enjoy watching. I believe the storyline with the baby will work out like i predicted: the 4 will become good friends and will work together raising the baby but then something will happen…maybe Will spending too much time with Gabi and the baby that makes both Nick and Sonny jealous and then their friendships will fall apart but a crisis concerning baby Adrianna will bring them together once again…maybe! Thanks Micheal for another great interview!

jimh
Guest
jimh

P.S. Chandler and Freddie should have a tie emmy win!

juju
Guest
juju

boringggggggggggggg let’s hope they can find something better than your idea of a ‘new’ storyline..

jimh
Guest
jimh

Maybe boring to you but sometimes the story needs to take a brief sabbatical from all the high drama for some normalicy moments instead of everyday fighting and arguing that can be a bit too much at times then some drama can return. Maybe Will could realize he’s bisexual and attracted to both Sonny and Gabi that could add further conflict in the foursomes relationship.

juju
Guest
juju

Will deserves better than MOUTHY, clueless and hypocritical Gabby ! Bisexual or not ! Already the poor guy is tied up with her (sadly) with a baby..I already feel sorry for Nick (Chelsea where are you ??!) i don’t want Will to be the next victim..no thanks ! A bisexual story for Wilson with another girl (you know someone with personality and at least a bit of charisma) however why not..will be always better than him playing house for months in a ‘happily ever after’ boring bubble with awful Gabby, insta-reformed Nick (although i like the actor and the character..the… Read more »

jimh
Guest
jimh

I get what you mean…Gabi acts like shes in a different world sometimes…i wish the writers would give her a little more backbone…

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

for those who like…. and/or LOVE Jenn Lilly – ex/Maxie, GH…. and Chrishell Stause – ex/Amanda, AMC.

These two… should really mix it up for the summer and then some… I love these two nuDOOL actors….

I’m hoping either of these lovely gals… hone in on Lucas and Rafe… and/or Brady.

jimh
Guest
jimh

I like Jenn ex-Maxie, GH and i look forward to seeing her on Days.

juju
Guest
juju

One is for Rafe i think..Jen Lilley (too young for Rafe or Lucas) i don’t know what she is for..time will tell
Autumn should come for Lucas; he really need a life, the bitter Lucas always sniffing around everybody’s business is getting old pretty quickly.

gaelyn
Guest
gaelyn

I love to see will and sonny and the baby as a famley and get marryed

Ces
Guest
Ces

LOVE this guy!!! he can do no wrong in my book.
Sonny & Will are my favorite couple on Days!!! Hope he wins another
Emmy 🙂

Jules
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Jules

Great interview. I love that you said Will is the emotional heartbeat of DAYS…I think that’s an excellent way of putting it. Good luck to Chandler, who is the winner in my books!

ricardo
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ricardo

chandler is such a terrific actor. i hope he wins another emmy. days of our lives is on fire right now. im so happy days got renewed for one more year. please recast bo on days. peter reckell is not coming back.

dorothyg
Guest
dorothyg

Absolutely I am rooting for Chandler to win the Emmy for his performance. he is such a talented actor.

kay
Guest
kay

Chandler is such a talented and gifted actor and he really seems to put his heart and soul into his performance. I love the Will and Sonny storyline and how the writers continue to develop the love story between these two. It is so important to see the love and commitment between these two characters and show how important they are to each other, and now bringing the baby into their lives will add another layer to this love story. I look forward to seeing these two become a super-couple and hopefully a family with the addition of Will’ s… Read more »

juju
Guest
juju

Michael you should have asked when Gaby’s bad deeds will be discovered ? Everyone got exposed expect her..

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

didn’t it seem like she was trying to make amends with Sonny… just before she had the baby?

juju
Guest
juju

Who cares ?! Certainly not me ! Why this character benefits from some high preservation, she should suffer big revelation of her nasty misdeeds, as well as some big humiliation and some hatred from some folks (you know like Maggie, Daniel aka Melanie’s family at least..or some folks like JJ and Abby..she is not the most culprit but she is not innocent in Jack and Madison’s demises)..Other characters even when they don’t get the big punishment (aka death or jail..that it never happens actually or only if the actor is fired, want to quit, some maternity break situation) always get… Read more »

DaysWilSOn
Guest
DaysWilSOn

Great interview! Will becoming a dad is literally the cutest thing ever – I am so waiting to see the scenes where Will meets Arianna for the first time, I hope Sonny is with her. Without a word of lie I can say that the past week is one of the best weeks ever in the history of Days of our Lives. All the actors are doing amazing job!

Yes, I am rooting for Chandler – he truly deserves that Emmy!

heidi
Guest
heidi

Great interview Michael… thank you!!! Chandler… seems to be a great guy in addition to being a very talented young actor! I am a bit behind on DOOL and have not seen all of the scenes discussed but will look forward to them.

Mo
Guest
Mo

Great interview. I’m loving the story and acting. Can’t wait to see more!

Dmitri
Guest
Dmitri

Great interview. Chandler seems like a nice dude and he’s an outstanding actor. Love his storyline and can’t wait for more! WilSon is the new supercouple! They remind me of Lumi!

juju
Guest
juju

Wilson history has NOTHING to do with Lumi ! Seriously do you know this show..

Dmitri
Guest
Dmitri

Yes I do. It never said the history reminds me of them, but their chemistry is the same to me. There was no reason to be rude.

carlos
Guest
carlos

felicito a chandler y freddy me gustaria que ambos ganaran por el excelente trabajo que estan haciendo , felicidades a ambos

Anne
Guest
Anne

Chandler is great, but this storyline is absurd, even for soaps. Days never explored why Will slept with Gabi. He certainly wasn’t interested in sex with her while they were dating. To me, doing deeper into Will’s motivations would have been the interesting part, but as it is it’s just another disconnected development designed to fuel storylines that make no sense.

Samantha
Guest
Samantha

WILL IS GAY. GET OVER IT PEOPLE. THIS IS GAY STORYLINE.

juju
Guest
juju

yep ! If only Gabby could disappear..what a dull character and now Will is stuck with her via a baby..sigh.

Beacon
Guest
Beacon

It’s exactly the same thing that happened with Bianca on AMC – tease the audience with a a gay relationship and the chance to watch a non-conventional lifestyle and then tie the gay character down by giving them a child. They have no intention of exploring Will’s ‘inner life’, they just want to make him the father of that damn baby (another plot device) and have him function solely as that in future storylines. Everything is going to relate now to Will’s daughter and not to Will himself. How DARE Days do this. AMC betrayed Bianca and the gay audience… Read more »

Tom84
Guest
Tom84

Interesting point… It will certainly be interesting to see what the writers will come up with moving forward on this storyline. Given how well publicised and well handled the ‘gay’ storyline was seen to be, it would be a pretty strange decision to go with a more familiar and conventional storyline about adjusting to fatherhood… But stranger things have happened in Salem!

gaelyn thomson
Guest
gaelyn thomson

is will going to sing to sonny and ask sonny to marry him in front of his famley

Jack Sprat
Guest
Jack Sprat

I donlt think having Sonny and WIll marry will be adversely heteronormative, but welcomingly so. We are in a fight to have marriage equality in all 50 states. There is no issue to be made with the domestication of Will–THAT IS, UNLESS they make Will bisexual, which I cannot believe would happen but who knows? Such a move would seriously discredit the storyline and the show. Even though sexual fluidity exists, we do not need it in the daytime context while the fight for equal marriage is still being fought.

Days Of Our Lives

Kassie DePaiva, Nathan Purdee & Taylor Purdee Talk ‘Killian & The Comeback Kids’, One Life to Live & Eve’s Reign of Terror on DAYS

It’s ‘all in the family’ + a dear friend that makes the film Killian and the Comeback Kids something that soap fans will want to see. In it, daytime veterans, Kassie DePaiva (Ex-GL, OLTL, GH and Days) and Nathan Purdee (Ex-Y&R and OLTL) are featured in the new movie directed, written and starring Nathan’s talented son, Taylor.

One Life to Live fans will get a kick out of that Kassie and Nathan play a married couple in the film.  In story, a millennial (Taylor A. Purdee) comes home to live with his parents in a depressed rural town after getting a college degree in the big city. The film illustrates the issues facing many of America’s youth today, which could not be more apropos for the times we are living with many children moving back in with their parents. However, the movie shares an uplifting message filled with original music from Taylor’s folk-rock band, The Cumberland Kids.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Kassie, Nathan and Taylor to get the inside scoop on: collaborating together on this project, revisiting Llanview with some memories and thoughts on the cancellation of the beloved soap, plus Kassie’s last turn on Days of our Lives as an unhinged Eve Donovan – a performance that just may garner attention come Daytime Emmy time next year.

This conversation was filled with candor, humor, and a parent’s love for their child. Killian and the Comeback Kid is playing in selected theatres and dates including tonight Friday, September 25th in Atlanta, and October 2nd in Chicago. For more movie info go to the film’s website here And now here’s what Kassie, Nathan and Taylor shared.

Photo: KarmicReleaseLTD

I was really intrigued by the film. Taylor, how did you lure your dad to be in the movie?

TAYLOR:  Oh my gosh, it was the craziest negation ever.

I bet! (Laughs)

TAYLOR:  When I was a kid, Roberta, my mom, made me promise to always write him roles.  So, it was kind of obligatory.

KASSIE:  That is so funny!

TAYLOR:  It’s true.

Had you met Kassie before, or was this the first time? 

TAYLOR:  I knew Kassie from when my dad and her were doing One Life to Live together.   Five years before I was filming this movie, Nathan texted me, “Hey!  Kassie and Jim (DePaiva) are right by your dorm room.  You should go see them!”  So, catching up as an adult was so nice.  I had a non-parentally controlled grown-up hang-out with her.

Photo: KarmicReleaseLTD

What was the journey this film, Killian and the Comeback Kids, went on as far as from the writing of it, to production, to its completion?

TAYLOR:  Well, the front half was surprisingly quick.  I think writing it through to having it finished was about 18 months, and there were about 6 months of, “how’s it going to come out,” and then, we thought we knew what was going to happen, and we were all getting ready for it to hit in movie theatres in the spring when the world ended, and that’s how we got here three years later.

Nathan, tell me about the role you play; because Kassie and you are husband and wife in the film.

NATHAN: Well, yeah, you kind of covered it! (Laughs)  I play her husband, and she plays my wife, and I appreciated the casting situation.  It’s interesting how Taylor chose Kassie because he did say that he wanted someone who was close to his mom’s personality.  I couldn’t think of anybody else other than Kassie because the only difference is Kassie is taller, but they both are such loving, caring people.  They always want to mother you and make sure you’re fed, and you’re safe, and you’re happy, and neither one of them knows the word, “no,” when it comes to the people who they’re taking care of.  I love Kassie anyway, so good for me.

KASSIE:  Yeah, they cut our love scene, and I don’t know what that’s about. (Laughs)

Kassie, what do you remember from when you first met Nathan?  You were at One Life, right?

KASSIE:  No, when I first met Nathan, we were in San Antonio, and we were doing an appearance.  I met Bobbie Eakes (Ex-Krystal, AMC and Macy, B&B) for the first time then too, but I was on The Guiding Light, and I was singing, and Nathan was there.  Nathan and I sat beside each other.  I honestly felt like I had known Nathan my entire life.  We were drinking margaritas and talking, talking, talking, talking, talking, talking.

NATHAN:  Yep!

Photo: JPI

KASSIE:  Nathan and my husband, Jim are very good friends.  I have to say, Nathan was so lovely when I was going through my cancer journey.  He came to see me every week, sometimes twice a week when I was in the hospital, and he would come up, and he would hang out with Jim.  I will never, ever forget how lovely he was (it makes me tear up right now) to be there with support for my husband and myself as we went through that.  So, when Nathan asked me to be his wife in the film, I thought, “Well, hey, you practically live with me now, so that sounds good.”

So, Taylor, how did they do on-screen as husband and wife?

TAYLOR:  They’re fantastic.  We’ve only had one test screening, but one of the most consistent things audiences tell me is that they’re not just great together, but they each have such a quiet, brooding depth to them that you can’t help but imagine the back-story that they’re not talking about

KASSIE:  That’ll be the sequel!

TAYLOR:  Killian and the Comeback Kids 2: They Comeback Kids Comeback.

KASSIE:  They’ll come back again!

NATHAN:  Thanks for planting that seed in his head, Kassie.

Photo: KarmicReleaseLTD

TAYLOR:  It was important for me to try to synthesize a mixed-race couple.  So, it was really great to be able to have them, not just be so great together, but there was also the issue of we had to have a little girl who looked like she could not just be my sister, but also both of their daughter.  Creating a family from scratch was great because Nathan and Kassie already had the rapport.

Did you watch them on One Life to Live together? 

TAYLOR:  Yeah!  I was in school most of the time, but I would go to set, and over the last 10 years, friends would send me YouTube clips from the show because for some reason none of the soaps are streaming.  There’s not like a soap Netflix!  It kind of needs to happen!  Soaps, they’re epic; there are decades worth of episodes and shows.

Photo: KarmicReleaseLTD

In this film, music is the backdrop.  It’s your music and your band that is featured?

TAYLOR:  Yeah, my best friend growing up and I were staring to write folk music around the time when I was deciding what script I wanted to make into a film.  We wrote the soundtrack, all the music that people sing, and the underscore, which was surprisingly the most fun part of it all.

Kassie what did you think of Taylor’s music?

 ASSIE:  I think it’s wonderful.   I love music. It’s totally in the heart of me, and I just think that this movie is so timely. Kids these days are having to deal with not knowing what their future is going to be.  In the film, my son comes home, and he is trying to find himself, and he throws himself into his art and his music.  I just think there are a lot of people right now who are going through that.  I think it is extremely relatable, even more so than when you wrote it, Taylor.  I think people are looking for some type of connection, and I think this little movie is a good start.  It’s about people pulling together, and it’s got a strong rooting factor, and you want people to succeed, and it is great.  It takes you on a really nice journey.

You have some dates coming up where the film will play in a movie theatre- one is on September 25th in Atlanta and then another one on October 2nd in Chicago.  Taylor, how do you feel about making appearances for the film during the pandemic? You’re going with masks on? 

TAYLOR:  Oh yeah.  We will be in a bubble; we are just getting into a car and sticking together.  I and John Donchak, who plays opposite me through the whole film, are going to all of those dates, and my co-songwriter, who also appears in the film, will be in Atlanta, if not at both premieres.

NATHAN:  And let me add, please, they’re going against my wishes as a parent, but he is 28- years-old, so all I can say is that we are hoping for the best because we want him to be safe.  He is very determined and passionate about it, so he’s got our support.

Photo: KarmicReleseLTD

Taylor, in your story, why does Killian come home and live with his parents? 

TAYLOR: His plan at the time is that he has just graduated from a pricey university, and he is supposed to go off with his bandmate on a modest music tour.  He comes home to get his stuff and see his parents after graduating, but his bandmate drops out, and so the plan falls apart, and that’s how he gets stuck in this town and everything is just kind of falling apart. The plan that he had for his life after college gets pulled out right out from under him.

Photo: Getty

Nathan, when Kassie and you were on One Life for years, you weren’t there when it ended, as you had already left the show.  How did you feel upon learning it had been canceled by ABC?

NATHAN:  I was so disconnected by that time.  I just knew it was ending, and it wasn’t the first soap to go.  I saw it happening when the other shows started being canceled due to, I could be wrong about this, but I put the blame on reality TV.  By that point I had moved on in my personal and private life.  I was doing a lot of theatre then, traveling back and forth from North Carolina, really trying to keep busy, and fighting off the depression of not working full-time.  I missed Jim and Kassie the most, but I was thrilled that I could bump into them at any time and visit with them.  I kept in touch with Hillary B. Smith (Ex-Nora) and Bob Woods (Ex-Bo) and also, Timothy Stickney (Ex-RJ); in fact, Timothy Stickney’s wife did Taylor’s hair for the film.

Photo: JPI

Kassie, how do you feel years later about the cancellation of One Life to Live?

KASSIE:  I still miss it.  I loved it. The hard part about this show in particular being canceled is –one – that there wasn’t closure on it.  It kind of happened randomly, and there was still a lot more story to tell.  They kept it going on General Hospital, where they’ll bring some characters there.  So, it’s still in peoples’ minds. The second part is the friendships and the family connections that you’ve made over the many years that you’re there. Nothing lasts forever, that’s for sure, but as you were saying, there’s no streaming of these shows, but if you catch an episode on YouTube, One Life to Live, truly stands alone.  It just has great stories, great characters, and there is connection there that is very real.

Kassie, your last go-around at DAYS was just epic.  Did you guys see it?

TAYLOR:  I did see pieces of some of it.  I caught some of the “super villain”!

Photo: JPI

Eve went in guns blazing, evil as all get out, but so heartbreaking at the same time while she was torturing Ben (Rob Scott Wilson).  What did you think about all of that, Kassie?

KASSIE:  I was really hesitant to watch it because I remembered how “super villain” I was.  I remember getting on the plane, and Jimmy said, “How was it?” and I said, “I’ll probably never work again a day in my life. I’m like this (evil laughs) muah-ha-ha, muah-ha-ha kind of character.”  I mean, you hated what Eve was doing, and you were supposed to, but I think that they did a great job with production values, and it was reasonable what she was doing because she was going off the edge. It’s great to be able to sink your teeth into something that is so out-there and completely different from your own life.  I mean, it was exhausting.  Every day, I would come home and just be like, “Oh my God, give me a cocktail.” Eve had justification for her revenge, even as wrong as it was, and she needed to be heard, and she needed closure, and she made a bunch of wrong moves, and did a bunch of bad, bad, bad things, and now, she is probably in a mental institution somewhere, so…

You and I were on set of DAYS and I was going to interview you.  If I recall, at that point, you did not even know what the story arc was.

KASSIE:  No, I didn’t. When I arrived and looked at the script, I’m like, “Well, who blew up that wedding?”  Then, all of the sudden, “Oh, no!  I blew up the wedding.  This is bad!  I probably am not going to be coming back on this show again.”  I look at story and go, “Uh-oh.  There’s a shut door.”  I like open doors and open windows.

Photo: JPI

Taylor, what is your project? Are you continuing to write?  What do you see in the future for yourself?

TAYLOR:  This is my life for me.  The next thing that I think we are releasing is actually something that I made before this because everything is backwards, which is a documentary (very different) about Central American politics, which I’m hoping is out next year.  In terms of new scripts, everybody is a bit torn.  I kind of want to do a biopic of Lee Grant, or I want to do a blues/punk version of something inspired by The Shining.

Well, those are very polar opposite!

TAYLOR:  Yeah, aren’t they?

NATHAN:  Now you see what I’m living with. (Laughs)

Photo: IMDB

Nathan, you must be proud of Taylor, and it must be very cool to see your son have these multi-faceted talents.

NATHAN:  Of course, I’m proud of him and it’s great, but it’s strange because watching Taylor develop into the person he has developed into and continues to, made me realize that I hadn’t had the type of courage he has.  I had my dreams and certain things that I was very courageous about in my life.  I certainly don’t see him doing some things the way I did them, because he has more common sense than I do when it comes to life choices. His courage just blows my mind.  Most of my closest friends are professional musicians, and many of them, if I were to namedrop, you would know who they are, and they’ve had successful careers, and I’ve always looked up to them and admired them, but I was never that guy.  I just wanted to be a musician because I knew them and we were friends, but I didn’t have the discipline to do what they did, and I certainly didn’t have the God-given talent.  I play a little bit of keyboard and a little bit of saxophone myself, but I have to play one song 757 times before I even start to feel comfortable with it, and Taylor can sit down and start strumming on his guitar, and the next thing you know, he’s written a whole song.  It just blows my mind how creative and talented he is.  He has been surrounded by creative and talented people all of his life. He has absorbed a lot from the different people and the different opportunities he’s had, and I look at him sometimes, and I even say it to my wife, “Who is this kid?”  I like to share this story.  We went to see Taylor do Hamlet.  I’m guessing he was 15 or 16-years-old at the time. I’m watching him doing Hamlet, and I’m sitting in the chair, and I’m crying because I’m thinking to myself, “Oh, my God, he is so good!”  I told Taylor, “I would not tackle Hamlet on a football field, yet alone on stage.”  It made me realize that we had a force to be reckoned with.  He’s pretty amazing.  The bad news for him is that I always tell him the truth, and I lied to him once, and he called me out on it, and I promised that I would never lie to him again.  So, be careful what you ask me because I will tell you the truth from this point on.

Photo: KarmicReleaseLTD

KASSIE:  Taylor was also the director of this film, which I mean, “What the hell!”  This guy is doing everything.  He was deciding on the shots, he was deciding on the lighting, he was deciding this and that, he was editing the script, I’m like, “Holy cannoli!”  He’s like, “No, I want her to wear that shirt; I want her to do this.”  You would do the scene, and he’d come over and talk to you a little bit.  I mean, he was just awesome; Taylor brought so much insight to my character because I’m like, “What’s my relationship, and who are all of these kids?  Are we a loving family?”  We did it very quickly, too.  Taylor, look at what you’ve accomplished, and it is such a beautiful piece of art!

TAYLOR:  From a more functional standpoint as a director, one of the really great things about having the two of them was that Kassie came in half-way through filming, and we’d been working with the young actor/musicians a lot.  Some of them, it was their first big job, but pretty much all of them had worked before.  On Kassie’s first day, they didn’t know what they were in for.  She just rolled onto set, and all of the sudden, the stakes and bar of how to be an actor just changed.  From that point on, when Kassie and Nathan started to work with the band, we knew those were going to be fun days because there was going to be acting involved.  Everyone else just had to come up to their level, which was great for me because it gave me so much more to edit with.

Taylor, who are your musical influences?   

TAYLOR:  That’s a really good question.  My musical obsession for the last few years has been this guy, named Josh Ritter, who is kind of a singer/songwriter/folk guy.  My real-life band, The Cumberland Kids, is named after one of his songs.  Also, Weird Al Yankovic, has been a massive inspiration for me and my songwriting partners.

So, your vibe is this folk-rock.

TAYLOR:  Yeah, that’s what I’m writing mostly.  My listening is kind of all over the place, but definitely that is what I’m writing.

Kassie, who do you like listening to?

KASSIE:  It all depends on what cocktail I have in my hand.

Photo: JPI

NATHAN:  Let me chime in on that too! I like jazz, blues, and country music, but imagine what my house was like because I have a lot of instruments here, always with the hope that Taylor would at least become interested in music.  I have congas, bass guitar, keyboards, you name it, and for a while, he wasn’t interested at all, and one day, I woke up and he was playing an acoustic guitar.  Then, the next thing I know, he is writing and singing folk music.  I’m thinking, “Wait a minute!” It was an important lesson for me that just because you want something for your children, doesn’t mean that is what they want for themselves.  We never pushed acting on Taylor.  He chose it on his own.  It’s exciting for me mostly because it was his choice.

KASSIE:  He’s a natural.

And speaking of that, Taylor, in the trailer nothing came across forced or pushed.  Obviously, we are all talking you up here, not that you need it.

NATHAN:  I’ll tell you this, Michael.  During the shoot, Taylor insisted on calling me “Nathan”, and I had a problem with it, but he basically told me to get over it because it’s his set, his movie, and while we are shooting, I’m “Nathan”, and he’ll call me dad later.  I’m still struggling with that but he was the boss.

TAYLOR:  It’s hard to walk that line and not make it weird for your crew, you know?

NATHAN:  I get it.

Photo: KarmicReleaseLTD

KASSIE:  It’s weird for me because when he would go, “Robbie is going to do this, and Nathan is going to do that,” I’d go, “Who are Robbie and Nathan?  Aren’t they your mom and dad?”

TAYLOR:  While I was writing the script I called him over, and I said, “Dad, I wrote you a really good role, and I think we are actually going to do this.  I’m giving you a once in a lifetime chance to name your own character.  Do you want to name him after a Greek hero, or one of your siblings?”  He didn’t take his chance.  So, you know what?  It’s “Nathan” now.  It’s easier for everybody.  We don’t have to break the method acting fourth wall.  (Laughs)

Do you think you would work with Nathan and Kassie again? (Laughs)

TAYLOR:  Oh, my God, are you kidding?

NATHAN:  That’s my contract: Kassie has got to be in it.  So, let me say this about Kassie, you had mentioned something about how much she has been working, and I look at Kassie as the James Brown of daytimes soaps.  She is the hardest working woman in daytime television. 

Photo: JPI

She is pretty spectacular. Kassie started on Guiding Light, had a long career on One Life, and then went to General Hospital, then to Days of our Lives.  It’s been amazing that we have been able to see her have a comeback in more ways that one.

KASSIE:  Nathan has jumped from soap to soap as well, and when you’ve done it, you just think it’s over.  It’s not like your regular acting profession jobs when you go out and you know you’re going to audition for twenty-five things and get one role for a short amount of time.  When you go in day in and day out and are creating all of this stuff on a soap opera, and then it ends, you go, “Well, now what am I supposed to do?”  I haven’t been on a set in 6 months, and I feel like I won’t ever work again.  Soaps are just a totally different head trip and so it can be really hard.

Courtesy/ABC

Nathan, do you have a favorite Hank Gannon moment from One Life to Live?

NATHAN:  Oh wow.  Man, there were so many of them.  I can tell you the funniest, to me, maybe not so funny to Hillary B. Smith though.  I think it was during a live show. This was during the time when I had a lot of dialogue.  But this particular day, I had one line, and the line was to Hillary and it was, “How are you feeling?” and her response was, “Well, I’m feeling the way I always feel, and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah”.  So, during the entire day, I’d see Hillary, and I’d say, “Hey, how you feeling?”  Maybe nineteen times before we started shooting, “Hey, how you feeling?” and she’d had about enough of it.  So, fast forward to “5, 4,3,2,1 action”, and now, I say, “How you doing?”  If you could see the look in her eyes, it is like, “I will kill you.”  So, she says, “You know how I’m doing.  I’m doing what I’m always doing,” so she could get her line out.  So, once again, she saved Nathan’s ass with that.  One stupid line … and I blew it.  I just remember that one because I just know Hilary wanted to strangle me.  She probably still wants to.

And on that note (laughs) I wanted to thank you all so much for this. I hope you find success with this little gem of a film, Taylor.

So what did you think of the comments made by Kassie, Nathan and Taylor on their film?  What did you think of Kassie’s recent performance on DAYS? What’s your favorite Blair or Hank moment from the history of One Life to Live? Share your thoughts and comments below,  But first, check out the trailer to Killian and the Comeback Kids.

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Days Of Our Lives

Greg Vaughan Shares Farewell To DAYS & Scene Partner Arianne Zucker: “Never a Dull Moment, Laughing or Crying, She was the Party, Always with a smile!”

Tuesday’s episode of Days of our Lives had Eric Brady saying a sudden farewell to his loved ones before he departs Salem for Africa to help those in need.  That marks the on-screen departure of Daytime Emmy winner, Greg Vaughan who will last be seen on Wednesday’s episode.

As DAYS fans were aware, Greg wrapped his run months ago on the NBC daytime drama series, but since before the Covid-19 pandemic DAYS taped almost seven months ahead, Eric’s on-screen exit is airing this week.

Over the past two days, Vaughan took to his Instagram to share some sentiments, ‘thanks you’s’ and some photos of some of his favorite memories with his castmates expressing, “Seeing it’s the last week I’m airing on @nbcdays …I wanted to share some great captured memories this week with my incredible fans & castmates.”

The actor also posted a special photo album of pics with his longtime on-screen partner and love interest, Arianne Zucker (Nicole).  In that, he posted this message: “To my Ride or Die partner Ari!! Never a dull moment, laughing or crying, she was the party, always with a smile! Love ya #ERICOLE”

So, will you miss Ericole? Are you sad to see Greg exit Days on-screen? Share your thoughts via the comment section below … AND what were some of your favorite performances of Greg during his time on DAYS.

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Breaking News

Cady McClain IN As DAYS Jennifer Temporarily Replacing Melissa Reeves

Rumors that have been swirling are confirmed true.  Cady McClain is coming to Salem and Days of our Lives to replace Melissa Reeves temporarily as the new Jennifer Horton Deveraux.  The casting news was confirmed by a Days spokesperson, according to Soap Opera Digest.

Daytime fans recall, Cady is a two-time Daytime Emmy winner and has previously appeared as Dixie on All My Children, Rosanna on As the World Turns and Kelly on The Young and the Restless.  McClain has already begun filming as Jennifer.

Reeves, who commutes from Nashville to Los Angeles to tape episodes of Days of our Lives, decided not to return to set when the NBC soap opera resumed production earlier this month due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic,

In addition, Melissa became a grandmother last month with her daughter Emily’s first child, and now soon will welcome her son Larry’s first child later this month, which is another reason Reeves chose to stay put in Tennessee.

So, what do you think of the Jennifer switcheroo? Excited to see what Cady brings to the role? Comment below.

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Video du Jour

B&B’s Heather Tom talks with Michael Fairman immediately following her record-tying win in the Lead Actress category during the 47th annual Daytime Emmy Awards.  Heather and Erika now hold the most wins for an actress with 6! Leave A Comment

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