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DAYS Freddie Smith Interview: From Gay Bashing and Bullying to the Will and Sonny Romance!

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

Things take a turn for the worse for Sonny Kiriakis this week on Days of our Lives.  First, he attempts to kiss his best friend, Will Horton.  Then he gets gay-bashed, and from there Sonny’s world as he believes and knows it takes a devastating turn!

On-Air On-Soaps chatted with Freddie Smith (Sonny) to discuss the gay-bashing and bullying story arc that begins to unfold, Will and Sonny’s impending romance, and how Freddie feels after waiting so long for a story to sink his teeth into, after being brought on the Salem canvas as the first gay character in the history of the legendary NBC soap opera.

Here’s what Freddie had to say about it all and a preview of what is ahead for Sonny!

This week on DAYS, Sonny attempts to kiss Will (Chandler Massey), and that doesn’t quite work out so well!

FREDDIE:  No, it doesn’t.   He loves Will as a best friend and any situation in real life where you get involved with your best friend, where you begin to have a crush on them; it is that whole cat and mouse where it’s about, “Do I tell him, I like him? Or, do I not tell him because of the friendship?” And with Will, Sonny did not know if he was O.K.  He thought he could have been dead from the whole disaster that just transpired.  I think all of his emotions spilled out. He was just so happy that I don’t think he thought anything. Sonny just went in for the kiss and Will is caught off guard. So it was all of Sonny’s emotions that were built up that came to the surface.

So you had to play it that deep down Sonny had crush on him, or did he just realize this spur of the moment?

Photo Credit: Adam Campbell

FREDDIE: I think something like this can happen in a situation that brings it to the extreme, where your life is at stake. There are a lot of times in real life like that people come forward with their feelings.   It was more like, “I almost lost you, and you need to know how I feel.”   But Sonny has always had a crush on Will.  He is a good looking dude, and funny and clever.  They are best friends.  I think in real life a lot of relationships start that way.

Will then goes running to Gabi and they have sex! Does Sonny find out about this?

FREDDIE: I cannot touch upon the fallout of that yet, as a lot goes into it.

The big thing then this week is Sonny is a victim of some gay bashing! What goes down?

FREDDIE: “T” comes back to Salem and Sonny and “T” never had a resolution.  Things just ended poorly.   He doesn’t like Sonny, and Sonny is like, “Well, dude.  I don’t like you, either.”    He did not like Sonny because he is gay, and he is gay basher.  He is close-minded and he is not comfortable with it for whatever reason.  He comes back to town and this time what gets him even more fired up is when he finds out that his best friend, Will, has now come out of the closet.  “T” is blaming Sonny for it.  So there is this whole issue that happens and he is just lit! He is so mad. It gets very intense and it plays out and it’s an on-going storyline that is going to play out over a couple of weeks.   You will see the repercussions of what happens and the negative effects. You see how people on “T” and Sonny’s end handle it.   It’s a very good storyline. I am excited to see how it all turned out on the air shows!

Sonny is victimized obviously, and does this send Sonny on a downward spiral?

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

FREDDIE:  This is more of an internal thought: Sonny has a scene with his dad, Justin. I feel that Sonny has gone through the coming out process and the gay bashing. He finally came to terms with who he is, and he thought all of this was in his past.  And to have somebody start stuff with him, I think it just brings him back to “Dad, I thought this was over? Is this always going to continue to happen?  What is going on?”  I think he has that vulnerable moment to where he is taken aback.  Sonny is a positive character, and he does bring himself back from this, but he does have that moment where he is like, “Oh, man!”

Hopefully, Will comes to Sonny aid?

FREDDIE: Absolutely! He does and that is what is important and in real life too. It is having family and friends who are there for people who are bullied and any other situation that is bad, of course.  It is nice that his friends and family are there to pick Sonny up.

Freddie, you got to Washington D.C. to speak to congress recently on bullying that must have been very gratifying.

FREDDIE:  I got to speak in front of congress and men and women at the nation’s capital.  So it was something I will never forget.  I got to talk about bullying and my main point of interest is what I think can help stop bullying is parents getting involved in their kids life at an early age, and to bring awareness that this is not something that just goes on to middle school or high school.   People and kids grow up and are carrying this with them as an adult, and I mean everyone.  As an adult, you can think back to how you were bullied.  You never forget that.  That is why it is important to stop it at a young age, and why it is important to have parents help their kids and understand not to bully others. It is causing a lot of trouble in the world.

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

Where you bullied as a kid?

FREDDIE:  It was more bullying moments.  I was not bullied every day. I think everyone has been bullied at one time or another in life.  We get it as adults too, honestly. There are a lot of people and groups and programs hopping on board to stop bullying, so it’s great, and if I can be a small part of that to bring some awareness of it through my role on daytime television, that is great too.

Are you getting exiting that the Will and Sonny romance is finally going to kick-off big time after so many presumed starts?  It seems now a story has been built that is so intricate?

FREDDIE: Me, as an actor and as the audience, we have all been waiting for Sonny to have these storylines, but I also think it was important to wait.  When I first came on the show and was being interviewed, it was all about being the first gay character.  A year and half later people are like, “So Sonny is doing so and so in his life.”   He just became Sonny, not labeled just the first gay character. I think it was great that they came to know Sonny for Sonny.  I think fans that waited will be very happy that they waited and hung in there with us.  Now, Sonny is going to take Salem by storm and people can start to invest and enjoy in his storylines.

Courtesy/NBC

It’s all good because it sets up emotional obstacles and problems for Will and Sonny to be able get together.  And as with any soap couple, fans are then rooting for them to get together and that is needed to keep it interesting!  And so it doesn’t then just languish on the back-burner, hopefully!

FREDDIE:  If it was a fairytale the story would die in two days and people would not care. The producers and the writers have done a phenomenal job at setting this up. I am so excited I have this material to work with.  It begins this week on air! I am looking forward to seeing all the scenes from an audience perspective.  There are a lot of emotions in this, as you will see.

So soapers, what do you think of the story point where Sonny will be gay bashed?  Are you looking forward to the Will and Sonny romance?  How do you feel about Will running to Gabi and having sex after Sonny makes a pass at him?  Are you happy to see DAYS tackling a bullying arc?  Let us know all of your thoughts!

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EDDIE EMMONS
EDDIE EMMONS

The “romance” has taken entirely too long.

Scott
Scott

I love the friendship between Sonny and Will. Sonny is definitely an underrated and undeused character. I miss him being on my screen! He’s amazing. Freddie Smith is a fantastic actor. Definitely my kind of guy!

Kane
Kane

I love the fact they address it verbally with Will and physically with Sonny. They’re both very powerful. The romance I’m looking forward to and they’re making it like a romantic slow trip you take to true love. But I think they hit a pot hole in the trip when they put in the WillGabi sex. They say it’s romantic history, insecurities and comfort. But how can you touch someone you couldn’t touch after the first time. I know Will is insecure in his feelings. But to make him test if he’s gay or not by screwing someone he didn’t want too before is insulting and stupid. It’s insensitive to show this in this time. When some think sexuality can be switched on and off like a light switch. Why taint the fragile image of a character when you’re promoting a romance Days?

Dmitri
Dmitri

I agree 100%. Will knows he has feelings for Sonny. After seeing Sonny with Brian and misunderstanding, I think Will was probably trying to get revenge. But this was SO stupid! Like THE EJami grief sex.

maddiehayes
maddiehayes

this is just going to confuse my mom further, who has been asking me “Will’s not going to STAY gay, is he?’ lol

David
David

I find the Will/Gabi storyline insulting. It would be more realistic if he slept with another man.

maddiehayes
maddiehayes

They are kind of making it look like Will is “bi”. Soaps always do outlandish things with the gay characters, like having AMC’s Bianca fall in love with straight women, and then those women magically “turn gay”. The weirdest was when she fell for the transsexual, LOL. Of course, the straight characters have outlandish stories too, so I guess it’s fair.

Anne
Anne

So happy that Sonny is finally getting a major story. Freddie has been so underutilized since being hired. Yes, the romance has taken way too long for Sonny and Will. I just hope the wait was worth it. Kyle and Fish have the standard set. I guess only time will tell if DOOL can out do that and I’m not so sure with how conservative they have been toward the gay storyline since it started. Hoping that was the fault of the old writers. Again, only time will tell.

David B
David B

I can’t wait to see it play out but i feel that this is a rehash of Tomlin’s old storyline from OLTL with Kish all over again. Will rejects Sonny & runs to Gabi & later sleeps with her, probably gets her pregnant, then Gabi uses it to try to hold on to Will as Wilson are getting closer.

David
David

OLTL’s gay storyline was conservative too, and it does appear as a rehash. But Fish was drunk/drugged and it made sense because at that time he did not fully realize who he was. But again to say that, other conflcted men don’t have similar sexual encounters when in doubt or acting upon revenge, would be unrealistic too. Nonetheless, I find it insulting, almost disngenuious, like another twist in plot could not be used, instead of Will hooking up with Gabi. Will was interested another man who provided him with an alibi. What about him? Anyway, Gabi may wind up pregnant. How convenient and predicitable! Didn’t Will go to his shrink grandmother, Marlena and talked things out? Months we watched his coming out process. He came out to be confused? Maybe Rafe was right when he said look how messed up Will is. With new writers, I will just wait and see, but I hope DOOL and its viewers don’t shut down a potential good storyline. Now that would another travesty similar to that which occurred on OLTL.

I prefer Sonny’s character. He is a good egg. He is honest. He is winsome. The viewers are invested and want to see more of him. I think the bully storyline, more so the bashing, may have a bigger impact. And another man showing some interest in Sonny would make good drama too. But WilSon will prevail; it’s a soap after all.

TRW
TRW

Tomlin was not at OLTL for Kish. That was Carlivati/Valentini

Jules
Jules

Excited for this story to get off the ground some more, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed Will and Gabi are going to be making whoppie. The story, since November 2011 IMO has been moving forward one beautiful and precise step at a time. And it still sounds that way to me, with exception of Will turning to Gabi, which takes everything a giant leap back.

I’ll watch and see how it plays out, but I wish they didn’t take this route.

Ann
Ann

Will sleeping with Gabi is not only stupid but insulting! With the way soaps treat their gay characters and storylines, I don’t know why fans even bother anymore. Look at how Luke & Noah were treated on ATWT and Kyle & Fish on OLTL.. And those are just two examples because I could name more! These shows like the attention they receive from these storylines but they never fully deliver what fans really want to see. Look how long things have taken with Sonny and Will. If they were a straight pairing things wouldn’t have taken this long. Inevitably, fans of ‘WilSon’ will be continually let down, disappointed and angered like fans of the couples mentioned above. Sadly, it always ends up being this way.

Chaz
Chaz

Freddie Smith finally gets some story…hooray! But, this Will/Gabi thing is crap. It would have been an okay plot device BEFORE Will came out. Now, it is a slap in the face. Is this someone’s grand plan to keep Gabi on the show? Because, frankly I would like nothing better than seeing her go off to a convent or something. The character is annoying and a waste of screen time.

Maggie
Maggie

Good interview! I’m interested to hear Freddie’s take on things. Sonny’s a likable character and I’m hoping with more Sonny comes more Justin and Adrienne. I am looking forward to seeing Sonny and Will’s romance take off. We’ve waited a long time for this, and I don’t want to be disappointed by crummy writing now. I have to say, I’m not happy with the Will/Gabi sex thing, and I especially don’t want to see something as predictable as an unwanted pregnancy to come out of it. Even if it were well-written, I just don’t want to see something so mundane cluttering up Will and Sonny’s story. There are plenty of other sources of angst for them.

Breaking News

Peter Reckell On The Passing Of DAYS Peggy McCay: “Looking in Peggy’s Eyes, All I Could See Was A Mom Who Loved Me, And Wanted The Best For Me.”

Over the last week, actors, colleagues, and fans have paid tribute and shared their remembrances of Days of our Lives’ Peggy McCay (Caroline Brady) who passed away at the age of 90.

One of Peggy’s most cherished and longtime scene partners was none other than Peter Reckell, who played the iconic Bo Brady, and was Caroline’s son.  This on-screen mother/son duo shared a bond like no other in Salem.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

This weekend, Peter shared his thoughts on working with the Emmy-winning actress, who was also nominated four times for a Daytime Emmy, by taking to social media on the loss of the matriarch of the Brady clan.

Peter expressed via his tweet:  “I was so fortunate to have worked with some amazing actors that shaped the actor and person I am .Looking in Peggy’s eyes, all I could see was a Mom who loved me, and wanted the best for me. She was always so committed to the story.Those sparkling eyes RIP”

After a fan put together a tribute of Bo and Caroline scenes through the years on You Tube and shared it with Reckell, he responded back with: “This is beautiful! Brought back so many wonderful memories. She truly was a powerful, loving presence, I miss her so much. Thanks for putting this together for all of us who love her. Lots of love.”

Watch the tribute made by Angie Evangelia below, then let us know your favorite Bo and Caroline through the years on DAYS via the comment section below.

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Breaking News

DAYS Stars Pay Tribute & Share Remembrances Of Peggy McCay

Over the last 24 hours, cast members and colleagues past and present of Peggy McCay (Caroline Brady) have taken to social media to share their sorrow and their memories of this great and beloved actress who passed away a few days ago at the age of 90.

Here is just a sampling of the heartfelt tributes from many longtime castmates and more who cherished their time with Peggy below.

Eric Martsolf (Brady) : RIP Peggy McCay. Feisty, witty, and not an unkind bone throughout her body. She was warm to me when I first entered the hallways of DOOL, and made every word she was given poetry. I will miss this true lady of daytime.

Alison Sweeney (Sami): Every day working with Peggy was a win. She had such an incredibly colorful & often hilarious history in tv. I was so lucky to hear her stories. She was feisty, funny & ever so talented. She was very much a grandmother to me and will miss her so much. #rip

Deidre Hall (Marlena) : “Our dearest Peggy McCay has left us. She was a friend, an activist and a real scrapper!!  I remember meeting her at the bedside of a dear, very ill friend. I backed her up as she ferociously took on doctors and nurses to make sure he had the very best care. She fought that hard for all her causes. Passionate and tireless.  And how she loved being “Caroline”!! Days of our Lives

Billy Flynn (Chad): “Just heard Peggy took her Final bow. RIP love…you’re a star forever!”

Galen Gering (Rafe): “So sad to hear about the passing of . She was fierce & firey with the heart of a lion yet could be as soft as a petal. I always looked forward to our scenes together, eager to see what kind of spontaneous thing she’d do. She was loved & adored & will be missed.”

Kristian Alfonso (Hope): “Peggy #thankyou for all of your #kindness , #love & encouragement through the years . #loveu Rest In Peace”

Greg Meng (Co-EP, DAYS): “I feel so blessed to have known her, and worked with her… she was an animal lover… a superb actor… had an interest in fashion… fascinated in anything creative… inquisitive, supportive… and she was ageless. Not just an inspiration but a FIRECRACKER! Lucky me, lucky us… thank you, Peggy.”

Ryan Quan: RIP Peggy McCay. She was as warm, friendly, and spunky in person as she was on screen. One of my favorite recent Caroline scenes was her speech at Will and Sonny’s wedding… Peggy’s performance was amazing. She will be missed!

Mary Beth Evans: (Kayla): Oh how I loved this woman! Her strength & professionalism was like no other! She set such an amazing standard for all of us….as actors & people. She will always be the  & soul of the Brady family & she lives on in Salem and in our hearts.

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Breaking News

Days of our Lives Peggy McCay Passes Away

One of the greatest actresses, and one of Days of our Lives most beloved cast member, Peggy McCay (Caroline Brady) has passed away.

According to reports, Peggy passed away in her sleep on October 7 at the age of 90 of natural causes.  Peggy’s close friend, Denise Kiel Smith broke the news on social media on Twitter relating: “To all of Peggy McCay’s dear friend and family I have some sad news…  Peggy passed peacefully in her sleep of natural causes Sunday morning at 1:00 am. She always appreciated you, her loyal fans, for all of the love and support that you gave her throughout the years. Peggy enjoyed a lifelong career of acting in television and movies. She loved working at Days of Our Lives nearly to the end. Acting and animal rescue were her passions in life. If you would like to show your support please visit the Kitty Bungalow, Peggy’s favorite charity, at Kitty Bungalow.”

One of the greats in her field; Peggy was nominated in the Outstanding Lead Actress  category at the Daytime Emmy Awards for her performances as Caroline Brady 4 times. However, Peggy won a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress in a drama series for her work in the The Trials of Rosie O’Neill.

DAYS fans have missed Peggy on-screen for the last few years.  The last time she appeared on-screen was in late August of 2016.  McCay originated the role of the Brady matriarch in 1983.

Throughout the last 24 hours, fans, cast members, and co-workers of the beloved Peggy have taken to social media to share their remembrances and grief and love for this talented powerhouse performer.  We will share many of those with you in a post to come.

Share your condolences and remembrances of Peggy as Caroline on DAYS in the comment section below.

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This weekend we mourn the loss of General Hospital’s beloved Susan Brown who played Gail Baldwin. Here is her final scene from 2004 when Gail and her husband Lee (the late Peter Hansen) showed up at Lila’s funeral and had an exchange with Alan and Monica. Share your thoughts on Susan’s passing via the link below. Leave A Comment

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