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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.

Days Of Our Lives

DAYS OF OUR LIVES: Chad and Abby Share An Emotional Goodbye And Leave Salem Hitched

On Thursday’s episode of NBC’s Days of our Lives, tears were shed not only by the characters on the screen, but by the audience at home … plenty of them if you have been checking out social media since this installment aired.  For in it, viewers had to say goodbye to Chad (Billy Flynn) and Abby (Kate Mansi) as they left Salem to start their new life with their children in Paris.

However, before they make their exit, Chabby fans finally get to see their favorite duo tie the knot in a heartfelt and touching ceremony right in the Horton family living room.  While it was spur of the moment, it could not have been more poignant.  Leave it to Julie (Susan Seaforth Hayes) to officially preside over the nuptials, JJ (Casey Moss) to play his guitar while his sister walked down the living room aisle to her man, and even Jack (Matt Ashford) showed up to do the right thing to be there for his daughter.

What would a Chabby wedding be without personally written vows, right?  Abigail tells Chad: “When we first fell in love, God, we had no idea of what we were getting ourselves into.  They say that when you meet someone and fall in love, you’re drawn to them, because they have something you need and we’re here today because I need you.  I need your courage, your faith, and love.  I’m so beyond grateful at a second chance with you and a family with our beautiful children. You are the love of my life, Chad. There’s nothing I want more than to spend the rest of my days with you.”

Photo: JPI Studios

In a touching moment, Chad is overcome with tears and expresses to Abigail; “You’ve always fought for your health, and for us, and I’m in awe of the woman I fell in love with. I’ll cherish you. I will protect you. I’m yours, and I’ll never doubt you again, because a love like ours really does only come once in a life.”

They exchange rings and Julie pronounces them husband and wife.  But this happy moment is also bittersweet when Chad says, “We hate to marry and run.”  Chabby has a plane to catch to take them to Paris.   Chad looks around the room and at all the special people in his life, and tells the group how special they all are to him.  In that scene, it definitely gave the feels that it was also Billy Flynn saying farewell to his castmates.

Of course … before they leave town Chad and Abby visit Stefan (Tyler Christopher) and Gabi(Camila Banus)is there.  They give them the news that they are leaving for France and are married.  In a moment alone between Abby and Stefan, he apologizes to her. Stefan notes how much he loved the other part of her (Gabby with a “Y”) and knows that she loved him too.  Abby says, “I know”.  Meanwhile, Chad says goodbye to the portrait of his father, Stefano vowing to be back someday.  After Chabby exit the DiMera mansion, Stefan has a meltdown and throws the chest board while Chloe (Nadia Bjorlin) walks in on the scene.

Photo: JPI

And finally, in the 10-hankie moment beautifully played by Billy Flynn, Kate Mansi and Melissa Reeves (Jennifer), Chad and Abby at the Horton house to say their final goodbyes to Doug (Bill Hayes) and Julie, Jack, JJ, and Jennifer.  Abigail tells her mother to never give up on her dad.  Chad is in tears as Jennifer tells him she will miss him,  He says, “I will miss you, too”.

It was in that moment that any of us that have ever had to say goodbye to our families and move far away from them, or come back to visit them and then leave again, can relate.  Saying goodbye is often heartbreaking when you leave behind the ones you love.  But, Chad and Abby got their happy ending … for now. However,t his is a soap opera, so you never know how long happiness will last, or when they might be back in Salem.

Kudos to the performances of Billy Flynn, so raw and real, and Kate Mansi playing Abigail with depth and dignity to wrap up the story.

So, what did you think of the Chabby goodbye? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

 

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Days Of Our Lives

THIS WEEK: Billy Flynn and Kate Mansi Exit DAYS As Chabby Says Their “I Do’s” In Heart-tugging Moments

By now, Days of our Lives fans have learned that this week marks the end of the run, for now, of Billy Flynn and Kate Mansi as Chad and Abby.  But before they exit look for wedding bells to ring as Chabby remarries.

When Marci Miller decided to depart the role of Abigail, Kate Mansi returned to the role she played before Miller to finish the arc, which would have potentially left Abby to leave town and Chad to be without her, since Mansi signed on to just complete the storyline,

DAYS head writer Ron Carlivati told Soap Opera Digest  (in latest issue on newsstands now) the thought process of having the duo leave together: “While it was kind of agonizing to make the decision that Chad will exit the canvas with Abigail, I decided that was the best thing for the couple, it was the best thing for the fans and it was the best thing for the show. The way that they exit is very, very open-ended. It’s not like someone is going to die. They leave happy and the door is completely open for them to come back. As much as I’m sure some people will be sad to see them go, I think they’ll be happy to see them go together. It just seemed so unfair to not give them a happy ending. And I just didn’t see how that happy ending would work if Chad stayed in Salem and Abigail left.”   He added: “Obviously, if the time is right, the story is right, and the people are available, they’ll be back.”

Looks like we all need to get out the hankies after checking out the latest NBC promo for Chad and Abby’s wedding and farewell.  You can watch it below.  Then let us know if you are sad to see Billy and Kate exit DAYS, and if you hope they will be back sooner than later via the comment section below.

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Breaking News

Drake Hogestyn Chats On John Black’s Latest Predicament With Diana and Leo On ‘Inside Salem: Days of our Lives Podcast’

The complex life of John Black (Drake Hogestyn) just got even more complicated on NBC’s Days of our Lives; thanks to the arrival of his ex-flame Diana Colville (Judith Chapman) and the bombshell that bad boy Leo Stark (Greg Rikaart), who has been causing so much trouble for Will (Chandler Massey) and Sonny (Freddie Smith), is actually his biological son!  Boy, John certainly has had some kids he never knew about pop up (remember, Paul Narita is John’s son, too).  But, is this all a tale spun by Diana, or the truth regarding Leo?

Longtime DAYS vet, Drake Hogestyn sits down with host, Michael Fairman on an all-new installment of NBC’s Inside Salem: Days of our Lives Podcast.  During the conversation, Drake talks about his surprise learning from the script that Diana Cooper was indeed his ex, Diana Colville.

The beloved actor reveals that at one point he thought Genie Francis (Laura, GH) might be coming back to reprise the role, but now that it’s Judith Chapman he is having a great time acting opposite her.  In addition, being a true historian of DAYS, Drake takes the listeners on some fun facts that they may not have remembered. Later, Hogestyn reveals why he and Deidre Hall (Marlena) have found such success as DAYS’ enduring John and Marlena.

Michael commends Drake on his Daytime Emmy Pre-Nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his emotional turn following Marlena being shot at the Jarlena nuptials, and the family saying their goodbyes believing she was going to die, especially she the good doc had a DNR request on her legal forms filed with the hospital.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

In the backstage segment of the podcast, Eric Martsolf (Brady) takes Fairman on what a typical production day is like for him and others in Salem: visiting the wardrobe department, stopping to talk to the stage manager, and chatting it up with co-stars along the way including: Lauren Koslow (Kate) and Linsey Godfrey (Sarah).

The new episode of Inside Salem: Days of our Lives Podcast is currently streaming on NBC.com here, and will be available for download via iTunes on Monday.

So, do you think John will do next now that Diana is working her way back into his life, and Leo is his son?  Will he tell Marlena what is going on?  What did you think of the sentiments shared by Drake in the interview? Comment below.

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GH icon Genie Francis chats with Michael Fairman about her return to the soap as Laura after being taken off-contract earlier this year. Leave A Comment

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