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DAYS Head Writer Josh Griffith On How OLTL, Winterthorne & A Magazine Cover Led To Casting John-Paul Lavoisier As Phillip Kiriakis!

Courtesy/IMDB

Courtesy/IMDB

The latest issue of Soap Opera Digest (on newsstands now) features an in-depth interview with DAYS co-head writer Josh Griffith, who recounts how he along with co-head writing partner Dena Higley helped create, shape, and mold the vision that fans of the NBC soap opera will be seeing for the 50th anniversary storylines and beyond.

One of the questions posed to Griffith was on how the casting of former One Life to Live star John-Paul Lavoisier (Ex-Rex Balsom) came to pass as the new Phillip Kiriakis.

It just so happens that JP’s role in Winterthorne, which bowed this week, was part of the impetus for the inspired casting, plus his time on Llanview and an SOD cover! Josh revealed the events that led to the casting.

JOSH GRIFFITH:  “Well, the casting was because he’s fantastic and we knew that he was fantastic, because we both worked with him, but not at the same time.  We had been saying, “We’ve got to bring Phillip back,” and I was looking at your magazine and it had a little picture of him on the cover of it that said he was doing Winterthorne.  I saw the picture of him and went, “There it is.  Right there.”  I took the magazine into the meeting and said, “Guys, here’s Phillip!”

What do you think about the interesting events that led JP to DAYS?  How do you think Phillip will return to the canvas?  Who will be his love interest?  You can also watch our latest video interview with Lavoisier here. Comment below!

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BrianCeeCeeScott (ATWT Fan)Patrickk/kay Recent comment authors
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Lia
Guest
Lia

I love it! It sounds so old Hollywood -ish. I think he is going to be an amazing Phillip, but one thing…he needs to leave Rex Balsom behind. If he brings any part of Rex into the new character, he’ll ruin it. Phillip was nothing like Rex, and hopeful JPL has done his research on the guy. As for Phillip’s new love interest? They’ve got to bring Stephanie back. I only wish Shelly were available.

Brian
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Brian

Yes, I hope they recast Stephanie. With Steve and Kayla and Joey all in town, it’s time for Stephanie to come back too.

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

I’m just very pleased that John Paul is on DAYS and as a Phillip recast.
I think he will do a fabulous job in the role. I can’t wait!

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Looking forward to some great scenes with Lauren (Kate) and John (Victor). Perhaps, the return of Philip will give Kate some sort of solid story. It feels like to me that Kate is in no man’s land. I want a big storyline for Kate….enter Philip? I hope so.

CeeCee
Guest
CeeCee

…hope so…I adore Kate!

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

did they drop the ball… on Kate and Justin?

I haven’t seen “scenes” between these two in a long while

there was definite sparks?

meh? as much as I like Clyde… perhaps they are waiting to wrap his character up in all the murder mystery mayhem?

Brinard
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Brinard

Still think its a bad casting choice. Don’t know why they couldn’t just bring back JKJ.

4ever DAYS
Guest
4ever DAYS

They would have had to force JKJ to come back. He wants to be left alone. He lives like a caveman now. He gained a bunch of weight and has a beard like ZZ TOP!

Jane
Guest
Jane

I think that is wonderful for him. I hope that it all works out for everyone involved.
I just wish that another Daytime drama would find something for Matthew Atkinson to play. He has a lot to offer. All he needs is a meaty role. Something that he can sink his acting chops into, spread his acting wings. Something that Chuck Pratt Jr. And Jill Farren Phelps cheated him out of!!!

Llanviewer717
Guest
Llanviewer717

Being a new Days viewer, I have don’t know anything about Phillip Kiriakis. I am very excited to see John-Paul Lavoisier again. He did a great job with the twists and turns and growth of Rex on One Life to Live. It will be great to see him in this new role.

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

of ALL the changes plus

this is the one… I have issue

pelt me… when he was on OLTL… I just didn’t see him as a strong masculine character

will his comedic light attitude swift?

I don’t know

I’m holding reservation… belonging with the Kiriakis’ Manse is huge

k/kay
Guest
k/kay

He should have been Dillon Q and brought on in 2012 he had the perfect look and style for that role.

k/kay
Guest
k/kay

On Gh!

Gmbenet
Guest
Gmbenet

I would like to know whether or not Jay Kenneth Johnson was even considered for reprising the role of Philip. I so enjoyed Jay as Philip. If he was not available, I understand. It just seems strange that no mention was made of the possibility of Jay reprising then role of Philip.

CeeCee
Guest
CeeCee

I would, firstly, like to get to now John-Paul’s version of Phillip before giving an opinion as to whom is a good fit for him. Why entangle him? I can’t even think of anyone that would do this actor Justice, right now on DOOL. Perhaps, if brand new, older Belle, returned? Oh, wait…are they related? No incest, PLEASE!!! LOL. He, himself, should get acquainted with his peers,, also, before TPTB make him jump into the fire, LOL. He needs to feel his peers and get comfortable and, I would think, so does the viewer. I did not like Jay, as… Read more »

CeeCee
Guest
CeeCee

Know…correction, not ‘now’.

CeeCee
Guest
CeeCee

PS. I was mulling over this and I thought of Theresa. I still think JP should just ‘hang out’, getting to know his cast members before Phillip ventures into a relationship. But, I am as sure as the sun rising again, that TPTB will indulge the character with some kind of love affair or whatever we may label it. If that is to be the case, I would love to see him get involved with Theresa. What a maelstrom of events that would create. It would set so many ‘wars’ in motion…… drive Victor absolutely crazy…and Brady? Perhaps the idea… Read more »

James R. Poissant
Guest
James R. Poissant

I think this was a great choice to cast JPL as Philip—I think what I see coming is the Philip who was played by Kyle Brandt some years ago and that was exciting for me when he played the character so knowing JPL’s work from OLTL, I know he will bring a new dynamic to the role while keeping the character’s streak alive. As for his love interest, I can’t help wondering if Eve will get involved with him but that is only a wild guess on my part.

Jimh(leave it to beaver)
Guest
Jimh(leave it to beaver)

Theresa will obviously make a play for him…i see Brady showing his jealous side and he and Philip coming to blows over her…isnt it time Brady took anger management classes…lol

Jimh(leave it to beaver)
Guest
Jimh(leave it to beaver)

Now if Melissa Archer had only been cast as Sarah Horton…never mind…lol

CeeCee
Guest
CeeCee

Ah, Jimmy. I wish they had done that. I remember with clarity you saying that as soon as we learned Melissa was joining the DOOL family. Too bad ‘they’ did not listen to you. LOL

Carolina
Guest
Carolina

Good luck, “Days” viewers. Lavoisier was fantastic during his first couple of years on “One Life” but a complete mess during the last four years of the show, sucking all of the oxygen out of the air and turning even the most dramatic stories into his opportunity to display his Jim Carey impersonations.

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

this is what “bothers” me….

the Kiriakis’ Manse : doesn’t need schtick, jokes, impersonations… etc….

they blend so well together… and it’s their inside joke that we are witness to

Victor, Maggie, Justin, Adrienne, Brady… add in Theresa and the butler

see? how well they cut each other? with nary a jokester

I’m not sure… about JPL

John Anniston’ Victor quick wit; Justin manner; and how well Maggie and Adrienne play off of their men

now if Brady and Theresa could just relax and get sexy!

LOL

I LOVE the Kiriakis’

CeeCee
Guest
CeeCee

I love John Aniston, Patrick. You are so right….he cracks me up as no other. Even when he’s mean, he’s funny….I love the way he brings down anyone he doesn’t like, with his sarcastic and smearing words. He certainly is an anomaly.

Scott (ATWT Fan)
Guest
Scott (ATWT Fan)

Hearing that both Dena and Josh knew they had to get Phillip back, as a way to re-build the history of the soap, it excites me in knowing that they’re serious about the soap. And casting JPL was incredible; I look forward to seeing his take on the character, and the direction they’ll be taking him!

Days Of Our Lives

Days of our Lives Kicks-Off Possession Storyline Revisted with ‘Doug’ Twist Cliffhanger, Followed by Fall Preview

Did the ‘Devil’ make them do it? Doug Williams  (Bill Hayes) is Satan? In what can only be described as major surprise twist on NBC’s Days of our Lives, for weeks, fans have thought they were about to embark on another dementia or Alzheimer’s storyline on the soaps with another beloved character.

However, Days head writer, Ron Carlivati ,and his writing team came up with a way to make it seem like this may be Doug’s fate only to use the long-running character as the impetus to bring the classic possession storyline back on the air some 25 years later.

It all goes down after Kayla (Mary Beth Evans) calls Marlena (Deidre Hall) to ask him to see Doug, after his MRI and other tests proved inconclusive for dementia, etc, to see if Dr. Evans can assess him.  The phone call to Marlena happened after John (Drake Hogestyn) was discussing the past, since Johnny (Carson Boatman) is ramping up to a shoot a movie on Sami’s life, that will include the time that Sami walked in on John and Marlena having sex, which caused Sami to act out for years and years.

 

However, and this is key, John tells Marlena that moment in time also left her alone and vulnerable to the darkest time in her life – alluding to when she became possessed by the devil – and Marlena was clearly having difficulty admitting that or going down that road of remembrance, when the phone call from Kayla saved her from digging deeper into the past.  Well now, John and Marlena may never have that conversation as she is primed to once again become possessed.

Meanwhile, Johnny is reading Will’s script for the Sami movie, and is shocked to read in it that Marlena was once possessed by the devil, as John takes out a dusty box with his Father John collar, a bible, and a news clipping of Marlena being possessed.  John is feeling that this movie will bring bad things on to all those he loves, especially Doc, and he looks to be right!

Now at her office with Doug, he admits he knows something is wrong.  He acts out and does strange things and does not know why.  Marlena brings up why Doug locked Julie (Susan Seaforth Hayes) in a freezer by accident. Doug gets adamant saying: “That was no accident. I locked that bitch in there on purpose.”  Marlena is shocked at his word and tone.  Then as Doug laughs, he says, “I’m not Doug.”  Next thing you know, the lowered voice of Satan comes out of Doug’s mouth and he tells Doc, “It’s been over 25 years Marlena. But did you really think I wouldn’t come back for you?” End of episode.  Great cliffhanger!

Now, check out the fall preview released following the airing of Friday’s episode by NBC below, which teases more demonic moments on Days. Then let us know in the comment section, what you thought of the ‘Doug’ twist as the possession storyline begins?

Plus, make sure to cast your vote in ‘Michael’s Poll’ of the week on the revisiting of this classic tale now in 2021 below the preview.

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Days Of Our Lives

Ron Carlivati Talks on the Creation, Scenes & Cast of ‘Days of our Lives: Beyond Salem’

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Days Of Our Lives

‘Days of our Lives: Beyond Salem’ Stars Talk the ‘Making of’ the Limited-Series & the Moments They Loved

Five of the cast members from Days of our Lives limited-series on Peacock, Days of our Lives: Beyond Salem, chatted with Michael Fairman as a wrap-up following the conclusion of the streaming of all five episodes.

Joining Michael in a special conversation on You Tube’s Michael Fairman Channel are: Eileen Davidson (Kristen/Sister Mary Moira), Charles Shaughnessy (Shane/Drew), Peter Porte (Kyle/Dimitri), Zach Tinker (Sonny) and Rob Scott Wilson (Ben).

During the conversation, the actors share stories of the making of the series, and give insight and behind the scenes tidbits on their scenes including: how Eileen and Lisa Rinna (Billie) played recreated the ‘Amsterdam’ showdown from their time together on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, but as their Days’ characters of Billie and Kristen, how Peter learned to do the Tango from Dancing with the Stars Louis Van Amstel and Lisa Rinna, plus the drag show scenes where Zach became “Sonny Delight”, and more.

In addition, Charles Shaughnessy talks on how the series harkened back to the 80’s and 90’s campy action-adventure heyday of and the opportunity to work again with Deidre Hall and Drake Hogestyn as John and Marlena, while Rob fills-us in on trying to keep it together when working in scenes with soap vet Adrienne Frantz, when Ben and Ciara find themselves at a swinger’s party.

The interview is filled with many laughs, and candid moments that fans of the limited series will enjoy, especially the intel offered up by the cast.

Days of our Lives: Beyond Salem continues to stream on Peacock! Make sure to check it out if you haven’t, or rewatch it a second, or third time if you want to see more series like this in the future.

Below check out the interview with Eileen, Peter, Charles, Zach and Rob and make sure to subscribe to the Michael Fairman Channel for more celebrity conversations.

Now, share your favorite moments from Days of our Lives: Beyond Salem, and this video interview, via the comment section here.

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GH’s Kelly Thiebaud (Britt) chats with Michael Fairman about Britt being on the run with Jason, their burgeoning romance, working with Steve Burton and her other co-star and Britt’s diagnosis of Huntington’s Disease. .Leave A Comment

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