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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!



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!

Leave a comment | 25 Comments


  1. Lia

    August 29, 2015 at 7:56 pm

    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

      August 31, 2015 at 11:02 am

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

  2. Jeremy

    August 29, 2015 at 8:33 pm

    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

      August 29, 2015 at 8:38 pm

      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

        August 30, 2015 at 12:27 pm

        …hope so…I adore Kate!

      • Patrick

        August 30, 2015 at 5:26 pm

        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?

  3. Brinard

    August 29, 2015 at 8:45 pm

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

    • 4ever DAYS

      August 30, 2015 at 11:54 am

      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!

  4. Jane

    August 29, 2015 at 9:06 pm

    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!!!

  5. Llanviewer717

    August 29, 2015 at 9:51 pm

    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.

  6. Patrick

    August 29, 2015 at 10:40 pm

    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

      August 30, 2015 at 1:37 pm

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

      • k/kay

        August 30, 2015 at 1:38 pm

        On Gh!

  7. Gmbenet

    August 30, 2015 at 2:07 am

    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.

  8. CeeCee

    August 30, 2015 at 6:08 am

    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 Phillip…..he was devious. I just hope John-Paul is not turned into a Kiriakis evil-doer. I am such a fan of his……it would be a shame to steer this great actor in the wrong direction, as was Melissa Archer. And, please do not turn him into another holier-than-thou, sanctimonious Brooding-Brady, who thinks his ‘high morals’ are no match for Theresa’s……NOT!!

    • CeeCee

      August 30, 2015 at 9:26 am

      Know…correction, not ‘now’.

      • CeeCee

        August 30, 2015 at 10:50 am

        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 of Theresa and Phillip together would shake his ego-centric self into admitting to himself that he wants….actually, fiercely desires Theresa, ergo his disdain toward her. He is actually mad at himself for craving her so much….yes? Sounds good to me.
        And, what about goody-two-shoes Saint Maggie? Ugh!!!!! she came in and crowned herself Queen of La Maison Kiriakis . The competition, especially being Theresa, would catapult her into stop-wearing- leggings-and-blazers in 100-degree weather.

  9. James R. Poissant

    August 30, 2015 at 7:08 am

    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.

  10. Jimh(leave it to beaver)

    August 30, 2015 at 7:55 am

    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)

      August 30, 2015 at 7:56 am

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

      • CeeCee

        August 30, 2015 at 9:31 pm

        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

  11. Carolina

    August 30, 2015 at 8:56 am

    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

      August 30, 2015 at 12:29 pm

      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!


      I LOVE the Kiriakis’

      • CeeCee

        August 30, 2015 at 9:35 pm

        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.

  12. Scott (ATWT Fan)

    August 30, 2015 at 5:57 pm

    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!

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