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DAYS Peter Reckell, Mary Beth Evans & Stephen Nichols Deliver Power Performances As Bo Learns He's Dying!

Courtesy/NBC

Courtesy/NBC

Get out the hankies-stat! If Monday’s episode of NBC’s Days of our Lives is any indication of what the coming weeks are going to look like in Salem, it’s going to be extremely sad, which will provide the backdrop for compelling performances.

The first of which was delivered by the incredible Peter Reckell (Bo).  You can’t get any better than this daytime icon, who broke viewers heart when he learns the fate of his heath from his sister, Dr.  Kayla Brady (Mary Beth Evans).  Alone with Bo, she reveals his tests show that he has a very progressive large brain tumor.  She also reveals that chemotherapy and surgery don’t look to be an option for Bo, since he has such a comprimised immune system after years of capitivity and torture from his kidnappers, and would not withstand the procedures.  In essence, Bo doesn’t have long to live.  After the most heartbreaking of exchanges where Kayla tries to hold it together, she breaks down and then hugs her brother and cries over his fate.  It was beautiful performance by Mary Beth Evans and Reckell.

Later, alone in the park, Bo tries to come to terms with the cruel hand he has been dealt.  After fighting valiantly to get back to his family and coming home, he is on borrowed time.  He cries out, “Why? Why?” to the heavens in a hankie-filled moment for all DAYS viewers.

Next, it is Steve (Stephen Nichols) who learns from Kayla that Bo is dying.  He tries to comfort her, but she is just overcome.  Steve heads off to find Bo and knew exactly where to find him in the park.   In one of the most touching and memorable moments between Steve and Bo ever, they grieve over this devastating news for Bo.  Steve is struggling himself with his own emotions that his beloved best friend is dying.  Next up, when Bo tells Hope  (Kristian Alfonso) the news!

So, what did you thknk of the performances of Reckell, Evans, and Nichols?  Share your thoughts on the moments on yesterday’s DAYS  in the comment section below!

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

We all know Bos short return meant he was being killed off and i believe Hope will remarry Bo while he is in hospital…his last words to Hope should be-‘I never stopped loving you Fancy Face!’…shouldnt Chelsea be here too for this story…isnt she Bos daughter?

blake
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blake

I agree, they should remarry before he dies.

DYLAN
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DYLAN

Oh, you mean the stillborn baby born in the swamp who showed up five years later as a 17 year old person? Best left forgotten.

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

Yeah, that swamp thing…lol

Iakovos
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Iakovos

DAYS is doing it rightI I hope there is commitment in this show and this quality of storytelling for 50 more years.

Lina
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Lina

And i hope it gets cancelled soon 🙂

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

Why would you come here to say that…why should a show be canceled if you dont like it…i dont think ive seen your post name here before so do you use two names so no one here knows who you are…are you just saying that to get an argument started…hope no one responds to you-waste of time but i have some to waste so i dont care…lol

davlestev1
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davlestev1

Jimh you are a hoot…honestly I laughed when I saw Linas post. .what a goofy thing to say lol

Harry
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Harry

Yes, but Dave and Jum, Lina put a smiley face on his/her comment so that makes it okay.

Mo
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Mo

Peter Reckell killed Bo. It is his decision not to return to the soap that gave Bo his death sentence.

It is sad and I hate to see Bo die.

I am not looking forward to more Ciara scenes and desperately miss Lauren Boles. I also think Ciara was more girly than this aged Ciara is.

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

The never shouldve aged the children…Lauren Boles was a fine child actress…possibly the best in daytime…i like little Theo and Chase too…i wish they would wait and let these children age more naturally like some foriegn soaps do…give the stories to the adults you have instead…write children as children then when they become teens write teen stories for them…these children actors would be teens in just a few short years…i understand why they do it but Days done it too quickly…they aged Ciara just in a few weeks after we seen Lauren in the role…

Harry
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Harry

Jim, the young woman playing Sierra is especially poor when she is emotional and hysterical. She cries, whines and screams through her nose and the effect is akin to nails on a chalkboard.

Mo
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Mo

I agree. Lauren could have shown us she missed her dad. She could have been upset at Chase.

If you’re going to age, at least get a decent actress. And keep her true to the character.

Mary
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Mary

Lauren Boles, as good as she was, is 12 years old. That means DOOL could not use Ciara as often as wanted or needed because of the legal restrictions of the Coogan Act. The way around that was to have Ciara aged so an actress over the age of 18 could be hired. Vivian Jovanni is 19 years old. As an adult, Vivian can work the long hours that DOOL now requires.

Eileen Hargis
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Eileen Hargis

U have it wrong, Peter had no say in this. KC wanted to give Bope fans some closure, Peter was told to come back and then told his character would die. He never had any choice in staying on Days.

elm51
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elm51

there are so many interviews where peter reckell says out of his own mouth that he chose to leave dool 3 years ago because s he wanted to spend more time with his wife & daughter – there is one on this site dated 11/8/15 where it states he chose to leave.
peter only came back this time to give the character of bo brady a proper goodbye – he never had any intentions of staying long term on the show……………..

gloria
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gloria

I cannot tolerate the grown up Ciara! Where is our precious little girl? This was rotten timing on Days part to do this now. And to do it overnight was just jarring. Lauren had been on for years since she was really little. And this is just too much-having Bo missing for years, tortured, finally gets home, walks in to find Hope getting murdered, saves her & kills Aiden within an hr. of being home, now a death sentence. A little too much if you ask me. I loved the scenes with Kayla & Steve & Bo. I hope Steve… Read more »

Eileen Hargis
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Eileen Hargis

I wasnt referring to his leaving the show in 2012, but on his return. He came back thinking he could stay, but found out differently. I know what he thot cause of what he said NOT in interviews, thats just face saving.

Harry
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Harry

Oh, it’s Ciera! I spelled her name wrong and thought it was Sierra.
I totally agree with you, Gloria.

maddiehayes
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maddiehayes

These actors are all amazing, and their anguish was portrayed in a very believable way. We can look forward to lots more sorrow in the weeks to come, but hopefully we will also get some romance (my favorite) and happy, fun moments at the holidays before Bo’s big swan song.

Harry
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Harry

The acting was superb for sure, Maddie. I love the bromance which exists between Bo and Steve. I appreciate the fact that you have two manly men who can cry, express their love for each other without sacrificing their masculinity.
Yesterday, Steve was so sad lying there on the park grass crying his eye out.

maddiehayes
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maddiehayes

“crying his eye out”, lol. One of my favorite Steve lines is when he and Marcus saw Lexie in the bar, flirting with all the lowlifes there (she was undercover and they didn’t know it) “I can’t believe my EYE.”

Ces
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Ces

best bromance in television is Steve & Bo! Throw in Marybeth Evans and these scenes were awesome.
I hate that PR is leaving but I’m glad he’s going out with a bang — I bet Tony Geary would have loved to be killed off this way 😉

nancy dillingham
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nancy dillingham

Harry, I agree with you. What a graceful, lovely way to have a legacy character leave the canvas. Saw Bo’s scenes with Rafe today where he passes the mantle to him. Superbly underplayed and written! Even Galen Gering seemed affected (not just as an actor playing the scene) as Bo told him he was dying and asked Rafe to take care of Hope and keep his family safe. And thanking Rafe for not denying that he loves Hope. I cried at the genuine scene and felt serene about Peter Reckell’s leaving. I’m sure Peter must feel that way also. Yes,… Read more »

nancy dillingham
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nancy dillingham

And I forgot the mention the rarest of things–an actual ROMANTIC and sweet love scene between Hope and Bo–so lovely it made me cry. Days is truly bringing back the soap in classic fashion.

Harry
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Harry

Beautifully said, Miss Dillingham.
(Looking furtively around—Suooo doesn’t come round these parts, does she?)

Shay
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Shay

@Ces….After having witnessed Tony Geary’s prolonged Clusterfluke debacle, I would have loved to have him killed off this way!

rebecca1
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rebecca1

Harry…I only come ’round these parts sporadically…depending on topic, actor, etc because I’ve only watched a limited number of episodes. I did catch the Bo scenes…and even in my limited involvement it totally depressed me!

But just in the midst of my despair your “crying out of his eye” line LIFTED my spirits and saved me from an emotional cookie binge.

Barb
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Barb

The acting was incredible! It was so wonderful to have felt all these emotions again over a soap! Such incredible actors with so much talent.

blake
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blake

Days has so many Emmy worthy performances lately.

Scoma60
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Scoma60

It’s been a long time since I cried throughout an entire episode. I balled my eyes out and Reckell,Evan,Nichols were pitch perfect. So much shared history between those 3 characters. DAYS is the only remaining soap hitting it out of the park.

nancy dillingham
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nancy dillingham

Me, too–and it felt so very good–lol.

Aden
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Aden

I think its a lot of cruel and unusual punishment for Hope’s husband to try to strangle her on her wedding night, see him die, and now to lose Bo too! Just to prop her and Rafe?! No thanks!! Days has been awesome lately, but that is too much grief and sadness. Before Hope could realistically trust love again would take YEARS in real life. To tell a story any other way is a cheat to the character and the audience. I am not on board with this story, but I am a lifelong fan of this show so I… Read more »

Patrick
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Patrick

I just don’t know how to get their …yet ie: Rafe and Hope I just don’t see their personalities meshing it’s one thing to watch two good looking people , together… heck even having sex but … how long is it going to be … before Hope is ready to move on from 2 dead husbands the grief for both is vast no matter how unredeeming… Aiden was written… she fell in love with him she loved Bo all her life time so… ??? now it’s Rafe turn to turn his attention to Hope? I can see it; Hope will… Read more »

Mary SF
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Mary SF

Well I am glad they are finally giving the character a proper farewell. They way they wrote Bo off the last time was insulting not only to PR who played the character for so long, but for viewers as well. And as depressing as this story is going to be on top of all the darkness of recent murders it will be worth it when we are given great scenes like the ones mentioned in the article. That moment in the park with Steve and Bo reminded me why I love daytime dramas.

Richard
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Richard

Can no one in daytime have a happy ending anymore??? That is the very basis for daytime soaps. The escapism, the dream, the fantasy. While I agree that PR killed Bo, Bo and hope are one of day times most noted supercouples and now it’s coming to a tragic end. Like and Laura??? No happy ending. Holden and Lily??? No happy ending. Daytime is becoming a joke when it comes to romance. If they ever did this to Sonny and Brenda…I would hit my TV with a bat. At least vanessa marvel has stated that no matter where she went… Read more »

cindy martinez
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cindy martinez

Stephen, Mary Beth and Peter WOWZA they put it all out there and as always brought history, heart and a whole lot of special to those scenes. They went there and then some. Left us all heart broken and Grateful for sharing their ALL with us.

nancy dillingham
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nancy dillingham

Yes! Mary Beth Evans was fantastic!

Ray
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Ray

Just when I think the show can’t get any better, it provides another memorable episode. The scenes with Bo and Kayla were incredible. It seemed Kayla had be strong as his doctor and devastated as his sister. The friendship between Bo and Steve has been one of the best in daytime history. The return of Stephen Nichols has given the show a true leading man, one that have been missing for a few years. The only problem I see with DOOL is that they will have to narrow down the list of actors to nominate for the Daytime Emmys. As… Read more »

nancy dillingham
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nancy dillingham

In spades!

Tony
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Tony

At the end of the day, Corday should be put into retirement. The Tomsell Bo exit as well as the Tomsell EJ/Sami exits had the stench of bitter executive producer all over them. I have said this on other sites. I think the whole Days reboot is designed to tie up the series on NBC and for Corday to launch his websoap with some of the younger characters. I think Corday already knows that the show is in it’s last season and he doesn’t care what fans think about his choices. He wants new younger eyeballs watching so they can… Read more »

Eileen Hargis
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Eileen Hargis

Tony , u nailed it, Ive been saying this for a good while.

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

Thank you… I think there is serious reason to go their;

“… I think the whole Days reboot is designed to tie up the series on NBC and for Corday to launch his websoap ”

speculation and misfire happens

ie: in a SOD issue a couple months back… he readily admitted he wasn’t even present for upwards to two years… and let the show … languish… and left unattended…. (read the issue; not verbatim)

he disregarded his own parents… Betty and Ted Corday dream

Wanda
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Wanda

You just brought Bo back and going to kill him off again. These story lines are just to much to deal with.

Just stop moving in these crazy ways.

Jjc2011
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Jjc2011

Amazing. Peter Reckell deserved the Emmy back in 2009 and was cheated. He definitely should win now….along with MBE. Those two really delivered the emotion. Bo Brady is an icon character and Peter Reckell has been one of the most underrated performers of the genre. Love his Bo. Yesterday was heartbreaking. But I am so glad that Peter and his fans are getting the closure Bo Brady deserves. What TomSell did, trashing Bo, made me hate the show and I would not watch. Now I am back and because of PR and MBE and SN I may stay for a… Read more »

nancy dillingham
Guest
nancy dillingham

Yes the scenes between MBE and PR were fantastic, as I said. Heartbreaking–and very realistic–scenes. I had a good cry along with Mary Beth–her tears looked very genuine.

Mary Castle
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Mary Castle

First Peter is the best actor i ever watched sense 1983, U can’t beat Steve & Mary Beth. All 3 need a Emmy. again DOOL goofed BAD putting Bo in back ground they have & will loose a lot of fans Bo/ Peter is the show with the all 80s & 90s actors , He will be missed & i won’t watch the show anymore Peter needs his family W his fans

nancy dillingham
Guest
nancy dillingham

Stephen Nichols’ and Peter Reckell’s scenes were touching and raw–great television. Too old friends, in effect, saying goodbye.

Mary Castle
Guest
Mary Castle

TY for the reply, after watching my husband die after 42 yrs i can’t watch anything depressing it hurt too much.But i will watch anything with Peter in it. Peter is the finest actor i have see in my 68 yrs. watched today loved BO/Hope , But WOW Peter’s scene W/ Rafe I cried with him his acting is truly so deep soul from the heart. Please its Emmy time ! Mary Beth & Stephen need that Emmy Too !

Harry
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Harry

Mary, I am so sorry for your loss.
These scenes must be hitting you especially hard–they’re being so well played by all the actors involved.

4ever DAYS
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4ever DAYS

Powerful DAYS!!!!!

Harry
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Harry

There you go again being a big bully, 4Ever Days.
(Just kidding).

Ces
Guest
Ces

This just shows that given proper material, PR can shine!! Just sorry it’s his swan song; can’t blame him for wanting to move on with his life though. I’m happy he came back a hero at least …. he will forever be missed Mr. Reckell!

PGP
Guest
PGP

See, I am not feeling Peter Reckell’so return… he is subpar at best. Stephen Nichols and Mary Beth Evans I agree have been phenomenal, and wait til Hope finds out I am sure Kristen Alfonso will blow it out of the park…she has been great latlely!

elm51
Guest
elm51

i agree with your entire post especially – i don’t see anything great about peter reckell’s acting this time around either…………stephen nichols and mary beth evans are knocking every scene out of the park………….jmo

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

I’m about a week behind…

so… it sounds like… Bo, Hope, and Cierra… never even had a chance to “live” together… or be “normal” if that was possible… to see this family together and whole… even if .. for a little while

to see it all spiral and crash in and around them….

with so many posts commenting on how uninteresting nuCierra Alice is… it’s just another bonding moment that is lost

I’ll be watching For Kristian Alfonso’ take… her emmy reel ?

Beth
Guest
Beth

Those three actors have brought their A+ game to these episodes. They’re leaving it all on the sound stage and I’m more impressed by them and their performances than in any of their other performances over the years. If this is the story that Days is telling, they’re doing it right. However, I have to say that it is a very dark, very grim story at a time when I need Daytime to be an escape from the woes of the world, and it hurts like heck to watch Bo die. Plus, it’s at the holidays, no less, and right… Read more »

nancy dillingham
Guest
nancy dillingham

I think the Thanksgiving scenes will be healing, don’t you?

JANET
Guest
JANET

I returned to watching the show to see the return of the vets. The other stories are watchable, I am fine watching so far. I hate to see Bo DIE BUT LETS FACE IT. Bo can always return. This is a soap and lately no one is dead forever. P.R. wants his freedom, no one makes us work at a job we don’t want, so give the guy a chance. He returned, There are loads of good actors who are there, and they are trying. Before Bo returned and the necktie killer story I was bored to death.

Colleen
Guest
Colleen

Absolutely fabulous!!! LOVE Bo, Hope, Steve and Kayla back together again!! PLEASE do not kill Bo off!

Mandy
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Mandy

Wow! The Bo-related scenes over the past few days have been amazing. I don’t love that Bo is dying, but I understand why and appreciate the opportunity it is giving Peter Reckell, Stephen Nichols and Mary Beth Evans to shine. I thought the scenes with Bo & Kayla were rough (I don’t know that there is a better crier in daytime than Mary Beth Evans), but man … when Steve broke down and he and Bo hugged, I knew make-up was not in the cards for me that day. All three actors have been rocking their scenes, and while I’m… Read more »

Shari
Guest
Shari

Hi,
I think that Killing Bo off is a mistake. Replace the actor -it has been done before with Robert (Sam Fowler from Another World). The character Bo is a major part of the show.
Btw, days is amazing!

Carol
Guest
Carol

Having been a Days of Our Lives fan from day one, the day they kill Bo will be the last day I watch. Yes, there needed to be a reason Bo left, but to long time fans, killing him off will be a huge slap in the face. It will also show Mr. Corday does not care about longevity of his fan base. For so long it was the Sammie Brady and EJ show. If Ken Corday and writers think Hope and Rafe will be a super couple it will be a huge joke. Yes, I do have a life,… Read more »

debbie bowers
Guest
debbie bowers

don’t kill BO off it is a mistake if you kill him off.I will no watch it no more I been watch it for 25 YEAR or more WHAT IS BO WITH OUT HOPE let him and hope die together on a lover trip BO AND HOPE is the show !!!!

Sharon
Guest
Sharon

I think it sucks that the writers brought Bo back only to have him die. It’s not only cruel to Hope and his kids, but cruel to the fans. Why don’t they come up with a procedure that will save his life – Bo has saved many other lives. The dimera’s die and come back to life all the time, why can’t they come up with something for Bo. There’s too much death going on in Salem. What’s good for the evil Dimera’s, should be better for the good Brady family. I don’t think that I will want to continue… Read more »

shree
Guest
shree

Don’t let Bo die off like that,he just got back to Hope,family and friends. Victor find the best surgeon. Bo’s mother is up in age. Sammi ,needs her,too. Let Bo live. I’ve been a long time fan over 50 years.

carolxmas
Guest
carolxmas

So very sad to see Bo die today.Actually the whole show brought tears to my eyes,it is ashame that Peter was let go so soon after just returning,I could feel Hopes pain,I can relate to this particular story. anyway Peter will be missed,His performance was very moving,

Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Alison Sweeney on Working with Bryan Dattilo: “28 Years Later, Some Things Never Change. Still Laughing Between Takes and Grateful to Have Such a Talented Supportive Co-Star”

This week, Days of our Lives viewers have witnessed that Sami Brady DiMera (Alison Sweeney) and Lucas Horton (Bryan Dattilo) hit the sheets, and Lumi fans everywhere rejoiced!

On and off, for almost three decades. Alison Sweeney and Bryan Dattilo have played the relationship between these two exes who share children together to the hilt, because Sami and Lucas’ history is well … complicated.

But, what will happen if and when EJ finds out that Sami had sex with her ex? Stay tuned.

In the meantime, Alison took to her Instagram and shared her thoughts alongside photos of her and Bryan, then and now.

Over the years, Bryan had remained one of Alison’s good friends.

Sweeney expressed: “I have always had such fun working with @bryan.dattilo !! 28 years later, some things never change. Still laughing between takes and grateful to have such a talented, supportive costar. Thanks @nbc for this great archive photo! And so grateful to @nbcdays for the incredible opportunity to play Sami.”

What did you think of the scenes where Sami and Lucas slept together and its aftermath thus far? Comment below.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ali Sweeney (@alisweeney)

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Days Of Our Lives

Kevin Spirtas Talks ‘After Forever’s’ Digital Special ‘Riley’s Unforgettable School Project’, The Loss of Michael Slade, and a Chance to Reprise DAYS Craig Wesley

The coronavirus pandemic has put to the test many content creators on just how they would keep their projects moving forward in ways they never dreamed of. However, out of that situation has come some of the most compelling, unique series, specials, and features currently streaming for viewers. One of which is Riley’s Unforgettable School Project, brought to you by the team from the six-time Daytime Emmy Award-winning series, After Forever.

Former Days of our Lives star, Kevin Spirtas (Ex-Craig Wesley) has starred in and created the first two seasons of what has become the most honored Emmy-awarded LGBTQ-themed drama series on any platform.  Along with his ‘After Forever’ writing/producing partner, the late Michael Slade (DAYS, OLTL, Passions, Another World), the two also conceptualized and delivered this latest documentary-style offering now on Amazon Prime Video.

What makes Riley’s Unforgettable School Project so noteworthy is not just how they were able to execute the series based on fictional 11-year-old Riley’s virtual school project and utilize its cast, which includes: Spirtas, Cady Huffman, Jamison Stern, Lenny Wolpe, Erin Cherry, Anita Gillette, Christopher J. Hanke, and Finn Douglas, but that it was made while Slade was succumbing to his battle with cancer, and that this special marks the final script from this talented writer.

 

Michael Fairman TV spoke with Spirtas about making the special during Covid-19, how the death of Michael Slade has made a lasting impact on his life, what After Forever has personally meant to him, and how an official third season is still in the works, and … if he would consider a return to Salem and Days of our Lives, should they come a-calling.  Here’s what Kevin had to say about it all.

Photo: AfterForever

I think the entire story of this digital special has become even more meaningful with Michael Slade’s passing. What was the genesis of the concept? You wanted to continue the telling of the story of After Forever … but we are all in the middle of a pandemic?

KEVIN:  Yes and… when we filmed season 2, we had the scripts for season 3 already completed. It was our hope and desire to film them at the same time, back-to-back, so that we would have had all of our cast and crew together, and we could have gotten through it because we’ve always imagined this story being told in a trilogy so to speak – a beginning, middle, and end to Brian (Spirtas) and Jason, (Mitchell Anderson) and Brian’s healing or his steps towards healing through grief.  Schedules turned out that they couldn’t really work out for us to hold all the people and hold all of the sets for that amount of time.  So, we thought, “We’ve got the scripts for season 3 ready.  We’ll come back to it in the following year,” and that was always the intention, and then the pandemic hit.  So, it was shut down immediately that we weren’t going to do anything, but we wanted to stay current, and instead of going back in and telling the third installment of After Forever as a Covid-19 story as well, Michael and I sat down and looked at a way of staying relevant and current with a story within COVID, and there was born the idea to do this documentary style story/special about the characters of After Forever told through the lens of the character of Riley, the 11-year-old boy, who is now being homeschooled during the pandemic. He gets an assignment to do a project about the most unforgettable person he has ever met, and he, of course, chooses his best friend, the late Jason Adams, and he enlists all of Jason’s friends and family to join in.  Michael actually said, “What if we tell a story about Riley being homeschooled?” And, not only is Riley a technical genius at 11-years-old in the story, but Finn Douglas, who plays Riley, is a technical genius.

And didn’t Finn perform and write the song “Forever There” contained within the special?

KEVIN. Yes. He is this incredible musician.  Michael thought, “What would it be like if we asked to have the character of Finn sing a song for Jason?”  I said, “Well, what kind of song would we have him sing?”  Finn could play anything, I’m sure, because he’s self-taught, he plays by ear – guitar, piano, and drums.  Michael said, “What if we ask him to see if he could write a song?” and when we heard this song, we all called each other and we all got on Zoom and went, “Can you believe this song?  Can you believe this came out of this 11-year-old?”  It’s pretty incredible.  Michael did a gorgeous job of weaving the stories in and out and how they just sort of dove-tailed into each other, and then it was framed by Riley opening the project and ending the project.  During the Zoom reading we wanted to hear the song out loud.  We said to Finn, “Would you want to sing the song?”  We all just watched everybody on that Zoom call just fall apart.  It was just so beautiful. He’s an amazing talent.

Where is your character within this?

KEVIN:  I still stand in the center of the story of Jason because my character, Brian, was married to Jason, and it sort of connects us all, and through Riley’s understanding of how we all connect to Jason, is how we are all sort of spread out throughout the story.  Michael jokingly said, “You know, you’re not going to be the star of this special,” and I said, “I don’t think it’s about being the star.  It’s really about the storytelling.”  The beauty of Riley’s Unforgettable School Project is that we get to see moments of each person’s relationship with Jason, which Riley sets out to say, “Answer these three questions: What did you like most about Jason?  What did you like least about Jason? And what’s your favorite memory?”  Those three things, cut back and forth is where we all kind of fit in.  Nobody has more of a story than the next person, and it’s all telling honest portrayals of how they’re dealing with their loss of their good friend, or their child, or partner.

It’s a very inventive idea during Covid-19 to continue it in a way where you weren’t having to go shoot a full season of episodes.

KEVIN:  Well, we couldn’t. I have to say, Allison Vanore, who not only produced this special, but she also stepped up saying, “I’d love to direct this,” and I said, “Yes, please!”  She knows the characters.  She understands the story because she’s been a part of it for the last two seasons.  Allison also has this extraordinary amount of knowledge and expertise with the camera and what was needed for a remote shoot, and to also be able to organize filming 13 people in 2 different countries and 5 different cities… that’s just the technical side of it, but having that in our back pocket, knowing that it was a remote shoot, we had to send the camera, the computer, the ring light, and the microphone to each person’s house.  We had to location scout over Zoom.  We had to do wardrobe over Zoom.  It was all this big puzzle putting it together, and once you look at that board of storytelling and how we were going to do it, it kind of fell into place.  I feel blessed that a) we still had Michael with us, at that point, and b) Allison had the know-how to do this.  We all feel that at least this pandemic didn’t keep us from doing what we love.

Photo: AfterForever

In terms of the contribution of Michael Slade in this special, was it the construction of the story, and how was he able to work and write this during his illness?

KEVIN:  Michael’s contribution to the special was no less than the contribution to season 1 and season 2, and the future of season 3, because the scripts are written.  We did everything on Zoom, and we worked around his schedule of treatment.  We scheduled 2 people per day, and we spread them out over two weeks.  He was very present, and when there would be a day where he would say, “I’m going to be an hour late, let’s just push that call time,” I would ask, “Is this too much right now?  We can shelve it; we can stop it.” He’d then say, “Absolutely not, otherwise cancer will win.”  He was determined to stay focused and to stay active because it took his mind off of what was happening to him.

Photo: AfterForever

It would be lovely moment if you both were to win a Daytime Emmy for this project. 

KEVIN:  It’s our last collaboration together as a team, as I said, season 3 has been scripted, and it is on the calendar to get made.  We are just waiting for the COVID restrictions to lift a little bit and everyone to get vaccinated.  Michael was really hit hard with cancer – to stay healthy was so challenging for him.  Sadly, he didn’t make it to see the final edit of the special, and he died four days before we launched, but he had seen the cuts before that and was very approving of it, and had made some decisions, and offered some suggestions, and if God gives him an Emmy for this, it’s not because he died.  It’s because it’s great work.  It just happens to be that the work that was involved in this particular special was very tricky.  It brought up everything, like life itself to have to deal with.  Here we are dealing with the loss of a colleague, the loss of a friend, someone’s brother, someone’s son, this is life imitating art, imitating art imitating life. I can’t tell you the darkness that I went through just experiencing the need to stay focused on getting everything edited, and everything ready, and everything aligned for a release of this project that we had put into motion.  On top of it, our editor lost his mother just before Michael passed, and Allison’s mom was sick at the time, as well.  It took a lot of heavy deep breaths with Michael’s death, and the pandemic, and the loss has, for me, on a personal level, sent me back to really questioning my spiritual muscle and to help remind me that we have to come out of this better than we went into this.  I had many dark nights of the soul this last year, and December was probably the darkest.  I feel like I’m just kind of coming out of it now with the spring revealing itself.

Photo: AfterForever

It must have been extraordinarily difficult for you to also go to New York during a pandemic and also knowing Michael did not have much time left.

KEVIN:  I will say this: I am grateful that I was able to stay in touch with my heart and my instinct and go out to New York to let that be my remote location.  Yes, maybe there was some risk involved.  I wore my mask; I was Covid-19 negative, and I was determined to be fine.  Once I got to New York, I would visit him very protectively with our masks and our gloves, and I’d sit across the room, and then I’d go back to the house I was at.  It was a gift that I was able to see him at that time.  We had some good talks then about how he was feeling, and I think he was still being optimistic, and then once we got the project in the can there was maybe this psychic letting go. That’s when everything really started to reveal itself as this could be the end.  I did go back to see him when he was in hospice.  I think I was there the last two days that he really was able to really stay coherent.  He would close his eyes and be at peace and quiet for a minute, and he would finish a conversation and sort of close his eyes, not to sleep and not to go away, but I remember watching him going, “Look how peaceful he is,” and then he’d open his eyes and he’d remember that he is in this body that has been given a time limit of life, and he’s on his way out.  I’d watch the fear go back in his eyes.  At one point, he did say, “I’m so scared,” and I just held his hand, and I said, “I’m scared too.  Let’s be scared through this together.”  I don’t know how to navigate grief like that.  We are all going to be in a position at some point where we are going to be on the other side of the hand holding.  The wonderful thing is that we were able to have honest communication about our feelings.  I thanked him for everything that he has done for me and how he believed in my talent and creativity and our partnership.  I will always take that with me.  I waved my finger at him, and I said, “Listen.  Now, we wrote a series about a man talking to his deceased husband.  You’d better talk to me!”  So, we laughed about that.

Photo: AfterForever

You’ve done a lot of things in your career from Broadway to television, and of course, daytime fans know you best as Dr. Craig Wesley on DAYS.  How does the entire After Forever project stack up to you within all that you have done?

KEVIN:  Former DAYS casting director Fran Bascom, sought me out and offered me this 2-day role on Days of Our Lives, and those 2 days turned into 8 years, and unbeknownst to me at the time, the final 3 months of that contract of those 8 years, Michael Slade was brought in to write.  We didn’t cross paths at that point, but years later, when we did cross paths in New York, and then After Forever was born, that was that universal crossing point.  I am most proud of the fact that we were able create something fresh, and real, and personal to ourselves that we didn’t have to cater to any “powers that be” that had their vision and their tinkering, that they thought that it could be better in this way or that way.  Then for After Forever to gain such recognition, within the film festivals, and the Emmys, and then, just after Michael died, we won the GLAAD award for Special Recognition this year.  We don’t even fit into one of their categories!  They found a way to acknowledge this project.  If another Emmy happens again, that might be another one to put up on the shelf for After Forever that would be beautiful, and I couldn’t have done it without Michael.

For the Daytime Emmys this year, what category have you entered Riley’s Unforgettable School Project?

KEVIN:  We are not a series this year, we are a daytime fiction special, and the “Daytime Fiction Special” category is a special class.  It’s anything that’s digital in the construct of less than 40 minutes.  NATAS (National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences) is being bombarded with so much content, they’re trying to find ways to put categories together.

Photo: JPI

So, now, when we last saw Days of Lives’ Dr. Craig Wesley, where was he? (Laughs)

KEVIN: (Laughs) He was in a flash from the past or something in the DOOL app’s Last Blast Reunion series. I had a fun time working with Patrika Darbo (Nancy) and Nadia Bjorlin (Chloe), once again.

So, if they were to want Craig to come back to DAYS, would you be all for it?

KEVIN:  Hell yes!

Photo: JPI

Now, what story would you want to be told involving Craig? 

KEVIN:  When Craig was first on the canvas in Salem, there was a lot of mustache twirling and a lot of hand wringing.  He was always plotting; most of the time with Nancy.  It was kind of this high drama, evil villain storyline being told, but when the writers created an opportunity for us to be on after those first three months by bringing on Chloe without a father, there was something real about it.  It may have been told under the construct of soap opera storytelling, but there was a reality-based story about, “You have a daughter, and we are just now finding out about it?”  Then, finding a cure to her health was another realistic story, and finding out that Craig was her real father.  Anything that’s reality based is what I’m getting to.  I would welcome any job that brings me back and gives me an opportunity to dive into something real.

Photo: JPI

Would you welcome the opportunity to play a gay character on daytime; in a medium where there are very few represented in storylines?

KEVIN:  I’d have no problem with that.  Do you know anybody who is starting that?  Let’s do it!  (Laughs) First of all, there’s nothing to hide anymore.  There’s nothing to pretend you’re not anymore.  I would think that bringing in a storyline that deals with anything outside the norm that we are used to seeing would be interesting.  How many times can you retell a story?  How many times can you set the same story up with another couple?  So, why not be diverse and have a stylized story being told through the lens of a gay person.

Photo: AfterForever

In closing, so many go through life without acknowledging people who had an impact them.  We don’t give pats on the back, often enough, and especially in Hollywood, where people can be very self-involved.  You have already paid tribute to Michael Slade in our discussion, but what gift from him is your personal takeaway?

KEVIN:  The gift that Michael really gave to me is to remember to be kind to myself and to others, and to acknowledge and salute the person who is in front of us, because we don’t know when we will have, or if we will have, another moment to do that.

Now below, check out the trailer for Riley’s Unforgettable School Project.  Then let us know, what do you think of its concept? Kevin’s thoughts on the passing of his collaborator on the project, Michael Slade? And, do you hope DAYS brings back Dr. Craig Wesley? Share your thoughts via the comment section.

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Breaking News

REPORT: Dan Feuerriegel is DAYS New EJ DiMera

Could Days of our Lives finally found their new EJ? Rumors have been circulating on the internet for weeks that the character of EJ DiMera may finally have a new face and a new actor portraying and heading back to Salem, especially since Sami (Alison Sweeney) is back on the canvas.

The role was previously played by longtime fan favorite James Scott, who had made it very clear he would never return to Days of our Lives.

Photo: DFeuerriegelIG

Now according to Daytime Confidential and their report from setside sources, the new EJ will actually be played by former Spartacus actor Dan Feuerriegel.

The Australian-born actor has been seen in Starz’ Spartacus franchise in the role of Agron.

According to the report, look for the new EJ to make his debut sometime this summer.

DAYS fans know that in story, EJ was brought back form the dead, from the serum from Dr. Rolf, but then was injured in an explosion and had reunited with Sami and had been recovery in Europe.

So, if this reports turns out to be true, what do you think of the new EJ? Comment below.

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Y&R’s Joshua Morrow, Amelie Heinle, Mark Grossman, Hunter King and Melissa Ordway chat with Michael Fairman about being a part of and portraying the Newman Children as the show celebrates its 48th anniversary.Leave A Comment

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