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DAYS Thaao Penghlis Talks Andre Being Framed For Stefano's Murder, His Machinations Of Chase, Saying Goodbye To Joseph Mascolo & What Lies Ahead!

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

Courtesy/NBC

Over the last few months, viewers of NBC’s Days of our Lives have witnessed several shockers!  Chief among them: Hope (Kristian Alfonso) shooting the ultimate daytime soap opera villain, Stefano DiMera (Joe Mascolo), a young Chase (Jonathan McClendon) raping Hope’s teenaged daughter, Ciara (Vivian Jovanni), and Hope and Rafe (Galen Gering) pinning the murder of Stefano on his son, Andre (Thaao Penghlis)!  Oh, and let’s not forget that moment where Andre brainwashed Chad (Billy Flynn).

All of these storylines cross paths with long time DAYS fan favorite Thaao Penghlis, who is currently finding his dark alter-ego going to prison for a crime he did not commit, and scheming by using a young Chase to do some of his dirty work to seek retribution and create havoc on Hope’s family.  But has Andre finally gone too far … or is there even more in store for the poor citizens of Salem and in particular the Bradys?

On-Air On-Soaps caught up with Thaao to get his thoughts on life on DAYS post-Joe Mascolo, and what it was like to say goodbye to his longtime scene partner and on-screen father, who wrapped his run several months ago.  As DAYS fans know, Joe was not able to continue performing at the level he was accustomed due to health reasons, and so sadly the show had to make a contingency plan.  Ultimately that led to the murder of Stefano, and Andre taking over the reins as the master manipulator of the once DiMera dynasty.

Now Andre finds himself being caught in his own game and being set-up by the Salem PD.  How long will they be able to keep Andre looking like the prime suspect in Stefano’s murder?  What does Thaao think of the recent storylines on DAYS and their dark turns? (NOTE: This interview was conducted prior to the breaking news late last week of Ryan Quan replacing Josh Griffith as DAYS new co-head writer)  Here’s what Thaao shared about what has been happening on stage, backstage, and playing the dangerous DiMera!

 Stefano was murdered on Days of our Lives, and for many years you shared a very special relationship with Joe Mascolo.  How was Joe’s last day on the set?

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

THAAO:  I actually finished shooting in the morning and the whole goodbye situation did not happen till later in the afternoon.  They brought him a cake.  When I came in, he was standing and taking photographs with the crew.  I think he was enjoying himself, but I don’t think the realization had hit him yet that life as it was as Stefano had expired.  It was interesting being with him and being affection with him, until we got in the hall and he started to ask, “Does that mean it’s over?”  I did not know what to say.  It’s just how many times do you get to come into this world, and play and share a character you have spent so many years with?  Sometimes people stay with us and a character for many years, and it’s not so easy to give up   I think it’s ironic.  I have taken over Joe’s dressing room.  He’s still there, even though he’s gone, but Joe played such a powerful character and he had such great longevity, so it’s not like I felt sorry for Joe, I would never do that.  But there is a sadness.  My relationship with Joe was great.  There was something paternal about him, but there was also the friendship. In the old days we had more time together at the studio, but we are not going to come across the likes of Joe again.

Coming back this time to DAYS, and then seeing the challenges and struggles Joe was having, was that difficult for you to witness?

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

THAAO:  It was harder to see how people on social media were responding to the way Joe was performing and making insensitive comments, and not realizing what the truth of the matter was.  People are so quick to judge. They don’t understand that being with Joe, and the struggle he had in remembering things, and not being able to move, and we were in a small space, it kind of limited the experiences.  I used to love the moves Joe and I would be able to do in a scene.  In recent months that was gone.  I would have to come join him since he was sitting down.  I know it’s social media, but I cannot believe the insensitivity of people who just rush to judgment.  There is so little understanding out there.  Occasionally there was a smart person who said, “I think there is something wrong with that actor.”  But others were just ridiculing him.  If they knew what this man was going through and all of us, and the crew, because everybody loved Joe.  You read those comments, you just want to reach out and slap them.  I just came through now from set to where the extras are sitting and you can see these young people are all looking at their phones, and so everything is outside of themselves.  People are not taking the time to understand one another, because they are not being compassionate.

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

Did you know from the beginning of your return to the show in 2015 that you were being brought back to fill the void in the DiMera family that would ultimately be apparent upon Joe’s exit?

THAAO:  When I came back this time they really didn’t tell me the reason, and they didn’t really tell me I was coming in to head the family, but you did just get that from the writing.  So in many ways, Joe never said anything to me about usurping the situation, but how many actors in their 80’s can say they have worked their whole lives?  Joe has been very blessed.  You know, a lot of people retire, but with Joe he was bigger than life and he had that gusto!

When he left the DAYS set on his final tape day, do you think Joe was OK with this being the end of his run?

THAAO:  Knowing Joe, no, I don’t think so.  He was Stefano.  I think there was a part of him that believed it too.  How could he not?   Joe had all those years being left in charge.  He was part of the longevity of the show and now that he is gone, you have to take your own position within the show.  I am discovering what that is.  I’m working with actors like Billy Flynn, who was not part of my world before.  The last time I was here I worked with James Scott as EJ, but things change.

Now on Days of our Lives, Andre wants to destroy Hope for murdering his father!

Courtesy/NBC

THAAO:  One thing you have to say about a family as powerful as the DiMeras and the longevity they have had; is that for many years they have gotten their way.  For Stefano’s body to be disposed that way is shocking – dumped in a building that is about to collapse.  It was like he was going to be buried in cement.  It looked like an inside mafia job.

So, do you believe that the body that Andre found was the real body of Stefano DiMera, or do you think there is a possible twist there?

THAAO:  It’s the real body.  Andre sees the ring and Andre discovers, off-screen, he has been shot many times in the chest and he brings that up.  But what takes place is Andre finds the gun and is sent to prison.  Hope and Rafe turn against Andre, and make him become the killer, which I think is interesting, and it’s not something in the story one would have expected.  People are on Twitter going, “Why didn’t Andre call the police?” Well, because the police are the ones who set this all up!  Then they asked, “Well, how did you get out of it?”  I responded, “I hailed a cab!” (Laughs)  People want to know every single detail.  I think it’s just they are trying to find mistakes that the show makes, or something.

What do you think of the frame job Hope and Rafe have perpetrated on Andre … making it appear that he murdered his own father?

THAAO:  Well, because he has got the gun and discovered it, and how they found it in Andre’s house is what turns them into thinking he is the killer.  Of course, Chad doesn’t believe Andre at all, either!  He believes Andre’s bad publicity from the Salem PCPD.  (Laughs)

Do you see Andre becoming even more diabolical in his revenge plans?

Courtesy/NBC

THAAO:  Part of the reason I have liked this story is our heroes are exposing their shadows.  Suddenly, we are looking at them going that’s normal, and we all have those qualities in us.  As far as the story is concerned, Andre has time to reflect and time to plan while he is in prison.  What we are seeing now is how Andre gets out of prison and legally.  I don’t think of Andre as diabolical.  I just can’t think that way.  I just think that these are the circumstances in my life and I have to survive.  Excuse me for bringing this up, but I don’t think Donald Trump goes around thinking, “Oh, I was not good today.  I was a bad boy.”  I think he says, “I’m going to kick their asses!”

Chase now has raped Ciara.  Andre gave him some advice that appears that Chase took literally – to go after what he wants, and to be the strong man, because women like that.  Meanwhile, Andre wants to use this guy as weapon of destruction against Hope and her family, and then the teenager does the unimaginable.

Courtesy/NBC

THAAO:  Andre was looking for a source.  I think it happened when he was playing the music of Stefano’s operas, and then suddenly Chase is spying on Andre.  He sees Chase and he now has his hook, and it’s through him he makes the different changes.  I think in many ways, Andre sees in this kid as part of himself, and it’s almost like Chase becomes Andre’s protégé.   I think Andre looks at this situation with Chase as an advantage for him without the others knowing about it, except he makes a mistake with what this kid ultimately does, but it’s a way of infiltrating the Brady house, plus being able to spy on them.  And by the way, it’s not like the kid is that gullible.  I remember our producer Albert Alaar coming to me, and here I was with all of my scars and the blood and everything.  I am also wearing my best suit with the tie, and a handkerchief in the pocket.  Albert goes, “I just love Andre.  It does not matter if he has cuts on his face.  He always makes sure he is wearing his best clothing.”   I like contrast.  Andre thinks, “I am not going to let them think I’m suffering.”  It would be so easy to come in and look like you are downtrodden, but not Andre.  So the clothes to me are parallel to his survival, and now he is using Chase for that as well.

Chase has been having difficulties since the death of his father, Aiden (Daniel Cosgrove).   He clearly has a bad seed side to him, and Andre plays upon that.  So, Andre sees this relationship with Chase as a good chess move for him?

Photo: Twiter Harlee Marie/NBC

THAAO:  Right, but at one point the character realizes he doesn’t have anybody on his side.  The reason Andre can get the kid is that in many ways he wants to create a team. Let’s face it: Andre came out of a mental institution and was so alone and nobody trusts him, or likes him.  So he has to find people who think like him, even if it’s going to be a protégé that he can influence.

Hope shot and killed Stefano. What did you think of that story decision?

THAAO:  They knew it was only a matter of time before Joe had to go.  The way they did it was like Greek Theater.  In the 80’ and the 90’s, the Hortons and the others are always lovely people.  They always smelled like a rose.  When (former DAYS co head writers) Josh Griffith comes along, he says, “No, let’s make these characters human.”  So the way Hope shoots Stefano brings in shock value.  I think the audience couldn’t believe it when it happened.  Then of course, it’s about Andre discovering the body and him coming in with all of those scars and surviving.  I think all and all it added to great drama for the show.

Courtesy/NBC

When you teased in a tweet late last year “You Won’t Believe What Happens In Jan-Feb. Great Scenes, But Tragedy Is Part Of The DiMera Life.”  Is this the storyline and events we are now seeing playing out that you were referencing?

THAAO: Yes, I was referring to the result of Stefano being shot to death, and Andre discovering the body and the whole building collapsing and surviving, but also what is does to Andre’s spirit and faith, because it was shocking.

You are months ahead in story that has already been filmed.  What can you tease for DAYS viewers to look forward to in the future in regards to Andre?

THAAO:  Someone beats him at his game, for once, and we find out Andre has a heart. But I think how he manipulates the situation from prison and how he gets out, and what happens after that is powerful, and there might even be the possibility of romance.

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

That would be lovely; you have not had a romance in … I don’t know how long! (Laughs)

THAAO:  Yes. I’m the “Phantom of the Opera” of Days of our Lives. (Laughs)  But really, I think the DiMeras are survivors, and the DiMeras are here to stay.

If the show decided to resurrect Stefano, could you see them recasting the part, and having another actor taking over the role from Joe?

THAAO:  I don’t think that would work.  I think there are certain characters like Victor on Y&R, as played by Eric Braeden that you can never replace.  We are the kind of actors and characters who have experienced a lot where the writers like us, because of the way we express things, and the way we have lived through these stories, and that we all project power on-screen.  I always say to actors, “Always be happy with what it is you have been given, and make sure they regret when they kill you!”  If they were going to bring in another actor to play Stefano there would have been no reason for my character coming back, because you have to pass on things … like passing the torch.

How do you feel DAYS is now as opposed to its 50th anniversary run back in November?

Courtesy/NBC

THAAO:  I know there is darkness, but I think writers parallel what is going on in the world. This is not a happy time, and there is a struggle for people.  I think in a way the show represents that in the way the characters survive those struggles.  That is why people watch us where they go, “Whoa! My life is so much better than theirs!”  I have enjoyed this run, because I have not found it to be cartoonish.  When the late James Reilly (Ex-DAYS head writer) was writing the show I found it to be more cartoonish.  I think now playing Andre is certainly challenging, especially with some of the dialog.

You have been busy promoting your latest book,Seducing Celebrities One Meal at a Time, and you recently shared on social media a few pictures from a dinner party where you cooked some recipes from the book for some of the DAYS cast.  How did that go?

Courtesy/Amazon.com

THAAO:  I have known Kristian Alfonso and Lauren Koslow (Kate) for a long time and I said I would cook for them.  To get everybody to be available on the same evening is difficult, but I booked it two weeks ahead with them. I made some food from the book, and it was a great success.  It’s a great pleasure for me.  How do we give to people?  That is what cooking is about to me.  You are putting your own love on the table for people to share. We had a great time.  It’s kind of nice in a way, because we don’t socialize with one another.  When we are on set, we spend a lot of time with each other and then everybody goes home to their families.  But it was kind of nice to do it this way, and we will do it again!

So, what do you think about Andre being framed for Stefano’s murder?  His unholly alliance with Chase, and what has transpired with the rape and the fire at Hope’s house?  What did you think of Thaao’s comments on the end of the iconic Joseph Mascolo’s run as Stefano DiMera on DAYS?  Who do you think could end up being a potential love interest for Andre as teased down the line by Thaao?  Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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

Correction Thaoo…you are’ The Phantom Of The Soap Opera’….lol

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

“…well said”

for all that’s not on right… going as was planned.. and or too tumultuous

Thaao Penghiss has been nothing short of riveting

( for me ) when the stories are not working… direction.. or not all their

it becomes a “FANDOM” experience

Thank you Thaao : for a making … Andre a Phantom of the Opera

very much in the same vein and context of ; ‘Father” the DiMera Phoenix IS

carla
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carla

You are phenomenal, whether you are playing evil, or are lovable. We are so glad to have you back with us so thank you with all of my heart for coming back to play in the sandbox.

carla
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carla

You would be a phenomenal writer for this show because you know all the history

Jackie
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Jackie

thanks for sharing your insights and information about Mr. Mascolo..despite his physical limitations, he was still giving it his all..Stefano, as he portrayed him, was iconic..just like JR Ewing on Dallas..but the best part was watching Mr. Mascolo bring Stefano to life..you always knew that Mr. Mascolo was having the greatest time being Stefano and that was the genius of the man and a true measure of his talent..no matter what Stefano got up to, it was always a hoot watching Mr. Mascolo pull it off…even the dressing up as Elvis scene..Mr. Mascolo and Stefano will be missed tremendously but… Read more »

Tomas Torquemada
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Tomas Torquemada

Nicely said.

Mark
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Mark

Interesting that they showed a picture of Leann Hunley when it was mentioned that Andre might have a romance. I would love for her to come back. She’s an excellent actress and the 2 of them working together would be wonderful!

4ever DAYS
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4ever DAYS

What would “Tony” say to that, Mark?

Mel
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Mel

I agree it would be wonderful if Leann Hunley were to be brought back on DOOL. Personally, I have always believed that Leann and Thaao Penghlis have been romantically involved for years. That’s why the chemistry is always so wonderful between them.

Laura
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Laura

I’ve always had a feeling that Thaao Ana Leann were a couple too. Would love to confirm it.

CTwidlheart
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CTwidlheart

I love watching him as Andre and love to hate him! Wasn’t thrilled with the rape but I do like his taking Chase as a protegee.

su0000
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su0000

Thaao’s da`man!
And! he is a true gentleman…

Jim Preston
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Jim Preston

I don’t care for the character of Andre and his absurdly villainous demeanor. Right now, the show is really lacking something in the way of storylines. Please understand that I know that every storyline doesn’t satisfy EVERY viewer, so, that being said, I still think right now the show needs improvement. I totally admit that I started first watching the show a little over two years ago to see what would happen between Will, Sonny, Paul, Paige and JJ – but with most of those characters off the current canvas, I don’t know, the show seems like it is lacking… Read more »

Llanviewer717
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Llanviewer717

I agree with most of what you say Jim. But, I am hopeful for a relationship between Gabi and JJ. I think Casey Moss and Camila Banus are really good performers. I just hope TPTB give them something meaningful to do. I’m sure they can deliver.

Mel
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Mel

Andre is wonderfully kooky. What do you expect from a man who has been declared criminally insane? Now if only Corday would bring Leann Hunley back. Thaao gives a masters class in acting every day.

David
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David

I’m with you. I came on board DOOL to see how the gay theme with Will and Sonny was handled on national t.v. So the writers decided to drop that pioneering plot by killing off Will and sending Sonny to Paris, leaving the only remaining gay character, Paul, by himself with no one to interact with except John. I don’t care for a lot of the old characters they have brought back: Belle, Claire, Steve (although he is a good actor), Phillip, et al… and yet they plan to bring back Aiden and Ben. Where’s Clyde in the mix? lol.… Read more »

Mande Sowers
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Mande Sowers

WOW, BO is gone, Adein is gone, Matrearc , Alice Horton is gone, Patrearc, Tom Horton are gone, now, “STEPHANIO”, I have watched this, Iconic show since day, ONE. AN, I am SAD, It seems too me, we hit, 50 yrs. , I feels like, ” we’re nearing the, end., to, ME., & THIS FOR, ME PERSONALLY , IS VERY. SAD & HEARTBREAKING., !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Elle
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Elle

I like the way the show is going! Yes!! I miss some of the great ones like Daniel, and EJ but that’s life!! I am very happy it’s on….people should never hate a person doing their bad guy job!! It wouldn’t be worth watching if everyone on the show were all nice guys!!!

Tim Welles
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Tim Welles

I agree that there have to be “bad guys” of course, but they shouldn’t be so superficially villainous ~ No one is “all” bad and no one is Mother Theresa (well, except Mother Theresa) either ~ I think Andre (both the character and the way he is portrayed) is just a little too over the top and smirky (is there such a word?) for me to process and absorb seriously. When a character is so cartoonishly devilish it disintegrates the integrity of the show.

Patrick
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Patrick

I respect your post… I just wonder.. was it all done in hindsight.. to feature… that much more.. how Hope and Rafe are propped and marquee thee SHOW

at the expense of bringing back characters , beloved… from the past.. and that includes fighting with abandon… writing so… repugnant

off course.. seriously… all this to justify how beloved Hope and Rafe must be

4ever DAYS
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4ever DAYS

Is Daniel gone, Elle? It seems to me he’s more present than ever. His heart is in Brady’s Chest. His past is in Brady’s dreams. Brady was actually able to track down and save the life of the woman from Daniel’s past. Nicole feels close to Daniel through Brady’s new heart. Maggie still has a part of her son to dote over. If “Summer” is another egg baby of Maggie’s, then we have Daniel to thank for uniting Maggie with her newfound daughter! Daniel, Daniel, Daniel…I’m so sick of Daniel! It’s a sick joke to kill Daniel for all the… Read more »

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

your last para; may as well slay me it’s a sick joke right… I’m sorry Arianne Zucker… but… when Daniel was featured… in EVERY ‘THING” he was the godfather of soul… the godlike man who fixated … ugh! gag me… he walked on water… made every thing right ?!?! seriously Josh Griffith and Dena Higley… hard ONe to swallow get it over with…. Daniel the effervescent, Daniel comes first… all that is… Salem… he outlasted and lorded over everyone… game set and match… lights camera action… Daniel Lord Jonas forever I don’t know how… the actors… Brady and Nicole.. can… Read more »

sonniorsolita
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sonniorsolita

A sick joke? No, it’s storytelling. A character shouldn’t die on a soap and then there’s no fallout and it’s like they never existed. It’s smart to show how a person’s life can have a ripple effect on others after they are gone.

A Martinez
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A Martinez

Great interview with an amazing guy. Thank you for this, Michael.

4ever DAYS
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4ever DAYS

Are you THE A Martinez? If so, you’re doing an amazing job on DAYS!

A Martinez
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A Martinez

Thank s for that, 4ever !!! Hopefully I’ll get to do something soon with the great Mr. P !!!

Patrick
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Patrick

the respect and value your person carries your profession is a beam of light

a trigger … of firestorm… and YES!

what it means to fans… who have watched for decades… CARE for this genre… unlike NO OTHER feature, will ever be

my heart warms .. when actors share their journey… a keen insight and intellect is yours

love A Martinez

Kouklara
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Kouklara

I’m so glad to hear Thaao calling out people in social media for their rudeness and judgmental ignorance. I’m online quite a bit because of my work and have learned to not look up spoilers and read what others are saying because, like Thaao, there’s too many times I want to reach out and slap people. It was especially painful for me watching Stefano in the last several months and then getting shot as Joe and I shared a mutual friend many years ago and I have fond memories of our friend sharing stories with me. It didn’t help that… Read more »

Patrick
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Patrick

Thank you for sharing… that the internet is it’s own media

for an actor.. to not know .. the inroads of all that encompass press

then they have no business reading in to critique

a personal sojourn .. be it in a professional capacity or a heartfelt path that one knows… is just that.. their own

my personal sensitivity is not taking on any more or less… is it? reading MORE into is your own questionable foray…

whew!

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

I really want to hold Ken Corday Productions; ACCOUNTABLE

he … by legacy choice… reigns… in the footsteps of ; his parents

superlatives galore

Betty and Ted Corday dreamed magnified and stood aligned that their feat pass on.. and delight with everyone… crew. cast. audience… and that monies pass to and fro as expected

I will cheer magnify the importance and delight and critique… to the betterment of this staple

Ken Corday… help us

Tom84
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Tom84

Brilliantly put!

Llanviewer717
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Llanviewer717

While I feel Thaao is doing a great job with the character, I do have one complaint. Andre is always dressed in the most bizarre costumes. The jackets they put him in don’t fit. He looks like the Pillsbury Doughboy trying to play Devil. Surely this master villain can afford better clothes.

Kelly
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Kelly

Love you Thaao!!! You are such a great actor and you are knocking Andre out of the park!! Love watching all of your scenes. So glad you came back to DOOL!!

4ever DAYS
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4ever DAYS

Thaao is always fun to watch!

Scoma60
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Scoma60

I love Thao and really miss him playing Tony. I’ve always hoped Days would resurect Renee. Loved Tony and Renee back in the day.

Bravo to Joe for giving us so many years of enjoyment.

Mary SF
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Mary SF

I wish they didn’t have Hope murder Stefano. There were so many other ways to go with this, I don’t understand the need of writers to have moral characters do immoral things. Yes I suppose under the right circumstances we are capable of doing terrible things, but in soaps for the long term it will be easier to have the good guys be good and the bad guys be bad. How are they going to redeem Hope now? Yes she could have shot him in a moment of madness, but covering up the crime for months, makes it appear more… Read more »

Mo
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Mo

I agree that Stefano should not have been killed. He should still be out there a la Sally Spectra on B&B. And with Hope killing Stefano, the character of Hope has been destroyed.

So not happy with so many stories on Days right now. I would be fine with them just saying, you know what, we made some mistakes, forget about what happened, we’re starting fresh now.

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

GAVEL : please tell me this isn’t SO… ( i’m only 3 eps behind) “…DAYS fan favorite Thaao Penghlis, who is currently finding his dark alter-ego going to prison for a crime he did not commit ” I will be livid… if this is how easy… Hope and Rafe get off…. scott free argh! I can see this happening… how could Hope and Rafe not be let off… with their scheme…. these dirty pigs OK : at ease… this is a serial what with Hope and Rafe being pivotal characters… central to Salem! argh! Andre is just that much more… Read more »

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

argh! – last paragraph – should read

* and lacking… with content and characterization… meaning; most all else that’s going on in Salem

Andre and Chad DiMera… are far and away carrying DAYS

Days Production… focus on Andre; and let him be… the writing for him; and his stepping up to the plate.. is the most revelatory time in Salem

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

New Audience Members : I’ve posted before… and will boisterously stand

Days of OUR Lives would not be… a 51 year SHOW OF SHOW

had it not been ; for the masterful… ARTPIECE sophisticate magna cum laude Joseph Mascolo

“I just LOVE him”

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

Kristian Alfonso argh I will not relent… she’s only good in two capacity; 1. w/romance 2. bonding with family she’s tour de force in those arena “… When (former DAYS co head writers) Josh Griffith comes along, he says, “No, let’s make these characters human.” ” so… this was done… to externalize.. and layer… the forever enveloped as in protected lived in a bubble… ???? seeing just what Hope is capable of … ??? without Bo or Aiden… on her OWN ?!?! is that possible ? when it seems like Rafe and all the men in her life.. come to… Read more »

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

When Thaao Penglis tweeted… you won’t believe what’s on the horizon… come January and February… with the DiMera ( not verbatim) “…also what is does to Andre’s spirit and faith, because it was shocking” all the fallout is landslide… shocking recovery… hope springs eternal, now ! that “father” is not in the lead… Chad is completely irgnorant… ( or is he) and it would seem… Andre is left to “his” own device ?? I don’t think he’s coming from … well , he was institutionalized… that’s not the DiMera creed… Andre want’s to know… what happened to his beloved father…… Read more »

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

rolling – LOL

I will do the best celebratory happy dance… should my dazzling take note firepower woman in charge.. Leann Hunley make her debut… once again… with Thaao Penghlis

Party at the Manse… DiMera Royale

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

“… Andre was looking for a source ” of course, he sought out Chase he was a means to an end… and just filibustered and entangled Andre machinations … for what? to make .. Hope and Rafe choices to look outside the confines of law uphold let’s lay blame.. and place blame.. on the DiMera.. and the audience will cheer on blindly and stupidly… the catholic principles that the Horton and Brady abide… simply la la land.. let the chips fall where they may… and stink on shit the DiMera consequences be damned… the moral compass and feature of turning… Read more »

stevie g
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stevie g

Wasn’t Andre a serial killer back in the 80s. He never paid for those crimes because he sank into to quicksand and was believed dead for years. How is he able to still roam free?

elm51
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elm51

i really loved this interview – it was very well done – i have seen thaao during a live interview and his presence is very commanding – i must say i so agree with him on the nasty responses from fans thru social media – i used to love to read the thoughts & opinions from fans about our beloved soaps but i just can’t take the rude & harsh criticism towards the actors/actresses any longer from the internet trolls………….jmo

Mo
Guest
Mo

I found Chase and Andre’s conversation yesterday to be disgusting and offensive. Since Chase knows he raped Ciara, let’s hope he turns himself in, but with Andre as his mentor, that’s doubtful.

I have lost all respect for Hope. As the daughter of two cops, Ciara should have called the police after the rape. Or told Jen when Jen came hope.

I am just so disappointed with this so-called reboot.

penny
Guest
penny

Thaaooooooo, yay!

Chris
Guest
Chris

Thaao’s great, whether he is playing as Andre or Tony. This role reversal has been interesting to watch. I like to see the human side of the Dimera ‘s and both he and Billy Flynn have been phenomenal. Flynn is one of the best new actors on the show and works very hard. I can’t wait to see what happens next! How great would it be to see Thaao working with Leeann Hunley again? That would be awesome, as we have seen the dark side of Anna in the past as well. They have amazing chemistry.

Dylan
Guest
Dylan

While he is a vet, and certainly a talented one, I feel he overstayed his welcome about two or three identity (Tony/Andre, Tony/Andre) swaps ago. I have never thought the character worked without it being Tony and Anna. They were a dazzling, delightful couple that soaps just do not write anymore. They had style and panache. All through Jim Reilly’s tenure, “Tony” was written as a pathetic lovelorn fool chasing after his adopted sister Kristen, and also “killed” half the town and placed them on an island. Going way back to the 80’s, Andre was the Salem Slasher. He brutally… Read more »

stevie g
Guest
stevie g

I agree with almost everything you said, re the dark story lines. we care about the characters and want to see them happy. It seems the writers don’t care with so many of the cruel twists recently for Hope, Jen, Ciara, Chase. But they can’t bring back Tony now. He actually died in an argument with Philip on the pier. There was this big thing where Stefano blamed Philip for it. It made more sence that Andre returned, but as fabulous as Thao is I can’t see him fitting into the cast long term, the way Stefano did.

Mel
Guest
Mel

Tony is dead and there is, it seems, no bringing him back to life. Can you imagine the outcry if Ted Corday were to bring back Tony and not Will and/or Bo? I happen to enjoy the wonderfully whacky Andre; strange as it may sound. What is missing is a wonderful “foil” like Bart was. It was so much fun watching Bart and Andre play off each other. Andre needs another Bart!! And it would be nice for Andre to find a little romance along the way. I’ve watched my mother’s old video recordings of Santa Barbara Episodes. OMG!!! What… Read more »

4ever DAYS
Guest
4ever DAYS

There would be a huge outcry, Mel, because Ted Corday died in 1966. You mean his son, Ken.

jaime
Guest
jaime

I think days is on the verge of self destruction! Higley is not the writer to respect history nor is Ryan quan! It will go back to being a disaster! I stopped watching for a long time because of the influx of an all new cast of dullards! I will be leaving days behind when quan does it again!

Ng

!

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.

 

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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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