Connect with us

Days Of Our Lives

40

Freddie Smith, Christopher Sean, And Billy Flynn Dish DAYS Double Wedding Drama!

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

A major bombshell rocks the double wedding of Sonny (Freddie Smith) and Paul (Christopher Sean), and Chad (Billy Flynn) and Abby (Marci Miller) this week on Days of our Lives.

The nuptials which kicked off on last Friday’s episode, and continued on Monday (you can watch it via NBC.com here for those markets where did not air due to the Las Vegas mass shooting)  on the NBC daytime drama, gave viewers plenty of heartfelt and emotional moments, and a big time cliffhanger! Now with the wedding crasher revealed, and the fallout just beginning, DAYS head writer Ron Carlivati has perfectly positioned the returns of Rob Scott Wilson as Ben Weston, and highly-anticipated re-emergence on the canvas of three-time Daytime Emmy winner, Chandler Massey as Will Horton.

So, how did the three grooms feel about the double wedding, the shocking reveal, the returns of Wilson and Massey, the love story of Chabby and PaulSon and where the couples go from here?  Well, On-Air On-Soaps chatted with three of our favorite gents: Freddie Smith, Christopher Sean, and Billy Flynn to get the lowdown on the highly-charged episodes, a preview of what to watch for, who’s got the wedding bell blues, and more.

Leading up to the double wedding, Sonny and Paul had a come-to-Jesus moment when they finally discussed Will.  Sonny admitted to Paul that he feels like in marrying him, he has somehow betrayed Will.  However in the end, he reinforced to Paul that he wants to be with him, and only him.  I thought those scenes were so well-written, and your performances were riveting.  What did you think of those scenes and the script?

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

FREDDIE:  I loved it!  All the stuff leading up to the wedding, the wedding itself, and after the wedding has been one of my favorite sequences during my entire career on DAYS, and one of my top three storylines. It is just so well-done, and so emotional. Even though Sonny is almost thirty, you have gotten to see six or seven years of his life, and to see his relationships and to go through that, there is a lot to pull from, and a lot at stake.  I thought this was really well-written.  Christopher knocked it out of the park. It was just great stuff, and I am very, very pleased. 

CHRISTOPHER:  I loved it, too.

What happened the day you guys found out Chandler Massey was returning to the show as Will Horton? Do you remember your reaction to the news?

CHRISTOPHER:  For me, every time we got a new script I wanted to find out how is this happening?  The writing was so good that I was just waiting at my dressing door salivating for the next script! 

Photo: Stephanie Nelson Photography

FREDDIE:  I was really excited to just see how they were going to implement this triangle for Sonny!  I just knew that “holy cow” the possibilities are going to be just endless for the story.  I was really excited to see Chandler again, and work with him. Overall, we were all thrilled.

What was the atmosphere and the mood on set when you guys taped the episodes for the double wedding? 

FREDDIE:  It was two long days, but yet again, we were all immersed in what was going on.  It was very emotional, and it was pure love and pure confusion, in that, you are feeling at the peak of love and happiness, and then the rug is pulled out from underneath you. Although we taped it over two days, it did not feel long or anything.  It felt good.  After that week of taping you felt like, “That is why we do this!” This was challenging.  It was fun.  Everyone is going to love it.  I feel so confident in it.  I have said this before: “Anyone who has not watched DAYS, or who may have stepped away from it for a couple of months, or even a couple of years, this is a reason to come back and watch.  It is that good.”

Billy, how was filming the vows with Marci Miller? What do you think the reaction will be from the Chabby fans when all is said and done?

Photo CreditL JPI Studios

BILLY:  It was cool to tape.  Marci and I work really well together.  There has been a hash tag going around for a couple of years now, and I think it will get close to it.  The hash tag is #ChabbyRainKiss, which comes from the movie The Notebook where the duo kisses in the rain.  That’s what I will say. 

One of the relationships that plays so well is that of Sonny, and his best friend, Chad.  The audience feels the bond between them. There was a scene prior to the wedding which really got to me that illustrated how much they care about each other and each other’s happiness. Chad says to Sonny, “You’re like a brother to me.  You’re one of the best men I have ever known.”  Freddie and Billy, your thoughts?

FREDDIE:  Cool, I am glad you liked those scenes.  It’s fun working with Billy.

Courtesy/NBC

BILLY:  My whole thing was to be able to show you can be a straight man comfortable in his sexuality, who has a gay friend, and who can love them and be affectionate with them. I thought that was important … and how cool is it that the fans love it?  Now there are those may not like the gay part of the story, but because Chad is straight it’s OK for him to show affection towards his best friend.  And I just do it in my scenes with Freddie, as it is very natural for me.  I actually forgot shooting those scenes, and I now remember saying, “You’re like a brother to me.  You’re one of the best men I have ever known.”

Billy, what was your reaction when you found out that DAYS was going to have a double wedding between Chad and Abby, and Paul and Sonny?

BILLY:  Did you see my reaction in the scenes when Chad found out?  That was how I felt! (Laughs)  Look, Chad and Abigail never got their big romantic wedding.  So the romantic in me is a lover of their story, and wants that.  That being said, what I was disappointed in was after everything they had just been through that they wanted to tie the knot this way.  However, the way I played it was Chad wanted to do this for Abby.  She was the one that drove the double wedding, which is what made it OK.  There was this part of me that was thinking: “There is no way Chad would want a double wedding, after everything they had been through. He would have pulled it all the stops for her.”  But the story is the story, and that is just the way that went.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

What did you think of head writer Ron Carlivati’s major plot point of having Rob Scott Wilson come back as Ben to bust up the wedding in a huge soapy moment, and reveal that Will is actually alive?

BILLY:  I loved seeing Rob walk through those doors.  His character has become this cult figure! (Laughs)  It was awesome in the scenes.  I love when Chad is about to rush Ben, but Abby beats him to it and cold clocks him.  I loved it! (Laughs)

When Sonny and Paul hear from Ben, who has now crashed the wedding, that Will is alive, what are they immediately thinking at the shocking revelation? How did you play those scenes? 

CHRISTOPHER:  When it is announced, so many different thoughts race through Paul’s head including: “That’s b**s, and you’re a liar.”  There are so many layers to this.  That is what is so great about Ron Carlivati – he is a very insightful writer.  Ron has really brought to the table some great stuff, which has allowed us to play on the canvas. So any and every moment of shock, doubt, anger, fear, all of it goes through Paul’s mind, and he hopes that if it’s true that Sonny won’t leave him.

It’s Ben delivering this news.  So it seems that it just couldn’t be true, after all, he is the one that “murdered” Will! 

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

FREDDIE:  It’s just enough for Sonny to have hope.  He has always dreamed he would have a moment to patch things up with Will. And even though Sonny doesn’t believe Ben, there is that one percent part of his brain that goes: “Please, let this be true. That sounds insane, but please let it be true.”

So now everybody is in shock, and some brokenhearted at the wedding.  Doesn’t Sonny just want to lunge in at Ben for what he has done? 

FREDDIE:  Yes, absolutely. That was the give and take. Sonny wanted to let Ben know how he felt, but at the same time try to respect everybody at the wedding, and most importantly, Paul.

Isn’t Chad devastated for Sonny with what goes down after Ben arrives on the scene? Does he feel right carrying on his nuptials with Abby?

BILLY:  I think what Chad assumes is, “Look Sonny, don’t let it ruin your day.  Ben is crazy.”  Then, I think the wedding becomes a formality for Chad and Abby.  Chad wants to be able to say to Abby, “You are my wife, again.”  Abby wants to be able to say, “You are my husband.”  They already have been acting like they are already married, except … for Abigail holding out on giving Chad some action! (Laughs) 

Courtesy/NBC

Chad must have so many feelings that rise to the surface towards Ben when he shows up at the wedding. After all, he did destroy his relationship to Abigail by ultimately driving her insane, he was a serial murderer, and even tried to frame Chad for the crimes.  I could go on and on.  The “Killer Ben” laundry list of misdeeds is endless! (Laughs)   

BILLY:  Yeah, he does want to go at him, but then he see what’s going on and thinks, “He’s not here for us? That’s awesome … carry on!” (Laughs)  “You’re not here to destroy us?  OK, then do whatever you got to do, man.” (Laughs)

So, will you guys watch the wedding episodes together? (Laughs) 

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

FREDDIE:  Christopher and I actually had talked about that, but I am actually going to be on an airplane, and so no we can’t.

BILLY:  I don’t usually like watching my work, but I might check this out, because there were so many people involved that will make me want to watch it and the performances were great. 

With the double wedding bombshell, and the story that will launch out of it in figuring out what happened to Will, you would say this is must-see-DAYS for Wilson and Paulson fans?  It’s the perfect storm for a huge emotional story.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

FREDDIE:  One hundred percent … it’s just incredible. This is the fun part, because now we get to partake as the audience. We go in, we do are work, and now we are able to step back and enjoy the performances of everyone.  When you are acting, you understand what’s going on, but you are only absorbing it through your character, but when you re-watch the episodes back, you go, “Oh, wow! I’m an audience member, and I can actually see and feel the emotion of everyone around me.”  It’s going to be so cool to see how it all turned out.

So, what have your thought of the drama at the double wedding? What do you think about Ben revealing Will is alive, rocking the world of PaulSon? Where do you think Will has been all this time since his “murder”? What vows were your favorite during the ceremony? What did you think of the thoughts shared by the three groom in our conversation? Comment below.

Leave a comment | 40 Comments
Advertisement

40

avatar
18 Comment threads
22 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
20 Comment authors
Johnny GrantJaimeChandlerFanCeliaMo Recent comment authors
newest oldest
Jimh
Guest
Jimh

Days was not seen in my area due to the horrible tragedy in Las Vegas…i couldnt even watch tv…over 4 dozen dead and hundreds injured…it literally made me ill…someone from my hometown was there,,,still no word about this person and if they are ok…my thoughts and prayers with the victims and their families….

Jimh
Guest
Jimh

The couple formerly from my hometown were near the stage…they reportedly are safe…still feel bad for the families of the victims who lost their lives and the over 500 who were injured!!!

Cdee
Guest
Cdee

Tragically.. Show was pre empted. Never saw any of it. Prayers to Vegas victims!

James R. Poissant
Guest
James R. Poissant

Ron cooked up a whopper this time like I knew he would. The man still has a number of tricks up his sleeve so get ready for more with all the other characters because he does write for everybody.

Mark
Guest
Mark

Excellent show today. If you haven’t been watching, now is the time to do so. I can’t wait for this story to play out!

tony
Guest
tony

Brills! Iconic! Best daytime episode since Karen’s trial, Reva’s fountain, Nicole/Adam reunite. And it was all about reuniting a young gay male couple. Finally a soap that’s taking a classic template and superimposing the 21st century on the land of make believe. Kudos to Carlivati/Meng and the other out staff!

Celia
Guest
Celia

I missed yesterday’s show—-God Bless everyone in LV….
Sooo good to see Robert’s ( Ben) gorgeous face again….he is hot—-one of the best embodiments of God’s male creation. Swoon!!

Dana
Guest
Dana

Please don’t bring will back

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

Ben: ” I feel a little underdressed… I should have worn a tie ”

thrills and chills spill over !

ITS GREAT to see Robert Scott Wilson – again

and yes… isn’t Marci Miller Abs all over again.

doesn’t RSW remind you of David Duchovny ? Mr. X-files

welcome back the threesome who carried DAYS

Ben – Abs – Chad.

WELCOME the rest of the cast – ALL REELING – this show is bestest

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

ALL I can say – RC and @DAYS production TEAM… just REELED an emmy ep for best of show.

Monday – 10-2-17

WOW and wallah

RSW, Ben’ speech – THRILLING

Jovin
Guest
Jovin

Um…..wow! To compare this cheesy, contrived, jeuvenile, sweeps stunt to ANY of those well known iconic soap legendary moments is just absurd!!!! The dialogue was as bad as the pacing, and Ben showing up was just as stupid.

Jovin
Guest
Jovin

If you get farklempt over Keren’s trial still…:you are WAY too old to have interest in Sonny and Will!!!

Jovin
Guest
Jovin

Watching two buff heterosexual men try to play over the top melodramatic gay scenes is SO painful!!

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

Freddie Smith and Christopher Sean are excellent actors… and from what “interviews” and shared story… from either or

I do not think they care whether they are acting…. ( and getting paid ) to “act” like a gay man

what I have a problem with : ” over the top – melodramatic gay scenes – BAM

when you say “so Painful”

with your “posts” it certainly appears you have a problem with gay storyline more than two stud muffins be it straight or gay are just as exciting and soaring my endorphin.

cya

Celia
Guest
Celia

Awwww, Jovin. I’m sorry, I disagree. We all have a different take on storylines and characters. But, Freddie and Christopher are actors—straight or gay, they are ACTORS and doing a knock-out job. I wouldn’t describe their craft in such a derogatory manner. Plus, Patrick really feels for this soap and he has every right to express what and how he feels….the point of these sites. C’mon, Jovin….you know I appreciate your writing, as well. LOL. Look at Greg Rikaart—he’s gay, in real life, playing a straight role as Kevin on Y&R. I never would have known, if I didn’t know.… Read more »

4ever DAYS
Guest
4ever DAYS

For those of you who missed toDAYS episode due to the news coverage of the Las Vegas shootings, NBC.com is where you can watch the episode. Excellent episode!

Prayers for the shooting victims and their families.

Celia
Guest
Celia

Thank you, 4ever, I shall watch…
Yes, I really and truly cried my heart out over the tragedy in Vegas. Did not know any of them, but, I felt so much emotion, my friend—
It does not take much for me to cry ( I cried when MONK went off the air), but this….this, just broke my heart !!

Tracy Runco
Guest
Tracy Runco

watch at NBC.com

Mo
Guest
Mo

Considering show was pre-empted, why is this article posted? Did Days air at all on Monday? Hoping Monday’s ep will air today.

Kit
Guest
Kit

For anyone interested, Days is available for streaming on the NBC app (which I access via Roku). Monday’s (yesterday’s) episode was available last evening, and I think they stay available for a couple of weeks. Haven’t checked, but it’s possibly available on Hulu, too.

Mo
Guest
Mo

I checked yesterday, but they still had Friday’s as the recent so I figured maybe Monday didn’t air. I will check later today. I definitely don’t want to miss this one!

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

” I ” am back – IN LOVE – with – “Days of OUR Lives” it’s not a yestur’year. classic . like old times. make it like it was . it’s timeless… hoping year after year that these 4 serials continue to light this is a rethread – Oh My God – I’m In Heaven “I feel I’m watching a real soap opera” I – L – O – V – E – watching this show 365 days a year ! I love it – everything in Salem is palatable. Salute ! ” DAYS of OUR L – I –… Read more »

Celia
Guest
Celia

You go, Patrick!!!!!!!! I admire you and your loyalty!!!!!

Mo
Guest
Mo

Have now watched the episode.

Bonnie is hilarious.

Loved seeing Rob/Ben again.

Loved the way they connected Abigail’s vows to Sonny remembering about Will. Freddie was great.

Can’t wait to see today’s ep!

Scott H
Guest
Scott H

I have a question: if Ben only killed Serena and Paige, does he still qualify as a serial killer??? Cause doesn’t it take at least 3 deaths to be labeled a serial killer??? I’ve got to give it to Rob Scott Wilson he’s doing an awesome job as Ben….i’m even loving JJ’s hot ass cop character that he’s become……loved loved loved the Chad/Sonny scenes before the wedding when they professed their brotherly love for each other….Kate/Andre scenes are simply seductively divine….cannot wait for the Maggie/Bonnie/Adrienne catfight…even Sonny has come alive, so to speak, during his scenes with Ben in the… Read more »

4ever DAYS
Guest
4ever DAYS

Ben murdered Wendy, the midwife who he abducted to deliver Abby’s baby.

Scott h
Guest
Scott h

But did he murder Wendy?? I know it was implied, but did we actually see him kill her? Maybe he made Abb’s think he killed her, but, in fact, let her go?????

blake
Guest
blake

Days really is on fire again! Friday’s episode was great seeing the nuptials and most of the cast being all in one place. But the scenes Monday and today between Ben, Sonny and JJ were must-see TV! The show seems to be finally firing on all cylinders since Ron C. took over as head writer. And Sami comes back next Friday!

If you aren’t watching Days now you should be, and watch the past few episodes on NBC’s website!

Celia
Guest
Celia

Yesssss, Blake…agreed!!!!!

ChandlerFan
Guest
ChandlerFan

I would have liked to see Tripp at the wedding, but it’s understandable that his character simply might not have been invited.
With everyone else at the wedding, the remainder of Salem must have been a ghost town, leaving only Tripp and Anne Milbauer to wander the empty streets aimlessly.
Surprisingly, although I hadn’t initially been a huge fan of the Ben Weston character overall during his initial run, his recent reprisal was riveting with overwhelmingly captivating acting from Robert Scott Wilson.

Lia
Guest
Lia

I thought it was a stupid idea from the beginning, but after seeing how Ron made Chabby look like fools, and walked out of there still single, as a Chabi fan I was thrilled. I know they will marry soon, but their big day turned into a big flop. Lol Abby punching Ben was stupid, not cute as Billy and his chabby fans love to think it was. Especially since Ben was not there for her. It was just another move on her part that says Ben does control her. Otherwise she would have stood next to Chad, let the… Read more »

Mo
Guest
Mo

Don’t worry. Chad and Abby are married now.

boes
Guest
boes

Very well done, IMO, by all. Congratulations to Days, to all the actors and to Ron C. for giving us some exciting times and storylines in Salem.

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

how sexy is this

Kiriakis tradition – sonny looking as all get out sexy.. with Justin doing the honor of shaving the younger generation .

Victor – Justin – Sonny

Justin : “you will always be my little boy in that Spider-Man costume”

Wally Kurth barely holding it in and containing himself.. his eyes brimming with tear

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

Sonny telling Victor : “you are our rock”

I love you John Anniston

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

Bonnie goes “dynasty” and – daring – us all to welcome her cleavage back

that white dressed to the nines, Judi Evans is dormant NO MORE. LOVE LOVE LOVE

Celia
Guest
Celia

Bonnie cracks me up….completely!!!! And her scenes with Victor? Oh, Lordy Lord: to die for!!! Oh, yeah!!

Scott
Guest
Scott

Chabby deciding to not get married so they could be there and support Paul and Sonny was the right thing to do…..do you think arrogant “poor poor pitiful me” Gabi would have done that? Not at all she would have demanded that everyone stay and watch her get married to her sugardaddy/soulmate!!!!! I’m hoping that once Ben gets off from not killing Will that maybe he’ll become the necktie killer again and wipe out Gabi, along with Rafe and Lani, Abe’s daughter….lose these three, find Hope and Jennifer and JJ new loves, and more of Julie/Doug/Chloe/Lucas and for God’s sake,… Read more »

Jaime
Guest
Jaime

Why is everything in pairs now by this writer? Two dual roles (both not worthy of the time given), double weddings, two men who go off the wagon simultaneously! Is this what Ron Carlivati calls Days on Steroids?

I just wish Days had not become the Gabi, Brady, Sonny hour. They are not the most interesting of characters on Days! In fact they may be the reason I give up on Days again. Enough of the same everyday!

Johnny Grant
Guest
Johnny Grant

Personally I’m a little tired of Nicole – and yes, the show is draggy in general and a little monotonous – I think that some of us have seen too many soaps and after a while, they all become rather repetitious. Every Wedding is ridiculously interrupted, absurd look-a-like characters not even done as well as Patty Duke did 50 years ago on TV – they need some new storylines but after seventy years of soaps I guess it must be hard to come up with new ideas ~

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)

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
NewsApril 13, 2021

Former Y&R Star Jason Canela Lands Recurring Role on ‘The Rookie’

Days Of Our LivesApril 13, 2021

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”

NewsApril 12, 2021

‘The Talk’ Returns as Sheryl Underwood Shares the ‘Trauma’ She Feels Over Incident That Led to Sharon Osbourne’s Exit

Days Of Our LivesApril 12, 2021

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

General HospitalApril 11, 2021

Lynn Herring Celebrates 35th Anniversary of Her General Hospital Debut; and ‘We Love Lucy’

All My ChildrenApril 9, 2021

All My Children Alum Cornelius Smith Jr. Joins the Cast of Apple TV+ Limited Series, ‘Five Days At Memorial’

RecapsApril 9, 2021

THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL: Don Diamont & Scott Clifton Shine In Father/Son Scenes; As Bill Watches Liam’s Meltdown Over the Accident that Killed Vinny

General HospitalApril 8, 2021

GENERAL HOSPITAL: “I’m Alexis Davis, and I’m a Fighter, and an Idealist, and an Advocate”; Nancy Lee Grahn Gives Masterful Performance In Special Episode

NewsApril 8, 2021

OLTL Alum Renée Elise Goldsberry Joins Disney+ Marvel Series, ‘She-Hulk’

General HospitalApril 8, 2021

GH’s Kin Shriner Talks on Franco’s Demise, Scott’s Budding Romance with Obrecht, and His Enduring On-Screen Partnership with Genie Francis

Advertisement

Video du Jour

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

The Michael Channel

Recent Comments

Advertisement

Power Performance

Nancy Lee Grahn as Alexis

General Hospital

Airdates: 4-8-2021

Advertisement

Popular