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Guy Wilson Makes His DAYS Debut As Will Horton! What Were Your First Impressions?



Being a recast is never a walk in the park for any actor, who has to take over a role from a very popular star, who let alone originated the role and has become beloved by the audience!

When two-time Daytime Emmy winner Chandler Massey announced he was planning on leaving the pivotal role of Will Horton on Days of our Lives at the end of his contract, but then was let-go before the end of it, it set the roll-out of DAYS plan to have the role of Will continue with another actor, and the actor who got the part was Guy Wilson.

For Wilson, he has been working for several months now taping episodes, but we, the audience, are just finally seeing his first episode today, circle January 8th, 2014!

When Guy was in his first scenes on DAYS it was business as usual for Will, no real dramatic intense scenes as of yet, but scenes where Will interacted with Gabi (Camila Banus) and his on-screen boyfriend, Sonny (Freddie Smith) over the continued cover-up of Nick’s “murder” and Abigail (Kate Mansi) receiving the texts messages from Kate, and how EJ would “handle” Abby.

Later, viewers got to see EJ (James Scott) and Will (now played by Wilson) in some scenes where they shared some moments which included Will saying to EJ: “You’ve gone out of you way for me and my family and I know it’s because you love mom so much.  I hope she appreciates everything you have done for us.  That’s all.”   So can James Scott and Guy Wilson create the same on-screen chemistry as James and Chandler?  Time will tell!

So, what were your first impressions of Guy Wilson in the role of Will Horton?  Now remember, this is only his first airshow! So,  for some the jury may still be out! Yet, for others, will you  embrace Guy now as the new Will?  Let us know! And if you didn’t see Guy’s first DAYS scenes, you can watch them after the jump!

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Guy did a fantastic job!!!

Chandler made the character his own remember he was also a recast.

Guy did great. He fit like a glove.

I like him!!! Great job would maybe prefer his hair to be a bit more blonde as Chandlers was; he has a resemblance to Chandler so that helps with the recast. Rock on!!! 🙂

my gut reaction

I wasn’t put off or disarmed in any way by him: Guy Wilson

what a relief! whew! “Wilson” proves ON and forges ahead!

granted… we’ve yet to see the intimacy between Will and Sonny
his relationship with his mother… Sammi
and his relationship with gramma Marlena

but… his portrayal… was not in any way… unnatural


I’m so pleased

Other than Sonny, I believe Marlena is the key!

Remember all those great scenes between Will and Marlena/Chandler and Deidre?

Deidre will work her magic!

gut reaction
first instinct

there’s nothing to say… he won’t improve

it’s not like he was shot down… and doesn’t have a chance or prayer


I so agree with you… Deidre Hall… will embrace and wholly work this…..
as will Kate… so…

his premiere… was not undoing any thing… it’s only going to get better…

cast expertise
writers challenging

cohesive blend

I thought his scenes were very natural. I was excited for his debut and he didn’t disappoint. He stepped right in the role and took control. It’s definitely a change from Chandler’s Will (not the same, shall we say “chemistry”, with James Scott/EJ as he had, and Guy’s Will feels much more assertive to Chandler’s doubty/self conscious Will, for example) but that’s not a bad thing. In time, I trust he will blend into the role and make it as memorable as Chandler did for those years. I could already tell by his reels on youtube he had the chops, and I have total faith today was just a taste of what this guy can do.

Can’t wait for more!

Guy’s Will feels much more assertive

I saw this as well

and that bodes well for nuWill

the thing i’m really excited about… is the nuChallenges in acting chops for Freddie Smith…

DAYS has a whole new feel to it… the vibe, excitement… acceptance of production…. collectively driving

god… sorry Fans…. if this fan … presses … it’s just .. DAYS deserves to repeat as best Serial… 2013! 2 years in a row

A repeat as best serial for 2013 will not come from any work delivered by Guy Wilson ! Rather it will come from the collective efforts of the cast as whole and in particular the very fine performances delivered by Camilla, Blake, Freddie and Chandler, Allison and James! Some of the story arcs dragged on for too long . Others were so boring even the very blackest of Coffee and clothespins used on the eyelids wouldn’t keep a viewer from dosing off! The twins who played Ari were priceless additions to to the WilSon story Arc. And I think they made some pretty significant and unique contributions to the show in their interaction with Chandler and Freddie and the rest of the cast!!

You think the babies playing “Ari” made “pretty significant contributions to the show”, but meanwhile one day of work from Guy and he’s tanking on the show and will be the serial’s downfall?

I am seriously doubting your judgement right now and am not taking any of your posts here at face value. Your comments here have been nothing short of baseless presuppositions, and not to mention childish and borderline rude towards the actor.

Lighten up. It was the kid’s first day on a job taking on a monumental role in a huge storyline.

I thought he was awful his acting was stilted there was no emotion. Zero chemistry with Freddie the whole thing was awkward. Freddie and Camila just looked uncomfortable. If Guy is supposed to be a professional actor,then it didn’t show here. Judging by the comments on the official Days facebook page. He was a total flop.

What your seeing Sandra is general lack of skills as a Soap actor. It will take him many years to develop a good set of them . By that time Sandra, Days will most likely have been cancelled.

It was his first day! Let’s give the guy a chance before we begin crucifying his acting skills. Just sayin!

My opinion? He can’t act, and his delivery seems insincere and contrived. I don’t like him.

I miss Chandler Massey already. But then again it always takes me a while to warm up to re-casts. Im sure he’ll grow on me !

Sorry but I really didn’t like him. The true test was the s end with EJ. Chandler and JS had great chemistry. This guy just doesn’t have IT.

I agree with you Michael

A fine start for Guy Wilson. I have a feeling he will do well. Has to be a tough job to step into (soap acting in general) and I look forward to his upcoming scenes in the months ahead when he will make this role his own.

All the best to Chandler in his new endeavors!

Guy Wilson did a wonderful job, and I say this as a huge fan of Chandler Massey’s work as Will. It’s apparent that Guy did his homework on the role as opposed to going in there and starting off with his own take on the character. He’s done a fine job of honoring sensibilities that Chandler brought to the role, which definitely helps in facilitating a smoother transition for viewers. I will miss Chandler’s Will *so* much, but I also wish Guy Wilson the very best in making the role of Will his own while assuming the precedent set by Chandler.

I found his performance to be cold and flat. His acting to be is stiff like cardboard and one dimensional. I saw none of the highly touted chemistry spewed in the recent months by the PR department in all the media. The highly touted “edge” he is supposed to bring the role is nothing more than than a general reflection of his lack of skills as a Soap Actor. How very sad for all the WilSon fans the world over, because the warm loving couple we grew to love so well has been destroyed

So would you have preferred both Will and Sonny leaving the show? Chandler Massey was going regardless.

What i would have actually preferred would have been Chandler had stayed on in the role. As for the repeat rhetoric oh he was leaving anyway, Chandler never really decided whether he actually was going to return to College full time or not in January . The mistake he made was opening his mouth at the Daytime Emmys. He got taught the bittersweet lesson that every person gets taught when they tell their bosses they are thinking about leaving. You get replaced and kicked to the curb without warning. And that is exactly what happened to him . I am pretty sure he has learned his lesson and will not open his mouth in the wrong place at the wrong time again .

I don’t know because I didn’t watch and won’t watch. I only watched for Freddie and Chandler, not a replacement. If they hadn’t recast or found someone else, I’d still be watching, but I don’t want to see the sorrow in Freddie’s eyes. I read that many people thought all the scenes with the recast were awkward. So, yes, I don’t want to watch Freddie struggle through this ordeal. TPTB mucked up!

The awkwardness would be by fans that have followed closely. In time, the experience will be less awkward. Camilla was the awkward one!

Both babies must have been scared because their was no interaction between Guy and Ari.

But the babies have an excuse. They are babies! You’re not a baby. Or are you?

I think the characters of Gabi and Will should have been written to exit Salem together. The part of Will should not have been recast in the first place.

I liked his first appearance, it was subtle. I have seen Guy’s work and I know he has the acting skills to the role justice. I know some people were looking for him to come out guns blazing but the scenes did not require it and as the storyline of Nick’s (alleged) death moves forward and Gabi’s eventual departure from the show; we will see him shine in the dramatic scenes that will be required to tie up those two storylines.

Soap audiences never cease to amaze me in how judgmental they are. It takes time for chemistry to develop, for an actor to inhabit a character. Look at Chandler’s first scenes, they weren’t all that either. Snap judgments are useless and do not advance the conversation. Give him a month or so to develop.

And for the record, Michael, you’ve written your lead so we are to assume Chandler Massey created the role of Will Horton, which we all know is patently NOT the case. Chandler was a RECAST himself. He was, if my calculations are correct, Will #5.

It was not a home run or a strike out. Yes, the viewer saw him with Sonny, Gabi, and EJ. Once we see him with actress Deidre Hall, characters T and Sammi, the viewer will have a greater feel for what type of chemistry Guy can establish with key relationships.

I thought he was ok for his first show. And that’s why I’m willing to take a wait & see approach. It was his FIRST show! It was alittle jarring at first because I thought there would be a voice over announcing the recast but I knew he was starting so I was expecting it. Sad to see some of the really negative comments on other sites. I loved Chandler but he was going to leave anyway so it didn’t matter to me if it was now or later.

His scenes with EJ were ok but it’s going to take time for everyone to be comfortable around each other. Can’t wait to see his first scenes with Sami & Marlena. It’s hard to tell about his chemistry with Freddie yet. They didn’t have really any intimate scenes except for a hug.

I wish Guy all the luck. He has a big job ahead of him but I will give him a chance.

I thought he did great with the material he was given. Anyone who has seen Guy’s previous work knows he’s a strong actor. I think Days did great with the recast. I’m mostly looking forward to seeing him interact with Marlena & for some romantic scenes with Sonny. Those will be the real test.

I’ve seen his work. And “strong” was defiantly not the word I would use to describe his acting. Lackluster, boring, drone like. Now there are words!

I reviewed all of his previous work before his debut, Lee, and he gave the type of performance I expected him to: cold and stiff and one dimensional.

In my opinion I thought he did great. Guy’s Will seems more serious. It will take time for him to relax and not be so stiff. I hope he and Freddie will have that natural chemistry that Chandler and Freddie had where they imptlrovised a lot of their scenes. Time will tell. We just need to be patient and support WilSon. I liked his scenes with EJ.

I’m going to give him time to get comfortable in the role. His first outing I’m sorry but it sucked! You could see his nerves taking over and he struggled to perform. I agree with other comments, he had zero chemistry with anyone he shared a science with. Hopefully he will get better. Change is always tuff at first.

I thought it was a seamless transition. He did very well for his first appearance and I know he will get better as he gets more comfortable in the role. It’s extremely difficult to replace a popular actor, so it will take time.

To all the haters out there…Give him a chance!

He did a fine job…however, im not totally sure just yet after only one episode…at least he doesnt have that almost constant Chandler smug look which is a plus!!! lol

I believe what you were actually seeing in that so called “smug look” was actually confidence and security in the knowledge he was delivering a fine performance. The one thing that Chandler Massey did was strive for excellence in his craft. Even with some really crappy writing , he managed to deliver a good one. I am not impressed with Guy Wilson at all.

Chandler was perfect in the role…but he rarely changed that ‘smug look’ which he used in most of his scenes and it was a little to much at times…Guy may have got off to a rocky start with some fans…its not easy replacing someone as popular as Chandler…back in the 1970s on Days i remember when popular Denise Alexander who played Susan Martin left the show for GH and was replaced by Bennye Gateys(spelling?) in the role…fans were somewhat more patient back then and gave the actress a chance to grow into the role…she wasnt as great as Denise but i started to like her eventually and she did a fine job…so im going to wait and see before making up my mind…at least a month before i have more of opinion…so far his best chemistry in that first episode was with Gabi!!!

I wasn’t impressed. I think it was good they didn’t give him a whole lot to do, but what I saw did not impress me. I thought, they dumped Chandler early for this guy? WHY? I know it will take time for him to settle in and we’ll see. I’m sure he was nervous. Hopefully he will improve.

Surprised that some people really enjoyed him. Frankly, I think he was forgettable.

That’s just it Mo, his performance was forgettable! And I’m afraid the warm loving couple they we all came to love is gone now!

Yes, I wasn’t really feeling the love with Sonny and Will. Granted, we’re expecting him to be able to portray an intimate relationship with another actor right away, but after all the build-up by Days’ execs on how great this guy was, so great in fact that they let they two-time Emmy winner go early, I expected more. I forgotten nuWill was debuting yesterday and I had to rewind because I was thinking, who is Sonny hugging?

Some actors come on with a bang and show command straight away. Not so here. Let’s hope he finds it soon.

I think Chandler should come back as Will!!! I was not impressed some were some weren’t. I did not see this great chem that was talked about between him and Freddie it was just off to me. He seems like a good actor but he just isn’t right as Will to me. He doesn’t fit as Sami and Lucas child. Chandler actually looked like he could be their kid. I was surprised that so many enjoyed what they saw but its in the eye of the beholder I guess. I can’t believe Chandler was let go early due to what I saw yesterday I know it was his first day but the way he was talked about I expected this grand performance and it wasn’t there in my opinion. I think NBC/Korday or whoever jumped the gun on this one the should have kept Chandler to the end of his contract and then went from there I don’t think I will be watching anymore.

Yes, they let Chandler go early so they could sign this guy because he might not be available later. Frankly, I think that was a major mistake.

I thought he was fine. His introduction was lowkey, and his interactions with Gabi and Sonny and EJ were played quietly and well. As I think they should be, since the character isn’t new, just the actor portraying him.

Chandler Massey was leaving anyway, by his own choice – even if that did get sped up a bit by management. He himself was a recast.

There is a new Will Horton in town, so far, so fine.

You can’t force chemistry. If it’s not there, it will never be. I haven’t watched, and won’t. Maybe I’m judgemental, but with Guy it’s not even about his acting skills (I know nothing about it), but about him – totally unsympathetic, physically and otherwise. Don’t think it’s a problem for him if I’m not his fan and he is there whether I watch or not, but I’m allowed to my opinion so here it is.

Chandler’s exit was inevitable, but did it have to happen when it happened? Don’t think so. And had the show found someone different than Guy, I may even be tuning in. Can’t imagine how crushed Freddie must have been and still is. The burden is all on him and he is stuck and TPTB know it. What an unkind business!

I have to admit, I was looking forward to your comments. Freddie was fine and Guy was nervous, but did a great job considering he knew the microscope he was under.

Think about what Chandler said. He told many people he wanted the story to go on. The story is going on!

Get ahold of yourself, wipe your tears and honor his wishes. It will get better.

DAYS chose a replacement for the long haul. Keeping Chandler for a few months longer would have not mattered for the long haul.

You wanted to see a wedding between your favorites. That would not have happened with Chandler if he would have stayed because a wedding is still long off.

I hope to see you at the wedding, but not holding a gun or having some bid secret to spew! lol

4everDAYS – I know what Chandler said and it sounded very convincing too.. I also know what Freddie said, but people decided not to remember. Corday for instance.

Yay, for the story going on. I have no problem with that – it’s great. Most fans are really happy about it because they can’t wait for the steamy scenes that they were promised. Equality right? All we want is to see the gay guys having hot sex just like all the other DAYS couples. Yay!

You’ll see me at the wedding? With Guy in the picture? I don’t think so.

So you can tell there’s no chemistry without actually watching them interact? That’s quite the superpower you have.

No C, I don’t have that superpower nor any other superpower. I was basing myself on the masses of fabricated pictures of Guy and Freddie they have been forcing on us in the last few weeks (btw, where were such pictures with Chandler and Freddie? Right, nowhere!.. Or maybe 2 years ago.. nevermind, people choose not to notice that and are in deep denial also about the fact that there has been not ONE single joint interview with Chandler and Freddie ever and I bet you we’ll get a nice joint interview with Freddie and Guy very soon – totally forged too of course but nobody will notice that either).

I don’t have to watch any of Guy’s scenes to know that I don’t like him. It’s not his acting. I don’t care about his acting. He doesn’t appeal to me. It’s a matter of taste. If he won 5 Emmys and was nominated for an Oscar, I wouldn’t watch. I also go by the stuff I see coming from him on Twitter and it’s not good. Maybe I’m easily offended, but it’s just not good.

I love Chandler and wish him the best. Lives change and evolve…I remember when Chandler replaced the first Will. His character was not nearly as important to the show then so it did not make such an impact. For the first day of seeing Guy Wilson…and not knowing Chandler was leaving the show…I thought he fit in very well. His confidence and ability will fill the role very well.

I don’t believe Chandler originated the role of Will, he may have played the older version first, but I don’t think he was the first and only Will. That said, it is hard to tell because the scenes yesterday were pretty generic. I thought the show should have announced the role was being played by someone new— my sister in law is blind and listens to the show all the time. She doesn’t follow fan sites etc, and she doesn’t like it when I tell her about cast changes in advance, so I don’t know if she knew who this new voice was– just saying —

He is great like the rest of days which I can’t get enough of!!!

Good Luck! GW. I liked CM and FS as Will and Sonny very much. DOOL is my favorite soap; I hope GW and FS will be as good as Will and Sonny. It may not happen overnight; adjusting to any change takes time.

Well, first of all the appearances of the two actors (C and G) is more obvious on screen than on photos and it really affects my perception, specially because I think Chandler was way hotter than Guy.
The acting, the method of the two actors are obviously different, Chandler used to bring so much impression by his face, but with Guy it seems it’s all the acting, I don’t know, maybe it is a little too soon to tell?!

I watched, he did fine in the role – there wasn’t much going on script-wise for Will, what does anyone expect this young actor to do, improvise? Some of the viewers are really hard to please, be happy the show is still on and be happy they chose to continue the character’s storyline. For pete’s sake give the guy a chance.

It was very disappointing. It seemed like he was simply reading a script and sadly there was absolutely no emotion. I’m really confused as to what Days was thinking. It was very, very awkward. There was no connection at all to Freddie and even worse with Gabi. I do agree that Guy shouldn’t focus on trying to be Chandler; he just needs to focus on improving his acting skills. If people really, truly believe that Guy was terrific that worries me. That means that the bar in soap operas has definitely been lowered. Soap operas are fighting for their survival. Casting mediocre talent and proclaiming them to be the best thing since sliced bread is not going to help the cause.

Fortunately for Guy I think the upcoming story of the Will/Sonny wedding will help him. It will be light and happy material. He wont have to give the type of emotionally gripping performances that won Chandler two emmys. Because based on yesterday’s performance, if he had to do that, he would be so far out of his league.

I truly hope that he gets better though. Freddie Smith has worked very hard for the pairing to succeed.

For your information, there are movie stars that could not handle the pace of taping a soap.

Guy will get used to it. Fans will accept him.

People are comparing a new soap actor to a beloved one who had been on for a few years.

Chandler did not start out the way he ended, but then again…

the dialogue… and script… for his first… day… wasn’t asking, or reaching for him to rip his heart out and aggrandize, give an oscar worthy performance

i thought it was simply a means of easing him in to the character

it’s day one… and I am interested in his development

Not all fans will accept him. Or wait, I’m not a fan, so I don’t have to (anyway).

But yeah Linda, we’ve seen many DAYS cast proclaim that Guy is wonderful and talented and yeah.. Not buying it. Especially since most of those comments were all in writing. I haven’t seen any of these comments from DAYS cast, being said in front of a running camera. Probably because they know we’d be able to tell that it’s not all quite how they say… I’ve read too many comments of people who watched Guy’s scenes and who weren’t impressed at all, to believe all the PR stuff they have been feeding the crowd.

Guy is a very handsome man. More my type than Chandler. But it was hard to watch him. Yeah this was only his first day. But given the amount of screen time he had I expected him to get better. He never did. It was weird seeing him play a 21 yr old. Ok. I will let them re write that. But what is it going to look like when he is next to Allison? Please don’t let them ruin what Chandler built! Fine recast! I mean PLEASE recast! Guy may be a really nice man. I’ve seen he interacts with the people that already ship him. But he can’t act. Reading lines doesn’t mean he can act. Come on Michael! Your not that hard up getting access to the talent to need to like him or give him props. Call t what it is! Be honest! You can do it! I will respect you more if you did.

Interesting post! I like.

But beauty is in the eye of the beholder. ‘Very handsome’ is definitely not what I would say to describe GW. But that’s a subjective matter.

It shocks me to see comments that Guy WilSon did a good job portraying Will for two reasons. One: I watched and it was awkward and mediocre at very best. He spoke assertively when not needed and was disconnected with other actors I saw no chemistry. He portrayed a character unknown to us. TWO: the high majority if comments I have read on social media have been negative and expressing disappointment in both his acting and the chemistry.
So, I guess it’s good to hear some other opinions. Personally, I was not impressed and I am disappointed that Will, who has been such a loved character, is now EVOLVING into this harsher, less engaging character. I cannot even imagine how anyone could say there was instant chemistry. I felt sad for Freddie. He’s worked so hard for this.

I totally agree with you Lee! Apparently Corday wants Will to to become a cold , unfeeling, one dimensional character who can’t relate any feelings to anyone. And if that is the case, then Guy Wilson will be perfect in the role. If not , then Corday needs to find a replacement very soon that can actually be the other half of a warm loving gay couple.

i’m holding out optimism

that the chemistry with Will and Sonny develops

with shooting 4 months in advance… that’s the bust… with recast… no time… to kill and change…

be that as it may… every thing about days works… save for Daniel and Jenn.

’nuff about that… no more wasting energy on this tired pair … should DAYS continue to feature this pair

I so agree with you about Freddie Smith… he was my favorite of the two… at least in the attraction dept…

I truly saw Chandler Massey as spearheading… how a person, coming out… with family … would unfold… now that he has… it’s simply a matter of forging ahead… and the cast accepting Guy Wilson … and moving on

like several posts have inclined… if it works with Sonny and gramma Marlena.. then he’s doing his job

Any blonde young male would be accepted in the role of Will.

I don’t understand in the least why some folks say that Freddie Smith must be “crushed” having to work with Guy Wilson instead of Chandler Massey. Freddie Smith and Chandler Massey aren’t in a real relationship. Why would Freddie resent Chandler from moving on with his life, or resent Guy Wilson for landing the role?

Just my opinion, but it seems to me far too soon to declare that the new guy has no chemistry with anyone, or can’t act, based on the miniscule amount we’ve seen so far.

It seems to me that there are other agendas at work, agendas that have only a little bit to do with the reality of the actors playing these roles.

Change is hard especially when you had an award winning male who had to be replaced due to the grainy issues of moola and contracts. Sad to see we lost such a wonderful character, but change is acceptable, when it affects the show itself and it’s ability to maintain 1.) a fan base and 2.) be able to afford to stay on the air and pay the cast and crew, etc. Change is hard, but in the long run, is usually for the better for all. Think about it the next “change” to hit your life….then you’ll understand it’s one of those full circle attacks we figure our way out of every day or figure our way into…whichever way you look at it. Be productive. Be happy. Take time to kick back and relax and watch an hour of “Days of Our Lives” lol. Peace.

Change is hard especially when you had an award winning male who had to be replaced due to the grainy issues of moola and contracts. Sad to see we lost such a wonderful character, but change is acceptable, when it affects the show itself and it’s ability to maintain 1.) a fan base and 2.) be able to afford to stay on the air and pay the cast and crew, etc. Change is hard, but in the long run, is usually for the better for all. Think about it the next “change” to hit your life….then you’ll understand it’s one of those full circle attacks we figure our way out of every day or figure our way into…whichever way you look at it. Be productive. Be happy. Take time to kick back and relax and watch an hour of “Days of Our Lives” lol. Peace.

Also Chandler you should finish the Fast and Furious 7…CASTING CALL*****************if your looking for any work. Good fit!

Sorry to say, but i was not impressed, there were no connections between him and Sonny, including Gabbi and Ej. He suck big time, can you can feel the awkwardness, it was a hot mess. Yeah i Chandler was a recast, but he was the one who played a gay character and the better looking Will. Days has ruin a great storyline, and all the magic has gone down the drain.

It is Chandler Massey just look at his eyes are wide and watch when he blinks and we will know it is Chandler Massey

I will have to get used to him — unfortunately without soapnet — I won’t see him.

to me it was like he was just saying what was write in the script but no showing any emotion.

I enjoyed William massey I will miss him guy Wilson he is new to me I will get use to him and get past it i’m sure he’ll do will wounderfully with will horton

i want my soapnet back please do something i had a good thing going with soapnet i use that as my backup system if i miss days of our lives at 1 please help me get and return soapnet too me asap

Days Of Our Lives

INTERVIEW: Jackie Cox Talks On Latest Return to DAYS, An Offer for Dimitri, and Life as a Performer In and Out of Drag

On the Monday, December 4th episode of Peacock’s Days of our Lives, Jackie Cox is back and hell hath no fury like a drag queen scorned! With revenge the order of the day on Leo Stark (Greg Rikaart), Darius Rose (Cox out of drag) arrives in Salem with a plan.

As Dimitri (Peter Porte) is about to turn himself into the authorities to save Leo’s skin, Darius gives Von Leuschner a talking to; letting him know that Leo deserves to rot away in prison, and so, to help Dimitri out of town, Darius has a tempting, and yet outlandish way to do just that!

Cox first appeared on Days of our Lives during the limited-series Beyond Salem in 2021 and then on to the mothership in 2022. The drag artist and Rupaul Drag Race alum took time out from his busy touring schedule of his holiday show, Jackie and Jan’s Jingle Jam (coming to a town near you), to speak with Michael Fairman TV all about his recent return to the long-running soap opera, playing ‘soapy’ versions of Jackie/Darius, and if there’s more story to come.

In addition, Jackie talks on the often misperceptions of the art of drag and drag performers, working with his DAYS co-stars since first appearing on the series including: Rikaart, Porte, Billy Flynn (Chad AKA Belinda Chinashop), and much more. Check out our chat with the incomparable Jackie below.

Photo: JPI

You get asked back to DAYS, once again. Were you shocked that you got the call to return?

JACKIE: You know, what’s so funny is ever since my appearance on Beyond Salem a couple years ago, the fans kind of picked up on this little connection with me and Leo. Which then, Ron Carlivati (head writer, Days of our Lives) kind of expanded into my storyline last year where I came and broke up Leo’s wedding with Dr. Craig Wesley (Kevin Spirtas). What’s amazing is the DAYS fans now think they have seen me in places in the story that I’m not. Like, I was one of the prime suspects for the murder of Abigail DiMera, or I’m somehow helping Leo with other things. (Laughs) The fans have amazing imaginations of their own. I think Ron and the team picked up on that a little bit and have kind of found different ways to work me back into the storyline, which is so cool. I’m there, even when I’m not. That’s so fun for me.

Photo: JPI

As viewers saw on Monday’s episode, you are not in scenes with Greg Rikaart but Peter Porte. Was that a surprise for you coming back to tape a new episode?

JACKIE:  When they called me to come back, I thought I’d be working with Greg again as I have been very much a part of his storyline. However, it was really fun working with Peter, because we didn’t get to work together much on Beyond Salem, even though we were both there. It was fun to kind of like build a connection to Dimitri, because I think that’s such an interesting character.

Were you ever a fan of Days of our Lives before you were even on it?

JACKIE: I would pop in and out when I was a kid when I was homesick. My mom would let me watch a little bit. So, I remember the Stefano of it all, and Hope, and all of those storylines are still in my ether somewhere from when I was young.  Coming into it now, and to see where the storylines have expanded into even more is great. The world is bigger now than maybe it was in the nineties. So, the fact that you have a drag queen dealing with an immigration problem, and getting back at her ex, I think is so wild to me. I couldn’t imagine that kind of a storyline happening back then, but it’s so cool to see now.

DAYS, at times, had shown a lot of forward-thinking to its audience that I don’t think you’d necessarily see on the other current soaps. The way they’ve had you, and other gay, or sexually-fluid characters or romances, or introduced drag into the storylines – all these things they had implemented along the way to make the soap, in its current form, a little more progressive leaning. They are also not on network TV anymore, but on a streaming platform, which gives this most likely an assist, as well.

JACKIE:  What I love about it is, sometimes people just don’t think that we exist. You know what I mean? Maybe drag queens are something they just heard about and they don’t know what we are. I think what’s great is this character is me in my real life. I am Jackie Cox. I am a drag performer who goes around the country to different places and performs and stuff. So, for that to also be my character, it’s not like, “Why is she a drag queen?” It’s like, “Well, that’s just who she is.” I just happen to be there and I know that the daytime audience is so diverse. I love that they get to just see a little bit of my real life brought into Salem in this way. You can’t deny the fact I am Darius Rose and Jackie Cox.

Photo: JPI

It looks like Darius had a plan to ‘help’ Dimitri?

JACKIE: I don’t know if I’m as much helping Dimitri as if I have ulterior motives. I’m pretty frustrated with Leo. He is this charmer and he always gets what he wants. But I think at this point, I’ve had it with him and his schemes. He didn’t get that emerald. He didn’t give me the money from the Beyond Salem. He left me for Dr. Craig Wesley and I’m tired of it. I want to get back at him. Now that I find out he has this hot new little boyfriend, I know just how to do it because Dimitri better watch out, because he has not yet dealt with Jackie Cox yet. I have quite the persuasive offer you’ll see during the episode, and in the performances. I do think you see Dimitri really consider me and consider what I have to offer, which is to steal him a way, and help him escape to Canada with me.

We see you as Darius and Jackie in the episode, but there is a reason for that.

JACKIE: Yes! What’s fun for the audience is, I think, is there’s this tease during the episode, which is, “How are we going to get Dimitri out of here?” So, we take a page from the old drag book of tricks, which is walk right out the front door and let them look right at you, because drag is an amazing disguise. I think that Dimitri should have, could have chosen to be a fabulous drag queen and leave with me, and we could run across the Canadian border together and done cabarets in Montreal! (Laughs).

Photo: JPI

So, this is what Jackie/Darius wants to pull off in the episode?

JACKIE: Oh yeah, and also me, in my real life, (Laughs) I wouldn’t mind doing a cabaret in Montreal. That sounds like a good life to me. I think coming to Dimitri with this offer, which is: “Come with me across the border. Let’s get away from Leo. You haven’t been hurt by him the way I have, but I know you will be.” I think for the Darius side of me, you get to see a little bit of the softer side, in a sense. I really am hurt by Leo and the things that he’s done to me, and had been keeping me from – getting a green card in this fantasy version of my life. I really want to get back at him. What I love about Peter as an actor is, as we were working through this scene, we were able to find all these other levels. I kind of build this little connection through our episode of maybe I’m offering him something that he hasn’t even thought of before, a different kind of life where he’s not this Almanian crook, but maybe he can be a free gay man, maybe drag queen in Canada with me. That’s what’s on the table and the audience sees that. Unfortunately, he doesn’t choose me at the end, but that’s not going to stop me from putting on a fabulous look and walking outta there, anyway.

So then as he leaves, is Darius hurt by all of this?

JACKIE: I’m a little hurt. I don’t think my revenge cup is full at the end of this episode. There’s still a burning little desire for me to get back at Leo by the end of this and maybe a desire for me to just get back into Salem and see if I can find Dimitri again. Let me tell you honey, looking at Peter Porte is not very hard and maybe there’s more men in Salem for me … yet. (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

Ya never know! What was your takeaway from previously working with Greg Rikaart? Had you known Greg before taping Beyond Salem?

JACKIE: No. Greg and I met right then, and it was so much fun. Right away in those first couple of moments, we decided we needed to up this whole backstory, like just the two of us, and then it ended up on the show: that we were from New York, and we were in cahoots together, and then apparently we got married. and all this kind of subtext we worked in. For Greg and my character on DAYS, it was not about us being hot and heavy with each other. It was more about seeing each other as partners in crime very much from the beginning. So, that’s where the hurt for me comes in. I thought Leo was my main ride or die, but clearly he is not.

Photo: JPI

Ron Carlivati has a penchant for writing these types of campy stories. Did you speak with him at any point, and talk about the fact that you would like to do more appearances on DAYS?

JACKIE. Ron did just come to my Christmas show in New York a couple weeks ago. We had a little chat. I can’t say much, but I didn’t die at the end of this. So, there’s always room to come back!  There’s always room for more Jackie.

Photo: JingleJam

Do you find there’s lot of misconceptions about drag queens and people that perform in drag?  Do you think there’s an underlying misunderstanding of it within our culture?

JACKIE: There are a lot of misconceptions. A great example of it for me was last year when I came to Craig and Leo’s wedding. Once I got out of drag, Craig, wasn’t sure how to address me. I just was very clear with the pronouns I prefer out of drag. That was just something that was a matter-of-fact conversation that could happen between any two people. I think sometimes, everyone is scared of what they don’t know or they don’t understand, or are afraid of having a conversation that they think is going to be really horrible. I think the average person, no matter who you are, no matter what side of the political spectrum you are, no matter what gender or sexual orientation you are, everyone just wants to get along in general and have a decent experience walking around the world. I think if you see people like me and my character who’s a drag queen, who’s younger than for example, Dr. Craig Wesley’s character, having just a quick little conversation and then we move on … it’s not a big ‘falling on the sword’ moment. There’s nothing horrible happening. Drag can be a performance. It doesn’t actually matter who you are. Drag is just an expression, and if you love it, great. And if you don’t, you don’t have to come to my show. It’s okay.

Photo: JPI

What did you think about Belinda Chinashop (Billy Flynn), Sonny Delight (Zach Tinker) and Amanda Bottom (Chandler Massey) in the drag show scenes in Beyond Salem? Did you give the guys any pointers, or were you just stunned at how good they were?

JACKIE: We had just shot my drag stuff with them before, and they were like, “We’re doing this later this week.” I was like, “You guys will be fine. Don’t you worry.” They had amazing makeup artists come in and help them, which was great. I think that’s the biggest part. Billy Flynn told me, it was so fun for him to get to do it. I love that. Next time I come to Salem, I think there needs to be a reason for me to get Belinda Chinashop back out of the trunk.

Photo: JPI

You went to college at UCLA in their theatre department, didn’t you?

JACKIE: Sure did. I went to UCLA with Blake Berris (Everett). Blake and I were in the same theater program together and he booked DAYS I think right after college or while we were in college. It was amazing. He started so young. Now, we’re on this show together! How funny! We were like, “Oh my, God. This is amazing.” Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see Blake when I was there this time this time. Hopefully, the timing works out next time. I don’t think Ron Carlivati even knows that we went to school together.

Were you determined once you left UCLA to become a successful performer? What trajectory were you on at that point?

JACKIE: I went to UCLA and I really focused in on theater because I love theater so much. I didn’t actually really do much film or TV, even though it’s the school of theater, film and television. I loved the theatre. Then, after school I moved to New York because that’s where theater is. I got to New York and I realized that the theater industry was not for me, at least at that time. This was 15 years ago or so. It wasn’t quite as progressive, even in the theater industry, as it is today. I mean, to be on Broadway, you kind of had to be this big strapping hunk back then. I didn’t really find a place for me there. I did find it in New York with drag, and that really unlocked something in me. I kind of started building this career as Jackie Cox. I’ve been doing drag now for 13 years. So, for me to come back around to what I maybe kind of started doing in the first place is very interesting. We will see what happens.

Photo: JPI

Now, would you want to take on more roles as yourself, as Darius?

JACKIE: That’s the thing. These days, writers are actually writing material that really connects to who I am. I really want to play more characters, bringing myself to the role is something that’s important to me. So, whether it’s drag, whether it’s a character, whether it’s incorporating some of my Middle Eastern heritage in there, those are all things that I want to bring to life, whether it’s in or out of drag. It’s all on the table. It’s definitely something where I still want it to have that authenticity, to have that reason where it’s me, the actor, not just someone who hasn’t lived it.

So, if you end up with an expanded role of Days of our Lives, would you take it?

JACKIE: Are you kidding? In a heartbeat! My only question to myself and to the writers out there is, am I still going to be me … or is it revealed that I’m not actually Jackie Cox, and that I’m just some delusional fan who thinks I am? (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

In closing, how is Jackie when she walks out the door after this episode?

JACKIE: Jackie walks out the door with a renewed sense of purpose, a burning desire to eventually get back at Leo, and maybe a new friend in Salem. Those are the things that I walk out that door with, for sure.

So, did you enjoy seeing Jackie Cox back on Days of our Lives? Should the soap opera continue to weave Jackie/Darius back into the storylines with Dimitri and Leo and company? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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Days of our Lives Peter Porte Stars in ‘Yuletide the Knot’ Holiday Movie on UPtv

Sunday, December 3rd, Peter Porte (Dimitri, Days of our Lives) stars in a holiday rom-com on UPtv, entitled Yuletide the Knot. Not only is Porte the romantic male lead, but he is also one of the producers of the movie.

Yuletide the Knot premieres tonight at 7 pm ET. Porte stars opposite Mary Antonini who take on the role of Rachel. Also appearing are Kelly Jakle, Kelsey Scott and Melissa Peterman.

In story, Rachel, a small-town wedding planner (Antonini), is tasked with planning a Christmas ceremony for an influencer couple. But her big plans hit a major snag when she is partnered with the bride’s manager, Logan (Porte), who is actually her first love and high school sweetheart. Will Logan and Rachel soon be kissing again under the mistletoe?

Photo: UPtv

Taking to his Instagram to share some background on the movie, Porte revealed: “I got the script in 2019 and was excited to come on board as an actor as well as producer. After months of planning, we were headed to Colorado with truckloads of Christmas decor and a start date of March 13… 2020.  Three years, countless pivots, pulled favors, and a pandemic later, my tenacious and wildly talented cast and crew made and sold a movie and I couldn’t be more proud. Let’s all get in the holiday spirit together!”

To locate UPtv stations in your area click here, or you can stream the holiday movie on UP Faith & Family here.

Watch the preview for Yuletide the Knot below.

Now let us know, will you be checking out this holiday rom-com featuring Peter Porte? Let us know via the comment section.


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Lifetime’s ‘Ladies of the ’80s: A Divas Christmas’ Brings Epic Food Fight and “Slapfest Coup de Grâce”

Get ready for the feuding soap opera divas, when five actresses known for their signature primetime and daytime roles are brought together in Lifetime’s new holiday film, Ladies of the ’80s: A Divas Christmas.

Saturday night, December 2nd on Lifetime (8pm ET/7PM CT) marks the highly-anticipated holiday movie premiere featuring: Donna Mills (ex-Knots Landing), Nicolette Sheridan (ex-Knots Landing), Morgan Fairchild (ex-Falcon Crest et al), Linda Gray (ex-Dallas) and Loni Anderson (ex-WKRP in Cincinnati).

Here’s what we do know! In story, five alums from the long-running soap, The Great Lakes reunite for a live Christmas finale. Uh-oh!  Now take a look at the backstory of the colorful cast of characters (pay special attention to the clever twists on the actresses names!)

Photo: Lifetime

LAUREN EWING (Linda Gray) “Everyone thinks I’m so damn good all the time,” confesses the junk food-loving Lauren of her second act as a lifestyle guru. “I don’t know how Gwenyth Paltrow does it!”

DANA CUNNINGHAM (Donna Mills) Now a sitcom mom, she’s yet to make amends to ex-bestie Juliette after abruptly leaving the soap back in the day. Not that she hasn’t tried: “When I thought the world was going to end in Y2K,” Dana says, “I reached out to her, and she never called me back.”

LILY MARLOWE (Loni Anderson) After replacing Dana on ‘Great Lakes’, Lily never again found a role to win her acclaim. “What do I have to show for (my career)? An arc on  For the People – Shonda Rhimes’ only flop!”

JULIETTE MATHESON (Nicollette Sheridan) “She left me for L.A.,” the party girl turned fashion mogul recalls of Dana’s betrayal. Will their feud derail the entire event?

MARGEAUX ROBERTS (Morgan Fairchild) “Fasten your face-lifts, ladies, it’s gonna be a bumpy weekend!” The sassy grande dame of ‘Great Lakes’ sees the Juliette-Dana beef as the perfect escape from her own domestic drama.

Photo: Lifetime

Now, making this all the more hysterical is the director of The Great Lakes reunion special, which makes the five women live under the same roof, is its former child star Alex, who has gotten his ex-girlfriend, Nell to direct the finale. Meanwhile, in the subplot. the ‘Ladies of the ’80s’ come up with a plan to get Alex and Nell back together.

As with any good soap opera, there is a major food fight. Linda Gray shared with USA Today ,”The food fight was one take. And it was fabulous.” And of course, their is a bitch-fest slap-fest. Morgan Fairchild revealed, “Oh honey, we all got ours in. Mine was a simple, ‘How dare you?’ with a slap. But I was hoping for a punch.”

Photo: Lauren Dukoff/Lifetime

The movie’s EP, Larry Thompson, who is a Hollywood manager and has Donna Mills as a client, said that the entire scene peaks with the”slapfest coup de grâce.” What is that exactly? That is when Donna Mills pushes Nicollette Sheridan into a pool in a nod to Dynasty’s Lily bond battle between Dynasty’s Alexis (Joan Collins) and Krystle (Linda Evans).

In case you missed it previously, check out the trailer for Ladies of the ’80s: A Divas Christmas below, also starring Patrika Darbo, Alec Mapa, Mills real-life daughter, Chloe Mills, and Christopher Atkins with theme song by Tiffany.

Now let us know, will you be tuning in to the movie for a premise that should delight many a longtime soap fan? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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Peter Reckell returns for a second visit with Michael Fairman following the wrap-up of his recent run as Bo Brady on Days of our Lives.Leave A Comment

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Airdate: 7-24- 2023