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John-Paul Lavoisier Done at Days of our Lives!

Courtesy/IMDB

Courtesy/IMDB

Another more recent casting acquisition is exiting Days of our Lives.

According to Soap Opera Digest on Tuesday, former One Life to Live star John-Paul Lavoisier, who returned to daytime as a recast Phillip Kiriakis of Salem, is leaving the long-running NBC soap opera.

According to SOD, Lavoisier will finish taping this month and exit on-screen towards the end of the year.  JP debuted on DAYS back in 2015, and first aired in December of that year.

Just what this means for the role of Phillip remains to be seen.  Is a DAYS recast forthcoming? Could Jay Kenneth Johnson come back to reprise the role?  Will the role just be written off the canvas?

Lavosier spent almost 11 years on One Life to Live as pivotal character Rex Balsom. Prior to his latest gig at DAYS he was featured in two online soap series: Winterthorne and Beacon Hill.

So, what do you think of the exit of Lavoisier?  Did he never catch fire as Phillip? What do you think DAYS should do next with the role of Phillp?  Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Aria
Guest
Aria

Seems like all dool does is stunt casting but they don’t ever back it up long term

Dylan
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Dylan

WHY…oh why….does this show…and others….keep hiring A List soap stars, ad wastig them????????

Bee
Guest
Bee

I love John Paul Lavoisier!

dmr
Guest
dmr

I never really cared much for the actor when on OLTL, or on DOOL. On OLTL, I thought his character was very immature and annoying. On DOOL, I think he was miscast. Best of luck to him; but, DOOL needs to clean-out Salem-starting with the teen scene. I stopped DVR-ing the show. It’s just been awful.

RichInIowa
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RichInIowa

Agree re Lavoisier. You said it perfectly.

vinee
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vinee

Agree,he has never been a actor more of an ego; and with a number of unemployed former soap actors that could do justice to the role they should be able to recast.

nancy dillingham
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nancy dillingham

Agree!

Douglas
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Douglas

“Days of our Lives” is just a revolving door these days. Another dumb casting decision.

dmr
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dmr

This was one of the worst casting decisions, IMO. I watched the Chloe & Phillip scenes today (Wednesday) and the character was totally miscast.

Mister Media
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Mister Media

Sadly this is typical of Days at this point. I feel sorry for these actors who are seduced and abandoned by the show. If he didn’t catch fire as Phillip it’s because the writers never struck a match and gave him anything much to do. All that Days is doing at this point is training viewers not to invest an their characters. It’s here today, gone six months from now. I thought he was great in the role. As much as I want to like Days it is becoming increasingly unwatchable, at times literally – turn on some lights so… Read more »

Debs
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Debs

I agree! I’ve been watching on and off for approx. 30+ years. Just when the cast someone with potential and chemistry, they divert the storyline and then write-off the character.
Fans are going to burn-out from the rapid turn-over. Sign actor and develop stories – quit jerking us around!

Kim Simmons
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Kim Simmons

Me too

Rodd
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Rodd

I get that people come in and out of our lives for brief periods at a time in real life but on my soaps, I want them to be consistently there for me. I’m getting whiplash trying to keep up with who’s there, who’s returning and who’s leaving. It’s so confusing. JPL was an tremendous talent to have on DAYS. He and so many others who are leaving will be missed.

dmr
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dmr

& why have a character return in a recast? Makes it even more confusing to me.

Iakovos
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Iakovos

Whiplash is a good word for it, Rodd! Hey DAYS, stop the stunt casting and really focus on the characters that matter. And when making decisions, commit to them. It is difficult to commit and to invest in the show when so many come and go, and when favorite talent is announced with fanfare, only to soon be relegated to sorry plots and quick exits. Make it work, DAYS! You have too strong and storied a legacy to let slip away.

Kim Simmons
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Kim Simmons

Sounds like I’m in the minority but I really liked his portrayal of Phillip. Hate to see him go

Phil
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Phil

The character should be written off. There is nowhere for him to go at this point. The cast is way too big to begin with… though I would welcome Kassim DePaiva as Eve back full time anyday!

Mark
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Mark

I hear she’s coming back. Her airdate starts in November.

jacque
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jacque

Phillip was never given a story to catch fire…

Tomas Torquemada
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Tomas Torquemada

AGREE. The writing has been beyond horrible. Did he have a storyline? No, he didn’t. No one does. The pacing is horrible. I watched two characters deliver the one scene three times in an episode. It’s the same scene they did last week and the week before. He’s a talented actor in a role with ties to two families and a fair amount of history. So where’s the story? We got the Belle Phillip Sean triangle. Again. Well, two decades later and that teen era storyline has zero gas in the tank. Quelle surprise. As for there being too many… Read more »

Pamela Davis
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Pamela Davis

Well said.

Jacque
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Jacque

Exactly!

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

Coronation Street is my favorite soap….

James R. Poissant
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James R. Poissant

I really thought he was a very good Phillip—I hope he lands something else soon. It was great seeing someone from OLTL get a gig on another soap. I miss all those actors but at least I have seen some of them move on to other things.

Melissa
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Melissa

Sorry to hear this. I don’t watch Days but I like this actor very much. I hope he lands on his feet in another role soon.

Michael
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Michael

I’m just … wow. Shawn, Belle, Phillip – all characters that work when in the hands of a writer that has at least some imagination. And yet, all three have been in B-stories (at best) since being brought back to the canvas. And instead of finding something compelling for them to do, they write them in stories that see little time, are inadequately fleshed out, and then – they get written off.

Jimmy
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Jimmy

DAYS is making some terrible casting decisions lately. I’m not a fan of this at all. JPL is a great actor and fits the role of Philip really well. I think it’s a mistake letting him go, just as it was a mistake to fire Brandon Beemer and Martha Madison. Shawn, Belle and Philip are important characters to the Salem canvas and I see no reason why the shouldn’t stick around.

James
Guest
James

Actors are lucky to get an acting gig lasting an entire season but only some can say they’ve got jobs that kept them afloat for nearly a year or longer and an even rarer few who have got acting gigs that lasted nearly an entire lifetime . Sad to see John Paul go but I wish him the best of luck. I’ve only seen glimpses of him as Philip and while I’m a fan of his previous Rex Balsom role in OLTL, I don’t think he was able to grow into the role in the time he was able to… Read more »

Mateo
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Mateo

He was awful on DAYS and looked tired. There was no chemistry at all with sour faced Belle. Sorry that an actor has to lose a source of steady income but there is a LONG list of actors on DAYS who need to hit the road Jack.

Tim S.
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Tim S.

I agree.. def not a good casting role for him. He is talented but just not the right role for him.

Celia
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Celia

LOL, Mateo. For the longest time I could not put a name on Belle. You did it !!!!!! Yes, she always looks like she has eaten lemons.
I feel badly for John-Paul. I loved him on OLTL, always bringing humor and a sense of joie de vivre on the table.
Days is walking on shaky legs. How long before it needs a wheelchair?

Roz
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Roz

I agree he was not a good fit. I felt like I watching Rex Balsom from OLTL instead of Phillip Kiriakis. He played the role in the same manner as he would Rex it did not work for me. I hate to see anyone lose their job,and I wish him the best. I just hope his next role is a better fit.

Tim Clarke
Guest
Tim Clarke

I agree about Belle, she does not possess anything magnetic or even interesting – get rid of her – write her out and send her Ex boring husband with her and Phillip too LoL –
Sorry, My apologies to long time fans but the show STINKS right now – it is an exercise in tedium just to endure.

Celia
Guest
Celia

@Tim Clarke.
Sadly, Tim, I cannot disagree with you. You speak the truth.

Mandy
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Mandy

He was NEVER right for the role, and I never quite got used to him as Philip. Too much goofiness, weird facial expressions and overacting. However, I’d rather have Philip on-screen than not. I’ll hold out hope that they are recasting until I hear otherwise. Shawn/Belle/Philip is the only reason I’ve watched the last few months. HUGE mistake if they are getting rid of all three permanently. (Still hoping that bringing back Shawn & Belle was the SOD blind item from a couple of months ago.)

Celia
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Celia

Another wasted talent. Talk about DOOL tossing actors around. What is being done to John-Paul was done to Melissa Archer, Kassie DePaiva and so many more outstanding actors who have earned their status on these soaps.
I don’t think John-Paul ‘caught fire’ as Phillip because of the insipid storylines given him, which, may I add, were going nowhere.
Gimme a break!!!! Not happy.

Llanviewer717
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Llanviewer717

Thank you Celia for mentioning Melissa Archer and Kassie DePaiva. You are so right. I’m glad I’m not the only viewer who sees a pattern here.

Celia
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Celia

That’s how I see it, Llannviewer. It’s pathetic!!!! It’s as if ALL the OLTL actors are jinxed.
Nothing can replace OLTL and its cast for me. Glad we share the same thought.

Vicki
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Vicki

Again, would love to see Melissa Archer on GH. This needs to happen!

Marianne
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Marianne

Agreed. Wonderful actors. Personally would love to see Melissa Archer on GH.

jaybird369
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jaybird369

Celia…I get what you’re saying here. I really do. Yet, I look at it like this: This is DOOL…not ‘DOOL Meets OLTL’. Just saying……….

Later, my friend.

SuziQ
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SuziQ

I really liked him in this part. Brought a very unique “vibe” to the show. I wish he wasn’t leaving. Really good actor.

clh
Guest
clh

Is Days ‘ intention to be cancelled, they have the absolute worst decision makes ever. They didn’t even write decent story for him to begin with.

Darren
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Darren

He was miscast as Phillip, loved him as Rex on OLTL. Days is in serious trouble. The ratings are falling to all time lows. They need to make more changes. Bring back Vivian, Ivan, Anna Dimera and Calliope Jones. Bring back the original Phillip, Kenneth Johnson.

louisa
Guest
louisa

He has not had a chance to catch fire! What a waste. Very disappointed in Days. JPL is amazing!

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

He showed promise when he first came on but Deimos stole his thunder and his Philip did not make the impact i had hoped he would-i blame the writing!!!

Tomas Torquemada
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Tomas Torquemada

100% agree. He had no pages. What he did have was awful. Not drunk driving former priest awful but perilously close

Benjaman
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Benjaman

So typical of DOOL. Bring these established actors on with such fan-fare and in no time at all they are shown the door. So sad.

Pamela Davis
Guest
Pamela Davis

Agreed, what is disguised as casting designed to keep viewers involved seems actually to be sabotage. Or, perhaps, more generously, writers and producers who really don’t care much about the product, and are just phoning in their participation. In my opinion, DOOL would benefit from an experiment in hiring involved fans and giving them some real input. There are more good ideas and perceptive insights in fan commentary than in the current scripting. Of course, this isn’t a complete novelty, given the soap’s history. In my decades of intermittent following of this show, I have often given up and later… Read more »

Timmm
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Timmm

Send him to Y&R and send Jason Thompson back to GH!

Barbara from Atlanta
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Barbara from Atlanta

I thought the same thing. I don’t watch DAYS and know very little about this actor. However, he has more of the “Billy Abbott look” (as established by the prior actors in the role) than Jason Thompson.

I’m not buying Thompson at all as Billy. He might have made a good Adam as he has dark looks similar to Victor but Billy he ain’t.

Timmm
Guest
Timmm

Jason is a great actor and I had faith in him based off that BUT, time is up, its a bust!

PS: Speaking of Billy Abbott look-a-likes, PLEASE drop Travis! He is awful with Vicki!

Susan
Guest
Susan

@Barbara – In my opinion Young and Restless changed Billy Abbott’s look because they wanted to change the character completely. Before the accident, that almost took his life, Billy would never have thought of having an affair with his brother’s wife. I bet there is a lot more Billy is going to do next. So I doubt that Jason is leaving. However, I want Travis gone asap. That Travis is up to something and it’s not good. One day Victoria is going to wake up to discover the damage that man has down to her life and to her father’s… Read more »

Celia
Guest
Celia

Thank you, Barbara. I have been lamenting this litany from day one. Jason Thompson does not know Billy Abbott. He has not figured him out. While Billy Abbott ‘walked’ around with a devil-may-care attitude; he was never the arrogant, dog in the manger, spoiled brat , ” I-wanna-rearrange-your-face” kind of guy. Jason has no allure/charisma.
I must disagree with Susan……Billy did have an affair with his brother’s wife before the accident. Her name is Sharon.
Nonetheless, Barbara. I never would have thought of it….But, yes, I can see how John-Paul could have fit into Billy’s Mercury ‘winged’ shoes like a glove.

JSP
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JSP

JPL would make a good Billy Abbott

Timmm
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Timmm

He looks like a cross between Miller and Thompson!

boes
Guest
boes

Send Jason Thompson ANYWHERE AT ALL, I agree, just away from Genoa City. But do NOT send JPL to Y&R, unless he’s getting a job in janitorial or food service. NOT on screen. Please, God….

Susan
Guest
Susan

I disagree!. JPL is a very good at what he does. It’s not his fault that the writers on DOOL had no idea what they were doing. An actor is only as good as the script he is given. And the writing for Philip was terrible. DOOL brings in great talented actors and thens wastes the opportunity in a hurry. JPL was wonderful on OLTL because the writers there knew what they were doing.

Llanviewer717
Guest
Llanviewer717

I’m not surprised. They never did anything with him. Having enjoyed his performance on One Life to Live, I was looking forward having John-Paul on Days. I’ve been totally disappointed with the material he was given. From where I sat, Phillip was a peripheral character reacting to the Victor/Deimos feud and to, another wasted character, Belle. Why does DOOL hire these experienced, known actors and then do nothing with them? I’m sorry to see John-Paul go because he is a talented actor. But, he’s probably better off if he wants to do anything with his talent. I wish him nothing… Read more »

Tim Clarke
Guest
Tim Clarke

Good bye and good luck to this guy, he added zippo to an already weak show.
Also, I can’t stand the character of Belle, and her with Phillip plus her ex-husband, it all adds up to = who the heck cares.

Michael S.
Guest
Michael S.

Days doesn’t seem to know how to leverage it’s named casting. They bring these well named stars from other soaps but then either don’t use them or get rid of them. Previously working on OLTL seems to be the kiss of death on Days.

Ken
Guest
Ken

I am so tired of this **** What is the problem? Dena needs to get a drink of water and sit down somewhere. Her writing has been proven to be bipolar at best. I need some answers. Why is Days of Our Lives having so many problem with retaining writers and then hire back the ones who throw it in the toilet to begin with. When is the Days going back to its traditional filming? Do us all a favor and take your medication and sit down somewhere and write relevant stories. Where is William Bell when you need him?????

Mo
Guest
Mo

JP did not catch fire as Philip. I like him, but this was not a good fit for him.

If Jay returns as Philip, okay. Otherwise maybe leave Philip off. I would like Philip and Victor to reconnect.

I thought Chloe and Philip were going to reconnect so don’t know what this means for Chloe’s story.

Lou Piikes
Guest
Lou Piikes

JPL was totally miscast as Philip Kiriakis just like KDP was miscast as Eve Donovan.

LujackLvr
Guest
LujackLvr

John-Paul Lavoisier is the poor man’s Dennis Cole. I never cared for Kassie DePaiva as Eve [Charlotte Ross will always be Eve to me but she has moved on to bigger–if not better, like marrying & raising a family out of the spotlight] things…but then again, I still remember Kassie in her first daytime role when she went by her maiden name, Kassie Wesley, as GUIDING LIGHT’s Chelsea Marie Reardon, in 1986.

nancy dillingham
Guest
nancy dillingham

Wow! Never thought of it–but you are right–he DOES look like Dennis Cole!

Susan
Guest
Susan

@LujackLvr – who is Dennis Cole?

LujackLvr
Guest
LujackLvr

Susan, Dennis Cole was a big TV actor in the 1970s. He starred on THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS as Lance Prentiss in the late ’70s [before or after John McCook, it does not say–but if memory serves me correctly, Dennis was the second Lance[?] before the Brooks/Prentiss families were wiped out of Genoa City to make room for the Abbott & Newman families that still populate the show today. Dennis was also married to Jaclyn Smith for about three years during her CHARLIE’S ANGELS run as Kelly Garrett & I remember him guest-starring on that show once or twice… Read more »

Mary SF
Guest
Mary SF

Thank God he was the worse Philip ever. I wish soaps would stop trying to cast big names, and start casting for the actor that actually fits the role– if the original actor is unavailable, then recast, but try to at least match the age and personality and keep the history of show in mind when recasting– just because someone was popular on another soap and role that doesn’t mean they are right for every role

Pamela Davis
Guest
Pamela Davis

Good point.

Jp
Guest
Jp

I don’t think the character caught on. Terrible storyline. Another wasted talented being let go.

Jp
Guest
Jp

Another wasted talent being let go.

Tim Clarke
Guest
Tim Clarke

The actor, no offense to his talent, didn’t connect with the audience and I’m not exactly sure why except that the writing has been absolutely atrocious. Every time he tries to smooth things over with Victor, I never feel a sense of connectivity between them, and Jon Aniston is a great actor so it can’t be that.

Sandy
Guest
Sandy

He just didn’t gel in the role of Philip K as well as the cast of characters of days, they wrote his Philip K role very bad to where nothing he did not said made any sense at all and his hair style they had for his role of Philip K didn’t help him nor the character. Best of luck to you and I wish you the best in your future, sorry days did not work out but they at days are on a slow sinking ship.

damien
Guest
damien

no wonder jason cook never conyinued on a shawn.
he has behind the scenes experience and he saw the writing on the wall with this clown troupe thats the days executives. no vision. no story. ….and a year ago corday was promising big things. wat a load of shit. days is directionless.
something major behind the scenes has to happen to get it back on track or bye bye days

4ever DAYS
Guest
4ever DAYS

The release of JPL could actually indicate direction, damien. DAYS could’ve decided to do away with Shawn, Belle and Philip in order to focus on Sonny, Paul and possibly Will. Also Jay Kenneth Johnson may be returning as Philip. Most viewers seem to want JKJ back.

4ever DAYS
Guest
4ever DAYS

I forgot to agree with you though, damien. It does seem directionless with all the changes.

brian
Guest
brian

seems most of the OLTL actors are free again….maybe it’s time for OLTL V3 !

Llanviewer717
Guest
Llanviewer717

Oh, how I wish that would happen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tim Clarke
Guest
Tim Clarke

I second that emotion – bring back One Life to Live or All My Children or both in a combination. Please do something, this show is so lackluster I could fall asleep.
Also, I am not enthralled at all by Deimos, the younger brother of Victor. The storyline of his taking over Victor’s house and being involved with Nicole (because she resembles his old flame) just isn’t going anywhere. What was the point of him being rescued by Chloe?

Boes
Guest
Boes

Now that I could go for times 100!

louisa
Guest
louisa

Seriously. Just bring back OLTL! JPL was amazing as Rex Balsam.

Alexis Gouzoules
Guest
Alexis Gouzoules

I suggest they utilize this great guy on #Gh and make him the new Lucky!!!!!! He is a great actor and could pull Lucky off!

Boes
Guest
Boes

Only if they decide to cast him as Lucky’s corpse – and even then I doubt if this ham could keep from mugging it up.

He should be practicing “Do you want fries with that”. He’s the OLTL equivalent of Cameron Matheson, thong and all.

nancy dillingham
Guest
nancy dillingham

NO, NO, and NO! Not as Lucky! PLEASE!

rebecca1
Guest
rebecca1

I like John-Paul too and had we didn’t already have a fantastic Dylan on GH (I’m blanking out can’t remember his name but I love this actor) I could see John-Paul more as Dylan than Lucky.

rebecca1
Guest
rebecca1

had should be if

4ever DAYS
Guest
4ever DAYS

JPL hasn’t been on long enough or in a big enough storyline for me to decide if I like him or not.

It’s hard to imagine Jay Kenneth Johnson returning as Philip because it was said that he is living like a caveman. He weighs 300 lbs and has long hair and a beard like ZZ Top! I guess ZZ Top is better than Zzzzzzzzz, LOL!

nancy dillingham
Guest
nancy dillingham

🙂

Deb
Guest
Deb

He is a great actor. They’ve let go of a lot of great actors to focus on young actors who can’t act and characters nobody cares about. The 6month lead time does nothing to help the situation by the time a character catches on they are gone. I would love to see him show up on GH.

Lew S.
Guest
Lew S.

Note to all ex-OLTL actors: Stay away from this show!!

Tim Clarke
Guest
Tim Clarke

LOL – honestly that is good, solid advice – and please extend the warning to ex cast members of All My Children.

Penny
Guest
Penny

I wish JP all the best!

Lala
Guest
Lala

People are coming and going on that show like paper work.Never seen it so much.What is going on?

Helen
Guest
Helen

A talented actor terribly miscast.

blake
Guest
blake

Days just needs to retire. She’s at the point of Peapack, NJ Guiding Light and Goutman As The World Turns.

jaybird369
Guest
jaybird369

I look at it like this: John-Paul Lavoisier was the W-O-R-S-T Phillip Kiriakis EVER!!!!! Oh..and ENOUGH ALREADY with the re-casting of the PK character!!!!! DOOL needs to FINALLY write out the character altogether!!!!!

Just saying……….

Susan
Guest
Susan

NO! DOL needs to hire better writers who know and understand the history of the characters they are dealing with. Days brings in talented actors and then wastes their talent almost as quickly as they appear on scene. The writers did to JPL the exact same thing they did to KD. If I could, I would grab hold of Vincent Irizarry and tell him to run away from DOOL ASAP before the writers also destroy the character of Demios.

boes
Guest
boes

Days has used him badly and didn’t seem to have a coherent idea of what to even use Philip for. All Show has him do is moon over Belle, get drunk and imitate Veronica Lake with all his hair tosses.
Plus, JPL just isn’t a good actor. His acting tics which were bad enough on OLTL have only gotten worse. He’s not leading man material. He would be best used as an infrequent background character, brought out every now and then for comic relief.

Marisa Cannata
Guest
Marisa Cannata

they should bring back Jay Kenneth Johnson I liked him as Philip as a matter of fact I miss him. so I do hope they do bring him back.

Susan
Guest
Susan

After watching the terrible job the writers are doing on DOL why would Jay Kenneth Johnson ever consider returning to DOOL?

Tad
Guest
Tad

How is that JPL got fired for not being a good fit for the role, but the horrible so called actors that play Joey and Ciara are considered good fits for their roles and are still on the show?

Helen
Guest
Helen

I could not agree more. It’s painful to watch the Ciara character deliver lines. Which she cannot. The Joey character is marginally better.

Mo
Guest
Mo

Yesterday was very painful as Ciara had a lot of scenes. Why was she smiling when Chad went off on her?

I fast forwarded through Jade/Joey. Wish they’d stayed in CA off-screen.

4ever DAYS
Guest
4ever DAYS

I don’t see where it says he wasn’t a good fit, Tad. He could’ve been let go for the return of Jay Kenneth Johnson.

The Joey and Ciara performers may have been let go. Some exits are kept secret longer than others.

louisa
Guest
louisa

Agree! JPL is so much better than the teens! I can’t even watch them.

Susan
Guest
Susan

@ Tad – JPL got fired because DOL decided he wasn’t right for the role? Well how about firing the writers who didn’t know how to write for the character of Philip.

Rochelle
Guest
Rochelle

He was great on OLTL, & if he is looking for work GH should hire him . He & Bree can catch up

Michie jones
Guest
Michie jones

So true! The history of these characters and being part of main families is infuriating that they can’t write better story lines for them! Why bring Aiden back if you can’t let him and Hope find their way back to being in love. Rafe and Hope have no chemistry! Fast forward those scenes!! Hate that they’re writing Ciara as a manipulative tramp! What girl that’s been raped a few months ago is going to start daydreaming about any guy, especially a married man at least 10 yrs her senior!

Mo
Guest
Mo

And who is married to her cousin!!!

Alexis Gouzoules
Guest
Alexis Gouzoules

Wow….your too kind. Don’t hold back.

Drake
Guest
Drake

Days is starting to concern me. All shows hit lulls but when is someone going to say enough is enough and do a serious restructuring of this show. I really think Ron Carlivati could turn DOOL around to the couldn’t-miss-an-episode days of the 90s

Omar
Guest
Omar

Drake, I am so with you!! I agree, Ron C will help this show big time by shifting its mood from gloom and doom to over the top melodrama, romance and comedy relief!! And bring back some core characters killed off by the last couple of head writers who have destroyed this show!

mike
Guest
mike

They tried to make him Phillip rather than let him recreate Phillip and it did not work. If they had let him infuse the character with some of his personality he would have caught on.

rebecca1
Guest
rebecca1

Rodd, I LOVE your comment! The very fact that there is no security in real life, that people we get close to come and go for various reasons, is part of the allure of soaps. Familiar faces who never leave. People we invest in who are always there. That’s why the sudden disappearance of the soaps that were abruptly canceled left such a gap. On another note, I’m a fan of John-Paul.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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A post shared by Ali Sweeney (@alisweeney)

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Days Of Our Lives

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

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

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

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

 

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

Photo: AfterForever

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

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

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

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

Where is your character within this?

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

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

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

Photo: AfterForever

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

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

Photo: AfterForever

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

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

Photo: AfterForever

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

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

Photo: AfterForever

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

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

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

KEVIN:  Hell yes!

Photo: JPI

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

Photo: AfterForever

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

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

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

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Breaking News

REPORT: Dan Feuerriegel is DAYS New EJ DiMera

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

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

Photo: DFeuerriegelIG

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

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

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

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

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

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