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On An Emotional DAYS: Daniel's Dead & Maggie Must Choose Who Gets His Heart … Brady Or Eric?

Courtesy/NBC

Courtesy/NBC

After months of waiting to see how Shawn Christan’s (Daniel) exit from Days of our Lives would play out, viewers got their answer on Monday’s episode of the NBC soap opera.

Following the New Year’s Eve car crash: Daniel, Jennifer (Melissa Reeves), Brady (Eric Martsolf) and Eric (Greg Vaughan) are wheeled into University Hospital neeeding urgent care, but Daniel did not make it.  Now he is being kept on a ventilator, only because he is a viable organ donor.  Fynn (Alexander Bruzt) reveals Daniel suffered head trauma and is brain dead.

When the family members are notified, DAYS showed each of the parents: John (Drake Hogestyn) and Marlena (Deidre Hall) –  Brady’s father and Eric’s mother, Maggie (Suzanne Rogers) and Victor (John Aniston) –  Daniel’s mother and godfather –  as well as Jennifer’s son, JJ (Casey Moss) all learning the news at the same time of the car crash, and who all rush to the hospital to be with their loved ones.

Courtesy/NBC

Meanwhile, Theresa (Jen Lilley), Kate (Lauren Koslow) and Nicole (Arianne Zucker) are having it out at the Basic Black New Year’s Eve fashion show party, when Nicole gets a call.  When she gets to the hospital, she learns Daniel is dead, and so too does Maggie and Victor all at the same time from Fynn.   Nicole then has an emotional goodbye with Daniel in the ICU.  When Nicole gets up to allow Maggie some time to sit alone with her son, she leaves the room.  Next, Maggie collapses on the floor in grief.  Victor then joins her so they can say goodbye to Daniel together.

Elsewhere, Marlena gets to Eric’s room where Kayla (Mary Beth Evans) questions her if she remembers any past upper respitory infections that Eric might have had.  Kayla suspects something.  Roman (Josh Taylor) comes by and joins Marlena. He informs his ex-wife that their son was drunk at the time of the accident and is the one who ran into Jennifer.  Marlena is mortified.

Courtesy/NBC

John wants to see Brady, but Theresa is over his bedside willing him to fight to live and come back to their son Tate, and her.  An emotional John is overcome with grief seeing his son in such peril.

At the end of the episode, Kayla and Fynn tell Maggie and Victor that both Eric and Brady need a heart, and that Daniel’s is a match for both of them.   Maggie is overcome with the knowledge that she must be the one who must decide quickly who should get Daniel’s heart …  Eric or Brady?

Throughout the episode there were some heartbreaking moments delivered, in particular kudos go to Suzanne Rogers as the mother put in an impossible situation.  As well, Arianne Zucker finally had some very emotional moments to play, and Drake Hogestyn and John Aniston also had some touching moments om the male side.

Now the question:  Who do you think will get Daniel’s heart … Eric or Brady?  What did you think of the episode  … thumbs up or thumbs down?  Whose performance had you reaching for the hankies the most?  Comment below!

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JeanneVery disappointed!MoElite AdvisorsChrystie_Delancey Recent comment authors
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Alan
Guest
Alan

Since Shawn Christian and Greg Vaughn are leaving the show I’m going to guess that Brady will get the heart…

Ces
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Ces

Good guess 🙂

Chrystie_Delancey
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Chrystie_Delancey

Eric could still get a heart from another donor. But if they go the way of killing off TWO more characters senselessly like this, then that is just awful. Why can’t anyone just move away these DAYS?

Ces
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Ces

Chrystie, I think Eric (Greg Vaughn) is also leaving the show — hopefully they don’t kill the character off (haven’t watched today’s show yet); they COULD have sent Will off to live with Sonny in Paris if they wanted the character gone. Killing the character off was stupid and useless. Days just likes killing characters off and shove new ones we don’t care about down our throats.

Chrystie_Delancey
Guest
Chrystie_Delancey

I agree with you, Ces. Yes. I heard Greg Vaughn was leaving. Hopefully they will use this experimental protocol on him. At least that is what they sound like they are doing, making me pretty sure that Brady will get the heart. Eric probably recovers and then moves away to find himself. They have really messed up that poor character. What a shame.

I so agree about Will. No need to kill him off and so viciously at that. A message was sent loud and clear and received. Horrible!

Jeanne
Guest
Jeanne

I sure wouldn’t want to live in Salem!!!!! Think of how may people have died tragically in the past few months. This is a little TOO unrealistic. I’d be for getting out of there. Notice too that the characters very quickly get over their over loved one’s deaths. Only a few have realistic emotions even for a short time.

Torqumada
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Torqumada

Did Eric go to the Newman School for drivers featuring Summer, Adam and Noah as head faculty?

Mo
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Mo

A lot of characters in the hospital right now. It’s a trend.

robert
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robert

really sad episode

Kelly
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Kelly

Extremely sad episode!! All acting was superb. Especially Maggie and Nicole. Just heart wrenching. Very sad to see the character of Daniel and Shawn C. leave DOOL. I really enjoyed him:(

damien
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damien

its one thing to kill daniel, albeit so suddenly in one episode… its another to kill off eric… if these short sighted writers kill off the beautiful and talented greg vaughan as the legacy eric … im officially done with days!!! and we know nicole was engaged to daniel, but the real love of her life, eric was also in serious condition… she didnt even peek into his room. where s the agony? , she s not even remotley torn between grieving between the two men she s in love with. lately its been all about her and daniel, with… Read more »

Mo
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Mo

Don’t forget–Nicole was involved with Brady too!

Ces
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Ces

Well said. I stopped watching for a few years when Eric was a priest & thought Days made a big mistake not pairing Nicole with him. Was surprised to see Nicole with Daniel when I started watching again (PR’s return). Daniel has always been a dud; with her & Jen too. A shame to let Greg V go, he is very talented.

maddiehayes
Guest
maddiehayes

Exactly. All these scenes of Nicole crying over Daniel .. well, it’s just not convincing to me! Considering just last summer she was all about Eric, and had been for years! And even if she did choose Daniel over Eric, why doesn’t she seem to care at ALL that Eric is lying in a hospital room dying as well?! This just leaves a bad taste in my mouth and makes me even more glad Daniel’s gone (I never liked him much, he ALWAYS slept with his patients! I’m really surprised he didn’t sleep with Eve).

gloria
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gloria

Oh My God, First we lose Serena, Paige, nearly Marlena & Will to awful Ben-the necktie killer-ugh-why kill WILL? Recast him but don’t KILL him! Then Bo-oh, words fail me here. Too horrific for words-bring him back after so long only to come home to that awful scene at Hope’s which has been swept under the rug if you ask me. I mean, that house was decimated & then hours later nothing except that little blood stain on the rug. All that was played out too fast. What about Aiden-what is the story about his first wife-did he kill her… Read more »

Crazy for Days
Guest
Crazy for Days

Jennifer’s mom was in rehab for drug addition and that’s the path Jennifer will be heading for from the accident. She will need pain meds to cope and become addicted. Next story plot.

tim S
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tim S

Great Episode.. Did not guess that storyline… Yeah!!!

CeeCee
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CeeCee

A tear-jerker, for sure, tim S.

Llanviewer717
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Llanviewer717

Just finished watching today’s episode. It’s just too tragic. I know I’m in the minority; but, I liked Daniel and will miss him terribly. There has been way too much death on this show lately.

Mo
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Mo

I liked him too. I will miss him. I don’t like that they killed him. Poor Maggie.

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

Suzanne Rogers was riveting! the way she backed up and collapsed to the floor helplessly reeling ! if she could she’d have backed out of that room , but suddenly present… the pain oh! major tears for Maggie! I have come to adore Suzanne Rogers so much remember after all those characters came back to life.. and she one of? I’ve always looked to her character as under the radar but nevertheless a constant blip torching her share of the Horton… she… along with Alison Sweeney in DAYS bleakest years… carried DOOL then … she met Victor… and the rest… Read more »

nicholas
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nicholas

A very sad episode but what a great episode . Most of the episodes on Days for the last few months have been amazing from the realism , the honesty and humanity of the feelings conveyed . Days is must see tv right now . Sure its sad but life has its moments of sadness . Days is showing us that life is not always about happiness , running around , being silly , jumping into bed . I command this soap for being so raw and real . The moments of happiness will be back , no doubt about… Read more »

Starzz
Guest
Starzz

There weren’t enough tissues in the house! Nice touch with the phone calls. As a parent that is the one call you dread receiving. Right now it’s looking like Maggie will choose Brady because we know Shawn & Greg are leaving the show but somehow I thought they had other plans for Eric to take him off canvas (prison or priesthood again). Why kill off another legacy character??

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

I truly hope Greg Vaughan’ Eric… does not die will he be kept at a respite till he gets his heart? I certainly hope they keep the door open, should they bring him back it’s shameful that here again… ( like Eve) another great character is wasted it really makes you realize just how wonderful… and (choice of words) different .. perhaps not so much… in these trying times… to see just how well GV’ really is Father Eric once again… DAYS production is really holding fast to their pace of storytelling… GV’ Eric will be gone that quickly… and… Read more »

Brett
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Brett

Death death and more death on DAYS!

Mo
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Mo

I think it’s obvious Brady will get Dan’s heart. Eric is the drunk who killed Daniel. Plus, Brady is Victor’s grandson and Maggie is also very close with Brady.

Great performances from Maggie and Nicole especially. Very sad.

CeeCee
Guest
CeeCee

That is the most sound comment, Mo. Makes sense to me. As I mentioned in a previous thread, what are the chances Daniel is really Victor’s son?

Chrystie_Delancey
Guest
Chrystie_Delancey

Brady is also a father whereas, sad to say, Eric really has not done much with his life.

Mo
Guest
Mo

That’s what I was thinking too, Brady is a dad.

Has anyone told Maggie that Eric was driving drunk and caused the accident? Never mind having to look Marlena and John in the face if she chooses Brady, how are they going to look HER in the face knowing their drunk son killed her son.

But she is married to Victor–she needs to choose Brady. He is her family.

John coming in saying Brady can have my heart–I guess he’s a B&B fan. LOL Anyway, it’s just stupid.

Chrystie_Delancey
Guest
Chrystie_Delancey

OMG, Mo! When John came in and delivered those lines, Drake looked like he was parodying himself on SNL. He turned his head away as if HE could not believe he had to utter such words. 🙂

Nora
Guest
Nora

This show has little happiness,just death and plenty of funerals.

Dan S
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Dan S

I was really impressed with the quality of acting in this episode. Both Nicole and Maggie were heart breaking. It was one of the saddest episodes, but also one of the best.

Anne
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Anne

Dear days,

Stop the killings, now please.

Ray
Guest
Ray

I am a huge DOOL and have been for 35+ years. The show is in a much better place than it was this time last year. But, the time has come for the writers to realize that you don’t have to kill every character, simply send them out of town or recast the role. It seems that since EJ died, it has been one death scene after another in a morgue or hearing all-too-real respirators. EJ, Serena, Will, Aidan and Bo all had gut-wrenching death scenes or sad aftermaths. I thought maybe it would end after the Neck-Tie killer reveal… Read more »

Chrystie_Delancey
Guest
Chrystie_Delancey

“Daniel has been MIA for weeks.” Ray, that is exactly like when they killed of Michael Easton’s character, Silas, on GH. The timing is not right and you can’t get the full emotion that you could had you watched scenes of them before their death.

Elite Advisors
Guest
Elite Advisors

You know, I just simply wrap my head around the idea that SO MANY of the most beloved characters are dead now…. was there no other way to write these story lines? Who is left to watch? I recently read that Jack is back ( briefly) I assume that means Abby will be killed off as well….as the actress is leaving the show…. The writers on this show are turning beyond dark and sadly there’s no turning back…these young actors will not be able to carry a show…does not look promising for Days. Thank you Kate Mansi for your exceptional… Read more »

Chrystie_Delancey
Guest
Chrystie_Delancey

It’s true. She is leaving, but will air through May, supposedly.

Elite Advisors
Guest
Elite Advisors

Have you heard if there is a recast in the works? I fear that since Jack is said to return foe a short stint that maybe its another devastating ending….I cannot think of any other reason that Jack would be back unless a tragic situation …again.

Beth
Guest
Beth

IA that it’s been too much death at this point. IMO, when you see one grieving mother followed by another and another and another for each death that’s happened over the course of the last 4+ months, it diminishes the emotional impact of the scenes for me. KDP’s Eve cried and broke down, as did AS’s Sami, as did PM’s Caroline, as did SR’s Maggie. I not only feel overly saturated with grief scenes, but I find myself comparing KDP’s acting to AS’, to PM’s, to SR’s. Same with Bryan Dattilo’s grief scenes, along with John Aniston’s, etc. And I… Read more »

Mo
Guest
Mo

Maybe the action will switch to Newsalem.

Mo
Guest
Mo

Or I guess that was Melaswen.

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

With so many killed off and leaving and with the aged teens, it already feel like a new Salem but not in the same way you mentioned…lol

Mo
Guest
Mo

Of gawd, those teen scenes yesterday were ridiculous. I did like Claire’s hair though. And who was that random friend with them? Did we even get a name? I’m sure Chad will be less than happy if he finds out about their little soiree in his club.

Allen saint james
Guest
Allen saint james

Days IS BRING ING THE DAMN TO daytime. Soaps are at their very best when hard choices must be made, when lives hang in the balance, and especially when the emotional st ales are high. I for one enjoy watching soaps to get my cry on. I find it cathartic and life affirming. Days is spectacular with its mix of fantasy (brainwashing) intrigue/danger (john black story) crazy (eva, necktie killer) romance (patch and kayla) and all of the realness of death and despair (bo, daniel,. Great drama.

Chrystie_Delancey
Guest
Chrystie_Delancey

I really hate episodes like this and furthermore it brings my disgust of celebrating “New Year” to light. I have never cared for celebrating New Year’s since I became a mother and an adult. Becoming a parent makes you more aware of your mortality than anything. I always see it as “who will we lose THIS year?” because when you are lucky enough as I was to have your maternal grandparents live into their mid 90s and you live across the country from most of your family, you know that eventually you will get “the call” that someone has passed.… Read more »

Chrystie_Delancey
Guest
Chrystie_Delancey

Now there is a report that Kate Mansi (Abigail) is leaving. She has taped her last scenes but will be onscreen through May 2016.

Jp
Guest
Jp

She probably got killed off too.

Mo
Guest
Mo

I hope it’s not true.

Chrystie_Delancey
Guest
Chrystie_Delancey

She just confirmed on Instagram that the rumors are true. She is leaving.

Mo
Guest
Mo

Hopefully the role will be recast.

Mary SF
Guest
Mary SF

Okay, I wasn’t going to watch these episodes but the soap lover in me won out, and I need to support every last soap on, even if I don’t like what I am watching. I still believe unless the powers that be are trying to give every actress and actor on the show a stunning Emmy reel, then all this death and destruction is unnecessary. First off the shock value of an untimely death is lost when you use the same plot device over and over, in a short span of time, by the third or fourth time it’s like… Read more »

kathy
Guest
kathy

Suzanne is the best. Nice to see her get some well deserved recognition. If anyone can make a Solomon like decision it is Maggie.

Kelly
Guest
Kelly

I think the heart will go to Brady because Eric (Greg Vaughn) has left the show.

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

Arianne Zucker was her phenom self of ole’ could this be the rebirth of Nicole Walker? where else does she have to go; with the demise of Daniel and the exit of Eric? boy was she not the most wasted character and … for all intent and purpose… languishing in Days of ole’…. overkilled to the point of saturation… with Daniel, Eric, Brady, and Jennifer… honestly… I pretty much had written her off… and that would have been a serious remiss… because… despite the fact that her character has no family support… few friends… she is a stand alone ACT!… Read more »

Kathy
Guest
Kathy

I feel the same as so many others, tired of all of the death the ‘new’ writers have brought to DAYS. They’ve never tied up the Clyde Weston storyline, particularly problematic because it’s never been revealed that he was behind EJ’s murder. They ruined the Aiden character, who I’d actually come to accept, only to bring Bo back to kill him? Then they ruin Eric and make him even more of an aimless drifter only now to leave him at death’s door. Truly how much are the Hortons/Brady/Kiriakis clans to take? How much are the viewers to take? Is this… Read more »

Very disappointed!
Guest
Very disappointed!

WHY are you killing off another main character? I was totally blown away at Bo’s death. Mostly how quickly it happened. He was always a fave of mine. Daniel is another of my faves. I actually liked him and Nicole together. Balanced each other out. Eric, not so much. I have done nothing but cry since Bo exited. So very sad. I hope there are more good actors in line to take their place!!!!!

Days Of Our Lives

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ali Sweeney (@alisweeney)

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Days Of Our Lives

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

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

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

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

 

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

Photo: AfterForever

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

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

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

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

Where is your character within this?

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

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

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

Photo: AfterForever

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

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

Photo: AfterForever

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

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

Photo: AfterForever

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

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

Photo: AfterForever

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

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

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

KEVIN:  Hell yes!

Photo: JPI

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

Photo: AfterForever

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

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

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

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Breaking News

REPORT: Dan Feuerriegel is DAYS New EJ DiMera

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

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

Photo: DFeuerriegelIG

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

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

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

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

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

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

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