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Days Of Our Lives

THE JAMES SCOTT INTERVIEW – DAYS OF OUR LIVES

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EJ Wells found himself in several predicaments in the last several weeks. First, he is still in the dark about the daughter he just baptized, and that the woman he finally made love to, is lying about being the baby’s mother! Then, there’s the love of his life, Samantha, who has just returned from being in the Witness Protection Program with another man in tow! Not to mention that his brother Tony is stirring up all sorts of trouble, which will lead to his ultimate downfall, and then, throw in EJ’s business projects that are all twisted and tangled and you’ve got more plotlines than any character can handle.

Days of our Lives heartthrob, James Scott, certainly seems to be carrying quite a heavy load on his shoulders, so we got down to business to answer some of the questions that “Jami” and “DAYS” fans want to know about all the shenanigans in Salem.

Without further adieu…the charming Mr. Scott!

Listen to the audio:

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MICHAEL:

Last week on “DAYS” Nicole and EJ baptized Sydney, and EJ is still in the dark about Nicole’s baby machinations. How long will this go on, that he will remain clueless?

JAMES:

One can only imagine he will be clueless for a while. There are no indications that this storyline is about to come to a conclusion anytime soon.

MICHAEL:

Is that daunting?

ariane_james_baby.jpgJAMES:

Well, most of the soap operas play the same beats, but what is interesting is trying to make them feel fresh. But still is it daunting? I wouldn’t say so. It’s always interesting to get new scripts and see how the writers are going to get Nicole out of it for another day, week, or whenever it may be.

MICHAEL:

Does it ever feel to you that the writers dummy down EJ?

JAMES:

Well, there have certainly been times when I have said to the producers, “Look, this guy is not this stupid.” Nobody is, and we have to try to make some changes, and it’s complicated. On the one hand, they want to tease the story without giving it away, and more often than not, they want to tease it to the person who doesn’t know where the stakes are highest, and he finds out. Yet, he does not find out for a little while. It’s a very thin line, and quite a lot of the skill of good soap opera is knowing how to dangle that just far enough away for one character, so that he or she won’t look like a complete idiot!

MICHAEL:

How has it been working with Arianne Zuker (Nicole)?

JAMES:

Arianne is a pleasure to work with! I have been lucky, and the circle of people that I work with are all fantastic, and certainly Arianne is a very gifted actress. So I have a lot of fun working with her, as I do with Alison Sweeney (Sami). I also have worked along with Joe Mascolo (Stefano) and Thaao Penghlis (Tony), who are strong, strong actors who give you a great deal.

alison_james.jpgMICHAEL:

Will “Jami” fans continue to be upset? And, I know we have Rafe in the picture now as a spoiler for that relationship!

JAMES:

Well, I will give you my take on that. I don’t think I am giving anything away by saying that the writers and producers, (and I can only imagine that they are aware that there is a huge amount of support for that storyline) have got to think, at some point, that they are going to pay that off and give the fans what they want. Because, if there are a lot of fans that want it, and there are a lot of them, you can be pretty sure they are not going to get it straight away. The show is very careful not to alienate fans that particularly supported a character for a long time. It’s always a natural conclusion to lots of storylines. You have the situation where EJ has a child, a daughter with Samantha, which he does not know about.

MICHAEL:

Do you think the four of them, EJ, Nicole, Sami and Rafe, will be a quadrangle for a long time? Nicole is going to get caught at some point!

JAMES:

Nicole is in a no-win situation, and let’s be honest, if you have watched soap operas for a week, you can get away with things for a certain amount of time, and then, “gosh darn it”, you always get caught. And, that is why people watch soap operas, because there is always a consequence. They may not realize that consequence for a day or two, but ultimately they do have to realize the consequences of their actions.

MICHAEL:

What was EJ’s initial reaction to seeing Sami and Rafe kiss?

JAMES:

jamesblue.jpgInitially, he is surprised because the last time he saw Samantha she was going into the Witness Protection Program. There was some unsaid feeling between the two of them. EJ has moved on with Nicole, and in many ways, he has been able to move on because Samantha was not there. He doesn’t have to see her. If he had any feelings, he certainly did not have to deal with those feelings, so he put them aside. So, not only does Samantha come back into his life, but she comes back into his life with what looks like feelings for someone else. So, I think it’s primed! Obviously, I think in our own lives when we have an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend, and you see them a little bit later with somebody else, even if you parted on good terms, it’s hard to see them with somebody else. And that goes for even if you parted as good friends. It twists your stomach a little bit. Sometimes, in a good way, you are sorry with what you had with this person that you don’t have anymore.
Often, it can be difficult to watch.

MICHAEL:

When he finally makes love with Nicole, was it reactionary? Was it because he was upset seeing Sami kiss Rafe?

JAMES:

Is it reactionary? Are you joking? This poor guy’s fiancé has not had sex with him in seven months! She has been hiding this whole deal with the baby, and if he would take her clothes off, he would take one look at her and say, “My goodness darling, you are not really pregnant!” So, he hasn’t had any action! I don’t know what the boy’s done. It’s not a reaction, no. He is happy for anything he can get it.

MICHAEL:

What have you thought of the EJ and Tony feud?

JAMES:

james_thaao.jpgHe is my brother. I don’t think anybody who has a brother doesn’t know that when there are the two of you, and one father, that there is going to be jealousy; and especially when it’s about running the family business. If your mother and father have to choose between one of you for something, it doesn’t feel great to not be the one who is chosen. EJ is the one who is chosen. So he feels more confident than he would be otherwise. However, EJ is very upset when Tony dies.

MICHAEL:

How did you feel when you heard that Thaao would be leaving the show?

JAMES:

I was very, very, very upset to see Thaao leave the show! I have seen other people come and go, but I was particularly sorry to see him go. I love Thaao Penghlis. He is a wonderful actor. He is great to work with on set, and he can be the most difficult bugger, but that’s his charm. I really was very sad to hear it and to see it, and upset indeed! He was one of those actors that just bring something. You know, a level you don’t often find. You can give him terrible material and he will always come back with something, and he will give you something that is compelling. They were not making any choices based on quality of performances when they let him go, because he just rises above other people. I am not saying everybody. But, if you saw the Emmy nominations from last year, it was breathtaking and wonderful to see his work. I think it’s sad, and a great shame, and I wish they could have found some way around it. I think it’s a great loss for the show.

MICHAEL:

Well, the writing was on the wall, when Tony is the one who finds out Nicole’s baby switcheroo secret. There is nowhere to go from there but into an early grave!

JAMES:

I think they made the decision not to continue his contract several months ago, and that was the decision. It was instead of finding a way to get rid of Tony off the canvas, they decided to kill him.

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alternativefuel.jpgMICHAEL:

What do you think about EJ’s involvement in the Alternative Fuels Project?

JAMES:

The Alternative Fuels Project! Now there is an interesting thing! Here is a project devised by a 12 year old. I think that’s what Melanie is, with her ex-boyfriend… who is currently in prison for being the Unabomber or something… and they came up with this multi-billion project! So, all these rich men and criminals are running around trying to get the rights to it. It’s interesting! It’s a fun story! I find it to be wholly implausible. If you throw all the implausibility and the reality of it out the window, it can be actually quite fun to watch.
So, I would advise our viewers to do that, and they will find it much more pleasant.

MICHAEL:

How is working with Alison again, after her rather short maternity leave?

JAMES:

Alison is wonderful to work with! It’s one of the great things about my time on the show. She is fun, she is professional, and it’s a great pleasure, always!

MICHAEL:

You have been working on a very special project close to your heart. Tell me about it.

james_handsome.jpgJAMES:

I have an organization called “Urth Solutions” that I have been running for a couple of years, and it’s been working to help communities help themselves in other parts of the world: particularly in Bolivia and Madagascar. It’s going pretty well. It’s interesting, and thank you for asking. We are working to help communities harness some of their natural resources in a sustainable way, and in the last few months it’s been interesting. I got a telephone call recently from my guy in Madagascar, that in the town in which we were working in, one of the townspeople went to attack their president and shot 23 people including the President! After that, they were rioting in the streets! Since then, the country has gone down hill rapidly, and it’s certainly not like working in Washington. It’s been very challenging!

Listen to more of James this week on XM 24 “The Pink Channel’s” Soap Break.

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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Susan Seaforth Hayes Talks On Her Daytime Emmy Nomination For Julie and Doug’s Emotional Storyline

When you think Days of our Lives, what would it be without the legendary Susan Seaforth Hayes (Julie) and her real-life and on-screen husband, Bill Hayes (Doug Williams)?

This past Emmy season, the beloved duo got a chance to shine, when they were put through a ‘heartbreaking’ predicament – Julie’s heart gives out, she is in need of a transplant, and things take a turn for the worse.

What would life be like for Doug without his Julie? How would she say goodbye to him? Fans clearly felt the sentiments overflowing from this real-life duo capturing the essence of their characters in such a raw and realistic way. So much so, that Susan landed a Daytime Emmy nomination in the Outstanding Supporting Actress category for her work.

Already a Lifetime Achievement Award recipient along with her husband, Bill back in 2018, will Susan finally get an award for her acting for her decades of beautiful work on the long-running NBC soap opera? Fans will need to tune-in to CBS on Friday, June 26th to find out with the virtual presentation of the 47th annual Daytime Emmy Awards.  But for now, here is our conversation with Susan.

Photo: NATAS

Congratulations on your Supporting Actress nomination.  You have been racking up a lot of these recently, having been nominated in the same category two years ago, and also receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award along with your husband, Bill Hayes at the 45th annual Daytime Emmys in 2018.

SUSAN:  It’s really nice to be nominated, because I’ve had a few gap years.  I’ve had, what? 25 gap years between the recent nominations.

What scenes did you ultimately chose that landed you the nomination?

SUSAN:  I submitted when Julie dies.  I submitted the farewell montage scenes with Bill Hayes, and they were very moving to us… and we’ll see.  I did not submit anything snappy, or bitchy, or hysterical.  I’ve lost against hysterical every time.  Comedy has never worked.  So, I am going to try the heart and soul of soup opera: not bitchiness, but loss.

Photo: JPI

Can I ask how you got through those scenes with Bill, because it was so touching?  I don’t know how you did it.

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SUSAN:  It was very difficult.  I mean, these are the things that make us so connected to the characters and the show.  This is a place where we can show the public what love means to us, which is everything.

They were beautiful scenes.  Do you remember when you did them, if you felt good about them at the time?

SUSAN:  No… no.  I didn’t know.  Everyone on the set seemed happy.  We are blessed to have feedback from out producers now, and they didn’t say, “I think you can do it better,” and, “Another take,” not that we would have anyway, because there is never time to do another take.

Photo: JPI

How did you find out that you were nominated? 

SUSAN:  One of the producers, Randy Dugan called me, or I wouldn’t have found out for a couple of days,

What are your thoughts on this being a virtual Daytime Emmys ceremony because of COVID-19?  We don’t know anything about will play out yet or what that will look like, but it is back on network TV.

SUSAN:  It’s going to be a wonderful surprise.

So, if they have the shot of the nominees, do you think you’d be dressed in comfortable clothes or more formal?

SUSAN:  Well, I’d certainly wear my best earrings if I were at home, yeah.  If my grandson can arrange us to get on the internet (we have a grandson living on our property, and he’s our live-in techy), we will get dressed up, and sit there, if that’s the way to do it.

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DAYS did very well receiving 22 overall nominations and a lot of your co-stars got nomination as well.

SUSAN:  Yes, an excellent year for nominations for our show.

How many times have you been nominated now? 

SUSAN:  This makes six.

Photo: IMDB

Would it mean a lot to you to get the award?

SUSAN:  The Lifetime Achievement meant a lot.  It wouldn’t be bad to win this year.  I’ll say that.  It would be sweet for the show, since I am now the oldest living cast member of the original family – the original, original.  I’m not the original Julie, but close enough.  So, I think that would be some validation for the longevity of this original storytelling.  People look at the show and say, “Are you part of the DiMera family or the Brady family?”  I say, “I’m part of the Horton family!”

What did your husband Bill say when he found out you were nominated?

SUSAN:  (Yells) Billy, what did you say when you found out I was nominated?

BILL:  Yay!!!

SUSAN:  That’s about right. (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

What a guy!

SUSAN:  I know!  What a guy, what a guy, what a guy!

I was really happy to see your name among the other well-deserving nominees.

SUSAN:  I know you are because I know you care.  Who knows what will happen? It isn’t going to ruin our lives you know, one way or another.  But it was very nice to receive this acknowledgment from my peers.

So, are you glad Susan received a nomination for her work in her emotional storyline? Do you think she should finally receive the Emmy for her performances? Comment below.

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Breaking News

Hollywood Studios, Producers & Guilds Send Plan To Gov. Newsom and Gov. Cuomo For COVID-19 Production Restart Guidelines

On Monday, the two states with the most television and film production in the United States (California and New York) received a plan from many Hollywood studios, producers and the entertainment and production guilds of a plan and outline to be able to rejigger and restart production of your favorite shows and films.  This includes the soaps: General Hospital, The Young and the Restless, The Bold and the Beautiful and Days of our Lives.

Via Deadline: In an effort to get the industry moving-forward again where jobs were lost or put on hold, and production were completely stalled out-of-the-blue, the guidelines submitted by “The Industry-Wide Labor-Management Safety Committee Task Force (the “Task Force”) is asking for consideration and adoption for the resumption of motion picture, television, and streaming productions in an environment that minimizes the risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19,” says a report for Governors Gavin Newsom of California and Andrew Cuomo of New York.

Photo: AP

You can read the details of the report here.  While there has been no word from the Governors and their offices if they have seen the report, bets are that several more steps will be needed before anyone would head and report back to a set yet.

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As one would expect, limiting contact, social distancing, regular temperature checks, ways to handle props, and a COVID-19 compliance officer for all productions are part of the proposal.   As well as virtual writers room meetings, avoiding filming on-location as much as possible and filming in front of large audiences.

So, glad to know that this major step has been taken to try to get production back on track in Hollywood and New York? Comment below.

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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Chandler Massey Chats On His Bittersweet Daytime Emmy Nomination

He’s won three Daytime Emmys in the Outstanding Younger Actor in a Drama Series three years in row in 2012, 2013 and 2014, and now Chandler Massey is going for gold for the second time in his career in the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series which in a field where he is competing with two co-stars from Days of our Lives among others.

Massey has long been a stand out performer, giving nuanced and emotional portrayals in the angst-ridden life of Will Horton and the love of his life, Sonny Kiriakis (Freddie Smith).

Back in February of this year, DAYS fans learned that Chandler and Freddie had taped their last episodes, and since the NBC soap tapes more than 6 months ahead of air, that the two will still be on the air into the fall.  That has made this moment of recognition for Massey all the more poignant.

Michael Fairman TV talked with Chandler to get his reaction to the news that he is once again a Daytime Emmy nominee, and here’s what he had to say about it all.

Photo: JPI

 

I thought it was great that you received another Emmy nomination.  What do you think?

CHANDLER:  Yeah.  I thought it was pretty great too, actually.   I was surprised.  I wasn’t keeping up on when they were announcing the nominations.   I was thrilled that Wally (Kurth) and Paul (Telfer) also got nominated too in the same category.  So, hopefully, DAYS, has a decent shot to take it home.

What did you end up submitting that ultimately landed you the nomination?

CHANDLER:  I went with some scenes that aired on December 16th of last year (I just looked that up), where Will basically breaks up with Sonny when Sonny comes to visit him in prison.  I liked those because they were sort of subtle.  I just found myself drawn in when I watched it, and it wasn’t big or dramatic, but it felt like two real people sharing their pain.  So, that’s why I chose it.

Photo: JPI

I remember those.  Those were heartbreaking because he had to get Sonny to let him go.

CHANDLER:  Yes.  He said he has a new prison boyfriend, and that he’s doing really well in prison, so he doesn’t want to be tied down. (Laughs)

You’ve had Freddie Smith as your scene partner for so much of your run on DAYS.  What did he give you in those scenes that helped you, or even further enabled the performance that you gave?

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CHANDLER:  Freddie always gives everything.  He is a consummate professional, so he really commits every time.  I think it is more that we are just so comfortable with each other that we are not afraid, and that there is no hesitation between the two of us, so we just are able to do the work.  We usually know we are there to listen to, and support each other. in the scenes.

Photo: NATAS

Was your entire submission from the prison scenes or did you include something else?

CHANDLER:  It was just that.  I know I could have included something else, but I like to keep it sort of short because I feel like as a judge, I know within a few minutes.  It’s not that I get bored, but it really only takes a scene or two, and then, you’re like, “this is something special.”  You can recognize it pretty quickly.

So, you have won three Daytime Emmys. This is your first nomination in a few years, right?

CHANDLER:  Yeah, I didn’t get nominated the year before.  I had a gap year… to my family’s great shame. (Laughs)  They were not pleased with me.

Photo: JPI

This is your second nomination in the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Daytime Drama Series category.

CHANDLER:  Yes. I was nominated in ‘Supporting’ for the first time when I came back to DAYS, and then submitted for “Lead” the next year, didn’t get nominated, and then went back to ‘Supporting’.  I learned my place.  I went back to ‘Supporting’ for this year.  (Laughs)

It’s such a game though, right?  .

CHANDLER:  Yeah, you’ve got to be smart.  I just thought, “What the heck?”  Freddie and I were like, “Maybe there’s a shot that if we pick different categories, we can both get nominated,” but then, after that didn’t work, I said, “Screw that… going back to ‘Supporting”

Now, you’ve been through Emmy night before, and this is obviously going to be a virtual Emmy’s.  Now, if they did a six-shot of all of the nominees, what would you wear?  Would you be dressed up?  Would you be casual?  What would you see yourself doing?

CHANDLER:  That’s a good question. I think maybe… I’ll do a little of both.  I’ll go the middle ground.  I’ll be in my finest bathrobe, a silk bathrobe so it’s casual but also still sort of fancy.

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There you go.  (Laughs)  Is this nomination all the more special for you in that you are no longer working at DAYS? 

CHANDLER:  Oh, totally.  Every year is special, but you know, I’m not on the show anymore, so it’s a nice reminder that the work that I did had an effect on people, and it won’t be forgotten for at least a few more hours.

Photo: JPI

I saw the fan outcry and show of support for you and Freddie, when viewers got wind that you were exiting the series.  It was sad and heartwarming at the same time.  The WilSon fans are so behind you guys.

CHANDLER:  Yeah, if only they knew what horrible people that we were in real life, then they wouldn’t be this way, but thankfully… (Laughs)  Yeah, it’s really nice, but it is sad.  I started in 2009, and that was over 10 years ago, and nothing lasts forever.  I had a really, really great run, and so did Freddie.  I am very satisfied and don’t feel jipped, or like, I was entitled to anything more than I got.

Courtesy/NBC

Obviously, your co-nominees, Wally and Paul you worked with many times.  What can you say about them?

CHANDLER:  I think that both men deserve definitely to get second and third place.  (Laughs)  I have known Wally for a while now.  I love him.  I think his work is phenomenal.  I think he is really, really underrated.  Paul, I don’t know as well, but I think obviously his work speaks for himself.  If only he were physically attractive, I think that would really, really help his career.

Photo: JPI

I know, it’s a shame.

CHANDLER:  Unfortunately, he is kind of schleppy, you know?  (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

Did Freddie reach out to you after you received the nomination?  

CHANDLER:  Oh yes, he sent a text congratulating me, and we talked about it.  It was nice.  I feel like our stories are so intertwined, the scenes we submit are mostly with each other.  So, it’s really kind of a shared accolade.

So, will you be rooting for Chandler to cap off his career on DAYS with an Emmy win on June 26th during the virtual ceremony on CBS? What did you think of the nominated scenes he submitted? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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