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Days Of Our Lives

THE THAAO PENGHLIS INTERVIEW – TV SOAP AUSTRALIA -DAYS OF OUR LIVES

thao-boomer11.jpgBy Michael Fairman

This interview appears on newsstands now in the January 7th 2009 issue of TV SOAP Australia.

“NOBODY IS SAFE”

Following the news that two of Days of our Lives biggest icons have been axed, Aussie actor Thaao Penghlis concedes it’s all quite unsettling, but he isn’t anxious. Nowadays, he has his fingers in other pies and is adopting a come-what-may philosophy.

TV SOAP:

The news that “DAYS” Deidre Hall (Marlena) and Drake Hogestyn (John) were let go was certainly a shock. From your perspective, what do you think happened?

THAAO:

I was not there, so I don’t know what happened, but, Deidre and Drake to me were the icons! Deidre is a real trouper. She does not get into victim mode, but, she has been on the show for 32 years. I looked at her and went, “We were the best of DAYS in the 80’s.” We had the most fun because there was more money, and more rehearsals, and it wasn’t short changed. It’s certainly different now. I am sorry to see Drake and Deidre go. I am sure they will go off into the sunset somewhere. They’ll bring them back when they need them.

TV SOAP:

The fans don’t know how to take this!

deidre.jpgTHAAO:

The fans are up and arms I hear. I think what the fans don’t understand, and I do sympathize with them because something in their lives has gone away, (is that) the reality in producing a show, and to still keep some quality to it, is difficult. Everyone is under great pressure, and people behind-the-scenes and everyone works very hard.

TV SOAP:

How are things at the set of “DAYS”? Are people walking around on eggshells?

THAAO:

The actors come in and go to hair and make up and do not say much, and in some ways we are respectful of each other. Certainly no one is walking around feeling sorry for Deidre and Drake, because they don’t want to do that. In some ways, many of us don’t believe it is happening, but it is. Are we treading on eggshells? No. We have been through a lot in the last few years, and the fact that the show has been picked up for 18 months, is great. I think we have to adjust to things, like another curve ball.

leanne.jpgTV SOAP:

Are you worried about your job there?

THAAO:

I have not had much story of late. I am working this week a lot, but nobody knows and everyone is keeping a straight face. I think some actors have had their salaries cut. It’s not only happening at “DAYS”, it’s happening in Daytime. Everybody is doing it kind of quietly, but when you let go of two daytime icons, it’s like, “Whoa, nobody’s safe!” You just roll with the punches. I have come to a point in my life where I have been gone from “DAYS” and come back. I am concentrating on other things, which is what is helping me, so I am not just about “DAYS”.

TV SOAP:

You have been written off four times and brought back, though.

THAAO:

One year they killed me off, and they called me upstairs. When they call me upstairs, I know it’s never going to be about good news. I remember they said to me, “The character was going to be killed off at this time.” It was under the late James Reilly’s writing regime. I remember talking to the producer at the time, and I said, “I think it would be a better idea to wait till after the actor finishes his work to tell him this.”

TV SOAP:

Reilly kept killing you off!

THAAO:

Yes. One year I was killed four times. He did have me in some interesting circumstances and they were always over the top. The James Reilly’s of the world are gone.

thao-james.jpgTV SOAP:

What is happening currently with Tony Dimera in story?

THAAO:

My scenes are mainly with EJ and my father Stefano, and they are competitive scenes. I am concerned about EJ getting under the thumb of my father. I think Tony is an independent soul. He wants to give some integrity back to the Dimera name. EJ needs me because the character is not strong enough on his own as a Dimera. He does not possess what Tony and Stefano have, and that is to be a killer. You need those shadows. I would like to see where the father is trying to control him and gives him the empire, and I have to battle him for it. I know they like the two of us together. James Scott (EJ) is just too tall for me to work with! (He laughs)

TV SOAP:

How is it to still work with Joe Mascolo (Stefano)?

THAAO:

Joe and I go back a long way. You know, I really enjoy him, and his character had become so wonderful in many ways. Joe is as good as he ever was, right now.

TV SOAP:

If you were writing the show, what would you still love to do with Tony?

thao-joe.jpgTHAAO:

I think more than anything, I would love to unravel a real great mystery, and have someone like Anna along… like (famous fictional detectives) Nick and Nora Charles. Even with her stumbling, she comes across evidence. I love thrillers!

TV SOAP:

The Dimeras have been such an intriguing family lately, especially after Stefano came out of his coma.

THAAO:

It was the beginning of the rivalry with John and EJ, with Stefano coming back to life. Everybody was demanding that they are the rightful heirs to the empire. The Dimeras are dark, intense, and very European, especially Tony and Stefano. EJ is an Englishman, so that is a bit different.
We have a different passion that we share with
each other. We eat our victims, our poor victims!

TV SOAP:

How would you feel about leaving “DAYS” if that time should come?

THAAO:

I feel at this point with “DAYS”, if they were to let me go, then I would go, “Onwards”. I am not having regrets anymore. I did my best work and lifted the dialog from the page. You have to allow life to let you know there is going to be a change. So I am open about things. If I am meant to move on, that is fine, too. There is nothing to apologize for. It was my first Daytime Emmy nomination this year, and I was not utilized much after that. I just feel…. opportunity missed.

Days Of Our Lives

Raven Bowens is the New Chanel on DAYS

There has been a casting switcheroo at Days of our Lives.   Precious Way is out in the role of Chanel Dupree and the part had been recast.

Way debuted on-screen back in March of 2021, but now comes word, first via Jason 47’s Facebook page, that Chanel will be played by actress Raven Bowens.

According to Soap Opera Digest, look for Bowens to first air on-screen on the July 6th episode.  Apparently, she has been taping at the DAYS set since April.

Raven has previously appeared on All Rise, Insecure, The New Edition Story and Future Man.

You can follow her on Instagram here.

So, what do you think of the Chantal switch? Comment below.

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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Alison Sweeney Previews the New EJami

Coming up on Days of our Lives, Dan Feurerriegel take over the role of EJ DiMera on-screen, and the character is making quite the timely, or untimely return to Salem now that Sami (Alison Sweeney) has been hitting the sheets with her ex-husband, Lucas (Bryan Dattilo).

Feurerriegel is stepping into the coveted role of EJ made soap-famous by James Scott, who left the series back in 2014 and never returned.

Now the question is can Sweeney and Feurerriegel strike soap gold with their re-imagined duo known as “EJami”?

 

In the latest issue of Soap Opera Digest on newsstands now, Alison Sweeney opened up about the casting, working with Dan, and the future of EJami sharing: “To be honest, I was nervous when I heard they were recasting EJ.  That’s a big role to fill, I mean, James Scott was definitely a fan favorite and EJ is such a memorable role in the story and certainly in Sami’s life.”

Sweeney said of sharing scenes with Feurerriegel, “Dan has been fantastic. I’ve really enjoyed working with him. He clearly understood the importance of the task ahead.”

As for what fans of EJami may be in for, Sweeney noted:  ” I hope those ‘EJami’ fans see the couple they were so connected to, but of course, in a new, different way.”

So will you be giving the new EJami a chance? Looking forward to Dan’s debut, or are you Team Lumi all the way? Share your thoughts via the comment section below. But first check out this week’s promo for DAYS.

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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Billy Flynn Opens Up To Maurice Benard About His Battle with Addiction on All-New ‘State of Mind’

In a terrific episode of Maurice Benard’s (Sonny Corinthos, General Hospital) State of Mind You Tube series, the actor welcomes another one of the best actors on daytime, Days of our Lives star Billy Flynn (Chad DiMera, Days of our Lives).

What made this so compelling was Billy Flynn’s ability to talk openly, frankly, and with great understanding about his battles with addiction which he notes have been alcohol, drugs, and the cycles he has found himself in within his life and how he was able to break free of them, and the work he continues to do to keep him from falling back into them.

Flynn shares how much of his adult life was greatly impacted by his childhood, and explained to Benard, how he acted out when he was younger. He also shares how his addiction caused issues for awhile with his job at Days of our Lives.

This episode is a powerful one to watch for anyone struggling with issues of addiction, dependency, suicide, having problems at work, and trying to not self-destruct, which so many of us do, once we seemingly get what we what or while we are trying to obtain it.

Bravo to Billy and Maurice for bringing this forward and to the audience.

Watch Billy’a visit on State of Mind below, followed by a bonus segment where Flynn asks Benard some ‘hard-hitting’ questions.

What did you think of what Billy shared with Maurice? Comment below.

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