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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

Days of our Lives Kicks-Off Possession Storyline Revisted with ‘Doug’ Twist Cliffhanger, Followed by Fall Preview

Did the ‘Devil’ make them do it? Doug Williams  (Bill Hayes) is Satan? In what can only be described as major surprise twist on NBC’s Days of our Lives, for weeks, fans have thought they were about to embark on another dementia or Alzheimer’s storyline on the soaps with another beloved character.

However, Days head writer, Ron Carlivati ,and his writing team came up with a way to make it seem like this may be Doug’s fate only to use the long-running character as the impetus to bring the classic possession storyline back on the air some 25 years later.

It all goes down after Kayla (Mary Beth Evans) calls Marlena (Deidre Hall) to ask him to see Doug, after his MRI and other tests proved inconclusive for dementia, etc, to see if Dr. Evans can assess him.  The phone call to Marlena happened after John (Drake Hogestyn) was discussing the past, since Johnny (Carson Boatman) is ramping up to a shoot a movie on Sami’s life, that will include the time that Sami walked in on John and Marlena having sex, which caused Sami to act out for years and years.

 

However, and this is key, John tells Marlena that moment in time also left her alone and vulnerable to the darkest time in her life – alluding to when she became possessed by the devil – and Marlena was clearly having difficulty admitting that or going down that road of remembrance, when the phone call from Kayla saved her from digging deeper into the past.  Well now, John and Marlena may never have that conversation as she is primed to once again become possessed.

Meanwhile, Johnny is reading Will’s script for the Sami movie, and is shocked to read in it that Marlena was once possessed by the devil, as John takes out a dusty box with his Father John collar, a bible, and a news clipping of Marlena being possessed.  John is feeling that this movie will bring bad things on to all those he loves, especially Doc, and he looks to be right!

Now at her office with Doug, he admits he knows something is wrong.  He acts out and does strange things and does not know why.  Marlena brings up why Doug locked Julie (Susan Seaforth Hayes) in a freezer by accident. Doug gets adamant saying: “That was no accident. I locked that bitch in there on purpose.”  Marlena is shocked at his word and tone.  Then as Doug laughs, he says, “I’m not Doug.”  Next thing you know, the lowered voice of Satan comes out of Doug’s mouth and he tells Doc, “It’s been over 25 years Marlena. But did you really think I wouldn’t come back for you?” End of episode.  Great cliffhanger!

Now, check out the fall preview released following the airing of Friday’s episode by NBC below, which teases more demonic moments on Days. Then let us know in the comment section, what you thought of the ‘Doug’ twist as the possession storyline begins?

Plus, make sure to cast your vote in ‘Michael’s Poll’ of the week on the revisiting of this classic tale now in 2021 below the preview.

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Days Of Our Lives

Ron Carlivati Talks on the Creation, Scenes & Cast of ‘Days of our Lives: Beyond Salem’

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Days Of Our Lives

‘Days of our Lives: Beyond Salem’ Stars Talk the ‘Making of’ the Limited-Series & the Moments They Loved

Five of the cast members from Days of our Lives limited-series on Peacock, Days of our Lives: Beyond Salem, chatted with Michael Fairman as a wrap-up following the conclusion of the streaming of all five episodes.

Joining Michael in a special conversation on You Tube’s Michael Fairman Channel are: Eileen Davidson (Kristen/Sister Mary Moira), Charles Shaughnessy (Shane/Drew), Peter Porte (Kyle/Dimitri), Zach Tinker (Sonny) and Rob Scott Wilson (Ben).

During the conversation, the actors share stories of the making of the series, and give insight and behind the scenes tidbits on their scenes including: how Eileen and Lisa Rinna (Billie) played recreated the ‘Amsterdam’ showdown from their time together on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, but as their Days’ characters of Billie and Kristen, how Peter learned to do the Tango from Dancing with the Stars Louis Van Amstel and Lisa Rinna, plus the drag show scenes where Zach became “Sonny Delight”, and more.

In addition, Charles Shaughnessy talks on how the series harkened back to the 80’s and 90’s campy action-adventure heyday of and the opportunity to work again with Deidre Hall and Drake Hogestyn as John and Marlena, while Rob fills-us in on trying to keep it together when working in scenes with soap vet Adrienne Frantz, when Ben and Ciara find themselves at a swinger’s party.

The interview is filled with many laughs, and candid moments that fans of the limited series will enjoy, especially the intel offered up by the cast.

Days of our Lives: Beyond Salem continues to stream on Peacock! Make sure to check it out if you haven’t, or rewatch it a second, or third time if you want to see more series like this in the future.

Below check out the interview with Eileen, Peter, Charles, Zach and Rob and make sure to subscribe to the Michael Fairman Channel for more celebrity conversations.

Now, share your favorite moments from Days of our Lives: Beyond Salem, and this video interview, via the comment section here.

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GH’s Kelly Thiebaud (Britt) chats with Michael Fairman about Britt being on the run with Jason, their burgeoning romance, working with Steve Burton and her other co-star and Britt’s diagnosis of Huntington’s Disease. .Leave A Comment

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