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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.

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DAYS POLL: What Storypoint Shocked You Most With The Series Time Jump?

Last week on NBC’s Days of our Lives viewers got their first taste of what Salem is like following the innovative time jump which throws the lives of the citizens on the canvas in different and surprising directions than one might expect!

In the weeks and months to come, viewers will learn in flashbacks, what happened in the key stories that had your favorites land in the situation they are currently in, while playing out in current time the effect it has on their lives moving forward.

Photo: JPI

From: Kristen and Lani becoming nuns, to Will landing in the slammer for Adrienne’s death, to Ben landing in the slammer for the murder of his sister Jordan, to Kayla and Justin being revealed as apparently lovers, to Princess Gina still being around and talking and painting none other than “Steffy” to JJ being hooked on drugs following the death of Hayley and more, there is a lot of exciting turns for DAYS fans to wrap their heads around.

So with that, we ask you to vote in our newest poll below.   What storypoint from the DAYS time jump shocked you the most?

After you cast your vote, tell us what you think of the time jump thus far in the comment section.

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In a week that saw Days of our Lives make the mainstream news media, Saturday Night Live decided to spoof the current President Trump impeachment hearings and turn them into its own amped up soap opera, with special guest star, Jon Hamm.  The hearings are also currently upsetting many a soap fan its pre-emptions of their network daytime dramas.

Courtesy/NBC

In the SNL cold open; Mad Men alum Jon Hamm took on the role of  former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Bill Taylor.  Kate McKinnon reprised her portrayal of President Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani, while Heidi Gardner played a fainting soapy impeachment hearing attendee.

Meanwhile, SNL’s Alex Moffat played House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff and Mikey Day served as “cross-examiner” Republican Rep. Jim Jordan.  Cecily Strong took on the role of former Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch and Pete Davidson portrayed  attorney Michael Avenatti.  Then, Kenan Thompson stopped by as  suspended NFL player Myles Garrett and Melissa Villaseñor played “telenovela sensation,” Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

As “AOC”, Melissa says: “This hearing is lacking one thing — a star!” . She then let her hair down and makes out with Taylor played by Hamm.

Now below watch Days of our Impeachment and let us know what you thought of the send-up via the comment section below!

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On DAYS, Evan looks to being taking an interest in a grieving and distraught Sonny (Freddie Smith), who is dealing with the anniversary of his mother’s death and that his husband, Will (Chandler Massey) is in prison for the crime that killed her (whatever that is has yet to be revealed).

For Brock Kelly this is not his first time on DAYS, having last been on the show back in 2005 as Abigail’s (then played by Ashley Benson) first boyfriend, Josh.

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Actor Donny Boaz has already mixed things up with many a resident of the town and shared scenes with Michelle Stafford (Phyllis), Mark Grossman (Adam), and more.  This is Boaz’s first daytime soap.  The last time Chance was in Genoa City he was played by John Driscoll.

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