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THE TUC WATKINS INTERVIEW – ONE LIFE TO LIVE

TucMain66.jpg

This week on One Life to Live, “David Vickeroshi”, will be on the receiving end of a marriage proposal by a very deceitful Dorian, as PI Rex is hot on their trail. With the “Go Red Ball” just around the corner, David’s story will take front and center stage. Will he finally come to realize he is Asa Buchanan’s son?

I chatted with the one and only Tuc Watkins, star of “One Life to Live” and the primetime series “Desperate Housewives”, about his latest Llanview Buddhist incarnation, and playing the bumbling con man. We also discussed the Daytime Emmys, and working on Wisteria Lane, playing one half of the snarkiest gay neighbors you’d ever want to meet, Bob and Lee.

One of the most talented and innovative performers ever to grace the daytime screen, Tuc’s interview is one of our favorites at “On-Air On-Soaps”.

Listen to the audio:

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MICHAEL:

Tuc, Namaste’! Namaste’!

TUC:

Oh, my goodness, if I had a nickel for every time I heard that word.

MICHAEL:

Are people coming up to you and saying, “Namaste’”?

TUC:

Every now and then I do hear it on the subway. I hear it a lot on airplanes, usually places where you can’t run away. (He laughs)

MICHAEL:

I thought your performances have been just great. Every time you come back to “One Life to Live”, it just adds so much and spruces up the show. This time you are “David Vickeroshi.” What did you think when they told you how they were bringing you back this time?

TucBudah1.jpgTUC:

When I first heard the acorn of the idea, Frank Valentini (executive producer, “OLTL”) called and said, “Do you want to know what you are going to be doing?” I said, “If you want to tell me.” Because the great thing about going back to play David Vickers is it really doesn’t matter what we are going to do. It’s always fun doing it, because it’s all about the means rather than the end. I said, “Sure. What’s it going to be?” He said, “You are going to come back as a Buddhist monk and you are all enlightened.” I said, “All I see is the comedy. So I assume this is going to be comedic?” He said, “Yes.” I thought it was a great idea. When you play a character on and off for fourteen years, sometimes you have to go far a field to keep things fresh. Obviously, this is not something that will stick around for a long time, this transformation. So, it’s been a lot of fun to
explore a character that you
know really well, in a way you
have not seen him before. It’s
really a fish out of water story,
so it’s been a lot of fun.

MICHAEL:

Ron Carlivati (head writer, “OLTL”) and you are brilliant together. Do you ever ad lib your lines, or are those the lines that are written by Ron and the writing team on the page?

TUC:

The great thing about Ron coming on is that is not often that a character, a writer, and an actor, all sort of get it together. Sometimes an actor does not have a handle on what the writer and director is gunning for, and not have the full grasp on something that you are very familiar with. I think Ron appreciated the same characteristics of David that I appreciated. So, we kind of turned up the volume on David. It has been great. You know, I have been through a lot of different writers on the show. I have never really noticed that much difference in the writing, but I really did notice a difference when Ron started. I remember going up to Frank’s office going, “The writing is different and I really do think it had made several strides forward,” and for the first time in a long time, I thought it was really noteworthy. So I said something out loud. Actors like to say a lot of things out loud (He laughs). ‘Namaste’’ takes on a lot of different meanings!

MICHAEL:

So what do you think the meaning of ‘Namaste’’ is?

TUC:

I was told early on the literal meaning of ‘Namaste’ was “I bow to you.” It started out as that, and then it meant “I am hot for you”, and then it also meant, “Thanks for the food.” So, it’s sort of a catch-all, in a way. ((He laughs).

Robin1.jpgMICHAEL:

Is there anytime when you are working with the incomparable Robin Strasser (Dorian), or Erika Slezak (Viki), or any of the actors on the show, when you guys just break up in laughter?

TUC:

Well, we usually get the laughing done at rehearsals in the morning. But, that is also when and where we find stuff. It’s where we tweak what’s there, or punch up a word you might not have punched up, if you had not been rehearsing it with the other actor. We get the ‘funny’ out of the way in the morning or during dress, so when we get to tape we are not wasting anyone’s time.

MICHAEL:

When you first got to work with Robin and Erika, who I think are probably two of the best actresses on the daytime canvas, did you think, “Wow. This is really great?” Did you even know who Erika and Robin were?

TUC:

Well, I first started on “OLTL’ in 1927, so I have known them for a long time. (He laughs) But seriously, I started on the show fourteen years ago, and I never watched soap operas. Some friends of mine in school would plan their course schedule around soaps, but I never quite got it. I mean, I understood that people could become addicted to them. You either get it, or you don’t. And that’s just not one of the things I got. So, when I first started on the show, I did not know who anyone was. But, I did know that they had been there for awhile. I think it’s like starting in a company. You tend to look up to someone who has been around for a number of years and respect them. You figure these people know what they are doing, so I am going to learn from them as opposed to telling them what to do. I remember one of the first days I started working on the show, I was doing a scene with Erika and I was pretending to be her brother. She said, “Can someone please give this kid some light? You can’t even see him!” That’s not something you consider when you are young and starting out. You just want to say your lines and not throw up. When I first met them both, they were the standard to learn from then, and they continue to be.

MICHAEL:

Will David finally find out this time out, that he is really Asa Buchanan’s son?

TUC:

You know, they have been teasing this story for eternity. Talk about dragging out a story! Even by soap terms, it’s taking a long time. I remember when the previous head writer was there and I went back under contract for three years starting in 2003. They told me, “We are going to reveal you are Asa Buchanan’s son.” I thought,” That’s cool, because he is the patriarch of the show, and that means I will be working a lot!” Well, I tell you now, it is going to be revealed, but it is six years later! This is 2009!

MICHAEL:

The only thing that redeems it is you and David come and go from the canvas. So it’s a setup where there are months when you are not on screen.

TUC:

I left contract in 2006, and things have worked out scheduling wise so I can go back. When you have a character like David who is a bumbling con man, it makes sense that he is not always on the canvas. It makes sense that he goes out into the world and tries to pull the wool over other people’s eyes in Bangladesh, or New Delphi, or other cities that I cannot point to on a map. So, when it finally came around, it feels like it has been taking a long time, but fortunately we have been telling other story that has been interesting. The timing is just right to tell it.

TucNora1.jpgMICHAEL:

Does David attend the upcoming, “Go Red Ball”?

TUC:

David does attend the Red Ball, and I will say, something happens at the “Go Red Ball” that changes David’s life.

MICHAEL:

In a good or bad way?

TUC:

A little bit of both. (He laughs)

MICHAEL:

I see that “OLTL” has put you up for one of the two actors in the in-house voting, for the pre-nominations for Supporting Actor for the Daytime Emmys.

TUC:

Oh, I did not know that. I am thrilled!

MICHAEL:

Well, you have been my pick for many years to get an Outstanding Supporting Actor nod at the Emmys, but you never got the chance to compete for the prize. So, what are your thoughts?

TUC:

I think everyone’s an idiot! (He laughs) To tell you the truth, what I get to do on “OLTL” is so much fun, and not traditional to what daytime has carved out for itself. So I understand when they look at a bunch of tapes of people to be considered for Emmys and a nomination. I come on and cross my eyes, and fall down the stairs, and they look at it like, “Is this guy for real?” So, it’s sort of a double-edged sword. I am very lucky that I have been able to play this character that doesn’t really fit in with the rest of the people that inhabit the town of Llanview. But having said that, part of what allows me to do that prevents me from doing terribly dramatic stuff. I know you are supposed to cry on cue on daytime, and I can’t do that. So, anytime I try to play anything dramatic I tend to turn the car in a different direction. I guess it could be said I err on the side of trying to find something that is funny. That’s not always the best choice. In fact, Robin Strasser is always getting on me about that.

TucVickie1.jpgMICHAEL:

But, I think there have been such beautiful, nice, and at times, emotional scenes between David and Viki.

TUC:

If I can have poignant moments, but with a hump and mole with hair coming out of my face, then I am happy doing those poignant moments. They brought me on to be this cool mysterious guy in 1994. I did it for a year, and to tell you the truth, I was pretty unremarkable at it. It wasn’t until one day I woke up and realized, “David Vickers is not a cool mysterious person. He thinks he is a cool mysterious person.” And that s when the David we know today was really born, and that is when I kind of hit my stride with this character. You’ve got to figure out how to play the character among the other people you are with. And it’s not that easy. It took me a year on “OLTL” to figure out what makes David special. Luckily, when I was turning their mysterious cool character into the town buffoon, they supported it rather than say, “You don’t get it. You’re out.” So I have been pretty fortunate.

MICHAEL:

You pull double duty at times, as Bob on “Desperate Housewives”. Will you be continuing on that?

ColorTucKevin1.jpgTUC:

Yes. They signed me and Kevin Rahm (Lee) to a recurring contract this year. On a show like that, it’s always going to be about those five women, as it should be. I mean, it’s called “Desperate Housewives”, but we have gotten a little more involved this year. Kevin has gotten more involved with Teri Hatcher’s (Susan) character, and I started representing Felicity Huffman’s (Lynette) kid, because they decided my character was a lawyer. As it is, it’s also a soap opera, when you boil it down. They just have better lighting and hair styling. So, one day they sent me a script and I went to the table read and head writer Marc Cherry went, “Oh, by the way, you are a lawyer now.” That involved me a bit more. They have our characters in that house between Teri Hatcher and Eva Longoria (Gabrielle), and we are sort of a new color on the canvas. A lot of story is told through us…

MICHAEL:

….they are reactionary instead of propelling story, right?

TUC:

Yes. The end game is how it affects the women on the show. It is a lot of fun to work on that show. It is the funniest set I have ever been on. That’s probably because you go to work on a neighborhood street where it’s mostly sunny, and they have really good snacks, and you just hang out. And any drama that happened on that show, happened a long time ago. And everyone in between takes are playing games and catching ‘rays’.

MICHAEL:

How is working with these powerhouse actresses?

TUC:

They are all very different. I remember Kevin and I started around the same time Dana Delaney (Katherine) started. I thought, “Oh, this poor woman has her work cut out for her because she has such strong archetypes that have been set up and established.” I thought she did an amazing job of finding something new that was also necessary. Kevin and I are in the supporting cast, but all those women on there are all fun in a different way. Eva Longoria takes nothing seriously, in the best of ways. She is always cutting up and laughing. Felicity is knowledgeable and it’s great to talk about acting with her.

DH1.jpgMICHAEL:

You and Kevin play the gay couple on the show. Is there one thing you would like to see them involved in, if you were writing the show?

TUC:

The thing that I like about the way Marc Cherry brought that couple on was, he brought them on as a gay couple, and one of the first lines they say is, “We’re gay. We are life partners.” So there was no dancing around that, and it was not issue-oriented. I think a lot of times when they brought in gay characters, or minority characters in the 70’s or 80’s on television, black or Asians had to explain why they were there! We don’t need that anymore. I thought it was great that we got to go on… everyone knew we were gay… but that wasn’t the story. Why we went there was part of the story, and how we get involved in other peoples lives is the story. We are not this cookie-cutter, great super hero, gay couple, where everything we say is kind and friendly. We are not that couple from “American Beauty”. They were the only normal people on that street, but we are kind of mean!

MICHAEL:

Yeah, I like that they are these ‘snarky’ gay guys. It’s not the issue that they are gay; it’s just the ‘snarky’ guys that live down the street.

TUC:

I describe it as: I am Andy Griffith and Kevin is Barney Fife. Kevin says all the funny lines and I stand behind him and roll my eyes, and that’s what Andy did with Barney.

TucRed1.jpgMICHAEL:

Is there a lot of Tuc in David Vickers on “OLTL”, and in Bob on “Desperate Housewives”?

TUC:

I will tell you this: I am not a method actor. I studied that in school, and I think that’s how most students of acting learn about acting. That’s where you become the character and eat for breakfast what that character ate for breakfast, and you think about how that character was treated when they were a child. That didn’t work for me. I am more of a behaviorist. I am more about how a character behaves in the environment he is in. I would say most of the characters I play, especially in television; you are usually hired to play pretty close to who you are. So, I would say Bob on “Desperate Housewives” is very similar to me, because I am a neatnik in a way, and I maintain a sense of humor. But I am fairly straight laced in what I think. David, on “OLTL”, is also a side of me where I like to cut up. So, it’s two sides of a coin in many ways to me. I would have to say, that both those characters are pretty close to me without being mutually exclusive, if you know what I mean?

Days Of Our Lives

Stephen Schnetzer Talks On His Return to Days of our Lives and Working with Susan Seaforth Hayes In Emotional Episodes

Who says you can’t go home again? In the case of Another World favorite, Stephen Schnetzer (ex-Cass Winthrop), he has proven that it is true, and you can go back to your soap roots and where it all started for you.

Last week on April 11th, Schnetzer, along with several other key returns were on set at Days of our Lives taping all-new episodes of the Peacock streaming soap opera, centering on the funeral of Doug Williams (the late Bill Hayes), and as part of the iconic soap opera’s 15,000th episode.

Stephen is reprising his first daytime role as Steve Olson, the brother of Julie Williams (Susan Seaforth Hayes). The last time Schnetzer appeared on a DAYS set was during his one and only run on the show from 1978 to 1980. Clearly, viewers will be in for some very emotional scenes when Steve returns to Salem to be there for his sister, Julie in her time of need. In real-life, Susan has been going through her own grief, having just lost Bill back on January 12th at the age of 98.

Photo: NBC

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Stephen during the 15K episode celebration ceremony, and during a break from taping the gut-wrenching funeral scenes, to get his thoughts on being part of these highly-anticipated moments that will air later this year in December. Here’s what he shared with us below.

What has this been like for you to work with Susan Seaforth Hayes after all of these years?

STEPHEN: She’s a dream and she’s so bright. We ran lines yesterday and we ended up just visiting for about 45 minutes and just catching up and telling tales about each other’s career. She even dropped off the autobiography that she and Bill did. And being back here at DAYS, every time I turn a corner, there’s another familiar face. When I was on the show 40 more years ago, a bunch of the guys, played softball on a team together. This is really a trip down memory lane as I knew it would be.

Photo: JPI

Taping Doug’s funeral must be a hard day for Susan. Are you checking in with her to help hold her up through this?

STEPHEN: I am and I’m checking in with Amy Shaughnessy (Susan’s assistant), and she’s holding her up more than anybody. We’re there for each other.

There will obviously be some major hankie-inducing moments when Steve comes back to Salem to console his sister.

STEPHEN: Oh, wait till you see it in December. It’s going to be great.

Were you surprised you got this call to come back to the show decades later?

STEPHEN: It was out of the blue! I was completely surprised. They should have called me decades ago! That’s what surprised me. When Another World went down, I thought I’d land somewhere else and it never happened. That was more of a surprise.

Photo: JPI

Cass is such an identifiable character for you. As well, you and Linda Dano (ex-Felicia Gallant) are so synonymous together as best friends Cass and Felicia from Another World. When fans heard you were reprising your role as Steve Olson on DAYS, they are now hoping there will be more of you on the show to come.

STEPHEN: Steven Olson is a real “Cassian “character. I cut my teeth on Steve Olson and that’s how Cass was introduced. He was kind of a roguish charmer. And then when the character stuck for Another World, they rehabilitated me, and turned me into one of the shows heroes. And that’s what would’ve happened if I stayed as Steve Olson probably. So, Steve is the ‘pre-Cass’, Cass.

Photo: JPI

As the story goes, you originally decided to leave Days of our Lives?

STEPHEN: I was never on contract. I was doing a day and a half a week and I got a Broadway play directed by Franco Zeffirelli starring Joan Plowright and Frank Finlay. I was able to it as I didn’t have to break a contract or anything. I cut loose and went back to New York for that.

How well did you get to know Bill Hayes during your first time around on DAYS?

STEPHEN: My first episode was with Bill and Susan, as her long lost brother coming into Salem. They were so good to me. They were so kind. I had been doing eight years of classical repertory theater, never been in front of a camera. I tell everybody, it took me longer than any other actor I’ve ever seen to get comfortable in front of a camera. And they were very supportive at that time in my career. Coming back to honor Bill now in 2024, and to be see Susan, I am just so happy to be here.

Looking forward to seeing the scenes between Stephen and Susan Seaforth Hayes come December and Doug’s funeral and surrounding episodes? Do you hope that DAYS might bring the character of Steve Olson back for a longer stay? Comment below.

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Days Of Our Lives

Matthew Ashford and Melissa Reeves Talk Return to DAYS for Doug’s Funeral, Susan Seaforth Hayes, and Their Enduring Friendship

Last week, Days of our Lives celebrated the taping of their 15,000th episode which is tentatively scheduled to air on December 3rd. The story will feature emotional and heart-tugging scenes of Doug Williams funeral and honor his portrayer, the beloved Bill Hayes, who passed away on January 12th at the age of 98.

While the actors, producers, and crew took a lunch time break to pose for some pictures and speak with the press, they knew they would have to get back to taping the funeral, which was going to make it a tough day, but also cathartic for all who loved Bill Hayes.

Several returns have thus far been announced including; Melissa Reeves reprising her signature role of Jennifer Horton (a part she first played in 1985), and Matthew Ashford as Jack Deveraux. Reeves had last appeared on the show back in 2021, and she was replaced by Emmy-winner Cady McClain in her absence when Jennifer was in storylines. In real-life, Melissa had moved full-time to Tennessee along with her husband, Scott Reeves (ex-DAYS, GH, Y&R). Now, and as previously reported, Reeves will first appear back on DAYS for the Thanksgiving episodes with the Hortons.

Photo: JPI

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Matt and Melissa during the 15,000th episode celebration to get their take on: being back for these special episodes, how it has been working with and watching Susan Seaforth Hayes portray Julie’s grief over losing Doug, and how they have supported each other through the years. Check out what they shared below.

Melissa, you are back on the set of Days of our Lives for this very emotional and special moment in the series history. How does it feel?

MELISSA: Oh, my goodness. I am honored. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else but to be here for Bill. He was like my real-life dance partner. He taught me how to ballroom dance. And to be here for Susan, of course, who’s just been our sweet hero this whole week. We’re just following her lead. She’s just been this incredibly strong example for us in the midst of this trial and season of her life. She is like just lifting us all up with her. It’s been incredible.

I was at Bill Hayes memorial service which was truly incredible and I know at the time you were in Tennessee. It was moving and celebratory of his life, all at the same time.

MELISSA: That’s all I have heard. I have to watch it on You Tube. They said it was just a real celebration of his life and I love that.

Photo: JPI

This must be difficult for Susan Seaforth Hayes depicting the death of Doug, when she is still grieving the loss of her beloved husband. (Susan pictured above with the returning Stephen Schnetzer who plays her on-screen brother, Steve Olson).

MELISSA: I’m sure Susan has those moments at home by herself, but she’s so good at being a leader and leading all of us. We’re following her, you know, and she’s like, “This is how I want to feel today.” And we’re just going along with her, you know? It’s so sweet.

Photo: JPI

How is it to see Matt Ashford again live and in-person?

MELISSA: You know, Matt and I can go years without talking, or seeing each other, and then the minute we see each other we’re chatting away.

MATT: Melissa was out on set doing a scene yesterday on the phone talking to a stage manager; as she was telling some really tough news on the phone. I’m like crying in the background, literally, I’m off-stage crying.

MELISSA: And then we get like back into normal life, and we’re like, okay, “What’s happening? What’s happening with this … or what’s happening with that?”

I had read, Melissa, that you were in touch with Matt about if there night be a possibility for you to reprise your role as Jennifer for these special episodes?

MELISSA: Yes. Well, Matt was like, “Hey! Would you want to come back? “And I was like, “Matt, you know, I would always come back. ”

MATT:  Every time I come here to Days of our Lives, they ask, “Where’s Missy? How’s Missy?” Everybody backstage says, “I miss her.” All of the crew is asking about her and saying, “It would be nice to see Missy. Nothing wrong with you Matt, but …”  They said, “Where is she?” I said, “She wants to come!”

Photo: JPI

There are some beautiful photos of Missy and Bill and Susan thorough the years that I found. It just reminded me of just the deep and entrenched history we all have had with the show, personally and professionally.

MATT: Missy is roughly the age where Francis Reid (ex-Alice Horton) was when she started the show, which is just crazy.

Photo: JPI

I’ve always said Missy was going to be the next generation Alice. Do you feel that Jennifer is the heir apparent matriarch of the Horton family?

MELISSA: Yes. I mean, this has been greatest blessing of my life, and that would be great. I told Ken Corday (executive producer, Days of our Lives) when I was 17 that this show would be my life. Ken always told me, “This is your home,” and I’ve always felt like that.

How have gotten through the scenes watching Susan Seaforth Hayes as Julie go through the loss of Doug?

MATT: Susan is bringing her best performance life for her and Bill. I mean, she’s a showbiz baby. She always has been one hundred percent, and she’s doing it for him, and this is who they’ve always been. So, you’re seeing this amazing performance colored by her life. She has her private life as Susan, but she has enough plugged into Julie that she’s done amazing work. The director, producers and writers are giving her room to live in these moments and it’s quite wonderful.

Photo: JPI

Have you already broken down in tears during the taping?

MELISSA: Yesterday, but today’s taping of the actual funeral I think they want us to try and be just more celebratory.

MATT: I mean, it is a beautiful long life for Bill Hayes and his character of Doug Williams, and so it will be about that. Then, you get a bunch of us together in the church pews, and there’s going to be hijinks.

MELISSA: We all have been through the waves of grief. You have that awful cry and then all of a sudden you feel okay.  There are those family situations we are portraying where you’re like, “What do we do? What do we do now? You know, no one knows what to do. But, it’s so sweet. I’m looking forward to seeing how the scenes all turn out.

So, are you glad that Matt and Melissa are back for the 15K episode and Doug’s funeral? From what we can tell, it’s going to be quite an emotional journey for Days of our Lives fans, and especially the performance of Susan Seaforth Hayes, 

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Days Of Our Lives

Ron Carlivati Talks on Decision to Make Days of our Lives 15000th Episode About Doug’s Funeral, and Previews Chances for WGA Award

This week, Days of our Lives celebrated the taping of their 15,000th episode. In of it itself, that is an incredible accomplishment for the long-running soap opera currently streaming on Peacock.

However, this on set gathering was a bit different. Though the show is celebrating their achievement, they are also in the middle of taping scenes surrounding the death and the funeral of Doug Williams, played by the late Bill Hayes, who passed away on January 12th of this year at the age of 98.

As previously revealed many longtime favorites are back to honor Bill and the character of Doug including: Gloria Loring (Liz), Melissa Reeves (Jennifer), Matthew Ashford (Jack), Maree Cheatham (Marie), Victoria Konefal (Ciara) and Stephen Schnetzer (Steve) to name but a few.

Photo: JPI

Michael Fairman TV was in attendance and spoke with Days of our Lives head writer, Ron Carlivati to gain some insight into how the 15,000 episode was crafted and the decision to honor the character of Doug Williams and Bill Hayes as its epicenter. In addition, Ron weighed-in on this Sunday’s April 14th WGA (Writers Guild of America) Awards, where he and his writing team are facing off with General Hospital for the daytime drama prize. Here’s what Ron shared below.

Was this your idea to make the 15,000th episode centered around Doug’s funeral and passing?

RON: It was. When you’re looking at it, and laying out the calendar for the whole year and you see 15,000 is coming up, we’re like, “What are we going to do?” And then, we got the news that Bill had passed away and something kind of clicked. I was like, “We should honor Doug on that show.” So then, we started to kind of build around that … when does he pass away? How does he pass away? Who could come back? You know, it’s a lot.  I’m very pleased with the returns that we got as there’s so much that you could do. We wanted everybody we could get. So, we put together a wish list and Janet Drucker (co-executive producer, Days of our Lives) made it happen.

Photo: JPI

You have Melissa Reeves back as Jennifer, when the role was last played by Cady McClain. What has it meant to have Missy back for these shows?

RON: It was so nice to see Missy Reeves. I think Cady has done such a good job, but on the 15,000th episode to see Missy as Jennifer, it’s a big deal. So having her was great, and overall, the milestone was a big undertaking, because you want to live up to it. You want the 15,000th episode to be good. Now, it has a lot of real emotion that you’re playing. because for the cast and the crew they’re honoring Bill Hayes just as much as we’re honoring Doug Williams.

Photo: JPI

Was it hard for you and the team to write this episode?

RON: Yes. I’ll tell you why it was hard to write.  When I wrote, for example, Asa’s (Phillip Carey) death on One Life to Live or Victor’s (John Aniston) on DAYS, Asa is a different type of character. Like, you could have characters going, “Oh! I’m glad he is dead.” You could have different points of view, but with Doug, you’re not having that. Every person loves this man. No one had a bad relationship with him. So, you’re challenge as a writer is how do you make it that not everybody’s saying the same thing and doing the same thing. And so, we tried to find ways to make the episode about all the familial relationships and yet, how do you make it about Doug and yet broaden the scope.

Photo: JPI

I had spoken to Susan Seaforth Hayes (Julie), a week after Bill’s memorial, for an interview. She said that she felt very fortunate that you did include her on discussions of how you would tackle Doug’s passing. How did that conversation go?

RON: First, I attended Bill’s funeral, which was incredible. I said to so many people it was an emotional service, but it was hard to be sad at this. The guy had an incredible life and it was an incredible celebration. And so, you’re sitting there watching this knowing that you now have to write something similar. And how do you write something that lives up to what you just witnessed? I wanted to talk to Susan to get her thoughts about, you know, how much do you want this to be about keeping Bill separate from Doug. How comfortable are you sharing your grief. She was incredible to talk to. It was a great chat.

You’re in the middle of taping these major scenes for the 15,000 episode to air in December. How do you think it’s going? Have you seen any of the scenes?

RON:  I haven’t seeing anything. I mean, we were still making changes to the script up till this morning!

Photo: JPI

The Writers Guild Awards are this Sunday, April 14th and once again this year there are two daytime drama nominees, General Hospital and Days of our Lives. How are you feeling about your chances this year?

RON: It is often just GH and us in the category. I’ve won three years in a row, so I’m kind of feeling like it’s their turn.

Photo: JPI

What episodes did you submit for contention? If I recall, they had to do with Victor’s memorial.

RON: The episodes we submitted were centered around Victor’s funeral. I think one has story with Vivian (Louise Sorel). We had some fun stuff, we had some emotional stuff at Victor’s death, and I am pretty sure that our submission was three episodes right around that time.

Did you make the decision to go with those episodes because there was a mix of humor and drama?

RON: I like to have some humor, but it was also the funeral, then there’s Sarah (Linsey Godfrey) giving birth, and then Vivian’s crashing the reading of the will. So, we had a lot of fun and it’s hard sometimes to pick three that tell a story, as opposed to submitting for the Daytime Emmys, where the writing team only submits two shows. So, we shall see how it goes on Sunday.

Courtesy/Peacock

So, are you looking forward to the emotional 15,000th episode of Days of our Lives? Do you think DAYS will take home the WGA writing award for daytime dramas for the 4th year in a row? Comment below.

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