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Y&R’s Sharon Case Talks On: The Emotional Scenes of Sharon’s Reaction to Rey’s Death, Jordi Vilasuso’s Exit, Shick, and What’s Next for Her Life in Genoa City

Photo: CBS

All the superlatives in the world rang true for Sharon Case’s performances on recent episodes of The Young and the Restless. In story, and in true heartbreaking fashion, Sharon learns from Nick (Joshua Morrow) that her husband, Rey (Jordi Vilasuso) has been killed in a three-car accident involving Victoria (Amelia Heinle) and Ashland (Robert Newman). The thing of it was, when Rey was MIA, Sharon knew in her gut that he wasn’t coming back, making the moment she learns of Rey’s fate (from none other than her ex) all the more of a five-star soap opera tearjerker.

What followed was sensational work from Daytime Emmy winner, Case, that resonated so much with the fans of the show that the performance trended on Twitter.  Now with that, came the departure of Case’s longtime scene partner, Jordi Vilasuso, and opened the door for what might befall the long-suffering Sharon Collins Newman Rosales next.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Sharon to get her perspective on the taping of the gut-wrenching scenes, its fallout, the audience reaction, and if a new romance might be just around the corner for GC’s Sharon … or if she will go it alone for a while. Here’s what she had to say about it all and then some.

The scenes that aired last week where Sharon finds out Rey is dead were so amazing, Sharon.  I’ve watched them back like ten times, because it was that good.  I don’t know if you realized that at the time you taped them.

SHARON:  I didn’t realize it at the time. I was worried after I shot it that maybe it wasn’t good enough or real enough.  You tend to second guess it all the time when it comes to a situation like that because you’re talking about a reaction to a really crazy, shocking, specific moment in someone’s life, and I think people all react a little bit differently. I was just trying to make it organic. After we taped it, I was like, “Was that the right reaction?  I think it was.”  Then, after I watched it, it really felt true and real to me.

Photo: JPI

The way they did it was so quiet and still that you could hear a pin drop.  It was almost like when Nick walked in to tell Sharon, we were watching a moment in a play. 

SHARON:  You know, you’re right.  It was, and the way that it was written and played.  The entire production quality did seem like a play.

When you did the scenes and you left for the set for the day, how did you feel about them?

SHARON:  Well, I had a lot of angst about doing the scene.  It had been on my mind for days.  I was trying to contemplate the variety of ways it could go and what one would really feel.  So, when I finally did it, I thought, “Was that everything I wanted to do?”  We did tape the scene several times, so I had several shots at it.  I did it a little bit differently each time, and I think the one that aired was the final take. During taping, I think I got a little more dramatic each time we performed the scene.  I remember in the final take, my whole face was puffy from crying, and my eyes were red by then, and that one was the most dramatic take. Ultimately, I liked the one they chose for the episode.


You played it that Sharon knew deep-down that something had happened to Rey, right?

SHARON:  Yeah, she did, and she knew it early in the show.  Something struck her as soon as Rey didn’t return, and Chelsea came in and said, “Where’s Rey?  He hasn’t returned my calls.”  For Sharon, it was that, ‘Oh my, God’ moment, and the worst crossed her mind then and there.  That continued to progress throughout the episode, and she continued to become more disheveled emotionally and physically as the show went on, until finally Nick showed up, and that was it.  I think her heart dropped, and she went into shock right away when he walked it.

Right, because Sharon had the line, “Just give me a minute before you say it,” which brought everyone to tears.

SHARON:  I think Sharon just looked at him, and her heart sank, and she just went around the room babbling and cleaning things.  She didn’t even know what she was doing or saying.  She was already feeling the shock of it and preparing herself for what she was going to hear.

So, Jordi and you had lot of scenes together, obviously.  He was with you through the cancer storyline etc.  It’s always difficult to see somebody leave the show who you’ve worked with for a long time. Would you agree?

SHARON:  Yes.  Oh, it’s always difficult.  It was difficult to shoot the last scene I had with Jordi.  It’s always just very, very sad when somebody leaves the show, especially when it’s somebody who you’ve worked with for years, but that is also the way things go.  I worked with Steve Burton (Ex-Dylan) for years, and I remember shooting his last scene.  It was very heartbreaking.  When Cassie (as then played by a young Camryn Grimes) died, losing her was very heartbreaking.  So, you know, we are no strangers to this, but it’s always very, very sad.

Right, and, of course, you see the outcries.  In the middle of all this you were trending on Twitter.  I think you knew that.

SHARON:  Yes, I was so floored by that.  It was incredible.

See, even years later and being a vet on the show, there’s still a surprise that can await you!  I felt like you got your well-deserved due with it.  People were taking notice of it.

SHARON:  That means so much to me.

Photo: JPI

There were fans who were also like, “Sharon didn’t get a goodbye scene with Rey,” and I get that too, because people would have loved to have seen a major last scene between you and Jordi.  But then again, I don’t know if it would have played the same with the way we are talking about it feeling like a stage play in that moment.

SHARON:  You know, I agree with what you said.  People wanting a goodbye scene makes sense, but this was written differently.  There is no reason to write scenes the same way … every time somebody dies, just go through the same template.  This was different, and with how they told and with what scenes they showed and did not show.  I found that it was really effective.

Then it is Nick who brings the heartbreaking news of Rey’s death to Sharon.  Joshua Morrow was great in the scene, too.

SHARON:  I agree.  He really was.

Photo: JPI

You can never underestimate the on-screen power of Shick.  You and Joshua just have that on-screen magic as scene partners.  You could tell that Nick felt so bad for Sharon.  He’s been her ex-husband, he’s been her best friend, but you could tell Nick wanted to be the one to tell her. Nick also knew how Sharon was going to handle the news.

SHARON:  Yes, because they have such a long history together, and it plays on- screen very nicely. I think because Joshua and I have worked together for that many years, and we’ve been through all of these rough times: hard storylines, people leaving the show, and really tough scenes that we’ve gotten each other through. We’ve gone through whatever is happening in our personal lives all of these years, too.  There’s just a lot of connection between us because of all of the history and beats that Nick and Sharon have shared together in life and on stage, and when we look at each other, that is always in our minds.  It can’t not be.

Photo: CBS

So, as viewers we also prepare ourselves too, “Oh, poor Sharon, and Nick’s got to tell her!”  I think it’s this very visceral thing with soaps where it’s not like any other genre.  There is such a connection between audience, actors, story.  It’s just very different.

SHARON:  Yeah, you’re right.  There is more of a connection like that probably because we are on every day for years and decades. But one thing I do have to say is I like all of the relationships that Sharon has. They’re all interesting, and I love them all, but what is different, or what I feel is different about Nick and Sharon is that they are this real couple.  Of course, both of them sometimes do bad things for the sake of drama and story of the years, but at the end of the day, they are both real people.  It’s not just like this long-term love story that is on and off.   Neither of them is pulling tricks on the other one.  They’re not villains.  They’re just trying to get through their lives.  Of course, bad things have happened.  Nick’s done bad things; Sharon has, as people do in real life too. Watching them get through that over the years has enriched their relationship.

Photo: JPI

Another plot point that they did wrap up in Rey’s story, was for Sharon, in her way, to confront Chelsea (Melissa Claire Egan); over Chelsea’s burgeoning feelings for Rey, and they had that scene.  What did you think that?  It was more adult in its delivery without a cat fight between two women.

SHARON:  I liked that about it too, that it was two adults talking and being frank with each other and not the cat fight. Now, the cat fights do have a place on the show for sure, but not every scene has to be like that.

Did Sharon instinctively know in her gut that there was an attraction between Rey and Chelsea? Did she think Chelsea was going to try to steal her man?

SHARON:  Yes! She felt in her gut for a long time that there was an attraction. We’ve seen Sharon in beats where she notices Rey and Chelsea talking or hanging out a lot, or whatever, a connection.  She just finally decided to just say it, and just be frank with Chelsea, and just ask her what’s going on? I would imagine confronting someone and asking them point blank like that what’s really happening is hard. Nobody wants to have that conversation. I liked the way that it was written.  It was very real.  It could have been catty.

Photo: JPI

Then, later, when Sharon was alone with her family and children and mourning Rey’s death, they’re all so concerned for. Basically, she is trying to hold it together, and she keeps saying she has to hold it together for the kids.  Is she just so afraid to let herself completely break down?

SHARON:  I think Sharon feels that she is holding it together for her family.  You know, she’s got kids, and there is about to be a wedding for Mariah and Tessa, and when there is a death in the family, it can rock everybody’s world. She was trying to hold it together, not just for her sake, but for everyone’s sake. Everybody in the family loved Rey, and I think it was just her instinct to be the strong one, but maybe she’s afraid that if she hadn’t made that choice to be the strong one, she would fall apart.  Who knows what would happen to her?  If she just really let it all out, she might spiral completely out of control. It is the fear of the unknown for someone of what could happen to you if you just emotionally and completely lose it.

Photo: JPI

She was saying (and I think why Rey was a good partner for Sharon) is that he was just a good man.  Is that how Sharon saw it?

SHARON:  I think that was it. After dealing with her bipolar disorder and going through that, she had wanted to try to stabilize herself in her life.  Sharon became a therapist not to practice therapy, but to help herself.  You know, sometimes if you read about the illness that you have, it helps you conquer and get through your own illness. She wanted to get better to be a stabilizing influence for her children, and she has become that, and over the last few years, having a stable man in her life like Rey, was part of that agenda of being the best mom she could be.

Photo: JPI

Whereas, if she had ended up with Adam (Mark Grossman), that would have been a different outcome for her, as she decided to made her relationship work with Rey.

SHARON:  Right, and with her children, and for her children’s’ sake that was leading her to that decision, and plus, her past and having been an unstable person. Now her kids are grown, and they’re marrying off.  Going forward, it’s a different time in Sharon’s life.  I don’t think she has to prove anything to herself or anyone else anymore.  She is going to decide what direction to take her life in from here and go for it.

Photo: JPI

Sharon made the call to Rey’s mother, Celeste (Eva LaRue), to let her know her son had died, and obviously now, the funeral is going to be in Miami.  How does Sharon truly feel about this? 

SHARON:  She does come to terms with it.  I think, at first, it just wasn’t something that had ever occurred to her.  In the back of your mind, you think when your loved one dies, they’re not going to be buried somewhere else, but we don’t really think about where burials will happen, thank God.  I think it was just something that she had to consider.  It was a little bit of a shock.  I think Sharon comes to terms with it, and it makes sense that Rey should have his final resting place with his family and at his home, but that doesn’t mean that there shouldn’t be a memorial for him, just because the burial isn’t there in Genoa City, and that’s what ends up making sense to her.

Photo: JPI

How does this performance, and the kudos you received for it, stack up against some of the other major moments you have had on Y&R throughout your career? Does this scene now stand as one of your all-time favorites?

SHARON:  Yeah!  It is.  It’s one of my favorites. Not just for the performance that I was happy with or the way that the story was written, but I also put it up there because of the fans’ reactions. There were so many amazing reactions that I read and comments on Instagram and Twitter. They were overwhelmingly lovely, and I’ll never forget that.  The outpouring from the fans was very moving to me. The feedback on Sharon’s reaction to Rey’s death, it was really was just beautiful to me.  I was just so humbled and grateful

Jordi Vilasuso actually retweeted Y&R’s tweet which included the ‘Nick telling Sharon that Rey is dead’ scene, and he gave you and Joshua applause for it.  I thought that was pretty sweet.

SHARON:  Oh, he did?  I didn’t see that tweet.  I’ll have to go to his Twitter account.  Aww. That’s so cool, and you’re right, it was so sweet for him to do that.

Photo: JPI

So, in a broad stroke, where do you think Sharon goes from here?  Is she just going to be in a grieving process, or is this going to be a turning point in her life?

SHARON:  I think it’s going to be a turning point in her life.  I hope that turning point could be a lot of different things, but I would love to see her make a change in her life.  I was speculating that she could be in the grieving process for a while, and maybe she tries to pull herself out of it, but in trying to be too strong, maybe she ends up going off of her meds or becoming a drug addict, or whatever.  When people go through this kind of loss and grief, you don’t know how long it will take or what is going to be next for them, or whether they’ll pull right out of it and make a big, strong change in their life, or if they’ll spiral downward for a little while longer.


That’s more realistic to life than you’re just fine when somebody dies and it’s over.

SHARON:  Yeah, you’re right, and that never happens that somebody dies and it’s over.  You definitely usually struggle for a long time, and you know what I think would be great is if we did both.  Let’s say Sharon decides to propel her life forward in some really strong business pursuit in life and re-identifies herself as this stronger person in whatever it is she’s doing – maybe with her career or something like that – then at the same time working so hard on that focus while she’s grieving. It then causes her to maybe start using drugs to cope with maintaining that strength.  Not all people who struggle with grief end up on substances, sometimes the substances are not overwhelming, they’re a crutch.  Sometimes these people can be functioning users.  I think that would be an interesting way to go rather than every time someone has something go wrong, their whole life is overcome by this.  Walking a line, and struggling to function, and seeing how they’re managing to function and what they’re doing, that would be a story that I would love to see for her.

Photo: JPI

Do you see Sharon rebounding to another man right away or another relationship? Can she be on her own?

SHARON:  I don’t see her rebounding right away.  I mean, I wouldn’t think that in that kind of grief, anyone is thinking about romance.  I do think she can be on her own.

(Laughs) But we’re in the land of soap operas, and they move things along sometimes and all of a sudden, a character finds themselves in a new/old love story. 

SHARON:  That’s true!  That could be true too, or maybe you find solace in this romance, I don’t know!  I think those would be interesting options, as well.

So, what did you think of Sharon’s performance when Sharon learned of Rey’s death? What do you hope happens next for Sharon? Do you want her to emotionally struggle? Find a new career? Enter another romance? And if so, with whom? Nick? Adam? Someone new? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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The scene where Nick tells Sharon about Rey’s death was heartbreaking and done to perfection. I really liked how it was written and filmed. But this all seems far too neat and tidy in terms of a wrap up to Rey’s presence in Genoa City.

The very next episode skipped over all the hospital scenes for Victoria and Ashland, and we never got to see Rey’s body. I’m really hoping there’s a twist coming involving Ashland somehow orchestrating the car accident, because as of now, the only explanation is that it was foggy and Rey swerved in the middle of the road causing the crash. That doesn’t sit right with me at all.

As for Sharon’s future, I like the suggestion of Sharon grieving and finding solace in an addiction, or potentially getting wrapped up in her clients’ business as a way to mask what she’s going through. Similar to what I’m hoping comes of Billy’s podcast – he tries to help someone but projects his own demons on them and inadvertently causes some type of tragedy.

Also, this might be an unpopular opinion, but I’d really like to see a Sharon/Billy pairing. I’m tired of his relationship with Lily, and I don’t want to see a rehash of Shick just yet. Plus, both have gone through incredible loss and Billy is a recovering addict, so maybe he can help Sharon recover if that’s the path she goes down. I think there’s tons of potential for these two characters.

Sharon Case is my favorite actress in daytime and tv period. She deserves a Emmy for that gutwrenching performance,with
Sharon and Nick as my favorite couple. Their scenes are so effortlessly tender and real. Can’t wait for a slowburn Shuck reunion ! Joshua also deserves big kudos in this past scene.
Storyline wise I d love to see Sharon honor Rey by paying homage to the beginning s of their relationship and going back to work at the gcpd as community outreach , grief councillor etc. Sharon needs to get out of that coffeeshop stat!
That way when we have the rate Michael Baldwin, Christine and Kevin scene they can take place at the station instead of the coffeehouse!
One a different sidenote, too bad when her and Nick went to the morgue to see the body it was unidentifiable due to burns etc. .Incase one day the ptb want to bring Rey back. The Rosales were really trashed by Josh the hack Griffith.

Heck I just settle for her getting a new couch!!

Sharon nailed it, it was so awesome, it was so real to life when we lose someone we love. Sharon Case should be nominated, her acting is always fantastic. She’s just like Gina L. When they act out these tough scenes they both show what acting is all about. ♥

I just don’t get why Sharon Case doesn’t get Emmy nominations. She’s on my dream ballot for 2021 and will be on it again for 2022. I prefer Kirsten Storms and Cynthia Watros to win the Emmy but Sharon deserves a nomination, especially for all the work she did during Faith’s bullying/illness and Rey’s poisoning storylines last year. She is phenomenal! These scenes with Rey’s death would definitely belong on her Emmy reel for this year.

Sharon was fantastic. Kudos. Joshua has been great too.

I started sobbing with the hitch in Joshua Morrow’s voice when he said “There’s something I have to tell you.”. It broke my heart.

It was a very good scene and like Sharon said you could tell she knew all that time and I could see how puffy her face was. Once Nick walked in I was holding my breath and then seeing him fighting off tears just got me. Once she knew it, I just started crying. She’s that good!

I think everyone did a fantastic job. I think Sharon needs to grieve more and maybe spiral out of control. Then have Nick come to the rescue. These two belong together. They have been through so much. It’s time to put them together and keep them together.

Sharon and Rey were only married for a year… she will grieve but not as long as most think.. It was a short marriage and she did love him no doubt but it may not take as long as if she had been married a lot longer.. hopefully they don’t bring drugs into the picture.

Love and heartbreak are not measured in time. She can hurt just as much, no matter if its a year or ten years.

This was very hard on me it was the day 6 years ago that my son-in law was killed in a head on crash I cried so very hard watching this

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.


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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