“Days of Our Lives” 2.0 has now fully launched. Tuesday’s episode, featuring Victor (John Aniston) and Maggie’s (Suzanne Rogers) wedding, as well as the aftermath of both Nicole (Arianne Zucker) and E.J. (James Scott) making love, was one of the show’s best episodes in years, with sophisticated, poignant dialogue and lots of character development. If you missed it, press play below.
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“Days” is embarking on its first gay storyline. Newcomer Sonny (Freddie Smith) was already out of the closet when he hit Salem. Will (Chandler Massey) will soon acknowledge that he, too, is gay. The two young actors, as well as the town’s resident young heterosexual male heartthrob, Casey Diedrick (Chad) previewed how daytime’s most socially conservative soap will handle this sensitive topic.
Chandler Massey (Will) & Carmina Burana (Gabi)
How does Will come to the realization that he’s gay? When will Gabi find out?
Massey: It’s a very long process. The whole writing team and executive producers really committed to making this relevant and really taking the time to make it a phenomenal story. So it’s going to take its sweet, sweet time. Just because in real life no one overnight realizes they’re gay. It’s a process and an emotional roller coaster. I think that’s the story. It’s a young man coming to terms with something he’s hidden for years, his whole life, basically, from everyone. Including the lovely Camilla, who plays Gabi. Unfortunately, that doesn’t bode well [for their relationship].
Banus: We don’t really know but Gabi obviously loves him.
Massey: But Will loves her more. Let’s just set the record straight on that. Will loves her more… The fact that Will tries so hard to be someone that he’s not just to make Gabi happy means that he really, truly loves her, just not in the sexual way.
Banus: Before they were ever together, they were best friends. We helped each other through hard moments. I don’t think that’s ever going to stop. I don’t think that’s ever going to be a problem between them. But it’s going to affect her. I think it’s going to be one of those, “Okay, now I know why,” moments.
Is Will going to end up dating Sonny?
Massey: I’m wondering that as well. But personally I think what’s more valuable is the platonic friendship Will and Sonny have because basically in all aspects the writing staff is committed to making this realistic and staying away from stereotypes. Just because two guys are gay, and happen to be the only two gay guys on screen doesn’t mean that they’re into each other and I think it would be more powerful just to have that friendship there.
Will’s mother, Sami, seems like she would be supportive. Why is Will so scared of telling anyone?
Massey: Sami (Alison Sweeney) had Will so young. They basically grew up together. Sami now has three other kids she has to take care of who are constantly getting kidnapped and missing so she has her hands full. Growing up she jumped from guy to guy. So Will never got that maternal dynamic from Sami that he really needed. So Will doesn’t trust Sami to be accepting. Personally, if I was gay, I would expect my mother to be the first to know. Your mother knows you better than anybody. So that’s the justification for why he hasn’t come out, because he’s lacking that. Actually, he finds that in Marlena (Deidre Hall).
The week of Thanksgiving, Will is going to be involved in a storyline that nobody is going to see coming.
Massey: Yeah. That’s a doozy. When I read that I was ecstatic because there’s another whole element to play. Basically it just compounds everything that he’s already dealing with and the demons and issues he has with his mother and E.J. He’s been through this before. “I think E.J.’s great and I love him,” then, “He kidnapped my daughter. I hate him again.” In Will’s eyes, that’s the ultimate betrayal and really brings the drama.
Freddy Smith Jr. and Casey Diedrick
Are Will and Sonny going to find love?
Smith: I believe they will find love, whether it’s with each other, or in the future, I’m not sure. We will have romances coming up, some different characters coming in, mixing it up, so we’ll see who is going to end up with who. I think it’s all going to be based on chemistry.
So there will be more gay characters coming to Salem?
Smith: There might be.
Is Sonny he first person Will comes out to?
Smith: He discusses it with Sonny, but he’s kind of beating around the bush with him. Sonny knows that Will is gay before Will wants to admit it.
Sonny’s also having problems with the website he started with his friends.
Smith: I don’t think anyone will guess what’s going to happen. It’s going to be an exciting journey.
I understand the gambling that is happening on the site will lead to a little bit of violence.
Diedrick: (Joking) Chad beats up Sonny. He hits him over the head a few times… There is some violence. I can’t even begin to explain what will happen. It comes out of nowhere. I think fans will definitely not be disappointed.
Does whoever comes after them not realize Chad is a DiMera and Sonny is a Kiriakis?
Smith: It eventually involves almost everyone in town.
Chad now has two women in his life, Abby and Melanie.
Diedrick: Chad’s just playing the field right now. It’s just part of my life, to have two, sometimes five, girls at a time. It’s not easy being a DiMera. The girls flock to us… I love what they’re doing with the storyline. I love working with Kate Mansi and Molly Burnett.
Who do you think is the right person for him?
Diedrick: I say Peggy McKay.
A lot of the fans were rooting for Chad and Sonny.
Diedrick: That’s old news. Been there, done that. Already got the T-shirt.
Smith: Oh, you mean that one that says, “I’ve been with Sonny?” Those are out now. They’re so last month.
Diedrick: I love working with everyone. Whatever the writers see the most chemistry with would obviously be the better choice. Obviously Molly and I are going to be a little more quirky because we spend so much time together. I love working with Kate as well.
How are Chad and Sonny different from the prior generations of their family?
Diedrick: They seem to have their heads on straight.
Smith: Times have changed. The Montague, Capulet thing, it’s like who cares anymore? Our generation just wants to be friends and make love.
Diedrick: I think that’s one of the greatest characteristics about Chad, that he doesn’t judge.
Do you think it’s funny that so many fans wanted Chad to be gay, even though the show has made it clear that he is not?
Diedrick: I think the point of that is that Chad looks good with anybody. It doesn’t matter.