November 10th, 2008  |  Leave a comment

“A DAY OF DAYS” CAST INTERVIEWS PART TWO – DAYS OF OUR LIVES

This is part two of our interviews with the cast of Days of our Lives from “On-Air On-Soaps” coverage of “A Day of DAYS” fan event celebration in honor of the shows 43rd anniversary this past weekend. Without further adieu, here is a round-up from some of your favorite male heartthrobs and supercouples from Salem. To read Part One click here.

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JAMES SCOTT

As EJ Well (Dimera), James has been front and center on “DAYS” since his arrival in Salem a few years back. Read below what he had to say about his current storyline revolving Sami, Nicole and Brady Black!

MICHAEL:

You have been working 4 or 5 days a week. EJ is so heavy in story!

JAMES:

I am working very much, and am happy to be included in story. I am lucky because they are writing for the character, and we just added Eric Martsolf (Brady) and Galen Gering (Rafe). Eric is the most disgustingly nice person, and he is a pleasure to work with, and is a very good actor as well. I have not worked with Galen yet. Eric is smart. He avoids acting ‘traps’. I also get the sense that our characters might be butting heads between the two of us. When you are working with a another character, there are two ways it can go. If it’s with a not-so-good actor, you can wipe the floor with him and it makes me look great, but at the same time its not very good for you. On the other hand, if you have a really good actor, who can play at the same level as you and go toe to toe with you, you do much better work, because we both have to be up our game. I am hoping there will be friction between these two characters, because I think it will be fun stuff for the audience to watch.

MICHAEL:

Will you be working at all with Alison Sweeney (Sami) in the future?

JAMES

Sami is in the Witness Protection Program, and for the foreseeable future until she gets out of that, you will not see a lot of EJ with Sami. So, you will see a lot more of EJ and Nicole. It’s interesting in a way, because EJ does not know Sami is pregnant. I think that is where the focus is going to be. You know it’s a dead giveaway if Alison Sweeney’s first scenes with a male actor (referring to Galen) on the show are seeing him naked. You know Sami’s head is churning.

PETER RECKELL

As Bo Brady, Peter has played one of the most beloved anti-heroes in soap history. One half of Salem super couple, Bo and Hope… Peter looks forward to exciting story coming up in the near future.


MICHAEL:

Peter, do you still enjoy fan events after all these years as one of the signature people of the show, Bo Brady?

peter-reckell.jpgPETER:

Absolutely! It’s not only fun to have people come up to me, but it’s asking them, “What do they want to see?” We take that information back to our producers. In the past, it did not necessarily change the course of storyline and I wish it did. But these days producers are really listening to what the fans want and they are giving it to them, and our numbers are going up!

MICHAEL:

You recently went through two executive producer changes at “DAYS”. First Ed Scott was at the helm and now Gary Tomlin. How is the new EP working out?

PETER:

It’s obviously working. The energy and the feeling around the studio are exciting. I am getting my scripts going, “What’s going to happen in the next show?” And the cops are solving cases! We don’t have other characters coming up and solving cases, and to not have to make stupid things work, is fun for me. Bo actually puts 2 and 2 together and it comes out to 4. How ‘bout that?

MICHAEL:

How is working with Kristian Alfonso, (Hope) after all these years?

PETER:

I think we always have a lot of fun together and I think it’s getting even better. We get to know each other more and more, and we can almost anticipate each other. We come into a scene and I go, “I was thinking….” and she goes,” Yeah, me, too. Let’s do that!” And we help the writers. You’ve got 6 to 8 dialog writers, and they each have a slightly different take on Bo and Hope. So, we are the constant through line to our characters, and the producers and the writers are allowing us to do what we need to do.

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MICHAEL:

What can we tell your fans to look forward to in 2009 for Bo Brady?

PETER:

I have been told, and I have been told things before, “You are going to have this cool storyline.” I have been told, “I have a very interesting, quirky kind of storyline that people wouldn’t think would happen to Bo, coming up at Christmas.” We are starting those shows very soon, so I am checking every script to see what it could be. Right now, however, I am supporting life stories on “DAYS”.

MICHAEL:

“Quirky” in what way?

PETER:

I don’t know. I have been given this teaser. I am trying to find out what that ‘quirky’ thing is. Previously, all I have done like that was when there was one little period where Bo was hypnotized, and I had white face stuff going on. Anyway, we will ignore that. But, the rest of my time at “DAYS”, I have never had an evil twin, or those kinds of things.

MICHAEL:

…Or an ‘alter’ or something?…

PETER:

…I don’t know what it is, but I am kind of excited.

MICHAEL:

How is your daughter, and how is fatherhood?

PETER:

She is a year old now, and the best part is looking at her, and the worst part is having to say ‘goodbye’. She learned to wave a couple of months ago, and seeing her wave when I go out to work is just terrible! She is a very happy, energetic, smart little girl, and I am in love.

JAY JOHNSON

As Phillip Kiriakis, Jay brings a smoldering sexuality and power to his character. He speaks about the revival of “Phillip” and what could be in store with cupid.

MICHAEL:

Phillip has been going through an interesting transition and transformation. Is it difficult to follow each new producing regime to keep him consistent?

jay-johnson.jpgJAY:

It is challenging, but when Phillip came back and when Ed Scott (Ex-executive producer, “DAYS”) came on, he flushed Phillip out. We worked on getting Phillip some different layers, and that has carried over. There have been changes, love story wise, and on many levels. I got really good at the angst and lurking after some girl, but now they have me doing a lot of different things.

MICHAEL:

But, I thought Phillip was an amputee? Why isn’t he limping around Salem, anymore?

JAY:

Funny you should say that. I said to somebody on the production staff at “DAYS” the other day, “Should I be limping here?” And they said, “No”.

MICHAEL:

It’s swept under the table!

JAY:

Maybe or maybe not. But I think it adds something. Whatever they decide, I will do.

MICHAEL:

Phillip was getting involved with Morgan, played by Kristen Renton, and then she was let go by the show. Now your character seems to be headed for a new romantic entanglement. What are your thoughts?

JAY:

I thought Kristen and I were going very well. I think they are trying to figure out what way the stories are going to go. Phillip is involved with a couple of people right now, a little bit with Melanie and Stephanie. They are both going to be working at Titan, and they already don’t like each other.

MICHAEL:

So, I see a triangle!

JAY:

Yes.

MICHAEL:

Do you like a triangle story for Phillip?

JAY:

We could get a quadrangle and throw another girl in there. It’s not the classic soap thing, but it can happen. (He laughs)

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MICHAEL:

How has it been recently, working with on-screen mom, Lauren Koslow, (Kate) through her lung cancer storyline?

JAY:

I think Phillip and Kate have a unique relationship. It’s not a traditional mother/ son thing, because I think they get each other. That could be because both Lauren and I are Pisces. I don’t know, but I really dig her. She put out some great performances this past week. They were just amazing and it’s a tough storyline. I am just waiting to see how that turns out. I hope it turns out well.

MICHAEL:

What can we say to your fans to look forward to, from Phillip, in 2009?

JAY:

I assume that Phillip will take a bigger interest in Titan. I think he will still be dealing with his mother, and some women are going to be throwing some wrenches into his life.

MICHAEL:

In a bad way?

JAY:

It could be in a bad way, but he will always turn it into his advantage! (He laughs)

shawn.jpgSHAWN CHRISTIAN

As Dr. Daniel Jonas, Shawn has quickly made his mark on “DAYS” and broken a string of hearts in Salem. Can anyone ever tame Salem’s own version of Dr. “McDreamy”?

MICHAEL:

Shawn, what the heck is going on with Dr. Daniel? He is the male “slut” of the show!

SHAWN:

I am a very frustrated character. I think Daniel has only had sex once… right? It’s just the worst times I could be doing these things. I go, “What kind of decision is he making now? And, how come he seems to be sleeping with every patient he has?” For me, to make it completely justifiable, it’s a guy who lives in the moment, and lives passionately, and it trips him up. There are people like that. So for me, he does not have all of his stuff together, and hopefully he does not hurt other people’s feelings, especially like he did with Chelsea.

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MICHAEL:

And now with Kate, is that not happening as a romance? I heard “rumblings” it may be more Chloe?

SHAWN:

I am pleading the ‘fifth’ on the Chloe storyline. Certainly, Chloe has come into his life and there have been circumstances where they have talked with no sexual undertones or anything. Not at all. So, what you can end up finding is that they could be kindred sprits. That could develop into who knows what? I don’t know what’s going to happen. Just don’t hate me! I know you guys want to find Daniel in an honest romance. I think Daniel is trying to find himself, and he is one of those guys who keep getting in his own way. I read on the soap websites, where someone said, “He is twisted and screwed up,” and I liked that and it made sense to me. Rather than someone seeing him as duplicitous, because I do not see him as someone with a malicious heart. He is a good person who makes wrong choices. He is just misunderstood.

MICHAEL:

How has it been to work with Lauren Koslow, on all the heavy scenes in the cancer storyline?

shawn-signs.jpgSHAWN:

We had some stuff yesterday, and she put her heart into her lines yesterday. She is so gifted! To be in a scene with her, you just take a moment to be in it with her, and share the experience with her. You walk away and you go, “Wow! That’s why I want to be doing this!” She is a talented actress.

MICHAEL:

With all the romantic roulette going on with Dr. Daniel, how can you find your path as an actor when reading the scripts?

SHAWN:

I like not knowing. I don’t want to pitch the idea to the producers. I want it to be like, “Whatever happens with Chloe, I want it to take him off guard.” I don’t want him to be duplicitous pursuing this woman.

MICHAEL:

How have the fans reaction been to you, at “A Day of DAYS” fan fest?

SHAWN:

Everyone has been generous and kind. A few people will point out, like you did earlier, “What is Daniel thinking right now?” I go, “I don’t think he is.” They have been giving me great stuff to work with, though.

MICHAEL:

Will you go to Hawaii for the holidays?

SHAWN:

Oh, give me a reason to go to Hawaii. I was just there six months ago; probably two weeks after I landed this role, because I am a surfer doctor! (He laughs) I was like, “OK. I better go to some research! “

STEPHEN NICHOLS AND MARY BETH EVANS

As Patch and Kayla perhaps no super couple on “DAYS” history as ever packed the emotional wallop of these two characters road to love. Their portrayers stick together through thick and then to give the audience what they want to see.

marybeth-stephen.jpgMICHAEL:

How has this fan event been for you?

MARY BETH:

I think it’s interesting. The fans give us input and it’s fun. We go to work in a warehouse and so we don’t see them, and we learn something each time we do one of these things.

STEPHEN:

Yeah… they give us a different perspective on what we are doing, and tell us the things that they love or not.

MICHAEL:

I was wondering about your thoughts on working with “DAYS” new executive producer, Gary Tomlin?

STEPHEN:

It’s hard for us to judge. He is new, and we have not been there for the entire time he has been there.

MARY BETH:

Ed Scott was on the floor a lot and I hear Gary does the same. It’s changing. The show is changing, and daytime is changing.

MICHAEL

Stephen, if “DAYS” is not picked up for renewal for 2009 by NBC, what are your thoughts?

STEPHEN:

Where’s the next job baby! Start looking. (He laughs)

MICHAEL:

Mary Beth, any holiday plans with your family?

MARY BETH:

My kids are coming home from college, so I think we are going to hunker down now like a lot of people in the nation, and hang with our family and not travel.

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MICHAEL:

How do you deal with the situation when you are not working? Do you mind not working when your characters are not front burner in story?

STEPHEN:

We love to work. We would rather not be on the show than being on and doing nothing…except the paycheck is pretty good too. (He laughs) We do love to work though, and give 100% to our characters.

MARY BETH:

Stephen and I love working together, and we love this show. We will work our scenes and try to find the rhythm, and make something up out of nothing much. I am just saying anything they give us, even simple things. We want to work and deliver the best to our audience, and to Patch and Kayla fans.

MICHAEL:

What do you do when you appear in group scenes where you are just in the background with little or no dialog?

MARY BETH:

I have to nudge him.

STEPHEN:

I am playing it like a green suitcase.  On those days…take the money and run.

joe-mascolo.jpgJOE MASCOLO

As Stefano Dimera, the beloved and revenge filed villain of Salem, Joe’s performances have what had made Salem the small town where nobody is safe from a brain chip or scientific experiences to wipe out you fondest memories!

MICHAEL:

Joe, how have you liked Stefano’s reemergence onto the Salem scene once he awoke from his coma and delivered a present to University Hospital in the form of purple gas through the vents?

JOE:

I loved it! What you realize is, even though Stefano is in a coma and lying in bed, he still has people working for him all over the world. He had this purple gas, and you know he has a lot of guys out there helping him. It was fun coming out of the coma, because the writing has been better on the show. It was a joy because at one point I said, “Keep me in a coma,” and now it s a whole different bag. I am enjoying what they are doing with Stefano and how they are doing it.

MICHAEL:

Is it hard, though, not to loose your footing when coming in an out of the storylines that change and shift?

JOE:

As far as “DAYS” go, it’s like old home week. I have a deep fondness for the show and the cast, and everyone who runs it, because they have been really great people. But on daytime, sometimes it gets more stupid than it should, and when it does, you have a guy like me. When I started this thing, I was going to do the role for a few months and get out. Well, it’s become 20 years now, and I still can’t believe that. The lady who invented Stefano, the brilliant Pat Falken Smith gave him the code word, “The Phoenix”- rising from the ashes. The character and I could leave the show and come back. It was very smart. The idea that this show had been on the air for 43 years, and it’s the fans that have kept this thing alive. I feel we owe to them everything we could give them…and that includes good writing, and hopefully, good acting.

MICHAEL:

Stefano is like a rock star at these fan events, don’t you think?

joe-red-carpet.jpgJOE:

This is what is so interesting. We all went out there to greet the fans and the minute Stefano when out there they went nuts! When you stop to think about it, you go,” Wait. He is the villain.” I had more people come up to me and say, “I don’t care what you do, just keep doing it.” So it makes me feel good as an actor that they see something human so it’s just not some maniac. Screwing up your mind and your family, that’s fun for me. I am against killing and do not believe in that. Anyone can pick up a gun and shoot, and it’s over. So where’s the drama in that?

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MICHAEL:

Now, legend has it that when you come into work at the studio and report for work at “DAYS” you walk in with Stefano’s accent and do not use you own voice the entire time you are there. Is that correct, and if so, why?

JOE:

I hate bad accents! I can see them in the dark, and especially if you are in a complicated scene and it’s phony. It breaks it up and stops your mind. When you have the accent that is automatic, it’s part of the color of the character. This is why I have the accent the minute I walk into work at “DAYS”. It never gave me a problem. But now, I am always yelling at them when they give me long funny words to say. It’s hard to say, “Anthropologist” when you have a funny accent…other than that, it does not bother me.

MICHAEL:

Drake Hogestyn (John) says he loves working with you and your on-screen dynamic. Your thoughts on working with him?

JOE:

It’s a mutual feeling with Drake. They have always had a love/hate relationship with John and Stefano. Now that he is Stefano’s half-brother, now is the time to take it the distance and use these two men. They are both strong men. They should be used with each other and against each other, and if it’s done correctly it could be wonderful. I have the two kiddies, Elvis and Anthony, and they are wonderful. I think Stefano is trying to draw his son’s back into the business because he is having a real tough time with that. They went so far against him to wipe him out, but now he is trying to draw them in, because he has this thing about his legacy. It’s kind of worldly European attitude.

thaowaves.jpgLEANN HUNLEY AND THAAO PENGHLIS

As Anna and Tony Dimera, these two best friends in real life…Leann and Thaao, bring zest, comedy and drama into their portrayals when ever they light up your TV screens with their presence.

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MICHAEL:

We all hope to see more of Tony and Anna on the canvas in the near future! What can we say?

LEANN:

We actually don’t have anything that we can say.

THAAO:

There are reasons we have lasted, and it’s not because we are pretty. I think there is going to be more embellishments with the Dimeras and the faithful wives, who sometimes go upstaris for a bath for the whole week.

LEANN:

I think I must be upstairs using the bath or shower.

MICHAEL:

Maybe Anna konked out in the tub or something?

LEANN:

Well, one would hope he would call 911.  I think I am up there with candles and champagne and he has me locked up there in some fabolous suite!

MICHAEL:

But the show seems to be refocusing and trying to retool itself, right now. Are you in the shuffle?

THAAO:

I have been back, and I have stories with my father. You get a new producer and a new writer and suddenly things and your character change. You have to make those adjustments. I think the Dimeras have always been great. I looked back at some of the shows from the 80’s and I see how well they held up…you know, the fun times Leann and I had together.

MICHAEL:

What did you think about the purple-gassing episodes?

THAAO:

It was story they hit us with during the Olympics, and our ratings went up. I don’t know what it is about the Dimeras? We have fun. Joe is terrific to work with. When we do the scenes you have to be on your game.

MICHAEL:

Are you OK then with being on the back burner of storyline?

LEANN:

We also know there is an ebb and flow of how story is done. They have one heavy story going and one alternate that are of lesser prominence, and then other people are back,–burner and then it’s cyclical. We are trying not to take it too personally.

leanne.jpgTHAAO:

Whatever you do…. the challenge is when you go back to work, you let them know how much they missed you and that’s the medicine. We have a new producer who is quiet, but a solid guy and he is watching us.

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