James Scott (EJ, DAYS) talks about his character’s decision to run for mayor, acting choices and the a HUGE development on the way between EJ and Sami.
Last weekend marked James’ fourth appearance at Days of our Lives‘ annual “Day of Days” fan event. Scott looks forward to the events each year. “I always have a good time meeting the fans,” said the actor with a charming smile.
Fans of James Scott were thrilled that the actor had signed a contract extension with DAYS, keeping Scott and his character, the devious EJ DiMera around for at least another year. There have been a lot of changes at DAYS this year – new head writers, new executive producers, cast turnover, but one thing that hasn’t changed is Scott’s importance to the show. New head writers Marlene McPherson and Darrell Ray Thomas crafted a topical political storyline, placing EJ at the center of a lot of drama involving his family and others. EJ’s decision to run for mayor pits him against his brother-in-law Abe (John Reynolds) and sister Lexie (Renee Jones). Also involved is EJ’s wife Nicole (Arianne Zucker) and the recently returned John Black (Drake Hogestyn). EJ’s platform includes demonizing people like John, accused of embezzling pension funds from the police department in Salem.
Scott says EJ’s rationale for running is more than what it appears. “I certainly don’t think he is interested in being mayor for the sake of being mayor. I feel that EJ felt that being mayor of Salem is beneath him. He is doing it to try and change the way people perceives his family, and I really think that he is doing it for that reason but also because he sees it as a stepping stone to bridge a fence.”
EJ’s motivations over the years may have varied from story to story, but the characteristics have stayed relatively the same. Maintaining the consistency of a character might be a challenge for some, but not for Scott. “In acting often the words are really irrelevant. You can take any statement and say it a hundred different ways and they all mean something slightly different.” Scott feels the true difficulty lies within the storytelling.
“Maintaining a character through different storylines can be challenging because there are situations where you play a character one way, and then after a certain amount of time they write something that contractions what you have played. It is one of the challenges of working on a soap opera and having a character that is constantly evolving.” James says actors have to take responsibility for their character, “The last line of defense for the character is the actor.”
When asked to share what’s coming up for EJ, James’ excitement was evident. “Things really start to heat up between EJ and Nicole. Then the disappearance of Johnny leads to a major event that transpires between EJ and Sami – who are trying to deal with the consequences of a son that is missing. That storyline sets into a motion a series of actions that has major consequences. It is the biggest thing to happen between EJ and Sami in a year or two.”