'Days of our Lives' Star Freddie Smith Talks DAYS' Gay Bashing Storyline, Potential Romance For Will & Sonny


Freddie Smith

Days of our Lives is about to embark on a bold storyline showcasing anti-gay bullying. At the center of the story is 24-year old actor Freddie Smith, who joined DAYS in 2011 as Sonny Kiriakis. Smith spoke with TVSource Magazine last week to discuss his upcoming storyline, Sonny’s feeling’s for Will, and the impact this story will have on viewers.

Freddie SmithDays of our Lives is about to embark on a bold storyline showcasing anti-gay bullying. At the center of the story is 24-year old actor Freddie Smith, who joined DAYS in 2011 as Sonny Kiriakis. Smith spoke with TVSource Magazine last week to discuss his upcoming storyline, Sonny’s feeling’s for Will, and the impact this story will have on viewers.

Sonny, the soap’s first openly gay character, is the son of supercouple Justin & Adrienne Kiriakis. Smith won over fans last year with his charm and quirky portrayal of the out and proud hunk. For Sonny, sexuality doesn’t define who he is; it’s just a part of who he is.

Coming into a genre that films over 250 episodes a year is no easy task, especially for a show like DAYS that films months in advance. Freddie’s ease into the working environment on set can be attributed to co-stars Wally Kurth (Justin) and Judi Evans (Adrienne). The pair took Smith under their wings last year and showed him the ropes. He was quick to praise the DAYS cast as being the best part of the show and is happy to go to work in what he referred to as a “wonderful environment,” going on to say the cast and crew are like a family. “They’re so easygoing and everyone just has a good time,” Smith said. “We have our work, we have our fun.” On the flipside, the hardest of his job is the challenge of learning so many pages of dialogue each day.

“I had one day about three weeks ago that had 46 pages of dialogue,” Smith recalled. “That’s like half a feature film and we shot it in eight hours! Trying to keep all your lines and emotions and everything in order for the whole day [is challenging],” he said.

This Monday launched the beginning of a new storyline in which Smith will play a central role. Keeping with its modern storytelling, DAYS is about to embark on a socially driven storyline around bullying and discrimination. “Thad comes back into town and he finds out that his friend Will has also come out so he’s very angry with his close-minded self,” Smith explained. “He starts stirring things up in Salem and it gets pretty intense between him and Sonny and with Will and everyone involved.” Smith is happy with the way the story is portrayed, crediting the writers for showcasing both sides of the story from each character’s perspective.

Thad (aka “T”) gave Sonny a hard time last summer when he first moved to Salem. Unable to understand how his straight friends (Chad and Will) could be friends with someone who was openly gay, T went out of his way to try and push Sonny away from his friends. Tired of his bigoted attitude and insensitive comments, Chad and others demanded T stop being rude to Sonny, or he’d have to find another group of friends. Needless to say, T didn’t take that ultimatum very well. Little has been heard from him until now. After lashing out at Will, T soon sets his sights on Sonny.

“It kind of shows where T is coming from, how he’s wrong and how he deals with it,” said Smith. “[It also shows] where I’m coming from and how I deal with it. It’s an interesting story and it was told very well.”

Viewers can expect those closest to Sonny to support him and have his back through his unfortunate situation. “That’s all you can do as a family or friend,” he said. “When something bad happens in your life – regardless of what it is – you have to turn to the people you love and help them get through whatever’s going on in their life. He has so much support.”

A big part of that support comes from his friend Will Horton. Smith previewed the bullying would definitely bring the two closer together. “They’re best friends and he’s getting bullied,” Smith pointed out. “Will plays a huge part in making Sonny feel better about everything and overcome it.”

When asked if DAYS will be airing any PSAs during the storyline, Smith said it was something they have talked about. “We’re just really, as a show, trying to bring awareness and show people what happens to a person when he is bullied,” Smith explained. “I don’t think you really see many bullying stories on TV or if you do, I feel it’s never resolved [to a complete end]. [We’re] showing how it can be resolved and how you can change people. I think that’s what’s important to show.”

Smith, along with several other celebrities, took that message to Congress last month during the Children Uniting Nations’ (CUN) 7th Annual National Conference, Keeping the Promise to Our Children. The young star spoke about his personal experience with bullying, views on bullying and the importance of keeping physical education in schools. Smith said that he was flattered to be able to go to Washington, D.C. and bring awareness to bullying. “It really affects people, especially the youth. That’s when we’re all growing up and we’re trying to figure out who we are,” Smith said. “When people bring down our self-esteem and confidence, it’s hard to be creative and find out who you are. It affects you long term, it’s not just school. People carry it into their adulthood.”

Smith was adamant about getting the message out to parents and teachers and friends of people being bullied since this is a huge issue. “I don’t think back in the day this was an issue. People just kind of shrugged it off,” Smith pointed out. “But now people are beginning to realize that bullying is having such a huge effect on people.” Smith believes that when enough people get behind any subject and are passionate enough, they can make a difference.

“Like anything else, it takes time,” Smith said. “You can’t just change it in a day. But if everyone works together, we can do anything. I’m hoping over time that this does help, even with cyber-bullying. We need to step up now and change this.”

Chandler Massey & Freddie SmithAs for Sonny’s future, Smith sees Will as a big part of it. “Their friendship gets closer, they begin to build and they start tackling things together. They become closer and closer,” Smith previewed, adding, “Whether they end up together as a couple, we’ll have to see.” But Smith does believe that Sonny is in love with Will and it’s not just a crush.

“When you have a best friend that you crush on, I feel most of the time it would turn into love,” Smith said. “You love this person as a person. When you think about getting involved with them romantically, it’s just dynamite. It’s a lot more pressure.” Smith added that there are a lot of questions rolling around in Sonny’s head as he considers where his relationship with Will could possibly go, calling it an “internal struggle” as he wrestles with possibilities.

“[Sonny is like] ‘it’s my best friend that I’m falling in love with and I don’t want to scare him away. Should I tell him or not?’ I think Sonny has to figure out the best way to go about it,” Smith said. “Does Will feel the same way he does or not? Does he just want to be friends?” Smith thinks the idea of a person falling in love with his best friend is something everyone can relate to.

“How many times have you been in love with your best friend? It either works or it doesn’t,” Smith said. “It’s a real story and I think it’s going to be a good one.”

Smith isn’t worried about a gay romance being treated differently than the heterosexual romances on the show. “I think that the story that is approaching is going to be very true and I don’t think it’s tiptoed around at all,” Smith said. “I think the show has done a great job so far and is also continuing to.” Smith added that the actors are currently taping about two and a half months ahead of what’s airing and said the show is really going for it and telling Sonny’s story.

“It’s a true romance. Sonny had different romances with different people,” Smith said. “I’m very proud to be a part of a story that’s this real. I think people will really enjoy it.”

Smith said viewers will also see a return to Sonny and Chad’s friendship, which had virtually disappeared onscreen. “I think we both kind of started doing our own thing,” he said. “In the future, we’ve been working together a lot. Chad and Sonny will reconnect.”

Even though there wasn’t a lot of focus on Sonny over the past few months, Smith understands that the soap world goes through cycles with storylines and characters. “There are times when characters work every day for a year and then they don’t,” Smith said. “There’s like 30 characters on the show. When there’s a central storyline on the show that they’re focusing on, other characters aren’t going to work so much.”

But Smith said that recently he’s been working nonstop. “Now it’s Sonny’s time to shine and whoever else he’s involved with,” Smith said. “So hopefully that continues for the fan who love Sonny and for me as an actor because I just love going to work and doing this.”

Smith was quick to add that as an actor, he just has to take everything from day to day since he never knows what could happen. “Keep your head high and wait for the scripts to come,” he said. “I just want everyone to tune in who is looking forward to Sonny. He’s going to be on so much.”

This interview is not to be reproduced without consent from
© 2012 TVSource Magazine. All rights reserved

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Ryan White-Nobles
Ryan White-Nobles is Editor-in-Chief of TV Source Magazine. He's began covering entertainment and soap operas in 2005. In 2009 he co-launched Soap Opera Source, and led the TV Source rebrand in 2012. He's a natural #Heel who loves a spirited debate and probably watches too much TV. Follow him on Twitter at @SourceRyan to discuss all things TV, soaps, sports, wrestling and pop culture.

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  1. Freddie Smith and Chandler Massey are doing an awesome job portraying a young couple trying to establish a long- term relationship. This storyline is well- written and hopefully will continue to be told. I am hoping that Will and Sonny can overcome this baby drama that they are involved in right now and that it will make them stronger as a couple and strengthen their relationship. I hope that one day in the future we will see Will and Sonny making the ultimate commitment of marriage.

  2. I totally agree with you David. To each their own but don’t shove it down the throats of others.

  3. Another liberal slanted Gay Martyr story-no thanks. The gay rights movement has been very crafty at using the bullying issue as a Trojan horse to mask their radical social engineering agenda to normalize homosexuality and to demonize all those who give a dissenting view.
    The gay rights lobby has a strangle hold on Hollywood and the mainstream media. Days of Our Lives is the latest daytime serial to become a pulpit for their anti-Christian, Anti family agenda.
    Chandler Massey has become the darling of the Gay media. These stories are not only extremely biased and unbalanced, they are repetitious, preachy and stifle writing creativity.
    Besides that, Freddy Smith is a bland, lack luster performer. No thanks Days I wont go back to watching this biased drivel. When you can tell an honest, balanced portrayal about homosexuality that doesnt preach to the audience and tell them how they should feel about it maybe I will watch.
    One Life to live did it in the early 90s with Billy Douglas, they did it again with Kish, ATWT did it well under the pen of Doug Marland in the 80s and AMC did it wonderfully with Devon McFadden and Donna Pescow in the 80s and also with Mike Delaney in the 90s.
    But today in our extremely liberal political climate we get gay rights pamphlets, not balanced compelling stories on the gay issue.
    Agnes Nixon believed in exploring social issues but her stories presented the facts form all sides and she let her audience decided how they felt. Today the media attempts to brainwash the audience and demonize those who may have different values. That’s just not right.

  4. I hope Will and Sonny be together by September or the end of it I can’t wait anymore!

  5. I love this interview so much :D I’m so excited for the Wilson romance & I know it’s gonna be told amazingly. Freddie is gonna do fantastically & so is Chandler. September is Sonny’s month & I’m super excited for it :)

  6. Nice interview!

  7. I have a huge crush on Sonny

  8. We need more Sonny days. He is such a positive character.

  9. Thanks for a great interview. Freddie gives such in depth answers. I really hope Will and Sonny get a real romance like hetero couples but Kyle and Fish set the bar on OLTL and I am very hesitant to believe DOOL goes that far but I am always up for a pleasant surprise. Yay to Chad and Sonny! Finally Sonny gets friends again.

  10. Great interview, very happy Freddie is getting a lot of screen time. I’m glad to see that Sonny is going to have scenes with Chad, miss their friendship.

  11. Thanks for this ever so great Freddie Smith interview. I am so looking forward to way more Sonny (and Will) in the coming months. This is the storyline that I have been waiting for since June 23rd, 2011. Again I can’t wait!!!!!

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