Emmy winner Chandler Massey (Will, DAYS) has departed Days of our Lives three months earlier than expected, having taped his final episode today, August 23, 2013. The two-time Emmy winner was originally scheduled to wrap-up four-year run in December. What’s next for Chandler and the role of Will Horton?
Massey tells Gay Star News that DAYS granted his request to be released from his contract ahead of time so that he may focus on school and other opportunities. “I’m done. It’s bittersweet. These four years have been so amazing I’ve built a family here. I’m so grateful to NBC and everyone for these amazing four years. It’s been my privilege and honor to work there.”
The star tweeted a message to fans soon after the announcement. “Thank you, thank you, and thank you. It has been such an amazing journey, and I am so grateful to have shared these four years with you all. As I move forward from Days, I will never forget the laughs we shared, the tears we shed, & the love we spread. Time to get edumacated!”
News of Chandler Massey’s plans to depart Days of our Lives spread at the Daytime Emmys, just moments after winning his second Emmy for Outstanding Younger Actor. “You know, it’s been such a pleasure and privilege working on DAYS. It’s changed my life for the better.” said the actor in the press room. “I came out to Los Angeles and enrolled at UCLA, and I think after this is up, I want to go back to school. I want to graduate. I want to have a degree, and then maybe see…I just want to keep moving forward.”
Soap Opera Digest published a statement from Days of our Lives publicity regarding Massey’s departure, as well as confirming that the soap has cast a new actor to take over the role of Will Horton: “As Chandler Massey announced back in June, he will be leaving the show to further pursue his education and other entertainment opportunities. While Days of our Lives is disappointed to lose such a talent, the show understands and supports him in his future endeavors. Due to current storyline and the timely discovery of new talent that the show feels is the right recast for Will Horton, a mutual decision has been made for the changes to taken place immediately. Chandler will always be a part of the Days family and we wish him nothing but continued success.”
This statement contradicts an earlier comment made by executive producer Ken Corday regarding plans to recast. “The door will always be open here to Chandler,” said the showrunner in an interview with Michael Fairman. “We are not going to recast Will, but I wish him well in the big pond.”
Massey’s early exit means the character will not air through April. Instead, his final episodes as Will should air sometime in late December.