After much speculation, Days of our Lives has confirmed that Daytime Emmy winner and former General Hospital star Tyler Christopher has joined the cast in a mysterious role.
Soap Twitter sleuths spotted the actor in a behind the scenes video posted by Billy Flynn (Chad) showing a birthday celebration for co-star Marci Miller (Abigail). Entertainment Weekly exclusively confirmed the actor’s casting earlier today.
Tyler Christopher began his soap career in 1996, originating the role Laura Spencer and Stavros Cassadine’s son Nikolas, playing the role from 1996-1999, 2003-2011, 2013-2016. After winning his first Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in May, Christopher unexpectedly took a leave of absence from the show.
Rumors of contractual issues surrounded his hiatus at the time. Sunset Beach alum Nick Stabile was brought in to temporarily assume the role for the series’ big Cassadine Island summer storyline, which culminated in Nikolas being shot by his unhinged uncle Valentin (James Patrick Stuart) and is now presumed dead. At the soaps’ annual fan event, Christopher appeared optimistic about renewing with GH, but soon after, contract negotiations with the alphabet network collapsed and Christopher’s planned return fell through.
It was an unfortunate situation for the actor and fans, who were furious over losing yet another long-time fan favorite. General Hospital’s turned out to be Days of our Lives’ gain!
Christopher commented on his hiring to Soap Opera Digest stating, “After only a week on Days of our Lives, everyone has gone above and beyond in making me feel as if I’ve been a long-time part of their iconic family. It was such an honor to play Nikolas Cassadine for 20 years on GENERAL HOSPITAL, but I can’t wait to see what kind of trouble Salem has in store for me.”
The actor wrote a heartfelt message to fans on Facebook, recounting his GH journey, and the start of a new one on DAYS. “It has been a true blessing to be able to do what I love for the past 22 years. It feels like just yesterday that I pulled over to a pay phone on Sunset Blvd to answer a page (yes a page) from my agent telling me I had gotten the role of Nikolas Cassadine on General Hospital. I dropped to me knees, still barely clutching the phone in what can only be described as child-like disbelief at getting a Christmas present I thought Santa had forgotten about but didn’t deserve. I often wonder what my life would of been like if [casting director] Mark Teschner hadn’t seen beyond the fragile inexperience clearly on display during our first meeting in late 1995. Fortunately for me…he did. Thank you Nikolas Cassadine for championing my career. In so many ways – I think I needed you more than you needed me. And thank you (insert DOOL character) for reminding me what a privilege it is to be an actor.”
Christopher reunites with head writer Ron Carlivati, who wrote for the actor on ABC’s General Hospital from 2013-2015. Carlivati took over the reins of creative earlier this year, though his material has only been airing for two weeks.
Due to DAYS advanced production schedule, Tyler Christopher won’t hit screens until early 2018, so there’s plenty of time to speculate as to the identity of his character! Is he playing someone new? Is he a recast – perhaps a newly aged (again) Nicholas Alamain? Only time will tell.