Interviews Soaps

Day of DAYS Interview: Bill and Susan Hayes

Susan Hayes, Bill Hayes
DAYS OF OUR LIVES -- "A Day of Days" -- Pictured: (l-r) Susan Hayes, Bill Hayes -- (Photo by: Chris Haston/NBC)

The Stars of NBC’S Days of our Lives returned to Universal CityWalk for its annual ‘Day of Days‘ fan event Saturday, November 11, 2017. We spoke with soap legends and real life married couple Bill and Susan Hayes (Doug and Julie) during the press event about the new writing regime and plans for the new year. 

Days of our Lives has been on fire since the summer, mostly thanks to the writing of new head writer Ron Carlivati and team Sheri Anderson Thomas and Ryan Quan, so fans were super excited for this year’s event.

Like every year, the complimentary event was set for 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and offered fans the chance to meet and greet their favorite DAYS cast members including Lucas Adams (Tripp), Kristian Alfonso (Hope), Lamon Archey (Eli), Camila Banus (Gabi), Nadia Bjorlin (Chloe), Bryan Dattilo (Lucas), Kassie DePavia (Eve), Judi Evans (Adrienne/Bonnie), Mary Beth Evans (Kayla), Billy Flynn (Chad), Galen Gering (Rafe), Deidre Hall (Marlena), Bill Hayes (Doug), Susan Hayes (Julie), Drake Hogestyn (John), Olivia Keegan (Claire), Lauren Koslow (Kate), Eric Martsolf (Brady), Chandler Massey (Will), Marci Miller (Abigail), Casey Moss (JJ), Stephen Nichols (Steve), Thaao Penghlis (Andre), James Reynolds (Abe), Suzanne Rogers (Maggie), Meredith Scott Lynn (Anne), Christopher Sean (Paul), Freddie Smith (Sonny), Sal Stowers (Lani), and Vanessa Williams (Valerie) for autograph signings and Q&A sessions.

TV Source Magazine was on-hand talking to all the stars in the hopes of bringing you some scoop. Most of these interviews are not spoiler heavy, as actors are limited in what they can reveal about upcoming plots. But it’s nice to hear their insight about current and previous stories, as well as other tidbits.

We hope you’ll enjoy our interview with Bill and Susan Hayes.

No more cruises for you guys!
Susan: No more cruises for Doug and Julie, but Bill and Susan Hayes still go on an occasional cruise, but I’m happy to be in Salem again.

What is it like being on set with this new regime?
Susan: This new regime is fast moving, productive and creative. You have an executive producer on the stage at all times who gives us acting notes at the last minute.
Bill: Because there is no time for rehearsals anymore, rehearsals cost money.
Susan: There’s no time for it! We are dark 16 weeks a year, so instead of doing a day for day, we are doing eight shows in five days, that’s a lot of pressure. Despite that pressure I think you are getting a pretty high-quality show, the actors if they don’t care they are not there after lunch, so everybody is working hard and enjoying it more than they have in years.
Bill: It’s forced everybody to prepare, to think about what they are doing, to memorize really well and to come into the studio ready to do the show and the results wonderful.

One of my favorite scenes in recent months with you involved Julie and Gabi in the park.
Susan: The heart attack, I just looked at that script yesterday. They say tell Doug and she knows that Doug would know that she’s lying so she’s says, “No no no, don’t call my husband” when he shows up he of course has my number all over.
Bill: The writers are doing a great job, Ron Carlivati we hadn’t known him before but he understands the characters somehow, and Sheri Anderson who is one of his assistant head writers we have known for many years, she knows the characters very well.
Susan: We once we on a cruise with Sheri Anderson actually.
Bill: Ryan Quan, he’s been on for several years and he knows the characters well and that’s what it takes to write for a soap. Knowing the characters, knowing the history, we love having Ron there.

The holidays are coming up, which means the annual Horton family Christmas celebration. Can we expect to see more of you?
Susan: There’s quite a bit at the front end of next year which we have already taped, we are now taping next March/April/the end of April but we are there.
Bill: Yes, we are there, but I’m happy to see Eli and Valerie are really involved characters on the show now. Because Valerie was from our past, the character of Valerie Grant was from 30 years ago and to go through that and have David Banning pass away and to have their child.
Susan: This is a fulfillment of a story that began 30 years ago.
Bill: Which they couldn’t tell, you could not have a black and white story then.
Susan: The times have changed, thank God
Bill: The two of them had one kiss on camera and they stopped right then and said, “No we cannot have a black and white story here.” Today we can have it, that’s a thrill.

Days of our Lives airs weekdays on NBC. Episodes are available online at NBC.com.

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Walker Ragsdale

Walker Ragsdale is a freelance writer and publicist specializing in enertainment and branding.