For nearly two years, Lamon Archey has captivated Days of our Lives fans as Detective Eli Grant. Playing the long-lost son of a controversial interracial supercouple of decades long gone could have been a big burden, but Lamon Archey has carried it with grace, humor and class. In our exclusive interview with the talented, hunky star, TV Source Magazine was able to learn more about his DAYS experiences as he comes up on his two-year anniversary, as well as his time outside of Salem.
There’s a confident sincerity in his words. As one of the few leading men of color in soaps, the spotlight on him should be big. With recent features in Essence, and his fan base continuing to grow, the time is right for Lamon to be front and center. But with the attention also comes the responsibility of what he does. What keeps him grounded is his wife Mercedes Cornett, also an actress, and their three beautiful children.
If you listen to the TV Source podcast, you know how much we love Lamon, Eli and the Eli & Lani pairing. Though we haven’t seen much of Eli on our screens this past summer, things seem to be taking a turn for the better. To say we were excited to speak with Lamon Archey is an understatement. We know TV Source readers wanted us to talk to him, our team wanted to talk to him, and it was just a matter of working out the logistics.
It’s time to #FallForLamon and #FallForElani.
First off, I want to say thank you for taking the time out to chat with us today.
I’m not sure if you’re familiar with TV Source Magazine but we’ve been around for ten years now. We cover soaps, primetime, movies, all sorts of things. But our biggest focus has always been soap operas. The staff are all lifelong fans! We do a podcast every week and a big poll that we conduct with all the soap opera fans too. And I actually have really good news for you! This last week, you debuted on TV Source’s Pulse Poll at number 11 for favorite actor.
And last week we got about 35,000 votes in too!
Oh shit! And this is good timing to be doing the interview then.
Exactly! The results just came out last night and I thought this was the perfect lead in. Eli and Lani also came in at number 11 for favorite couple and last week you two were 14.
We’re moving up! Moving up. That’s good news, I like that!
I wanted to start with – you know, number one, which I’m sure everyone messes up all the time. Your name is pronounced LaMOAN?
I feel your pain on that one. I’ve gotten “Crayon” a lot. And “Caryann” before.
[Laughs] Sorry to laugh, man. It feels good to hear somebody else’s name get fucked up because mine goes through so much. I can’t even tell you! Some of the directors still come in and call me LaMahn. I just let it ride now, I get tired of correcting.
You really have to! And I didn’t feel any shade when you laughed either. We’re in the same boat so we can laugh at each other.
[Laughs] Yeah, I don’t trip too much anymore.
Don’t worry. I’ll help put it out on the universe, so people get your name right going forward.
Going from there, I think DAYS is the perfect place to start off. We’re coming up on your two-year anniversary in February, right?
Yeah, airing for two years. You’re right! It’s so crazy how time flies.
It’s nuts. I can’t believe it. It feels like Eli’s been on much longer than two years because of how well he fits into the show.
And it feels a lot longer to me too since we shoot six months ahead. You know, in February you guys have been seeing me for two years on air, but by then it’ll be more like two and a half years for me from shooting.
Eli’s been through so much. There was the big paternity reveal, the new family, the ups and downs of dating life, accidental pregnancies. What’s been your favorite thing Eli’s done in the years so far?
I tend to go back and forth between the storyline of Eli finding out who his father was. The reason I have that is that it’s something that I related to, and it was close to me. You know, going back into my own life experiences. It’s between that and Eli losing the baby. It was such an emotional driven storyline. I think not only from Eli’s and Lani’s perspective. I think everyone who was involved in that storyline had deep emotions whether they were being cheated on or betrayed. Whatever it may be, but I go back and forth between those two depending on the day. Today though, I’ll say Lani losing the baby.
That kind of leads to what I wanted to talk about next. The stand-alone episode where it was you, Sal [Stowers], James [Reynolds] and Vanessa [Williams] was probably one of the best episodes this year.
You guys really killed that episode — and I wanted to ask about that too. You brought up the emotion in those scenes. How was that having to go there emotionally considering you’re a father yourself?
Number one it’s very draining. It’s very draining to be at work and to be in that mind frame, that emotional state. And then when someone says “cut” to have to go back to your normal life and you’re done for the day. Crying, being sad all day long – it’s so draining.
Even that episode — I can’t remember now — but it’s very likely we shot that episode in two days. The whole storyline over two months! It was just a very draining period. I remember it was right before I went on vacation to Hawaii and we finished the storyline right before I left. I remember I was so happy that it was over.
Yeah, I just really wanted to get out of that mind frame – that dark cloud that I was in because it follows you. Even though I’m not the character Eli, I’m often going through what he’s feeling. I’m putting myself in his shoes and feeling what he’s feeling to make it real. That’s one thing I can say, it was very, very draining. And if you think it was intense for me, it was times ten for Sal.
I can only imagine. It really showed that you guys were going through it. I think that’s why it resonated with a lot of people. We saw lots of reactions from fans on Twitter, some who unfortunately lost children of their own. It was awesome to see the community come together with that episode, so you all absolutely did a phenomenal job.
I appreciate that. Thank you! I know myself, Sal and Vanessa — all three of us are basically new to the show. When I say new, I mean people who haven’t been on the show for ten plus years, people who are vets. So, it’s good to hear that us holding down that episode along with [James Reynolds] who has been there for years. It’s good to hear that newcomers can come in and captivate the audience just as well as the vets can.