The stars of NBC’S Days of our Lives returned to Universal CityWalk for its annual ‘Day of Days‘ fan event Saturday, November 9, 2019. Days of our Lives has gone where no other Daytime drama has gone before with it’s time jump. During the annual Day of Days event, we spoke with the cast about everything from their first reactions to this groundbreaking storyline, how much they were filled in on and more.
As in the previous eleven events, Day of Days offered fans the chance to meet and greet their favorite DAYS cast members including Kristian Alfonso (Hope), Lamon Archey (Eli), Matthew Ashford (Jack), Camila Banus (Gabi), Mary Beth Evans (Kayla), Billy Flynn (Chad), Galen Gering (Rafe), Linsey Godfrey (Sarah), Deidre Hall (Marlena), Bill and Susan Seaforth Hayes (Doug and Julie), Drake Hogestyn (John), Victoria Konefal (Ciara), Lauren Koslow (Kate), Wally Kurth (Justin), Eric Martsolf (Brady), Chandler Massey (Will), Melissa Reeves (Jennifer), James Reynolds (Abe), Suzanne Rogers (Maggie), Freddie Smith (Will), Sal Stowers (Lani), Paul Telfer (Xander), Greg Vaughan (Eric), Robert Scott Wilson (Ben), Arianne Zucker (Nicole) and returning fan favorite Stephen Nichols (Steve/Patch).
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.
What did you think when you found out about time jump?
Paul Telfer: I was really excited, I thought it was just a great idea. We do an amount of jumping around with time already but it’s only ever backwards. Every often you will be shooting your chronological storyline and in the script it will say newly created flashback to distinguish from pulling old video from they show and they are fun to do because every often what you are shooting directly contradicts a storyline that was already set up.
So, to jump forward a year and just fill in the gaps whenever they want to misdirect the audience, I personally can’t wait to see it. For a character like mine where they have been doing a reset a little bit, pulling him a little bit nicer and softer, the year really helps to set up that he’s this guy now and when you see the flashbacks you see oh no he was still doing naughty things all along. In his attempt to try and be good, he’s still kind of terrible.
Linsey Godfrey: It was nothing that I ever had seen before. My favorite thing to do was come into the hair and makeup room and ask what was going on with Will, what’s going on with Maggie, what’s going on with John and Marlena. It was really fun to see because we don’t always get all of the scripts. If you are not in them you don’t get them.
Arianne Zucker: I just thought wow what a team effort this is going to have to be. It’s going to take the writers, the crew, the wardrobe, makeup, everyone had to stay in sync so that by the time we are up on stage filming everything we have it make sure we aren’t creating too many holes. When we keep all the technical things in line it makes it much easier once we start taping. Jumping back and forth is challenge, it’s something new for soaps. It’s really jumpy but it’s cool.
Galen Gering: I really liked the time jump, normally as a viewer and also as an actor, you know what’s going to happen but this you have no idea and you have to piece it together. It’s almost like a mystery as things unfold, there’s a lot of intrigue and unknown that I don’t think exists in a normal soap opera world. I like it and I feel like the viewers like it too, I feel like a lot of times shows underestimate the viewers ability to figure stuff out or see what’s going on, and this doesn’t do that. And I’m not dead so that’s cool too.
Mary Beth Evans: What?? What are we going to do? Is it going to work? I thought it was brilliant. I found myself excited to read the next script where normally I’m just pulling out my own stuff because I’m in a hurry to memorize it. The stories are interesting, and it kind of shook everything up and makes you think and want to know what happens next. We jumped ahead then we flashback and show how we got there. These 8 months have been written so such good scenes for people. It’s a very talented group of people and Ron has given us really meaty stuff to do. I think it’s been really interesting and really fun. I’ve had some great stuff.
James Reynolds: I thought it was fascinating, we now shoot so far ahead. We are in a custom to being in that time period. I really like the idea, after talking with Ron I understand how fascinating as a writer it must be. Fans were telling me about it, I will be curious what they think of it. Most of their favorites are still there. Some stories are wrapped up off camera, some are moved ahead off camera. I wouldn’t mind seeing us do that periodically, I think it provides some fresh ammunition for stories and ideas. As actors we didn’t have to suddenly be on walkers or anything.
How much were you told about your characters gap year prior to filming the jump or are you just discovering as the scripts come along?
Paul Telfer : It’s like being a spy, everything is on a need to know basis. So unless they think it’s crucial that you understand some thing going into a scene they don’t tell you. And I understand why now, for a long time I found it frustrating but now I get it. A lot of time actors tend to overthink things, sometimes a little bit of knowledge can be dangerous. Once you get too far ahead of your own story you might start making decisions that don’t really communicate what the producers are really after. So for me I just decided to go with the flow and take it as it comes, I can do that because I have the luxury of being paired with Linsey a lot of the times who’s always ahead of the game and reading the tea leaves and working it all out what’s going to happen next. She has a 90 percent accuracy of guessing on the way things go. She called them trying to pair us up within weeks, I thought I would probably try to kill you and she no you will end up loving me you’ll see.
Greg Vaughan: I personally went in blind, I think at first everyone was a bit perplexed how it was going to shape up, where it was going to go, what was it leading towards, what was the conclusion going to be. It was journey itself. There were a few curve balls, lots of unexpected turns and twist. If they put it on the paper we will make it happen.
Chandler Massey: I got a little bit of information, they just told me that Will is going to go through a pretty hard time. He’s not going to have that nice cushy life where he drinks champagne and eats kale salads all the time.
Freddie Smith: It’s different a rough patch, it’s an absolute nightmare. Best drama but the worst thing that could happen to two people. But we didn’t really know what was going to happen until maybe a week before.
With the way the show is written and filmed so far in advance it’s amazing the writers can see the potential in couples, how did they know you guys would be a hit?
Linsey Godfrey: When they did the Xander and Sarah one-night stand, and the fans had such a positive response to it. Paul wasn’t available at first and when he came back it made it interesting because Eric and Nicole are Eicole. Sarah agreed with the fans those two should have be together, but with Xander she had a chance to fall in love and having it be a redemption storyline.
Paul Telfer: Some of it just comes down to just availability, I don’t mean contractually as in who’s on the show and who isn’t, but everyone is related to everyone on the show, so there’s only a few eligible connections or relationships you can build. I believe one of Xander’s first lines go Sarah was, we aren’t related by blood are we?
What would you tell the younger version of yourself on the first day of filming?
Galen Gering: I honestly don’t think my outlook has changed from day one, I always had the same ideals I think now there’s a little more follow through. Our blueprint on how we make television has totally changed. I feel like I’m much more prepared now but I also had the luxury of having a lot of time before.
We would go to work, and we could prepare that day because A) We would get multiple takes and B) we would be on set for 10-12 hours, whereas now it’s really not the case. You have to come to work and know your material. Now I have a process that works for me in regards on how I go about it, that process has changed and so has the way shows are shot. We would shoot until midnight all the time on “Passions,” at Days we are done at 5.
My mantra was always put the work in, I never liked to be stressed out about not knowing lines, because if I’m worried about what I’m going to say next I can’t play. I think I’m a more accomplished actor, I know what I’m doing, I know what I want out of scenes. I understand how relationships better, and that’s really important from a storytelling perspective.
Eric Martsolf: I remember my first day on “Passions” I was just sitting on a couch in disbelief this was my job and I get to do this, I was so nervous but so grateful. Every Monday I try to remember how lucky I am to be doing what I’m doing. My father always told me if you find an occupation where you look forward to Monday mornings. Sunday afternoon there are so many people oh are like oh crap I have to work on Monday, I’ve never had the moment of oh crap I have to work on Monday in fact I often have the moment of oh crap I’m off on Monday. When you are blessed with that stick with it and be grateful that is what I would tell my younger self. Be grateful and be humble about it.
Stacy Haiduk: What would I tell my younger self? That everyone is there working together as a team and you don’t have to be so afraid. In the soap world I think you get so caught up in the dialogue that you get afraid because it’s so much. Even now sometimes when I have monologues I worry can I do it and I remind myself that it’s going to be okay and everyone is there rooting for you and just to trust. And to be grateful, I love going to work, it’s a good group.
Mary Beth Evans: I don’t really have any regrets; I think it’s all has been pretty amazing. I was apprehensive about going to “General Hospital” because I thought I would be on Days forever but that was a really fun thing to do too. And when I did “As The World Turns” the same thing. It was such a fun adventure I got to go to New York. It’s been such a fun ride that I don’t think I would haven’t myself any advice because I’m really the kind of person who lives in the moment anyways. When I first started, I was doing episodic television and this was a three year contract, and I thought oh my god it’s so long, I’ve now been on the show 33 years or something. So, for me it’s been a great life, I’ve been blessed.
James Reynolds: I think some of my small habits have changed, maybe the essence of how I learn lines have changed a little bit. I would tell him to never loose focus and I haven’t, and to make sure he understands he has to bring a sense of reality to character every single moment you are in front of the camera. You got to live this character whenever you are in front of a camera, whether you have no lines, or a scene where you are carrying it. I do think that sometimes we all have to be reminded that the life of Abe Craver is in my hands. Everyone one has done their jobs, they wrote the show, did the wardrobe, built the sets. I would say keep that in mind, you always have to know you have to bring life to this character.
Camila Banus: I would say to her, be more bold fro the start. I think it took me a couple of years to be vocal about what I wanted for my character or having the confidence to tell the writers I’m capable of this. It was hard for me to talk to what I would call an adult, my boss, my superiors. I would tell myself to be more bold, even though you are young people will take you seriously.