September 9th, 2016  |  Leave a comment

James Read, Paul Telfer & George DelHoyo Interview – Days of our Lives

Photo Credits: NBC/IMDB

This week on Days of our Lives, new co-head writers, Dena Higley and Ryan Quan have unleashed the beginning of a storyline that is sure to have major ramifications for the good citizens of Salem, when not one, not two, but there dastardly villains begin to band together for a common cause … seek revenge on those who put them behind bars!

The “villain-orama” includes the returns of three actors who depictions of evil are well-remembered by longtime DAYS fans.  First, Clyde Weston played by James Read, second, Xander played by Paul Telfer, and third, a man soap audiences haven’t seen in the role for almost three decades, the diabolical Orpheus, played by George DelHoyo!  After Clyde, Xander, and Orpheus realize they have mutual disdain and hatred for many in Salem, the three prison inmates look like they are about to devise a plan for a great escape, but how will it go down?  Who will be their targets? What should fans expect when they hit Salem?

On-Air On-Soaps chatted with this trio on their return to DAYS as they tease their reign of villainy, working with each other, and what it was like to come back to the long-running NBC daytime drama for a second go-round in their careers.  Safe to say … watch out Marlena (Deidre Hall), Chad (Billy Flynn), Theresa (Jen Lilley) and everyone else, as these actors who make playing bad look so good, fill us in on just how their evil alter-egos might devise ways to destroy their common enemies.   Here’s what they shared below!

MICHAEL:

Take me through how it all came to pass for each of you, that you came back to DAYS as part of this villainy that is going to rein down upon Salem?

PAUL:

Courtesy/NBC

I was over in New York auditioning, and supporting my wife who is doing a Broadway show over there, and I got a call from my manager.  I assumed it was about something that I had auditioned for.  And my manager said, “Are you sitting down?” (Laughs)  He said, “Days of our Lives would like you to come back and reprise the role of Xander for a limited amount of time.”  When I left the show previously that was one of the things I said: that I was open to coming back, but I did not want to do a contract again.  And sure enough, they didn’t either! (Laughs)

JAMES:

I wasn’t surprised at my original exit.  You don’t have a drug dealing, stepdaughter abusing character stick around very long.  It’s usually you’re in, and you’re out.  But I was there much longer than I had anticipated, but I had a feeling that they were happy with my work, because they didn’t kill me off.   So there was a reasonable chance that I would come back, and indeed I did!

GEORGE:

That was one of the biggest blasts from the pasts, indeed!  I find it amusing that Paul’s agent said to him, “Are you sitting down?,” because that was exactly what my agent said!  Actually, she said, “Sit down!”  I go, “No, I’m not going to sit down!” (Laughs)  She said, “DAYS called and wanted to know if I had any interest in coming back as Orpheus.”  I said, “Well, Orpheus is dead!”    She said, “Well that doesn’t stop writers from bringing characters back!” (Laughs)  I said, “OK, this is a fantastic idea.”   The thought of doing this role that I had done 29 years ago is an interesting exercise as an actor to go back and revisit it.  So, I was thrilled by the idea!

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Brad Everett Young

Paul, what was it like when you’re former co-stars, like Jen Lilley (Theresa) saw you again for the first time, and you were back on set?

PAUL:

It was funny, because when I had been let-go, there was a whole culling that happened where  lots of characters were let go, and when I returned I was surprised by how many were already brought back.  So it was sort of this odd kind of déjà-vu.  They sort of re-set it.  It was lovely coming back, and everyone is still there and happy to see you, but they are so used to people coming and going.  It was more emotional for me, then it was for them.

MICHAEL:

James, last time around you worked very closely with Rob Scott Wilson, who played your on-screen son, Ben.  Who did you work with this time upon your return?

JAMES:

Of course, Lauren Koslow (Kate) and I had some scenes Billy Flynn (Chad), who was a friend from the set, but we had not worked much with each other.  For me, it was a noticeably different set, and different set of actors.  I would say half were new to me.  So, it was in many ways the same.  I mean, it’s been the same for 50 plus years! (Laughs)  Especially in the early going of our arrivals, each of the scenes our characters had individually were shared with each other.  We are “The Three Musketeers” or “The Three Stooges On Acid” (Laughs), or whatever you want to call them.  It was nice, because we started it as sort of this ‘mini-ensemble’ for the first few weeks.  It was fun to play off these guys.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/NBC

George, there you were with Deidre Hall (Marlena)! What happened when you saw each other for the first time after so long?

GEORGE:

I understand what Paul and James were saying how it is not uncommon for people to come back after a year, or two, or five even, but what made this even more uncommon is we are talking 3 decades.  So it is startling!  We have all lived life, and had children and watched them grow up.  That was also on a human level.  When I first shot DAYS we were at studios in Hollywood, and now here we are in Burbank at the old NBC studios.  When I came back the first person I saw was Deidre Hall. I saw her from 40-50 feet away.  Next thing you know we greeted each other, and hugged.  She was so warm and welcoming, and thrilled.  She introduced me, and walked me around to the crew and the staff, and everyone.  That was wonderful.  And of course, seeing Mary Beth Evans (Kayla), Stephen Nichols (Patch), Drake Hogestyn (John), and Kristian Alfonso (Hope), it was very special to see all of them.  They made me feel instantly at home.

MICHAEL:

Did the three of you decide amongst you, who is the most treacherous villain of them all? (Laughs)

JAMES:

Courtesy/NBC

I think that was the unspoken competition.

GEORGE:

I think you have in Xander – a very visceral, emotional and reflective character, and Clyde is much more street smart, wily, and he’s from a different socio-economic strata.  Clyde is very earthy and dangerous in that regard, in a violent sort of way.  Then Orpheus is a cerebral psychopath.  So in that regard, it wasn’t so much a competition, but each was distinct and had their own inner life to play.

MICHAEL:

James, how does Clyde come back into the story?

JAMES:

Clyde meets Dr. Evans when she is visiting the prison, and he tries to convince her to give him a good psych review to get me transferred.  His whole goal, ever since he was handcuffed and sent out of town, was to get back to Salem and seek revenge.  He has been scheming to do this in any way, shape, or form possible.  He encounters Orpheus in prison.  He finds out they have this shared history of Salem, and a shared desire to seek revenge.  It goes from there, and they devise a way to get out of prison.

GEORGE:

Courtesy/NBC

The whole concept is the ”enemy of my enemy is my friend”, and the three of us find that we share that common purpose of revenge, and wreaking havoc on those that have harmed us, and that is the unifying factor.

MICHAEL:

Paul, how does Xander meet up with dastardly Clyde and Orpheus?

PAUL:

I guess, we were all hanging out at the gym.  I was surprised how casual my introduction to Orpheus was.  Basically, Clyde introduces him.  It was surprising for what we then go on to do.  Having not spent a lot of time in prison (laughs), maybe that’s the way these things happen.

MICHAEL:

Paul, what did you think of the fans reaction to Xander on your first go round on DAYS?  There were many people who loved him, and were rooting for him! (Laughs)

PAUL:

Courtesy/NBC

It was very worrisome! (Laughs)  It’s amazing what you can get away with if you have a nice suit, a decent hair cut, and you smile and treat Nicole (Arianne Zucker) well.  (Laughs)  If you are remotely friendly to Nicole, then fans will let you get away with murder. (Laughs).

MICHAEL:

Who does Xander want to target?

PAUL:

The main focus for Xander is Theresa, just because according to his bizarre moral logic, even though he was sent to prison on a way less severe charge than he is actually guilty of doing, (because it was a false charge Theresa used to get him locked away) that is somehow worse than if he had gone to jail for what he had been doing to Nicole and Eric (Greg Vaughan).  Ultimately, I get it.   It’s one thing to get caught fair and square, but there is another thing for some other tricky personality in Salem to outwit you, and get you put away.  His primary concern is getting immediate revenge on Theresa, but also there is plenty of hated, rage, and confused lust over for Nicole, as well.

MICHAEL:

He also does have a very odd relationship with the Kiriakis clan, wouldn’t you say?

PAUL:

The Victor (John Aniston) situation is complicated by Deimos (Vincent Irizarry).    That’s all I can say … for now.

Courtesy/NBC

MICHAEL:

James, who is Clyde targeting?

JAMES:

I think between the three of us, all the residents of Salem will be afraid to leave their houses at night.  Clyde’s focus is Chad, because he sees him as the source of all of his misery, and all of his son’s (Ben) misery.  Aiden Jennings (Daniel Cosgrove) is on his list as well, because he is the one that turned over the file to the police to getting the ball rolling for Clyde to be caught and sent to jail.  He feels like a spurned lover with Kate, and to a lesser degree from 2 or 3 other upright citizens of Salem.  He’s got a full deck.

MICHAEL:

Orpheus died back in the day!  George, do you recall the death scene?

GEORGE:

Courtesy/NBC

I have my death scene on an old VCR tape.  When I heard I was coming back, I took it out and watched it with my family.  Of course, beyond the fact they were horrified at the mullet I was wearing (laughs), the thing is I got shot by Roman, who was played by Drake Hogestyn at the time, and Orpheus fell and died with his eyes open.  I remember the director saying that usually people on soaps die with their eyes closed, because of an issue with Standards and Practices.  But we shot it both ways, and I remember when it aired, they kept the one in with my eyes open.  I went, “Wow!  I am the first guy to have died with my eyes open.”  I said, “How does a guy who dies with their eyes open come back?”  The great thing about that is … it gives even the dead hope on the soaps! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Orpheus wants to get back at …?

GEORGE:

John Black, Marlena, and Patch and Kayla.  They were involved in the original Orpheus story, too.  Back in the day, Orpheus blew up the house that Roman, AKA John, lived in with Marlena, and actually sent him a box with a finger in it.  No wonder they didn’t bring me back for 30 years.  It was rough man! (Laughs)  They did it good job at bringing all of us back, and it’s pretty apocalyptic what we do!  It’s pretty cool, and they did a good job at writing it narratively.

Courtesy/NBC

MICHAEL:

Even though they are in cahoots together, I would think since they are the villains of villains, they will also have their own selfish motives?

GEORGE:

The fact that we have different targets, as it progresses it becomes a point of frustration and conflict, because each of us wants to mostly take care of their business.

MICHAEL:

James, if Clyde should perpetrate destruction on the town of Salem, does he care what is going to happen to him in all of this?

JAMES:

Courtesy/NBC

I don’t think he is giving a second thought to survival.  If Clyde goes down, and it takes sacrificing his own life to exact revenge, so be it.  Part of the difference this time around is that during his first visit in Salem, he alternately tried to charm, and terrorizes everyone he met.  This time he just dispenses with the charm.  He is just there to terrorize, there is nothing to be gained.   He just wants to extract revenge.  It’s a very clear direction for him.

MICHAEL:

Paul, I think Xander will have a cow when he sees Nicole is with Deimos!

PAUL:

Oh, yes!  Me, as Paul, did not know who Deimos was.  So poor Vincent Irizarry (Deimos) had to come in and explain the back-story to us, so I had a sense of: “This guy is related to me and I’m mad at him, because he is with Nicole now, but I’m still mad at Nicole for a bunch of other things.”  There are always a lot of confusing emotions going for Xander, and it’s actually really fun for me, because it means I don’t get stuck having a stock version of the way he is.  You just take every scene as it comes, because he is such a livewire weirdo, who is just going to make it up as he goes along.

MICHAEL:

Do we know why Xander is such a ‘weirdo’?

Photo Credit: IMDB

PAUL:

I have to think something happened on that island in Greece with Brady (Eric Martsolf) and Daniel (Shawn Christian).  There is some deep-seeded trauma, or perversion, or something that is causing him to constantly push against things.  On the one hand, he wants to be this full-fledged Kiriakis family member, but he is obsessed with Victor.  He is constantly self-destructing though, and pushing against restrictions that are placed on him.  For me, it’s that he has always felt excluded.  He wants in the family, and when he is not in it, he resents everybody else.

MICHAEL:

Does Orpheus explain to John, and Marlena how he survived his own death?

GEORGE:

Basically, he explains to them: “They left me for dead when they shouldn’t have, and John should have known better.”   Of course, they are shocked, which is part of the fun of it, but I like what James said: ‘That at a certain point it’s almost like the only pleasure left is the suffering of others.”  When you have decided to go down that path you face whatever tragedy happened to you.  In Orpheus’ case, his wife was killed in an accident, but nevertheless killed by Roman, AKA John, and so he chooses to go down the path of the dark side of revenge, and hatred, and the ability to forgive.  That consumes him, and becomes an emotional cancer over the course of 30 plus years.  So at this point, I agree with what James’ was saying, which is:  “I don’t really care if I live or die, I just really want to feel the pleasure of the suffering of those who have done me harm.”  That seems to be the driving force for Orpheus, but I like that they give him some underpinnings, which you will see in the writing, and the execution of it.  I think the audience will get why he became the way he is – so it’s not this random, “bad for bad’s sake”.

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: NBC

When you guys look at the scripts that were coming your way, what did you think of them?  Were you shocked at the antics of the trio?

PAUL:

Just the scale of it!  This is a very large scale attack that we build to, which really impressed me.  It’s almost like super-villain stuff, which I wasn’t expecting.

JAMES:

It’s really more of a terrorist attack between them.  The town has good reason to feel completely under siege.

MICHAEL:

The three of you must have had some good chuckles doing these scenes together as the town baddies?

PAUL:

As much as we are hardened criminals, and psychopaths, because it’s daytime, there is this sort of PG version that has to be maintained.  A lot of what we are able to do is bickering – three tough guys, who just escaped from prison, but we get to argue about who gets to wear what costume, and things like that for our disguises. (Laughs)

Courtesy/NBC

GEORGE:

We had so much fun together, and when we read the scripts it kept getting bigger and bigger.  You can see how this town can come to a screeching halt!  It was very bold what they wrote!

MICHAEL:

James, is it true what they say… “Being bad is the best way to go?”

JAMES:

Absolutely!  It’s the most fun you can have with your clothes on, and it gives you the license to do things that you could never allow yourself to do in real life.  It’s the best part of acting.  You are really the thrust of the storyline, in that sense, and creating havoc all around you, and the character just becomes a focal point for so much, and is extremely gratifying for an actor.

PAUL:

Courtesy/NBC

I have never really played many villains before Xander, and in a space of a single scene he can go from being incredibly charming and fun, and then incredibly violent and vicious, and then re-set just like that.  Mostly because he is crazy, but also is that he is an excellent liar.  And liars are really fun to play as actors.  The most fun I have had on my work at DAYS is going through these shifts of the sweet, innocent, misunderstood bad boy, to strangling women in a space of an episode!

GEORGE:

I agree with my co-horts here, being the villain is the action part of the story.  I think what Paul said is right, lying is fun and as actors we make believe, and so this is another level of that.  It’s a lot of fun to do.

MICHAEL:

Did the three of you scare half the cast?

PAUL:

They have seen it all, so not sure they were that scared! (Laughs)

Courtesy/NBC

JAMES:

I really tried to present Clyde as someone who has just gotten out of prison.  And from the reaction of some of my cast mates, I think I succeeded. (Laughs)

PAUL:

They were going, “What’s up with James?” (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

What can you preview about their criminal escape from the slammer?

PAUL:

Well, it’s a jailbreak, and it’s even a surprise to the characters that perpetrate it! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Should we look for bombs, strangulations, guns, poisons, you name it, when they hit Salem?

JAMES:

Photo Credit: Daniel Battales

Keep going … basically all the above! (Laughs)

GEORGE:

You can plan on all of it.  Whatever your imagination can come up with; they have done even to our surprise.  I would say, every kind of death and destruction … it’s not good.  Even modern technology is employed in our story, which I thought was cool.  It’s very clever and well-executed.

So, what do you think of the returns of Clyde, Xander, and Orpheus thus far? What do you think will happen when they escape prison? Which Salemite will find themselves in the most peril? Are you enjoying and getting a kick out of seeing Orpheus again?  Who is your favorite bad guy of this dastardly trio? Share your thoughts in the comment section below! (Note: To make a comment, go to the top left side of the interview and click on “Leave a Comment”)

 

 

  1. elm1951 says:

    awesome interview! – loved it…………………can not wait for the terror to begin!!

    Reply

  2. Margie says:

    Love Clyde! Days has been pretty unwatchable for months, but I’m all in for this story.

    Reply

  3. 4ever DAYS says:

    It all sounds so exciting and I’m looking forward to it!!!

    Reply

  4. Patricia Nolan-Hall says:

    This is going to be fun!

    Reply

  5. Karen Clark says:

    Marlena better watch her back and front. She has always been the ultimate woman in distress. This must be how Teresa dies. I am not surprised that it takes 3 Days villains to replace one Stephano. Excited to see Orpheous again. I have missed James Read. He is a fabulous actor. Xander scared me before and expecting he will make Halloween as evil as can be.

    Reply

    4ever DAYS replied

    Theresa’s impending death is only speculation, Karen. No one associated with DAYS has confirmed that Theresa dies.

    Reply

  6. Poirot says:

    Oh, let the games begin…..or should I say fun? So the Terrible Tyranical Trio will wreak havoc galore in Salem. And despite all the evil each did, the crimes, the lies, etc. others are to blame, and therefore must be “paid back”. Looking forward to the “how”.
    Great interviews. :)

    Reply

  7. divnanata says:

    I am just so thrilled to have Paul Telfer as Xander back on my Days screen! I don’t want him to go away even if he does. The show needs him and the rest of these crazy baddies!

    Reply

  8. susan blackman says:

    I am so excited to see Orpheus again,loved him back in 80′s this is going to be good,we have John,Marlene,kayla an steve who Orpheus hates sooo excited

    Reply

  9. Kim C says:

    WoW!! Awesome interview. Cannot wait to see the Orpheus storyline finally played out. This should be great!!

    Reply

  10. Lois says:

    Great interview, sounds like the story is going to be wonderful and full of suspense & surprise, along with some great history. Can’t wait to see how this all plays out. Thanks George, Paul and James. You are all amazing as your characters, Orpheus…shivers!!!!

    Reply

  11. Chloe says:

    Sounds like it’s going to be a lot of fun to watch, although the citizens of Salem might not enjoy it quite as much. LOL
    It’s good to see them all again. My only regret is that they’re not bringing back Paul as a good guy [character #3 for him] so that he could stick around.

    Reply

  12. Daysfan says:

    Great interview – So excited to see Xander back again, love Paul Telfer! If Xander dies (hopefully not), Paul could come back as a recast EJ DiMera. He’s already got that great chemistry with Nicole (Ari Zucker)!

    Reply

    lulu replied

    Leave Ej character alone !

    Reply

    lulu replied

    And if one day Ej the character come back (but he deserve better than this awful writing so NO he is not coming back) it will be with HIS WIFE AND SOULMATE Sami Brady and their children and nobody else !!

  13. Carol Faver says:

    A big party should have been thrown for this dastardly trio of delicious bad guys. What a happy set to see so much chaos!!! James Read has been missed since they sent him up the river….didn’t come home with that great haircut, but prison barbers don’t put lots of thought into their work I guess. Welcome Home….and your two buddies will certainly help keep the spotlight on the working guys…..make Salem sweat you bad boys.

    Reply

  14. CindyHaskins says:

    I am sorry to spoiled things about bring back the past villians like ophreous,xander,clyde is not going to bring up days rating.and focus on the vets like john and Marlena and steve and kayla it not going to help the show.

    Reply

    Lois replied

    This won’t be spoiled by a few negative comments, It’s gonna be great, and has been building to this point for years. IMHO sorry Cindy you can’t cast your spell of gloom on me. I don’t think your predication will be correct. Enjoy

    Reply

  15. gloria says:

    I guess I am the only one to think this is very scary & creepy. I really think Days is one of the darkest soaps-God, the things that happen in the park off the Horton Square-such a scary little town-this is more darkness & violence. I hate the DiMiera mansion-no wonder Abby could not stay there. All the scenes at Ben’s apt. with that flashing light out the window-the things he did. I just don’t like too much “terrorism” on my soaps.

    Reply

    lulu replied

    Please..Abby is more creepy than the Dimera would ever dream to be..please..eyeroll..

    Reply

  16. kay says:

    Looking forward to seeing this revenge plot play out. The show is so boring at the moment so it needs to inject some excitement into the mix and these three villains Will certainly do that. I always enjoyed Paul Telfer as Zander and James Read as Clyde. I have only watched George as Orpheus in clips as I never watched Days during his last run (80′s) so am excited to see his part of the revenge.

    Reply

  17. jaybird369 says:

    Y-E-S!!!!! LET THE VILLAINY BEGIN!!!!!

    Reply

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