It’s Will Horton’s “official” coming out week on Days of our Lives! And to kick-off the occasion Outfest sponsored a terrific event late last week in Los Angeles called Days of our Lives: A Coming Out Celebration featuring red carpet arrivals, a screening for those in attendance of Will’s story thus far, and a panel discussion featuring members of the cast involved in the storyline including: Chandler Massey (Will), Alison Sweeney (Sami), Wally Kurth (Justin) Bryan Dattilo (Lucas), Lauren Koslow (Marlena), Deidre Hall (Marlena) and co-executive producer Greg Meng.
Throughout the week, On-Air On-Soaps will be bringing you our one-on-one interviews, and some sneak peeks and highlights, and emotional moments, from the panel discussion, as we celebrate the importance of another core character coming out on a daytime soap.
Today, check out our chitchat on the red carpet with Chandler Massey, who on this night was very witty, charming, and who was soaking up all of the accolades bestowed upon him from his cast mates and the crowd in attendance. One of the kudos we loved came from DAYS Sarah Brown (Madison) who told us, “I love what Chandler is doing. He has my heart in my throat, every single time he comes on–screen. There is no way anyone else has a chance at an Emmy this year. I have never seen anything quite like this. I am in awe of what he is doing.”
When we later spoke with Chandler, he gave us more of a preview of what’s ahead with Will’s coming out scenes that air tomorrow, and how the revelation will effect his relationship with his mother, Sami and his father, Lucas. Plus, we included here for those who want to know, a question posed to Chandler inside the panel, about the sexual overtones of Will’s relationship with his boss, EJ DiMera (James Scott), which many have suggested they have noticed on on-screen.
Here is what Chandler had to tell us!
The entire cast in attendance tonight has been relating to me how you have handled this storyline with such dignity and grace!
CHANDLER: Well that’s good that they said that. It seems that the money that I slipped them before they hit the red carpet worked! (Laughs) It was a good amount each, for daytime anyway. (Laughs)
Bryan Dattilo (Lucas) was telling me how glad he was that Lucas is OK with Will being gay!
CHANDLER: I am glad Lucas is OK with Will being gay, and Lucas handles it exceptionally well compared to Sami! Of course! She can’t help it and that is just how she is. I really like that in the story. There are some scenes coming up that are really sweet between Will and Lucas. Honestly, I have not worked with Bryan that much and they kind of threw him right back into the mix with Sami and the lingering feelings between these two. Lucas also has all this other stuff going on. But there are some really tender father and son bonding scenes that you will see.
Does Will feel then that somehow he is inadequate as man and a disappointment to his dad?
CHANDLER: Well, yes. And it’s not so much said, but Bryan and I worked it into our subtext in the scenes. That would be any gay young man’s fear, coming out to their dad, because, for instance, I know my dad and I never talk about feelings or anything like that.
I hear that Sami’s response to Will’s coming out will be a quite self-centered one and one of denial. It does happen that way with some people’s family members when they get up the courage to admit to them that they are gay.
CHANDLER: I think so, and it does happen this way. That is just some people’s knee-jerk reaction to something. They will go, “Well, how does this affect me?” But some are better holding it in and then thinking, “Wait a second.” And then some people have no filter, and that is how Sami is, and Will knows that!
You have to be kind of proud that this is happening and you are at the epicenter of it. After all, you are the actor who got to play the character of Will at this critical juncture in his growth. Previewing ahead, what do you think we can look forward? He won’t go ringing the doorbell of the residents in Salem and go “I’m Gay!” “I’m Gay!”? (Laughs)
CHANDLER: We have the coming out scenes April 4th and the sex-change, April 5th! (Laughs) I am just kidding! (Laughs) Will is coming out April 4th to his grandma Marlena, and after that it’s just a matter of telling the rest of the family slowly. Some people will be easier for him to tell than others, for example, Marlena and Sonny. They knew already. Will knows that. He is not a complete idiot! EJ knows. I think it does not matter to EJ one bit. But the other people like Sami and the rest of his family, he is not sure about.
Many viewers have noticed this sexual undercurrent between EJ and Will? What is going on there? Do you realize this? (Laughs)
CHANDLER: James Scott (EJ) and I have also noticed the existence of that subtext. (Laughs) EJ and Will’s relationship is kind of a mentor or mentee sort of thing, which kind of already lends itself to a very close relationship. And I think, just the fact that James is British, sort of adds to it. (Laughs) And I will say, that they are not writing for that, but I am saying that any gay man working around EJ DiMera would think he is a handsome guy. You can’t help but be somewhat attracted to that.
So, as we head towards tomorrow’s coming out episode, can viewers expect to see an emotional purging from Will, when he finally can admit to himself he is gay?
CHANDLER: It is not an emotional purge and here is why: I read the scenes and they could have easily gone that way. But I think there has been so much of that already, and I like I said, it was kind of at that point where it would kind of be seen as repetitive, if it kept going with all this angst and conflict of “Will he say it? Or, won’t he say it?” So this time, it was much more cathartic. It was more of a fun afternoon with grandma that turns into this whole acceptance. Will just kind of slides into it. It’s not dramatic, but because of that, it will be very refreshing to see, I hope.
So soapers …. Are you excited about Will finally coming out on tomorrow’s episode of Days of our Lives? What do you think about Chandler’s comments about the storyline and Will’s relationships with many of the significant people in Salem? Let us know!