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15 August 21st, 2012 DAYS Freddie Smith Interview: From Gay Bashing and Bullying to the Will and Sonny Romance!

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

Things take a turn for the worse for Sonny Kiriakis this week on Days of our Lives.  First, he attempts to kiss his best friend, Will Horton.  Then he gets gay-bashed, and from there Sonny’s world as he believes and knows it takes a devastating turn!

On-Air On-Soaps chatted with Freddie Smith (Sonny) to discuss the gay-bashing and bullying story arc that begins to unfold, Will and Sonny’s impending romance, and how Freddie feels after waiting so long for a story to sink his teeth into, after being brought on the Salem canvas as the first gay character in the history of the legendary NBC soap opera.

Here’s what Freddie had to say about it all and a preview of what is ahead for Sonny!

This week on DAYS, Sonny attempts to kiss Will (Chandler Massey), and that doesn’t quite work out so well!

FREDDIE:  No, it doesn’t.   He loves Will as a best friend and any situation in real life where you get involved with your best friend, where you begin to have a crush on them; it is that whole cat and mouse where it’s about, “Do I tell him, I like him? Or, do I not tell him because of the friendship?” And with Will, Sonny did not know if he was O.K.  He thought he could have been dead from the whole disaster that just transpired.  I think all of his emotions spilled out. He was just so happy that I don’t think he thought anything. Sonny just went in for the kiss and Will is caught off guard. So it was all of Sonny’s emotions that were built up that came to the surface.

So you had to play it that deep down Sonny had crush on him, or did he just realize this spur of the moment?

Photo Credit: Adam Campbell

FREDDIE: I think something like this can happen in a situation that brings it to the extreme, where your life is at stake. There are a lot of times in real life like that people come forward with their feelings.   It was more like, “I almost lost you, and you need to know how I feel.”   But Sonny has always had a crush on Will.  He is a good looking dude, and funny and clever.  They are best friends.  I think in real life a lot of relationships start that way.

Will then goes running to Gabi and they have sex! Does Sonny find out about this?

FREDDIE: I cannot touch upon the fallout of that yet, as a lot goes into it.

The big thing then this week is Sonny is a victim of some gay bashing! What goes down?

FREDDIE: “T” comes back to Salem and Sonny and “T” never had a resolution.  Things just ended poorly.   He doesn’t like Sonny, and Sonny is like, “Well, dude.  I don’t like you, either.”    He did not like Sonny because he is gay, and he is gay basher.  He is close-minded and he is not comfortable with it for whatever reason.  He comes back to town and this time what gets him even more fired up is when he finds out that his best friend, Will, has now come out of the closet.  “T” is blaming Sonny for it.  So there is this whole issue that happens and he is just lit! He is so mad. It gets very intense and it plays out and it’s an on-going storyline that is going to play out over a couple of weeks.   You will see the repercussions of what happens and the negative effects. You see how people on “T” and Sonny’s end handle it.   It’s a very good storyline. I am excited to see how it all turned out on the air shows!

Sonny is victimized obviously, and does this send Sonny on a downward spiral?

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

FREDDIE:  This is more of an internal thought: Sonny has a scene with his dad, Justin. I feel that Sonny has gone through the coming out process and the gay bashing. He finally came to terms with who he is, and he thought all of this was in his past.  And to have somebody start stuff with him, I think it just brings him back to “Dad, I thought this was over? Is this always going to continue to happen?  What is going on?”  I think he has that vulnerable moment to where he is taken aback.  Sonny is a positive character, and he does bring himself back from this, but he does have that moment where he is like, “Oh, man!”

Hopefully, Will comes to Sonny aid?

FREDDIE: Absolutely! He does and that is what is important and in real life too. It is having family and friends who are there for people who are bullied and any other situation that is bad, of course.  It is nice that his friends and family are there to pick Sonny up.

Freddie, you got to Washington D.C. to speak to congress recently on bullying that must have been very gratifying.

FREDDIE:  I got to speak in front of congress and men and women at the nation’s capital.  So it was something I will never forget.  I got to talk about bullying and my main point of interest is what I think can help stop bullying is parents getting involved in their kids life at an early age, and to bring awareness that this is not something that just goes on to middle school or high school.   People and kids grow up and are carrying this with them as an adult, and I mean everyone.  As an adult, you can think back to how you were bullied.  You never forget that.  That is why it is important to stop it at a young age, and why it is important to have parents help their kids and understand not to bully others. It is causing a lot of trouble in the world.

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

Where you bullied as a kid?

FREDDIE:  It was more bullying moments.  I was not bullied every day. I think everyone has been bullied at one time or another in life.  We get it as adults too, honestly. There are a lot of people and groups and programs hopping on board to stop bullying, so it’s great, and if I can be a small part of that to bring some awareness of it through my role on daytime television, that is great too.

Are you getting exiting that the Will and Sonny romance is finally going to kick-off big time after so many presumed starts?  It seems now a story has been built that is so intricate?

FREDDIE: Me, as an actor and as the audience, we have all been waiting for Sonny to have these storylines, but I also think it was important to wait.  When I first came on the show and was being interviewed, it was all about being the first gay character.  A year and half later people are like, “So Sonny is doing so and so in his life.”   He just became Sonny, not labeled just the first gay character. I think it was great that they came to know Sonny for Sonny.  I think fans that waited will be very happy that they waited and hung in there with us.  Now, Sonny is going to take Salem by storm and people can start to invest and enjoy in his storylines.


It’s all good because it sets up emotional obstacles and problems for Will and Sonny to be able get together.  And as with any soap couple, fans are then rooting for them to get together and that is needed to keep it interesting!  And so it doesn’t then just languish on the back-burner, hopefully!

FREDDIE:  If it was a fairytale the story would die in two days and people would not care. The producers and the writers have done a phenomenal job at setting this up. I am so excited I have this material to work with.  It begins this week on air! I am looking forward to seeing all the scenes from an audience perspective.  There are a lot of emotions in this, as you will see.

So soapers, what do you think of the story point where Sonny will be gay bashed?  Are you looking forward to the Will and Sonny romance?  How do you feel about Will running to Gabi and having sex after Sonny makes a pass at him?  Are you happy to see DAYS tackling a bullying arc?  Let us know all of your thoughts!

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  1. EDDIE EMMONS says:

    The “romance” has taken entirely too long.


  2. Scott says:

    I love the friendship between Sonny and Will. Sonny is definitely an underrated and undeused character. I miss him being on my screen! He’s amazing. Freddie Smith is a fantastic actor. Definitely my kind of guy!


  3. Kane says:

    I love the fact they address it verbally with Will and physically with Sonny. They’re both very powerful. The romance I’m looking forward to and they’re making it like a romantic slow trip you take to true love. But I think they hit a pot hole in the trip when they put in the Will\Gabi sex. They say it’s romantic history, insecurities and comfort. But how can you touch someone you couldn’t touch after the first time. I know Will is insecure in his feelings. But to make him test if he’s gay or not by screwing someone he didn’t want too before is insulting and stupid. It’s insensitive to show this in this time. When some think sexuality can be switched on and off like a light switch. Why taint the fragile image of a character when you’re promoting a romance Days?


    Dmitri replied

    I agree 100%. Will knows he has feelings for Sonny. After seeing Sonny with Brian and misunderstanding, I think Will was probably trying to get revenge. But this was SO stupid! Like THE EJami grief sex.


    maddiehayes replied

    this is just going to confuse my mom further, who has been asking me “Will’s not going to STAY gay, is he?’ lol


    David replied

    I find the Will/Gabi storyline insulting. It would be more realistic if he slept with another man.

    maddiehayes replied

    They are kind of making it look like Will is “bi”. Soaps always do outlandish things with the gay characters, like having AMC’s Bianca fall in love with straight women, and then those women magically “turn gay”. The weirdest was when she fell for the transsexual, LOL. Of course, the straight characters have outlandish stories too, so I guess it’s fair.


  4. Anne says:

    So happy that Sonny is finally getting a major story. Freddie has been so underutilized since being hired. Yes, the romance has taken way too long for Sonny and Will. I just hope the wait was worth it. Kyle and Fish have the standard set. I guess only time will tell if DOOL can out do that and I’m not so sure with how conservative they have been toward the gay storyline since it started. Hoping that was the fault of the old writers. Again, only time will tell.


  5. David B says:

    I can’t wait to see it play out but i feel that this is a rehash of Tomlin’s old storyline from OLTL with Kish all over again. Will rejects Sonny & runs to Gabi & later sleeps with her, probably gets her pregnant, then Gabi uses it to try to hold on to Will as Wilson are getting closer.


    David replied

    OLTL’s gay storyline was conservative too, and it does appear as a rehash. But Fish was drunk/drugged and it made sense because at that time he did not fully realize who he was. But again to say that, other conflcted men don’t have similar sexual encounters when in doubt or acting upon revenge, would be unrealistic too. Nonetheless, I find it insulting, almost disngenuious, like another twist in plot could not be used, instead of Will hooking up with Gabi. Will was interested another man who provided him with an alibi. What about him? Anyway, Gabi may wind up pregnant. How convenient and predicitable! Didn’t Will go to his shrink grandmother, Marlena and talked things out? Months we watched his coming out process. He came out to be confused? Maybe Rafe was right when he said look how messed up Will is. With new writers, I will just wait and see, but I hope DOOL and its viewers don’t shut down a potential good storyline. Now that would another travesty similar to that which occurred on OLTL.

    I prefer Sonny’s character. He is a good egg. He is honest. He is winsome. The viewers are invested and want to see more of him. I think the bully storyline, more so the bashing, may have a bigger impact. And another man showing some interest in Sonny would make good drama too. But WilSon will prevail; it’s a soap after all.


    TRW replied

    Tomlin was not at OLTL for Kish. That was Carlivati/Valentini


  6. Jules says:

    Excited for this story to get off the ground some more, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed Will and Gabi are going to be making whoppie. The story, since November 2011 IMO has been moving forward one beautiful and precise step at a time. And it still sounds that way to me, with exception of Will turning to Gabi, which takes everything a giant leap back.

    I’ll watch and see how it plays out, but I wish they didn’t take this route.


  7. Ann says:

    Will sleeping with Gabi is not only stupid but insulting! With the way soaps treat their gay characters and storylines, I don’t know why fans even bother anymore. Look at how Luke & Noah were treated on ATWT and Kyle & Fish on OLTL.. And those are just two examples because I could name more! These shows like the attention they receive from these storylines but they never fully deliver what fans really want to see. Look how long things have taken with Sonny and Will. If they were a straight pairing things wouldn’t have taken this long. Inevitably, fans of ‘WilSon’ will be continually let down, disappointed and angered like fans of the couples mentioned above. Sadly, it always ends up being this way.


  8. Chaz says:

    Freddie Smith finally gets some story…hooray! But, this Will/Gabi thing is crap. It would have been an okay plot device BEFORE Will came out. Now, it is a slap in the face. Is this someone’s grand plan to keep Gabi on the show? Because, frankly I would like nothing better than seeing her go off to a convent or something. The character is annoying and a waste of screen time.


  9. Maggie says:

    Good interview! I’m interested to hear Freddie’s take on things. Sonny’s a likable character and I’m hoping with more Sonny comes more Justin and Adrienne. I am looking forward to seeing Sonny and Will’s romance take off. We’ve waited a long time for this, and I don’t want to be disappointed by crummy writing now. I have to say, I’m not happy with the Will/Gabi sex thing, and I especially don’t want to see something as predictable as an unwanted pregnancy to come out of it. Even if it were well-written, I just don’t want to see something so mundane cluttering up Will and Sonny’s story. There are plenty of other sources of angst for them.


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