Days of our Lives EJ DiMera is in so much hot water at the moment! That incriminating photo showed up at the mansion… and he is trying to hide it from his beloved Samantha who he is set to marry! What’s in the photo? EJ’s tryst with Abigail Deveraux!
And last week in a very special episode of the NBC soap opera, EJami fans were given a treat getting to see Alison Sweeney (Sami) and James Scott (EJ) in tour de force performances … only there was a catch … those emotional scenes happened only in the mind of EJ’s, not in Salem’s reality!
On-Air On-Soaps caught up with one of our favorite gents, James Scott for a chat about all of EJ’s latest shenanigans and how it will impact EJami moving forward. James also shares his thoughts on the upcoming departure of his long-time co-star Alison Sweeney, what he thought of the Abigail (Kate Mansi) and EJ fling, his chances at landing a Daytime Emmy nomination tomorrow, and much more! Here’s what James had to share!
What did you think of the whole EJami episode that aired on April 21st and being handed that script which in essence was two-character based?
JAMES: I thought it was a compliment to us as actors that they had given us a whole show to carry. I think it was good for the story that they would want something like this for one specific storyline. The EJami fans either loved it, or hated it.
When you found out the episode was going to be EJ’s dream/nightmare and it didn’t’ actually happen in the story, what was your reaction? Were you as frustrated as some of the viewers were with it?
JAMES: When I first heard about it, I thought it was a little bit frustrating. But as I have said many times with this particular storyline, when I came to understand how things will play out over the next six months, I understood why it was necessary to tell story the way they did and the way that they will. It all fits well together. You will have to keep watching. I have been saying that a lot too, but it’s true! There is a lot of great stuff coming up with some very unexpected twists.
Alison Sweeney (Sami) was very vocal about how hard the two of you worked on those scenes together in the special episode, and that you spent quite a lot of time making sure all the right beats, nuances etc were there.
JAMES: We did take our time with it, and we rehearsed our lines quite a few times, because there were a lot of them. (Laughs) We actually came in on a dark week and spent time working on the scenes.
I had to laugh, because Alison as Sami slapped you hard once again during the episode!
JAMES: Yeah, I know. She just does like to do that! (Laughs)
When you found out that EJ would have a fling with Abigail (Kate Mansi), what was your initial reaction to that, when for many it seemed out of character for EJ to do after finally getting ready to marry Sami after all they had been through?
JAMES: I was not best please with it when I read the storyline. Look, I spent seven years with Alison Sweeney, where even when Sami and EJ are not together, it’s always a big deal. They had been apart for years and there is just that something that this couple has that is really telling for both of them. I think that makes for good television. To finally get to the place where it looked like they had overcome all obstacles and to have this story come along … it felt like a little bit of a slap in the face. Especially, when you consider if you put that much time into something, it becomes a part of you whether you want it to, or not. You become very protective of your storyline, because you have put in so much work to getting it there. I was concerned how the fans would react. I mean, of all the things of EJ to do? It’s not something that women usually come back from when they have been betrayed. So, I was intimidated by that for what it meant. The only thing that I can say is, that as the storyline has progressed, and as the storyline was explained to me at the time, and put in its full context, I came to be O.K. with it, and then ultimately came to really like it. Now I am really enjoying it. I think the audience and the EJami fans will find it much the same. I know they were initially sort of irked by it, and upset by it, and they felt betrayed, and felt the storyline was cheapened for something unnecessary, and I can certainly empathize with that. But what I can say is … it does come around! It is a catalyst for a lot that unfolds.
It raises the stakes now for EJami! How was it working with Kate Mansi in this storyline? You two had not really worked together for quite awhile.
JAMES: We had not worked together in a long time, but I enjoyed working with Kate very much. I felt like we developed good chemistry on-screen. She was a lot of fun to work with.
Kate Mansi took a lot of hits from the fans and much of it was very uncomplimentary and mean-spirited towards her, which I found uncalled for.
JAMES: It’s ridiculous! Kate is an actress on a television show. What are they being mean to her for? She gets up, she comes to work, and that’s her job. Don’t be upset with her. That is what she does for a living. Those people are just f***ing idiots … and you can quote me on that.
How do you feel about Alison leaving the show? You two have built this couple so incredibly and so multifaceted. I have not seen in many years of covering daytime, the phenomenon that you two created together. I don’t think it can easily be replicated.
JAMES: That’s very kind of you and you know, we both feel we have something very special with each other. We have both gotten a tremendous amount out of this experience. It’s going to be very different without Alison Sweeney here at DAYS. It will be different for the whole show and the actors here. What is interesting is that Sami is one of those characters that weaves so many different storylines together. She is sort of up to her neck in it all over the place. I don’t know how they are going to replace her and I don’t think they can really. But we are lucky that this show is in a healthy place. It’s been doing well this year.
How exactly did you find out that your long-time scene partner was leaving the show? Did Alison just say to you, “I’m leaving”?
JAMES: She did. She pulled me to one side, and I completely understood. I get it. That woman works incredibly hard. She has two wonderful children, and I know she would like to spend more time with them. I think she made the right decision for a woman in her position in life, and it’s not like DAYS is her only gig! She has two full-time jobs and she is a mother. Something in there has to give; otherwise you are going to end up short-changing one of those positions. Somehow, she has managed to be an amazing mother and turn up here knowing her lines, and then leave her and go straight to the Biggest Loser! You just can’t keep doing all of that, and so, I think she felt it’s time to focus on her kids. I am proud of her for doing it.
The Daytime Emmy Nominations will be announced tomorrow morning and you have received a Pre-Nomination in the Lead Actor category. What do you think of your chances? What episode of your work was submitted?
JAMES: I am in contention, and I would be very surprised if I was nominated! (Laughs) I went with some a scene where Alison and I were having a fight! I actually don’t know if I ever saw the episode in its entirety. I am not a big one for watching myself on the show. I said to publicity, “pick a show”, and they did and they picked one!
But, what if they picked right?
JAMES: Well, if they picked right then obviously I have a chance to win, and if they didn’t pick right, then clearly they picked wrong! (Laughs)
Back on DAYS, that incriminating photo of EJ and Abigail in the throes of passion shows up at the mansion, and when it comes in, EJ can’t seem to figure out who sent it! (Laughs)
JAMES: When the photo comes in it takes EJ a week to figure out who it is from! (Laughs) He’s quick like that! He looks at list of enemies and thinks, “Who could it be? Kate? His father …? ” I think it takes a bit of a long time for him to put two and two together! Let’s just say as I read the scripts, I thought he could have connected the pieces together a little faster. So, that is going to be whole big thing when he discovers Nick (Blake Berris) is behind it.
Your face was priceless on the April 21st episode when EJ receive the photo! (Laughs) I mean, what does one do when a photo like that shows up at your door?
JAMES: What do you do, indeed! There is not anything one could do. So he just stood there! I feel like it was one of those situations where you feel like something is happening, but you think maybe it’s not really happening, and maybe if you just face it long enough or blink … it will go away.
You just got back from another one of your world travels … this time it was Peru!
JAMES: Yes. I just got back from Peru. I spent six days in the jungles of Peru doing Ayahuasca with the shaman. It was the single most positive experience of my life. Ayahuasca is this hallucinogenic. I sat in a tent, in a hut, in the jungle, on the amazons with three shaman blowing tobacco smoke into my crown, realigning my chakras and my energy, while I hallucinated for four to six hours. I mean, this is all hard to explain. It’s very spiritual and very interesting. This is a medicine that the people of South America have been using for years to have a relationship with a higher consciousness. It sounds wacky when you say it, but it was truly the most important thing I have ever done. I came back a very different person.
Where is Joe Mascolo (Stefano) these days? How is he doing? Fans would like to see more Stefano and EJ!
JAMES: I would like Joe to be back more too. He is getting back; it’s just taking him a minute or two. I think he is working this week, but you won’t see him probably till October on-air! (Laughs)
How is having Eileen Davidson back as Kristen DiMera? I hope we get to see more Kristen and EJ scenes together, as they can be quite wicked when in a room together.
JAMES: I like working with Eileen, and I like when she comes back to DAYS. I’ve just had the pleasure of working with her over the last few days. She is wonderful, fun, and I enjoy her a lot. Hopefully, she will keep coming back to the show. The Kristen and EJ relationship is fun to play, too.
In closing for the James Scott fans, can we tell them to expect lots of EJ DiMera screen time coming up?
JAMES: Yes. What we are taping now is up to October. There is a lot going on and a lot of fun twists and turns. I can tell the fans that I am a pretty busy boy.
So, what did you think about James comments on the latest plight of EJami? Are you glad to hear James’ thoughts on the EJ and Abigail fling? What do you think will happen next in the story? Do you hope James lands a Daytime Emmy nomination for Lead Actor tomorrow? Let us know your thoughts!