It’s Will Horton’s “official” coming out week on Days of our Lives! And to mark 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 (Kate), Deidre Hall (Marlena) and DAYS co-executive producer Greg Meng.
Throughout the week, On-Air On-Soaps will be bringing you our one-on-one interviews from the night, 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.
We kick it off with the other grandma in Will’s life, Grandma Kate, played deliciously and to perfection by soap favorite Lauren Koslow! On the red carpet, Lauren filled us in on the tremendous pride and joy she feels to be involved in this storyline, and gave us a preview of some things to come between Kate and Sami!
We love that Kate’s reaction is that she knew all along that her grandson Will was gay. How did you feel about Kate’s intuitiveness and the fact that, thank God, they did not make you play a homophobe!
LAUREN: It was exactly what it should be! I was so excited. I was a little afraid they might make Kate the homophobic character, and I would yell, “Don’t make it me. Don’t make it me,” because it would never be me. Of anyone in the town of Salem who would understand what is going on with Will, it would be Kate. It’s beautiful. I love that they wrote that Kate always knew! It was like, “Honey, it’s OK. Let’s go shopping.” (Laughs) That is what it is, because years ago when all these stories were being thrown around, I thought it would be perfect that Kate would be fine with it. It’s sort of like Auntie Mame. It’s OK! And for Kate her motto to Will is: “It’s OK if people don’t like you. A lot of people don’t like me. A lot of people may not love you, and a lot of people certainly don’t love me,” but I think that is what Kate brings into this. She is an outsider and she does not conform, and it’s OK. And, just as long as you are OK with yourself, that’s what is important.
Let’s talk about Sami and Kate! Now these two rivals may have to band together to help Will. We can only assume, since Kate is fine with it, and we know Sami won’t know how to deal with it, that Kate might help Sami sort out her feelings on Will’s news?
LAUREN: Well, that is what is happening. I think it’s brilliant that it is happening that way, and I just love it. With the dynamic between Kate and Sami, it’s like they are smashing up against each other all the time over everything! However when it comes to Will, it goes back into the family mode, and that is her ex-daughter-in-law and as such, Kate has a grandson. Actually, I can tell you that you can look forward to Kate advising Sami on this, and it’s really great.
How great that of all people, Kate is trying to be the common ground between Sami and Will, despite their long-standing feud with each other!
LAUREN: Absolutely. We did some scenes recently together and we just loved them. It was so much about family, and this horribly dysfunctional family, and we are coming together because of Will.
You must be excited that finally Will be coming out on the April 4th episode and that you have had some key scenes, in this first for Days of our Lives after 46 years on the air?
LAUREN: I have been waiting and waiting for this part of the story to play out. I cannot tell you how much I wanted to be part of the story and it finally happened. I hope there will be more. I think it’s wonderful how they are doing it, and how the writers are threading the story throughout Salem, and every reaction is a little different. Will and Kate were together a lot. It makes sense now, that there would be more interaction.
How is working with the man of the hour, Chandler Massey (Will)?
LAUREN: Chandler is just really delightful. We had our scenes together and I am like, “YES” and for him it’s like he realizes that, “Oh, now she is getting her chance!” (Laughs) I love working with him.
It is great that Outfest and the LGBT community along with Days of our Lives had this coming out celebration for a character on a daytime soap and to raise awareness of an very important issue for anyone, young or old, who tries to come to terms and accept who they are. How do you feel DAYS handled the writing of Will’s story?
LAUREN: I think it’s really wonderful that the more attention that is paid to this, the better it is. I am excited that we are doing this story, and I am excited that we are doing it this way. It’s a very human way, and not an overly dramatic story. I mean, that it is a simple story about a young man coming of age and finding out who they are, and loving themselves, and being OK, and moving forward, and everyone embracing that. It’s important!