Days of our Lives fans were wondering where did soap heartthrob Shawn Christian (Daniel) disappear to after the Daniel/Jennifer/Jack triangle was getting a bit murky, and Daniel was having some health issues that were impacting his surgical prowess? Well, we finally got some answers when On-Air On-Soaps chatted with Shawn to get the lowdown.
In addition, Shawn reveals his thoughts on the dissolution of the Daniel/Jennifer romance and previews the next gal on the dashing doc’s long list of female admirers in Salem … and it may turn out to be the just returned, Billie Reed! Check out what Shawn had to say on a myriad of Salem and DAYS hot topics, as we welcome him back to the screen!
So we were wondering what happened to you on-air! All of a sudden it was like “Poof” you were gone! Did they decide to give the character a rest so they could figure out where do go next with him? Daniel admitted to Jennifer he went off surfing! But, of course! (Laughs)
SHAWN: First off, Daniel was off the canvas searching within. (Laughs) And as for me, yes I was off the show while they were figuring out what were they going to do with Daniel this “wild card”. You can do anything with him, and somehow he will survive. I think they needed to rethink what is the best way to utilize this character? And I think they are exploring that, even still. His stories do not run linear. Who is going to have a kid with a one-night stand with Crystal Chappell’s character of Carly? Daniel! And, people will buy it. Who could have an affair with a girl when he is also sleeping with her mother? Daniel! He could do that and still survive! (Laughs)
At least they did not pink-slip you from the show! The powers-that-be had gone through the entire Maggie and her egg story so that it gave you an anchor into the Horton family as her bio-son, and you already had been given a daughter in Melanie. But there must have been a moment where you weren’t sure if Daniel might have a surfing accident off-screen never to return!
SHAWN: When the writers and producers come to you and say, “We don’t know which direction we want to take the character,” you immediately either think, “I am replaced or I am gone.” But they were very kind and immediately said to me that they want to re-work and recreate him. It isn’t that they wanted to get rid of him which was refreshing, coming on the heels of possibly being written-out. Look its work. I get it. They are working with the history of the show, and it’s not as if Daniel has a whole lot of history … in fact he would probably take the history and put a twist to it. If you look at how he was brought on and how his character has interacted, besides from Maggie which gives me great roots on the show, whatever you thought historically such as if you thought Phillip and Chloe were going to be the be all and end all, well wait a minute? Here’s a curve ball. Daniel is going to screw that up! (Laughs)
Have you had any scenes with Molly Burnett (Melanie) and Suzanne Rogers (Maggie) since you have been back?
SHAWN: No, I have not had scenes with them. Molly is in story right now and the show is about family. They did have Daniel pick up a picture of him and his daughter, Melanie. So, I don’t think it has been forgotten.
What did you think about how Jennifer and Daniel’s ill-fated love story came to an abrupt end?
SHAWN: It was a story about, do you fight for the family that you raised and grew up with and known to love? Or is it, do you pursue a new love and a new life? It was put to the test and it was very well-done and the answer was, “No, I am going to stick by my family.” For the character of Jennifer it was a wonderful choice. I loved working with Melissa Reeves (Jennifer). I got it. It made sense to me in the end.
Your closure scene aired yesterday. Daniel told Jennifer something to affect that when he looks at her, he doesn’t feel that strong pull anymore to her! Do you like how this was resolved?
SHAWN: I do explain to Jennifer some of the clarity I experienced while I was away and that I have come too. Melissa was so present as an actress in those scenes, but I come off looking like an ass, which is great. (Laughs) I mean, in a good way. It was two characters doing what they felt was right. For Daniel, Jennifer was one of the purest people he had ever met. There were no lies, no cheating, and no deceit with them. It was, “My cards are on the table if you want me great, if you don’t, I understand that.”
Looks like Daniel’s “shaky hands” are also gone!
SHAWN: Yeah, it’s not really formally addressed, but the idea being that he is a surgeon and there was no other medical way to treat it, Daniel traveled the world and found alternative medicine to heal this shaking. Now, what I will do from time to time, if you notice, is massage my hand as a way to suggest this is part of the healing process. There is no longer a story point of course (Laughs) But for me as an actor, I at least try to maintain history to it, but I don’t want to make it a story point, because we are no longer pursuing that. I also don’t want to leave the viewers wondering what happened with that as the front man of that beat of the story.
Lisa Rinna (Billie), who we recently spoke with and who has been making the rounds promoting her return to DAYS (officially airing today), has been hinting at a romantic entanglement with Dr. Daniel! What can you tell us?
SHAWN: Yeah, she may no more than I do. What is great about this dynamic with Billie is she calls a spade a spade saying, “You slept with my mother and you were with my daughter!” Even though I did not sleep with her, that is not brought up yet! I was romantically linked enough to Chelsea to be taken aback. So Billie calls him on it right away and that is great! Billie makes no bones about where she stands with anything which is a wonderful quality. Beyond that, I don’t know what ends up happening. But knowing Daniel’s life, anything can happen.
Daniel upon his return to Salem has been taking care of a pregnant Nicole as his patient in the hospital. Seems like this could also be a good story choice having Daniel paired with Nicole! After all, she loathes EJ right now and Daniel never knew about the daughter Carly had, so he never got to raise a child. I think it would be interesting to see perhaps Nicole and Daniel form a close bond!
SHAWN: I don’t know where that goes, but I can guarantee you if I am in a scene with a woman, something is going to go wrong, and Daniel is going to screw up somebody’s life! (Laughs)
Do you like working with Arianne Zuker (Nicole) in scenes? She is a Daytime Emmy nominated actress and again a Pre-Nom this year, you know! Would you welcome the opportunity to work more with her?
SHAWN: She is very talented and she can spar with me and is wonderful. There is an unwritten history there, because her best friend, Chloe was the love of Daniel’s life. It lingers in the air and it does not even need to be addressed and that does exist. These are two people who have battle wounds from years of being knocked around, pushed around, and kicked around, but both have survived. To what extent you explore their relationship I don’t know. I think Daniel probably feels he is not worthy of love at this point in his life, or a relationship, quite honestly, considering his track record. Nicole lived with Daniel for awhile. I think that is an interesting dynamic and there is a lot there.
In the conversation, when DAYS told you they were going to bring you back to the show and re-tool the character a bit, did they elaborate or give you any hints what they were going to do with Dr. Daniel in regards to the bigger picture?
SHAWN: I don’t know if I got a straight up plan. However, they got on the phone and told me when I was coming back. As to what would happen, I don’t know because I have not had a new conversation with anybody. Now, they may have a genius plan for Daniel already. But the way they have tampered with everything thus far, I am finding quite intriguing, and the way people have just come into his life. He is a local doctor for one which is why he gets involved with so many people in Salem, but also he is a man who has so many broken tentacles that it’s plausible he could be involved with anyone. I guess I would say, they are trying him out with different characters on screen, which is good, right? And, from a business and marketing perspective for this show it’s about, what is going to sell tickets? (Laughs) I do think that the writers have story points well thought out in advance, and I don’t think it’s as random as I expressed it. I think they check for fertile ground to write with.