News - Soap Buzz

3 February 3rd, 2010 Drake Hogestyn in revealing interview on his exit from DAYS!

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

In his first full-length interview since being fired from Days of our Lives over a year ago, Drake Hogestyn chatted with TV Guide Canada’s Nelson Branco, while the two were sailing the seas on this past weekends Soap Cruise .  Branco got some honest and revealing answers to some very thought-provoking questions from the former leading man of Salem, including if there was bad blood between executive producer, Ken Corday and former leading lady Deidre Hall, and Hogestyn. Also discussed is the abrupt and annoying exit of John and Marlena from the canvas, plus what is on the horizon for this former soap icon.  Here are a few juicy excerpts:

Drake on the controversial exit story for Jarlena: “It is what it is. It was what it was. Again, it’s back to business.  As we all know, DAYS was up for renewal at that time. Because of that, there was a huge reduction in the licensing fee to get that renewal, so Deidre and I were the casualties. And I don’t blame them. The show’s future is more important than two actors or characters. However, I will say that John and Marlena’s storyline did veer off in a new direction when [co-executive producer] Ed Scott was fired. When Gary Tomlin came in to assume control of the show, John immediately ran to Stefano and said, “That’s it. You win. I lose. End of the story.” Right away, that eliminated about four different story threads I was involved in. Naturally, I went up to Gary, and said “What’s happening. Which story direction are we headed in now?” He responded, by saying, “I’m not sure, but something is happening. I’ll get back to you. Let me put my ear to the ground because I think a big story is coming up for you. I’ll know in a couple of weeks!” [Laughs hilariously] A big story, alright! That story in which he referenced involved Sandra Robinson — and ultimately, our exit.  In defence of Gary, however, I must say that Gary and I had an open relationship, so I personally believe he had no idea at that time that Marlena and John would be written out. And like you said the other day, our exit storyline was rushed, so it may have been a last-minute decision on Sony’s part.”

Drake on how his firing was a lesson for current leading mature men on soaps: ”When I sit and have dinner with Robert Newman and Vincent Irizarry, because we’re all popular leading men in the same age range. Wanna know what they told me? “Your firing made us all really stand up and take notice. At that point, we knew things weren’t all rosy, but we never thought they’d go after the superstars on the soaps. And when they did, we all knew we had to watch our back because the same thing could happen to us if it happened to you!” Our firings essentially opened up the floodgates, which allowed other soap producers to do the same thing to their actors. Guys like Robert and Vincent said, “Before you, we were all in denial, but we’re not anymore.” And all of a sudden, it was Don Diamont being fired from Y&R, Eric Braeden and Susan Lucci being asked to take pay cuts … But back to my experience with DAYS —  it’s hard not to take it personally when a show fires you twice in one year! I remember when John “died,” I had to go on an Australian press tour which I had already committed to before being let go. Want to talk about awkward? But I’m a professional, so I went with Dee and Ken Corday. That very day, John’s funeral scenes were airing in America, and despite the fact that Australia airs a couple of years behind, that’s all the press and fans Down Under were asking about.”

Drake on if Sony was using he and Deidre Hall to set a precedent with their dismissals: “You can’t assume that — even if people tell you that you’ll be on the show until the cows come home. When you look at the show from a fiscal standpoint … listen, we all knew there were budget problems. When NBC cancelled a show [Passions] that they owned outright, we all immediately knew that DAYS was on the chopping block next because NBC doesn’t own our show. Looking at my character, even one as popular as John Black, the cost/benefit wasn’t worth it, obviously. And I can see why they made the decision to fire Dee and me despite the fact that I offered to go back to my 1986 salary.”

Tags: ,

  1. James Madison says:

    Haven’t watch days since John and Marlena were written out!


  2. Brenda Cook says:

    I was a huge fan of Days as far back as the 70′s. I was one of those people who
    planned their day around Days. I quit cold turkey, the minute that Drake and Deidre were fired. I can say the same for most of my friends.


  3. Danna says:

    I no longer watch Days, but i have to say, the only two characters i ever enjoyed were Roman & Diana i still watch old scenes on you tube. only time i really laughed, i love there story line.. maybe Drake can pop over to Y&R and hook back up with Genie.


Leave a comment