Corday Productions, Inc.
Paul Skipper/JPI Studios
Paul Skipper/JPI Studios

For all intents and purposes, “’” (Rafe Hernandez) has had one of the best gigs in Los Angeles as of late. Not only was he getting paid to hang out in a bed all day while his alter ego was in a coma, he’s had the recent fortune of playing the recovery part of the story, which is a physical challenge that rarely falls into an actor’s lap. The result: Some standout scenes of Rafe re-learning to walk that prove Gering has some acting legs to stand on!

Paul Skipper/JPI Studios
Paul Skipper/JPI Studios

Comas are a pretty common standard on soap operas, but the latest storyline in which Rafe was beaten and consequently left in a several-month-long unconscious state hasn’t exactly been the norm. Not only was the comatose character a near victim of dismemberment (ordered by the one and only ’s Stefano), he was an unknowing witness to a shooting! And these elements make the job of lying in a sleep state not that simple. “As much fun as it sounds, [playing a character in a coma] is challenging on a lot of levels,” the actor tells Soap Opera Network. “You’re laying there with your eyes closed, and you’re just listening to people. You sort of hear certain things, noises you wouldn’t normally hear, and since you’re not visually connected to the person, you can’t see what they’re doing. For instance, the scenes where Sami [] shot Bernardi (Anthony Tyler Quinn) in the hospital, there was this ‘BANG!!’ and all this commotion, and you just have to lie there! It was really hard, actually, to do that, to completely disengage yourself, because as an actor, you’re taught the opposite thing: You should be really present. So it definitely was a trip.”

However, the commotion wasn’t enough to keep Gering — a notorious deep sleeper in real life — from catching a few on-the-job zzz’s! “Oh, I totally fell asleep a few times,” he admits with a chuckle. “If I’m laying on my back, which obviously you are when you’re in a coma, I’m prone to snore, so I’d totally have those moments and snore and wake myself up. But there were some times that wouldn’t happen, and I was asleep and nobody would notice, which is really funny to me. I’d come out and be like, ‘Whoa.’ But I always like to mess with the crew, and they mess with me, and they’d say things like, ‘Wow, that was some of your best work today!’ And jokes like that. And then I’d be like, ‘Alright losers, I’m going home. See ya!’ as I’m literally coming in, getting into bed and then going home.”

But it’s only fair that the coma scenes were (mostly) a breeze, because the recovery part of the story has been a lot of work and required quite a bit of research — which the actor says he did mostly online. “We’re in such an amazing age now, [so I was able to look up] physical therapy, rehab, what they were doing, what it was like for these people to go through the rehab, and it was really helpful,” he shares. “On YouTube, there are all these videos of caregivers and loved ones that post rehabilitation of their friends and family, and I could look at this and see these people and see it chronologically, so that was helpful. And there was a story recently on ‘Breaking Bad,’ where one of the guys came back from near paralysis. So I watched that, which was also a big help.”

Despite knowing how to properly play the story, Galen says it hasn’t come without challenges. “As actors, we talk a lot with our hands. We physicalize things, and then suddenly, you find yourself totally limited. All of your acting has to be simplified, and you have to be careful about things you do, and so it’s been interesting in that regard. It’s also been a lot of fun, but with that said, I’ve definitely been looking forward to moving on — literally — and getting back on my feet again — literally!”

Paul Skipper/JPI Studios
Paul Skipper/JPI Studios

But will that “moving on” include a new relationship with Jordan ()? Gering wasn’t able to spill a single detail regarding that story or the actress (besides the fact that Stause is a super sweet girl and quite funny, to boot), but he did point out that no matter what happens, he’s pretty sure many fans are still holding out hope for “Safe.” “There are a lot of people who want Sami and Rafe together, and obviously, that’s not happening right now. But those people still hold onto that,” he says. “Soap fans are the most loyal fans in the world, bar none. They’re amazing. So that camp will always root for that, unless something comes along to make them change.”

Meanwhile, he’s been slightly shocked to notice a big fan base for Rafe and Kate (), as well! “I was really, really surprised with this really excitable young fan base, the Wild Cats, as I call them: Wild girls tweeting, hundreds of them, out of nowhere, that really loved this relationship,” he shares. “And I think they loved the relationship because it was easy. It wasn’t this headache of a thing, and the characters just went into it head over heels. [The reaction was] overwhelmingly positive from my standpoint.”

So, just to recap, we have lying in a bed for weeks on end, watching YouTube coma recovery videos and monitoring fan opinions regarding onscreen romantic pairings as some of the activities Gering gets paid to do. Doesn’t sound too bad, eh? “I am so fortunate,” he says in agreement. “Having this job has really been a Godsend in that, because of our shooting schedule and the fact that we have 16 or 17 weeks off a year, I’m able to spend time with my family [wife, Jenna, and sons Dillon, 7, and Jensen, 5). All of those things are so great, and they make this job one of the best jobs, in my opinion, that one could have, certainly in the entertainment industry. And the people here are so nice and cool. It’s a win/win.”

  • Janet

    This man is a joke. And not even a funny one at that. DOOL made a huge mistake hiring this horse’s ass. I just wish Corday would get over the boner he has for this man and cut him loose.

    • Rhiannon

      ITA with everything you said. I can’t believe he tried to make it sound like the audience wants SAFE. No we don’t. He can keep his hairy ape hands to himself. EJAMI is what we want.

    • melody

      Ken Corday hasn’t known what the audience wanted in decades. I still can’t believe he thought people would like Safe. It was like watching someone make out with a Down’s patient out of sympathy. I liked him on Passions, but since he joined Days he and his interviews have been seriously lacking.

  • soapgal

    I am not a Rafe fan, but I do hope I end up liking Rafe and Jordan. It seems obvious that GG is unhappy that Safe was split up and he holds animosity from being removed from a front-burner storyline which you are pretty much guaranteed when working with Ali Sweeney. I liked GG as Luis, but I always have hated Rafe. He is unlikable, smug, and sanctimonious. Ejami are Days’ golden couple and NBC knows it.

  • Hugo

    Wow… some of the comments are pathetic. I understand not liking Rafe but you don’t have to be mean and disrespectful to Galen. He’s just doing his job, he plays what the writers give him. And not everybody is on the Ejami wagon, some viewers like Safe or Lumi, some don’t care about Sami and her men. I’m sure most of the comments Galen is receiving on twitter or facebook come from the Safe fans so it seems normal that he aknowledges/thanks them in an interview.

    • DAYS Fan Annoyed By Fan Wars

      Make sure you go read the James Scott interview on this same site, and then go call the poster who wrote disrespectful crap about James Scott on such a personal level “Pathetic” too!

      Even though I DON’T like Rafe or the pairing of Sami and Rafe, I don’t agree with the posts dissing GG on a personal. I find that it’s uncalled for, but unfortunately BOTH sides of the fanbase wars do it!

      I am a EJami fan and feel that we can be more classy and not sink down to the level of the idiots that are disrespectful to James Scott because they hate EJ.

    • Considering how Galen Gering has treated a lot of people on Twitter (he’s called people bad mothers and worse) and some of the questionable things that he’s said (starfish, the Dick Clark jokes, etc.). I can completely understand some of the animosity toward the man. I’m not saying that the people who said things about him personally in these comments have been mistreated by him, but I can understand where they’re coming from if he has. The guy has been a bit of a jerk to a lot of people and that’s really off putting to quite a few. You may not think he deserves the vitriol and maybe he doesn’t, but I happen to think he invites a lot of it with his actions.

  • Chip

    Great interview. I’ve always liked Galen from back on his days on Passions, and I think he’s done a fantastic job as Rafe. This physical therapy story has been well done, and Galen has done some really amazing work. I like the chemistry he has with Jordan, so I hope we see more of that coming up.

  • Sandy

    I like GG, and I am not a Rafe fan, as for which couple you prefer
    why do you need to slam others favorite. I can’t stand EJ & Sami a victim
    falling in love with a rapist is not a love story and many feel the same way, having
    said that, I let it go.
    Days has only one other couple in Sonny and Will that I cheer for and it is sad
    for a show that once had the best couples in Daytime and they all had screen
    time, unlike today. Maybe, Jordan will spice Rafe up here is hoping!

  • Ann

    Thanks for a great Galen Gering interview. Galen is doing a great job with the rehab/physical therapy and I loved that he gave a shout out to all of his fan bases. I loved Rafe with Sami but am looking forward to seeing what is in store for Rafe and Jordan. They make a beautiful couple. I like their playful teasing but can’t wait to see more of the pair!