As we previously reported, “Days of our Lives’” Freddie Smith (Sonny Kiriakis) revealed to Soap Opera Network that Guy Wilson will replace Chandler Massey onscreen in the role of Will Horton beginning in January 2014. And now, we have the details of the transition, including Smith’s thoughts on the controversial super-quick recast and how Wilson is fitting into the role.
“I’m the middle man who keeps getting asked about it,” Smith says with a laugh over being slightly hounded by the media to comment on Massey’s departure and Wilson’s start in the role. “But basically, what’s most important is that the storyline continues on, because it’s a wonderful story. I’ve had so much positive feedback, and it’s really been life changing for some people. And to think our work can do that? It’s really cool. It’s helped people come out of the closet and tell their parents, and it’s great. I miss Chandler. We started this journey together. But I also love working with Guy. He’s an incredible person.”
In order to keep the momentum of the story going, both Smith and Wilson thought it was important to get to know each other well in an extremely short amount of time. “We spent a week together, him and I, hanging out every day, going to lunch, because we really wanted to just cram in two years of ‘let’s get to know each other,’” he shares. “So we told stories and talked and talked and hung out, and we’re now good friends.”
In fact, Smith says he and his new co-star had “instant chemistry,” even though Wilson’s take on the character is different from Massey’s. “He’s bringing a new little twist to the character, making it his own, which I think is what a person should do,” he says. “So it’s just been interesting. For me, I just had to ride the wave and go where it was going… [Adjusting to a new face] was challenging, but at the end of the day, it’s nice to have those challenges, so you leave work going, ‘Today was hard, and I did well.’”
As for the transition onscreen, Smith says it’s about as quick as the news of the character’s recast was! “If you blink and open your eyes, you’ll be like, ‘Wait, there’s a new Will?!’” he reveals. “It’s literally just ‘BOOM!’”
But he assures fans that the sudden switch will all make sense in the end. “I’m not allowed to say much, but I think people will understand the timing of it, once it airs,” he teases. “I’m excited to get the material out there so that he can talk about it and I can talk about it and he’s onscreen. Right now, it’s just everyone saying, ‘Oh my God, I’m so excited,’ or ‘I’m so pissed,’ so I just want it to get out there!”