Strolling into a large and quiet stage space just north of Hollywood, “’” (ex-EJ DiMera) looks as gorgeous as ever. But it’s not the “tall, dark and handsome” thing he usually emanates that’s turning heads. Rather, it’s a calm, relaxed and seriously happy vibe that’s giving him a remarkable glow and an aura of magnetism. You don’t want to sit next to him because he’s cute; you want to sit next to him because he’s happy. So much so, it appears it just might rub off. And the reason that the actor is all smiles? He tells Soap Opera Network that, completely free of a soap opera contract for the first time in 10 years after a combined run as EJ and “’s” Ethan Cambias, he is well-rested, inspired, and looking forward to the next chapter in his thus-far very charmed life.

Though there are quite a few “DAYS” fans secretly hoping that Scott has been miserable since leaving the show and will consequently come rushing back to the Salem screen, he admits that those fantasies couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, his decision to walk away from the show was a long time coming — and one he has never second-guessed since originally coming to the decision almost two years ago. “I certainly knew and have known for several years that I needed a break, and I knew when I resigned my contract in May of last year, 2013, that it would be my last year,” he says. “Subsequently, in around September, I told [executive producer] Ken [Corday], because there was no reason not to; I had made up my mind. I almost left the year before, I almost did. And then I thought, ‘No, I’ll stay for one more year.’ I wanted to give the writers time to be able to tie up the storyline. And you know, I’m glad that I did. I’m glad that I stayed one more year than I initially intended.”

Howard Wise/JPI Studios
Howard Wise/JPI Studios

Losing Scott’s EJ — a leading character on the canvas — may have come as quite a blow for Corday, but if so, he seems to have handled it well. At least, that’s what it seems from Scott’s description of the conversation in which he told his boss that he didn’t plan on renewing his contract with the drama series. “I had been on that show for eight years, and I had called over to Ken’s office to ask to talk to him on two prior occasions, so I think he understood that whatever it was that I wanted to talk about was important,” the Newcastle Upon Tyne, England native recalls. “He knew that my mind was made up and he sort of said it in the conversation, he said, ‘Is there anything I can say to change your mind?’ And I said, ‘No, there’s nothing at all that you could say that would change my mind,’ because it really wasn’t about the show; it was about me. And he was very graceful, as he always is, and I enjoyed the conversation with him tremendously. And I think it was received as well as I could have hoped that it would be received.

RELATED: EJ’s Final ‘DAYS’ Moment – Simple Murder, Or Simply Brilliant? You Decide!

“He appreciated, I think, that I came to him so early, because it afforded them the opportunity to be able to write something, which was my intention,” he continues. “Because I’ve seen actors who have had their contract coming up, and you know, ‘Are they going to stay? Are they going to go?’ They haven’t quite made up their mind, or maybe they’re playing a game, because sometimes in negotiations, people play games. And it was very important to me that he knew that I was not playing a game. It wasn’t a ruse to try and squeeze more money or something like that, because that was never an issue. They have always been very, very generous in the way they have rewarded me for my work.”

So then, what exactly led to Scott’s decision to walk away from daytime? Simply put, he fell out of love. “I went to work and I had fun, but the passion and the enthusiasm and the resonance that I had with the work had dissipated,” he reveals. “And I personally feel like I wasn’t really doing the kind of work that I was doing four years ago. I don’t think that I cared as much as I did. I don’t feel that my work was up to the standard that I wanted it to be, and that was because I wasn’t as passionate about it, frankly, as I would like to be, in anything that I do. And that’s a big sign for me, ‘You need some change.’”

  • Annette Walker

    Good for him!! He deserves a break and I wish him the best in everything that he does! 🙂

    • sc

      you know it, he kept things alive, the old man keeps doing the same things, same evil , same story line , I think james would make a great new blood for a 007 Bond movie.!!!

  • lulu

    I will miss him as Ej Dimera, but i totally understand him wanting to try some new roles..i never really understood how some soap actors could continue playing the same part for decades if not more…
    However i disagree with him about the baby-switch story, the fallout was good otherwise Ej was totally dumbed down in order to make the story work, and it dragged for years..ugh..i did not like much Ej at this time and not because he was ‘evil’ but because he was quite dumb and dare i say it..dull.
    As the ‘evil’ incarnation of the character he was so much better in 2007, where he showed at the same time he was twisted, also some great love and devotion.

  • chris343

    love that he is staying true to himself and leaving at a time where he doesn’t hate his character. Many times people get pingeon holed into one character and can never branch out. I would love to see him to something like NCIS or Law and Order as a detective or even comedy sitcom just to see what other roles he can pull off.
    If he ever did go back to Days, I think it would be great for Johnny to have been influenced negatively by the Dimera shadow and EJ have to deal with the evil by his own child. He was always under Stefano’s thumb so for him to think he escaped the grasp of it it all…it would show that at the time he left the show he really was wanting to be a better person.
    He and Alison did amazing acting on these last episodes!

  • Tiana Evans

    would love to see him on crimals minds

    • Guest

      Me too. As a murder victim. LOL

      • Nasmir Fellows

        Well they did have a former Days cast member as one doing the murdering. He was a psycho, if I recall.

        • WhateverMan

          On Criminal Minds? I gave up on that show after Mandy Patinkin left it for Homeland.

  • Joel

    I’d love to see him tackle some film roles and primetime series; EJ’s end seemed right, and while I’ll miss James on my television almost every single day, I respect his decision to leave. As for another soap, he could try Y&R or GH. But I don’t want him immediately going to another soap; I hope he deserves all the time off he rightfully deserves.

  • KansasGuest

    If he wants to do something completely different from EJ, he needs to try a sitcom (NEW GIRL? MODERN FAMILY?), an action/comic-inspired drama (ARROW?), or something on cable (like TNT’s THE LAST SHIP). He needs to stop wearing the business suit and start getting his hands dirty. Literally.

    • Leann

      If James wanted to try his hand at PrimeTime, how about the “Good Wife” he already knows how to play an attorney, and I would love to watch him take Cary’s place. Just wishing!!

      • Guest

        He’d never make the cut to get a part on The Good Wife. The writing and acting is way out of his league.

        • lulu

          It is just YOUR opinion guest..and you don’t know what the futur will be..wink wink.

  • Jen

    I can totally understand him being burned out from Days of Our Lives. I’m burned out just as a viewer. The show isn’t anywhere near as good as it used to be and just keeps getting worse. He and Alison Sweeney were the show’s saving graces and now they don’t even have them. It’s sad that they couldn’t come up with a better exit than the light speed murder by an extra scenario for his character. I would have liked to have seen Sami and EJ exit together in some way. Oh well. Good luck, James! I can’t wait to see you on something new!

    • Felicia Thomas

      I only watched Days for their scenes in the last 2 years or so. Allison and James had great scenes epsecially with the baby switch and when he first arrived. The whole affair story line had me deleting Days from my DVR before even watching it until Allison’s character confronted Abby. Then of course when EJ is killed it broke my heart. So I can see why he would want to do something different and spread his wings as you said. I do hope he takes his time coming back to Days if he does and they give him some meat to work with.

  • Theresia

    I’m glad he’s happy. It’s been hard not to see him on days but, I hope he can move past just being a soap star into mainstream stardom. Good luck James will always miss you as ej

  • sands of time

    Glad to be rid of him.

    • Guest

      We think alike.

  • he’s earned the right to be in this place in his career he gave us a good character now wants to see what else is out there.Can’t blame him for not being creatively fulfilled,if its not working anymore what else was he to do.I will say though i don’t think we’ve seen the last of him on here

  • lulu

    Ok first everybody is entitled to their own opinion therefore i can think what i want.
    I do acting, theatre to be precise and i know i would not want to be tied to the same character for decades, what i love in acting is being able to play different type of characters..After a while, if the character get stale (and most of the time it happens even more on soaps) i am getting bored and want to be/play someone else, to be able to play some other/different situation..so i just said i can understand what JS is feeling.
    But i respect actors aka veterans who stays on these shows fo years and years..you has to be full or ressource in order to keep the character fresh, it is a challenge..even more when the writing is weak (like it is the case with Days IMHO). For example Ali Sweeney who is leaving too Days, stayed for something like 22 years, it is impressive to me and she managed to keep her character very dynamic all these years but i know i could not do it.
    Love James and love Ejami.

    • Nasmir Fellows

      That’s due to Sami’s character being more evil than good in the past. Remember the Stan storyline? Lol

    • sc

      I hear you, he has to move on, maybe a james bond type role, while there’s still time, He needs to refresh his skills.!!!

  • Carolyn

    I think he’d make a SUPER — James Bond 007

  • Guest

    I never got all the hype over him, as an actor. I thought he had zero chemistry with Sweeney and I, for one, am really not impressed with his acting.

    I know I’m probably in the minority, since a lot of daytime fans tie their perception of a person’s acting ability with their appearance (the “prettier,” the better) but I just felt nothing for him.

    • Nasmir Fellows

      You are, in the minority that is.

      • WhateverMan

        Face it, poll any ten men (who aren’t physically attracted to him) and ask them about his acting. It’s not that good. There’s hardly any range. And when he is expected to act weak, sad, hurt, etc., he’s terrible.

        • lulu

          I just think the total opposite. So ‘WhateverMan or Guest’ i bet you are the same person..how pathetic..
          Therefore i disagree totally with you (and many other share my pov) which just confirm what you can think about his looks, chemistry with costars and acting talent is just your opinion..nothing more.

          • WhateverMan

            Yes, dummy. It’s just one person’s opinion.

    • realitycheck

      Sweeney and Scott had the best chemistry a soap pairing could have in decades… They did not become so popular despite the awful writing thrown at them for no reason. For real.

      • WhateverMan

        Rafe (or even, for God’s sake, Lucas) was (were) better choices for Sami than that Frankenstein DiMera.

  • Did I

    I have always said he would make a great James Bond!!!!

    • sc

      a action bond, I think is a great start, pierce bronson look, and he should keep his accent, that is who he is, and sorry about my spelling.!!!!

  • Nycslave76

    James Scott should play a new guy in Bridget Jones’ life in the movie since Hugh Grant dropped out.

  • Panda Paws

    I will miss EJ on Days as his storyline was the only interesting thing lately on the show but I can understand the need for change after all these years. I think he should try his hand at Eastenders in the UK (another soap) which I absolutely loved while living in England.

  • Nasmir Fellows

    Show is funnier now. JJ sleeping with Eve, and Hope with Aiden, totally forgetting poor Bo. Jordan with Chad, and Serena trying to bed Eric,not to mention, Abigail getting some with Ben, and poor Maggie as loony as ever. Good times, for Days

    • Sharon Jesse

      Paul is Korean not Japanese, and what does his ethnic background have to do with it?

  • Katie

    I never would have thought that when Ethan Cambias showed up in Pine Valley wooing Kendall that James Scott would go on to be huge at Days of our Lives sounds like he needed and deserved a break, I do hope he returns eventually loved his portrayal of EJ.

    • Bernadene

      I will really mis jame scot/EJ he is a very very good actor, he is very handsome to hehe. And i like the way je talks and he,s accent too

    • lulu

      Nope, James deserves better than Days of our lives. Period.

  • Carolyn Levesque

    I’m happy that James has found so much serenity but sad I won’t see him for awhile on TV. If he did come back to Dool for it to work Ali would have to return because 1 without the other is incomplete. Ejami was a super couple. They were amazing together & I can’t imagine either of them with another mate.

  • medavinci

    I’d love to see him as James Bond, or I wonder if he’d consider comedy…now that would be something diametrically opposite of EJ! He says he has no family and nothing tying him down. I wonder if he is still with his girlfriend or if they broke up. He’s a terrific actor and deserves better than soaps…I hope he finds what he is looking for inside or outside the entertainment industry!

    • sc

      He would be great as a bond, he has the pierce broson look, sorry about the spelling, but you are right, that was my first thought.!!!

  • Sexe douce sensationnel

    Really wanted to SEE him in 50 shades of grey.I probably would have watched the movie LOL

    • E

      I always thought he was the perfect guy to be Grey and Alison Sweeny was perfect for Ana
      LOL
      PERFECT COUPLE

  • Guest

    Even tho I miss James Scott on Days, he deserves to be happy…He is an excellent actor, but you know when something is not working for you anymore….He radiates happiness and inner peace….
    I love his passion concerning animal abuse and environmental issues…There is so much more to him then just being an actor…Wishing you all the best James…