‘DAYS’ Executive Producer Reveals True Story Behind the Chandler Massey/Guy Wilson Recast!

Mitchell Haaseth/NBC; File Archive
(left) Mitchell Haaseth/NBC; (right) File Archive
(left) Mitchell Haaseth/NBC; (right) File Archive
Thomas A. Montalto/MontaltoPhotos.com
Thomas Montalto

Recasting pivotal roles always comes with a rollercoaster of equal parts praise and equal parts critique, but “Days of our Lives’” decision to recast the role of Will in what seemed like mere moments after the announcement that Chandler Massey was departing the role has seen rumblings closer to an earthquake than a mere thrill ride. Viewers have questioned whether the show’s decision to bring Guy Wilson in was a way to stick it to Massey for leaving the role he’d made popular over the last three years, and some even questioned why Massey was leaving the show in the first place. The Backlot, an online publication that calls itself the corner of Hollywood and gay, managed to snag an interview with “DAYS” co-executive producer, Greg Meng, to get the inside scoop!

“It’s real simple,” Meng states about the sudden recast. “There was a lot of accuracy and inaccuracy in the press. Chandler is not on the show right now. We have an incredible actor on board that is able to take the reins from this role that Chandler did an amazing job creating. And we found somebody who’s extremely talented… but more than talented, he’s so sensitive to this role and so sensitive to the story and the relationship and all that stuff. So we feel that we were very, very lucky to find somebody who wanted to take the reins. It’s an extremely difficult thing to do because Chandler had created such a wonderful role here, played it so sensitively and everything. So we think we found him, and we are very lucky to have somebody that will take those reins that Chandler handed to him and go forward with that…”

“No ugliness, no weirdness,” he continues. “It was all done within the family, with Chandler and everything based on his future plans and based on where we needed to go with the story. I even told Chandler, I said laughingly, ‘This is your fault because you’ve created such an amazing character here and the storyline is so amazing and we’ve got major places to go with that and we can’t lose momentum.’ He was always fine with that, but he’s got plans. So it all worked out very well. It’s just gotten some misinterpretation out there.”

As for why Wilson seemed like a good replacement, Meng says it was a mix of physicality and sensitivity for the storyline. “You obviously look for some sort of physical similarity on some level,” he says. “You’re not looking for a cookie cutter because these are human beings and actors, and they have to make [the part] their own. But it’s beyond just looks. It has a lot to do with the sensitivity to the story and what we want to do with it and the eagerness of an actor to really get inside that storyline. And even more importantly the chemistry between whatever other key characters are important with that role…I’m telling you, [Guy Wilson’s] not only doing Chandler justice with what he created in this role, but he’s inside it. I’m telling you, you will love him.”

For more from Meng regarding the future of Will, as well as Will and Sonny’s (Freddie Smith) relationship, click here.