Alison Sweeney (Christine Fix/Soaps.com)
Alison and Megan (Alison Dyer/People)
I recently spoke with Alison Sweeney (Sami, Days) about her contribution to the American Pharmacists Association and McNeil Consumer Healthcare campaign to promote allergy relief (the interview can be read here) and since I had her on the phone, I took the opportunity to chat her up regarding her love of social media, as well as what’s to come on Days of our Lives.
Since Alison also just had a baby, I first congratulated the actress on her new bundle of joy, Megan, who she described as ‘beautiful’ and ‘cute.’ I also wondered how her son Ben was handling the new addition to the family. “He’s actually been great about it,” she shared. “He just turned four and he’s so cute about his baby sister. He’s calls her cutie pie and Megany Wegany. It’s really cute.”
Even though she is busy with two kids and two jobs (Days and Biggest Loser), Alison still takes time to interact with her fans by way of blogging on the NBC website, as well as other outlets such as Facebook and Twitter. As with many people, Alison has definitely caught the social media bug, exclaiming, “I’m obsessed! For the longest time I was like, ‘Facebook? What is that? Why do people do that?’ And my friends were laughing at me like, ‘Oh you’ll get on it and you’ll be addicted to it.’ And I was like, ‘I don’t even know what you’re talking about. I have no interest.’ And the next thing you know I am addicted to Facebook and Twitter. It’s seriously not normal. I do it from set and I just have so much fun, like I was watching the sound check of Prince from “The Tonight Show” concert on NBC last week and I was out there with this crowd of like a hundred plus NBC employees all watching Prince’s sound check and the first thing I thought was, ‘I have to tweet about this. This so cool!’ When I realized that was my instinct, I thought, ‘Oh, God. What has happened to you?'”
Keeping up with her fans has always been important to Alison and she certainly doesn’t take them for granted, as she told me, “I love it. I love involving the fans. I’ve always tried to stay really active with the fans because obviously they’re so important to what we do and never more so true than in Daytime and certainly in our financial climate right now and making sure our fans know how much we care about them. I just enjoy it.”
If you follow Alison online, then you know she often tweets while on set at Days. For example, she updated her fans the very first time her British co-star, James Scott (EJ), enjoyed a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Stunned that James had never eaten one before, Alison recalled, “I was like, ‘You’ve been in this country for so long’ and he’s like, ‘It’s a kid thing’ and I was like, ‘It’s an everybody thing.’”
Involving the fans and keeping them interested in Daytime has always been important, but maybe never more so than right now, especially with the recent news that Guiding Light has been cancelled. Upon being asked what she thought about this latest development, Alison replied, “I think it’s really sad to see such an amazing show to be taken off the air. It’s been a staple, it’s a main part, certainly of Daytime and television in general, for so long and so it’s sad to see it go and I think it’s just a reminder of how hard we all have to work to keep our favorite shows on the air. We work really hard at Days to make sure that we’re doing the best possible show we can to get as many viewers watching regularly. If you’re a fan of Daytime you gotta tune in, you gotta keep watching.”
Even though Days has recently let go several members of their veteran cast and there seems to be a general feeling of instability surrounding Daytime these days, Alison remains positive about the show she’s called home for the past sixteen years.
“We’ve had great ratings the last month in a row and it just seems like the show is going really strongly right now," she enthused. "Unfortunately, we’ve had to say goodbye to some amazing cast members and it’s so sad to see Drake (Hogestyn, John) and Dee (Deidre Hall, Marlena) not on the canvas everyday, to not be working with them. I miss them so much. They were like my mom and dad on the show, Roman is still there, but Drake has always been like a dad to me and so we miss them every single day.”
While some of Alison’s co-stars have left, others have entered her life, namely, Galen Gering (Rafe), who Sweeney couldn’t be happier to work with. “He’s so much fun. He is so much fun to work with and we’re having a great time. It’s funny because I’ve known him for so long from Passions. NBC is such a great family and we’re so lucky to be in an industry where we are like a family unit where even all the soaps, all the actors know each other from all the different soaps. We’re all friends and it is like a family, so having Galen and Eric (Martsolf, Brady) join the cast, it was so great to see them because we go way back.”
Since we were on the topic of the men in Sami’s life, I asked who she thought Sami should be with: Lucas, EJ or Rafe?
“Oh my gosh, are you trying to get me in trouble with my fans? You can’t ask that,” she laughed. “I tweet a lot, but that is one topic I am now scared to talk about because you say one thing and the fans get all kinds of crazy on you. Here’s the thing: I couldn’t be luckier. I love working with James, I love working with Galen, I love working with Bryan (Dattilo, Lucas). I enjoy Sami’s character right now. It’s so interesting to see how she’s grown and changed. I think the relationship with Rafe is definitely a different one from the way she’s been in the past and I think Sami’s different right now, the way they’re writing her is more, she’s growing up in some ways so it’s fun to play that. So I’m really enjoy the storyline and the direction it’s taking right now. I’m just along for the ride so we’ll see where it takes me.”
That ride also includes the whole baby switch thing Sami is a victim of. I wondered how long Sami would remain in the dark about which baby is really hers, but even though Alison couldn’t give me specifics, she did preview what’s to come. “I don’t know how long it’s going to go, but I can tell you the scenes we’re shooting for May are so emotional, so amazing. This is a really great story and Ari (Zucker, Nicole) and I were talking about this yesterday, and we were saying there are some very emotional scenes coming up that are going right into May and every character has such a strong motive, such a strong perspective in these scenes. It’s so well written and crafted the way we all come together and the whole show in this very emotional setting and it’s really, really powerful stuff and so great to watch,” she teased.
Of course the storyline will also include more catfights between Sami and Nicole, as Alison promised, “You know, you’re always going to see your Nicole versus Sami. It’s good stuff. We have fun working together.”
It definitely sounds like there are some great things coming down the pike, but if you can’t wait to find out what’s going to happen, keep an eye on the Spoilers and check out Alison on Facebook and Twitter!
- Lori Wilson