Soaps.com recently had the opportunity to chat with Days of Our Lives star James Scott, who plays the evil and manipulative, but still vulnerable, EJ DiMera. Read on as James discusses his views on what makes his character tick, whether EJ truly loves Sami, getting the best of Stefano, and much more!
Soaps.com: EJ DiMera is arguably the hottest character on Days right now. It seems like every second post on the Soaps.com message boards is about him. How is EJ so engaging?
James: That is very kind of you! [chuckles] I think the reason why EJ is so engaging is because he's such an interesting character. He's one of the few characters on the show that really has a lot going on. I try to make him interesting to watch because of this bad side he has. He has this side to him that's not entirely honest. I try to avoid making him out to be one of these characters that doesn't have some of the more vulnerable qualities that are easy to forget about when, every five minutes, you're just being a tough guy. And I think by doing that, by making him more human or by giving him some of these shortcomings, I'd like to think it makes him more interesting. You certainly don't always get somebody who's just a toughie. EJ lands on his face almost as much as he lands on his feet. And that's what I like about him! [laughs] But I did not know that he was so commented about on your website. I certainly need to go have a look!
Soaps.com: There are viewers who love EJ and viewers who love to hate EJ! Either way, it seems that everyone's got an opinion on your character. But according to you – what is EJ DeMira all about? What makes EJ tick?
James: That's a good question. That's kind of an interesting one. You see, EJ's pretty reactionary in his life. Often his deeds and actions are really defined by other people. For example, kidnapping Sydney is something EJ would not have done if not for the fact that he felt so betrayed by Samantha. Going after Samantha in the first place is not really something he would have done, or maybe he wouldn't have done, if not for the fact that he was instructed to do it by his father. I don't feel you often get a very strong sense as to who EJ really is. He's often reacting to situations which is really a sign of weakness. I don't think he's this super cool, strong character. He's somebody who's not as together as he might like to think he is. He has his moments and certainly learns a lot from his father. But he's not his father. He's coming into it in a way, but he has a long way to go before he's able to really be as calculated as Stefano.
Soaps.com: At this moment, does EJ really have good intentions where Sami is concerned?
James: He does, absolutely! But the fans have every reason to doubt EJ because he's not demonstrated that he's reliable. The one thing I have played consistently for a long time is that EJ loves Sami. Even when EJ hated Sami, he only really hated her because he loved her. So there is no doubt in my mind, as the actor who plays EJ, that the only person who has really shown EJ how love feels, or how it can feel, is Sami. And I think they're an obvious couple, you know. They're very similar to each other, which is the reason it works and also the reason why it hasn't worked so far. I would love very much for them to be able to get over some of the stuff they've done to each other. I think they could have a lot of fun as a couple. But I mean, really, for the last 18-24 months, Sami has been little innocent Sami Brady. The last 14 years? She's a bitch! [laughs]
Soaps.com: [laughs] Couldn't have said it any better myself!
James: [laughs] Exactly. Let's not forget who we're dealing with. But like I said, her and EJ have a great deal in common. They're cut from the same cloth. I believe that if they were given the opportunity to have that relationship, it would really be a good one.
James: I don't know. And I say that because I really, really don't know! [chuckles] The show is keeping fairly tight-lipped over this. If it doesn't happen soon, or this time around, I would eventually like to see the writers write that story. And I think Alison (Sweeney, Sami Brady, DOOL) has said the same thing. You see, EJ and Sami have never really been together. Never. They've kissed a couple of times, they've had sex twice, once under a certain amount of duress, and another time when it was just a one-shot deal that was interrupted by Lucas! These characters have never really been allowed to breathe, but if they were given that opportunity, you would see something really special. I think the fact that there's this much support for a couple that's never really happened, it definitely speaks volumes.
Soaps.com: If Sami and EJ don't end up working out, what other character might we see EJ hook up with?
James: I don't know, really, to be honest ...
Soaps.com: Some fans have been throwing Arianna's name around ...
James: EJ doesn't really know Arianna. They don't really have a relationship, or even a friendship, other than a pocketful of scenes together here and there. So there's not a huge amount going on, although she's very attractive and seems very sweet. The writers would have to write something that would allow things to develop, and they haven't done that yet.
Soaps.com: Let's get back to what you said earlier about EJ's relationship with Stefano. Would you say that EJ one-upped him with the “Sydnapping?” And should we expect the power to shift anytime soon in this father/son duo?
James: Do I think EJ one-upped Stefano? Yes, he did. He pulled the wool over his father's eyes. It's not very often that you get to pull a fast one on Stefano! [Chuckles] But now Stefano knows and is working it to his own advantage. At the end of the day, it's EJ who's going to be led around by his short and curlies!
- Mario Rocchetta