Interview: Days of our Lives’ Charles Shaughnessy
“Like a comfortable pair of slippers.”
When Charles Shaughnessy came back to “Days” earlier this month as ISA agent Shane Donovan, he brought his boyish charm and smooth voice to help his friends out of a DiMera-sized pickle. His time in Salem is almost up, but he assures us how he is always open to returning. Before his departure he spoke with Soaps.com about his other upcoming projects and enduring respect for Daytime fans.
Soaps.com: The fans love that you are back on the show. How much longer can we expect to see Shane in Salem?
Shaughnessy: Unfortunately not too long. Just a couple days and then he sort of wanders out and disappears, which is like what often happens on the soaps. I was talking the other day with someone that when I first got on there was a character they told me about, one of the Horton kids who went up to get a kite and no one ever mentioned him again. It is a bit like that. In a couple of days Shane and Roman (Josh Taylor) say we are going to check out some things at headquarters and make a couple of phone calls, we’ll see you later. And then we leave and it is the last time we see him. It is a brief cameo sadly. It was fun. I wish it had been longer.
Soaps.com: How were you approached about your return?
Shaughnessy: Every now and again they ask how I feel about a return and it was about 10 shows. It worked out with my schedule at that time, and it is always a recurring situation. It is very comfortable for all sides and I love going back. I enjoy ‘Days’. I really enjoy the work there and the people. It is like a comfortable pair of slippers you can put on and off. That is how it worked.
Soaps.com: A lot of the same people are there so it must be like visiting family.
Shaughnessy: Yes. It is fantastic. This time especially, going into a scene and there is Bo and Hope and John Black and Marlena and Roman all trying to diffuse Stefano DiMera’s bomb, that was really déjà vu. It was like I never left. Everyone is slightly grayer, slightly slower, but otherwise exactly the same. It was really fun.
Soaps.com: Can you give us any details about what it was like to film the safe house explosion scenes?
Shaughnessy: It was fun. It was like, I remember this. It was like suddenly getting back on a bicycle after a few years off. It was fun having to pretend there is a big explosion, rolling over and then fighting with Roman. “No Roman, you can’t go back in there! Don’t go in there!” And so they come through the mist and they are alive. It was all very Days-ian and fun to do. During the explosion everyone blocks their ears and they are very good there. The effects are very quick and well-organized and safe. Of course now, it is just a tighter budget and tighter time constraints so everything has to happen quicker and more contained than we used to. We use to be able to spend half a day blowing up a cave or something. That is no longer the case, but it was great.
Soaps.com: So we can expect to see you back in Salem in the future?
Shaughnessy: I hope so. I would love to. It is like another family and it is just a great place to go work and play. In a way this tight schedule means it is an awful lot of work, it is very hard. But at the same time, it is nice like that. I like working. On a lot of shows there is a lot of time sitting around while everyone twiddles their thumbs or adjusts a light or two. On 'Days' you hit the ground running and you keep running until you go home. It is a great work environment.
Soaps.com: What other projects are you working on now?
Shaughnessy: I have been doing a few episodes of the Nickelodeon show 'Victorious', which if you have anyone under 15 in your house, they all know it. There is a big double header airing this Saturday which I am in. I am playing a record producer who seems to be getting all of the singers under his thumb, and then I went back and filmed another episode which will be on later in the summer. I did 'Castle'. I am just sort of doing odds and ends here and there and that is kind of the nature of the beast. There is a movie that might or might not be happening at some point soon. I am attached to it, but they are still trying to get the final funding for it. That is kind of how it is for an actor. You just kind of roll along to your next gig, but I like it like that. You never know what you are going to be doing next.
Soaps.com: Is there anything you want to say to 'Days' fans?
Shaughnessy: I am so aware that, unlike any other medium, the soaps are fan generated and I want to thank them for their continual support and for tuning in to see the shows and to see me. Now with social media I am very aware of their response and it is interesting because you can see what people are saying and thinking and I appreciate them all very much. I hope that everyone is able to deliver the kind of show that they expect. Fans are an important ingredient and I think with the growth of social media it is getting more and more relevant. They are more audible now, which is kind of exciting.
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