Watch Freddie Smith & Chandler Massey Speak Out on Shocking Details Surrounding Days Firings, “The Ultimate Burn”
Image: Jill Johnson/JPI
Days of our Lives actors saw the writing on the wall.
Soaps.com recently reported that Freddie Smith and Chandler Massey were exiting Days of our Lives as the popular couple Sonny Kiriakis and Will Horton. Massey joined Smith and his wife Alyssa Tabit on their podcast, The Freddie & Alyssa Show to discuss what happened. After Thanksgiving 2019, Days of our Lives shut down as Corday Productions, Sony and NBC entered talks to renew the show. Eventually, Days was renewed for a 56th season. Before the official renewal, Smith and Massey were asked, along with other cast members, to return and film 6 episodes over a three-week period. At the time the renewal wasn’t official, so no new contracts were given out. Both actors expected to be given new contracts and continue working. When they got the first of the six scripts both of them saw the writing on the wall. “It didn’t look good, it didn’t look promising,” remarked Smith. Upon receiving the sixth script Massey was shocked and thought, “Surely something will change.” While they couldn’t reveal the fate of their characters, both admitted they were stunned to learn their story came to an unfinished end through reading the scripts. Confused, they went to talk to an unnamed producer after filming their second episode of the six. The producer they described was allegedly caught off guard, never met their eyes, and mentioned how this is never easy news to deliver. Massey described the conversation as having a weird vibe. They don’t know if the producer felt bad the situation was happening, or that nobody bothered to talk about it with them. Smith thought after nine years he would have gotten a call explaining that they were taking a break with the characters, and perhaps that they were excited to celebrate their last six episodes.
At the time of filming the podcast, Smith had one more day of taping left, with Massey having two, which Smith called “the ultimate burn after hiatus.” Neither actor has heard from anyone higher-ups at the show and has received no calls about why this decision was made. Massey knows it’s a business and they can’t fault them for wanting to write the stories they want to write, but noted that it would have been nice to have been told something after so many years. He remarked, “These are people we know and worked with and have a relationship with and really have a lot of love for. It just feels kind of shitty to be honest, to be dropped like that.”
Smith noted that the two of them, along with Christopher Sean (Paul Narita) when he was there, went straight to tape in their scenes more than anyone. That is, they didn’t have to do a rehearsal scene before they taped the scene. Smith believes this saved the show 70K dollars an hour every three days. Massey took pride in saving time and money, which is what made their termination more puzzling because they weren’t bad employees. Both agreed it had nothing to do with them, the fans, and was more about the heads deciding out of thirty-five cast members which two to get rid of. When the producer came out and worked on every scene of the final six episodes with them, something they rarely did, they also knew it was over. Smith felt it created an awkwardness with those who could have told them, but didn’t. Everyone else on set was saying their goodbyes to them except those in charge who made the decision.
The day after filming the podcast they were set to shoot their last scene together, and both believed nobody was going to talk to them about the situation. Both actors would return to the show if asked and depending on the timing. They also realized they didn’t have too many character flaws, and the template of their stories was always that something bad happens to Will and Sonny. If they returned, Massey would like to pitch that their characters have flaws, problems, and demons, in the hopes that these would be written in to give them more to sink their teeth into. Smith felt the break from their characters could help explain their return with issues.
Smith believed the importance of their storyline kept them on air so long and changed many people’s perspectives. “No matter what I will be proud of the work we did,” said Massey, and he called crafting Wilson’s story the greatest achievement of his life to date.
Video: The Freddie & Alyssa Show /YouTube