Why Days of Our Lives Didn’t Replace Victoria Konefal as Ciara But Might Have to Down the Line — Plus, 15 Characters Soaps Can Never, Ever Recast
Will Ben and Ciara finally get their happy ending… or is there more trouble ahead?
It’s safe to say that many fans of Days of Our Lives’ Ben and Ciara were a little disappointed in the couple’s recent “reunion.” After all, Victoria Konefal’s latest stint as the heroine didn’t exactly lead to the romantic payoff most had hoped would come of Ben’s search for his true love.
Turns out headwriter Ron Carlivati knew that the lack of payoff would prove frustrating to many. “It was a challenge for the writers,” he admitted to Soap Opera Digest, adding that he “knew people would be disappointed, but I ask [them] to question the alternative: If we had put them together and she didn’t have amnesia and [Ben] rescues her from that room and they’re happier than they could ever be, why does she leave and why does he stay?”
More: Remembering the Days hero we still miss
Of course, there was another avenue which the show could have pursued: recasting the part of Ciara once they knew Konefal was leaving and might only be available for limited stints in the future. The scribe conceded that was “a viable option, but it was one that we didn’t choose to make.”
Why? “While a recast can work, it could also fail,” he explained, adding that doing so might result in a pairing that didn’t share the same magical connection as is brought to life by Konefal and Robert Scott Wilson’s Ben. “That’s not to say that’s not something that could never happen, but I wanted to preserve not just Ben and Ciara but Rob and Victoria in any way we could. And if there was no other option, then we could talk about a recast down the road.
“But right now, there was an option and we figured it out with Victoria.”
While Konefal’s already slated to come back this summer, the terms of her latest return are currently up in the air. Carlivati told Digest the show was “working with Victoria to keep the story going,” but that does not mean that down the line, she — and Ciara — might not exit the canvas again.
More: The latest on Ciara’s summer return
“Unless you are very, very lucky,” Carlivati told us during a conversation last year, “actors eventually leave. It’s happened on every show that I’ve been a part of, and it’s something that you have to be prepared for. When it happens, decisions have to be made about whether to write the character off, recast or, in some cases, do both by writing the character off for a while and then later bringing them back in the form of a new actor.”
The bigger challenge becomes what to do if the exiting actor is part of a successful pairing, let alone a bona-fide supercouple like Ben and Ciara. “Should Rob have lost his job [when Konefal left]?” Carlivati asked Digest. “Should the character of Ben’s story [end] because one actor made one choice and another actor made another choice?”
Rather than go that route, Days “killed” Ciara and then brought her back when Konefal’s schedule allowed. But if she opts to pursue other options down the road, should the soap continue to drop Ciara into and out of Salem, thus preventing Ben from moving on with his life? Or does there come a point at which for everyone concerned — including fans of the couple — it’s in the best interest of the show to simply recast?
This is the part where we turn to you, whether fans of the show in general or shippers of the couple (and perhaps its portrayers) in particular. If a longterm deal can’t be worked out which would keep Konefal on the canvas, should Days of Our Lives consider recasting? Hit the comments section below with your thoughts — and we know you’ve got ’em. Then peruse this gallery in which we suggest 15 characters who simply can not be recast under pretty much any circumstances, and let us know if you think Ciara’s name should be added to the list.