Days of Our Lives’ Dan Feuerriegel Explains EJ’s ‘Cheeky’ New Direction — Plus, Why the Character Could Be Looking Different in the Weeks to Come
The look and attitude of Salem’s recently returned DiMera is evolving.
When EJ returned to Salem after seven years, he had a new look. That was inevitable due to the role being recast in the form of Dan Feuerriegel. But even since then, his appearance has slowly been evolving on Days of Our Lives, and it sounds like there are more alterations to come. And it’s not just the physical, as the actor hinted at changes already being made to the character.
In a recent podcast interview with Soap Opera Digest, EJ’s current portrayer recounted his first days at Days.
“The first couple of weeks were brutal for me,” he said. “Getting used to the amount of dialog. Getting used to the speed of the show. I was very nervous as well, but Alison [Sweeney, Sami] made me feel awesome.”
After praising his co-star, Feuerriegel recalled taking about two months to settle into the style of the soap. Now that he’s more comfortable in the role, that’s where the changes come in.
Pointing to the “more irreverent” choices he’s been making onscreen, he said, “I’m having a bit more fun, making EJ a little more cheeky or a bit more, bit more of a dick in these situations rather than just the stern kind of grumpy dude.”
If EJ’s quips and barbs during his recent interactions with Lucas, Brady, Chad and Xander are proof, we’d say he’s definitely succeeding.
As for his appearance, a scruffier EJ is emerging and, from the sound of it, it’s a trend that could continue, especially if the native Aussie’s Instagram feed is any indication. Populated with photos of a more bearded look, the actor’s real-life look seems to be bleeding into his reel life.
“How I am now, with the stubble,” he said during the podcast, “that’s how my character looks on the show now. At the moment, I think, he doesn’t have a beard. Or, he’s slowly getting stubble.”
“For some reason, I just hate myself clean-shaven,” he shared. “I’m just not used to it and I don’t really like it.”
The former Spartacus star also indicated a change in physique could be on the way.
Recalling a Days of Our Lives producer’s comment about getting back into his former character’s shape, Feuerriegel, who played warrior Agron in the Starz series, recalled with a laugh, “I was like, ‘Oh man. Oh, no.’ Because he wants me, in some scenes, he probably wants me to get shirtless and be all manly. I’m like, ‘Dude, it takes so long to get to that shape.’”
Noting he shed a few pounds from when he first took over the role of EJ, Feuerriegel, who is refocusing on a workout regiment, said with a laugh, “Maybe next year, I’ll be like in that shape.”
What do you think? Are you ready for a Spartacus-style EJ? Are you enjoying his more “irreverent” tone? Look through our photo gallery below of soap actors who’ve changed their looks and tell us what you want to see for EJ in the comments.