drake hogestyn, alison sweeney, deidre hall, john, sami and marlena in the town center in a very salem christmas, days
Credit: Peacock Screenshot

The cast of A Very Salem Christmas spill all about that big holiday production.

When it comes to holiday movies, the best of the best are both wholesome and fun. They show people coming together and leave us feeling good and warm. Well, if you haven’t checked out Days of Our Lives: A Very Salem Christmas yet, maybe take a peek at it this Christmas, because Peacock’s Salem-tastic movie accomplishes all of that and more.

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As much fun as the film is, what’s perhaps its crowning achievement comes at the end when the whole town comes together to stage a holiday performance the likes of which haven’t been seen since White Christmas! Okay, so maybe it’s a bit spicier than anything Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye ever did, but that’s probably why it’s both a fan and cast-favorite moment!

Deidre Hall (Marlena), Chandler Massey (Will) and Zach Tinker (Sonny) sat down with Soaps recently and they all admitted that the Santa-filled fundraiser was their favorite part of making the movie.

Filming the movie was so different, “in so many way ways,” Hall shared. For one thing there was that production number “that the men of the show do. They had the time to rehearse it. And with all of us sitting there, it took the entire morning to shoot those couple scenes.”

While the whole sexy Santa number was carefully choreographed for the guys, there was one actor in particular who took the lead. And it’s not hard to guess who that was.

“Eric Martsolf (Brady) is a song and dance man,” Hall reminded us, “so I think he was the point man on all those moves. But oh, they were hilarious and sexy, and we had the time to do it.”

sexy santas, tripp, brady, ej, nick, xander for a very salem christmas

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But it wasn’t just that performance that made the moment so great for Hall and the rest of the cast. It was, in a sense, the Christmas miracle that allowed the actors, like their characters, to live in a Covid-free world — if just for a few hours.

“It’s a good moment,” she noted, “because we’re not allowed to be near each other anymore.” Covid’s kept them apart even while filming — but not for that performance. The entire cast of the movie got to hang out together again in the audience, watching the guys of Salem entertain them.

And that’s something Massey also admits was his favorite part of filming, since it was about the only time he got back to town and see his old Days of Our Lives pals. He and Tinker, though, didn’t get to spend quite as much time in the audience palling around because they were a bit busy doing other things.

“I was excited,” Sonny’s portrayer confessed about finding out he’d be doing drag for the first time since Beyond Salem. “The only thing that stinks is it’s just a very long process to get all this stuff. It’s like three hours or two hours of sitting in a chair and getting your eyebrows glued. So that part kind of stinks, but afterwards, it’s really fun.”

Well, there’s one other annoying part of the whole process, he added. “Getting it off is a pain in the butt too.”

Okay, so the makeup and outfitting can be a bit much, but that performance had to take some work. Choreography is not easy.

Sonny and will in drag for A Very Salem Christmas days screenshot

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I think we had a couple of days,” Massey mused. “It was pretty simple, but I think we learned it a couple of days before.”

Tinker, though, had a slightly different take, jumping in to add, “Chandler’s apparently better at choreography than me because it was not very easy to remember those.”

You wouldn’t have known it from watching Sonny because Tinker pulled his moves off with such amusing conviction, but those moments when the guys are doing their own thing on stage were not planned.

“That was just me screwing up the dance,” Tinker admitted with a laugh. “And they just thought, ‘We’ll just roll with him being the bad dancer of the group.’”

Bad or not, though, he sold it the entire time. And a big part of that was watching the obvious joy on his face the entire time he did it.

“As much of a hassle as it is,” the actor shared, “it’s really fun. You feel very free to express yourself when you’re in drag. It’s uncomfortable and it’s a lot of makeup and a long time, but it’s also like kind of a blast.”

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A blast is exactly how we’d describe that entire scene, from the second Greg Rikaart’s Leo walks out on stage, to that magical moment when everyone in Salem — Santa performers and audience-members — celebrate as the snow falls around them. In fact, now that we think about it, we’re feeling a bit like watching the movie again, so excuse us while we go cue it up!

If you’re feeling in the Christmas spirit too, why not check out a gallery of carefully curated holiday photos from all your favorite soaps over the years?