By David-Elijah Nahmod, PQ Monthly
Since 1965, Days of Our Lives has run on NBC each weekday afternoon. The popular serial, never afraid to break boundaries (they offered a demonic possession storyline a number of years back) has recently become one of the most important and relevant shows on the daytime dial.
In danger of cancellation a mere 2/3 years ago, Days has, of late, enjoyed an impressive surge in its ratings, with viewership up by around 300,000 from last year.
One of Days’ most riveting storylines is the love story between Sonny and Will, a young gay couple. While other soaps spent weeks, even months, before allowing its gay characters a quick, dry mouth kiss, Days boldly cut to the chase. Sonny and Will have an active, on-camera love life, which includes the same sizzling, scantily-clad bedroom scenes given to their straight counterparts.
As Sonny and Will celebrate their recent wedding on the changing TV landscape in our rapidly changing world, PQ chatted with Guy Wilson. Wilson plays Will, having replaced popular Emmy winner Chandler Massey, who opted to leave the show and return to school.
PQ: Some of those love scenes between Sonny and Will are really hot. Are you comfortable doing them?
Wilson: I’m not uncomfortable with the scenes at all. It never bothers me. Freddie Smith (Sonny) is such a connected and present actor, so it’s easy to be grounded in those moments.”
PQ: Were the fans and the cast accepting of a new actor in such an established role?
Wilson: I thought it would be difficult, but everyone in the cast and crew was so welcoming and gracious. They helped me fill in the blanks and get caught up to speed.
PQ: But the fans were apprehensive about you, yes?
Wilson: I don’t take it personally. I look at it as the fans caring about the show and about this relationship. If someone you cares about leaves the show, you feel uncomfortable.
PQ: Has there been backlash from anti-gay groups?
Wilson: I wouldn’t feel the need to say much about that. There are many reasons why people have reservations towards this issue. Lead by example, any way we can broaden people’s awareness. Act and speak by example. First and foremost, this is a love story. They show affection and are intimate. It’s important to be truthful, to portray that love truthfully.
PQ: The show seems to be setting quite and example. It was said that older viewers are changing their attitudes towards gay relationships because of Sonny and Will.
Wilson: We won a GLAAD Media Award. I’m honored and privileged to be part of a show that’s a social institution. It’s in it’s 48th season, and it’s still trailblazing, still making headlines. These are exciting times.