GayCalgary® Magazine [copy]

Days of Our Lives’ Guy Wilson

There’s a New Will in Salem

Celebrity Interview by David-Elijah Nahmod (From GayCalgary® Magazine, March 2014, page 21)
Guy Wilson as Will
Guy Wilson as Will
Days of Our Lives’ Guy Wilson: There’s a New Will in Salem
pulling no punches: Sonny and Will in bed
pulling no punches: Sonny and Will in bed

When Days of Our Lives premiered on NBC in 1965, the network had no idea that the family oriented daytime drama would one day venture where few soaps dared to go: into the bedroom of a young gay couple.

Days, now approaching its 50th anniversary, is enjoying a renewed popularity after facing cancellation a few short years ago. The series’ average week-to-week Nielsen ratings have risen to 2.1, an increase from 2011’s 1.7. Soap Opera Network, an online magazine, reports that Days’ viewership for the week of February 10th – 14th was up a whopping 435,000 from the same week in 2013. And that’s just in the USA. Days of Our Lives is also seen in Canada, as well as in other countries around the world.

It has been said that part of Days’ resurgence is due to Sonny and Will, a young gay couple in love. Now a fan favorite, the boys have been credited with helping to turn the tide of public opinion on issues such as marriage equality.

Last year, Days fans were shocked when actor Chandler Massey, who had just won an Emmy for his work as Will, announced he was leaving the series to focus on his studies. Would viewers accept Guy Wilson, the actor hired to step into Will’s shoes?

Wilson took the fan’s apprehension in stride. "I don’t take it personally," he said. "I look at it as the fans caring about the show and about this relationship. If someone you care about leaves the show, you feel uncomfortable."

Soon after Wilson’s January debut, Sonny proposed marriage to Will. A hot bedroom scene followed. "I’m not uncomfortable with those scenes at all," said Wilson. "It never bothers me. Freddie Smith (Sonny) is such a connected and present actor, so it’s easy to be grounded in those moments."

The actor isn’t concerned about anti-gay backlash. "I wouldn’t feel the need to say much about that," he said. "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."

He’d rather focus on what Days is accomplishing. "We won a GLAAD Media Award," he said proudly. "I’m honored and privileged to be part of a show that’s a social institution. It’s in its 48th season, and it’s still trailblazing, still making headlines. These are exciting times."

Wilson reports that he was embraced by the show’s cast, who made it easy for him to walk into the middle of an established storyline. "I thought it would be difficult, but everyone was so welcoming and gracious," he said. "They helped me fill in the blanks and get caught up to speed."

The handsome young man wouldn’t say whether or not a wedding was in Sonny and Will’s future. In the sudsy world of soaps, anything can happen. "First and foremost, this is a love story," he said. "They show affection and are intimate. It’s important to be truthful, to portray that love truthfully."(GC)

Will (Guy Wilson) with Sonny (Freddie Smith) in love on Days of Our Lives

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