WILLpower

The Will Horton recast has been revealed, and the Internet seems to have lost its mind.

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Guy Wilson, who has guest-starred on a number of primetime shows, is apparently going to take over the role of Will in early 2014. This news was revealed not by the show, as might happen under same circumstances, but by human leaking faucet Jen Lilley (Theresa), who — based upon her many, many Twitter escapades — is unable to let any event or piece of information pass without in-depth, unnecessary comment. In the above-linked article, Lilley is described as having named Wilson as the new Will and stated her concern over how fans will accept him, since Chandler Massey is so beloved in the role.

And she might not be wrong. Within hours, soap boards and comments sections were filled with photos of Wilson and enraged reactions, calling him “ugly,” “busted,” “a flop,” etc. (Do a Google image search and judge for yourself. I’m not seeing anyone hideous in those pictures…) This is going to be a difficult role to recast, not because of Massey’s immense talent — I’m not saying he’s untalented, but I swear, it’s more the fact that he’s a cute guy playing the first major gay character in the show’s history that has gotten people completely obsessed with him — but simply because of fan reception. The show is going to have to tread carefully in how they present Wilson as part of, uh, WilSon.

I’m all for a Will recast, because I think the character is far too crucial to lose simply because of an actor’s desire to leave, but I do kind of wish we were going to have a little time off from Will to ease the transition. It might be helpful to see a rift between him and Sonny, have Will take off for two months, and then bring Wilson to town as Will. If he and Freddie Smith (Sonny) click, then they can continue to pursue that story, and if not, they won’t be locked into something. I remember the horror of Charity Rahmer’s first day as Belle, when I sat there covering my mouth and going, “Oh my god, they’re going to have kill Belle off. There is no coming back from this.” It was too jarring and too terrible. God willing, Wilson won’t be anywhere near Rahmer-level, but the transition is going to have to be skillful.

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8 Comments on “WILLpower”

  1. Dan Says:

    This decision shocks me in a positive way, which is a rare occasion. In recent years, Corday has been hesitant to recast and has always had the ‘open door’ policy. While this may make Corday a cordial former employer, it has been a foolish decision in terms of the long term story and the canvas at large. There is no reason a recast Melanie couldn’t have arrived at Gabi and Nick’s wedding in time for major drama. Even better, imagine if Melanie returned AND they had managed to bring Stephanie back to Salem to reveal the truth about the Parker drama. I think that was a real missed opportunity.

    Several years ago, when Rachel Melvin left, Corday said he wasn’t going to recast. I thought that was a foolish decision. Bo and Hope were one of the last married couples standing and to eliminate their only adult child on the canvas was foolish, especially considering Bo and Hope’s conflict was so tied up in Bo’s decision to protect Chelsea after Zach’s death. Even in a recurring capacity, I think Chelsea would have added a bit more depth to the canvas. Forgive my rambling. My main point was it seems there is a shift in power/priorities, which pleases me.

    I’m curious to see how this all plays out with Guy Wilson. I would think Will would have been a highly coveted role by daytime standards. Everything was so cloak and dagger regarding the younger set I’m not sure how this all played out. I’m curious to see if Will will still be the focal point or if they will allow Sonny some more prominence since he has been around longer. I think it’s a shame that Smith has been so underutilized, but I do think it has allowed him to craft a stronger character. Anyway, I wish Wilson look and am curious to see how WilSon evolves due to the change.

    Oh, the Internet fans never had a mind to lose. It’s a shame, really.

    • mykleraus Says:

      I am SO glad they didn’t fall back on the usual pattern here. We haven’t had anyone progress from young adult to 20s-30s character in a long time (I guess Chloe was the last one, and even Nadia Bjorlin left for chunks). We get 3-4 years of story out of them, and then it’s over and we start fresh. I agree that writing Chelsea out was a major mistake — she kept Bo and Hope entwined with Kate, she’d be a cousin to Will, she and Abigail are friends, she has history with Daniel. Same with Melanie. It’s one thing to give the characters a rest to ease a recast, but these people just disappear and it’s like all the story we invested in was for naught.

      My big unpopular opinion is that I think they should’ve recast Philip when JKJ left. I like him, but I don’t think he’s irreplaceable, and Philip is too vital in terms of positioning on the canvas. I still think Jacob Young would’ve been perfect.

      • Dan Says:

        Honestly, when Phillip left, I thought it was the perfect time to reintroduce Nicholas Alamain to the canvas. I’m not sure what age I would have went with (I think Cody Longo was too young, but I certainly wouldn’t have followed the Victor Webster continuity). Anyway, I would have paired Nicholas and nuStephanie (who should have been recast) and allowed Melanie to play the heavy while still involved with Nathan (who I wouldn’t have written out). Nicholas would have allowed Carly / Vivian another angle to play and I might toe the line with revisiting Kate / Nicholas if only to exploit some rather serious Kate / Vivian moments. Somewhere down the line, I think I would have played a Nicholas / Abby storyline and brought Phillip back as Nicholas’ business rival.

      • mykleraus Says:

        Yes! I had a similar thought. Nicholas had such a place on the canvas when Carly and Vivian were there. I think they were daunted for a long time by the Victor Webster casting, but I think they could have cast someone around Brandon Beemer’s age and sort of played him as 28-32 and been fine.


  2. Recasting is such a slippery slope. If it’s done well you can have the next Robert Kelker Kelly, Eric Martsolf, Austin Peck, or Kyle Brant – all actors who did a fine job in their recasted roles. If it’s done poorly, you could have the next Stephanie Cameron, Anne Marie Howard, the aforementioned Rahmer, or (gasp) Josh Taylor!

    One of the reasons I’m having faith here is because the writing has been relatively so strong. There is a confidence and grasp on storytelling right now that DAYS has not seen for a long time. Also, DAYS has been with us for nearly 50 years. We know and they know that if someone is truly horrible that they will eventually be gone, and the original actor may end up returning if available.

    I for one do not want to see CM go. I think he has done an excellent job embodying the angst of Will Horton, gay smirks and all. My hope is that they pace the transition so it’s not suddenly nuWill five days a week.

    • mykleraus Says:

      Yeah, I feel like there’s a vision for Will in the writing, which helps a great deal. It might also help that this actor isn’t an enormous departure visually — they didn’t cast a 6’2″ dark-haired guy. And look, if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work, but better than just automatically losing Will forever and ever.

  3. Alana Says:

    Whoa. Recasting is always a challenge, because it makes it especially difficult to suspend your disbelief, but in a city with a covered town square that has a major international port but is in the midwest, that is always going to be a bit of a struggle. Marlena was possessed by the devil, after all.

    I agree with you that Will is too important a character to let go. There are too many interesting intersections of different families, and now with WilSon and Gabi in the mix, he is just too central and there are too many interesting dynamics. I certainly like it better than bringing on some suddenly 10 years older offscreen child.

    It does slightly annoy me that there seem to be beloved former Days actors who would be available for return that they choose not to bring back. Farah Fath as Mimi would be first on the list for me- I was obsessed with the possibility that she would return after OLTL ended.

    But, I am along for the ride. I am curious to see how everything plays out, because the writing really has been good lately.

    • mykleraus Says:

      I strangely don’t have much trouble with recasts, at least most of the time. I don’t love the ones where it’s one actor one day and then a new actor the next — I think you need to write to the recast, even if there isn’t a big story around it — but it generally doesn’t bug me or throw me off.

      Agreed about all the actors they could be bringing back, but OH NO to Farah Fath. After watching her on Dirty Soap and the way she ate OLTL with her bad hair, I’m not dying to have her back. I’d actually be okay with it if we had Belle, Shawn, and Chloe in town, but she’s so disconnected from everyone and everything in Salem at this point.


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