Casting Call for Classic Role

This is one of the more out-there casting notices we’ve seen in a while, but I’m all about it.

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According to SoapShowsDays has issued a casting call for the character of Dr. Valerie Grant, who was famously part of the first, short-lived interracial coupling in the show’s history when she was paired with David Banning.

The role is described as a woman whose “courage and perseverance are two character traits that people admire her for the most. And while her experiences might have hardened other people and made them cynical, Valerie has grown into a wise and compassionate person – who still occasionally gets tripped up by her own mistakes.”

They’re casting her as being in her 50s, which is maybe a little young but not too bad. Valerie popped in and out of Salem a few times in the late 70s and early 80s, and she had a go-nowhere flirtation with Abe when he first arrived in town. Considering her history with both him and Julie, there could be some interesting stuff to play here — though the cynical side of me suspects that they’ll slap her onscreen, pair her up with Abe, and not really do much with her. I’m still salty about how they abruptly ended the Abe/Maxine thing and then relegated Maxine to being a crazed Dannifer stan before she (seemingly) vanished. It’d be nice if they established Valerie as someone to mix it up with Roman or Justin or Deimos or whomever, though I want Abe to have story, too. I just hate the idea of isolating them in “the black story,” especially when there’s a chance for historical relevance and establishing totally fresh material with this character.

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17 Comments on “Casting Call for Classic Role”

  1. Shea Says:

    I started watching in 1981 when I was out of school (I was 8) but Valerie is only a character I know from reading about the history of the show. I’m intrigued by the prospect of them bringing the character back. It would be nice if it were the original actress who was fired due to the backlash the show received but it looks like they are going to try to make the character a little younger than she would be now.

    • mykleraus Says:

      I saw something posted about how the original actress would be willing to return. Not sure they’d go for that (and given the current shooting schedule, I do wonder if she’d be able to keep up), but it’s a nice idea. I saw people at SON speculating about Debbi Morgan from AMC taking over the role, which would be a huge get for Days… if they bothered writing a good character for her.

  2. Dan Says:

    Every time I try and leave this crazy ass show they do something like this, and bring back Laura Horton, and drag my ass back in…

    Bringing Valerie Grant back is an interesting choice. The show doesn’t have a rich history of African American females to play with so I’m fine with bringing back a significant character from the 1970s / 1980s who had significant ties to the Horton family and to University Hospital.

    With that said, I wonder how this will play out. Having been with Abe, it is clear that they will revisit that if not immediately after a while. And while it says the character is recurring, this is the type of character Higley used on a heavy recurring.

    The obvious angle that I don’t think has been address online is how will this impact Theo / Ciara, Salem’s latest interracial romance. I think they will play Valerie’s romance with David in a significant way given that Ciara is David’s cousin, Abe is Valerie’s ex, and Hope and Abe have such a strong history given Zach / J.T. How would Abe and Hope react if Valerie was treating Chase for the underlying mental health issues stemming from his parents’ deaths and the rape of Ciara? Or what if Valerie doesn’t approve given her own history? Or what if Valerie’s own daughter made a play for Theo? There are angles to play

    Since I’m pretty good at targeting Higley’s MO, I hope they recast Ciara. The current actress seems like a nice young lady, but simply cannot handle the extreme task of working on a show like DAYS (few can). Or they spend a lot of time working with an acting coach.

    • mykleraus Says:

      Right?! Like, it’s stuff like this that will keep me watching until the very end, whenever it might come, just because the idea of digging back this deep into history is super-interesting.

      I hadn’t thought about the Ciara/Theo parallel, though I would hope they’d reference it. I’m not sure there would be more than a scene or episode’s worth of material there, just because the interracial aspect would seem to be such a non-issue (especially given how little opposition even Will and Sonny faced), but it feels very much worth touching upon. Can this at least get us a damn MENTION of David?! Even that would be momentous!

      I agree about Ciara. The actress has shown growth, but not fast enough and not enough for the material they’re giving her. There should be a Rachel Melvin in this role, not someone a few steps ahead of Charity Rahmer.

    • Farah Says:

      Sadly according to Daytime Confidential (who are pretty reliable) the producers LOVE Ciara’s actress. They are planning on testing her with Chad. So don’t hold your breath.

      How can anyone stand her montone voice? She sounds like she’s reading lines off cards even more so than Joe M on his last days.

      • mykleraus Says:

        HOW?? Like, honestly, how? Even when she’s tolerable, she’s not GOOD!

      • ADW Says:

        I totally agree she’s so robotic and it annoys me she speaks with hardly moving her mouth. I especially can’t stand when she gets upset because it seems so inorganic and forced. We were certainly spoiled with Lauren Boles who was terrific.

      • mykleraus Says:

        She definitely seems robotic. It’s like she’s trying to spit out her lines as fast as possible to get it over with!

    • I hope they recast David Banning, that would be a awesome to see David and Valerie back together.

  3. fluffysmom Says:

    I’m intrigued by this casting call. Valerie sounds like an interesting character.

  4. marypickford Says:

    Wow! This is really, really interesting. Bravo, Days!

  5. ADW Says:

    I thought they would bring Lani’s mother to Salem but, this character is a welcome addition too although her first go around was before my time. I’m hoping this will give Abe gets more screen time again and a romance which he hasn’t had since Lexi unless of course Abe and Maxine are off somewhere being secret lovers.

    • mykleraus Says:

      I’m pretty sure Maxine offed herself after Daniel bit the big one.

      I’m concerned the Valerie casting will just be another half-assed, half-hearted attempt to make it look like they’re doing something with Abe without actually writing anything. I hope I’m wrong. It’s a cool historical tie and I hope they really explore it.

  6. […] April, I posted about a casting call for a classic Days role that hadn’t appeared onscreen in decades. Finally, we know who will be playing the […]

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