Exclusive: Chandler Massey Delivers Scoop on His Days of Our Lives Coming Out Plot
He's sure no poster boy for GLAAD. Will Horton, the Days of Our Lives teenager played by Chandler Massey, is gay and deeply, desperately in denial about it. And his coming-out story won't take the politically safe route. Days currently has another young gay character — Will's friend Sonny, played by former 90210 star Freddie Smith — who is out and proud and inspiringly comfortable in his own skin. But Will's saga will be packed with guilt, rage, violence, drinking and blackmail — and that's weeks before the kid even has his first gay kiss! TV Guide Magazine spoke with Massey to get some exclusive deets on where this landmark plot is headed. Spoiler warning!
TV Guide Magazine: How does it feel to have this story finally kicking in? You were first told about it way back in February, right?
Massey: [Laughs] Yeah. That was two executive producers and a head writer ago!
TV Guide Magazine: Did you think maybe Days would drop the plot given all the seismic shifts at the show?
Massey: I did. Gary Tomlin, the executive producer who first told me about the story, was replaced and then I kinda fell off the screen for a while. And there were a whole lot of cast changes. So, yeah, I was a little worried that they maybe weren't going to go ahead with it after all. But here we are!
TV Guide Magazine: Word even went around that Days was getting cold feet about making Will gay.
Massey: I wondered about that myself, but it was not the case. They had to decide how the new writers would approach the story. It's a sensitive situation and they wanted to handle it with care.
TV Guide Magazine: Let's clarify Will's issues. When Sonny came out to his parents they were completely cool with it, and so is pretty much everyone else in Salem. Nobody's freaking or panicking. Why doesn't Will take this as encouragement?
Massey: Will sees how comfortable Sonny is and he wants to be that way, too — he really envies Sonny — but he doesn't feel he'd have the same support. Will grew up wanting a wife and kids and now he realizes maybe that's going to be impossible. He hasn't yet accepted the fact he's gay so it's impossible to even think about other people accepting him. Seeing Sonny with his gay friends doesn't help. It makes Will even less comfortable. He sees all these people who are out and not shy about it and he's thinking, "What's wrong with me that I can't be that way?" And so he feels like a coward. He wants to be like them. He wants to be happy. But he's afraid. I love the way they're writing Sonny so there's some real balance here. He's the polar opposite of my character — completely confident in his sexuality and totally together. But Will finds that threatening and it makes him loathe himself even more. He is really acting out.
TV Guide Magazine: Why is he so worried about what Sami will think? They already have a crappy relationship and he hates her right now after he found her shtupping EJ.
Massey: Sami has her own stuff going on. She's busy with her other three kids who are always going missing or getting kidnapped. In Will's mind, she doesn't care about him enough to be a real help if he came out to her. When a kid is struggling with something this big, his mother, of all people, should sense it. She's supposed to know her child better than anyone else. In Will's case, Sami doesn't give him the maternal love he needs and that's a big reason he doesn't feel comfortable coming out to her. Sami was so young when Will was born that they sort of grew up together.