The 2017 Daytime Emmy Awards will be handed out on April 30, but the winners in the soap opera acting categories have already been decided by blue ribbon panels that viewed sample performance reels. In the race for Best Actor, Billy Flynn (“Days of Our Lives”) is nominated for the first time for playing Chad DiMera, a role he assumed in 2014. Looking to win his first career Emmy, Flynn submitted a pair of scenes in which he comes to terms with grief over his lost loved ones. Watch his reel above.
The first scene of Flynn’s submission features Chad one-on-one with the ghost of his recently deceased father Stefano (Joseph Mascolo, who died in real life last December at the age of 87). Chad struggles with the fact that he was never the man his father wanted him to be, a ruthless businessman and criminal who could take over the family empire. But Stefano assures Chad that he can be whoever he wants to be, and the two share an embrace.
The next scene is a lengthy monologue in which Chad is at home, an emotional wreck over the presumed death of his wife Abigail. He looks at her photo on his desk and reminisces about their life together, remembers when they first met, and mourns for the plans they made that will never come to pass. He promised he’d renovate the house, so “let’s renovate, baby,” he says before trashing the room.
Will Flynn win Best Actor with this performance against Peter Bergman (“The Young and the Restless”), Scott Clifton (“The Bold and the Beautiful”), Vincent Irizarry (“Days”) and Kristoff St. John (“Y&R”)? Let’s consider the pros and cons.
Chad talks to the ghost of his dead father and then has a soliloquy about the death of the woman he loves — Flynn practically submitted “Hamlet” to Emmy judges.
Anyone who has worked in the soap industry remembers the legacy of Joseph Mascolo as the legendary villain Stefano DiMera. The fact that Chad is talking to his ghost is especially powerful following Mascolo’s death.
The other actors in this category submitted scenes opposite one or two co-stars, but Flynn has the stage all to himself in the second half of his reel, which is basically a five-minute monologue. That may be catnip to voters.
Chad cries over the loss of his father and cries more over the loss of his wife. Voters may wish to reward a performance that showcases a broader emotional range.
At age 31, Flynn is the youngest nominee for Best Actor, and youth is generally a disadvantage in this category. If he prevails he would be the second youngest Best Actor champ in history, just one year older than Darnell Williams (“All My Children”) was when he won in 1985 — which was, incidentally, the year Flynn was born.
In addition to being the youngest nominee, Flynn is also the newest to soap operas, joining “Days” in 2014 with no previous daytime soap experience. He has certainly proven himself quickly, but the last time an actor won this category on his very first nomination was Robert S. Woods (“One Life to Live”) back in 1983. So the whippersnapper may have to wait his turn.
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