“It is incredible that the story has been going on I feel like eight years and it still makes a difference to people,” says “Days of Our Lives” star Chandler Massey about his role as Will Horton on the NBC soap. Will is one of the most prominent and longest running queer characters in daytime TV history since he came out as gay in 2012, and he still appreciates the love he gets from fans for playing such a meaningful role: “It really warms my heart and fills my tank back up to go into work and give it my all.” Listen to that excerpt from the latest “Days” podcast above.
Shooting soap operas can be a herculean task since they produce five hours of original drama every week, and Massey admits that “it’s easy to feel burned out, but having a reminder that what you’re doing is making a difference to somebody, that gives you the energy and the mental fortitude to soldier on.” He remembers one fan letter in particular from a man who watched with his mother when Will came out. “Those episodes allowed or inspired him to have that conversation then with his mom, and his mom, who he just assumed would never accept or understand … was there for him and supported him.”
Massey made history by winning three consecutive Daytime Emmys for Best Younger Actor (2012-2014). He was the first ever to win that category three times in a row, and the first to win it for playing a gay role. The actor originally appeared on the show from 2010 to 2014, after which Will was recast with Guy Wilson. Then the character was controversially killed off in 2015 when he was strangled to death by a serial killer, but “Days” reversed that decision when it brought Massey back to play a resurrected Will starting in 2017. Massey was subsequently nominated for Best Supporting Actor in 2018.
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