“Days of Our Lives” star Freddie Smith was nominated for Best Younger Actor at the Daytime Emmys in 2013, and then he won that category in 2015, so he knows a thing or two about how to submit an Emmy reel. So how did he pick his scenes for the 2021 Emmys, which honor the best work in daytime during the calendar year 2020? He showed fans his decision process as well as snippets of his final reel. Watch above.
Smith starts be explaining the rules, which is that performers only have to submit one reel up to 15 minutes, “which is wonderful” because in previous years actors were required to also submit an additional shorter reel that would be judged to decide pre-nominations. He and his wife Alyssa pored over his year on the soap as Sonny Kiriakis, pulling no punches — “That was just kinda boring … no offense,” says Alyssa about once scene.
The actor is savvy about his strategy, considering “a softer, more real, composed moment” before launching into the emotional fireworks. It’s often a winning advantage to show Emmy voters a range of emotions — not just tears, but tenderness, anger, romance, and the other hallmarks of soap opera emotion.
In the end Smith selected four scenes: a confrontation with Will (Chandler Massey), then tearing into Maggie (Suzanne Rogers) after finding out she was responsible for his mother’s death, being consoled by his father (Wally Kurth), and finally professing how much he hates Evan (Brock Kelly).
Will those scenes do the trick for Smith? He was abruptly let go from the show last year, but it wouldn’t be the first time an actor got a parting gift from the TV academy. In 2020 Olivia Rose Keegan won Best Young Performer for “Days” more than a year after she filmed her last scenes for the show.