After months of being the worst kept secret in daytime -– the fact that Will Horton would ultimately be revealed as gay –- the news is officially out. Actor Chandler Massey discusses the plot twist that has riled up Days of Our Lives fans and urges viewers to give the story a chance.
How excited are you to tell this story?
I’m freakin’ thrilled about it. I found out the direction the character was going to go back in February, that Will was going to come out as gay. I’m honored to be a part of a storyline that is relevant and so important. The way that they’re doing it is so powerful and so well written. It involves many different people on so many levels. Also, it’s a creative challenge for me as an actor. I get to stretch myself. I couldn’t be happier.
How do you feel about the controversy surrounding it all?
As an actor, it’s my job to take what they give me, make it real, and make it relevant. If there are people who are against it and hate it, it’s all the more reason for us to tell it. It gives us a chance to open people’s minds and really move them and show them something they maybe didn’t know before. This is a real story about a young man who is struggling to come to terms with who he is. It’s not like he’s choosing to feel this way.
What would you say to the haters out there; the people who say they’re going to stop watching the show, because of this turn?
What I don’t get about that is, say you don’t agree with someone being a homosexual... You think that’s insane or whatever. Do you agree with murder, kidnapping children or blackmail? I don’t want to get on my soapbox here and preach, but I’m just saying... Hopefully, after people watch the storyline, they’ll have a different perspective.
Did you prepare family and friends for this story, beforehand?
I wasn’t supposed to tell anybody, but, of course, I told my mom. I grew up in a small town in Georgia where a lot of people had that small town mentality, not that I’m saying there’s anything wrong with that at all. But my parents taught me acceptance, above all else, and love. So I was very fortunate to grow up in a household like that. Not everybody is.
Viewers are upset about the demise of Will and Gabi. What are your thoughts on the end of that coupling?
I love Camilla Banus (Gabi), and I’m a big Will and Gabi fan, but there are so many soap opera romances. It’s very rare that a story like this is told. I feel it’s very under represented. So this is a gift. This is better.
Are you glad that Will hasn’t been depicted as an outwardly gay guy?
I am. I love that. It’s a different story. For example, Kurt on Glee is very obviously gay and out. Sonny is out [on Days], even though he isn’t flamboyant. Anything they can do to dispel that stereotype that people have that all gay men have to have those feminine tendencies... I love the way they’re writing Will that he [doesn’t]. He’s actually a manly man; a regular guy, who just happens to like men.
How do you feel about Will eventually coming out to Marlena?
Ever since Deidre Hall (Marlena) and Drake Hogestyn (John) came back, they’ve really been establishing this unique connection that Will and Marlena have. I love that relationship, because Deidre Hall is a phenomenal actress and an amazing woman. Marlena gives Will what Sami never could. Sami was always busy with her other children or involved romantically. Here’s someone for Will; the only person in his life who selflessly gives love to him. So I love the way the story is going to go.
Is there one moment in this story that you're most looking forward to playing?
I'd have to say the moment when Will finally says [he's gay]. It's a very long emotional roller coaster ride of a journey. It doesn’t happen over night. The writers are taking their time with it. Everybody's trying to do this really well and realistically. So, for me, it's the moment when he finally says it. I'm looking forward to that the most. It’s going to be such a beautiful moment.