I had the wonderful opportunity to chat with James Scott on the phone, who as you know plays E.J. DiMera. He was more than happy to take the time to chat openly with me about a number of topics, including the state of DAYS, what he thinks of some of his co-stars, his contract status, and one of the questions he’s asked the most: if he thinks E.J. and Sami will get together. James was very honest in his answers and I also found him not only to be a very gracious gentleman and easy to talk to, but also very modest.
GM: You’ve been playing E.J. DiMera on Days of Our Lives for almost three years. How does it feel knowing you’ve been such a huge hit with so many fans?
JS: I’m very grateful. I have to say I’d like to take all the credit but I think that most of the credit goes to the writers. They gave me a really great character to be able to play with and it was a character that was spread over right from the beginning, but in a number of different storylines, and so it was a great opportunity given to me which I hope I’ve been able to do a good job at.
GM: I recently read a wonderful interview in Soap Opera Digest with you and Ari Zucker, who of course plays Nicole and I also heard that you’re great friends with Alison Sweeney as well. Do you hang out with anyone else off the set?
JS: Not really. Honestly my outdoor activities are things I like to do on the weekend. I like to go hiking, but a fifteen mile hike is a short hike for me, so I like to go on pretty long hikes. I spend a lot of time with Brandon Beemer (ex-Shawn) who used to be on this show. He’s a good friend of mine who is on The Bold and the Beautiful, and we play tennis outside of work.
GM: And he’s also going to be joining you on Soap Opera Mania right?
JS: He’s going to joining me on this “Mania” event this weekend and also many weekends coming forward. I think I’m confirmed to do seven of these.
GM: Are you looking forward to it?
JS: I am. Brandon went to the last one and he told me great things about it. And I know Mike Gold, he’s the promoter. He’s somebody who has a track record of producing really high quality shows. I think he orchestrated Soap Cruise, which is something tremendously popular which happens every year, and he’s been in this business for a long time. He knows how to put on a really good show for the members of the public who want to come down and have a good time. He knows what makes it a good trip for them, what makes it worth their while, so I’m really excited to be working with him. There’s nobody in the business who has put on events for celebrities as long as he has. I haven’t been to one of these Mania events but I’m really looking forward to it. I think it’s going to be fantastic.
GM: I’m really starting to enjoy your scenes more and more with Eric Martsolf, who plays Brady of course.
JS: Oh, he’s wonderful! He’s a good actor. He’s solid, and it’s kind of funny. His first day of work, the first day that I worked with him I decided to poke a little bit (chuckles) just to see how much he’d give, and he didn’t budge at all. He immediately won a lot of respect from me, and we’ve become good friends. He’s a lovely, lovely guy, he’s so nice. And Galen Gering as well. Two good actors, who are just lovely to work with and they are very invested in doing good work, and obviously I think that is a great value to the show and it brings tremendously more to the audience. When I get to work with them, I think that it raises my game too. I have to work a little bit harder to work with them, which is always good.
GM: With Sami returning to Salem are we going to see the E.J./ Sami / Nicole triangle or is it going to be more of a confusing mess with Brady, since Brady has feelings for Nicole and Rafe.....
JS: Right now, where are we? We’re in a situation where E.J. is engaged to Nicole, and HE thinks it’s his baby.
GM: It’s confusing.
JS: But it’s not his baby, is it?
GM: It actually IS his baby (chuckles)
JS: It IS his baby with Samantha. Samantha gave her baby away to be adopted or to stay at the orphanage. So inevitably, these paths are going to intermingle and there’s going to be some things..... And I’ve always said to people who have asked me are E.J. and Sami going to get together. Yeah, eventually. Eventually, of course. I don’t know where the storylines are going to go, but I can imagine it’s going to be pretty interesting.
GM: We’re just going to enjoy the ride.
JS: And I think the show has gotten a lot better, much more exciting writing in the last maybe six months or so. What do you think?
GM: Do I think that E.J. is going to end up with E.J. or Sami? I have no idea!
JS: Do you think the show has gotten better recently?
GM: I’ve really enjoyed E.J. and Nicole together, although it’s really hard to wrap my head around what she’s doing and how she’s deceiving him. And it will be interesting to see E.J.’s reaction once he finds out the awful truth.
JS: Oh, that’s going to be fun, a blast.
GM: Yes, I’m predicting Emmy material there for you. Speaking of, did you submit anything to the Daytime Emmys this year?
JS: I did not. The show very kindly put me forward to be one of the pre-nominees as they call it, and I asked them to retract that. Because I just didn’t really feel like I had done any work that was worth of being nominated and if I do, then I’ll be happy to put that forward. But there are some really good actors who had some front-burning storylines who will do scenes that are VERY good, and they will not get the chance to be nominated for an Emmy because the system just kinds of lends itself towards front-burning storyline actors, and I’ve been a front burning storyline actor for three years. I’d love the show to win an Emmy. The show hasn’t won an Emmy for a long time. I feel the show should nominate the person who is the best, whether they’ve done only 2 shows in the whole year or whether they’ve filmed 106 shows. They should nominate the best actor. If I really felt that I’d had it, I would submit it.