Actor Bill Hayes and actress Susan Seaforth in Days of Our Lives | Source Bing | Michael Logan

11 Unexpected Backstage dramas and secrets of Days of Our Lives.

Days of Our Lives is one of the longest-running scripted tv programs in the world. The daytime soap opera debuted on November 8th 1965 and has aired nearly every weekday ever since. On December 17th 2020 days of our lives aired its 14000th episode. The series was created by husband-and-wife team Ted and Betty Corday in conjunction with Sony Pictures Television. Its plot deals primarily with several core families. The Hortons, Brady’s and DiMera and their tangled web of interpersonal relationships and drama. Since Days premiered back in the 60’s there have been over 70 soap opera series that have aired on various networks but today it’s one of just four that still remain on the air. Days prides itself in creating intimate family-like characters complete with compelling plotlines taking on some groundbreaking and relevant social issues.

The Amazing Susan and her Legacy.

Actress Susan Seaforth Hayes who’s now 77 is the only actress to have appeared on days for all six decades of its production since 1968. She started out playing Julie, the oldest grandchild of the original matriarch and patriarch of the family. These days she and real-life husband Bill Hayes make up one of the show’s most beloved elderly power couples. Hayes explains that your average movie star with four or five credits to their name might produce eight to ten hours of entertainment but her viewers have gotten the chance to see her and her husband’s character for literally thousands of hours. According to her, that’s not just stardom it’s true intimacy and support.

In search of the Real Salem.

Where is Salem anyway? Many people mistakenly confused the Salem featured in the show with a certain town in Massachusetts where witches were hung and burned alive a couple of hundred years ago. But the Salem featured in Days isn’t located anywhere in the northeast. In fact, it’s located in Illinois. For years fans have been wanting to know the truth. There were plenty of clues that pointed to the state. For one thing, on many occasions, characters reference things in relation to their proximity to Chicago. Sports fans featured in the series also tend to wear Illinois sports team apparel.

Days of Our Lives is a Survivor.

It was almost cancelled in 2008. For the last couple of decades, soaps haven’t been performing as well as they once did. Ratings have progressively gone downhill year after year. Each contract gets shorter and shorter. In 2008 Days faced intense pressure from the network and was almost cancelled. Most insiders were under the impression that the show wouldn’t be renewed for another season. But alas it has since enjoyed another decade on the air. Granted ratings and viewership have continued to slip over the years.

Guilty Pleasures.

The cast often steals props from the show. It’s not altogether uncommon for actors to occasionally borrow props from the films or tv shows they’re working on. For some these pilfered keepsakes can have emotionally sentimental value. Keeping a piece of a memory so it could be cherished later.

Your Wish is My Command

Producers aren’t shy to ask actors to change their physical appearance. Promptly after casting an actor, producers often make several special requests about their new actor’s physical appearance. Actor Brian Dattilo confirmed after he auditioned to be on the show the Day’s producers asked him to make several hefty changes. He had to wear braces on his teeth and they also wanted him to wear lifts on his feet to make him taller. Additionally, they wanted him to get a tan and get in better shape.

EJ and Sami in Days of Our Lives | Source Bing | Wikipedia
EJ and Sami in Days of Our Lives | Source Bing | Wikipedia

Days of Our Lives, Breaking The Norms.

Days was the first soap to cast a man in a woman’s role. Alison Sweeney, the actress who currently plays Sammy Brady went on maternity leave back in 2005. To compensate for her absence the show’s producers decided to cast Dan Wells as her deviously vindictive male alter ego. Stan Wells played Stan for nearly six months before handing the role back to Sweeney.

Money over Talent

They’ve fired veteran actors to save money. Producers have asked some of the veteran actors with higher wages to step down. Sometimes producers feel like a character has become too stale to justify their salaries. If it makes more sense financially to give somebody the boot then so be it. This mentality has led to fan favourites like Sarah Brown and Matthew Ashford abruptly leaving the show amidst a great deal of controversy.

The Dedication of the Cast.

They film seven episodes a week. Soaps are so different from other kinds of tv shows. Daily soaps air five times a week for the majority of the year with a tight schedule like that it requires the cast and crew to show up and film up to seven episodes per production week. It’s tough shooting all day and remembering the lines for the next shoot, day in and day out. Hats off to the dedicated cast members who make sure that nothing goes wrong when it comes to our beloved show.

The Raw Deal.

Every actor got released from their contracts in 2019. Reports flooded that the entire cast of Days of Our Lives had officially been released from their contracts in 2019. The news broke following heavy speculation the show was about to be cancelled. While it’s been renewed twice since then the contract situation means they can hire the actors back at a lower price to save on cash.

Kyle Lowder and Arianne Zucker in Days of Our Lives | Source Bing
Kyle Lowder and Arianne Zucker in Days of Our Lives | Source Bing

Love is in the Air.

Romances are common. It’s not uncommon for cast members of tv shows or films to hook up. But the actors of Days of Our Lives have been especially known to get cosy. It makes sense though they spend so much time with each other. Cast members Kyle Lowder and Arianne Zucker have been in a relationship and so have Molly Burnett and Casey Jones.

The Compromises We make.

The costumes are recycled to save money. Until recent times, most of the characters on Days would go through an entire wardrobe. Each season most characters would be in a new outfit every episode but as the show has faced mounting budget issues, they’ve had to make a few sacrifices. The costume department has taken a huge hit. New costumes are rare and limited and the cast reuses a lot of older clothing.

Days of our lives is like an old lady. Her closet is filled with secrets. Stories lesser-known, paths less travelled. No matter how much you think you know about her, there is always something new you learn about her each day.

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