Chandler Massey talks his exit from “Days of Our Lives,” Emmys, playing gay and Freddie Smith
Chandler Massey, the gifted actor who won three consecutive Emmys for his portrayal of Will Horton on Days of Our Lives, has done an interview with AfterBuzz which you can watch below.
Chandler, currently studying economics at UCLA, is very candid about his sudden departure from the show two years ago, heaps praise on his co-star Freddie Smith, shares how playing a gay character impacted him, and confesses that one of his three Emmys is in an unexpected place.
At the Emmys in 2013, Chandler was asked backstage what his plans were after the end of his four-year contract at the end of the year. . He answered that he was going back to school.
He says now: ‘I learned a valuable lesson. Tell your employer what you plan to do at the end of your contract before you tell everybody else. … I really should have approached them first. I was just short sighted. Of course they want to carry the character on, it’s a really important character and the stories around him are really important. I feel like I blindsided them accidentally by doing that and so I really didn’t leave them with any choice except to bring in somebody else. It was very sudden, I didn’t know until that day but that’s just how they do things. I think they just like to run a tight ship and keep information close to the vest because it creates less distractions. It allowed me to work until my last day without having someone over my shoulder waiting in the wings.’
Chandler’s scenes continued to air until early January of 2014 and it was that June that he won his third Emmy. In between, Guy Wilson had stepped into the role as Sonny and Will were about to get married.
The hosts brought up Massey’s third Emmy win coming when he was no longer on the show. In a still never explained snafu, a clip of Wilson was shown when Massey’s name was announced as a nominee.
‘I actually had never seen that clip before so I was confused at first but then I was like, “That’s a nice clip,”‘ Chandler told the AfterBuzz hosts.
The interview took place in the same week that the final scenes of Freddie Smith on Days are airing.
Massey said working with Smith, who won an Emmy of his own this year, was ‘amazing.’
‘Freddie’s got this thing where he’s just so real and I’ve never seen him push – ever – which is so great and so rare. Because he kind of just lives it, like he lives the role and it was so great to work with him.’
Massey was also asked just where each of his three Emmys are.
He shared that one is home with his family in Georgia while another is with his longtime publicist Jeff Ballard who also represents Charlie Sheen, among others.
The third one?
That went home with his friend Pat, the winner of a Halloween costume contest at a party Chandler and his roommates threw last year.
‘I had a little too much to drink,’ he admitted.
Massey did not know Will would be gay when he first took the role but was glad it happened. It gave him the juicy storyline he craved, more screen time and it taught him a lot about LGBT equality.
Says Chandler: ‘I learned that a man’s lips are not really that different than a woman’s lips! I grew to care about marriage-equality. Before I was largely ignorant. I didn’t know so I didn’t care. But then I got to learn so much playing this character that I realized there were so much going on that needs to be addressed. It made me a better person.’