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Guy Wilson weighs in on the murder of his character Will Horton on “Days of Our Lives”

Thanks to the many readers who have written in since yesterday about the murder of Will Horton on Days of Our Lives.

Frankly, I’m still processing the fact that the show would kill off a legacy character who has been part of the show since he was born. Would Will have survived had the character not been revealed to be gay 3-4 years ago?

It’s just so outrageous and I’ll be writing more about this in the days to come.

Guy Wilson, who took over the role of Will from Chandler Massey in early 2014, talks about the character’s demise in an upcoming issue of Soap Opera Digest: “It was all purely business, and it was all in an effort to revitalize the show and create story space to bring back some iconic characters like Bo and Patch. All the characters who have fallen victim to the serial killer, none of it had to do with problems with the actor or personality. [I am] sad to know that this wonderful period in my career was coming to a close.’

FILE UNDER: Days of Our Lives

Comments

(All comments are reviewed before being published, and I review submissions several times per day.)

20 Remarks

  1. I’m not surprised at all that they decided to kill him off. Guy Wilson was horrible in the role and I was hoping they would do it a long time ago. He took a role that chandler made into a totally believable and likable character and turned him into a whiny despicable conniving unlikable character that ruined the role of will. I know writing has a great part of everything that happens but there is also what the actor puts into it and Guy Wilson kinda sucked from the first day he walked on stage. I’ll bet freddie even hated kissing him compared to chandler. I don’t like that they killed off the character of will, but I’m so glad Guy Wilson is gone.

  2. They did not have to kill Will Horton “to make room” for these vets – these old characters are only on for short term arcs – 3 months to six months. If they wanted to end the WilSon story they could have had Will reunite with Sonny in Paris where they could live happily ever after off screen (since Freddie Smith had left the show) with an occasional mention around holidays like they do other characters who were written out (Carrie/Austin). Or they could have sent Will overseas for a writing assignment and involved in a plane crash where there were “no known survivors” and then if they decided to bring Will back later on he could “miraculously survive”. Leaving Arianna without a father and Sonny a widower is bad enough, but to die such a senseless horrifying death at the hands of a brutal psychotic killer is another. They could have had him die a hero, saving someone from a burning building or a car crash, sacrificing his life for someone else. Or even donating a kidney to someone and possibly dying during surgery. But to be strangled to death was cruel for someone who was just trying to defend Chad not knowing that he was facing the true killer (Ben). Guy WilSon did an amazing job during that deadly performance, realistically portraying a strangulation victim from Will’s perspective (looking up at Ben and seeing him blurry and out of focus as Will’s breath was literally squeezed out of him) – I will carry that image with me for a long time – those lifeless eyes staring up at us as the camera pans his face. Kudos to Guy WilSon and Rob WilSon for those performances.

  3. I cannot wrap my mind around why Days would kill off a near iconic character. There was potential for so much more fun and character development. I felt proud of Days when they breeched the gay marriage story line. It seems that storyline is now going south fast. Having been a viewer since 1965 I have seen many social issues become pivotal to the storylines. It seems days is now back peddling fast. I think Guy Wilson did an admirable job in portraying Will and he will be sorely missed. I thought I saw a glimmer of Will begin to mimic his on screen Moms’ behavior. I thought what fun it would be to see him develop his darker side. Between fast-blasting the kids to teenagers, bringing back a few seasoned vets of the show, adding new young faces to the mix it boggles the mind why Days writers would even consider offing Will. Enuf’ said. I wish Guy Wilson great success in all he undertakes.

  4. I agree with a poster on another site that the murder seemed to be more the act of a show closing down & desperate for advertising $ than one trying to revitalize itself for the coming years.

    In fact everything that I’ve seen so far of the returning characters seems more a loving farewell than revitalized story lines.

  5. Guy Wilson is grace personified. Next month, he is running a marathon in Athens through which he raised $10,000 for AIDS Project Los Angeles.

    He dealt with a barrage of hatred and harassment because he replaced a popular actor – who is also a good person and talented.

    In any case, if you doubt Guy Wilson’s talent, look at the terror he evoked as a young, gay husband and father in the prime of his life has the life choked out of him and isn’t given the agency to fight back. Meanwhile, a straight 60 year old can fight off multiple terrorists after being tortured for years and escape to go home to his family.

    Make no mistake, this is business. Days of Our Lives decided to court old, conservative viewers and scrub all gay imagery and offer up a gay legacy character’s slaughter for their entertainment and pleasure. There will be no good storyline because Will’s mother and husband have three-day guest shots and then will be gone.

    Will will be forgotten, and his daughter will be safely ensconced in a heterosexual world. Gabi, who was forgiven for cold-blooded murder, will live but Will’s lifeless body was stuffed in a duffel bag for the comfort and satisfaction of bigoted viewers.

    Tell NBC what you think of this.

  6. I love Guy Wilson and the character Will Horton; he (and Freddie Smith’s Sonny Kiriakis) were Days’ iconic gay supercouple, however I’m glad they killed off Will because this character was on a downward spiral the second Guy Wilson was cast. It’s not that Guy’s not a good actor, it’s just they ran down such an iconic character (under Chandler Massey) for him (Guy).

    Unless they were going to recast Will again or bring back Chandler, I was ready for Will to go. Not necessarily murdering him (especially by the hands of Ben Rodgers-Weston), but just rotating him out and highlighting Christopher Sean’s Paul Narita (as well as Spencer Neville’s Derrick) – another gay character who’s been put on the backburner with the showrunner change at Days of Our Lives.

    I’m glad they hired back the old writers, and some of the old faces of the series (especially from the late 1980s-1990s era), but I think they could have balanced some of the older characters with the newer ones. And killing off Will and running Sonny & Paul out of Salem is overkill (no pun intended). And this is where I’m upset with Days’ producers and NBC;

    Why didn’t they just recast Will with Chandler (if he’d want to return) since they were bringing back old faces?

    I fear NBC’s screwed the pooch with this one. I don’t think ratings will suffer horribly, but the network and producers will be able to tell. Will/Sonny (& Paul) had a following amongst the younger demographics (which Days needs to thrive).

  7. Some people are not intelligent enough to realize actors portray what is written for them. Actors don’t make the decisions to “change” a character. Actors don’t make decisions about what actions their character will take. It’s funny that those who criticize Guy in the role of Will are usually the ones who show their utter ignorance by the lack of ability to understand reality. Many had such an unhealthy obsession that they were not able to give criticism that is factual, instead their criticism is based on misconceptions and biased prejudices.

    These people criticize the actions of Will as being unacceptable and unforgivable. Yet, Will’s actions were no where near as destructive as the majority of all the other characters in the show.

    The choice to kill Will was a very poor choice. Many young people connected with Will and found acceptance of theirselves because of his story. Those people are sent a terrible message. The young man who came to terms with his sexual identity and tried to build a life for his daughter was judged much more harshly than the straight men and women in his life and was dealt a tragic death as an end to his short journey.

  8. I can’t believe they did this, I loved Will he was my favorite, days of our lives has made a Hugh huge mistake, too bad they can’t bring him back the charcter will be greatly missed

  9. It’s ‘Days’…it’s deja vu all over again….no one is Dead…they are all on an Island!

    ^^X^^

  10. Will’s death would be easier to accept if he’d died heroically or if there was some sort of silver lining. However, I really don’t think they thought much of how it unfolded so there was no heroic death or silver lining. The hard truth is that they wanted a serial killer story line to bring in viewers to see who they were willing to kill. They would get criticism if they only killed new characters. Killing Will was a win/win for tptb (the powers that be). Will was a legacy character that many fans have been complaining about: not just conservative viewers who they were targeting by bringing back the vets, but also some complaining gay fans and gay friendly media. I think the complaining minority in the gay viewership was their justification. I think they thought they were in the clear from major backlash. Sure they could have sent Will with Sonny, but this was their chance to make a temporary big impact on a new story arc(necktie killer) and get rid of the gay storyline in one fell swoop. They needed an important character. Freddie leaving gave them Will. It had nothing to do with future stories like the showrunner wants us to believe.

  11. Ignoring but also taking into account what Lee has commented above.

    Guy could have told the writers to give Will an edge. Some actors DO have a say in the direction they’d like their characters to go. Who knows, maybe the writers approached Guy about changing the direction of Will Horton? But this is all old now. We need to talk about Days & their one gay couple going forward.

    Chris Sean’s Paul is the only one left and we haven’t seen much of him lately. Wouldn’t be surprised if they decided to kill him too or ship him off on some assignment or baseball clinic somewhere.

    The producers need to rethink their angle and the aftermath of Will’s death for the show going forward.

  12. “I’m ignoring..” But no you didn’t ignore me, so thank you. Glad I have your attention. It’s naive to think a brand new addition to the staff, a new actor, would get to have control in the actors script or direction. If Guy did have control, Will would not be dead.

    Just because you want to continue your obsessive hate and blame, doesn’t mean your imaginative ways to put blame on the victim of your hate have any realistic basis.

    It’s much more joyful to live in a world of reality and logic.

  13. Glad that he is going. He is a terrible actor and not at all believable in the roll of Will. If you have been watching for a long time, he has actually ruined the character from previous Wills. Bring back Sonny and Nick. They would make a hot couple!!

  14. No need to publish this. I just wanted to express something that concerns me. As a straight person, maybe I have no right to make the observation and maybe I am wrong. The LGBT community wants representation. They want to more characters created and more equal treatment of such. (As do many of us who support them.) But, that same group of people has a sector that is often seen as the most critical of those few characters that are available. The criticism is harsh and vicious at times. Once a gay character does something they don’t approve of, the character is considered horrible. Not only that, but if the sector doesn’t like the actor for any reason, then the actor also receives an enormous amount of criticism that is often rude and vicious and relentless and not always even reality based. So think about this: if More gay roles are wanted and great actors are wanted to play those roles, aren’t those types of reactions contributing to hesitation of moving in that direction? For example, how many actors (or agents, or parents) would notice how much hurtful and personal criticism Guy received and then be excited to take over that role? Who would want to take that risk and who would encourage someone to? Let’s say a new gay role is created and the search was on for an actor. Isn’t it likely that many good ones would pass on it due to the hate they’d get not only from the homophobic audience, but also from the gay community itself if they happen to not approve of the way the character is written? How about those who create the stories? How much are they taking into consideration whether it is a good business choice if the Anti-Gay and even some of the gay community will attack?

    It definitely makes it easier for a show to explain killing a legacy character, who happens to be gay, without a decent exit story, IF THE gay community itself had a huge sector wanting the character gone and even expressing wanting him dead in the past. Afterall, it’s also easy to explain that another actor might not be accepted and would be subjected to the same criticism.

    Aren’t those who should be supporting the characters and the actors who choose to play them, hurting the move for more representation the most? (Of course, some criticism or characters and actors is normal. Just not to the extreme.)

    Will was written to do thing that were not always the right and moral thing. If you compare his actions to two-thirds of the rest of the characters you’d see he was not even close to being as bad as the majority. Yet he was judged so much more harshly. He was said to be despicable. Is he really in the land of Soaps? Think of his parents and all they have done. Think of his in-laws and all they’ve done. Think of Gabi. Yet, Will is most harshly judged and hated, while others who cheat or lie or manipulate or even murder are thought of as good or justifiable. And written in a corner, so only death is an option? Is there really such a thing on soaps where people are made to be clones and possessed, etc?

    If you are gay, I guess so.

  15. Ben did not kill Will because he was Gay.

    But DOOL may have.

    Afterall, these new writers were hired and then wrote for a murdered Will, immediately after the sex scenes between Will and Paul aired. Scenes which were bound to have brought in a lot of complaints from the conservative and homophobic audience. Any writing since that airing (they film 5 months ahead, was completely lacking in gay interaction.

  16. I started watching DOOL because of Greg’s articles about Will becoming confused about his sexuality and meeting of Sonny. It was because Greg does his job of keeping his readers knowledge of what goes on in Hollywood for those who may not be aware of a show/character. For that, Greg, thank you.

    I blame the beginning of the end for WilSon on the “writer” whose stupid request from Zoe for Will to take off his wedding ring so that Paul will won’t feel uncomfortable (or some stupid action like that) for an interview in Paul’s hotel room. The reasoning for that writer’s idea for something so out in left-field that as it was being done, I knew it was the beginning of the end of a happy marriage and WilSons’s story-line.

    That writer was probably the same who had EJ killed by Clyde, yet Stefano did absolutely nothing to look into who or why it happened. Now if these new writers want to prove their mettle, let them write a believable story to bring him back.

  17. Guy Wilson faced criticism on both sides. He got it from conservative viewers who hated Will’s sexuality and he was relentlessly pummeled by fans of Chandler Massey, Will’s previous portrayer. People forget that Massey was also strongly and resentfully criticized for his acting and there was constant complaining about him not wanting to do love scenes with Freddie Smith or smirking all the time or not being engaged in the last six months he was there. But when he was gone, that was all forgotten. It’s a case of selective memory. Chandler Massey did great at times, at times not so great. Same with Guy Wilson.

    Soap acting is hard and no actor is on their game every day, but Guy Wilson grew into the role and was given the task of making Will a pot-stirring, self-destructive character that audiences either loved or hated. He owned it, and his shenanigans brought the show its highest ratings in the last year. Days has been touting the recent 7-month high in ratings. Eight months ago, Will was beginning his self-destructive downslide and engaged in a very explicit for daytime love scene with a man who was not his husband. The decision to kill off Will was made shortly after that scene aired.

    Unfortunately, there’s a section of online fandom that was relentlessly nasty toward him and they drowned out the many fans of his work. Yet, there is also nastiness to other polarizing characters but they are not killed off if they have popularity elsewhere. I get the impulse to say gay characters should be treated equally, but the situation remains they are not equal. When Days portrayed Will as doing milder versions of things the majority of straight characters do – cheating and scheming – that was the end of him. The excuse was the criticism that Will got from all sides, but the reason was to please the conservatives that were constantly calling for the gay storyline to end.

    The other two gay characters, Sonny and Paul, have been written as far more perfect and saintly than Will or anyone else on canvas. This is because in order to gain acceptance in straight society, gays must be heteronormative in every way. Perfect husbands, perfect fathers, perfect citizens. If they violate the agreement to behave themselves, they will be eviscerated by both gay and straight audience members, while straight characters who do worse will be forgiven. That is a problem that is unique to gay characters, and Will is a great symbol of that. On a soap, happiness equals no story, but if gays behave badly, they are treated more harshly. This is a serious problem for gay representation.

  18. October 12th, 2015 at 2:14 pm
    Lalena Kilgore says:

    I loved and watched this show since I was in elementary school I saw Wills mother grow into a women and watched him be conceived. I watched Sammy and Lucas battle over him as a child and I feel like I saw him grow into a young man. I was unsure at first of Guy Wilson when he replaced Chandler Massey; although I do not believe Chandler Massey wanted to play a gay role, because I felt Guy Wilson did a wonderful job. I am very disappointed that days of our lives did not feel they had room for two old characters to return and keep a great story line. Like it or not days of our lives it is 2015 and gay people are aloud to get married in this country! This story line had much potential whether Sonny and Will stayed marred or not. Will was an over all good person on the show; and was beginning to show the depth that came from his upbringing. The story line with Will and Sonny gay or not should of had nothing to do with killing Will off! I came to feel as Will was part of my family I cried nonstop on Monday when his family had to learn about his demise. As I felt their pain just as deeply. I may just watch the show the next few weeks to see them lay Will to rest and stop watching it after that. The return or Bo and Patch/Steve is not enough to make me want to keep me wanting to watch. I initially was excited to see their return, but not at this cost. Looks likes this show is going the way of many other soap operas and will be leaving the air waves. They Should not of choose short term cash over their fans. Long term fan most likely soon to be no longer watching.

  19. It’s very simple – Guy Wilson acted the words and plots that were written for his character. And therein lies the problem, once Chandler left (or was fired) the writers didn’t know what to do with Will. They aged the character, they gave him a mean spirit, they had him cheat (more than once) on the man he loved. It all felt so unauthentic for the character, time and again a ‘where the hell did that come from’ moment.
    But even so, the actual murder was such a letdown. He leaves a message for Sonny, he finds a tie and then he is dead. Had the writers put ANY effort into it this could have been wrenching, a story to remember. But the writers were so lazy they gave greater emphasis and spent more time on the ridiculous Caroline ESP storyline.
    I’m happy to see Allison Sweeney again, I hope her short storyline is worth the killing of a character that meant so much to so many.
    Oh wait, this is DOOL, nobody is ever actually really dead, are they? We’ll be seeing Will back soon enough.

  20. The death of Will has left me sick to my stomache. I was sure that Sonny would go back and they would turn their characters around and renew their relationship in a more mature way. The writers missed out on a great oppurtunity to show that any marriage takes work and love and even maturity. I fell like the Day’s writers have become homophobic and the addition of old characters will make the show old fashioned and dull. I see no new material that could interest me. Huge mistake for the show. If they don’t modernize instead of recycling this will definetly be the “end of Days”

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