|Guy Wilson debuted as the new Will Horton on DAYS OF OUR|
LIVES on Wednesday, January 8, 2014.
That was actor Guy Wilson's first line in his debut as the new Will Horton on DAYS OF OUR LIVES. Well, believe it!
Over the years many relative unknown thespians, who later turned out to be excellent actors, even Emmy winners, made their daytime soap opera debuts and looked like stiffs. This is a different medium, with a lot of dialogue to memorize, where getting it right on the first take is desired. It's understandable if a new actor in a daytime drama takes not just one, but several episodes to settle in. It's happened time and again so I give them a pass. Luckily, Wilson doesn't need one. He performed like a seasoned pro on Day One.
Wilson has already met two of my requirements for the character of Will: chemistry with Sonny (Freddie Smith)...and EJ (James Scott). Plus, he was very reactive in all his scenes with all his actors partners, even if it was a bit earnest at times. Oh, and he's a good actor that's attractive. Maybe he met five of my requirements.
It is always a bit jarring to viewers when a new actor replaces a fan favorite. Sometimes the character suddenly does something you think they never would do. When Jensen Buchanan replaced Anne Heche as Vicky on ANOTHER WORLD back in 1991 she suddenly developed a relationship with her true love's brother, Grant Harrison (Mark Pinter). I remember thinking that Anne's Vicky would never have been written to do that. For the immediate future, Will's relationships are in the same place as they were last week with Chandler Massey playing the role, and different types of scenes than were written today will be the ultimate test for WilSON (Will and Sonny). How Will evolves with Guy Wilson will be very interesting to watch.
Characters tend to get tailored toward an actor's strengths and take on some of their characteristics over time. Billy Miller's Billy Abbott on THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS is a prime example. The original adult Billy, Emmy winner David Tom, will be taking the role back after two-time Emmy winner Miller exits on January 30, and some fans can't see Tom playing his old part today. When Jensen Buchanan landed the Vicky role on ANOTHER WORLD, she beat out Ellen Wheeler, the original actress to play the character (along with Vicky's twin, Marley), who won an Emmy for her work. The character didn't fit her anymore the producers said. Wilson comes across as an older, more grown up Will. Will that inspire the writers to spin the character off in a new direction?
It's one day, in an episode where Will didn't have anything spectacular to do, so it is not easy to judge but I'll go out on a limb and predict Will will find a new career this year. After Day One I don't picture this Will as a writer. Ask me again after Day Two and I may have a new opinion.
Probably the biggest thing missing today was the way Massey's Will looked at almost everyone and everything like it was the greatest thing in the world. That wasn't a Will characteristic when Massey took on the role and it probably won't be now. But that's what happens with characters if you watch a daytime soap opera long enough. And Wilson will put his on spin on the part, adding layers that weren't there before.
One quirky thing: Wilson leaned to the right in two different scenes. It was hard to tell if he was leaning on a table or what Will was doing exactly, or if that was an acting choice. Think of your posture, young man!
Most actors are replaceable even if they don't realize it. DAYS successfully recast Peter Reckell's Bo Brady with Robert Kelker-Kelly seamlessly back in 1993. With Guy Wilson in 2014, DAYS has cast a believable actor in a key role to keep a character around that's important to many people, even beyond daytime television. This is great news. And after Day One and watching Wilson perform, I am very excited to see what lies ahead.
"I have a feeling none of this is ever going to go away."
This was Wilson's final line of Day One. My second prediction: Wilson and WilSon are not going away anytime soon either.
Watch Guy Wilson's first DAYS OF OUR LIVES scenes in the clip below: