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Michael Fairman Interviews Thaao Penghlis
Topic Started: Jan 8 2009, 10:35 PM (642 Views)
Ellie


http://michaelfairmansoaps.com/article/articleItem.cfm?cms_article_id=62

THE THAAO PENGHLIS INTERVIEW - DAYS OF OUR LIVES

By Michael Fairman

This interview appears on newsstands now in the January 7th 2009 issue of TV SOAP Australia.

“NOBODY IS SAFE”

Following the news that two of Days of our Lives biggest icons have been axed, Aussie actor Thaao Penghlis concedes it’s all quite unsettling, but he isn’t anxious. Nowadays, he has his fingers in other pies and is adopting a come-what-may philosophy.

TV SOAP:

The news that “DAYS” Deidre Hall (Marlena) and Drake Hogestyn (John) were let go was certainly a shock. From your perspective, what do you think happened?

THAAO:

I was not there, so I don’t know what happened, but, Deidre and Drake to me were the icons! Deidre is a real trouper. She does not get into victim mode, but, she has been on the show for 32 years. I looked at her and went, “We were the best of DAYS in the 80’s.” We had the most fun because there was more money, and more rehearsals, and it wasn’t short changed. It’s certainly different now. I am sorry to see Drake and Deidre go. I am sure they will go off into the sunset somewhere. They’ll bring them back when they need them.

TV SOAP:

The fans don’t know how to take this!

THAAO:

The fans are up in arms I hear. I think what the fans don’t understand, and I do sympathize with them because something in their lives has gone away, (is that) the reality in producing a show, and to still keep some quality to it, is difficult. Everyone is under great pressure, and people behind-the-scenes and everyone works very hard.

TV SOAP:

How are things at the set of “DAYS”? Are people walking around on eggshells?

THAAO:

The actors come in and go to hair and make up and do not say much, and in some ways we are respectful of each other. Certainly no one is walking around feeling sorry for Deidre and Drake, because they don’t want to do that. In some ways, many of us don’t believe it is happening, but it is. Are we treading on eggshells? No. We have been through a lot in the last few years, and the fact that the show has been picked up for 18 months, is great. I think we have to adjust to things, like another curve ball.

TV SOAP:

Are you worried about your job there?

THAAO:

I have not had much story of late. I am working this week a lot, but nobody knows and everyone is keeping a straight face. I think some actors have had their salaries cut. It’s not only happening at “DAYS”, it’s happening in Daytime. Everybody is doing it kind of quietly, but when you let go of two daytime icons, it’s like, “Whoa, nobody’s safe!” You just roll with the punches. I have come to a point in my life where I have been gone from “DAYS” and come back. I am concentrating on other things, which is what is helping me, so I am not just about “DAYS”.

TV SOAP:

You have been written off four times and brought back, though.

THAAO:

One year they killed me off, and they called me upstairs. When they call me upstairs, I know it’s never going to be about good news. I remember they said to me, “The character was going to be killed off at this time.” It was under the late James Reilly’s writing regime. I remember talking to the producer at the time, and I said, “I think it would be a better idea to wait till after the actor finishes his work to tell him this.”

TV SOAP:

Reilly kept killing you off!

THAAO:

Yes. One year I was killed four times. He did have me in some interesting circumstances and they were always over the top. The James Reilly’s of the world are gone.

TV SOAP:

What is happening currently with Tony Dimera in story?

THAAO:

My scenes are mainly with EJ and my father Stefano, and they are competitive scenes. I am concerned about EJ getting under the thumb of my father. I think Tony is an independent soul. He wants to give some integrity back to the Dimera name. EJ needs me because the character is not strong enough on his own as a Dimera. He does not possess what Tony and Stefano have, and that is to be a killer. You need those shadows. I would like to see where the father is trying to control him and gives him the empire, and I have to battle him for it. I know they like the two of us together. James Scott (EJ) is just too tall for me to work with! (He laughs)

TV SOAP:

How is it to still work with Joe Mascolo (Stefano)?

THAAO:

Joe and I go back a long way. You know, I really enjoy him, and his character had become so wonderful in many ways. Joe is as good as he ever was, right now.

TV SOAP:

If you were writing the show, what would you still love to do with Tony?

THAAO:

I think more than anything, I would love to unravel a real great mystery, and have someone like Anna along… like (famous fictional detectives) Nick and Nora Charles. Even with her stumbling, she comes across evidence. I love thrillers!

TV SOAP:

The Dimeras have been such an intriguing family lately, especially after Stefano came out of his coma.

THAAO:

It was the beginning of the rivalry with John and EJ, with Stefano coming back to life. Everybody was demanding that they are the rightful heirs to the empire. The Dimeras are dark, intense, and very European, especially Tony and Stefano. EJ is an Englishman, so that is a bit different. We have a different passion that we share with each other. We eat our victims, our poor victims!

TV SOAP:

How would you feel about leaving “DAYS” if that time should come?

THAAO:

I feel at this point with “DAYS”, if they were to let me go, then I would go, “Onwards”. I am not having regrets anymore. I did my best work and lifted the dialog from the page. You have to allow life to let you know there is going to be a change. So I am open about things. If I am meant to move on, that is fine, too. There is nothing to apologize for. It was my first Daytime Emmy nomination this year, and I was not utilized much after that. I just feel…. opportunity missed.
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Ellie


Oh, and they'll bring Drake & Deidre back when they need them? Based on the current spoilers, I'd say the show doesn't think they need them too much right now.
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hoochielicious
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Queen Hoochie

Thanks Ellie.

I'm glad he has such a healthy attitude if he gets let go again.
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Mason
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I feel bad for Thaao. It's almost as if the only reason he's still on the show is that Corday and Tomlin have just forgotten he's still there.
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Angie79
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Royal Reporter

Thanks Ellie!

I bet he is going to be cut.
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Ellie


Angie79
Jan 8 2009, 10:46 PM
Thanks Ellie!

I bet he is going to be cut.
You're welcome, everyone!

I think so too, Angie, also based on his latest guestbook post.
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hoochielicious
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Queen Hoochie

It's starting to look that way. I'm tired of him being jerked around.
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marianne557
Viscount/Viscountess
[ *  *  *  * ]
Thaao always gives such great interviews. He is always so straight forward. Glad to see he is ok with whatever happens. If they are not using him then let him go. Love the last line! Damn right opportunity was missed!
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Tammy
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That is really an awesome perspective to have about the current situation in daytime. I would think I would be bitter as hell lol.

Thanks for posting.
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darraholic
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Thanks for posting Ellie.

Tony & Anna are such an underrated couple. It's a shame the writers don't give them something to do.
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