Days of our Lives
Longtime audience favorite Bryan Dattilo returns to Days of Our Lives Feb. 29 as prodigal screwup Lucas Horton, a character who left Salem two years ago to take a high-powered job in Hong Kong. The reason for Dattilo's exit from the NBC soap is quite another story! The actor gave TV Guide Magazine the juicy scoop on his termination, his comeback and the latest chapter in the Lucas-Sami sexcapades.
TV Guide Magazine: There was buzz that your ouster from Days in 2009 was due to un-professional behavior. What's the truth?
Dattilo: I was definitely sending out the message I didn't care. I was burned out and not giving my all. I felt the development of my character wasn't going anywhere. I was cracking a lot of jokes. It all came off like I was mocking the show and the work everyone was doing. It was just my insecure way of handling the pressure but it was stupid of me to burn a bridge like that, with a show that's done so much for me, a show that's been my life. It was just the dumbest, most egotistical thing. And I really regret it. I want to prove I can make the most of this second chance.
TV Guide Magazine: Your appearance at the Days 45th anniversary panel event at the TV Academy sure didn't help.
Dattilo: No, it didn't. Days was very nice to invite me even though I was no longer on the show but I showed up feeling pretty bitter. I said some things to cast members I shouldn't have. My attitude really rubbed people the wrong way, and I didn't represent the show properly, either. The next day I was so disappointed in myself. I was like, "Why did I do that? Why did I flick James Scott's ear? Why did I make fun of Ari Zucker's name? Why did I have that glass of wine before I went?" It was horrible.
TV Guide Magazine: How did it feel to see so many other former Days faves, like Melissa Reeves, Deidre Hall, Drake Hogestyn and Matt Ashford, being invited back to the show with great fanfare?
Dattilo: It just made me even more bitter. To tell the truth, I was on the verge of quitting the business. But my managers said, "Just stick it out a little bit longer. Don't make any strong, rash decisions." So I didn't.
TV Guide Magazine: You wound up taking construction work at Sony Studios. How'd that feel?
Dattilo: The tour groups would come by and there I'd be with my gloves and my kneepads sweating my ass off. People would say, "Hey, aren't you...?" And before they could get it out I'd say, "Nope, I just look like him." It was very funny, but also very humbling. My winding up doing construction at the studio that does Days was no coincidence. It was just God's way.
TV Guide Magazine: Let's get back to the future. How will Lucas react to the news his son, Will [Chandler Massey], is gay?
Dattilo: He's in shock when he sees Will flirting with another guy, but I'm really proud of the way the writers are handling this. They stayed true to Lucas' past, so he's still a very loving and accepting guy. He's really there for Will, though he's worried his son will be heckled. He's worried about hate crimes and would do anything to protect him. [Laughs] The last thing Lucas needs is to try to kill somebody — again!
TV Guide Magazine: What about Lucas and his ex-wife Sami [Alison Sweeney]? Will they be friends or foe?
Dattilo: Lucas always seems to show up when Sami is at her most vulnerable. It doesn't take long for her to start admitting her mistakes. Like, within the first five minutes she says, "I slept with EJ again! I had a moment of weakness!" That annoys the hell out of Lucas. He'd be fine with anybody but EJ. But he and Sami discover they still have feelings for each other. [Laughs] Oh, who am I kidding? It's all sexual tension with them. It doesn't take long before they're jumping into bed!
TV Guide Magazine: Any chance he can make this dysfunctional threesome a happy family? Or is that mission totally impossible?
Dattilo: We have some scenes where Lucas tells Will that he and Sami are getting back together and Will's not happy about it, so they're all going to talk it out. It's at that point that Lucas is feeling so vulnerable and exposed that he lashes out and says, "Well, you know what? I'm gay!" And let me tell you, that Chandler just rips up every scene. What a great actor! Before I left the show we'd worked together in only one or two scenes. When I came back I'm going, "Who the hell is this guy?" I didn't know it was the same kid!
TV Guide Magazine: Doesn't Lucas have a fiancée in Hong Kong, not to mention a job? What keeps him in Salem?
Dattilo: No more fiancée. No more job. So he agrees to work for Sami! He's going to be co-CEO at her company Countess Wilhelmina.
TV Guide Magazine: He never learns.
Dattilo: [Laughs] Never!
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