Only in Salem, kids, only in Salem. Days of Our Livesheartthrobs Eric Martsolf (Brady) and Galen Gering (Rafe)claim they had no problem shooting the soap's Magic Mike spoof airing April 23. But let's get real here. When you launch your career on Passions — as both actors did — you probably don't have much dignity left!
"Days brought in a choreographer who showed us a few choice moves, some of which are banned in certain countries," Martsolf tells TV Guide Magazine. "But Galen and I had no issues — certainly not after Passions where we'd take off our clothes for any mundane reason." He recalls one plot where he and Justin Hartley had to help a woman who'd been shot. "I used my shirt as a pillow, he used his as a tourniquet, then we hung around the hospital topless for six episodes asking about her condition. So this thing on Days? Business as usual!"
And it's all for a good cause. Two, actually. The men of Salem take part in the strip show to benefit Salem University Hospital but also to aid fellow stud Cameron Davis (Nathan Owens), who secretly moonlights as a stripper to pay his medical-school bills.
"Cameron's in danger of getting caught and losing his job as a doctor so his pals help him out by joining him on stage," says Gering. "If we all shake our tallywhackers for charity, how bad can it be, right?" The guys are dressed YMCA-style: Gering as a construction worker, Martsolf as a cop, Shawn Christian [Daniel] as a cowboy. "Eric clearly has a lot of experience doing strip shows," cracks Gering. "And I think Shawn was pretty drunk so he was having a good time, too. I was just trying not to embarrass myself but I kept remembering what they taught us in acting school: Dare to suck."
Naturally, the women of Salem show up. "There's nothing quite like taking off your clothes in front of Caroline Brady," says Gering of the character played by 85-year-old Peggy McCay. "It's even weirder when she starts shoving cash down your crotch. It takes your career to a whole new level."
Martsolf was having none of it. "I saw Peggy waving her dollar bill and giving me that look and I just couldn't handle it," he says. "I'm thinking, 'I can't do it! I just can't do it!' So I slowly made my way across to the other side of the stage. As an actor I'll try pretty much anything. You gotta accept this kind of stuff when you're a daytimer. It's what we signed up for. [Laughs] But guess what? I do have boundaries!"
Apparently, so does Gering. "Our choreographer was one of those Thunder From Down Under types who had absolutely no shame," Gering says. "At one point he had us rehearsing this dance where I was going, 'Whoa! I don't know about this. It looks like Rafe is [doing something sexual to] Daniel!' The choreographer said, 'No, no, it doesn't look that way at all!' But then I look over at the other guys and they're all going, "Uh, yeah it does." So we had to change that part but, otherwise, it all turned out great. I don't know why we never did this on Passions. I guess I was too busy doing bedroom scenes with an orangutan."