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Actor relishes gay role on US soap opera

Chandler Massey's soap character coming out in dramatic fashion on NBC's Days of Our Lives

Actor relishes gay role on US soap opera

Fans of the US daytime soap opera Days of Our Lives are watching 18-year-old Will Horton begin to fall apart at the seams.

Will is reeling after seeing his mother, now married to someone else, in the throes of passion with his former stepfather. He's also just been dumped by his girlfriend largely because he refuses to sleep with her.

Yes, Will is gay – but he's not near ready to deal with it.

According to Chandler Massey, the 21-year-old Emmy-nominated actor who has played Will since 2010, Will's coming out process will be unlike anything ever seen before on a daytime soap opera.

"It's not going to be romantic, let me just say that," Massey says. "Will has a lot on his plate. Through the years, he has put his sexuality on the back burner and hasn't really dealt with it."

This week, Will gets drunk at a public event and tears into his mother. This occurs a short time after he has trashed his aunt's kitchen because his girlfriend, Gabi, breaks up with him in front of their friends.

"Personally, I love it," Massey says of the scenes where the usually mild-mannered Will becomes unhinged. "It's a challenge to do them convincingly but they are some of the most fun scenes that I get to do."

Massey was told last February that Will, who is from the soap's two core families, was going to be gay. But then the show went through two new executive producers and replaced its head writer.

"Nothing really happened for several months and they didn't tell me if they were going to go forward or not," he says. "But from the time they told me in February, I made the choice and played Will with [his sexuality] in mind."

Massey, who participated in the NOH8 marriage equality campaign and the LA AIDS Walk this year, is mindful that Will's storyline comes at a time that LGBT rights, bullying and teen suicides are at the forefront.

"This story is going to reach a big audience including viewers who are not gay," he says. "It might open their minds and make them more tolerant."