Chandler Massey won a Daytime Emmy on Saturday (23 June) for his portrayal of gay teen Will Horton on the NBC soap opera Days of Our Lives.
‘I was shocked, I didn’t think I was going to win,’ he told Gay Star News after the ceremony concluded at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills. ‘I’m very humbled by this.’
Massey, who attended the awards with his parents and grandfather, said he was still trying to process the fact that his name was called as the winner in the category of outstanding younger actor in a daytime drama.
‘It was surreal,’ he said. ‘When they called my name, I walked up to do the speech and felt like it was too good to be true.’
But it was true and Massey is believed to be the first actor to win an Emmy for playing a gay character on a daytime soap. Van Hansis, who played gay teen Luke Snyder on the now-cancelled As the World Turns for several years, was Emmy-nominated several times but did not win.
‘I’m just so grateful to the producers and the writers for being committed to this storyline,’ Massey said. ‘It’s a tribute to them and They are really the ones who made it all possible.’
He also paid tribute to his fellow cast members: ‘Everyone has been so amazing and a pleasure to work with.’
The Emmy win came during a week that his character was front-and-center on the soap. Will was arrested on suspicion of murdering the town villain then was cleared by a guy he was out at a gay club with.
In the process, the character went from being out only to his maternal grandmother and his parents to being out to the entire town.
So what is Massey going to do with his brand new Emmy?
“I’m going to sleep with this next to my pillow,” he said.