Freddie Smith knows he’s a part of something special.
The young actor, who received his first Daytime Emmy nomination this week, plays one half of a gay couple on the NBC soap Days of Our Lives in a storyline that fully integrates the characters with the rest of the fictional small town of Salem.
‘I never imagined that it would be this great,’ Smith told Gay Star News in a recent interview. ‘We had expectations but I just really love this storyline from the bottom of my heart. It’s nice to go to work every day and have such a positive impact.’
Smith began playing the role of Sonny Kiriakis in the middle of June 2011. His character, part of one of the town’s main families, was out and proud when he returned from college.
But Will Horton, the love of Sonny’s life, was conflicted and closeted and after developing a friendship, the two finally became a couple last year.
But the drama has been non-stop with Will (played by Chandler Massey) getting his ex-girlfriend pregnant and a battle over his parental rights has ensued. Sonny has also had to fend off the advances of a handsome friend who would like to steal him from Will.
Through it all, Sonny handles himself with grace and honesty.
‘Sonny just takes a bad situation and makes it good and that’s how I am in life,’ Smith said. ‘If things are going not so well, I try to focus on the positives and make it better. But he is pretty flawless which is kind of fun to play because who is flawless? It’s kind of cool. But he has a couple of problems coming up so it’ll be nice to see him a little vulnerable.’
It will be a challenge, Smith said, once Will becomes a parent.
‘I’m learning a lot about how I would like to wait to have children,’ he said with a laugh. ‘I’m getting to hold a real live baby and it’s just a new chapter in my life. But it’s a lot of fun. It’s interesting.’
The soap has not been shy about showing physical affection between Will and Sonny. They kiss frequently, hold hands, rub necks, have been seen in a shower together and in bed.
‘Him and I trust each other and that’s the biggest thing,’ he said of fellow Emmy nominee Massey. ‘Most of our affection is just all improv – it’s whatever we feel in the scene. When I step in to that character, I truly love Will and Will loves Sonny and I think that’s where the chemistry comes from. I’m just happy that us two were able to be paired up to do this.’
Smith is also happy to be making a difference with audiences.
‘I get more fan mail than I ever imagined in my life I would get and how my work can touch people is unbelievable. I think it’s amazing. The storyline is doing great things.’