Playing father of gay teen on Days of Our Lives a welcome development for Bryan Dattilo

'Actor tells Gay Star News: 'The fact that they wrote him so loving and so supportive is such a relief to me'

Playing father of gay teen on Days of Our Lives a welcome development for Bryan Dattilo
12 June 2012

When Bryan Dattilo returned to NBC’s Days of Our Lives in early 2012 after a two-year hiatus, his character of Lucas Horton had a lot to adjust to including the fact that his son, Will, is gay.

‘I was a little worried about how they were going to handle Lucas’s reaction,’ the actor admits to Gay Star News. ‘I didn’t want it to be typical dad denying, not understanding.’

But Lucas, who had been wondering about his son after seeing him in a friendly clinch with his openly gay friend Sonny, did not judge and let Will (played by Emmy nominee Chandler Massey) know that he was there for him no matter what.

‘The fact that they wrote him so loving and so supportive is such a relief to me because that’s just how it would be in real life if my son ever came to me and said this is the way he felt,’ Dattilo says. ‘Some of the things that are said on screen about it is honestly how I feel so as an actor it’s very easy to make it genuine and make it believable.’

‘It’s really cool to be a part of [the storyline] and being the one who’s so understanding as opposed to Will’s mother who walked out of the room and left me to handle it,’ he adds. ‘I think that Lucas only sees his son. He doesn’t see someone who is telling him about his sexuality. Lucas is more concerned about how other people are going to treat him and what he might have to go through. It puts Lucas in a very protective situation with him.’

Datillo, who first joined the soap in 1993, and relative newcomer Massey quickly developed a strong chemistry in their father-son scenes despite the fact that they had only worked together briefly a few years ago before Datillo was written off the show for awhile.

‘It’s been amazing,’ he says of Massey’s acclaimed portrayal of Will. ‘He’s always prepared, he’s always good, he’s always ready for something spontaneous to happen. When I found I was coming back, I started watching the show again and I would see him just blowing up scene after scene and I was like, ‘When I go back, I better have my teeth sharp for this kid. This kid’s ready to act!’

‘When I first got there, we started running lines in my dressing room and I just felt like we had this understanding with each other. He’s a really good listener and I try and listen when I act so I think that we interact with each other really well.’

Will’s coming out has taken a temporary backseat to a more pressing matter in recent days: he’s been arrested for murder! Will is among the many Salem residents whose fingerprints were found on the gun that killed resident villain Stefano DiMera. On the episode that aired Monday (11 June), Will’s fingers tested positive for gunshot residue and he was placed under arrest by his own grandfather, the town’s top lawman.

It is a soap opera, after all.

But Will’s involvement in the murder plot should not be taken as a sign that the young man is being written off the show because of any kind of cold feet about the gay storyline. (Two years ago, ABC’s now-canceled One Life to Live wrote off its three main gay characters without explanation).

Of Days tackling a gay storyline, Dattilo says: ‘There’s no show that is better equipped to tackle the topic. Days has always prided itself on its family relationship driven storylines and this is just modern family stuff now. It’s long overdue for it to be accepted as a family issue, not just two people having this thing and being secretive.’
 

(Below is video of Lucas and Will having a father-son talk about Will being gay)

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

New president of Walt Disney World is first openly gay man to hold the job

George Kalogridis joined company in 1971 busing tables at Orlando resort
No thumbnail available

Student challenges gay education in Singapore on live TV

Educators defend Singapore’s position on homosexuality to teenage student
No thumbnail available

All Out celebrates one million members with new video

Pop stars Mika and Pharrell Williams lend music to video featuring stories of gay campaign group's members
No thumbnail available

Will Elton John's Russia concerts be cancelled over his views on gay rights?

The iconic gay pop artist is scheduled to perform at two different locations in Russia this weekend, but speculations abound his gigs could be cancelled for speaking out on the country's anti-gay laws
No thumbnail available

Hans Klok: Magician who went poof for Cher

Out and proud Dutch illusionist Hans Klok chats about his London debut, the magic of the internet and why being a gay performer in the US is career kryptonite
No thumbnail available

Gay man arrested in Missouri after refusing to leave the hospital room of his partner

Roger Gorley: 'I was not recognized as being the husband'
No thumbnail available

Pastor convicted for aiding kidnap of lesbian’s daughter

Virginia preacher aided Lisa Miller in taking her lesbian partner's child Isabella to Nicaragua
No thumbnail available

Vietnamese intersex woman 'deeply shocked' at decision to revoke gender recognition

Pham Le Quynh Tram says she will appeal authorities' decision to revoke legal recognition of her female gender
No thumbnail available

Aussie PM's sister talks openly about her same-sex relationship

Christine Forster tells a national newspaper about coming out, leaving her ex-husband and telling her parents and brother that she is gay
No thumbnail available

Grimes defends decision to perform in Russia

Canadian experimental electronic musician Grimes has defended her decision to perform a private concert in Russia, saying staying away won’t help Russian gays, and she plans to return for a bigger concert in the near future