A year ago, the characters of Will Horton and Sonny Kiriakis got married on NBC’s Days of Our Lives – a first for a male couple on a US daytime soap.
The couple remains front-and-center in the fictional town of Salem but many things have happened on their way to happily ever after.
It all began to unravel when Will (played by Guy Wilson) left town for a writing job and Sonny’s ex-boyfriend – a pro baseball player named Paul Narita – arrived in town for shoulder surgery.
‘Now we have this level of strife and conflict,’ Wilson told Gay Star News in a recent interview. ‘Sonny and Will have had their conflicts before but for them to be so engaged against each other, it’s new territory for us as actors as well as the characters.’
When Will returned to town, he was assigned to write a magazine profile on Paul (played by Christopher Sean). The two end up having sex in Paul’s hotel room – Paul unaware that Will is married to Sonny and Will unaware it’s his husband’s first love.
Although Will and Paul only in bed together once, it was a memorable and steamy encounter that has been flashed back to several times (see video below).
For Wilson, that scene was more of a challenge than similar scenes with Freddie Smith who plays Sonny.
‘What was interesting was that in doing a lot of the lovemaking scenes with Freddie – because the characters of Sonny and Will were in love – it’s so easy and kind of comes naturally – especially since Freddie and I have a natural rapport.
‘But doing these scenes with Christopher Sean, they more or less come from a primal place of lust. As a straight man, I had to really approach it in a different way. I realize this is a different relationship than what Will has with Sonny so what Freddie and I do to prepare for those scenes is completely different.
‘So for Christopher Sean and I to get ready to do these very lusty sexual scenes, it was coming from a place that I had never come from before as a professional performer. We were insecure about it coming off as authentic and that it would be believable because it’s just different for us in terms of how we live our lives.’
But he feels things went well in the end.
‘Now that it’s all been done, it’s fun and I can look back and think, “I did that, I’m proud of that.” And now, it informs even more who the character is.’
And who the character of Will Horton is these days is far from the sweet kid who was struggling with coming out just a few years ago. In this week’s episodes, a desperate Will is blackmailing Paul’s mother to get her son out of town.
Will believes he and Sonny will never get their marriage back on track with Paul around since the now retired athlete has made clear he wants Sonny back.
Wilson took over the role a year ago from three-time Emmy winner Chandler Massey and it has been during his time as Will that the character has taken a darker turn.
Fans have not always been happy with the change.
‘It makes sense that Will would, in times of crisis, evolve into a villain,’ Wilson says. ‘But he does not think of himself as a villain. He thinks of himself now and moving forward as having to protect what’s his. Now that his marriage is in jeopardy, he’ll do whatever it takes.’
He adds: ‘As it relates to the fans, I’m getting a lot of heat but really what matters to me is that people are still watching the show and still feeling connected and having an emotional response whether it’s positive or negative – it just means they’re watching the story.’
As an actor, it’s been a great opportunity for Wilson to have Will acting a bit more like his mother, Sami, who also loves deeply but always tries to justify her behavior – even infidelity.
‘I’m very excited to be able to have something like this that I can help guide Will into the next stage of his life,’ he says. ‘Will is a very important character, he’s been around for a generation. … I’m excited that there are these momentous life moments happening for Will now that he’s a young adult – he’s no longer a boy.’