‘Days of Our Lives’: Christopher Sean Previews Paul and Sonny’s New Year’s Eve Kiss
Pop the bubbly! NBC’s Days of Our Lives will kick off 2017 with a New Year’s Eve kiss that finally reunites that hot-mess duo Paul (Christopher Sean) and Sonny (Freddie Smith). The guys were together years ago but split because Paul, then a budding pro baseball star, wouldn’t come out of the closet. Later, Paul bedded Sonny’s husband, Will (Guy Wilson), who was subsequently killed by a serial strangler. So there’s still much forgiving and healing to do. But things are looking up! Sean gave us the dish on the guys’ long-awaited smooch—airing Friday, Dec. 30—and what it means for their future. Will Grandma Marlena (Deidre Hall) approve? And what if Will comes back from the dead? After all, this is Salem!
Paul and Sonny nearly kissed under the mistletoe before Christmas but were kinda c-blocked by Derrick (Spencer Neville). Wasn’t it better that they waited until New Year’s Eve anyway?
Definitely! The kiss is a really beautiful, magical moment. New Year’s Eve is all about a new beginning, right? It’s a great metaphor. But the question is: How can this relationship work when Will remains such a strong part of their history?
So this kiss doesn’t cement Paul and Sonny as a couple?
In soap operas nothing is ever cemented, but it does solidify the fact that they love each other. There is still that passion and that fire but they still have to talk and figure out the past.
Word is, Paul even goes to Marlena for permission to pursue this relationship. Seriously? He needs his step-mommy’s OK?
Paul is a very honorable person. There have been many opportunities for the writers to write him another way but they’ve always stayed true to Paul being a very genuine and decent person. He goes to Marlena and says, “I love Sonny. I want to be with him. Are you comfortable with that?” He needs her to tell him yes so he can properly make this a real relationship.
Paul really thinks Marlena might have a problem with this?
Absolutely. She’s Will’s grandmother and she was really angry at Paul when things went down between him and Sonny and Will. It even put a damper on her relationship with John Black [Drake Hogestyn]. It’s a very touchy subject for her. She knew Paul was innocent—that he unknowingly slept with a man who was Sonny’s husband and untied their knot—but she still blamed him. Paul is the reason it all happened. She had all this anger and she didn’t know how to place it. It took time for her to warm up to Paul, and he hasn’t forgotten that.
So where does this leave Paul and Derrick? Are they an actual couple? Or just friends with benefits? The writers have kept this super vague.
Paul is with Derrick to fill the void. Derrick is the rebound relationship. They’re together, off camera, living a life outside of what’s happening. But we don’t talk about it on the show. Nothing is shown on camera.
And why is that exactly?
It’s always been less about Derrick and Paul being together and more about Paul and Sonny eventually becoming a power couple. I don’t think the writers were looking to build a triangle. The fans are tired of waiting for PaulSon to happen. They’re ready to move forward with this thing. Actually, Derrick is the catalyst here. He’s the one who sees what’s going on between Paul and Sonny and urges Sonny—who is really nervous about making a commitment after he kisses Paul—to follow his heart.
And now Derrick is just SOL? Because there seems to be no other gays in town.
Well, he’s not without hope. When he lets Paul go it’s like that old saying, “If you love something, let it go. If it comes back, it was meant to be.” And, if not, you’ll find something better. [Laughs] I guess that’s poor Derrick’s storyline.
Paul and Sonny became closer when Sonny’s mom, Adrienne (Judi Evans), learned her cancer had returned. Did they need that extra emotional nudge, or would this have happened anyway?
[Headwriters] Ryan Quan and Dena Higley wanted this to happen whether or not Adrienne’s cancer came back, but it certainly added another layer that connects the guys more deeply. Any kind of family tragedy shakes you to the core and makes you see what’s truly important, so it does play a major factor in awakening Sonny and making him realize what it is he wants and needs in life.
The off-camera stuff with Derrick aside, you’ve gone a long time without any real romance on Days, which is very often death for a character. Were you worried about your fate on the show? Has it been frustrating?
It’s been a challenge for the writers to be on the edge of what’s new and to push the boundaries. The fact that people want to see Paul and Sonny together and are talking a lot about it is a good thing. If the audience didn’t want it, the writers would be, like, “Let’s get rid of them. Let’s get it over with.” My job, in the interim, has been to interpret the material the best way I can, as the writers have changed, making sure I put my print on the character. I’m not the type to get frustrated. Being a member of the Days cast is like being on a baseball team. Even if you’re the water boy, you’re still a part of the team, right? So you take the highs and lows as they come. If I wasn’t going to have a love interest and just be an exposition character, then I was determined to be the best dang exposition character I could be and support the other actors, giving them as much as possible to work with so that their characters flourish and the audience falls in love with them. My job is to do my job. Sure, on a personal level, I wished for more time on screen, but everyone goes through it. That’s the industry. I’m just grateful to still have a part on this iconic show.
This will be the first time Sonny and Paul are together with Paul out of the closet. That’s a plus right there, no?
Absolutely. Paul used to be extremely selfish. He wanted his cake and wanted to eat it, too. He wanted his career. He wanted the perfect relationship.
He was also quite the indiscriminant slut, trolling Salem for anonymous sex. What the heck happened to that guy?
[Laughs] Exactly! What did happen to that guy? That was never the real Paul. He was hiding his true self and trying to fill a void with empty, non-connecting sex. And, man, he did a lot of it. But he no longer felt the need to do that once he faced his truth. He’s grown. He’s evolved. Sonny was his first and true love. He’s all Paul ever really wanted.
There’s a big—or at least loud—contingent of fans on social media who want to see Will come back from the dead. Would you be up for that?
I absolutely love the idea of bringing Will back. His wedding to Sonny was daytime TV history. He’s such a legacy character. Obviously, the writers can find a way to make it happen—people are always coming back from the dead in Salem—and I’d say kudos to that. It would be an incredible storyline for all three characters but, if it doesn’t happen, we will still be able to show a loving gay couple on television, portraying them in a light the LGBTQ community can be really proud of. Either way, it’s a big win.