James Reynolds has been thrust into a topical storyline on Days of Our Lives (DOOL) as a devastated father whose African-American son was gunned down in a police chase gone terribly wrong.
“The idea that we were actually addressing something that is happening in our society now, that affects us as a whole, is something that I was so happy to see us do,” says Reynolds, who plays Abe Carver. “It’s very interesting, very timely, and very important.”
The Smoking Gun
What makes the DAYS plot particularly powerful and poignant, of course, is the fact that the shooter, JJ Deveraux (Casey Moss), is a young man Abe was quite close to. That is, until he shot Theo (Kyler Pettis), who was wearing a hoodie, ultimately leaving him in a coma.
“The key part of this is, ‘Did the gun have to be fired?’” assesses Reynolds. “Because there are lot of ways of dealing with a lot of different situations.”
Reynolds admits the plot is easy to relate to. “As the father of a son, I get it. I understand what Abe is going through,” he notes.
And as a soap performer, who rarely gets to play stories of this magnitude, he’s incredibly grateful. “As an actor, whenever you’re asked to play more than two or three layers at a time is wonderful,” says Reynolds.
“There’s so much there. You have Abe the parent. You have Abe the professional, whose somebody with responsibility. And he’s a cop and he has his training. So all of these various things come into play.”
Best of all the plot has allowed Reynolds to mix it up with so many cast members, including Moss, Melissa Reeves (Jennifer), Kristian Alfonso (Hope), Vanessa Williams (Valerie), Sal Stowers (Lani), and more.
“I love the way that everyone is tied into it one way or another,” shares Reynolds. “Everybody comes into this story and is affected by it, deeply affected by it. Ron [Carlivati, Days head writer] did a marvelous job in pulling the levels of this story together.”
Abe vs. JJ
Tops has been one-on-one scenes between Reynolds and Moss, where Abe has unleashed his anger on JJ.
“As difficult as the scenes are with Casey, I had to remember that JJ was like a son to Abe. Abe navigated him through losing his father,” explains Reynolds, adding that, now, JJ could end up being responsible for Abe losing his son.
Reynolds is eager to see how the story unfolds, noting that it’s one of the best he’s had in years.
“It speaks to all of us as people,” he maintains. “It speaks to our concerns as citizens, as parents, and professionals. Stories like this are very important.”
Days of our Lives (DOOL) airs weekdays on NBC. Check your local listings for airtimes.