Carson Boatman has been making a splash as the new Johnny DiMera, a young man with swagger, style, and a serious edge. What’s it been like fitting into the Days of our Lives family and portraying the ambitious filmmaker? “A lot of fun and very very challenging,” says the actor. Here’s his take on his new life in Salem so far.
Carson Boatman Talks Days of our Lives
Congratulations. You got married to model Julana Dizon and debuted on Days of our Lives all within a month’s span. What’s that been like?
Carson Boatman: It’s been blissful so far. The crazy thing is that every big thing happened at once – the wedding and the show. It was a crazy time of just great things. I’m loving every second of it.
Were you familiar with the show before joining it?
Yes. I had a pretty good idea of who was who and that sort of thing because my mom is a big DAYS fan. She’s a big EJ/Sami fan, so she was really excited that I’d be playing their son. By default, my dad ends up watching the show, too. I think my parents are more excited about me being on DAYS than they would be if I’d booked Top Gun. DAYS is cooler than like the biggest movie in the world.
Did you know much about the background of the DiMera family?
Once I found out that I was going to be Johnny, before my screentest, I did a big Wiki dive on the history of the whole show. I wanted to be super keen on the history of the DiMeras, specifically Johnny, to get a better understanding. Once I booked the show, for the first week or two, I would have chats with the producers. They’d give me background like, “You’re doing this, because when you were 12 this happened.”
Did you watch old DAYS clips online, specifically any scenes with Joseph Mascolo (Stefano)?
That’s so funny, because I specifically watched that. He was in all the old clips that I watched. I think you can’t fully understand what it is to be a DiMera without being very well versed on who Joseph Mascolo and Stefano are. He was such a captivating figure in scenes. It helped me to be able to play Johnny from watching Joe as Stefano, as well as clips with EJ and Sami, because Johnny is a big mix of all of them.
Johnny marches to the beat of his own drummer and wants to become a filmmaker. Do you like that?
I do. He’s not the typical DiMera — “Oh, I’m a DiMera, and I want to take over DiMera [Enterprises].” It’s, “I am who I am.” Johnny’s kind of funny and charming when he needs something, or he can be intimidating when he needs something. He wants to do what he wants. And he wants to be passionate about the things he’s passionate about; whether it’s the movie, whether it’s Chanel or whatever it may be. It’s different than your typical putting on a suit and trying to overthrow a company.
Did any co-stars offer advice or help you out, when you started?
For my first few scenes, Drake Hogestyn [John] would come out and give me advice. “Swing for the fences, kid,” was something he always said. Dan Feuerriegel [EJ], too. My first scene on the show was with Dan. I remember walking in that day and being so scared and nervous. Then one of the production assistants called down and said, “Hey, here’s Dan’s phone number. He said to give him a ring or Facetime him, if you want to go over the lines.” That was like an “ahh” moment. Dan was super gracious.
This week, Johnny tries to charm Marlena into investing in his film and talks to Will about his project. What happens?
Johnny meets with Marlena and does the whole, “It’s so good to see you. Let me give you a kiss. You’ve always been my favorite grandma.” He maybe wins over Marlena, but that all changes, because John’s not super stoked on the idea. He also talks to Will, because he’s been to Hollywood. He’s had a script. He’s been down that whole path. Johnny is looking for a little insight from his brother.
Everyone finally learns the subject of Johnny’s film: his mother Sami’s life story. That doesn’t go over well, does it?
No, and Johnny understands. There’s some pretty weird, crazy, and traumatizing stuff that’s happened in the past to everyone in Salem. Some people want to forget things and not relive them. Johnny’s fairly understanding of that, but a little disappointed.
EJ’s opposed to the film’s premise, too, and he and Johnny clash. What goes down between them?
When EJ finds out that it’s about Sami’s life, he gets a little irate. He does the typical EJ thing where he makes threats. Johnny does the typical Johnny thing, where he says, “I don’t care.” Johnny takes a couple of nice personal digs at EJ. It’s kind of the first time we see EJ flip into that darker guy, lower his voice, and make a legitimate threat to Johnny.
Days of our Lives (DOOL) airs weekdays on NBC. Check your local listings for airtimes. For more about what’s coming up in Salem, check out all the latest that’s been posted on Days of our Lives spoilers, and for an in-depth look at the show’s history, click here.