Upon landing the role of Charlie Dale on Days of our Lives, actor Mike Manning knew there was more to the sweet awkward new guy in town than met the eye.
Mike Manning On Charlie
“I was given just enough information to know that Charlie had a dark past and a dark secret,” says Manning. “But I definitely didn’t know how dark it was going to get.”
The Cold Hard Truth
As months went by and the story unfolded, Manning discovered it was downright abysmal. Charlie was the guy who actually raped Allie (Lindsay Arnold), despite all fingers and DNA tests pointing to Tripp (Lucas Adams). Realizing his fate on the soap was sealed, Manning opted to make the most of the horrible twist.
“I took it as a challenge,” explains Manning. “Because for the first several months we saw one side of Charlie. He was an eager intern, a young man falling in love for the first time in his life, and that was really fun to play. Then, once all this other stuff came to light about his past, I just decided that I would try to play both sides of Charlie as truthfully as possible.”
Haunted by His Past
“I wanted to show the world who Charlie was before his past caught up with him,” the actor continues. “Right now, Charlie is a guy who’s being painted into a corner. The walls are closing in on him and he’s trying to think his way out of it, while at the same time genuinely going through the emotions of being in love with Claire (Isabel Durant)… Being in love with somebody for the first time and not having it be impacted by his awful past.”
Things continue to unravel at rapid speed when Rafe accuses Charlie of being Allie’s attacker. “Rafe is a smart guy, and Charlie knows it,” acknowledges Manning. “So Charlie is going to put on his bravado and try his best to out-think Rafe.”
Then Charlie has an intense face-to-face with Allie. “Charlie wishes he could erase everything that happened with Allie; especially because she’s Claire’s cousin,” notes Manning. “There’s going to be an inward struggle… a tug-of-war. Half of Charlie feels really badly, wants to cry, get on his knees, and beg Allie’s forgiveness. The other half of Charlie is going to fight to have this secret stay a secret.”
Hence, Charlie doesn’t admit to what he’s done. And, later, when Claire visits him at the police station and begs Charlie to confirm the allegations against him aren’t true, he lies and swears they aren’t.
“The scenes between Charlie and Claire are very heartfelt,” recounts Manning. “As soon as they yelled, “cut,” Isabel and I were just in tears. We hugged each other. She said, ‘Oh my God. I’m so sorry.’ I said, ‘I’m so sorry, too.’ Isabel is such a talented actor and what she’s bringing to Claire is really making it tough for Charlie not to just confess everything.”
Yet, once again, he doesn’t. “Charlie is going to lie his butt off until the end,” sums up Manning. “In life, if you tell yourself a lie enough times, you start to believe it. I think that’s what Charlie is doing here. He’s told himself so many times that he didn’t do this awful thing. Now he’s starting to believe it himself.” Days of our Lives (DOOL) airs weekdays on NBC. Check your local listings for airtimes.