Wally Kurth is known for playing roles on two different soap operas, but it’s his performance as Justin on Days of our Lives that has earned him a Daytime Emmy nomination this year in the category of Outstanding Performance by a Lead Actor in a Drama Series.
Wally Kurth Talks Daytime Emmy Reel
Soap Hub talked to Kurth about his nomination at a recent Daytime Emmy event in Burbank. The sharply dressed actor, decked out in a Kenneth Cole suit, chatted about his reel and why he’s especially proud to be a part of the genre he’s called home since 1987.
Soap Hub: Congratulations on your nomination for playing Justin. What’s on your reel?
Wally Kurth: Thank you. My reel [starts] with me standing over Adrienne’s [Judi Evans] corpse and I’m saying goodbye to her. I have a scene with Suzanne [Rogers, Maggie] where Maggie knows she was not responsible for Adrienne’s death. It was a really simple scene. I just loved it.
I also included two angry scenes where I’m pointing a gun at Orpheus [George DelHoyo). There’s also a sweet scene with Kayla [Mary Beth Evans] at the pub. She assures me she loves me. Then, at the wedding, I tell her the truth — that I heard that Steve [Stephen Nichols] still loves her.
The fans loved you for that!
[Smiling] Yes. It was heroic. It allowed me to be vulnerable. The very last scene was Sonny [Freddie Smith] and me where I’m packing up and saying goodbye to my life with Kayla.
Do you prefer putting your reel together this way over submitting one or two complete episodes?
Yes. When I’m a judge and I’m watching reels, I feel I need some context to see why people are doing what they are doing and why they are doing it. A person could be acting up a storm but if you’re not following the story [regularly] then you don’t have the context for what it all means.
The genre has four shows but the ballot is packed with actors who have great performances.
The people who are still doing it are vets. I also have to give a shout-out to the young actors with whom I work. I’m impressed. We are living in a one-take world. That’s not easy. I used to have all day [to do a show] and we could do three or four takes. We knew if we screwed up, we could still do it again.
And those rumors about there being a few scenes of your other character — General Hospital’s Ned — on your reel are false? (Kidding)
[Laughs] Yes. But I actually did submit myself for Ned in Supporting Actor. I had some good stuff and I was proud of the work I did there, too.
Do you feel you have more knowledge of the genre as a whole as you’re on two different shows?
Yes. I’m very proud of being on Daytime TV.
The 48th Annual Daytime Emmys air on Friday, June 25 at 8 p.m. on CBS. The awards will stream on CBS.com and Paramount+. Days of our Lives (DOOL) airs weekdays on NBC. Check your local listings for airtimes.