Among the fan-favorite characters returning for the Peacock series Days of our Lives: Beyond Salem is Will Horton and Sonny Kiriakis. Chandler Massey is reprising Will but Sonny, as previously reported, is going to look a little different now that a new actor is taking over the role.
Chandler Massey and Zach Tinker Preview
Soap Hub sat down with Sonny’s newest portrayer, Zach Tinker (ex-Fenmore, The Young and the Restless), and Massey to preview how Sonny and Will fit into Beyond Salem and if they’d be open to joining the broadcast series on NBC on a regular basis.
Days of our Lives: Beyond Salem has such a “classic ’80s” feel to it. Zach, how did you being cast as Sonny (previously played by Freddie Smith) come about?
Zach Tinker: Initially, I had no idea that I was reading for Beyond Salem. I was told it was for a five-episode guest-starring role [on DAYS] playing opposite Sonny Kiriakis – his love interest or someone. When I booked it, [the show] told me what the real deal was.
Chandler Massey: (Wryly) You thought you were playing opposite yourself.
Tinker: (Laughs) Yes. Very “meta.”
Were there any hesitations or talks with your representatives on taking the role of Sonny? Or is Hollywood finally moving beyond that?
Tinker: You mean about playing a gay role? Yeah, this was just another audition. It’s acting. You’re pretending to be someone else. That’s an actor’s job.
Can you set up the story for Beyond Salem? What brings your characters into the mystery of the missing jewels?
Massey: Will and Sonny are in Phoenix having a grand old time. They’re isolated from their family and friends but that gets remedied. They’re just chilling. Will decided to modernize his wardrobe a little bit.
Tinker: Our characters more or less get thrust into [the action]. The storyline falls upon us.
How did you get up on Sonny’s backstory? His relationships, past major events in his life, etc.?
Tinker: The DAYS Wiki page was very helpful. That was my “go-to” when I booked the role. I went off the scripts that they gave me to establish Sonny’s relationship with Will.
Massey: (Wryly) He’s being nice. I tied [Zach] to a chair and described all 850 episodes [featuring Sonny and Will].
We’ve seen characters who’ve appeared in other DAYS digital series – Chad & Abby in Paris and Last Blast Reunion – move back to the mother show. Would both of you be up for that if the show extends an invitation?
Tinker: I would. Totally. I had a blast. This is my first stint [with DAYS]. I don’t know what the norm was for Will and Sonny. While I can’t say much about what’s going to happen [on Beyond Salem], I can tell you we get into some interesting and fun stuff. We did some wild stuff that I’m very excited for people to see. If it’s the kind of stuff we’d be doing on DAYS, I’d love to come back!
Massey: I feel the same way. I’d love to come back to DAYS – as you say, it’s the “mother” show.
Days of our Lives: Beyond Salem is available on NBC streaming service Peacock starting Monday, September 6. A new episode will be available each day that week for a total of five episodes.