Days of our Lives smartly reached out to fan-favorite Charles Shaughnessy to reprise his role as Shane Donovan for Peacock’s streaming series Beyond Salem. Who better than the ISA superstar to help oversee the return of the jewels that are part of the Alamain Peacock?
Charles Shaughnessy On Beyond Salem
Soap Hub chatted with Charles Shaughnessy on how his involvement in the streaming series came about and why Beyond Salem will feel so familiar to longtime DAYS viewers, why supercouple Shane and Kim (Patsy Pease) remains so popular, and more.
Soap Hub: Shane brings such gravitas to this story. Even when he’s not on the canvas, DAYS fans kind of know Shane’s out there keeping the world safe!
Charles Shaughnessy: Right. I think this story is a throwback to those — what I call — ‘caper’ storylines of the 1980s. Our vast group of intrepid heroes go around the world stopping the bad guys. I think they felt that that was a Golden Age of DAYS. Soaps were firing on all cylinders back then. They were thinking, ‘Let’s bring that back.’
What’s it like working with your castmates again?
We all said that this was like stepping into a time portal and we had never left. When I was running lines with Drake [Hogestyn, John Black] and Deidre [Hall, Marlena Evans], it felt like we last did it 30 seconds ago — not 30 years. [Wryly] We’re a little grayer, a little slower, and we had to stop and take our medication.
Ha! You’ve had such great success since the first time you left DAYS back in 1992, most notably with The Nanny. But you’ve come back to DAYS so many times. Why?
Generally speaking, I think that my [era of actors] sees acting as a job. It’s a job that I do. I don’t define myself by it or the characters I play. I accept roles on a case-by-case basis. I’ve always looked at taking acting roles like surfing. You can ride a terrific wave but then you have to paddle back out there with everyone else. Having that attitude has helped. I love doing soaps, musicals, animation, and sitcoms — everything.
People have said to me over the years, ‘It must have been so much fun making The Nanny’ — and it was, however the most fun job I’ve ever had has been working on DAYS. It’s like being in a repertory company. You get so close with the cast. You rely on each other and you get to know each other. I’m happy to [come back to DAYS] anytime if they make it a proper story.
Shane and Kim remain such a fan-favorite duo to this day. What was that era of DAYS in the 1980s like? The show turned out one supercouple after another.
I came on for a few days as Hope’s [Kristian Alfonso] butler. Patsy had been on for a bit. They had put her in various scenes with potential love interests. They were like mini-screentests within episodes. Producers would see how it worked. One day, they thought, “Let’s put Shane and Kim together.” They came up with this idea of Shane spying on Kim through a window in her apartment.
I remember we went to Knott’s Berry Farm to do a location shoot. They invited some of the public in to appear as [extras]. They introduced actors on the remote to everyone and when they got to Patsy and me, I remember the place went wild. Producers thought, ‘Oh, this is interesting.’ I think that’s when we had crossed the line into being a supercouple.
Shane found out about Kim having been abused by her uncle Eric and fell in love with her and a romance was born. What a great era of the show.
It was a Golden Age. We had heightened storylines and the romances were incredible. The show knew what it was doing with candles and music. Characters had frightening secrets. They felt if those secrets came out, that everything would blow up. The audience knew what those secrets were but the other characters wouldn’t.
What did you think of Beyond Salem and can producers get you, Charles Shaughnessy, back for more shows?
They’re been very smart to have these five or so very distinct stories all kind of interwoven along with the same major story — the “McGuffin,” chasing the jewels. You’ve got different characters and locations with Shane and the ISA being the part of the story that brings it all together. I think streaming is the perfect location for these types of things. I’m hoping it works and they continue to do this. I’d like to visit again and try to help solve another case!
To stream Days of our Lives: Beyond Salem for free, check out peacock by clicking here. 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 spoilers, and for an in-depth look at the show’s history, click here.
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