At long last Jay Kenneth Johnson is returning to Salem as Philip – the real Philip. It’s a move fans of the actor, who portrayed the character from 1999 to 2002 and 2007 to 2011, have long been waiting for. And here’s exactly what it means to Days of our Lives.
Jay Kenneth Johnson – The Real Deal
The show has tried recasting the character a couple of times. From 2003 to 2006, Kyle Brandt had a three-year run in the role, and One Life to Live vet John-Paul Lavoisier tackled the part from 2015 to 2016. Neither actor lived up to Johnson’s portrayal of the character.
His Philip was part rascal/part spoiled rich kid with an undercurrent of sweet genuine charm. Even when he was behaving badly, you couldn’t help liking him – and rooting for him. As a result, having Johnson back as Philip will make any storyline he’s involved in richer and more meaningful.
Part of the Family
Johnson was in his early 20s when he took on the role of a teenage Philip. His relationship with co-stars John Aniston and Lauren Koslow, who play his parents Victor and Kate, developed gradually and naturally.
It was real and heartfelt, and it strengthened and changed over the years as he grew into a young man. Johnson walking back into the Kiriakis mansion as Philip, rather than another actor, means he’ll be bringing all that history and sentiment with him.
The Core Four
During his initial run (1999 to 2002), Johnson was a key part of the show’s youth movement, which included Nadia Bjorlin (ex-Chloe), Jason Cook (ex-Shawn), and Kirsten Storms (ex-Belle). Although Cook and Storms are long gone, Johnson remains one of the original core four with Bjorlin. The twosome will always have a special and unique bond that dates back two decades.
DAYS will be able to capitalize on that with Johnson. Plus, over the years, he’s developed a strong onscreen rapport with Shawn and Belle replacements, Brandon Beemer and Martha Madison, too. Having Johnson back, filling Philip’s shoes, ups the ante on whatever storyline unfolds with that duo, too; particularly given his character’s sensual past with Belle.