Peter Reckell (Bo, DAYS OF OUR LIVES) is always up for a good fight — on-screen, that is. So when executive producer Ken Corday first told him about Zack’s death and how it would prompt a change in the honorable, tried-and-true Bo, the actor was intrigued.
“I knew I’d get to [revert to] some of the old Bo; the reckless guy who was always getting into fights,” admits Reckell. “It’s exciting for me to get back to all that different stuff. Being the straitlaced cop, the father making the right decisions, etc., has been kind of confining for me as an actor. Doing all this stuff — going from being drunk and fighting to breaking down to showing such real, raw feelings — has been exciting for me.”
The barroom brawling and working with fight choreographers was particularly bracing. “Quite often, the good ones let us stage the fight with what we’re comfortable with,” explains Reckell, citing Bo’s recent scuffle at The Cheatin’ Heart. “At the end of taping that day the coordinator said, ‘It was great working with you, because you came up with so many great ideas.'”
Reckell was happy to participate, particularly since he believes it’s important that “the kind of things that happen in a fight come from character rather than, ‘Let’s stage this fight,'” he notes. “In the beginning of that fight, I let the other guy hit me a couple of times, because Bo felt that he deserved to be beat up. He’s the reason his son is dead. He’s the reason his wife is pissed at him and his eldest son hates him. He’s the reason all this happened. So Bo went into that bar and let this guy hit him a few times. He got into that fight on purpose. I wanted it to look like Bo wanted to beat up somebody to get his frustrations out, but there was also this side of him that felt like he deserved to be beat up. When you come at a fight from that angle, it’s different than a stunt coordinator saying, ‘Okay, we’re going to do a right-cross.’ It makes it work in the story better.”
Of course, Bo’s rowdiness has meant a few black and blues and aches and pains for Reckell. “Oh, yeah. I’ve had my knuckles scraped off,” laughs Reckell. “And the day after the scene at Zack’s grave, I woke up and my chest was really hurting. I started stretching and stuff. Later in the day, it came to me: Oh, yeah, I beat the crap out of myself yesterday, when Bo was saying, ‘It’s my fault my son is dead.’ I kept hitting my chest, and we did that scene a few times. No wonder I was sore!”