Soap Opera Digest: You actually have a day job that isn’t acting. What are you doing now?
Chandler Massey: I went to school for econometrics, which I guess is somewhat related to data science, and interviewed with a couple of places, and this place is the place that took me in. I really like it. I get to use a lot of what I learned in school and the analytical side of my brain and it feels right. I work for a health care analytics company that is trying to improve the health care system, so I feel like I’m on the good guys’ team. We have an office in Atlanta. I go in three days a week or so; the company is very flexible, they let their employees work from home or work remote, however they feel most safe.
Digest: Have you been recognized at work?
Massey: At the company? Uh, no! Everyone’s working during the day so if they did recognize me, they’d be giving themselves away for taking time away from work!
Digest: Is the company flexible about you taking acting jobs?
Massey: Oh, definitely. I have PTO [paid time off] and a lot of what I do is project-based, so as long as I get the work done, which I’m confident I will, it’s usually not an issue.
Digest: The role of Sonny was recast with Zach Tinker (ex-Fen, Y&R). Had you ever met?
Massey: No, I hadn’t. But I think we got along pretty well right from the start. He’s got a really infectious energy about him and a great sense of humor and I think he’s really, really talented. Obviously, there were huge, gargantuan shoes to fill when Freddie [Smith, ex-Sonny] left, but I think they did the best they could have possibly done in finding Zach.
Digest: What was it like to work with Greg Rikaart (Kevin, Y&R) again as Leo? Massey: Oh, God, it’s amazing! One, the way Leo is written and two, how he really leans into it. He’s an amazing human being and also such a great actor, so I was very excited when I read the script and read that he was going to be there.
Digest: You got to dress up like a drag queen as part of your story. What was that like?
Massey: It was really fun! The tone of BEYOND SALEM is a little more lighthearted, there’s more comedy, it’s more adventurous, I think, than DAYS, which sort of has more serious, dramatic tones. It was great. I mean, it’s not often when you do over a thousand episodes of a show that you get to do something you’ve never done before in any facet, but that storyline, dressing up in drag, was definitely a first!
Digest: How would you rate your look?
Massey: Pretty bad. I don’t think I make an attractive woman, unfortunately, but I guess I’m lucky I was born a guy!
Digest: What was it like being on set again?
Massey: It just felt like old times, you know? A lot of familiar faces. People come and go, so everyone that you wish was there isn’t going to be there, but it’s the same welcoming family.
Digest: You got to cross paths again with Alison Sweeney (Sami), who was there filming the network show. How was that?
Massey: It was great! Every time Ali’s there, the whole set takes on her energy. She’s amazing. I love Ali, so I’m really happy she was there.
Digest: You just filmed a movie for Hallmark. What can you say about it? Massey: It’s going to be coming out this Christmas. It’s a quick turnaround. At least that’s the plan, anyway. It feels great! I’ll join as many families as will have me. Big family man!
Digest: Are you actively looking for roles?
Massey: Hmm. It’s more a balancing act. I’m keeping an eye out for things I can do like this, where I don’t have to leave my job, because I really do love it. I’m being open to things that I can do on the side or I can do at the same time as work. I feel like I just got my foot in this new industry and I like it here, so I don’t want to leave it yet.
Digest: Would you consider a return to DAYS?
Massey: That’s a good question. I mean, if I’m being honest, I would be surprised if that happened. I think that they like Will and Sonny kind of popping in every now and again and just reminding people that they exist, but always, I would always at least give it serious consideration, no matter what situation I was currently in.
Digest: What does the fan support for “WilSon” mean to you?
Massey: I mean, everything. That is really the reason that I keep coming back. Obviously, I love the people I work with and I enjoy the work, but if it didn’t mean anything to the people watching, there would not be much of a point. I think it’s sort of my responsibility to keep Will alive on screen when I can, and alive in the hearts of the people who love him, so I really am constantly astounded and grateful for how consistent the fans of DAYS and “WilSon” are with their affection.