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Chandler Massey On His Return To DAYS

Coming back to Salem for a visit as Will Horton means a tad more finagling for Chandler Massey these days. “I’m a data visualization specialist at a health care analytics company. That’s my day job,” says the actor, who currently resides in Atlanta. “So it’s not quite as easy. There are more hoops to jump through.”

Massey’s been able to make it work so far. “I pop in and out of DAYS, so I build up enough PTO at my real job,” he explains. “When DAYS asks if I want to come out for a week, sometimes I do double duty. That means cutting it a little close in terms of meetings and things like that when I’m in Los Angeles. It’s just earlier days. My company is on East Coast time. So if I’m jumping into meetings at 8 a.m., it means 5 a.m. on the West Coast.

“Sometimes I can take the time off,” continues Massey. “I’ve done it several times, and it seems to be something that I’ve shown my company I can manage, that my productivity won’t fall off. I’ve been able to make it work so far, luckily.”

Regardless of the schedule juggling, Massey’s always happy to receive the call to return to DAYS. “I’m grateful for the opportunity and grateful that the producers consider Will to be important enough to bring him back and let him stay alive on the Salem canvas,” asserts Massey. “Of course, there’s the reality that when you’re on contract, they have more invested in you. They can spend more time making a story for your character. When you just come in every now and then, obviously, for logistical reasons, you can’t really be the center or integral part of a big storyline. I don’t get the meaty stuff that I used to get, but it’s still fun to see everybody and pop in.”

When Massey learned the plot he and Zach Tinker (Sonny) would be popping into this time around — helping Chloe and Brady expose the unsavory Leo Stark to Craig — he was intrigued. “Will and Sonny obviously have firsthand experience with Leo’s not-so-lovely side,” notes Massey. “So they’re a logical call for Brady, who wants to help Chloe out and keep her father from being taken advantage of. They definitely do their best to try to convince Craig that Leo’s not who he’s pretending to be and that Craig can’t trust him. But obviously when someone is in love, if there’s anything that drives a person more toward someone, it’s saying, ‘Stay away from this guy. He’s dangerous.’ Has there ever been a time when someone’s said, ‘Okay, sure. I’m going to do it’? Probably not.”

The prospect of working with Greg Rikaart (Leo) again was an added bonus. “I anticipated working with Zach, and it’s always a treat to work with Greg,” enthuses Massey. “They always give Greg the best last laugh remarks at the end of the scene. It was a great storyline, too. It had comedic potential and dramatic potential. It’s another winner for Ron [Carlivati, head writer].”

Massey also got to share scenes with a couple of his other favorite castmates. Namely, his TV grandmother, Deidre Hall (Marlena), and DAYS dad, Bryan R. Dattilo (Lucas). “Not everyone is in every day, so you don’t know who you’re going to see,” notes Massey. “When I got scripts and saw I had scenes with Deidre, I was very happy. I always look forward to seeing and working with Bryan, too.”

As for slipping back into Will, that’s always easy for Massey. “I feel like I’ve put in my 10,000 hours of being Will, so it feels seamless. At this point, it’s kind of second nature.”

And when he’s not playing Will, Massey is totally content with his other career. “I’m someone who needs to be challenged to be happy,” says Massey, noting that “juggling two jobs” totally fits the bill. “Data science is obviously incredibly challenging to me. I feel like I’m learning new things every day. So I’m very happy.”