Five Minutes With James Scott

Soap Opera Weekly: How did your new DAYS role come about?
James Scott After the way [AMC] killed Ethan, it was fairly clear they really weren’t going to be able to bring him back in a hurry, but I stayed in New York. At the end of pilot season, I got a phone call from the casting office at DAYS OF OUR LIVES. They told me they had this role they felt I would be right for. One thing led to another, but it’s always a slow process. For one thing, I was still under contact with ABC, so I had to ask them if they would release me. Very graciously and very kindly they did, and I’m very grateful for that.

Weekly: What were you told about EJ going into the job?
Scott: I didn’t know a tremendous amount about EJ, just that he was a race-car driver. The racing side of things, as of yet, hasn’t been touched on. You don’t really see it, but it does affect who EJ is. The day-to-day of life doesn’t faze him. When he’s looking through a car window going 200 mph and has one car on the outside and one car on the inside, he’s got to do his best, fast. That’s a lot more stressful than living in Salem, because his life hangs in the balance and he has to make split-second decisions that have consequences. It gives EJ an ease, which is nice.

Weekly: Was relocating to Los Angeles part of the appeal of joining DAYS?
Scott: Yes. I’m from England, originally. I spent the two years before ALL MY CHILDREN living in Los Angeles, then I moved to New York for the job. I love California very much. Southern California is tremendous, the weather and the atmosphere. I’m paying the same for my place in Los Angeles that I was for a small apartment in New York. It’s ridiculous. And now I’m living in a house with a deck that’s surrounded by cactuses. It’s absolutely beautiful.

Weekly: As an Englishman, are you hoping to inject some Brit into your new role?
Scott: I already have. In one of my first scenes, EJ makes Sami a drink that we call a “shandy” in England, and it goes down pretty well. She loves it. It’s half lemonade and half beer. You need to use a stellar beer, like Largo, not a dark, heavy beer. To any of your readers over 21, I would highly recommend it on a hot summer’s day. It’s really bloody good. Growing up in England and living in these picture-postcard villages, I would go into a lot of old stone pubs. You can drink at, like, 13 in England, so my dad would get me a shandy. I’ve always loved it.

Weekly: Speaking of Sami, what is EJ’s take on the Salem bad girl?
Scott: EJ finds Sami very interesting and comes to understand her rather quickly. He knows a certain amount about her, like she’s always in trouble. He doesn’t know this by seeing her doing anything bad, but he gets that feeling from the way other people treat her. Sami definitely has a bad reputation. EJ’s feeling is that it’s not her fault, but rather the people she surrounds herself with.

Weekly: Have you enjoyed getting to know your new castmates?
Scott: Alison Sweeney (Sami) is an absolute pro. She’s extremely professional, well-prepared and a good actress. She’s fun to work with, yet takes the job very seriously, which is great. That’s what I like to do, too. Austin Peck (Austin) is also a delight. So is Christie Clark (Carrie). And Bryan Dattilo (Lucas) may be the funniest man alive. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so much at any one person on a set — and I’ve only been on-set with him twice. He’s hysterical! I feel extremely lucky to be working with all these people.

Weekly: Did Christie Clark tell you that she’s married to an Englishman (recruiter Tom Barnes) in real life?
Scott: Yes, she did. We actually had a chat about that the other day. She mentioned that her husband is from the home country and that she goes there a lot. I know he lives in San Francisco, but I would certainly love to meet him when he’s in town.