Soap Opera Digest: When did you learn that Deimos would be written out?
Vincent Irizarry: It was during my holiday break.
Digest: What was your reaction?
Irizarry: I would be lying if I said I wasn’t surprised. I knew that the audience’s response to the character was very strong. I loved playing the character, and I loved working on the show. I loved working with the people that I worked with. I also loved the backstory to the character, the development and creation of it. So I was disappointed, certainly, and disheartened by it. But you know, that’s the way it goes sometimes. It’s what the writers at that time wanted to do, not only with my character, but a few other characters that were brought on by the writer before them.
Digest: Were you told that you would be killed off?
Irizarry: Yes, I was.
Digest: What did you think about that?
Irizarry: I was probably even more stunned by that fact. It was such a great character, and had so much potential, even in the fabric of the show itself. I just felt that there was really a great amount of potential for this character, and I was very proud of what I was able to do and bring to the character. After I finished taping my last show, I was nominated [for a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor]. That was kind of cool [laughs]. It kind of gave some sense of validation as to what my perception was, that the character was strong, and I had done a good job, and had reason to be proud of what I had done. But of course, I was saddened by it, because I just loved working on the show so much, and the people that I got to work with, and the character. I was excited about the continuation of developing the character. I saw so much possibility there. It wasn’t just how much I enjoyed working with the actors; I also enjoyed working with the producers and the directors. I felt like it was a great collaborative effort on all of our parts. I felt really happy and privileged to have the opportunity to work with them on the character and the story.
Digest: Did you tell your castmates right away or did you keep the news to yourself?
Irizarry: I actually kept it to myself. It’s so hard on our show, because we’re so far ahead with the story. I didn’t tell anybody for the first few days. I was actually at the doctor with my girlfriend, Donna, when I got the call. She had a hip replacement, and she was there getting her checkup. So I didn’t tell her for a few days because her birthday was coming up, and I knew that it would affect her, too. I wanted Donna to enjoy her birthday, and then I told her the day after. After that, I really didn’t tell many people. I told a few members of my family. I decided that I did not want to say anything to anybody, because I didn’t know who on the show knew about it, and because of the way the story was going to develop, with my character being killed, it was information that I felt they would not want anybody to know until it came out. But it started coming out in the scripts soon after, and a few people immediately knew. That’s when people were coming up to me on the show and asking me if it was true. I said, “Yes, it’s true. It is what it is.”
Digest: What was the reaction from your castmates?
Irizarry: Everybody was very surprised, and they were very sweet. People were wonderful, which is a testament to the quality of the people who are there. People genuinely like and appreciate one another. It’s a nice experience to be able to work with people like that.
Digest: The character came on with a lot of fanfare, but there never seemed to be a clear vision of him through the different regimes. Did you feel that way?
Irizarry: Yes. It became evident to me that once the writing staff changed, the character took a totally dark turn and became a very different character. I loved the multidimensional levels of the character that preceded it. He was definitely a character who had major issues, and a major chip on his shoulder. I felt that, at his core, Deimos was a romantic. He was a man of substance and depth, and he genuinely wanted to experience the life that had been denied him for 30 years, in all its facets. Those same experiences in life that most people enjoy and take for granted, whether it’s experiencing true love, having a family, or being a part of a family, those are the things that I loved about the character, and at the same time, because of how he had been fashioned from 30 years being in a prison, he also had a very dark side, and also was potentially dangerous, especially to his enemies. So I thought those were great qualities to build on, and once he had been part of the family, the Kiriakis family, for the first time, after a whole lifetime of being denied that right, it was a very special time for him, and it was something to develop. But unfortunately, the writing staff that came in, went in a very different direction. That’s how they chose to do it, and to some degree, it still, to this day, baffles me as to why that was the course they wanted to take. It was strange. It seemed to be very contrary and counterproductive to what was going on with the character and the story, and exploring a lot of the richness that was there inherently in those relationships with the other characters.
Digest: Did you ever have a moment where you felt they had written him into a corner?
Irizarry: I did become concerned about it at one point, when I saw that it was taking a really dark turn. I felt that we were losing sight of the other dimensions of the character, and [Deimos was] sort of becoming a one-dimensional, dark villain. I spoke to one of the producers about it, and that producer confirmed what I had been concerned about, and said that was the way that these writers write, that it’s somewhat black and white. So that wasn’t a confidence-builder. I was just hoping that they would find their footing again with the character, and expand upon the dimensions of the character, rather than go down that route.
Digest: When did you wrap up?
Irizarry: My last scene, if I remember correctly, was February 9. It was a Thursday.
Digest: How did you feel on your last days on the show? What were they like for you?
Irizarry: It was hard to say good-bye to everybody. It wasn’t just the actors, it was everybody; the crew. Everybody was wonderful. It was a great place to work. I remember people being very sweet and very loving and affectionate, with me leaving. Even after I left, people were writing me emails saying how much they enjoyed working with me, or [saying] how grateful they were for what I brought to the character. I said to my girlfriend afterward that I felt like I was mourning the loss of the character.
Digest: How would you characterize your time on DAYS?
Irizarry: It was wonderful. From the very first day, I was very grateful that I got to work with John [Aniston, Victor]. He was fantastic, and very welcoming. I loved working opposite him. Every time I got to work with somebody on the show, whether it was John, or Suzanne [Rogers, Maggie], Eric [Martsolf, Brady] Ari [Zucker, Nicole], Lauren [Koslow, Kate], any of them, I felt that it was a great team to be working opposite. I had an immense amount of fun working on it. There was a very long period of time where I was very excited just to open up the script and find out what else my character was going to do. So I would characterize it as being a wonderful experience.
Digest: What are you up to now?
Irizarry: I’ve got several things going on with real estate. I just listed a duplex in the mid-Wilshire area [of Los Angeles] that is very exciting. I’m working with several buyers. Christopher Sean [Paul] was very vocal that I helped him find his place that he moved into a few months ago, and I’m working with another actor on the show, trying to help them find a place. As far as acting, it’s kind of a slow period right now. There are two projects that I am hoping to get off the ground as a producer, one that I helped develop from an original manuscript. It’s a true story about a murder that took place. Then there is another property, an independent film, that I’ve been asked to play one of the leads in. It’s a great role.
Digest: There seems to be an ever-present interest from fans in bringing you to GH to work opposite Finola [Hughes, Anna].
Irizarry: Yeah, apparently they’re very vocal about it on Twitter and Facebook. I loved working with Finola. I loved the characters. They were great characters together. That’s their show, whatever they decide to do, obviously. I have no control about what they decide to do. But if you’re asking me my feelings about it, I would love to work with Finola again. I would love playing David Hayward again, especially where David is concerned, only because of how it was left off, with ALL MY CHILDREN going off the air. There was absolutely no closure at all. It just stopped, after 41 years, because we kept thinking we were coming back. So the stories stopped, as it was, frozen in time. There was no resolution with the characters. So at least for me, and the audience, where this character is concerned, if that availed itself, if I had the opportunity to do that, it could potentially give something to the character, and to the show, and to the audience. He’s a doctor, and it’s GENERAL HOSPITAL, and considering that he had a child with Anna, considering the fact that he is a doctor, and not just any doctor, but a world-renowned cardiologist, thank you [laughs], I could see that it would be an easy fit. But again, it’s their show and they get to decide what they’re going to do for whatever would be best for their show.
Digest: Would you do another soap?
Irizarry: Sure. I love working in this medium. It’s fantastic.