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James Read On His Return To DAYS

Every time a Salemite gets sent off to prison, it’s good news for James Read (Clyde). “I get visitors,” the actor delivers with a laugh. Read admits he’s “always surprised whenever [the DAYS brass] calls and asks me if I’m available. If I am, I say, ‘Yes,’ and there are no more questions,” he explains. “I expect to be wearing orange. That’s been specifically the case the last couple of years. From there, anything can happen. I could break out. I could stay in there and have a new cellmate. I could get paroled. It’s irrelevant to me.”

For Read, portraying the character “is like coming home. It’s fun to slip back into him.” After all, it’s a role he’s been playing since 2014, when he first surfaced as Ben’s dastardly dad. “I think it was intended as a six-to-eight month gig,” notes Read. “But it found some firm ground and grew, which is fortunate because it’s so much fun.”

After receiving his comeback call, Read was anxious to see his first script. “Of course, I assumed I would start out in prison, if not, end up there,” he notes. “This time around I got a new bunkmate.” Namely, EJ DiMera, the man whose “death” Clyde had once ordered. Read found the twist delectable. “Anything to stir the pot,” he asserts. “These kinds of relationships are what soaps are all about. I loved it. It gave us lots of stuff to work with as actors.”

Now, a new actor is playing EJ. Gone was James Scott, who originated the character, and in was Dan Feuerriegel. “It had been so long since James was around that I didn’t have any trouble segueing,” comments Read. “And Dan sort of eerily reminds you of James, but then is so much his own man at the same time. It was a very quick transition.”

Read was happy to reconnect with his  TV son, Robert Scott Wilson (Ben). “He was there day one when I first started,” recounts Read. “We both started at nearly the same time, and we’ve been able to develop a really good screen chemistry. I always look forward to my scenes with him.”

There will be plenty of interaction between father and son this go-round — Read’s back for a four-to-five month run — since Clyde will have learned he’s about to become a grandfather. The story twist hits close to home for Read: During his time away from DAYS, he became a real-life grandfather for the first time. “That’s been a very big deal,” smiles the actor, whose son, Jackson, welcomed a baby girl. “I’m certainly enjoying that new relationship. So there’s a little bit of an overlap there.”

As for the work front, Read says, “I’m reading a couple of [scripts], and we’ll see what happens. There’s a lot of really interesting stuff out there. There’s more product, especially for independent filmmakers to make movies with much less money than it used to take. Whether or not it has the opportunity to be seen is another thing. There are a couple of things that I’ve done that I don’t want to talk about, because I don’t know if they’ll ever see the light of day.”