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Tanner Stine On Joining DAYS

Making his debut as Joey Johnson on the Peacock special BEYOND SALEM: CHAPTER 2 ahead of joining DAYS was a major blessing for Tanner Stine.

“One of my best friends is Carson Boatman [Johnny],” begins the actor. “We’ve been friends for 10, 11 years. He would always tell me about how many pages he would have per day. One day, he had, like, 64 pages of shooting. I was like, ‘Man, I hope they don’t throw me into the mix that quickly.’ Luckily, with Peacock, I didn’t have too much material. I had five-to-10 pages a day. So it was an easy introduction to being on the show.”

Stine nabbed the DAYS role after submitting a self-tape audition. “I did it at Carson’s house with Carson,” he explains. “We used his self-tape space, and he read with me. It was one scene. Then I got a phone call from my manager a week-and-a-half later [that I got the part]. I was at one of my favorite restaurants and was like, ‘Well. This calls for a beer.’ ”

It wasn’t the first time Stine had tried out for the role. “Carson and I had both screen-tested for Joey Johnson, when the [adult version of the character] was introduced on the show seven years ago,” reveals Stine. “There were, like, five guys, but neither of us got the part. I had met Mary Beth [Evans, Kayla] then, when we were on stage doing the scene. So we reunited when I got the recast role of Joey.”

Stine recalls his first day of work on DAYS vividly. “I remember being a little intimidated, because my first scenes were with Abigail Klein [Stephanie], Lucas [Adams, Tripp], Mary Beth and Stephen [Nichols, Steve]: the Johnson family,” he says. “And they’d been doing it for so long, especially Stephen and Mary Beth. I had to seamlessly try to fit myself into that routine or that little puzzle. They were all super-supportive and welcoming and made it a lot easier than I had built it up to be in my head.”

However, Stine’s emotional DAYS entrance — Joey’s mom was on her deathbed — was a bit daunting. “It was interesting to be thrown into such a dramatic situation early on,” he admits. “Those kinds of scenes are always challenging and taxing. But as cliché as it sounds, they’re always the most rewarding and enjoyable scenes for me. Everyone there is so talented that it was easy for me to fall into it as well.”

The Johnson clan being an especially warm bunch helped, too, starting at the top with Evans and Nichols. “The biggest thing is how kind and welcoming they were,” shares Stine. “They’re both so gracious. They made me feel like a part of [the family] immediately, which is what I possibly needed most. It was a lot easier [fitting in] than I thought it would be. They’re both incredible and so seasoned, too. It’s cool to watch people do it and know, ‘Oh. That’s how it needs to be done.’ Just to have someone to set that example, I guess.”

Stine’s TV siblings have been top-notch, too. “Lucas and I have gotten pretty close,” he reports. “We work together a lot. Pretty much every scene I’m in, he’s been in with me. He’s the man. And Abigail has been awesome as well.” Knowing Klein was also a relative newcomer also helped put Stine at ease. “I found that out one of my first days. When I heard that, I was like, ‘Okay, cool. We’re in a similar position here.’ It was comforting.”

It’s all helped Stine easily delve into the role of Joey. “He’s rugged and a bit of a loose cannon, but he’s got a good heart,” says the actor, noting that he was made aware of the character’s past in prison, but other than that, wasn’t given any major notes about Joey’s history on the soap. “Not a single thing, actually.”

Stine didn’t look into any of it either. “I figured it was going to be a recast, and he hadn’t been on the show for a while, so I would just start from scratch,” explains the actor. “I go with that approach [when I’m tackling a role]. I haven’t been to prison, thankfully, but I think we’re very similar in our sort of attitude toward life.”

Stine, who moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting right out of high school, has an impressive resumé, including a role on the Nickelodeon series THE THUNDERMANS. “That was pretty big for me in terms of creating [career] momentum,” he says. “I was on that for two years. I also did a movie called Run the Race. That was my first big leading role in a film. I did a show called IMPULSE, too. That was cool and one of the things I’m most proud of.”

And, although a newcomer to daytime, he was quite familiar with the medium. “Carson’s been on the show for a year-and-a-half, and I’ve helped him with his lines before big days,” notes Stine. “I go over and read scripts. So I got the gist of the storylines and tone of the show. Also, one of my other good friends, Spencer Neville [ex-Derrick], was on DAYS, and his girlfriend at the time, Molly Burnett [ex-Melanie], was on the show, too. She was a friend as well. I had brushes with the soap world beforehand, so I knew what I was in for. I’m enjoying it. I hope they’ll keep having me.”