This article was originally published in the 11-30-10 issue of Soap Opera Digest.
When Chandler Massey recalls his first day on the DAYS set last December, the 20-year-old actor chuckles and gamely sets up a memorable, if somewhat embarrassing, scene. “I get 10 hours of sleep every night. I just need it,” Massey explains. “But I was so nervous that I couldn’t sleep at all, so I ended up taking Tylenol PM and then some Benadryl, which didn’t work and just made feel sick, and then my friend had a prescription for Ambien. I don’t know what I was thinking!” he laughs. Needless to say, stepping onto the set the following morning was a blur — literally. “I was so drugged out!” he admits. “It was the worst!” Fortunately, no one noticed. “They probably just thought I was a weird person!”
When he left his native Georgia for Los Angeles back in 2009, Massey never imagined he’d land a contract role so fast, let alone in daytime. “I struck a deal with [my parents],” he shares. “I’d come out here and go to college so I’d at least have something to do while I was auditioning.” A couple of months into his freshman year at UCLA, where he majored in Mandarin Chinese (“I didn’t know any Chinese, so I was starting from scratch!” he says. My plan was to maybe get involved in international business.”), and after prime-time appearances on ARMY WIVES, ONE TREE HILL and EASTBOUND & DOWN, DAYS came calling. “I was in the boys’ bathroom in my dorm and I just freaked out,” he recalls. “I never expected that I would get a job [on a soap].”
Now, after nearly a year in Salem, Massey still marvels at his good fortune: “It’s been a learning experience, but it’s been so much fun.” And he’s feeling quite at home, thanks in part to his pal and co-star Casey Jon Deidrick (Chad). “I didn’t know anybody and Casey kind of just befriended me and made me feel very welcome.” The duo get along so well, they’re also new roommates. “We both have the same work schedules and we’re already friends and work out together, so it just seemed like a good fit.”
As is his relationship with on-screen mom Alison Sweeney (Sami), who also made Massey at home. “[She] has been so helpful,” he smiles. So much so that Massey even baked Sweeney as special thank-you treat for Mother’s Day. “I love THE BIGGEST LOSER and I had a copy of the [show’s] cookbook. There are blueberry banana muffin and cranberry walnut muffin recipes, so I made those and gave them to her. She said she liked them!” he reports. “And I’m glad, because it took a couple tries to get them right. I’m not very competent in the kitchen!”
Although Massey is fully settled in Salem, his alter is still experiencing some growing pains. “I guess you kind of have to grow up fast when your mom’s out shooting people,” he quips. “He’s starting to become a man, trying to protect his mom and take more of an active role.” Massey welcomes all the big changes that have come his way, on-screen and off. “It’s cool, but it’s also kind of scary!” he smiles.
Just The Facts
Birthday: September 10
Hails From: Atlanta, GA
What He’s Reading: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Cabon. “A friend recommended it to me. It’s really good.”
Hometown Spirit: “Massey loves to root for the Atlanta Falcons. “Pretty much all the sports that have Georgia teams, I’m a fan of.”
Eat Fresh: “I eat at Subway at least once a day.”
Water Baby: “I’m a big swimmer. I go to LA Fitness, where they have a nice saltwater pool.”
Did You Know?
Massey’s father, Lewis Massey, is the former Secretary of State of Georgia.
He was on UCLA’s Ultimate Frisbee team.
Massey appears alongside 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU’s Lindsey Shaw in Smash, a romantic comedy, which will be released in February.
He’s a skimboarder. “It’s like the step below [surfing]. You throw the board in a shallow water and then you hop on it, so it’s like skateboarding on the water.”