Already have an account?
Get back to the


Zach Tinker On His DAYS Exit

Despite leaving Salem as Sonny Kiriakis, Zach Tinker doesn’t see it as the end of the line. “What’s nice about soaps is you’re not ever really gone unless they recast you,” he points out. “So it’s nice knowing that at least, for now, I am still Sonny.”

Yet, Tinker admits he’ll miss being a part of the soap he joined back in 2022. “I’ll miss the people most of all,” he notes, citing the crew and behind-the-scenes personnel as well as the actors. “DAYS is a good bunch of people. That was the crappiest part of leaving, leaving my friends.”

Tinker grew close to a number of castmates during his run on DAYS. “I’m going to miss Greg [Rikaart, Leo; Kevin, Y&R] a lot. I’m going to miss Billy [Flynn, Chad] a lot,” he shares. “Those were my two main dudes, when I was there. Greg, coming from Y&R [where Tinker plays Fen], he and I really clicked and have history. That’s always been nice. And Billy and I really connected, too. We had so much work together in the beginning. Rob [Scott Wilson, Alex] and I started to work together at the end. So it was crappy to have to end that, to cut that off midway.”

Tinker, who took over the role of Sonny from Freddie Smith, says he was never worried about being a recast. “That’s what I did with Fen on YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS,” he points out. “So it was not any different for me. Any nerves would be about just doing a good job. I didn’t have any fears regarding a recast. It’s always a great opportunity to step into a new character and get to explore that.”
Creating the “WilSon” coupling came effortlessly to Tinker, too. “Chandler [Massey, Will] and I had to make out after three days. We had to get to know each other pretty quickly,” recalls Tinker. “He’s amazing. You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn’t love Chandler. He made it very easy to be in a couple with him. I felt very comfortable and safe.”

Tinker also felt comfortable bringing the affable Sonny to life. “He’s a good person. He has a good moral compass,” notes the actor. “That’s my number one attribute of Sonny. He tries to do the right thing no matter what.”

Being surrounded by such a wonderful on-screen family was another perk of the job, among them, his TV dad, Wally Kurth (Justin), and stepmom, Judi Evans (Bonnie). “I love them so much,” he says. “Judi is one of the sweetest human beings I’ve ever met. I can’t say enough good things about her and Wally. They are just two gems, genuinely kind, genuinely loving human beings.”

Then there was his incomparable DAYS grandfather, Victor, portrayed by the late John Aniston. “He was great,” reflects Tinker. “I met him toward the end, so I don’t think he was as fast or as sharp as he used to be, but he was still friggin’ there. Even toward the end of his life, he was still sharp as a tack. I can’t even imagine how witty he was [before]. He had a really great dry sense of humor and was super-personable. He was legendary. That last name is Hollywood royalty now.”

Tinker fondly remembers his final moments working with Aniston, “because those were the last scenes he shot before he passed away,” he says. “It felt special to be able to share the screen with him before his passing.”

Among his favorite memories from DAYS, Tinker cites the positive response he received from the show’s fans. “Here and there I’d get the occasional, ‘I liked Freddie more,’ ” he admits. “Look, Freddie’s great. I’m sure he was awesome. But, for the most part, they’ve been pretty dang supportive. I’ve been very lucky. When I was playing Fen, I would say 50 percent of the comments were like, ‘Who is this guy? I don’t like this guy. I want the old one back.’ Where with DAYS, it feels like the majority have generally been happy with my performance and feel like I fit in. So that’s nice. As actors our egos are already as thin as tissue paper. It’s nice to have people like you.”

Since wrapping at DAYS, Tinker has already moved on to prime-time, having landed a role in the CBS drama FIRE COUNTRY. “I’ve been up in Canada [filming] for the last few months or so,” he shares. “It’s already picked up for season 2 so we know it’s going for at least another season. I’m playing a guy named Collin O’Reilly, a firefighter who’s the son of a legendary firefighter that passed away. He’s trying to kind of prove himself. It’s a great role. It’s been fun, a blast. I love being out in the field and on location. It’s a different beat. That’s one of the things that’s difficult about soaps to me. Also, you get one take and you move on [on daytime]. With prime-time, as an actor, you get to play a little bit more and explore, which I really enjoy.”

Not that he won’t always have a fond place in his heart for daytime; Tinker says he would return should the opportunity arise. “Working on soaps for years sharpened my tools, sharpened my memorization skills,” he says. “It’s made me more confident in my craft. I think I’m a way better actor because of it.”