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Inside Move: You’ve got male

'Days' casts she as he

What’s a sudser to do when one of its biggest stars goes on maternity leave? If you’re the writer of NBC’s top-rated “Days of Our Lives,” you temporarily replace the actress… with a man.

Starting today, “Days” will deal with the absence of star Alison Sweeney by having her character of Sami Brady disguise herself as a mysterious newcomer named Stan. It’s all part of a plotline in which Sami goes undercover to collect intelligence on her enemies, the better to plot her revenge against them.

Thesp Dan Wells will play Stan, though in some scenes, Wells will sound a lot like Sweeney (thanks to pre-recorded vocal tracks). And rather than simply ask viewers to simply believe Sami suddenly has on a very realistic mask, “Days” will show the extensive process by which her character morphs into a dude.

“They say necessity is the mother of invention, but in this case, motherhood was the necessity of invention,” NBC daytime topper Sheraton Kalouria said.

Exec says the “Days” creative team came up with the idea of Sami turning evil nearly a year ago. When he heard the idea, “I said, that’s a great story — as long as Alison doesn’t get pregnant.’ ”

Rather than abandon the storyline or temporarily recast the role Sweeney has played for more than a decade, NBC and the Sony/Corday Prods.-produced show’s scribes decided to get more creative.

So far, Kalouria says Wells is doing a great job as a man playing a woman pretending to be a man. “As you watch the scenes, you can’t resist comparing his actions to Alison’s portrayal of Sami,” he said.

Sweeney, married to California Highway Patrol officer David Sanov, gave birth to a baby boy, Benjamin Edward, on Friday morning.

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