×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

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.

More TV

  • ‘Hitsville: The Making of Motown’ Acquired

    ‘Hitsville: The Making of Motown’ Acquired by Showtime for U.S.

    Polygram Entertainment, Universal Music Group’s film and television division, along with Capitol Music Group, Motown Records and Fulwell 73 announced today that “Hitville: The Making of Motown” has been acquired by Showtime for release in North America with plans for a fall premiere, and Altitude for theatrical release in the UK and Ireland. The feature-length [...]

  • Game of Thrones Cast

    What's Next for 'Game of Thrones'' Cast Members

    Eight years and eight seasons later, the “Game of Thrones” cast finally has some downtime to relax or move onto other projects. Some stars, like Kit Harington, who told Variety that he doesn’t plan on taking another role as physically demanding as Jon Snow, certainly deserve a break, but others have wasted no time getting back on [...]

  • 'Fleabag' Season 2 Review: How Its

    'Fleabag': Season 2’s Top 10 Breaks From Reality, Ranked (Column)

    The searing first season of “Fleabag” felt like a complete story in and of itself. As adapted from Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s one-woman show, the series expanded on the world of a woman wild with lust and grief with such expert ease that by the time it ended, even Waller-Bridge herself was sure that it was the [...]

  • Richard Madden Says 'Game of Thrones'

    Richard Madden Says the 'Game of Thrones' Cast Deserves a Medal

    Richard Madden is thankful for his time on “Game of Thrones,” but is also happy to have been able to move on when he did. The “Bodyguard” star sat down with “Sharper Objects'” Amy Adams for Variety’s Actors on Actors, where he expressed some incredulity at the idea of spending so long with just one [...]

  • MEET THE PRESS -- Pictured: (l-r)

    Submissions Now Welcome for Third 'Meet the Press' Film Festival

    Chuck Todd’s quest to bring “Meet the Press” to the movies continues. The third annual Meet the Press Film Festival, held in collaboration with the American Film Institute, will take place on October 6 and 7 in Washington, D.C., and remains a haven for issue-focused documentary shorts. Todd believes the event serves a critical mission: [...]

  • Winner of the 2019 Eurovision Song

    Netherlands' Duncan Laurence Wins 2019 Eurovision Song Contest

    Madonna’s controversial performance may have grabbed the headlines, but Duncan Laurence won the nearly four-hour-long 2019 Eurovision Song Contest for the Netherlands with the song “Arcade,” which he cowrote with Joel Sjöö and Wouter Hardy. Laurence won a total of 492 points from the expert juries and televoters in a contest that was touch and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content