Sonny and Will, the gay super couple on NBC's long running daytime drama “Days of Our Lives,” have an active sex life. The show has dared to go where no soap has gone before: into the bedroom and under the sheets with a passionate pair of guys who love each other deeply.
Though there's been some outcry from conservative groups over this storyline: the show has in fact seen a considerable rise in its viewership over the past few years, up more than 200,000 in the past year alone. Actor Guy Wilson, who recently replaced the departing Chandler Massey as Will, isn't the least bit concerned with what the "family values" crowd thinks.
"I wouldn't feel the need to say much about that," he told SFGN. "There are many reasons why people have reservations towards this issue. Lead by example. Any way we can broaden people's awareness. Act and speak by example."
“Days,” along with shows like “Glee” and “Modern Family,” have been credited with turning the tide of public opinion on gay relationships and marriage equality.
"We won a GLAAD Media Award," Wilson said proudly. "I'm honored and privileged to be part of a show that's a social institution. It's in its 48th season, and it's still trailblazing; till making headlines. These are exciting times."
Gay characters are not new to daytime TV. As early as the 1980s, the now cancelled soaps “All My Children” and “As the World Turns” featured short-term gay characters. Film actor Ryan Philippe was first seen as Billy Douglas on “One Life to Live” in 1992 in a teen coming out story. In 2000, “All My Children” outed Bianca, the lesbian daughter of Erica Kane, the show's long running leading lady. Though Bianca eventually went through the ups and downs of several stormy relationships, it took a few years until the AMC writers allowed her to kiss a girlfriend. That dry mouth kiss made headlines. Soon after, “As the World Turns” created Luke and Noah, daytime's first gay super couple.
By the time a scantily clad Will and Sonny, affectionately known by fans as WilSon, hopped into bed on “Days,” the audience was more than willing to join them.
"I'm not uncomfortable with the scenes at all," Wilson said. "It never bothers me. Freddie Smith is such a connected and present actor, so it's easy to be grounded in those moments."
Shortly before quitting the series in order to attend school, the immensely popular Chandler Massey won a Daytime Emmy Award for his work as Will. Wilson had big shoes to fill, but said he was embraced by the cast and crew. "I thought it would be difficult, but everyone was so welcoming and gracious," he said. "They helped me fill in the blanks and get caught up to speed."
At first the fans were apprehensive about accepting a new actor in such a beloved role. "I don't take it personally," Wilson said. "I look at it as the fans caring about the show and this relationship. If someone you care about leaves the show, you feel uncomfortable."
Viewers need not worry. Soon after Wilson's debut, Sonny proposed marriage to Will. A sizzling bedroom scene followed.
"First and foremost, this is a love story," Wilson said. "They show affection and are intimate. It's important to be truthful, to portray that love truthfully."
“Days of Our Lives” airs weekdays on NBC. Episodes also stream at NBC.com