The daytime community is shocked by the news that Days of our Lives decided to fire Chandler Massey and Freddie Smith, bringing the groundbreaking and popular love story between their characters, Will Horton and Sonny Kiriakis, to a close. Smith was the first to break the news about the surprise Salem cast cuts via an episode of his podcast, The Freddie and Alyssa Show, and he followed up the episode with one of both him and Massey discussing their unexpected fate.
One of the key things that the pair reveals in the new podcast episode is that none of the people in power positions at DAYS told the actors that their time on the show was ending; Smith and Massey say they found out that they had been let go solely by reading the six scripts that they were given upon returning from the show's recent hiatus.
"How the first three of the six scripts looked, it wasn't promising. And we were just kind of like, 'Ummmm...'" says Smith. "And then we read all the way up to five episodes, and I was like, 'Well, things can always change, things can always change.'"
However, things did not change -- and Massey says that what they read in their final script was a complete blow to both of them.
"We were talking, like, 'I wonder what this sixth episode is going to bring,' and as we're talking about it, the script gets delivered to [Smith's] room and we read it," Massey recalls. "I truly was shocked. I kept thinking, 'No, surely something will change'... I was stunned. I didn't even know what to say. It just seems like our story was so -- our story was unfinished. It just happened so abruptly. And to find out through reading the scripts was a little weird... The handling of it kind of hurt my feelings a little bit."
Massey and Smith say that up to this point, the higher-ups at DAYS have still not talked to them about being let go -- which they say created a lot of awkwardness during the filming of their final scenes.
"It's a business, obviously, and we can't fault them for doing what they want to do, writing how they want to write," Massey says. "But also, I mean, we'd been there for eight years or something, a long time, and we've built up these personal relationships, so... [it would have been nice if they had given us a heads-up], if they just said, 'Hey, we're going to rest the characters for a while.' Or just something... just one sentence. I'd take a text or DM on Twitter! Because these are people that we know and worked with and have a relationship with and really have a lot of love for. So, it just feels kind of shitty, to be dropped like that."
As Soap Central previously reported, Smith and Massey are unable to reveal how WilSon is written off the canvas -- including whether or not they are killed off, if they just leave town, if they will go together, or if they will go solo. However, they do reveal that their last airdate will be Friday, September 18, and their long-running on-screen romance -- which led to the first male-male wedding in daytime history -- is tied up "with a nice bow on it."
As for what the next chapter of their personal lives will hold, both actors say they are looking ahead with pockets full of wonderful memories.
"I wasn't ready for Will's story to end; I feel like there's a lot of meat left on the bone and so many opportunities that now just won't be realized," Massey says. "But I think I am excited. I'm taking it as the universe nudging me in a different direction. No matter what, I'll always be proud of the work that we did. To this point, that has been the greatest achievement of my life... and I'll always stay connected to the people who were touched by the story."
Says Smith, "We came here with a goal. Not only did we work on a television show for basically a decade, won a couple of awards -- GLAAD Awards, Emmys -- we can look back on a body of work and look at that moment as a success in every way."
For more from Smith and Massey on their DAYS exit, including how the producers tweaked WilSon's final scenes to make them perfect and what they think is going on behind the scenes at the NBC drama, watch their full The Freddie and Alyssa Show podcast episode below.
Smith joined DAYS in 2011 and played Sonny -- the first openly gay contract character on the NBC series -- until 2015. He returned to the show in 2016.
Massey joined DAYS in 2010, and in 2012 became the first actor in history to win a Daytime Emmy for playing a male gay character, which he followed up again in 2013. That same year, Massey chose to leave the NBC series, and the soap cast Guy Wilson in the role. Massey returned in 2017.
What do you think about DAYS' decision to let Freddie Smith and Chandler Massey go? How do you feel about the behind-the-scenes details that the actors shared about their exit? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.