Rolling out the red carpet would be an understatement to describe what Days of our Lives has planned for this holiday season. Viewers have gone through a tough year, and the NBC soap opera is pulling out all the stops -- red carpet, glitter, garland, and more -- to bring fans one of the most heartwarming and memorable Christmas periods yet. The festivities happening this week include the show's long-standing traditions, like the Horton family ornament hanging, mixed in with brand-new things to celebrate, like the addition of infant twins (!!!!) to Salem and a beautiful wedding between Belle (Martha Madison) and Shawn (Brandon Beemer).
"To have some of that feel-good stuff, like weddings and babies and all the great stuff, I think that's so much more important this year than any other year, so I'm happy that we're doing that," says Madison of the show's Christmas material airing this week. "DAYS is so full of traditions, and it's one of the things that I've always loved about the show when I was watching it growing up, so I love that they've stayed true to that every year."
Of course, bringing those magical moments to the fans has been a lot more challenging this year due to COVID-19. The protocols that the cast and crew must carry out to keep everybody safe have necessitated a lot of storyline decisions -- including the size of Belle and Shawn's wedding, which happens on Tuesday, December 22.
"This Shawn and Belle wedding is really intimate, but I think it's actually strangely appropriate," Madison shares. "This is not our first wedding on the show, and it's very sweet how it all unravels. It's very spontaneous, and I think that's really true to the characters. They kind of do things their own way and on their own terms. [The intimacy] really added that splash of sentiment to everything. It's really special."
However, just because Belle and Shawn's wedding will be heartwarming doesn't mean the actual marriage will be equally so. At least, that's what Beemer hopes.
"I was always told that if you're happy, it means death!" he says with a laugh. "So, hopefully [the wedding] just solidifies their love for each other and they will end up with bumps along the road. We need some bumps to tell some fun stories. If you're just happy, running around, I don't think it'll be too exciting. So, hopefully they will come up with something fun for Shawn and Belle."
Jokes Madison, "This is their second wedding, but maybe it won't be their last!"
As for what else is on the horizon, Beemer says that Shawn has had his hands full since returning to Salem -- and that isn't likely to change in 2021.
"I'm very grateful to be popping back in and out -- that's always a lot of fun -- but this time around, it's been a lot more fun because there have been so many things... that have been happening to my sister, my daughter, my mom," the actor says in character. "Shawn is so involved in so many different areas and so many different storylines to where, sometimes I'm losing track of [what is going on], like, 'Hold on, so I'm doing this. I'm looking for this person. I'm wondering where this person is at.' It's been a lot of fun. I don't think I've ever been involved in so many different [aspects of the] drama."
Madison feels the same about Belle, who has also been quite busy (scratch that: extremely busy) in her law career since returning to Salem.
"I don't know how many people I've represented in the last few months!" the actress jokes. "It's always good to be the cop or the doctor or the lawyer on a soap. You're needed in a lot of different areas, and even if you're not front and center with a big story, you're still working all the time. And it's different every day, because you're usually working with different people."
All in all, though, both Beemer and Madison are grateful to be working at all -- especially because they've come and gone so many times over the years, which they say has taught them great lessons.
"I've learned a lot about resilience, honestly," says Madison. "It's not the most stable of jobs, and because the shows run so long, you come and go a lot. When you go, you're like, 'Why am I going?' But then, when they want you back, you're like, 'Oh, they like me! They want me back!' It's this weird emotional thing if you let it be. So, I've learned a lot about [managing that] so that it's just a job -- and it's a great job."
Says Beemer, "That, I think, has been the most challenging thing, the comings and the goings. Everybody handles it differently, but at the end of the day, if you really enjoy what you do, [then being let go] hurts, and it's a struggle. But it's great to come back. It's just the boom, boom, boom, boom, you're going back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, [is hard]. But you just have to look at it as like, that's the business, that's the way that it is."
Adds Madison, "They have to rotate people because [the show has been] on a long time, but the good news is that it's still there, so you can keep coming home."
What do you think about our interview with Martha Madison and Brandon Beemer? What are your hopes for Belle and Shawn's second marriage? What are your hopes for the characters' futures in general? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.