Though unconfirmed by NBC, Days of our Lives has reportedly hired aptly named newcomer Guy Wilson as its new Will Horton.
"I am very worried for Guy Wilson, who is replacing Chandler because I love Chandler," Lilley offered. "It's really hard to be a recast, and I can understand from an audience's point of view also why it's hard. It's tricky. I hope people will be nice to Guy Wilson, because there is a scary thing built into being a recast because of the audience, and the awesome fan base. [Fans] are so loyal!"
Lilley speaks from experience. At the beginning of her run as an emergency fill-in as Maxie Jones on General Hospital, Lilley received dozens of "hateful messages" from fans of the actress she temporarily replaced. Massey has become incredibly popular with fans, and some are smarting by reports that Massey was "blindsided" by his earlier-than-expected exit from Days of our Lives.
Massey announced in June that he would be exciting DAYS when his contracted expired at the end of the year. DAYS, however, secured a new actor for the role and announced that it had reached a "mutual decision" with Massey to recast the role immediately.
Prior to Lilley's announcement, on his Facebook page, Wilson teased some upcoming news, but as expected, he did not reveal what that news would be.
"[S]ome exciting news... can't talk about it just yet... but stay tuned," Wilson wrote.
Later, Wilson posted an update confirming his addition to the DAYS cast.
"Yes, I am the new Will Horton on Days of Our Lives," Wilson wrote. "This is a dream come true for me. But I do have some very big shoes to fill; Chandler Massey's talent is beyond measure. I've always admired Chandler's work and to now follow in his footsteps is truly an honor. I am so excited to share this adventure with all of you!!!"
Wilson isn't exactly a stranger to daytime. In 2006, he appeared as a teenage Luke Spencer during a fantasy flashback. He's also appeared in a handful of primetime roles, including a guest role earlier this year on Breaking Bad. Wilson will also appear in three films due to be released over the course of the next year.
In a case of coincidence, Wilson's last name is the portmanteau, or "smooshed name," for the popular DAYS couple of Will and Sonny Kiriakis: WilSon.
Due to DAYS' production schedule, Massey will continue to air on-screen through Thursday, January 2, 2014. Wilson will pop up Wednesday, January 8, 2014.
Days of our Lives' production office was closed at the time of Lilley's remarks, and a show rep has yet to comment on the record about Wilson joining the cast.