Role of a Lifetime ~
A Guy Playing a Girl Playing a Guy!
Dan Wells (Stan) of Days of our Lives is gracing the screen in what can be called one of the most twisted, diabolical plots that daytime TV has seen in a while.
He’s a man roaming the streets of Salem out for revenge on everyone that has crossed his path, or should I say, her path?
In the storyline, Sami Brady (Alison Sweeney) is sporting a new hairdo, a mustache, some facial work, and a voice change. But the reality is that Wells has stepped in, and is known as Stan “The Man,” who’s out for blood. But it’s really Sami in disguise out to get her due.
Confused? Once again, it’s the brilliant writing of Head Writer, James Reilly. In reality, Sweeney began her maternity leave, and what a better way then to have Wells come aboard transforming himself into the evil Sami, keeping the story going and becoming a man with a mission. I mean, who would suspect?
Wells is having the time of his life with the role, changing from testosterone to estrogen, saying, “I never in my wildest dreams imagined that I’d be playing a girl dressed like a man, but you know what? I love it!” he said. “And so does Ali, who stood behind the camera getting a charge of seeing herself impersonated.” (Sweeney still will be seen in pre-taped scenes and voiceovers.)
Wells joined Days of our Lives in February in a six month contract role that would be a challenge for any actor to play.
“Oh absolutely. The truth is I’m a guy playing a girl, but in the story, I’m a girl playing a guy,” Wells laughed. “As an actor, it’s a blessing. It brings out my best to act and be able to show my versatility, and I love the challenge. Heck I tape my chest, and work on my breasts.”
Fran Bascom, head casting director of Days of our Lives agrees. “That’s why I picked Dan for the role. I knew he’d be up for the challenge,” she said. “I love him. I think he’s super duper. And oh yes! A great actor.”
Wells originally auditioned for the recast of Phillip Kiriakis, but didn’t get the part. He then auditioned for a Sissy Spacek movie. It was an emotional audition, and the casting director was Bascom. “I really believe she kept me in mind after that audition, and I think that’s how I got this role. She (Fran) remembered me.”
Soapdom wants to know, how did you prepare for the role of Sami/Stan. And what do you want to accomplish? “Steve Wyman, (co-executive producer) and I sat and talked with Ali Sweeney on the lowdown on Sami -- like manners, ways, and her actions,” Wells explained. “I also learned the history of Salem, the characters, and relationships. I tried to incorporate it all, and I was just ready to go. As for an accomplishment? I want revenge on Kate, Sami’s arch enemy.”
Wells was a bit familiar with Days of our Lives, saying, his mother is a soap fanatic, and said that he definitely has seen the faces walking by the TV set. Also, since he has been cast as Stan, he has recorded every Days of our Lives episode, and has a VHS tape with clips of Ali’s (Sami) work.
“I believe that watching the tapes has helped,” Wells said. “It’s freaky how you can pick up someone’s ways by studying them.”
A highly educated man with an MA from Cornell University, Wells left a lucrative career a few years ago in investment banking and decided to fulfill his life long dream and ambition of becoming an actor. He has studied with various acting groups like the Actor’s Lab of Burbank, and The Groundlings.
“I threw away an enormous salary, but to be honest, I didn’t like what I was doing,” Wells said. “I have no regrets, and I’ve never been happier. I’m much more in line as an actor.”
Wells considers it to be a privilege being on Days of our Lives, and given the opportunity to work with veterans like Drake Hogestyn (John) and Thaao Penghlis (Tony) who have kept the show on NBC. And as for Sweeney, he’s in awe of how she has turned the character of Sami into such a primary character on the show.
“I also have to admit that I never realized the hard work that daytime TV is, and how quick it moves,” Wells said. “You have 90 pages of script a day and many times you must nail it on the first take. I really have utmost respect for soap opera actors. In primetime you get a second chance. The people in daytime are true pros.”
Prior to Days of our Lives, Wells appeared in Gilmore Girls, and starred in a 20th Century Fox pilot, Venice Beach. He appeared on the big screen in Jake and in MGM’s Species III. For the independent film festival he has written, produced, and co-starred in the short film, Down the Rabbit Hole.
In his spare time, Wells enjoys snow boarding, spending time at the beach with his dog, going to the mountains, and he loves team sports.
Wells said that when his contract expires, he will consider his future and cross that bridge when the time comes, but as for now... he’s giving it his best shot as an actor and giving it his all, trying to do the best darn job possible as Sami…er…Stan…er…Stan/Sami on Days of our Lives. You can visit Wells online at http://www.danwells.com
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