There was one major surprise that came with taking on the role of Days of our Lives’ EJ DiMera for actor Dan Feuerriegel. No, it wasn’t his character’s litany of crimes, including attempting to murder Salem hero John Black or his twisted past with Sami Brady, but rather the fact that EJ has a full-grown son.
Dan Feuerriegel: Call Him Daddy
“Personally, it’s weird for me to have a son,” admits Feuerriegel. And even weirder is the age of that offspring, 20-something when the actor himself is only 39.
“I was like, ‘How old am I? And I would have had to have been what age to have had this son?’” recounts Feuerriegel with a chuckle. “But it’s been really cool.”
Opening New Doors
Feuerriegel has quickly adapted to playing dad to Carson Boatman’s Johnny DiMera. It’s opened up new doors for EJ, who’s still dealing with Sami’s (Alison Sweeney) betrayal. Namely, the fact that she cheated on him with her ex-husband, Lucas Horton (Bryan Dattilo).
“That’s been fantastic,” says Feuerriegel. “Here’s another element that comes along that EJ can be controlling of, while he’s dealing with his hurt. It was really good as well, because [Carson and I are] both coming onto the show as recasts. So we’re both discovering things and exploring things together as new people on a show. I’m really loving the relationship and storyline that they’ve created with EJ and Johnny. There are some fun things coming up.”
Days of our Lives: Father Versus Son
To date, viewers have seen Johnny refuse to obediently follow down the path his father insists is best for him – taking on a position at the family business, DiMera Enterprises. Instead, he’s adamant about taking charge of his own life and determined to become a filmmaker, much to EJ’s exasperation.
Does Feuerriegel perceive Johnny as a chip off the old EJ block? “No, but then after a while stuff does start to come through,” he teases. “It’s quite interesting. It’s subtle but really kind of cool as [to] how the molding comes to take place.
A Mini-Me in Training
“Johnny comes in as a totally different personality, not a chip off the old block,” continues Feuerriegel. “But, over time, in order for Johnny to get what he wants, he [shifts courses]. He realizes that his dad kind of gets what he wants all the time, by using certain tactics and doing this and doing that. It gets to a point and gets to a situation where Johnny kind of starts doing what his dad does. That’s where you see the subtle molding starting to occur.”
Fuerriegel has been enjoying what’s coming down the line and Johnny’s development into a mini-me EJ of sorts. “It’s really cool,” he says with a smile. “And it’s really well written.”
Days of our Lives (DOOL) airs weekdays on NBC. Check your local listings for airtimes. For more about what’s coming up in Salem, check out all the latest that’s been posted on DAYS spoilers, and for an in-depth look at the show’s history.