As one of the Days of our Lives’ most pivotal DiMeras, finding the right actor to resurrect the dashing mercurial EJ was a major task. James Scott, who originated the character, was not only a charismatic fan favorite but also a consummate performer. However, the show’s casting department’s long hard search has paid off handsomely; not only meeting expectations but exceeding them by hiring Dan Feuerriegel for the job.
Dan Feuerriegel: The Essence of EJ
Dan Feuerriegel not only looks the part of EJ – he’s tall, attractive, and has a commanding presence when he walks into the room – but he also embodies the essence of EJ. He’s had that down pat from his very first scene. He’s dashing and dignified, debonair and polished, and oozing with sophistication.
He’s also quickly mastered the many sides of EJ on Days of our Lives. He can be cool, calm, and in control one moment, but there’s always that fear factor raging beneath the surface. He can erupt on a dime against anyone, and when he does, beware the poor soul who’s provoked him.
Synchronizing with Sami
The real test for Dan Feuerriegel was meshing with Alison Sweeney’s Sami Brady DiMera. Would they fit as a potential soap super couple? Would they share a sense of camaraderie? And, above all, would there be sparks between them that intangible thing called chemistry?
While it did take a few scenes to kick in, the two actors quickly adapted and adjusted to each other. Before long, they were a perfect fit, and DAYS’ Sami and EJ’s relationship became all the things viewers had always known and loved – a mix of playfulness, passion, and furor.
Family and Foes
A strong family connection was also key to Feuerriegel’s success as EJ. Fortunately, there was an effortless comfortability between him and his TV brothers, Tony (Thaao Penghlis) and Chad (Billy Flynn). He seemed welcomed into the fold, and it resonated in their scenes as brothers, whether they were talking DiMera business, plotting strategy or simply bickering as siblings do.
When it came to foes on DAYS, Feuerriegel quickly figured out each and every dynamic. There was an instant looking down on and disgust toward the family black sheep, Jake (Brandon Barash), and an immediate dislike of his social-climbing girlfriend, Gabi Hernandez (Camila Banus). Dan Feuerriegel also quickly mastered EJ’s animosity toward Sami’s exes, Lucas Horton (Bryan Dattilo) and Rafe Hernandez (Galen Gering). He was aptly dismissive with both of them from the get-go, yet you could sense an undercurrent of jealousy, knowing that each man once held a special part in Sami’s heart.
Days of our Lives has pulled off the kind of recast that doesn’t come along often on soaps – a perfect custom-order fit. That’s why rating Dan Feuerreigel as the new DiMera in town is an easy A+. He’s totally made EJ his own and in record time.
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, click here.