Actor Freddie Smith is to join NBC soap Days of our Lives as a new gay character as the daytime serial embarks on its first ever gay romance.
The actor has appeared in the third season of The CW drama 90210 as Marco, love interest of the teen-drama’s gay character Teddy (Trevor Donovan). Entertainment Weekly report that Smith will be heading to Salem to join the cast of Days of our Lives. Smith will play Sonny in the soap and his character will be involved in Days first-ever gay romance. The NBC soap has recently culled several characters as it shakes-up its line-up and refreshes itself in a move some have attributed to trying to secure its future. NBC have ordered the soap through to 2013 with the option of continuing it into 2014.
“He is the centre of attention kind of guy but in a good way,. He’s very confident and mature, he’s travelled the world and is very open minded. I’m excited to portray him..There are a lot of guys on the show so it’s going to be interesting to see who I send up falling for.” – Freddie Smith speaking to Entertainment Weekly
At the moment its unclear whether another character will be introduced to Days as a love interest for Smith’s character or whether an established character on the soap will come out as gay. Days of our Lives has been on-air for 46 years and is currently the second longest soap still on-air. While it might seem odd its taken over 45 years for the soap to feature a same-sex relationship its only in recent years that other soaps in America have also featured them.
All My Children and One Life to Live have both featured same-sex relationships as did now defunct soap As The World Turns. Such relationships though are controversial to some members of the audience and while all three soaps won praise from some there also faced a back-lash from some of their audiences and sections of the press.
Smith’s role in Days of our Lives seems to indicate he won’t be returning to 90210 for its fourth season. The fact that co-star Trevor Donovan will only be reprising Teddy on a recurring basis, for the new season, also seems to suggest Smith might not be returning.