‘Days of Our Lives’ (DOOL) spoilers find that newcomer, Dan Feuerriegel may be a brand new face to DOOL audiences, but not to the producers of the show. In fact, Feuerriegel was one of the first actors the show considered when it was decided the pivotal role of E.J. DiMera would be recast.
Now that he has landed the role, Feuerriegel is speaking with Soap Opera Digest about the journey to E.J.
“I had auditioned for Days about six, seven, eight times over the several years that I’ve been in Los Angeles,” Feuerriegel recalled. It was only when he moved back to his native Australia during the pandemic that he got the call to audition for E.J. He did so by recording the scenes sent to him, then, lo and behold, within weeks Feuerriegel was flying back to the city he’d just left!
‘Days of Our Lives’ Spoilers: Spotlight on Dan Feuerriegel –the New E.J.
He remembered his screen test with Alison Sweeney (Sami Brady) and sings the actress’ praises for her warmth and professionalism.
“She was absolutely lovely. She was super-professional. She was there to do a job, and that was to make all the actors who were auditioning for EJ be the best they could possibly be. She did her very best to make us feel comfortable, to make us feel at home.”
Feuerriegel admits to being familiar with Sweeney and her work after he “really got invested” in the soap as a kid on school holidays or if he was home from school, sick. Anything he missed, Sweeney was happy to fill him in on, providing her new on-screen husband with the backstories so certain scenes would make more sense to the new addition.
“She’s absolutely lovely to work with,” Feuerriegel continued to gush about Sweeney, saying she, “made me insanely comfortable and that’s exactly what you want for a, shall we say, partner in crime on set.”
Feuerriegel did do his own research, watching YouTube clips of EJ and Sami before stepping into the DiMera villain’s stylish loafers. “I didn’t want to watch too much,” he disclosed. “I didn’t want to be really, fully influenced by James’s [Scott, ex-EJ] work because this is me now, and I need to put my own spin on it.”
is main research was centered around the relationship between E.J. and Sami, which will be explored on screens now that E.J. has reunited with his wife in Salem.
Feuerriegel admits he was more concentrating on moving his life back to L.A and getting back in shape after the pandemic hiatus had us all relaxing just a little too much.
But then, we’ve all seen Feuerriegel running around in little more than a loin cloth in his most famous U.S. role to date- Agron the gladiator in Starz’s, Spartacus. We’re pretty sure he’ll bounce back into shape, even after a lax pandemic routine.
Feuerriegel is also well known to Australian audiences from several prime time dramas. So, though he is no stranger to being on set, it doesn’t mean he was immune to first day jitters on the DOOL set.
Considering himself a rather shy guy, Feuerriegel admitted to feeling the nerves on day one. “Everybody’s been working with each other for a very, very long time and you are the stranger walking in and saying, ‘Hey,’”
He went on to say that the entire cast was very welcoming. “Everybody is really nice and supportive. All the actors were really generous; they know exactly what you’re going through.”
He also had an upper hand when it came to bonding with onscreen brother, Thaao Penghlis (Tony DiMera). Both men hail from the Land Down Under and Penghlis was delighted to have a fellow countryman on set.
Feuerriegel also said he enjoyed his scenes with his other DiMera sibling, Chad- Billy Flynn. “Billy’s awesome. He has helped me out a lot,” Feuerriegel told SOD.
Now that Feuerriegel is being seen on fan’s screens, he is apprehensive as to how his portrayal of EJ will be accepted, knowing full well how popular his alter ego had become with James Scott in the role. He wouldn’t let the pressure get to him, though.
“As a professional, my job is to not worry about that,” he disclosed, saying that the bringing the best of him and being respectful to the character and Scott’s legacy is what the fans deserve.
He did admit stepping into the role after E.J.’s seven year absence also lightened the burden. “It wasn’t as bad as what I think it could have been because the character hadn’t been on the show for many, many years.”
Feuerriegel also felt ‘right’ about accepting the role saying, “James doesn’t want to act anymore so I was like, ‘All right, I’m not taking on someone’s role who’s been fired or anything like that.”
Now that Feuerriegel is well and truly a bona fide cast member (though in reality he has been for several months now), he’s excited about enjoying himself, talking about his role and having fun on social media by sharing tidbits and teasers for the viewers.
“I really enjoy that. I really enjoy interacting with the fans and giving them as much of a glimpse behind the scenes as I am possibly allowed.”
We are sure he’ll have plenty to share soon. Despite he and Sami preparing to head back to Italy as quickly as EJ arrived, we know that won’t happen.
With the undeniable heat between Sami and Lucas Horton (Bryan Dattilo), it seems it’s more than an apology E.J. will need to offer to keep his wife. He won’t be able to give her his full attention though.
E.J. looks rather set on taking Tony’s advice and go head to head with his brother from another mother, Jake DiMera (Brandon Barash) to take over the head of DiMera Enterprises once more.
Be sure to catch Dan and the rest of the embattled Salemites on Days of Our Lives, weekdays on NBC!
For any other soap opera and entertainment news, please visit again Daily Soap Dish. Don’t forget to visit TVRocker for all of the latest exciting news on all of your favorite daytime television soaps.