Days of Our Lives will be getting a fresh shot of "EJami"! This summer, EJ DiMera (Dan Feuerriegel) is back in Salem. Unbeknownst to him, though, his wife, Sami (Alison Sweeney), has been sneaking around with Lucas (Bryan Dattilo)! Head writer Ron Carlivati and Sweeney previewed the dastardly DiMera's return to Soap Opera Digest.
Carlivati and his team faced some challenges when it came to recasting EJ. He reflected on the process:
You can cast a look-alike who resembles the original actor, or you can go for someone who embodies the spirit of that character through their acting, and it doesn’t always have to be a physical resemblance. Yes, sometimes it helps immensely to have someone who looks like the other actor, but other times I look at Abigail on our show. Marci Miller and Kate Mansi don’t physically look that much alike, but you get the sense of Abigail from both of them. All that is to say that you’re not necessarily looking for a doppelgänger; you go with who embodies the character, who has the chemistry with the other actor. We did a test with Alison [Sweeney, Sami] and she responded well to Dan, as did everyone on set. I wasn’t there for the auditions in person but I watched it virtually. Dan just brought a lot. He brought the attitude, which is what we were looking for in EJ. And an accent, which also helps. So I’m hopeful that the audience will welcome him and give him a chance because obviously, he’s something new and different, but that would be the same with anyone playing this role.
After forming part of a supercouple with an "EJami" 1.0, Sweeney explained that it was "complicated" to re-pair Sami with a new EJ. She dished:
It was actually really complicated for me returning to the ‘EJami’ storyline without James [Scott]. Obviously, when you develop a relationship like that between two characters, it felt sort of overwhelming to try to tackle it with someone new, someone I’d literally met for five minutes. Normally in a soap story, you have time for the characters to get to know one another and you sort of figure each other out. James and I had years of story together before it was really the ‘EJami’ we ended with, so to jump right into the deep end, so to speak, with Dan, I hadn’t realized how hard that would be. But as I said, Dan is such a great scene partner and he has so much respect for the story, the history of these characters and the show that I know he’s going to give the fans the EJ they have been missing.
What's coming up for devious Sami? Sweeney previewed:
You know Sami: She gets going in one direction and she can’t let it go. She has worked so hard to help EJ, to heal him, to get back to that relationship they had before everything happened and he ‘died’. And she isn’t going to give up on that for anything. As this story unfolds, you’re going to see that blind determination come to the forefront again and that is one of my favorite characteristics of Sami. I mean, in real life, I’m sure it would get you into a lot of trouble. But to get to play Sami, all grit and determination and conviction that she’s right, or her plan is right — even in the face of incontrovertible evidence … It’s a hell of a lot of fun.