Days of Our Lives is welcoming back a familiar name with a new face, as Dan Feuerriegel debuted last week in the role of EJ DiMera. The Aussie actor opened up to Soap Opera Digest about how he got the good news of his casting, working with his fellow Salemites, and how he prepared to play the dastardly DiMera.
Feuerriegel was back home in Australia when he heard he'd gotten the role. He dished:
I had auditioned for DAYS with Marnie [Saitta, casting director] about six, seven, eight times over the several years that I’ve been in Los Angeles. This time, I was in Australia — I went back home during the pandemic — and I got an email from my agency asking me to put some scenes down on tape. So I sent it off and you forget about it, as you do. And then two or three weeks later, I got another email saying, ‘They really love you. They want to fly you over and put you in a hotel. You need to test with Ali [Sweeney, Sami].’ So I flew over and went through the audition process. A couple of days later, I was told I got the role and the rest is history.
Sweeney has been a great scene partner for Feuerriegel. The former Spartacus star shared:
I met her during the audition process and 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. And once we were on set, she would fill me in on little backstories so certain scenes would make sense with a little bit of history because there’s so much history. And she’s absolutely lovely to work with. Made me insanely comfortable and that’s exactly what you want for a, shall we say, partner in crime on set.
Feuerriegel said that he watched a few videos of Sweeney and James Scott (ex-EJ), but he wanted to make the role his own. H In particular, he was aware of the challenge he faced, since the previous incarnation of "EJami" was so popular with fans. He dished:
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, and 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.' But knowing how much the fans absolutely loved the relation- ship between EJ and Sami, of course, there is that in the back of your mind. But as a professional, my job is to not worry about that. I think me going at it and approaching the role with respect and doing the very best that I can to bring the best of me to the role is respectful to the character and the fans. If I didn’t care in that way, I think that would be very disrespectful.