Days of Our Lives' Susan Seaforth Hayes (Julie Williams) is embarking on an intriguing new storyline with real-life husband Bill Hayes (Doug Williams). The veteran actress opened up to Soap Opera Digest about Julie trying to figure out what is ailing Doug and how art is mirroring life on screen.
Seaforth Hayes was excited to be involved and explained:
I wasn’t told a lot. I was told it was going to be serious, of Doug’s mind going, which is frightening to Julie. I believe she’s had the line, and certainly my own line, 'You are my whole world.' As an actress, I enjoy having plenty to say about it. It’s given Bill some interesting stuff to play and he has enjoyed that a lot. At 96, he’s doing a lot and loving doing it. And he’s really cute, too! Speaking as a legacy character, I’m the oldest legacy character still standing, it’s pleasant to have story that is not based on, 'Remember when?' or 'You were very useful and very interesting then and now we can look back.' Instead of being taken back, we’re going forward with a story, which is delightful.
How does Julie react to the possibility her beloved has dementia? The thespian shared:
Well, her initial reaction is denial. Denial, denial, denial. He doesn’t have dementia. Of course, there is the gradual fading of the light with all of us as we lose a grasp of 7 to 12 numbers in a row. Her initial experience is, 'I refuse to believe that that’s happening to him,' which is where you start but not necessarily where you finish. And of course, being an older person married to an older person, you have that fear and that frenzy. You’re not just denying that someone has dementia or may be slipping, what you’re denying is it can’t be over, the love story can’t be over. In short, it puts everything good behind you and everything in front of you is the darkness, the other side of fortune. Fortune has two faces, the good side and the bad side. Between the two of them, they got over the bad side a long time ago and have had a wonderful long line of happiness, and you don’t want to see it end. You can’t believe it could end. It’s not the end that you pictured. I’ve seen this with myself, with my mom, with the people that I have lost, that you have to be quite philosophical to take a breath and say, 'Okay, this is what it is and maybe it’s not so bad. Maybe we can handle it.'
Seaforth Hayes is thrilled to be front and center in Salem once again. What's to come? She teased:
It’s been really good plotting by the head writer, Ron Carlivati. We’ve had more work than we’ve had in a long time, which has only been enlivening.