It’s a minor miracle that Chandler Massey isn’t sporting a neck brace to his brand-new job in Hollywood.
Getting used to oddities that transpire in the soap city of Salem on NBC’s durable “Days of Our Lives” can result in acute whiplash.
Still, the 2009 Norcross High School grad is taking it all in stride this month as Massey debuts on the daytime drama playing Will Horton, the sensitive spawn of the soap’s chief schemers Sami and Lucas.
Massey scored the plum role after a series of auditions he went on last fall while taking classes at UCLA.
“I’ve been doing a lot of research on Youtube looking at old clips,” Massey told Intel during a break in filming.
“My castmates have been terrific too, filling me in on the history. It’s really complex too, figuring out who’s plotting to kill who and all that. I feel like I’m back at school!”
There’s a lot to remember, especially shooting a soap wedding for February sweeps where the bride is marked for murder (via slow-acting poison in hair combs, natch), multiple guests being held hostage in a soundproof basement and the villainous Vivian, who’s a little south of sane, is on the loose.
Did we mention the missing gun?
Massey, who has previously done guest shots on the prime time dramas “One Tree Hill” and “Army Wives,” says the amped up pace of daytime is exciting.
“I was definitely scared my first few days on the set,” he says. “It moves very quickly. On [primetime] shows, you get maybe 10 or 15 takes for each scene. Here, you’ve got one or two shots to get it right. But I’m adapting pretty well.”
If Massey’s boyish looks remind you of a certain former Georgia Secretary of State it’s because Chandler is the son of Lewis Massey, who served in the gold dome under governor Zell Miller in the 1990s.
The proud papa has even posted his son’s first scenes on YouTube and kept his Facebook friends updated about Chandler’s debut in Salem.
So does the former Secretary of State actually TiVo “Days” these days?
“He watches, yes!” confirmed Chandler, laughing. “My family and friends have been really great. They called after my first scenes aired to tell me how good I was. Of course, they would have said that even if I had been terrible! But it was nice to know that people back home are watching.”
“Days” airs weekdays at 1 p.m. on WXIA-TV.
Photos: Courtesy of JPI Studios