Guy Wilson as Will Horton
|Days of our Lives|
Shawn & Taylor Carpenter|
|Created by||James E. Reilly|
|First appearance||November 16, 1995|
|Last appearance||October 19, 2015|
|Date of birth||November 16, 1992 (age 22)|
|Date of death||October 9, 2015|
William "Will" Horton, III is a fictional charcter from the American NBC Soap Opera Days of Our Lives, played by Guy Wilson. Will debuted on-screen during the episode airing on November 16, 1995. He is the son of Sami Brady and Lucas Horton, but was originally passed off as the child of his uncle Austin Reed. As the character aged on-screen, he endured a "turbulent upbringing" due to his mother's love life. Will has always wanted his parents to be together, so he could be like other children he knew. This resulted in Will becoming "moody and suspicious".
The character has been written out of the series previously, which saw Will move to Switzerland with his uncle Austin. Upon his reintroduction, he was portrayed as being more "mature". When the series recast the role with Massey, this was done to accommodate a new storyline. In early 2011, it was announced that Will would be featured in a gay storyline. These plans were put on hold due to production changes. By October, it was confirmed that Will would come out as gay, receiving support from both NBC and Sony. The character is subsequently featured in the show's first gay kiss; with Neil. Massey said that he hoped his storyline would challenge people's views on homosexuality and promote tolerance. The character is currently involved in the show's first same-sex supercouple (commonly referred to by the portmanteau "WilSon") with Sonny Kiriakis.
For their portrayal of Will, Patton and Massey have both received Daytime Emmy Award nominations. Luke Kerr of Zap2it said that Will is one of the serial's most important characters. Various LGBT news sources have criticized the slow pace of Will's coming out storyline, while others noted that Days of Our Lives was one of the last shows to portray gay characters. In 2012, Massey won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Younger Actor in a Drama Series, the first in history to win while portraying a gay character. In 2013 & 2014, Massey won his second and third Emmy awards for the Outstanding Younger Actor in a Drama Series.
The role of Will Horton was originally played by child actors Shawn and Taylor Carpenter from 1995 until 2002. Darian Weiss took over the role until 2003, when Christopher Gerse took over the role. Gerse told Janet Di Lauro of Soap Opera Digest that he had previously auditioned for the role of Will but was unsuccessful. He then auditioned for another role in the series, which he did not receive. Producers later called Gerse back to carry out a screen test for Will, this time he was hired. At the time the character was a recurring part, which suited Gerse because he had "always wanted" to have one. Gerse left the series in 2007. In 2009, the character was reintroduced with actor Dylan Patton. In late 2009, it was reported via Soap Opera Digest that Patton had finished filming and the role had been recast to facilitate a new storyline. Chandler Massey, a newcomer to daytime television, won the role. Before he took over the role, Massey watched as many episodes of the series as he could find to familiarize himself with Will. In February 2013, Soap Opera Digest confirmed that Massey's younger brother Christian Massey would portray Will in flashbacks.
Following his second Emmy win, Massey revealed that after his current contract expired, he would vacate the role to return to attend college. When Massey leaves the show, his role will not be recast, but the door will be open in case Massey decides to return. Massey expressed that he would support a recast. However, on August 23, 2013, it was reported Massey had left the show effectively immediately, and that the show would go ahead with a recast due to the character's current storyline. On September 12, 2013, it was announced that actor Guy Wilson was cast in the role of Will. Freddie Smith revealed that the switch between Massey and Wilson will happen on-screen as quick as the news of the recast, saying, "If you blink and open your eyes, you’ll be like, ‘Wait, there’s a new Will?!’ [...] It’s literally just ‘BOOM!’” Massey made his final appearance on January 2, 2014 and Wilson made his first appearance on January 8, 2014.
Due to the exit of his onscreen mother, Sami Brady, played by (Alison Sweeney) Wilson took a brief hiatus from series on October 30, 2014. Wilson briefly appeared on December 1, 2014. He returned from his hiatus on December 11, 2014.
Characterization and family
The character was originally named William Reed, in the series this was homage to his aunt Billie Reed. On the Sony Pictures Entertainment website, a columnist attributes Will's upbringing as being the catalyst for his behaviour in later life. His mother Sami Brady had lied about his paternity, attempting to pass him off Austin Reed's child. Austin's brother Lucas Horton is revealed to be his biological father. Sami and Lucas have an on and off relationship over the years, which has negative effect on Will. His "turbulent upbringing made him moody and suspicious" and he holds hope that he could have a family just "like other kids". They added that when the character had matured upon returned from time away in Switzerland.
In 2011, Austin was reintroduced into the series. Massey said that the two characters share a bond because of their time living together in Switzerland. Will sees Austin as a "father figure" and he often feels paternal, despite his brother Lucas being out as Will's biological father.
It was originally reported that Will would be coupled with Sonny Kiriakis (Freddie Smith), who is a gay character. However, Smith later revealed that Sonny could become involved with a new character and not Will. Will later strikes up a friendship with Sonny. Massey told Damon L. Jacobs from We Love Soaps that Will has a close relationship with Sonny. Will looks up to and respects him because he has encountered hate in Salem but remains confident and comfortable with who he is. Massey said that Will cannot help but admire these qualities in Sonny as "they are rare to see". The two character share a "bromance" more than anything else.
In August 2011, Massey told Jacobs that he did not know if the series were going to proceed with a gay storyline for Will. He claimed that he was yet to receive any scripts to suggest that Will would. In November 2011, Lynette Rice of Entertainment Weekly announced that the serial were going ahead with Will's gay storyline. Will's story received approval from NBC and Sony Pictures Entertainment, who air the show. Days of Our Lives Co-Executive Producer Greg Meng told Rice that "we are excited to have the encouragement and support from both NBC and Sony to tell the inspiring story of a young man learning who he is as he defines and creates his relationships with others." Massey said that he was "thrilled" to play Will in an "empowering way that will show his struggle to accept who he is". He wanted the storyline to help other people to accept themselves for who they are. Amelia Proud from Daily Mail reported that the storyline's inclusion was part of the series focus on attracting a younger audience.
Massey was told that Will would become a gay character in February 2011. When Days of Our Lives employed two new producers and a head writer, it cast uncertainty over the storyline. Massey said that while he was not told whether or not they would proceed, he played Will "with his sexuality in mind". When Gabi Hernandez (Camila Banus) ends her relationship with Will, he becomes slightly unhinged. Massey told a reporter from Gay Star News that the scenes were fun to film, but a "challenge to do them convincingly". Massey said that Will's struggle with his sexuality that follows would not be romantic. The character had a lot to deal with and throughout his life "he has put his sexuality on the back burner and hasn't really dealt with it." Massey said that the storyline would reach a "big audience" and hoped that it would promote tolerance.
Will shares a kiss with Neil (Jesse Kristofferson), which is witnessed by Sonny. Massey told Robert Waldron of Soap Opera Digest that Will had been keeping his "self-loathing and disgust" over his sexuality to himself, which results in him becoming "tightly wound". Will drinks alcohol to make himself feel "less awkward", in turn this makes him do something he wouldn't when he is of a sober mind. Massey added that being caught by Sonny is "one of those moments when Will wishes he could turn invisible". Dattilo told Michael Logan of TV Guide that his character, Lucas is "in shock when he sees Will flirting with another guy". He said that he was proud of the writing, which he opined "stayed true to Lucas" as he is a "very loving and accepting guy". Lucas is worried about Will, he is worried that he may be persecuted because of his sexuality and fall victim to hate crimes. He added that Lucas would "do anything" to protect Will. Will is left feeling "vulnerable and exposed" when he finds out that Lucas is resuming his relationship with Sami. Will lashes out at Lucas and reveals that he is gay. Dattilo praised Massey's performance in the scenes. The actor had only worked alongside Massey on few occasions before his departure in 2010. He added that it was like meeting a new actor because Massey just "rips up every scene".
Will was born on November 16, 1995, but was changed to December 1992 to Sami and Austin Reed via c-section. It would later be revealed that Sami forged hospital records to conceal the fact that Lucas Roberts is Will's biological father. Over the following years, Will is centric to a custody battle between his parents. In addition he is a source of bad feeling between Sami and his grandmother Kate Roberts (Lauren Koslow). Will later becomes rebellious, informally addressing his parents and hurting his cousin Abby. Will has issues with his parents being separated. He catches them together on a number of occasions and thinks they will reconcile. Lucas proposes to Sami, but they later separate when Sami is unfaithful, leaving Will upset. However, they reunite and attempt to marry again until Sami ruins it once more. Lucas marries Will's aunt Carrie, while Sami gets engaged to Austin. Will is happy with the outcome of his parents’ new relationships. Sami ruins her latest relationship, but this time Will cannot cope and runs away to Chicago. Sami fears that he has been kidnapped and goes onto the news to plea for his safe return, which prompts Will to come home.
Lucas moves back in with Will and Sami after Carrie has an affair with Austin and they move away. Will is pleased to have his parents together once more and they become engaged. Kate tries to ruin the wedding again but they marry regardless. However, due to the rift between the Brady and DiMera families, Will's home life is ruined once again. Stefano DiMera (Joseph Mascolo) tells Sami that she has to divorce Lucas and marry E.J. to end the feud. Sami agrees, but Will cannot cope with their latest split and lashes out at Sami. Will is sent to stay with Austin in Switzerland in order to protect him from the DiMeras. Upon his return he is still angry with Sami and clashed with her and Lucas. Will's behaviour becomes worse and after he is caught underage drinking, they send him back to Switzerland. Will decides to return and live with Sami. Will strikes up a friendship with Mia McCormick (Taylor Spreitler) and they grow close, not realizing she has been dishonest about her past. They enter a relationship following the death of his sister, Grace. Will ends their relationship when it becomes apparent that Mia has feelings for her ex-boyfriend Chad DiMera (Casey Deidrick). Mia tells him about her pregnancy and he gets back with her. Mia then separates from him in order to prevent Chad from finding information about the baby Nicole had adopted. Will then discovers that Mia is back with Chad the following day. Then everyone discovers Grace was not Sami's biological daughter, and Sydney was her real daughter after a mix up. Will is willing to date Mia again following the news but he soon changes his mind when he realizes that Mia is playing games with himself and Chad.
Will and Sami have further arguments and he encourages Sami to date Rafe Hernandez (Galen Gering) because he does not like EJ DiMera (James Scott). Will moves in with Kate and Stefano because of EJ, but she later gets him to move back. Will starts a relationship with Gabi. He also becomes friends with Sonny Kiriakis (Freddie Smith), but is shocked to learn that he is gay. He tells Gabi that he is okay with Sonny's sexuality. Will avoids getting intimate with her while they are together. He then asks her to move in with him and she accepts, but when Will rebuffs her again, Gabi ends their relationship. Will destroys Maggie's kitchen in anger. He later catches Sami having sex with EJ, which causes friction between the pair. Will bonds with his grandmother Marlena Evans (Deidre Hall) and reveals that Sami is being unfaithful to Rafe. After another argument with Sami, Will goes to a party with Sonny and gets drunk. He meets Neil and kisses him, which is witnessed by Sonny. Will tells Sonny that he was just drunk and goes to see Marlena. He tells her about the kiss and she tells him that she will support him and that she always knew. He then tells Sonny that he is not ready to come out as gay. Will clashes with Sami when she seems more interested in herself than his problems. Sami contacts Lucas asking him to return to Salem. Will has a one-night stand with Gabi, which results in a pregnancy. As Will enters into a relationship with Sonny, Gabi begins to pass the baby off as Nick Fallon's. When the paternity of Gabi's baby is revealed, Sonny and Will split. They soon get back together, however Will still faces an obstacle. Nick begins to blackmail him into giving up his daughter's rights, because he is gay. When Will and Sonny save Nick and Gabi after they are kidnapped by Jensen, Gabi goes into labor and gives birth to their daughter, with Sonny's help, while Will tries to help Nick. Will gets shot after getting into a fight with Jensen; he survives the gunshot and meets his daughter for the first time. As a result of Will's kindness, Nick lets Will put his name on Arianna's birth certificate, in order to make things right. Sonny and Will then allow Gabi to move into the apartment across the hall from them, to keep Arianna close between all three of them.
In 2014, Sonny proposes to Will, to which Will declined and decided they should wait until they're both ready. On Valentine's Day, Will proposes again to Sonny. The pair marry later at the Kiriakis mansion in front of their friends and family. On April 17, 2014, Will asked Gabi for a joint-custody agreement for Arianna, Gabi shocked by the suggestion, leaves to get some air and runs into Nick. Gabi tells Nick about Will asking her for a joint-custody agreement and Nick agrees that they should have some type of custody agreement for Arianna. Gabi returns home and tells Will that she agrees with him and that Nick helped her realize that she was making too much out of what Will said, saying that Nick understood why Will asked for a custody agreement after all that Nick put them through. Will says that Nick could put him, Gabi, Sonny, Kate and Sami in prison anytime he wants, Gabi tells Will that that's not what Nick wants, which leaves Will to question what does Nick want. On April 28, 2014, Will comes home to find custody agreement papers on the couch as he reads the agreement he finds out that his visitation rights have been lowered to every other weekend by Gabi's lawyer, Will instantly thinks that Nick is behind this. Gabi reassures Will that she would never keep him out of Arianna's life and that the custody agreement in his hands is not the final custody agreement. On May 9, 2014, Nick was shot once in the back and twice in the chest in the park, Will was in the Horton Town Square talking to Gabi and Sonny along with Sami, EJ, Kate, Lucas, Gabi, Abigail, Ben, Jordan and Rafe when Nick stumbles into the Town Square revealing to everyone that he'd been shot and then he falls into Julie's arms and when asked by Julie who did this to him, he tries to point at someone in the in the crowd. On May 28, 2014, Thinking that Sonny killed Nick, Will went to the Salem Police Station to see Hope to confess to killing Nick Fallon. On June 2, 2014, before signing his confession, Gabi barges in and admits to killing Nick. Gabi explained that she was scared of Nick's influence over her and felt she had to kill him to stop him from being a threat to Arianna. She also admitted to her role in Melanie's kidnapping which is a shock to everyone. (Later, Sonny had to confess to Will that he knew when Chad told him on December 11, 2012 but couldn't tell Will because of a legal agreement which Nick forced Chad to sign stipulating no one would know Gabi was behind it all. Justin drew this agreement and told sonny not to tell anyone not even Will.) Gabi also told Marlena about her, Kate, and Sami throwing Nick in the river. EJ, who served as Gabi's lawyer, thought it would be better for her to have a plea deal than go to trial and have the truth about Melanie's kidnapping come out. Gabi accepted the plea deal and got ten to twenty years in prison. On June 12, 2014, Gabi says her last farewells leaving Will Horton and Sonny Kiriakis responsible for Arianna since both are her fathers. Since then both Will and Sonny has missed her dearly.
Will would leave with Arianna, Sami and his siblings for Hollywood to work on the script for Sami's reality show in October 2014. He and Ari would return but he would harbor a secret, he was let go, and was giving a job to do a cover story for Paul Nartia in December 2014. He and Sonny face problems, him using their joined finances to help with the second club, and Will not being around a lot do to the cover story. At the advise of Zoe, Will would take off his ring when he interviewed Paul, whom previous dated Sonny, and would sleep with Paul on January 8, 2015.
Will would continue to see Paul for the cover story following the weeks after their one night stand. He would encourage Paul to come out as gay and even give him a little history of his own coming out - Paul would indeed come out. The cover story would be released and the truth about the affair, to Marlena and Sonny, would be revealed in late February.
Will would write his next article on his grandmother's boyfriend, Clyde Weston despite having received warnings. His and Paul's affair would be outed to Will and Sonny's families in April. Will and Sonny would began to see a therapist however, Will worked it to his advantage, in June. After another argument, Will would reveal that he did sleep with someone in California. He would continue to scheme in order to make it seem that Paul was unavailable to Sonny, whom's feelings have returned, the following months afterwards. Will and Sonny would have one last conversation before Sonny would leave for Europe in order to think, again, in August. The months following Sonny's departure, Will spent most of time caring for his daughter alone, until Gabi was released from prison due to an error. Will was later chosen to be the best man for the wedding of Abigail and Ben's. One day, Will stopped by Abigail's house to talk with Ben over wedding plans. While waiting for Ben, Will called Sonny admitting his guilt and took responsibility for their breakup. Will discovers a red necktie in the trash this is when he realizes Ben is the Necktie Killer, a serial killer who murdered Serena Mason and Paige Larson and nearly killed his grandmother Marlena. Ben arrives soon after, Will clearly uneasy tries to leave but is soon cornered by Ben. Will is ultimately strangled to death, making his Ben's third murder victim. Ben later moves Will's corpse to his house, staging the scene to look like Will was murdered in his house. Soon after, Gabi discovers the crime scene and Will's dead body.
- ^ Will's birthdate was shown on his grave. October 19, 2015.
- ^ "Media: Will & Sonny: Days of Our Lives' new supercouple!". E Wall Streeter (American Media, Inc.). March 17, 2013. http://ewallstreeter.com/media-will-sonny-days-of-our-lives-new-supercouple-4880/. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
- ^ "The Daytime TV Power Couple That May (or May Not) Surprise You", July 4, 2013. Retrieved on July 4, 2013.
- ^ a b c d Di Lauro, Janet. Profile of Will Horton. About.com. (The New York Times Company). Retrieved on March 5, 2012.
- ^ a b Di Lauro, Janet (2003). Nice to Meet You: Christopher Gerse (Will, Days). Soap Opera Digest. (Source Interlink). Archived from the original on February 18, 2010. Retrieved on March 5, 2012.
- ^ Days: Patton Out, Massey In. Soapnet. (Disney-ABC Television Group). Retrieved on March 5, 2012.
- ^ a b c d Jacobs, Damon L. (August 30, 2011). We Love Soaps TV 3.08 On The Set Of Days With Chandler Massey. Welovesoaps.net. (We Love Soaps LLC). Retrieved on March 5, 2012.
- ^ DAYS Casts Star's Brother. Soap Opera Digest. American Media, Inc. (February 8, 2013). Retrieved on February 8, 2013.
- ^ Branco, Nelson (June 5, 2013). This Just In. "2 DAYS STARS LEAVING!". Soap Opera Uncensored (72): 8.
- ^ Kroll, Dan J (June 18, 2013). Massey repeats, as Alderson wins first Emmy in first nomination. Soap Central. Soapcentral.com. Retrieved on June 20, 2013.
- ^ Rudolph, Christopher (June 18, 2013). Chandler Massey, 'Days Of Our Lives' Star, Wins Second Emmy For Gay Teen Portrayal. The Huffington Post. AOL. Retrieved on June 20, 2013.
- ^ Fairman, Michael (July 2, 2013). The Ken Corday Interview – Days of our Lives. On-Air On-Soaps. Retrieved on July 2, 2013.
- ^ Fairman, Michael (July 26, 2013). DAYS Chandler Massey: "If they decide to bring someone else to play Will, I won’t be upset and bitter. I want what is best for WilSon!. On-Air On-Soaps. Retrieved on July 26, 2013.
- ^ SOD (August 23, 2013). Exclusive! Chandler Massey Off DAYS - Effective Immediately!. Soap Opera Digest. Soapoperadigest.com. Retrieved on August 23, 2013.
- ^ SOD (September 12, 2013). DAYS's Jen Lilley Reveals New Will. Soap Opera Digest. Soapoperadigest.com. Retrieved on September 12, 2013.
- ^ Cliffford, Kimbra (November 14, 2013). ‘DAYS’’ Freddie Smith Speaks Out About the Chandler Massey/Guy Wilson Recast. Soap Opera Digest. Retrieved on November 15, 2013.
- ^ Clifford, Kambra (December 20, 2013). From Massey to Wilson: Actor Switch Dates Revealed for ‘DAYS’ Will Horton. Soap Opera Network. Retrieved on December 20, 2013.
- ^ She Knows Soap.com (October 30, 2014). Days-of-Our-Lives COMINGS & GOINGS. She Knows Soaps. Soap She Knows.com. Retrieved on October 30, 2014.
- ^ Template:Cite episode
- ^ Lewis, Errol (December 4, 2014). Guy Wilson Returns Full-Time To ‘Days of our Lives. Soap Opera Network. Retrieved on December 4, 2014.
- ^ a b Will Horton (Chandler Massey). Sony Pictures Entertainment. (Sony). Retrieved on March 4, 2012.
- ^ Di Lauro, Janet (August 15, 2011). Will out as Sonny's Love Interest on Days of Our Lives?. About.com. (The New York Times Company). Retrieved on March 5, 2012.
- ^ a b Rice, Lynette (October 31, 2011). 'Days of Our Lives': Another Salem character comes out of the closet - Exclusive. Entertainment Weekly. (Time Inc.). Retrieved on March 5, 2012.
- ^ Proud, Amelia (February 24, 2012). Days of Our Lives makes US daytime soap opera history by featuring gay kiss. Daily Mail. (Associated Newspapers). Retrieved on March 8, 2012.
- ^ a b c Hernandez, Greg (December 7, 2011). Actor relishes gay role on US soap opera. Gay Star News. (Gay Star News Ltd). Retrieved on 5 March 2012.
- ^ Tereszcuk, Alexis (February 23, 2012). Actor opens up about Days of our Lives gay kiss. RadarOnline.com. (American Media). Retrieved on March 9, 2012.
- ^ a b Logan, Michael (February 24, 2012). Days of Our Lives Scoop: Lucas Beds Sami! Bryan Dattilo Dishes His Return to Salem. TV Guide. (TV Guide Network). Retrieved on 5 March 2012.
- ^ Sonny said Will wasn't of drinking age in February 2012. Plus, Will's age was listed as 20 on Ariana's birth certificate in June 2013.
- ^ New Years Eve 2013 is mentioned on December 27/30, 2013. Will kept on mentioning his surprise birthday party through mid-late December 2013.