the lying game
Greg Rikaart suggests that DAYS OF OUR LIVES’ Leo may be getting tangled up in his own web
Since joining Salem’s ranks, DAYS OF OUR LIVES’ Leo has caused quite a stir! The sexy schemer was in cahoots with Vivian to secure a job at Titan Industries, seduce CEO Sonny and then claim sexual harassment. The end goal? To take down the company built by Sonny’s great uncle (and Vivian’s ex), Victor! It was just the kind of storyline that Leo’s Daytime Emmy-winning portrayer, Greg Rikaart, had been eager to play in his long-running previous role as THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS’ Kevin Fisher. “I think that there are under-represented people in this country that watch TV and want to see their stories told,” says the out actor. “So that’s why I’d advocated for that for Kevin and why I’m grateful that I got that opportunity here.”
Naughty… And Nice?
It didn’t take much for Leo to bed boss man Sonny, who’d been left emotionally adrift following the one-two punch of his divorce from Will and break-up with fiancé Paul. However, being a stand-up guy, Sonny ended the relationship as quickly as it began upon learning that his rebound lover was a Titan employee. Of course, being that Leo was in cahoots with a whip-cracking Vivian, he couldn’t completely back off! “It’s really fun to try and find the humanity in someone who’s doing bad things,” says the conniver’s portrayer, “and even if it’s not portrayed by way of dialogue, to — at least in my preparation — justify the behavior so that I’m not judging the character and what he’s doing.”
Is Leo Falling For Sonny?
For the con man, part of that humanity might be inadvertently developing real feelings for his mark. “Freddie Smith’s portrayal of Sonny is so charming and lovable,” Rikaart suggests, “that Leo would have to be a robot to not be taken in by him.” Might Vivian’s unexpected demise be just the window of opportunity Leo needs to pursue Sonny honestly?
Now that Kate’s looking to take up his leash, the dog isn’t likely to be given his freedom anytime soon! “I think Leo momentarily feels relief,” Rikaart shares. “But that’s short-lived because he thinks he’s got a way out, and he quickly
discovers that he does not.”
Folks who have been around Salem for a while know that Kate can be every bit as wicked as was her longtime enemy, Vivian! “Yeah,” Rikaart agrees, “that’s Leo’s experience with her.”
Ready, Set… Act!
As viewers know, DAYS plotlines can turn on a dime, and the production pace is breakneck. “I thought it was such a well-oiled machine at Y&R,” says Rikaart, “and it is — don’t get me wrong.
“But at DAYS,” he continues, “it was even a step above that. They move really fast here!”
Fortunately, Rikaart, who shares a 23-month-old son with husband Robert Sudduth, has a happy household to shake off the stress with. “There were days when I’d come home, and Rob would say, ‘How was work? Was it good?’” the actor shares. “And I’d be like, ‘I don’t know! I think so. I blinked, and it was over!’”
Before being cast, “I knew of them, for sure, but I had never met” the actors in the Sonny/Will/Paul love triangle, Rikaart confesses. “I was really grateful to get to work with them.”
Where Leo’s concerned, “Sonny, especially being vulnerable, is certainly in some danger,” Rikaart says.
Leo’s scheme is “evil, but it’s clever!” Rikaart laughs. “Unlike the stories you hear about in the news, this is one where the ‘victim’ isn’t really the victim!”
“As a gay man, it’s fun to play a gay character” like Leo, enthuses the Emmy winner, with husband Robert. “I was excited about that.”
His Longtime Cause: The Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (www.glsen.org). Remember When? In 2008, Rikaart shared scenes with Eden Riegel (Bianca, ALL MY CHILDREN) on the digital series, IMAGINARY BITCHES. Will He Run? “At this stage of the...