Performer Of The Week
Greg Rikaart (LEO, DAYS)
■ While the “I do’s” between Sonny and Leo left Sonny very unhappily married, there was a happy union to celebrate: that of Greg Rikaart with the character he seems born to play, scuzzy Leo Starke.
The entire wedding was a hoot, but Rikaart’s enthusiastically oily performance stole the show.as the blackmail-induced nuptials got underway, Leo stood beside his reluctant groom, cat-who-swallowed-the-canary grin firmly in place. Victor barreled in, and Sheila wisecracked that Sonny had decided to trade up (from Will to Leo). “Aw, thanks, girl,” Rikaart beamed, shooting her an appreciative grin. victor barked about Sonny tying the knot with the “bastard” who tried to destroy the family business, and shameless Leo had the gall to look chagrined at the diss. He agreed to exit so that Victor could talk to his family in private, but Rikaart made Leo’s parting admonition to Sonny (“Don’t take too long”) sound ever so subtly threatening. Our next glimpse at the character saw him with ear glued to the wall, eyes narrowed in concentration as he tried to eavesdrop on the rest of the “celebrants”. He marched back in as plucky and self-satisfied as ever, deliberately unaffected by the funereal disposition of everyone else present. Indeed, Leo seemed to be having the time of his life as he pushed every button he could find, such as asking Victor if he could call him Uncle Vic. (Rikaart’s reaction shots during Victor’s ensuing anti-leo tirade deserve to go viral.) Then Victor harrumphed that he would not stop the wedding, and smarmy delight spread across the actor’s face bit by hilarious bit — first his eyes lit up, then his nostrils flared, then his lips curled into a triumphant smile worthy of a cartoon villain.as Sheila got back into officiant position, Leo scooped Sonny’s hand back into his faster than Sonny could grab it away, bouncing on his feet with giddy anticipation.
Rikaart’s fresh, loose, eminently watchable take on Leo is the work of a man who seems like he’s having a blast — all in the service of making sure the audience does, too. If he ever leaves Salem, someone give this man a sitcom!