Per­former Of The Week

Greg Rikaart (LEO, DAYS)

Soap Opera Digest - - DIGEST'S HOTTEST SHOTS -

■ 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!

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