Since his Days of Our Lives' debut in 1981, James Reynolds has been taking the high road as Salem’s pillar of virtue, Abe Carver. So getting the chance to play a little dirty during Abe’s mayoral campaign story has been a real treat for the actor. Reynolds discusses the out of character twist, his real-life political ambitions, and the special relationship he has with Renee Jones (Lexie).
Do you think it’s farfetched that EJ, member of the notorious DiMera crime family, is running against Abe for mayor?
It’s not farfetched in Salem.
(Laughs) And, as EJ has said several times, he’s been arrested, but he’s never been convicted of anything. Of course, a good Google search would tell a voter that EJ might not be the best choice for mayor. But, you know, in real life it seems like these things don’t bother people. Abe’s getting to play a little dirty for a change. Are you glad?
I am. Hopefully, there will be more in the future. It’s interesting when characters start to get those shades of gray, not that Abe will ever be morally compromised and he certainly shouldn’t be. I don’t think Abe feels he’s doing anything wrong. He wants to do the best for his community. The fact that his town, his city, could suffer in unimaginable ways if EJ wins is a thought he can’t really bear. Abe’s dilemma comes from not being completely forthright with Lexie, but he’s really only handing to EJ what EJ has already handed to him. So Abe is worried that not telling Lexie about his tactics could put a strain on their marriage?
That is his concern.
He knows that it means a great deal to Lexie that Abe’s integrity stands so strong in contrast to both her father and her brother. Well, she owes Abe, when it comes to turning the other cheek. After all, he’s forgiven her the many affairs she’s had.
He has. It’s who he is. It speaks to his integrity and his loyalty. In real life, Jim and Renee (Jones, Lexie)... It’s been a tremendous partnership. We’ve worked together for many, many years. I told somebody it’s been the third longest relationship in my life, only after the length of time I’ve been on the show and my real-life marriage. You’ve played such a moral guy for decades. Is that a hard act to carry out, day in and day out?
As long as nobody asks me to do it in my real life. (Laughs) It sets Abe apart in a lot of ways. Anything that’s been particularly fun about the mayoral story?
It’s been so nice to work with Missy Reeves (Jennifer). We have not gotten to be in the middle of stories together in the past. Working with James Scott (EJ) has been a very fun thing, too. And Ari (Zucker, Nicole). It has been a pleasure, particularly because I enjoy politics so much. Have you ever given any thought to a real political career?
I have, actually. I’ve been lucky enough to be approached about running for office in various places. I’ve been asked to run for the House of Representatives a couple of times. Those things are a possibility. Well, they were a possibility. As life goes on it become less and less so, but there was a time I considered it quite strongly. So you could have been a congressman?
Yeah. I could have been a contender. Back to Days for a minute. One of the show’s greatest friendships used to be between Abe and Roman, when Wayne Northrop was playing the role. Are you two still in touch?
I see Wayne every now and then, but, unfortunately, not often enough. I think the last time was when Frances Reid (ex-Alice) passed away. My wife and I drive up the coast every now and then to Northern California. Every time we do, I think, Oh my gosh. I should call Wayne to say hi and go by and see what’s going on. It’s nice to know you two are still in touch.
We had a great friendship on the show, and we are still friends. It’s one of those things where... I have a very good friend, who lives in Connecticut. We’ve been extremely close, since we’ve been in college. I don’t remember when the last time was we saw each other. It’s probably been 8 or 9 years. When we get together, it’s like no time has passed. That’s exactly the same way it is with Wayne and me.