EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Suzanne Rogers Talks About The New DAYS, Emmy Reform and More!
Posted by Roger Newcomb
Suzanne Rogers has been playing the character of Maggie Horton on DAYS OF OUR LIVES since 1973. She won an Emmy for the role in 1980. For most of the past few decades since the character was on the back burner, relegated to a supporting role if seen at all. But the past two years, Rogers and Maggie have been front and center on DAYS including a popular romance between Maggie and Victor Kiriakis (John Aniston). With all the talk of a DAYS reboot this fall, how will the character of Maggie be impacted? What does she think about a "Magic" wedding? And how does she feel about the current Daytime Emmy system? WE LOVE SOAPS TV spoke with Rogers today to find out all this and more. Read our new interview below.
WE LOVE SOAPS TV: We've heard a lot about the DAYS "reboot" that's happening, and new head writers [Marlene McPherson and Darrell Ray Thomas] have come on. September 26 has been advertised as a big date for fans to tune in. But the last few years I have been loving Maggie and don't want anything to change with her. What do the new writers have in store for Maggie?
Suzanne Rogers: I don't want anything to change either. That's what I was concerned about too. I thought, "Oh my God." Of course, many years I was on the back burner and didn't have a whole lot to do. The last few years it's been joyful for me to have something to do, something to play, and someone who is just a cantankerous little gray-haired fox to work with. So it's been a lot of fun.
I think they would be smart not to, if they watched any of the shows, which I know they are. I don't think they are going to take her off the front burner. I don't think. That's my hope anyway.
WE LOVE SOAPS TV: A number of actors are coming back to the show including Deidre Hall. I remember Maggie and Marlena being good friends. Will we see that friendship again?
Suzanne Rogers: I hope so. That would be lovely. To tell you the truth, I don't think Marlena has any close friends. They always had her with Roman and John Black. She really didn't have a woman-to-woman storyline that lasted.
I also hope they delve into the possibility of Kate, who is married to Stefano, another strong man on the show. When you look at Maggie and Kate you think they are not similar at all. But they're both involved with these very strong men. There is something that's similar there. I think it would interesting to have more women storylines about pertinent subjects. I'm sure they will see this. I think all that's a possibility.
WE LOVE SOAPS TV: We've heard rumblings about Victor proposing to Maggie. Do you see a wedding in Maggie and Victor's future?
Suzanne Rogers: I don't know. I think her getting shot was shot of a wake-up call to Victor. He's got to make a decision about whether this woman is important in his life. And whether he wants to go there. Obviously she has morals and opinions [laughs]. How's he's going to deal with this gives him something else to think about other than just locking horns with Stefano, and Brady.
WE LOVE SOAPS TV: Would you want a big wedding for Maggie?
Suzanne Rogers: First of all, she's only had the one wedding to Mickey out on the farm. Then it was a renewal with Melissa a long time ago. I don't know. That would be fun and interesting to contemplate. Why not?
The thing is, demographics for years have been 18-49. When this storyline took off two years ago I think a lot of people, powers that be, stood back including the network, and said, "Wait a minute, what are we missing here?" Which is something a lot of us knew all along, that we not only have a fanbase in the 40s and 50s bracket, but a fanbase just across the board. I think that in and of itself would be interesting. We'll see.
WE LOVE SOAPS TV: Good stories and good couples...
Suzanne Rogers: You're absolutely right. Story, story, story, story. If the writing is good, the actor or actress is going to play it.
WE LOVE SOAPS TV: If someone is a lapsed viewer and hasn't seen DAYS in a while, why should they check the show out now?
Suzanne Rogers: I do think people like continuing [stories], to watch something that's going to go on and on and on. They don't like things to be tied up in a neat little bow and put away. They want to see how a character or family or show is going to deal with this problem. That's how life is. Life doesn't just stop, it goes on daily.
Soaps are moving story faster now and that in itself is keeping the audience more interested than they were 10 yeras ago, because life is moving fast. You've got to catch them right away so they'll think "that's kind of an interesting storyline, maybe I'll tune back in and see this again." The attention span is short, so you've got to be smart about what you're writing, who you're writing it for, and what it's saying. That's what we're trying to do.
WE LOVE SOAPS TV: When we talked to you at the Daytime Emmy Awards, we were upset you weren't nominated this year. Do you think for daytime soaps, with so many episodes every year, there's ever going to be a really fair Emmy system?
Suzanne Rogers: When I won my Emmy in 1979, all the producers and directors were allowed to vote for the categories because technically the producers and most of the directors see everybody's work. I think the minute they limited it for actors just voting for actors, it got to be a very political system. That's not really what it's all about. It's about the work, what's being put up on the screen.
I'm not saying the actors don't watch the show every day because I do. I tape it when I'm not home so I can see everybody's work. And the soaps on opposite us I watch. I do get a pretty good idea about the work that's going out there. I know some people were really upset I wasn't nominated but all I can say is it's a popularity contest. People voted for their friends as opposed to the work. You have no control over that. You have to get out there and do your work and hope the system will get better.
WE LOVE SOAPS TV: You have a singing and dancing background and have done a lot of musicals. Is there any part you didn't play that you would have loved to play?
Suzanne Rogers: Yes! Molly Brown in "The Unsinkable Molly Brown."
WE LOVE SOAPS TV: And what's your favorite guilty pleasure?
Suzanne Rogers: Hmmm, I guess pizza. Pepperoni pizza is my guilty pleasure [laughs].
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Roger Newcomb is a producer and writer in New York City. Aside from co-hosting WE LOVE SOAPS TV, he has written and produced a full-length indie film, Manhattanites, and two radio soap operas, SCRIPTS & SCRUPLES and ROCKLAND COUNTY. He has also made acting appearances in indie web series IMAGINARY BITCHES and EMPIRE. He has consulted on numerous indie soaps and is currently a producer on THE BAY and executive producer on the indie short May Mercy Lie, which is currently making the rounds at film festivals.