Five Days of our Lives stars traveled from Salem to Philadelphia to help build homes for Habitat for Humanity. During a break between hammering nails and clearing trees from one of the lots where houses would soon be built, those stars took time out to chat with soapcentral.com's Dan J Kroll -- and his mom, who's been a DAYS fan from day one.
Shawn Christian joined Days of our Lives in March 2008. He'd previously appeared on both One Life to Live and As the World Turns. In this exclusive interview, the actor discusses the pride he experienced while working side-by-side with Habitat for Humanity's partner families, and also dishes DAYS' new high-definition format.
: How did you guys become involved or aware of the project here in Philadelphia?
Shawn Christian (Daniel Jonas): I heard about it going around the studio. I was like, "Ya know, I'd like to be a part of that and contribute in any way that I can." And I know that we have a lot of volunteers from the show coming. I thought "let me go and play and do something good and have some fun." And ya know for me, I sort of enjoy building, so part of the joy for me is taking something like we've got here - a piece of land - and building something out of nothing and doing some good. And I have actually talked to one of the women who is going to live in this house and I don't think that she stopped smiling.
Do you consider yourself a tinkerer?
Um, no… relative to my friends… my buddies are builders and plumbers. A lot of them do this for a living. My brother is very handy. So, relatively speaking, no. But I know my way around for sure. But relative to what my friends and family are capable of doing? They would have a good laugh that I was actually out here pounding nails.
What was your mission today?
We did a lot of framing today. We framed some interior walls, a bathroom wall. We did a lot of doorways and headers. See! I know what I'm talking about. For now, we basically stacked [all the frames in a pile] because they have to finish the foundation.
Because we had the monsoon.
Exactly. Apparently we broke some records today from what I hear. I mean we cranked out some walls today. We really did - and did a nice job. I was asking a lot of questions about how to do the framing, and why the framing, and why do we do this. Why did we have the 2x6s for the bathrooms? That part of my brain was pretty good today.
Was there anything about the project that surprised you?
) How many people came out. I think the biggest surprise was that it would just be a few of us actors that would show up and try to pick up a few nails. There were so many other volunteers from the community who came in. And even after we're long gone, those volunteers will continue to work. So it's an extraordinary thing.
So let's rewind a bit to at least one DAYS-related question: HD… Days in high-definition.
Excuse me, let me get out of the sun before I fry my skin for HD.
Is there a big difference?
For me? No. Look, I just don't look at the monitors anymore. For makeup and stuff, it is. They have adjustments to make and certainly the lighting has adjustments to make. With regards to my performance, no. I can't think about it… I try not to think about it. I typically haven't in the past. My job is to create and their job is to make it look a certain way.
I am going to use a lifeline…
Ma! Come over here. Do you have any questions that you'd like to ask?
You're his mother? C'mon in here!
She just happened to be in town, so I brought her along for the fun.
Do you watch the show?
(Mom) Oh my gosh, yes.
So you got him watching!
No, not at all. I hated soaps.
And now look at you. You're Mr. Soap Central! What happened to you? (laughs
(Mom) I'm still trying to figure that out.
Hey! For that, you get only one question.
No! (Makes Buzzer sound
) Wrong. You took too long.
(Mom) I can't think of anything…
You can ask me anything
You're married, mom. So not anything!
(Mom) Are you from this area originally or are you from California?
Actually, I'm from…
Wow. He's done his homework.
From Michigan originally, then spent my four years in Chicago, then to New York for the three years, and then to L.A. So I am very familiar with this climate. I know that in a few months, it will be freezing. We got a really gorgeous day to come here? I'm actually really excited to see the final result. That's what I want to see. He said the handing over the key ceremony is pretty extraordinary. I hope they can send me a picture.
When I was talking to them about their journey. The people going into these homes have to put in 350 hours of work. And this woman in particular is not only doing that, she's going to school three nights a week, and she's working her 40 hours a week, and she has children.
She deserves the house
deserves the house.
(Mom) Especially as a single parent. It's hard raising a child. I mean, I only had one…
But it was like raising five with me, though
(Mom) It was a chore…
He's a handful, I can tell.
That's what's great about it, too. When you're doing something like this and you see the person who it's going to and they're grateful and they're working for it and you see the gratitude and the joy in their face.
Not for nothing, I don't think Lindsay Lohan even got 350 hours of community service.
Exactly! Quote that
! Would I be building a house for Lindsay Lohan? Noooo
. Maybe with a few bars in a cell. I could do that
But in all seriousness, it was awesome for me to meet the people who are going to be in the home and to hear where their struggle is and what they have to do to get the house. And I can't wait for them to get the keys to their new house.
Photo Credit: Dan J Kroll/soapcentral.com