Sal Stower’s Lamon Archey exit interview

Soap Opera Digest: How did your decision to leave DAYS come about?

Lamon Archey: It was gradual. It was something I’d probably been building for over a year just with my other job – the recurring role on ALL AMERICAN – and [wanting to be] able to get out and do other things. I’ve always had this fire in me to do something different. When I booked DAYS I was so excited. But even if you had asked me then and there, “Will you stop here?” I would have said, “No.” There are still so many things I want to do. I had a conversation with my manager and my agent. I basically told them I didn’t want to do another contract. I wanted to do reruns, but I just didn’t want to be tied down and have the freedom to do other jobs, play other characters. It is something [DAYS] couldn’t handle it and I got that. There were too many obstacles to overcome. Ultimately, they made the decision that they couldn’t keep me in recurring status, and that was it. It’s one of those things that sometimes you need a nudge to get out of this job. It was a blessing in disguise because that’s what I needed.

Sal Stower: The decision was definitely not easy for me. It’s something I’ve been going back and forth with for a while. I’ve been on the show for about seven years. As an artist, there just comes a time when you want to try and see what else you’re capable of. I put so much into my work and gave so much to Lani. I know her like the back of my hand and I love her so much, which is why it was so hard for me to break up with her. But life is short and you have to live. You have to take risks and dream big bold dreams, just try other opportunities. That’s what it was about for me to take the risk in my career and trust that I’m going to be okay.

Digest: Obviously you both talked about it.

Archey: Yes. Sal is such a great friend. We really enjoyed working together. We had talked about it for a long time. We kept reaching out, like, “Are you still planning on going?” “You are [thinking about] recurring?” We would stop by each other again and again.

stevedore: We had conversations. Lamon was obviously working on another series and doing his thing. I was kind of torn between what I wanted to do. The time for it [just worked out]. At the same time, our contracts expired.

Digest: Were you happy being written off the show together?

stevedore: It just seemed like it was going to happen. It just happened that way, honestly. I think we both thought: We are Eli and Lani. We are “Elani” and we wanted to be the ones to carry this torch all the way.

Archey: We both said, “If you go, I’ll go. I’m kind of riding the wave with you.” We’ve created such a bond and a team, and we’ve kind of stuck with that. I’m glad we got to go into the sunset together, to use a cliché. It was something special that made the show.

stevedore: Lamon and I have a very wonderful friendship and we had a connection on this show. The work we put into these characters together is so special. We only knew when we both left that we had to do this together. And that was something [the show was] will allow us to do together. We wanted to take these characters as far as we can take them and then say goodbye together. It was obviously very tough because we’ve been working together for so long, but I think the timing was spot on.

Digest: Lamon, are you still doing ALL AMERICAN or is that over?

Archey: Good question. In the final episode of Season 4, my character proposed to the main character’s mother and became engaged to her. Also, she and I said we were moving to Oakland. So it stayed open. Who knows what will happen? Something like this happens every season. You break down and you don’t know what the writers will do when they return to this room. Lets see what happens.

Digest: How do you feel about how your characters have been written off?

Archey: Personally, I would have done something differently, but I got the point. Working with my schedule, working with Covid and two returning actors… DAYS was in a position where every time they had an episode they had to contact my agent to see if I was available. They didn’t want to worry about my availability; they had to move on. They need functioning actors who can step in when they need them. You have a show to run. In the position we were in they didn’t have enough time to mess around with Covid and our schedules so they had to act a little quicker.

stevedore: I loved the whole story. This is hands down my favorite story from my seven years there. I think my last episode is probably my best work. I felt very “leading” in those scenes. I was so connected and so present. Eli and Lani are a big part of Salem and I wanted all of that to play into it. I guess so. You can see the beauty and development of these characters in recent episodes.

Digest: What do you miss most about playing Lani and Eli?

Archey: Honestly, I miss working with Sal. That’s one thing I’ll say. Just the bond we had formed. We literally built “Elani” from the ground up, watched them grow and become this force, watched them grow into something fans fell in love with. That’s one of the things I miss the most. There’s nothing special about Eli that strikes me. It’s more about the big picture.

stevedore: Lani was just so easy for me to jump in. I love how wild she was and so protective. She went after what she wanted. Of course, I also miss the family dynamic and Lani’s job as a detective. She wanted to do good in the world. She wanted to make a difference. I loved her as a mother. Seeing Lani become a mom and being able to bring out that side of me are reasons I want to be a mom too.

Digest: Is there a story, a moment or something that stands out from your time at DAYS?

Archey: One story that I will always remember and had so much fun with was Lani and Eli’s first wedding, where everything went to shit. Building on that and seeing it explode, how it happened… I liked that story. That was fun.

stevedore: It was so special to see David Abraham [Lani and Eli’s stillborn son]. Having Carver and Jules was very special to me. It definitely made me pursue my own dream of becoming a mother. Also her father/daughter duo. James [Reynolds, Abe] is my heart I love the father-daughter bond that Lani and Abe have built over the years.

Digest: How was your last day and your last scenes?

Archey: Our last scenes were in the detective agency. I remember after we did our last one, Albert [Alarr, co-executive producer] came out and thanked the whole crew. We all had to say goodbye and thank everyone. That was the time I thought I was going to get emotional, but there were no tears. Overall it was bittersweet. It’s something I knew was coming. I was prepared.

stevedore: I actually have a video from that day. It was a really sad day. I was very emotional. In my last few scenes, there was one special little moment with family that just blew me to pieces. Carver and Jules were of course there, which was actually sad. I never really got much screen time with Carver and Jules. So I can finally do it and of course it’s my last episode. They were so kind and warm and loved being with me. It was a really tough day for me. I left crying I came home and cried in the shower.

Digest: Can we assume the door is open for your return to the show if you ever decide to do so?

Archey: I think you can assume so. It’s always nice to know that you still have a job should you decide to return. It’s always great to know that you’re wanted and that you appreciate the work you’ve done. That sure is a blessing.

stevedore: I hope so. I think so. I definitely left feeling very much loved, that if I ever wanted to, I could pick up the phone and call Albert and say, “Hey. I miss Lani and I’m ready to come back.” I’m pretty sure that would be possible for me and Lamon.

Digest: Who do you think you keep in touch with?

Archey: I’m still talking to Billy [Flynn, Chad]. I just texted him today. I spoke to Sal a few days ago. Robert [Scott Wilson, Ben] and I spoke. We talked about going to the shooting range. It’s really fun. Expensive but really fun.

stevedore: Marci [Miller, ex-Abigail], Naturally. She is my world and I am her daughter’s godmother. She’s in my life forever. I’ll talk to pretty much everyone. i love everyone Lamon, James, Jackée [Harry, Paulina]Crow [Bowens, Chanel]Lindsey [Arnold, Allie]Linsey [Godfrey, Sarah], the hair and makeup team. When you have these deep, meaningful relationships, you can’t just let them go.

Digest: Any final thoughts on your DAYS experience or parting words for the fans who supported you?

Archey: The fans rode the wave with us through ups and downs, through breakups and reunions. I would definitely give them the biggest thanks. Without the fans, “Elani” would not be what it is today. I’d say 90 percent of the fame would go to them, and Sal and I each take 5 percent.

stevedore: I know I will always have a home at DAYS. It’s been a big part of my life and I love everyone so much. They gave me such an amazing opportunity and this character to build from the ground up and grow into this beautiful heroine and powerful woman. There are no words for it [express] my gratitude. I am so honored and humbled to have walked this journey as Lani.

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