Leave it to former Days of our Lives alum and Broadway producer, Kevin Spirtas Ex-Craig Wesley , along with another DAYS alum, writer, Michael Slade, and the two put their shared experiences, and dramatic ideas into this emotional series, that is not limited to anyone who is gay, but touches on the universal themes that anyone may have, or will experience, at one time in their lives.
Spirtas, brought along with him none some notables for his passion project. What was the genesis of the idea for the series? Patrika Darbo, came to New York close to 7 years ago. I was blown away. It was better than half the stuff on TV, theater, or film. At that point, I made a mad rush for a gentleman by the name of Sebastian La Cause.
Sebastian had won several awards that night and his material was so well presented, and beautifully shot, and his acting was very unique. Sebastian La Cause was the star of the web series Hustling, right? Yes, it was Hustling, the first season. He is talented, and creative and I want to work with those kind of people. He wrote me in. I fell in love with the story. I was very clear to me, that you have to start creating for yourself, because creating your own content in this industry now is king.
The third season of Hustling then crossed me over to appearing in Winterthorne. I got nominated for an Emmy. What do I have in my life that I feel is worth sharing and putting out there to help heal, or inspire? Was creating After Forever also a way to re-enter being part of the conversation? I was worried about that. Then, I ran into Michael Slade at a gym… I had never met him before, he was a writer on Days as I was leaving the show. I pitched him this idea: Michael had the experience of losing his long-time partner of 25 years.
Do we see Jason die in this? It does do that. It tells the story through a lot of present, and a lot of flashbacks. There is also the present with Brian, and his memory of Jason. So, if he turns around, and he sees him, is it real? Is it him working it out in his own mind? We started off as actors together in class. Let me read the script. The main character of Brian goes on this journey: He meets a guy in the middle of the series, and it starts to open up the doors.
Would you do another season of After Forever? Michael and I have already started to script out seasons 2 and 3. On that level, I think the concept of the show is an important story to tell. We were absolutely committed to writing not just another gay story. Everyone is going to have to deal with this in their life. We lost half of our community.
We lost half of our brothers. People are trying to fit themselves into our world now, into our story, and how they would feel navigating it. And you have some pretty accomplished people in your cast.
Everyone is perfect, and everyone was able to show up, and everyone delivered a million percent. Everyone has been touched. The majority who have seen this, are just moved to tears and full of excitement. What was it like working with Jen? We had a lot of people who we could have pulled from. What she did is perfection.
We shot the whole thing like a movie. It was shot in 12 days. She knew everything she wanted to do and it shows in the edit. And, this extraordinarily, talented girl named Colleen Kwok, who was the director of photography. She got the style we were going for immediately. So, we want to tell people to binge watch the series on Amazon. Binge it, or make it last for 15 days… How many hankies will I need for this?
I say Kleenex is not included … Anybody who has ever loved, anybody who has ever lost, must see this show, because it unifies all of us, it shows us that we are the same.
It shows us that we still have love in our lives, regardless of if that person is gone, the relationship never ends, it never dies. You and I were raised with the symbols of a straight world and how we had to fit into that certain way of life. We saw it together…We just sat there and cried.
Especially, the first two episodes and the last two episodes. We served it up, Michael, we served it up! You and I talked about this along time ago, when I first started on Days Of Our Lives, it was still a different world. It was so different back then. Not that I still am. What do you think about its central theme looking at what happens when one loses their partner at middle-age and more? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.