Alas, Xander Cook (Paul Telfer) recently played an inadvertent role in the death of Susan Banks on Days of our Lives. Eventually, his evil actions are going to come to light but if there’s any couple that can withstand this latest tragedy it’s Xander and Sarah Horton Cook (Linsey Godfrey). Their portrayers sat down with Soap Hub at the recent Day of DAYS fan event to chat about their characters and why ‘Xarah’ has staying power.
Paul Telfer and Linsey Godfrey – Present Imperfect
Xander, to his credit, feels horrible about Susan’s (Stacy Haiduk) death. In the past, he was far more callous. “It’s not that I preferred Xander as a villain,” Telfer tells Soap Hub. “It’s nice when you get to change. He’s a different kind of villain than he used to be. He’s always kidnapped women and children but now, he feels bad about it. You can see the empathy he has for his victims and is aware of the damage he’s doing.”
Ironically, as Xander was doing Ava Vitali’s (Tamara Braun) bidding Sarah was singing her husband’s praises. “He’s a stellar partner to her. He’s loving. He shows up for her whenever she needs him,” says Godfrey about her TV mate, adding with a chuckle, “And he’s got a kilt! What else do you need?”
Sarah will eventually need to forgive Xander once she learns of his latest actions. But fans are behind this couple due in no small part to the duo’s chemistry and how they approached being paired together when they were first written as a romantic duo. Characters come and go from Salem all the time so Telfer says that he and Godfrey wanted their on-screen dynamic to be a potent one. “This was my first love story [on the show],” Telfer says. “I want to make it the most be all or end all — and [Linsey] was like, ‘Okay, I’ll do that, too!’”
Paul Telfer & Linsey Godfrey Face Time With Fans
While Xander may eventually have to answer to the authorities, Godfrey says that both she and Telfer are definitely guilty of talking too much at Day of DAYS when they’re seated at the autograph table. “We always get in ‘trouble’ because we end up chatting with everyone,” says Godfrey, who says she loves spending time with the audience and hearing their feedback. “[Soap operas are] a genre that relies so heavily on fan opinion. Just to look at people in the eye again is such a lovely reward.”
“People say such nice things on social media,” Telfer says. “But there’s nothing like direct feedback. They showed up on a hot day in L.A. [for Day of DAYS].” The actor hastens to add with a grin, “Well, it’s hot if you’re from Minnesota!”
Too Many ‘Cooks’ in the Kitchen
Soap Hub had one last question for Telfer during our interview and the actor responded with his usual charming aplomb. Is his character’s surname ‘Cook’ or ‘Kiriakis’? “That situation is a contextual issue depending on who [Xander] is talking to, what country he’s in, and whether or now the person he’s speaking with is in law enforcement or not,” Telfer responds. “In his heart of hearts, all he wants is to be a ‘Kiriakis.’”
Days of our Lives (DOOL) airs weekdays on Peacock+ in the U.S. and The W Network or Global TV App in Canada. For more about what’s coming up in Salem, check out all the latest that’s been posted on DAYS spoilers, and for an in-depth look at the show’s history, click here.
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