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Darian Weiss played the character until 2003, until Christopher Gerse was cast in the role.Gerse told Janet Di Lauro of Soap Opera Digest that he had previously auditioned for Will, and then another part, but had not landed either role.The ruse is ultimately revealed, and Will subsequently endures a "turbulent upbringing" due to his mother's complicated love life and endless machinations.The character was a recurring child role until recast as a teen with Dylan Patton in 2009, and as a young adult with Chandler Massey in 2010.
This generated "major" fan backlash, and criticism in the soap press, as well as accusations that Days of Our Lives was pandering to anti-gay sentiment in their audience base.
Various LGBT news sources have criticized the slow pace of Will's coming out story line, while others noted that Days of Our Lives was one of the last shows to portray gay characters.
Patton and Massey both received Daytime Emmy Award nominations for their portrayal of Will.
When he was finally cast, Gerse said, "I was so happy to get on DAYS ...
I've always wanted to have a recurring part on a TV show." Gerse left the series in 2007 and made a brief return in 2008.