Days of our Lives new cast member Mike Manning, AKA Charlie Dale, talked to Soap Dirt and gave us some insights about Titan’s new intern, how he got the role, and why this guy seems “off.” Plus, he reveals whether Charlie sticks around on the NBC soap opera.
Mike Manning Says Charlie Dale Has “Demons” on Days of our Lives
SD: How did you land the role of Charlie Dale?
MM: I’ve been auditioning for Days for the past seven years, and then Marnie Saitta [DOOL casting director] reached out to my agent and said she had a role that would be great for me.
*Mike also told us that he’d auditioned for Young and the Restless and General Hospital as well before landing his new role on Days of our Lives.
SD: What attracts you to working on Days of our Lives or a soap in general?
MM: I love soaps because it’s like live theatre. You go and learn your lines, and you get one or two takes. The pace is really fast. I grew up doing theatre in Colorado, and that’s where I began acting. So, I always loved the idea of being on a soap.
SD: What drew you to Charlie Dale on Days of our Lives?
MM: With Charlie — on the one hand, he’s polite and earnest and wants to do a good job at Titan Industries. He really cares about Claire Brady and genuinely has a big heart. On the other hand, like others in Salem, he has some demons and an inner struggle. It’s a really complex character. That was really exciting to me as an actor.
DOOL’s Charlie Dale Sticks Around – Mike Manning Still Filming
SD: Are you still filming at Days of our Lives?
MM: Yes, I am filming. I worked today – I work next week. It’s nothing but Days of our Lives. I’m basically filming four days a week, sometimes five.
SD: Without giving anything away, who is your favorite scene partner?
MM: The last couple of weeks, I’ve gotten to work with some amazing people. Isabel Durant [Claire] is just so lovely to work with, and she’s so sweet. I really like her as a scene partner. Also, Paul Telfer [Xander Cook] – we have some fun stuff. He’s such a great actor.
On [Days of our Lives], he almost becomes like a father figure and takes me under his wing. I think those two would be my favorites.
SD: Who else have you worked with on Days of our Lives?
MM: I’ve also had the chance to work with Deidre Hall [Marlena Evans] and Drake Hogestyn [John Black]. And they’ve been on the show forever. Just watching them is… they’re so professional and so focused when the camera’s rolling. And then such kind people when it’s not rolling. John is a jokester, and it’s really fun.
Mike Manning Talks Charlie Dale’s Secrets on Days of our Lives
SD: Did you watch Days before you got the role?
MM: I definitely started watching before I came to work to catch up on storylines. Every time I auditioned, I would watch a couple of episodes to understand the world. [When working], they go so fast that you can only focus on your storylines, but you see bits and pieces.
SD: You posted online – it’s going to be a “bumpy ride” on Days of our Lives – is Charlie hiding secrets?
MM: I think everybody in Salem has a hidden agenda. And I think that fans can probably guess that Charlie isn’t just some random intern that shows up in Salem. So there are some things. He does really like Claire, and he genuinely wishes things work out with her. But there’s going to be some challenges along the way.
SD: Some Days of our Lives theories say Charlie might be the guy that attacked Allie, or Tripp’s secret brother, or Ava Vitali’s son…
MM: I can’t give anything away, but I am having so much fun following a lot of these theories online. I’ve never experienced interacting with soap fans, and having so many people care about what [Charlie] is doing. It’s been a really fun experience. I’m seeing on Twitter – their smush name is “Chaire.” I’m enjoying it.
SD: You know soap fans can also be tough on characters they don’t like, right?
MM: Paul [Telfer] is such a nice guy, and we’ve become friends off the [Days of our Lives] set. I asked Paul should I be worried about some of this stuff? He said, [Xander] killed someone, kidnaps people — and I still have people that like me. He’s a genuinely good person through and through.
DOOL Actor Talks Quarantine & Timing of Landing Charlie Role
SD: When did you find out you got the part on Days of our Lives?
MM: I found out right before the shutdown. I signed my contract, and three days later, the shutdown was announced. It killed me. I spent all of quarantine bored and couldn’t tell anybody about the role.
SD: Not even your family?
MM: I couldn’t tell my family. They’re really bad at keeping secrets. My mom would post it everywhere.
SD: What did you do during the lockdown before starting Days of our Lives?
MM: I was at home with the dogs. I tried to spend more time outside — surfing, finding new hiking trails. I did home improvement projects I’d been putting off, and I actually started cooking. Beat Bobby Flay is one of my favorite shows.
It’s also shown me how much I value quality time. It was a very fast-paced lifestyle before this. Quarantine forced people to slow down and really think — if you can only spend time with three or five people — who are those people going to be? It really deepened friendships in significant ways — kind of a nice outcome from all of this.
Where Mike Keeps His Emmy – and Other Roles Aside from Days of our Lives
SD: What other projects would you like fans to know about in addition to playing Charlie?
MM: I have a movie out called The Call. It was in theaters a month ago and did really well. It’s available on VOD platforms now. It’s a horror movie with Lyn Shay [Insidious] and Tobin Bell [Saw]. They’re two horror film legends. It’s really great – a fun cast, fun plot. I’m also on The Bay on Amazon.
SD: There are other Days of our Lives actors on The Bay, right?
MM: The nice thing about The Bay was Brandon Beemer [Shawn Brady] and Mary Beth Evans [Kayla Brady] are on it. So I knew them going onto Days. And Lucas Adams is also a friend of mine.
SD: Tell us about your Emmy win – and where you keep your trophy
MM: I was a producer on season 5 — I didn’t expect us to win. Then I got the notification and watched the Daytime Emmys, and it won best digital daytime drama. I was so shocked and happy. I was joking with my family that 2020 is awful, but June and July can stay. [The Emmy] is heavier and larger than I thought. I have it right by my front door. If anyone breaks in, I can stab them with it.
Watch for More of Titan Intern Charlie Dale on Days of our Lives
SD: Final thoughts on working as Charlie on Days of our Lives?
MM: I really am loving this ride so far. I’m really grateful to be on the show. I’m really loving the engagement [with fans]. We’ll see what happens. When I go on Twitter or message boards, everyone’s gossiping and exchanging theories. I almost want to jump out of the TV and whisper you’re right, it’s him – but I don’t want to spoil it.
Keep watching Mike Manning on Days of our Lives as Charlie Dale. He’s still filming — that means there are more episodes with Titan’s new intern ahead.
Get your favorite Days of our Lives spoilers and news here at Soap Dirt.