They say that confession is good for the soul, and that was certainly true for DAYS’ Lani Grant. Her admission that it was she, and not her mother who shot and killed TR Coates proved to be the catharsis she was in desperate need of – and it earned actress Sal Stowers Soap Hub’s Performer of the Week honors.
Sal Stowers – Performer of the Week
While her alter-ego was in cop mode, Stowers projected gritty determination and affective empathy in equal amounts. But the minute that Lani’s guilty conscience began manifesting itself in the form of a blood-soaked TR (William Christian), Stowers devolved into a panicked mess.
She pinched her eyes closed, thrust her hands up to her temples, and began to massage them in an effort to dissipate the horror standing before her.
When TR began to lambast Lani for taking his life and letting Paulina Price (Jackée Harry) take the fall and failing in her duties to uphold the law, Stowers undertook an emotional 180.
Suddenly in TR’s face, her irises flashing fire, Lani loudly reminded him of his trespasses. “You tried to kill Eli! I had to try to stop you from hurting anyone else!”
Thanks to Eli’s (Lamon Archey) timely intervention, Lani was brought back to her senses, and for a moment she was free of TR’s specter…but he was still there…waiting and watching…and judging.
Stowers spent the next several scenes guiding Lani along a knife’s edge. On the surface, she was all smiles; underneath, a nervous wreck.
When the pressure finally became too much to bear, and Lani stunned those who’d gathered to watch Abe Carver (James Reynolds) and Paulina tie the knot with her revelation, Stowers did so without any discernable hysterics. In point of fact, the very act of owning her actions seemed to lift Lani’s spirit and bring about a sense of peace. Stowers was finally (playing) a woman unburdened.
Honorable Mention: Susan Seaforth Hayes
The work she put into Julie Williams’s stirring speech, the one that convinced an entire wedding party to cast a deaf ear to Lani’s truth, is more than worthy of praise, but it’s actually her delivery of the lines, “It doesn’t matter who pulled the trigger. The bastard got what he deserved,” for which we’re recognizing Seaforth Hayes.