|Casey Jon Diedrick as Chad DiMera|
|Portrayed by||Casey John Diedrick (2009-2013)|
|First appearance||June 19 2009|
|Last appearance||October 30 2013|
|Alias(es)|| Chad Michael DiMera|
Chad is the newest member of the iconic, DiMera family, the youngest son of Stefano DiMera, half-brother of EJ DiMera, and best friend to Will Horton and Sonny Kiriakis. The character's most significant storylines include his daughter with Mia McCormick, his paternity reveal, his romances with Abigail Deveraux and Melanie Jonas. The character also had a former romance with his current enemy Gabi Hernandez.
- 2 Development
- 3 Storylines
- 4 Reception
- 5 References
- 6 External Links
In late May 2009, an article on Soap Opera Network confirmed that Casey Deidrick had joined the cast of Days of our Lives as Chad and would make his first appearance on June 19. Deidrick revealed in an interview that he originally went out for the role of Tad in 2009 and claimed the audition as some of his best work. Despite very positive feedback, Brendan Coughlin was cast in the role of Tad. Deidrick's audition caught the attention of casting director, Marnie Saitta and he was soon called back to audition for the role of Chad. Deidrick learned a few weeks later that he had won the role and signed the standard four year contract. In May 2013 when the series put out a casting call for the role an actor matching Deidrick's description, Soap Opera Digest speculated that the role of Chad could be recast. At the time, Deidrick's screen time had declined dramatically and he had also booked several guest appearances in prime time. On June 20, 2013, Deidrick announced his departure from the series through Twitter and posted a picture of his final script. Deidrick's last air date was slated for October 30, 2013. According to Michael Fairman, Deidrick had made the decision a while before the actual confirmation and that the series was indeed looking for Deidrick's replacement.
"Chad Peterson has trouble written all over him, yet I believe he means well. There's a part of him that you hate, and love at the same time. He's a very confident, edgy, mysterious person. He's the type of person that can persuade you by his words. It's tough to break him, it seems like he's seen and been through a lot in the past...maybe a rough history with his parents, or abandonment issues."—Deidrick on Chad
Deidrick explained in an interview that he had to come up with a lot of Chad's backstory on his own because the role was recently created... you gotta create it and make it real enough for you to believe." According to Deidrick, though Chad usually has good intentions, he often causes trouble for those he interacts with. Deidrick who is in a metal rock band viewed the character of Chad as a rock star and notes the similarities between the character and the genre of music. Chad has a different way of thinking which sets him apart from the average person, similar to rock stars Deidrick revealed in an interview. With the rewriting of Chad's paternity in the spring of 2010, Deidrick has a chance to branch out in the role. The storyline showcased two very different and distinct sides to the character's personality. When working with Lauren Koslow as Chad's then stepmother, Kate Roberts, Deidrick displays Chad's vulnerabilities due to his mother's death in July 2010; he is in desperate need of a mother figure at the moment, and Kate fills that void. Deidrick explained that Chad does not show that side of his personality too often for fear of getting hurt. On the other hand, Chad's relationship with his new found father, Joseph Mascolo's Stefano appears to be a bit more volatile. The nature of the relationship is first displayed in November 2010 when Chad confronts Stefano with a knife and demands blood for a DNA test.
|“||Chad’s got this whole bad boy, carefree attitude. He acts like he doesn’t really care what other people think, but there’s this other layer to him. He’s very sensitive and he’s kind of a romantic character, too. I hope that makes him interesting to watch.||”|
Chad's initial reason for returning to Salem is to win back his ex-girlfriend Mia who rejects him. However he is unaware that Mia had given birth to his daughter and gave the child to Nicole and EJ DiMera to raise as their own. To stay close to Mia, he takes a job at the local cafe, Java and makes enemies with Will. In the meantime, he befriends Tad and Kinsey (Shelby Young).Kinsey reveals that Mia was in rehab for drug abuse during the time he was away at boarding school. Chad knows Mia is hiding something knows Mia is hiding something and tries to get answers before he is confronted by Nicole DiMera who tries to get him to back off. In August 2009, Chad stops Mia from getting into a drunken car accident with Kinsey and admits his love for her. However, his feelings for Mia are tested when he learns that she gave their daughter to Nicole, and then claims someone else is the father. According to Deidrick, there is always tension between Chad and Mia because even though she continues lying to him, he doesn't walk way from her. "He’s a kid who doesn’t know what to do and he’s fighting all these feelings," Deidrick explained. Meanwhile, Chad threatens to sue for custody of his "daughter" Syndey and even rejects Nicole's sexual advances. Deidrick said that Chad is very sincere about getting custody of his daughter and will stop at nothing. He won't allow someone like Nicole to get in his way. Deidrick believes that Chad is acting beyond his age by rejecting Nicole's offer. Deidrick revealed that the baby storyline kept him very isolated due to the significant age differences between himself and the rest of his teenage costars. When asked about future love interest, Deidrick mentioned Gabriela Rodriguez who had recently been introduced to the canvas as Gabi Hernandez but didn't believe a romantic pairing would work due to the age difference. Deidrick hoped that his character would somehow be introduced into the storyline featuring young adult characters, Stephanie Johnson (Shelley Hennig), Nathan Horton (Mark Hapka) and Melanie Layton, portrayed by Deidrick's real-life girlfriend Molly Burnett.
Chad Peterson is initially introduced as the son of Bill and Marsha Peterson in 2009. In February 2010, Soap Opera Digest reported that veteran actress, Jessica Tuck, known for her role asOne Life to Live's Megan Gordon Harrison was cast in the role of Chad's mother, Madeline Peterson Woods. Tuck first appeared on April 7, 2010. The character's history is revised in the spring of 2010 following Tuck's casting and re-establishing Chad as the son of District Attorney Charles Woods (David Leisure) and Judge Madeline Peterson-Woods; the character would also use both names. At the same time, it was confirmed that Taylor Spreitler would departing from the series as Mia. Despite the introduction of the character's mother, Deidrick believed that the character of Chad was no longer need. However, co-executive producer, Gary Tomlin had other plans and came up with a way to tie the character of Chad to the canvas permanently. What Deidrick initially expected to be a minor role, developed into "young leading man status" when Chad is made apart of the iconic DiMera family. Deidrick explained that the storyline made him a lot more comfortable about his his character's viability within the series. In the spring of 2010, it is revealed by Madeline that Chad grows up feeling neglected, and unwanted by his father. Due to Kate (Koslow)'s meddling, it is revealed that Chad was born on March 3, 1990, making him a whole year older than he was initially believed to be and the biological son of her husband, Stefano (Mascolo). Chad being connected to one of the core families within the series provided Deidrick with the opportunity to work with some of the shows most talented veteran actors including Mascolo, Koslow, James Scott (EJ DiMera) and Renée Jones (Lexie Carver).
In the spring of 2011, Entertainment Weekly confirmed that the series was planning a gay storyline with one of the current characters. There was much speculation that Chandler Massey's Will Horton would be the character who turned out to be gay. Prior to the announcement, fans screamed for a romantic pairing between Chad and Will due to the chemistry between the actors.Errol Lewis of Soap Opera Network explained that the two would have great potential as a romantic pairing, due to their heritage alone; with Chad being a DiMera, and Will being a Brady, would solidify the pairing as "star crossed lovers" because of the long standing feud between their families being staple within the series for so long. Despite both characters being involved in romantic pairings with females at the time, the pairing had already established a large fan base. The two however remain friends even when Will does turn out to be gay. The pairing is referred to by fans their portmanteau "Chill." Deidrick reveals that "Chill" actually started off as a joke between himself and Massey but fans immediately began pushing for the pairing. Deidrick said he would be open to the potential pairing if the writers were to go in that direction. Deidrick revealed to Soaps In Depth that he was open to the story, if the writers were truly willing to take his character in that direction. In June 2011, the duo ranked at #2 in the "Top Dream Couples" category on TV Guide Canada's "Soapgeist". With the introduction of Freddie Smith's openly gay character, Sonny Kiriakis, fans and critics alike applauded the show for allowing Chad to immediately develop a friendship with him. Their relationship was so unique, not only because of Deidrick and Smith's real-life friendship, but also because Daytime rarely showcased a "best friend" type relationship between gay and straight characters. However, fans also begin pushing for a Sonny/Chad pairing after Chad defends him to a gay bully in September 2011. When fans began clamoring for a Chad and Sonny pairing, Smith joking shot down the idea and said that Chad is a little too tall for Sonny.
In January 2011, Soap Opera Digest reported that newcomer Kate Mansi, who was recently cast in the role of Will's cousin, Abigail "Abby" Deveraux, the daughter of Days Supercouple, Jack and Jennifer would be Deidrick's new onscreen love interest. The writers began teasing the pairing in the spring of 2011 as Chad struggles with accepting his new identity as a DiMera. Abby is immediately turned off, but she soon realizes Chad is very different from the rest of his family. Deidrick explained that is was easy for him to work with Mansi because they were so close in age, unlike his last onscreen romantic partner. Due to Abigail coming into Chad's life so suddenly, Chad mistakenly believes they are meant to be together, and he falls a little too hard and fast for her. Mansi compares the pairing to Romeo and Juliette saying their instant attraction is threatened by the fact that he is Stefano's son. Mansi said that Kate and Stefano's interference would cause trouble for them. Deidrick explained that because the relationship develops so quickly, they were bound to have challenges. Mansi revealed in an interview that Chad "turns to her out of frustration from feeling the push and pull of wanting to be a part of the DiMera family but also not wanting to be apart of something that he feels is immoral." Deidrick explained that Chad can identify with Abigail because he also grew up with a father who neglected him which is why he and Jack don't really see eye to eye. Jack's disapproval of Chad heritage also drives a wedge between Abigail and her father as she continues to defend Chad.
"He cares about Gabi, but as far as he's concerned, things are going to stay completely platonic. Gabi has no idea about Melanie, so she thinks Chad's fair game."—TV Guide Interview
The relationship becomes strained due to Chad's struggle to accept his new roots and Abigail advising him against it. Meanwhile, Chad falls for Abby's bestfriend, Melanie and Abigail catches them in a lip lock at the Halloween party. Deidrick explains that the kiss was accidental on the part of his character, but explains that "Melanie makes Chad feel good, kind of like a kid," as opposed to Abigail who is dealing with her chaotic family life. There is a short lived triangle which leads to Chad and Abigail's breakup. Deidrick then is officially paired with Burnett as Chad and Melanie. However, the two immediately face and obstacle in Chad's former flame, Gabi Hernandez (Camila Banus) who becomes obsessed with winning Chad's affection. According to Banus, on the rebound from her break up with Will who has turned out to be gay, and when Chad saves Gabi, she falls for him again. Chad and Gabi are then hired as models for the local cosmetics company, forcing them to spend even more time together. Chad only agrees to the modeling gig to make things easier for Gabi after her split with Will and he is completely oblivious to her feelings. Chad's willingness to help Gabi leads to speculation that he and Gabi could end up falling for one another.
When Stefano disowns EJ in May 2012, there is speculation that Chad would take his place. Deidrick revealed that Chad "can't really turn away from family, not forever... Especially when they're reaching out to him." Deidrick admitted that he expected Chad to eventually try and reconnect with his family. The article, "Into the Darkness," featured in a June 2012 issue of Soaps In Depth revealed that the character of Chad would take a dark turn. Though Chad had plenty of reasons to "cross to the dark side," Deidrick explained that a series of invents, including the death of his sister Lexie, and his father's presumed death forces Chad to rethink his position in the family. Deidrick described the storyline as the "time to break out of my cage." The storyline would be the first time Deidrick allowed for his character actually cry. When asked if Chad would ever fully embrace his "dark side," Deidrick stated, "You can never tell until you throw someone into the wolves' den and see what they can do." Though Deidrick and Burnett dated in real life, their onscreen romance is plagued by Camila Banus's Gabi whose attempt to break the couple up ends in Melanie getting kidnapped by the crazed and obsessed Andrew (Caleb Hunt). Instead of notifying the police when he discovers Gabi's involvement, Chad blackmails Gabi into cooperating with him. Deidrick explained Chad's decision to keep the truth from Melanie as an attempt to shelter Melanie from having to deal with anything else. Chad's attempt at protecting Melanie is what destroys the relationship. When asked if Chad was being over-protective, Deidrick explained that because of everything Chad had been dealing with—his sister's death, Stefano's presumed dead, and Melanie's kidnapping— Chad reacts the way any normal person would. The anger Deidrick portrayed during the fall out is Chad reaching his boiling point. Deidrick explained that Chad's sudden marriage proposal is fueled by Chad's need to regain control of his life and his relationship with Melanie. When Melanie calls of the engagement, Deidrick believes Chad gets what he deserves due to his attempt to control everything in his life. It would take quite some time for Chad to get past the mess he's made of his life. Deidrick stated that his character has dealt with just about everything since his debut, and it kind of hardens him. Chad then sets his sights on getting revenge on Gabi for her part in Melanie's kidnapping and her leaving town. When Chad is at the end of his rope, he has no choice but to turn to his family, which allows for the writers to develop Chad's relationship with EJ.
Chad returns to Salem to reconnect with his ex, Mia McCormick (Taylor Spreitler) and clashes with her new boyfriend, Will Horton (Dylan Patton). Chad sees through Mia's lie about her being in rehab while he was way and admits his love for her. However, Chad is irate to learn that Mia gave their child to EJ (James Scott) and Nicole DiMera (Arianne Zucker) to raise. Chad threatens to sue for custody forcing Nicole to reveal that their real daughter, Grace died. Chad briefly dates Gabi Hernandez (Gabriela Rodriguez) and Mia successfully breaks them. However, thanks to Gabi, Will (Massey) and Chad realize Mia is two-timing them, and dump her. In 2010, as Chad seeks a internship at DiMera Enterprises, he notices tension between Madeline and Kate. He is shocked to learn that they were once worked together as prostitutes and is devastated when she dies after a confrontation. As Charles blames his son, Chad learns that he is Stefano's biological son.
Though, he initially wants nothing to do with the family, Chad eventually comes around. His sister Lexie opens him with open arms and Chad even stands in as best man at EJ and Nicole's wedding. Chad later strikes up a romance with Abigail Deveraux despite his new family's disapproval. Chad briefly moves into the mansion until he is shot in August 2011 and moves out for his own good. Chad then falls for Abigail's best friend Melanie Jonas after they share a kiss at the town's Halloween party. Meanwhile, Chad, Will and Sonny Kiriakis launch an internet website for sport fans at Salem University. However, they are forced to shut it down when criminals begin using it for illegal gambling. The criminals then kidnap Chad and Melanie and believing they are about to die, the two confess their feelings. Fortunately, they are rescued; however, Chad and Abigail break up. Abby is initially upset about Chad and Melanie's romance, but she later gives them her blessing.
Meanwhile, Chad and Gabi (Banus) are forced to work together when they are both hired as models for Countess Wilhelmina. When Billie Reed (Lisa Rina) mistakenly assumes they are dating, Gabi begins scheming to win Chad's affections. Meanwhile, Chad is devastated when Lexie reveals she has cancer and Stefano is murdered. Chad is furious to learn that Will is a suspect and when after Melanie tries to defend Will, she disappears. Chad mourns Lexie's passing believing Melanie has skipped town. It is revealed that Melanie has been kidnapped and the couple is reunited underground as the tunnels beneath Salem collapse. Chad discovers that Gabi is behind Melanie's kidnapping and blackmails her into keeping her distance. Chad proposes to Melanie hoping to keep her safe from Nick Fallon (Blake Berris). Chad attacks Nick when he mistakenly believes Nick hurt Melanie again. Unable to forgive Chad for his angry outburst, Melanie calls off the engagement and skips town.
Chad briefly reunites with Abigail and exacts revenge on Gabi when he reveals at her wedding to Nick that Will is the father of her unborn child. Abby dumps him forcing Lexie's brother, Cameron Davis (Nathan Owens) to come to her aid. Chad and Abigail eventually patch things up when they learn Cameron has been moonlighting as a stripper. She agrees to a date, but later backs out. Chad is touched when Will and Gabi name their baby Arianna after Grace. Meanwhile, Chad competes with Cameron for Abigail's affections, and considers moving into the mansion when EJ reveals that he is running the DiMera empire. On August 9, 2013, Cameron reveals to Chad that he might have a brain tumor. On September 17, 2013 Abigail loses her virginity to Chad. After she leaves, he flashes back to his meeting with the specialist saying that he does not have a brain tumor and is very much healthy. He does not reveal this to Cameron because he does not want to lose Abigail to him. Chad is shot at EJ and Sami's engagment party and undergoes surgery. After he wakes up, Chad tells Abby the truth and she ends their relationship. Soon after, Chad is accompanied to Boston by Stefano, so he can have a second surgery. He later calls EJ and says he won't be comiing back to Salem.
TV Source labeled Deidrick a fan favorite and described the character of Chad as "one of the soaps’ most popular younger characters of the late ’00s." Stephanie Sloane of Soap Opera Digestcommented that Chad's paternity seemed to envelope the series, but applauded the writers for "wisely" connecting him the DiMera clan. Sloane also disagreed with how long the story took to play out. She praised Deidrick for out of Chad's very brief interactions with Chad's future family members, Stefano, Kate and EJ. Nelson Branco of TV Guide Canada refers to Deidrick's performance in May 2011 as "infectious." In June 2011, Deidrick ranked at #3 along with costar, Chandler Massey in the "Top Young Actors to Watch" category. In 2012, Deidrick earned an Emmy pre-nomation in the Outstanding Younger Actor category for his portrayal of Chad. Michael Fairman applauded Deidrick for his portrayal of Chad in January 2013 when the character took revenge on Gabi and Nick, by revealing that Nick is not the father of her baby. The ratings also spiked for the episode, giving the series it's highest ratings in two years. The onscreen pairing pairing of Chad and Abigail became very popular among fans and garnered the squish name, "Chabby". Jamey Giddens enjoyed Abigail and Chad's new dynamic displayed in their snooping around Cameron. Giddens said that while he wasn't a fan of their initial romance, "Abby and Chad’s scenes were fun, and made me wish I could see more." Omar Nobles praised Deidrick's portrayal and stated: "Deidrick’s enduring charm and emotional performances helped turn the tide in favor of the one-time bad boy" which would lead to his popularity. Upon the announcement of Deidrick's departure, Michael Fairman described the actor as "one of the best young actors on daytime." Jamey Giddens said "As much as I'm going to miss the tall, drink of DiMera, I can't say I blame Deidrick." Giddens attributed the decision to Chad's dramatic decline in screen time following Burnett's departure. Though sad about Deidrick's departure, Omar Nobles said the actor had a great "future ahead of him."