|Viewing Single Post From: Rachel Melvin talks with soaps.com|
|Ellie||Mar 2 2009, 02:23 PM|
Sheís played Chelsea Benson Brady for the past four years, but this spring Rachel Melvin will leave Days of our Lives. As she wraps up her Daytime stint, Rachel took some time out to talk with Soaps.com about her decision to leave the NBC soap and the role sheíd like to play next.
Soaps.com: After four years of playing Chelsea Benson Brady, youíve decided to part ways with Days of our Lives. How did you come to this decision?
Rachel Melvin: I had never really anticipated being on a show for more than a year, much less three. I think booking Days was a nice little surprise; it was fun for a while and I had always said that I would continue to stay there as long as I was challenged. Itís not that the show is simple for me at all anymore, but I think a year ago before the writerís strike, I had just decided I was ready to move on to other things and being that there was an impending strike I didnít really know if it was the best time to leave. To make a long story short, I just decided to stay and then throughout the year it just became more clear to me that the next time my contract was up it was definitely gong to be time for me to go and just explore other options because it was something I needed to do artistically.
Soaps.com: It seems like you havenít had much storyline lately. Was that a factor in your decision?
Rachel: Itís definitely not. I could see how it would appear that way, but I basically made this decision a year ago when I was still doing the Bo and Chelsea pancreas storyline and I was working quite a bit. The fact that I wasnít working a lot I donít think has anything to do with me personally, itís just the cycle of soaps and storylines and I just happened to be back burnered. It worked out well for me because I was able to start auditioning early and now that itís pilot season I know a lot of casting directors. I firmly believe everything happens for a reason and you have to find the good in everything. Yeah, I was bummed I wasnít working as much as I would have liked, but it was allowing me to explore other options at the same time and creating other windows of opportunity for the future. So I took advantage of it.
Soaps.com: Since youíve been at Days for so long and assumingly made some close relationships, was this a difficult decision for you?
Rachel: I think honestly the hardest thing that went into the decision is that Iím going to lose the familiarity of everything and comfortability of likeÖitís kind of like high school you know? You fall into a pattern and I think change can always be scary, but you have to go into it with an optimistic outlook and recently, like last week, I just started to realize Iím not going to be able to try on a bunch of cool different Chelsea clothes and I was like, ĎOh, man! Iím not going to have wardrobe fittings anymore!í Thereís certain aspects Iím definitely going to miss. Iím also a workaholic and Iím obviously not going to be auditioning every day of my life so itís going to be boring a lot of times and that makes me uneasy, but as far as the people there, you know if Iím close with anybody I would miss, Iím going to see them outside of work so in that aspect Iím not too worried. When Blake Berris (ex-Nick) left, I was devastated because he was one of my favorites to work with just because we kind of had the same work method and mentality. Just the possibility that I may never get to work on another project with him itís very sad because you donít get to share that, for a lack of a better word, that intimacy with somebody because youíre opening up a vulnerable part of you when you act, so itís kind of weird.
Soaps.com: Is it tough now going into work everyday thinking itís almost over?
Rachel: Itís actually not; itís a weird feeling. I thought it would be tough. I thought I would start to get scared and freaked out and Iím kind of really excited to see whatís next. I donít know, Iím auditioning a lot right now and thereís a lot of heartache and thereís a lot of excitement and itís just a different kind of energy I havenít felt for the last four years. I think itís cool and Iím trying to be confident and positive and you know, Iím going to work again and I hope to God that I do and itís exciting because I donít know what itíll be on or who itíll be with and what character it will be.
Soaps.com: What kind of character would you like to take on next?
Rachel: I feel horrible saying this because I know most of our viewers are very amazing people and decent, but I just have this deep attraction to dark roles where it goes into like drugs and rape and confused sexuality and just stuff Iíve never experienced first hand, because there's the mystery of it all. I think for any actor the most fun thing to play is someone that youíre not because that's when youíre really acting. I just like darker roles and Iím kind of excited to play that and pull them off and just show that my talent actually goes against what I look like, if that makes sense, because I think a lot of times I look like the good, innocent, straight-laced character and I would rather be the secondary character thatís a little more intriguing and relatable, I guess, and real.
Soaps.com: Are there any shows out right now that you would really like to be on that would fit that kind of character?
Rachel: Television shows, Iím not too sure. As far as television shows in general that I would love to be on, I would love to be on ďWeedsĒ just because I definitely admire everybody on that show. I think theyíre very talented and I think the casting director on that show has got to be possibly one of the most talented casting directors that I respect because Iíve not seen one casting where Iíve been like, ĎOh, theyíre horrible.í Everything is so great and to be cast on that show would be a huge feather in my cap as far as Iím concerned because I respect the casting directorís opinion so much. I think for the roles that Iím kind of looking to play, because theyíre so edgy, I donít think I could be on anything other than Showtime or HBO.
Soaps.com: When is your last day on Days?
Rachel: As it has been explained to me I think itís the 27th, but Iím not exactly sure on the exact day, but itís the last week of March. My last airdate will probably be sometime in late April I think.
Soaps.com: Do you know how they plan to write Chelsea out or if they are recasting the role?
Rachel: Theyíre not going to recast. I have a heads up as to how Iím going out. I donít think itís pertinent to a storyline, but because I donít know I would prefer to not say. I donít want to get in trouble. (laughs)
PART TWO of the interview:
In part two of Soaps.comís interview with Rachel Melvin (Chelsea), the actress talks about her favorite storylines on Days and her thoughts on Chelseaís men: Max, Nick and Daniel!
Soaps.com: What was your favorite storyline you were involved in?
Rachel: I guess there were two of them because I really got into them. When Blake (Berris, ex-Nick) first came to the show I had a lot of fun with him. The energy that he brought made me snap into this more focused, serious actor mode and I started to appreciate and take on his outlook and perspective on the world of acting. I think had he never come to this show thatís something I never would have gained because it was just a special something he had. When he and I worked together we had a lot of fun because we took it seriously, not saying no one else does, but it was just the dynamic he and I had and I really enjoyed what they were doing with the romance and it was a bummer it had to be destroyed and dismantled the way it was. I thought that made for good storyline, but when they tried to reconnect Chelsea and Nick, the timing of it all did not make sense to me whatsoever and I found it hard to justify and get back into.
My other favorite storyline was when I was saving my dad (Bo) with the pancreatic transplant because I love medical storylines and Iím a huge fan of ďGreyís AnatomyĒ. Death is my biggest fear and I think in any circumstance where death is a possibility, I mean thatís the end all be all, thatís the worst case scenario and the darkest place you can go to and so for me it was a great challenge and something I really sunk my teeth into and got lost in.
Soaps.com: So then would you say Nick was your favorite love interest for Chelsea or did you like someone else for her?
Rachel: I guess it would be a toss up between Max and Nick for totally opposite reasons actually. I think the way they wrote Chelsea and Max in the beginning it was never meant to last. I think the way theyíre writing us now is great and vice versa for Blakeís character. I think in the beginning it had such great potential and then the second time they tried to reconnect it just lost that fire. Because the way I was sensing it, it was like, okay, hereís this kid who slept with my mom and then Chelsea got beyond that and then she leaves him for another guy who sleeps with her grandmother. Itís just going to stir up feelings of the first time it happened and make her even that much more angry towards guys, especially the two who screwed her over so to speak. I found it hard that she would go back to Nick because Nick is just a constant reminder of the other trauma that had just happened to her. I didnít think it made sense, which disappointed me because I would have loved for Chelsea and Nick to reconnect down the line, I just canít say I was completely sold on the timing of it all and sold on the idea of how it could happen after what happened with Daniel.
Soaps.com: I was definitely a fan of Chelsea and Nickís and I wanted that to work out, but I think youíre right, after Daniel they just didnít gel.
Rachel: I wanted it work out too. They were adorable and fun and I think the dynamic was great. I think it actually makes sense that theyíre putting me back with Max because itís realistic. I havenít been with him for like two and half years in real time, God knows what that is in soap time. Itís feasible, you know? He never broke my heart, I kind of broke his and I just think it makes sense.
Soaps.com: Aside from the whole sleeping with her grandmother thing, what were your thoughts on Chelsea and Daniel as a couple?
Rachel: On one hand, it made sense because she never really did have the closeness with Bo, so thereís the whole father complex or whatever. UmÖI donít know. I had an issue with it because I look at myself and I know Iím twenty-four, but I still look like Iím seventeen and I still feel like Iím eighteen. For me to kind of call upon this maturity to be convincingly old enough and mature enough to play opposite this guy, it was really hard and I almost didnít buy it so I was like how is anybody else going to buy it? That being said, I love working with Shawn (Christian, Daniel). Shawn is one of the coolest people Iíve ever worked with. Heís just really down to earth, we have a lot in common and he was fun to work with. In that aspect, I did enjoy the characters together. I found ways to make it work, but to me it was never going to last.
Of course towards the end of the storyline too, I enjoyed the more maturity of the material that I was given, that Chelsea was dealing with. I liked that they were pulling her away from the young teen storyline. Itís not that I have anything against the teen storyline, but now that they were kind of taking me back there after I had been with an older man, that I found kind of hard to justify too. But itís a soap, Iíve been on the show for four years, you have to make story and itís hard to keep things consistent sometimes as a writer when thereís so many. I donít mean to criticize everything that they do, I know their job is hard, but it was just hard to keep the consistency of the character with all the different paths she was going down.
Soaps.com: Also, with all the behind the scenes shakeups the last couple of years I imagine it would be hard to keep that consistency.
Rachel: Yeah, youíre dealing with different writers and the writer we had before Dena Higley I think was putting me with Daniel and that was making sense so far and when Dena came, I donít know what her vision was, but obviously it wasnít for Daniel and Chelsea because they spilt us up. Then I think they were hinting at me getting back with Nick and I just had a problem with that because I thought it kind of depreciated the character because she had grown up and matured and I think it just would have made her in a sense seem pathetic because, okay, Iím going to leave this guy who broke my heart because he slept with my grandma to go back to a guy who did the same thing? I think if you want to focus on why a character would do that, if youíre going to go into that storyline, by all means, write me back with Nick. If weíre going to explore the psychology of that, because otherwise I canít justify that. So, thatís my opinion on it all. (laughs)
In our final installment of Soaps.comís interview with Rachel Melvin, the actress talks about the story she would have liked to have seen for Chelsea, what she learned during her time on Days and the possibility of going to another soap.
Soaps.com: Is there a story arc you would have liked to have played out for Chelsea that you didnít get a chance to?
Rachel: After the breakup with Daniel I wanted her to go through something. I wanted her to go through, this is going to sound so jaded, I wanted her to go through an anti-man thing. I think thatís something every girl in the world can relate to and she had a special circumstance where it wasnít even a guy leaving her for someone else, it was a guy leaving her for her mom and grandma! Itís like the worst of circumstances and I think it would have been interesting to see how a young girl copes with heartbreak. If you really think about why we all watch TV, itís to watch the love stories because of issues in our lives and I think however she wanted to deal with that, I think it would have been interesting to see her turn to drugs; I think it would have been interesting to see her turn to alcohol, because those are things people my age in those given scenarios could foreseeable do. I think that makes for great story too. I donít think theyíve really delved into those two topics that much.
Soaps.com: Yeah, usually when people break up on soaps they just end up with somebody new the next day.
Rachel: And thatís not realistic. Iíve been single for three years! (laughs) I think thatís why ďSex in the CityĒ was such an amazing show, because it was so relatable and real.
Soaps.com: Many former soap actors who go on to primetime or movies often cite what a great training ground soaps are. What has been the most beneficial thing youíve learned as an actor working on Days?
Rachel: The biggest thing Iíve learned is really just the mechanics of acting and itís just memorizing the lines as fast as we do and learning how to apply emotion as quickly as we do. I think thatís going to end up paying off more so for booking the next job because it gives you kind of an upper hand in auditions.
Iíve also kind of learned who I am as an actor and as a person the last four years on the show so when I go into auditions now I donít go into them the same way. Iím not as nervous, I mean sometimes I am, but Iím not nervous and I donít let other peopleís demeanor or appearance intimidate me. I am what I am, I do what I do, if you like it youíll take it and if you donít someone else will. That is a mentality, even to this day, I still struggle to maintain, but back four years ago, itís a mentality I never thought I would be able to obtain. I think over the last four years Iíve worked with so many different people with so many different attitudes, demeanors, mentality, work ethic and you just pick and choose what each person does or doesnít do and if you want to do it or not do it or behave this way or behave that way; you kind of pick until what makes you who you are and as professional as you are. I definitely learned a lot from people I worked with.
Soaps.com: Would you consider working on another soap?
Rachel: At this point I want to focus on Primetime or independent features or features in general. I kind of need a break from working so much because what happens is...you lose your objectivity. Like right now I feel like my whole life is Chelsea; I feel like I am Chelsea and I need to break away from that. I think I want to take some time off. Would I go on a soap again in the future? I canít really say. Four years ago I didnít know if I would be on a soap at all. If I was going to be on a soap, ideally I would love to be on one in New York just because it would be a reason to live there and a steady income and I know itís an expensive city to live in and I think that would be a great experience. But Iím going to stick it out in L.A. for a couple of years and give it my all and see what happens because Iím young and nowís the time.
Soaps.com: Is there anything you would like to say to fans of yours and Chelseaís?
Rachel: I guess just thank you for all your support and encouragement and belief and I hope you still continue to have it in my future whatever I might do.
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