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Melissa Reeves On Frances Reid (Sony article)
Topic Started: Jun 22 2010, 04:49 PM (1,361 Views)
LovingDays


Sony Interview

Melissa Reeves on Frances Reid

When Melissa Reeves left Salem, her character Jennifer was heading to work in London with her husband Jack. Melissa, on the other hand, was leaving for Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband Scott. Now, they're living a life in two cities, keeping their home in Nashville but staying in the Los Angeles area while Scott is working on General Hospital. "We're just going back and forth," Melissa told us. "It's kind of fun. It's so normal for us to not be in one place for very long. It's great. Now we can go between two places." And, since the floods in Nashville, they've been able to offer their home up to a couple who lost their own. "It kind of works out for us to be here," meaning Los Angeles, "right now but my husband is not going to give up the country life!"

Speaking of moving back and forth between locales, Jennifer has returned to Salem and, as Melissa said, it "was like when you're out of town and you return to see family. There are just so many stories to catch up on, especially seeing people like Mary Beth and Patsy. And Kristian, I just feel so connected to her. No matter what, no matter how much time passes. I feel like we always just go back into our rhythm once we see each other. That is just the best. But to see Mary Beth and Patsy and Charles Shaughnessy, it was just so incredible. I just missed Matt being there but I know he was doing Mamma Mia! so it was tough for him to be there. It was so emotional."

It was also especially emotional for Jennifer since she was so close to Alice. Fans of the show remember that Jennifer showed up in Salem as a teenager when her grandparents Tom and Alice took her in. Her father Bill was working and her mother Laure, "well, you know, Laura at the time was sort of crazy and in and out of the sanitarium," Melissa told us. Jennifer "never really had a great relationship with her or Bill. Alice took her in when she was a teenager and raised her. And during those years, as a teenager, those were crucial years for Jennifer. Alice stepped in Alice and Tom and raised her. So I think Alice was more of a mother to her than Laura, really, even though she loves Laura. Alice taught her everything about life. The funny thing is it was sort of like real life, too, because I was eighteen and Jennifer was sixteen or seventeen. I'd sit in Frances's room and we'd talk about who I was dating and the heartbreak! So it wasn't really very different from life. Just different words."

As close as Jennifer was to Alice, Melissa was to Frances, so the funeral scenes that she returned for were especially difficult. "They had this big picture of Frances sitting in a frame on an easel," Melissa said. "That was brutal. It was just brutal standing on that set and looking at that picture all day. We dress rehearsed it once and during dress rehearsal I lost it. I had to walk to the side and pull myself together. I just felt like I couldn't even go there. It was hard. I thought, if I go there, I'm not going to be able to do the scene. I'm going to be a mess. I have to pull it together and say my lines. I knew that I still had a job to do. But all of those personal feelings are right in the middle of it. It was probably the hardest acting I've ever done in twenty five years! It was really rough to separate the character from the person. They weren't asking us to do that but we still had to know our lines and get through the scene and not mess up. That was an interesting line to cross."

Certainly one of the reasons that Melissa was so close to Frances had to do with the bonding time that the two women spent. Melissa was only eighteen when she was first cast as Jennifer and Frances took the younger woman under her wing and advised her about the ways of life in Hollywood. "I would sit in her dressing room every day at Sunset-Gower and we would run lines together," Melissa told us with a smile. "She would give me all the ins and outs of Hollywood. It was when plastic surgery was getting super popular and she said, now, you have to promise me you'll never do anything like that! You just let your face do what it does naturally! Don't get caught up in all of that! I just thought that was so funny. I said, Frances, I'll never do it. I'll never do it! She said all of these lines are important; they mean different things in your life.

"She was such a world traveler," Melissa continued, "so she would tell me all about her trips that she would take. I just loved that about her. I told her, Frances, I want to be just like you when I grow up! I want to travel the world. And she was so in love with Emily. She went to Italy and she brought Emily back this little gold cross in a box. I thought it was so neat. I didn't even put it on her because she was so little when Frances got it for her, but she was just so sweet about me having Emily. I was only twenty five and Frances was still so young then, too. She just took me under her wing and taught me all about Hollywood. And I needed to learn it because I had no clue! I was right out of New Jersey! I did not know what I was doing!"

Melissa isn't the only person to have benefited from Frances's advise and input, and probably one of the reasons was "she was always very frank and honest with whatever she was feeling," Melissa told us, "which is such a great quality in Hollywood. There was nothing fake about Frances! You always knew where you stood. She told me don't ever come in here not knowing your lines. Don't ever be late. And that's old school. It's something you need to learn when you're young because now, good grief, people show up late all the time! And they don't know their lines! I thought, I wish Frances was still here!"

And what will Salem be like without Alice, or Frances? "It is sort of bittersweet and sad to think about," Melissa said. "It's just one of those moments where you go, I don't want to think about it. But that is the reality of it. But she and Mac will live on as I don't even know the right words to make them sound so special. But they were just the centerpiece of Days of our Lives. It revolved around them. But you know Frances. I know she was so happy to go. She was so independent and strong-spirited that the thought of anyone taking care of her, having to look after her, she probably hated every second of it. She had such an incredible will. I know that she's happier now for sure."

http://www.daysofourlives.com/specials/interviews_detail_4616.html
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dntdropthesoap
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Please have Jennifer come home to Salem for good!!!! Salem needs her.
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Spencer Hastings
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That definitely made me tear up! It seems like Melissa and Frances were especially close, it really shows here. Reading about how she had to step aside during dress rehearsal broke my little heart. I just love Melissa Reeves, such a class act.
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Days4Life


That is a beautiful article. I love Jennifer, but I think I love Melissa even more! I believe there's a lot of Melissa in the character of Jennifer, which is why she's always felt like such a genuine person to me and not just a soap character.

It seems like Melissa and Frances had a really lovely relationship. I can't imagine how difficult it was for her, and all the cast, to film these good-bye scenes.
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alstonboy4315
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"Even iron bends"..Victoria Rowell

I predict that TPIC will keep Jennifer/Melissa around indefinitely after the memorial is over with and they bury Alice.
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dylan76
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Missy seems like such a sweetheart. You could always tell the bond that she shared with Frances from their scenes together.
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ladyofthelake
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Professor-in-training

Melissa Reeves is one of the few actors who, when stating it feels like coming home, I believe. There's just something sincere about her. She just blends in so naturally.
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px780
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ladyofthelake
Jun 23 2010, 01:10 PM
Melissa Reeves is one of the few actors who, when stating it feels like coming home, I believe. There's just something sincere about her. She just blends in so naturally.
She does! I was never a Jennifer fan but as soon as she showed up again it felt right. I can't do any more Jack/Jennifer separation stuff but it'd be fun to have her around. She's a reporter or something right? It'd might be fun to involve her that way (like if she figured out the whole Hope/muggings thing...or the EJ/Anna thing...whatever).

Great article- thank you for posting.
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