Molly Burnett has come along way since starting in the role of Melanie Layton on DAYS OF OUR LIVES in July, 2008. To say fan reaction was negative would be an understatement. But through much endurance, patience, and good humor, this delightful talent has turned the tables and impressed fans and critics alike.
We Love Soaps: I want to say how much I’m enjoying your performance on the show. When you started on the show, a lot of people were not necessarily welcoming towards you.
Molly Burnett: I got booed [last year] at Day of Days.
We Love Soaps: Seriously?
Molly Burnett: Openly booed. My dad was there, I had never been to a fan event before, I was super nervous, and I said [in crying voice], “Oh my God I’m never going to do this again!”
We Love Soaps: Why do you think people responded to Melanie like that?
Molly Burnett: I think it was a lot of things. I came out of nowhere, I had an attitude, I was rude to Bo and Hope and I was jerking my brother [Max] around. Also John and Marlena were leaving and people were like, “They’re putting on these dumb new people and getting rid of the veterans that we love.” Plus I was a troublemaker! You just wanted to strangle me in the beginning, you just wanted to smack me around.
We Love Soaps: You were really getting booed. Did you ever take that personally?
Molly Burnett: Yeah, in the beginning. My mom would call me she’d be so upset, she read the blogs. I said, “Mom, first of all you have to turn off the computer. Second of all, I’m supposed to be awful.”
We Love Soaps: How did you cope with that level of hostility being directed to you at a fan event?
Molly Burnett: That was tough. But my dad was there and [he gave me] the sign for, “I love you.” He did that, and I thought, “I’m going to be okay.”
We Love Soaps: This year I’m sure the response is going to be very different. You have really turned it around. How did you do that?
Molly Burnett: I think Maggie really helped Melanie’s character. And they started writing things more funny than manipulative. Or, I started to play against the writing, I started to make it more comical. So now it’s like, “Oh Melanie you’re such a dork,” instead of, “Melanie, get your brother out of jail!”
We Love Soaps: Was it a conscious decision on your part to shift the audience’s reaction to Melanie?
Molly Burnett: I want it to be interesting to watch. If I’m being a total jerk and it’s interesting because you want to punch her through the screen, then I just want to entertain, I want people to have a good time watching.
We Love Soaps: For me the turning point was a scene in the Brady Pub in which Stephanie had made a comment about Melanie’s sexual past. And Melanie reacted by saying, “You know what I’ve been through, how could you say that about me?” That was the moment I got on Melanie’s side. Do you remember that scene?
Molly Burnett: I do, my dad was there that day.
We Love Soaps: Did you know that could be a pivotal scene that could get us behind her?
Molly Burnett: It makes sense. I didn’t think about it like that. I just thought about all the awful things that happened to Melanie when she was younger. She says to Stephanie, “Are you kidding me, you can’t say that about people?” I wanted to bring that across.
EDITOR'S NOTE: So did she get booed this year? I interviewed Molly immediately after the Day of Days fan event this year. Find out what the audience reaction was by pressing here.
For more interviews from the DAYS set, check these links:
Taylor Spreitler (Mia)
Eric Martsolf (Brady)
Mark Hapka (Nathan)
Shelley Hennig (Stephanie)
Casey Deidrick (Chad)
Damon L. Jacobs is a Marriage Family Therapist practicing in New York City, and the author of "Absolutely Should-less: The Secret to Living the Stress-Free Life You Deserve". He has started blogging again at www.shouldless.com..
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