Days of our Lives' Marci Miller (Abigail Deveraux) hasn't even been in Salem a full two years, but she's already making quite a mark for herself in the world of daytime. Her raw talent allowed her to win over fans who couldn't quite imagine an actress replacing Abigail's former portrayer, Kate Mansi. And now it has landed the 28-year-old a Daytime Emmy nomination in the Lead Actress category. Neither was an easy feat, so the actress has quite a lot to be proud of -- though humble and surprised seemed to be the foremost emotions when she chatted with Soap Central shortly after the nominations were announced.
Soap Central: Congratulations, Marci! How does it feel to be nominated in this amazing category?
Marci Miller: It's crazy! I am totally shocked. I didn't see it coming at all, and to be with this specific lineup that I'm with, such talented women who have done so much in soaps. I'm totally honored and shocked. It's a total "pinch me" moment.
Soap Central: How did you find out you'd been nominated? Did you see the live announcement on The Talk?
Miller: You know, I had gotten the times mixed up. I knew the announcement was going to be made, but for some reason, I wasn't thinking it would air on the East Coast before it would air on the West Coast. I was sitting in my living room, and I had some people coming over -- not to do anything related to the Emmys, just to do some work -- and I got a text from my friend that just said, "Congratulations." And I was like, "Whoa, what?" It completely came out of nowhere. And she said, "You just got nominated! It's all over Twitter." So, it totally caught me way off guard.
Soap Central: How cool that you were with friends at the moment, so you weren't alone and had someone to share your joy with!
Miller: Well, it was funny because actually I was about ready to do a Facebook live cooking show with a friend and some other people that I didn't know, and I thought I was going to find out who had been nominated in the middle of the show, while filming. So, they wound up coming over and ended up getting to be a part of it and made me feel good and all that stuff. They talked about it a little in their Facebook live video. It was cool.
Soap Central: So, did you have embarrassingly crazy extra energy in that show? I don't think I could contain myself and cook normally after hearing such incredible news!
Miller: Oh, my gosh, I felt so out of it! I couldn't do what I was supposed to do and felt like I was measuring the wrong amounts of things. I was so discombobulated, because all I could think about was this huge thing that had happened and wanting to communicate it to the people I wanted to communicate it with and feeling a desire and an obligation to congratulate the other nominees and take the time to do all the things I felt like I needed to do. But I couldn't!
Soap Central: As soon as you were done filming, who did you call first to share the good news with?
Miller: I tried to text my husband [Ryan Matteson], but he was in the middle of stuff and couldn't pick up at the time. So, then I called my mom, but she didn't answer, so I shot her a text all in caps: "MOM, I JUST GOT NOMINATED FOR AN EMMY. I'M HAVING A HEART ATTACK!" So, she called me back moments later.
Soap Central: So, what scenes did you end up submitting?
Miller: I picked an argument Abby had with Missy Reeves [Jennifer Horton] over the Dario [Jordi Vilasuso] wedding, because I was going to marry him to keep him from being deported and all of that. So, it's a scene with Missy, where she's trying to get me to stay, and it gets very heated. I love working with her. And then I submitted scenes with Billy Flynn [Chad DiMera] after the vow renewal breakup. And I just adore him. He's so phenomenal in those scenes, and it's one of those instances where you're just so grateful for what your partner is doing because it gives you your performance. Those are probably my favorite scenes from last year. Then I submitted some scenes during the Chad and Abby wedding. There was a little soliloquy-type thing where it was just me and Rob Wilson [ex-Ben Weston] at the end of the aisle, and I go and do a little bit of a monologue, and I end up running down the aisle, and I punch him in the face. And then I also submitted one little tidbit, a scene with Jordi Vilasuso, who's also amazing. I had just filed for divorce from Chad.
Soap Central: What was the process like of choosing the scenes for your reel? Was it a tough decision for you? You had so much great material last year!
Miller: You know, it kind of was difficult because I'm not very good at being organized, and I'm still new at all of this. This is my first full calendar year of being in soaps, so I'm not really hip to all the little tricks like paying attention if I have a really good shoot. Some people will set aside a script so they can keep track over the course of the year. I didn't do any of that, unfortunately, so I had to really sift through and go back through these episodes. I think I probably glanced at almost every single episode that aired for me last year, just to make sure I wasn't missing something. Because, quite frankly, I didn't think I had a shot at being nominated. But I thought, "Well, if I'm going to go for it, I'm going to make sure I'm not missing anything that I feel like I want to submit. I'm going to have to pull out all of the stops to even get a shot at it." It was a long process.
Soap Central: What made you decide to submit in the Lead category? It always seems like such a struggle for many actors each year, whether to go Supporting or Lead. Did you also struggle with that question?
Miller: I was hesitant about it, but the reality is that Abby is [a lead]. It's a situation where I want to make sure that I'm doing what is appropriate and fair for me and appropriate and fair for my fellow actors. I knew that Abby was a lead character on the show. She is heavily involved in what's going on, she's airing a lot, she gets good story, and I think she has an impact on the show and a lot of the other characters and stories on the show. So, I just felt it made sense. And I confirmed with the publicity office and kind of asked if I should submit Supporting or Lead, and they said definitely Lead. And Billy has also submitted as a Lead in the past, so I took some cues from him, as well, because obviously Chad and Abigail are very involved in a lot of the storyline. So that's why I decided Lead.
Soap Central: You're the sole actress in the Lead category, but DAYS is actually represented in every acting category this year. Do you have a good feeling?
Miller: It's so amazing! And of course I have a good feeling! It was so awesome to sit down and watch all these reels, because everybody works so hard. This is not an easy job, and it is so cool to have a minute and celebrate all the work that has been done this year. I get to witness that with my coworkers, because I watch them come in every day and get back up on the horse and do their work and do their thing. I think we have a lot of really talented people that I'm so proud to be associated with, so I do have a really good feeling. But granted, the work from the people on the other shows was also really outstanding and really cool to watch. I felt like I was at an acting master class or something! I was really taking note of some of the things the other people were doing, because you do that when you watch other things: you get inspired, and you think, "Oh, I could go there! I could see incorporating some of that." It was a really cool thing to get to observe other people's work.
Soap Central: Did you see the tweet Billy Flynn sent out about you? A lot of people felt he got snubbed because he didn't get the nomination, but he said he still feels like a winner because you and James Reynolds [Abe Carver] were nominated.
Miller: Yes, I did see it! And he had texted me earlier in the day and congratulated me and communicated that it was very much a win for him that I had gotten nominated. He is a great person to work with and beyond that has become a very dear friend. I never doubt that he cares and is supportive and really genuinely is rooting me on -- and that is such a cool thing. I messaged him back and said he had a hand in all this. It's not lost on me that it's a team effort. We show up every day, and we work together to make something, and he has been a very big part of what I did last year. So, I'm grateful to him.
Soap Central: I'm assuming you'll probably take your husband as your date to the ceremony again?
Miller: Yes. Actually, my text to him was, "Hey, will you be my date to the Emmys?" That's how I told him about my nomination. So, yes, he will absolutely be my date.
Soap Central: He seemed like such the perfect date last year. I remember he carried your purse, he ordered you pizza. Like, dream man!
Miller: Yes! And actually, I have my nose pierced -- I don't wear it a lot because I can't wear it for the show, so I just leave it out -- but I was like, "I want to wear my nose ring for the Emmys!" So, the day of the Emmys, he ran to the mall and bought me a nose ring and brought it to me on the red carpet. And at the Emmys, right before I walked the red carpet, he was helping me put it in. It was so funny! He's such a team player. He's amazing, and I give him a lot of credit for this, too, because he sees the ups, he sees the downs, he sees the days that I'm frustrated or tired. But he's also there when I feel like I've done good work and I'm feeling good about stuff. So, it's really special to me to be able to bring him; he's been a part of my journey since way before I was ever on a soap. He was the man I went to when I said, "I think I want to move to L.A." So, we were reminiscing about those moments [the night I was nominated] and talked about how profound and cool it is for us to be here and say, "Man, we were just a couple of kids living in Louisville, Kentucky, who decided to go, and we went, and now here we are!" It's really fun for us.
Soap Central: A lot of the recent major award shows have kind of had a bit of a political slant. Would you like to see the daytime community use the Daytime Emmy Awards as a political platform, as well? Or do you think it's not the place for that?
Miller: Oh, I think it's cool. People have varying opinions about that, but I think any opportunity to communicate love and stand up for each other and encourage each other is a wonderful thing. People have different ways that they like to do that, and if some people want to get up there and give some speeches that are political and get into it, more power to them! I will cheer them on the whole way. But I also understand and think it's really sweet and lovely to get up there and take the time to just show some gratitude to the people who have made a real impression on you and to just honor them. A lot of people do a lot of work for us to be able to do what we do every day, and I'm really cool with however they want to swing it; I'm on board!
What do you think about Miller receiving an Outstanding Lead Actress nomination in this year's Daytime Emmy Awards race? Do you think she has a shot at winning? We want to hear from you -- so drop your comments in the Comments section below, tweet about it on Twitter, share it on Facebook, or chat about it on our Message Boards.