Marci Miller reflects on her journey from "pipsqueak" to bonafide Days of our Lives star

Posted Monday, January 17, 2022 11:21:28 AM
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Days of our Lives' Marci Miller (Abigail Deveraux) opens up about what she's learned about herself and acting since joining the NBC soap as a newbie in 2016.

It's hard to believe it's been almost five years since Marci Miller joined Days of our Lives as a recast in the role of Abigail Deveraux. That time has gone by in the blink of an eye, with her early scenes feeling like they happened just yesterday. It's the same for the actress, who divulged in an interview with Soap Central that her memories of her first day on set are as clear as ever.

"I will always remember my first day, my very first day coming in, because I think it was Deidre's [Hall, Marlena Evans] 40th anniversary. That happened to land on my first day," Miller shares. "She had this whole film crew following her around and everything -- they were sort of documenting a day in her world on the show -- and I was this new pipsqueak of a person. She was literally two hair-and-makeup chairs down from me, and here I was, this new, afraid person in my dirty Converse -- I had ridden my bicycle to the set -- and then there was this woman who I had been watching for so long, and she had this camera crew, and the juxtaposition between the two of us was really cool and made that day really, really special. I'll never forget it."

But it's not just that interesting night and day juxtaposition between Hall and herself that Miller marvels at; it's the whole reality that she's on Days of our Lives in the first place.

"My mother watched the show, and so throughout my childhood and high school and whatnot, these faces have been sort of a part of my living room and a part of my atmosphere to some degree," she explains. "I never thought I'd live in L.A., I never thought I'd be an actor, I never thought any of these things, and now I'm here and I'm suddenly a part of this environment, a part of this legacy, generational thing. It's really cool."

As for what she's learned about herself since joining DAYS half a decade ago, Miller says the job has given her the ability to examine her real-life relationships in an entirely different way.

"Being an actor, you're constantly hashing through all of these specific relationships, and they are relationships that run parallel to relationships that you have in your own life," she says. "I have a husband on the show, and I have a husband in real life, and I have a father on the show, and I have a father in real life, and a mother and grandparents, and all of these things. So, there are a lot of opportunities, and there are moments that land a little more profoundly that do make me think about these other relationships, like, 'How am I communicating? How am I taking care of that? What are things that I'm getting from this faux version of my father or my husband or my grandmother that I'm not getting in real life?'"

She describes that new way of thinking as a real tool, both for her acting and in maintaining her personal connections.

"There is a level of catharsis and therapeutic such and such that takes place," she reveals. "We're actors -- that's why we like to do this thing. We like to constantly be exploring and looking at relationships and people from a variety of different angles."

Miller also opens up about sharing the screen with her two Salem mothers, Melissa Reeves and Cady McClain, the latter of whom temporarily stepped in as Jennifer during the pandemic.

"I adore Missy and there is never and will never be a replacement for Missy, but Cady [came] in and just left just such a unique stamp," the actress enthuses. "[Cady's] a director, too, so, she has another way that she is always looking at all of these scenes and the characters and their interactions, and I do see the difference in her approach, and it inspires me."

She adds, "Missy took a genuine interest in my actual life as a person outside of work, and Cady did, also, but from a different perspective. Cady's [interest was] more sort of the professional, career, artist side of me -- she fed that -- and Missy was this maternal [being who was] interested just in my life and who I am. I mean, Cady did that, too, but yeah... I wish that we could have both of them all the time!"

[Editor's Note: The above quotes are from a previously unpublished December 2020 interview with Miller.]

What do you think about Marci Miller's memories of her first day on set as Abigail? What are your thoughts on how she's transformed from "a pipsqueak of a person" to a performer who is intimately connected to how she relates to her on-screen family members and off-screen family members? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.

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