Days of our Lives has thrown quite a lot of intense material at new cast member Lindsay Arnold since she took on the role of Allie Horton in mid-2020. Starting with an unwanted pregnancy, the character's storyline quickly evolved to include messy adoption questions, being in the center of a long-lasting rivalry between Sami (Alison Sweeney) and Nicole (Arianne Zucker), and allegations of rape. It's all tough subject matter, but Arnold -- who is brand new to the daytime world -- has handled it beautifully.
"I really enjoyed having that as my first storyline," the actress says of her crazy introduction to DAYS. "I think I've pretty much worked with every character that's been on [the show] this past year, and I've been in scenes with almost everyone, even if I haven't maybe directly spoken to them, and I think that's really cool. I don't know if that's common or not, but I feel really lucky that I got to work with so many people who've been on the show for so long in my first couple of months of being on it. So, I really loved doing that and getting to meet everyone."
Having grown up in Provo, Utah, Arnold began acting at a young age and has credits like Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Blindspot. Days of our Lives is her first major acting role, though -- and she admits that it has been a learning curve.
"I didn't know a ton of the history because I didn't watch the show religiously. My grandparents watched it, though, so I would watch it when I was there if it was on. But it's a lot of history -- even for the people who have been on the show forever -- to understand and to take in," she says. "I had to do a lot of research once I got the role and started needing to understand different relationships and such. So, I didn't know too much. I knew Marlena's [Deidre Hall] character, I knew a little about Ali Sweeney. I knew some of the characters and recognized them, but I had a lot of homework to do when I started."
As for what it's been like for Arnold to work with veterans like Sweeney and Bryan Dattilo (Lucas Horton), she confesses that she gets asked that question a lot. But she happily answers -- and gives a pretty good representation of her TV parents' personalities while doing so.
"Working with Bryan, he's very different from his character. Up until we start shooting, he's goofing off, he's being funny, he's making jokes, he's saying all types of random things, and then as soon as we start, he's like in and ready to go with lines, very serious. So, that's always fun," she enthuses. "But I wasn't expecting that the first day. I remember when I first worked with him, I was so nervous. I had one of my earlier scenes with him, and he was all of a sudden joking around with me, and I was like, 'You need to relax, because I don't think I can joke around yet. I have to be serious.' I wanted to joke around and laugh, but at the same time, I was like, 'I'm taking my job seriously, guys!'"
Working with Sweeney, says Arnold, is a completely opposite experience. "She's still really fun, but at the same time, we work similarly in the sense that we run our lines before we go, we're a little bit more serious," the actress shares. "So, it's really fun when the three of us work together, because we all kind of loosen up and joke around a little more when Bryan is there, because that's what he's always doing himself."
Considering Arnold's heavy storyline -- both in terms of the amount and the mood -- it's a godsend to have the comic relief that Dattilo provides. For instance, when asked what she's learned about herself through her experience on DAYS, the actress says that all of the serious material has made her realize just how emotional she can be.
"I learned I can cry pretty easily! And I feel like that has transpired to my real life, where I am crying a lot more just on the daily now. Something will happen, and I'm like, 'Why is this affecting me so much?!'" she says with a laugh. "And I think it's just because my brain is like, 'Girl, you are always crying at work.' I don't even know. But I think it has made me appreciate my days off a little more. There is always so much emotion happening when we are on set, so it is nice to be in my real life, because my real life is very chill and very relaxed compared to what I'm doing when I'm at work in this high intensity [environment]. So, it makes you appreciate your own calmness in your life a little bit more."
Depending on how you look at it, it's either a good thing or a bad thing that Allie's life will continue to be rocky in the year ahead. One the one hand, it means Arnold will have plenty more tears to get used to in 2021. But on the other hand, it means DAYS viewers will keep getting the juicy material that they've been loving this past year. Shaky times are a-coming though, and Arnold hopes that Allie will grow up just a bit in the months ahead.
"I think [Allie's New Year's] resolution should be to be a little less impulsive!" the actress shares. "To think a little bit more before she acts. And to give herself more time to understand situations before she makes any decisions."
What do you think about the material that DAYS has given Arnold since she debuted as Allie in June of 2020? What do you hope for the character in 2021? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.