Interview: Days of our Lives’ Molly Burnett

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Days of our Lives
stars Kristian Alfonso (Hope Brady), Bryan Dattilo (Lucas Horton) and Molly Burnett (Melanie Jonas) were in Toronto last week to meet fans and promote Days of our Lives 45 Years: A Celebration in Photos. We got a chance to speak with all three stars and here is our final interview, where Molly Burnett dishes the Melanie/Chad/Gabi triangle, her character’s progression from villain to sweetheart and what it’s like working alongside her real life boyfriend.

Melanie’s currently in this love triangle with Chad (Casey Deidrick) and Gabi (Camilla Banus). This week she’ll discover the earring that Gabi planted at Chad’s place. Given Melanie’s history, shouldn’t she be on to Gabi?
Yeah! Honestly, that was really a hard thing for me to pretend like Melanie wouldn’t be like “Gabi! Come here!” She’s very street-savvy and she picks up on this stuff but she also really loves Chad. Also, Gabi’s gone through a lot, her boyfriend broke up with her. She doesn’t know he’s gay, but he did break up with her. So, she’s kind of a mess and Gabi is one of Melanie’s friends. The way that I justified it is that Melanie and Chad are really strong and they really care about each other so she could see past it a little bit…for now.

How long is this triangle going to last? When will Chad and Melanie time?
You know what, it is Chad and Melanie time now.

Are you guys filming it now?
No, I mean, the triangle is still [being filmed]. It’s going to be awhile but the cool thing is that happy couples aren’t good TV, you know what I mean? So, what’s cool is that Chad and Melanie get to be in love! I get to work with Casey and we have these improv scenes where we just have fun and hopefully they’re fun to watch. There’s a little speed bump that we have to get over. I think it’s cool.

What’s it like acting opposite your real-life boyfriend (Casey Deidrick)?
You know what, we were a little worried. When you work with someone on the show, sometimes it really doesn’t translate on screen as well. I think we’ve gotten a pretty good reaction. I think people are liking it.

Speaking of on-screen chemistry, what do you think about the chemistry between Chad and Will (Chandler Massey)?
Oh my god! Everybody knows I’m a big “Chill” fan! You think that’s good? You should see Casey and Chandler’s chemistry when they’re sitting there and playing their video games! Nah! I’m just kidding. I think they’re so great. I think it’s been made pretty clear that he’s [Chad] straight. But, I would never ever be opposed to “Chill” if it were to happen down the line.

Melanie’s family ties have been changed quite a bit since your character first arrived in 2008. You were tied to the Brady’s because of Max, then you were revealed to be Daniel and Carly’s daughter. Now you’re also Maggie’s granddaughter. Do you think the writers wanted to make Melanie a member of a prominent family? Fans are always concerned about characters that are well connected to the core families.
Yeah, I wonder if it was a combination of things. Suzanne [Rogers; Maggie] and I have always had a strong chemistry since the beginning. So, the fact that they wrote in that she’s my grandma, three and a half years down the road is kind of a magical thing. It’s kind of cool! I think also, in this time period of soap operas hurting right now, it’s important to keep the big core families that everybody grew up with and fell in love with as a main part of the show. In order to keep characters that you’ve brought on and that you like, that the fans like, you gotta kinda put them in one of those families.

You’re character has matured quite a bit since you first came on.
I hope so!

She’s come a long way since being a villain.
Yeah, I know. I miss that though. I miss that old Melanie.

Maybe she should do something to Gabi?
I wouldn’t write that off yet!

It’s refreshing to see a completely platonic friendship like the one between Brady and Melanie. You don’t really see a lot of that on TV.
On TV, I feel like it’s always about sex! Eric Martsolf and I, one of our first scenes was on the pier and I was talking about how my dad was murdered and he was talking about how his dad left him. Our director comes out and says, “Now, you’re talking about dark things, but…you know, you want to bone each other still!” Eric and I look at each other and are like, “I’m sorry about your dad…do you wanna go do it?!”

[Laughs] We kinda tried to add that a little bit, but what it ended up being was just Brady always having Melanie’s back and vice versa. I just love Brady and Melanie’s relationship.

A lot of Days fans were surprised to see another side of you when you guest starred awhile back on True Blood. Do you have any other projects outside of Days at the moment?
Yeah, well Venice. Season 4, I think we’re going to start that up soon. CSI: New York, that’s going to air on April 27th, I believe. I play a little Irish vixen named Molly!

Oh wow.
Whose father was brutally murdered.

Oh, of course!
Yeah, that’s going to be exciting!

Do you have an accent for that role?
Oh no! I wish! But, that would have been pretty hard.

But then, Empire, the other web series that I did with Mark [Hapka; ex-Nathan], that should be airing pretty soon.

You must have other friends in the industry who are trying to land acting gigs. What’s the scene like out there in terms of new soap roles? Obviously new soap roles are diminishing.
In the industry itself, it’s so tough right now that any role . One of my best friends, Lindsey [Godfrey] has book a new role on The Bold and the Beautiful [as Caroline]. So that’s really exciting because I’ll get to see her at all the soap events!

Melanie’s relationships with her father, Daniel (Shawn Christian) and Maggie (Suzanne Rogers) are quite strong. Can we look forward to any family stuff?
It’s gotta be tough being a writer. There’s much pressure and there’s so many characters on the show. You’ve got to figure out a way to write everybody’s story and right now, I haven’t really been able to work with Shawn, Eric or Suzanne even.

You’re character has won over many fans this past while.
She’s a complicated character. You either love her or hate her. She’s different. She’s not the typical super stunning straight-laced gorgeous soap character! She’s quirky! She says stupid things.

Oh she’s still stunning.
[Laughs] Thank you very much!

Well, she’s different. She’s not everybody’s cup of tea and that’s alright!

What’s it like on set? Does everyone hang out?
We’re really a close-knit group. I’m very fortunate. Casey, Kate [Mansi; Abigail], Galen [Gering; Rafe], Eric, Ali [Sweeney; Sami] — Everybody, dude! Patrick Muldoon [Austin]! Oh my god, I love him! Christie Clark [Carrie] is such a doll. We’re all downstairs so we call it the dorm room. It’s really fun.

Days of our Lives airs weekdays on Global and NBC. Canadian fans can also catch up with the series online at GlobalTV.com, on demand or on their mobile devices. To read our interview with Kristian Alfonso (Hope), click here. To read our interview with Bryan Dattilo, click here.

For the latest in television news and pop culture, follow Jeevan on twitter, @JeevanBrar

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About Author

Jeevan Brar is a digital content producer and freelance entertainment writer based in Toronto. Jeevan has managed The TV Watercooler since 2008, the Canadian blog has focused on daytime soaps, primetime hits and reality TV guilty pleasures. The blog has also connected Canadian soap fans with exclusive interviews with the cast of enduring daytime dramas The Young and the Restless, Days of our Lives, General Hospital and The Bold and the Beautiful. 'Like' The TV Watercooler on Facebook. You can also follow Jeevan on Twitter and Google+.

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