Soap Opera Digest: So, what are you up to these days?
Melissa Gallo: I’ve been super busy with work the past month or two and then I just got a dog, a French mastiff [named Bella].
Digest: Wow, those get huge.
Gallo: Yeah, she’ll probably get to be about 115 [pounds]. But for big dogs, they’re really so chill. Some people are like, “I can’t believe you have a big dog in your apartment,” but she doesn’t run around, she doesn’t bark, she just likes to sleep off the day. She’s my first dog, so I’m pretty obsessed with her. She’s so easy and so spoiled. If I take her to the park for a couple hours, that’s it, she’s dying. She sleeps the rest of the day.
Digest: Why did you choose a mastiff?
Gallo: I looked at Yorkies, but I thought, “No, I’m such a klutz.” I’d get the really runt one and be the one who steps on my dog and breaks it [laughs]. But then Bella just sort of came up — some relatives changed their minds and decided they didn’t want her — and David [Fumero, Cristian] has three French mastiffs at his parents’ house and I fell in love with them, so when Bella came up, I wanted her.
Digest: What made you decide to get a dog in the first place?
Gallo: I always wanted a dog growing up, but our parents wouldn’t let us have one because they didn’t think my brother and I would take care of it. So, I was always in the backyard at the fence with the dog next door, talking to it and playing with it. I was just dog crazy. Shortly after I got the show about two years ago, I had my own apartment and I wasn’t working a lot. I was so used to having a schedule that made me kind of stir-crazy, working different days and different hours and not having a set schedule. So, I thought it would be a really good time to get a dog, to bring some order to my life and take the focus off me for a while. I just wanted to do something for something else.Digest: But now you’re working a lot more, right?
Gallo: The last two months I’ve been working more than I did the whole two years I’ve been there. And, of course, it happens right when I get a dog [laughs]. But it’s great. I love it. And I like what they’re doing with my character, that she’s not so goody-two-shoes. I feel like she’s more human. Before, she was like the good girl all-around, kind of the same thing over and over again. Now, she’s more real to me. She’s not perfect. She’s got flaws. She can be a bitch, but she’s got reasons. In real life, somebody who’s been through all that she’s been through would be a little messed up. It’s just more interesting and I’ve been having a lot more fun with it. My scenes with Robin [Strasser, Dorian] have been a lot more fun with the constant bickering because at first, they just had Adriana really accept her as a mother and I was like, “I don’t know…” So now they’re finally playing that there’s definitely something wrong that she abandoned her and it’s all coming out. It makes it a lot more fun.
Digest: It seems like they’ve really only started to play that mother/daughter dynamic.
Gallo: Yeah, there’s so much left to say. We’ve sort of touched upon it, but it’s not resolved, so she’s just angry at her mother about everything. That’s sort of where you have to go to find the middle ground. But it’s fun because every time I work with Robin it’s like, “Attitude!”