DAYS’s Rachel Melvin (Chelsea) bid farewell to Salem on May 6, but she’ll be back to wrap up Max’s storyline later this month. The actress spoke to Digest about her “final” days on set. Soap Opera Digest: How does it feel to be leaving the show?
Melvin: It’s very bittersweet. There was a lot of buildup for me leaving — this had been in the back of my mind for a year, it had been official for a month and now it was final. I think that the fact that I didn’t know when I would act professionally again was kind of haunting and scary and at the end of the day, that’s what made the final scenes more emotional. Plus, I was saying good-bye to people I had been working with for so long. I’m a believer that anyone you would miss, you’ll keep in touch with them, so that’s what I plan to do. But I may never be playing Chelsea ever again and it’s saying good-bye to that character. I was on the show for four years. It’s like I was graduating from high school again.
Digest: Looking back, can you believe it’s been four years?
Melvin: The last four years were fun and I lived in the moment and I appreciated it when it happened, and now it’s over and it’s like, “Holy crap. Those four years flew by.” You try not to dwell on it, but it was super-fun and I learned a lot. I grew as an actor and learned the business and made relationships.
Digest: What was your final scene with Peter Reckell (Bo) like?
Melvin: My last scene with Peter was a little difficult because it was almost like a kid going off to college because I was super-excited and Peter was not. This is my observation, which could be inaccurate, but I think he was sad in the last scene and I don’t think he wanted to show it or for me to see it. He’s kind of like my dad in real life. Peter was awesome. He always said such nice things to me. He’s happy for me, but we’re going to miss working together because we had a special something.
Digest: What will you miss the most?
Melvin: I definitely think I’ll miss working every day. I’m kind of a workaholic. It’s easy to fall into the laziness of sleeping till noon every day and it annoys me. I like to have to wake up to go to work.
Digest: What is is like to audition again?
Melvin: It’s weird, Blake Berris [ex-Nick] and I were talking about how you leave a soap and you think, “I was a working actor for four consecutive years and I’m conditioned on a daily basis and I’ve done the hardest parts of acting there is,” which is working on daytime, and you go in to the audition room with, for lack of a better word, a little cockiness. I think the audition process is fun and daytime really helps to prepare you for that. I didn’t feel like I had an amazing pilot season, but I auditioned for four movies between the months of January and March and out of those four, I met with all of the producers. I was put on hold for three out of those four and one of the three, I was cast. It’s an independent movie that’s really cool. It’s supposed to film next month. I’m really excited about it.
Digest: What have you done since leaving?
Melvin: I moved into Los Angeles and I am so much happier on this side of the world. But now I have to budget, which sucks [laughs].
Digest: Any final thoughts?
Melvin: I am so appreciative to Ken [Corday, executive producer] and [Former Casting Director] Fran Bascom. I had an amazing time the last four years and I am nothing but grateful for everything I learned and for Ken’s generosity in letting me go and offering a position to come back if that should be the case.