Whether they’re playing twins, doppelgängers or long-ago relatives, many soap actors have been assigned a dual role, and Melissa Archer (Natalie) is one of several ONE LIFE TO LIVE actors to have performed double duty. As a companion to our upcoming “On The Double” feature in the July 27 issue of Digest, Archer shares her experience playing Maria Roberts during OLTL’s 1968 storyline two summers ago.
Soap Opera Digest: Were you excited for the chance to play Maria during the time travel storyline in 2008?
Melissa Archer: Are you kidding me? You’re talking to the girl who is excited about playing a remote in a parking lot! Absolutely! I was totally excited about it, especially about getting to wear the wig and the contacts to turn my eyes brown, and the darker makeup. It was really cool to be transformed. It was fun!
Digest: What went into a creating this role?
Archer: I did an accent. I can’t say that it was any good, I’m not gonna lie [laughs]. But I thought I made it kind of funny and cute.Digest: Did you familiarize yourself with her story when Barbara Luna played the character in the ’80s?
Archer: I did watch an episode or two that I found on YouTube so I could watch it and see how she was, but I wanted to put my own spin on it. The hardest thing to do is try to be somebody else.
Digest: What was the most challenging aspect of playing Maria?
Archer: Trying to not change accents. She was living in Texas but was supposed to be from Mexico.
Digest: What was your favorite thing about the character?
Archer: I liked the fact that she was a little feisty with Clint, a little firecracker. It was cute. And I liked her outfit [laughs].
Digest: Were you also in heavy story as Natalie at the same time?
Archer: Not that I remember. Natalie and Jared were sort of starting to suspect that Jessica was behaving strangely when she was Tess, but I don’t recall any crazy days where I had to do both roles.