Catching Up With ... Lisa Trusel (ex-Melissa, DAYS)

Lisa Trusel returns to DAYS this week when Melissa comes to Salem for Mickey’s funeral. The actress talked to Digest about coming home to the set she grew up on from 1982-’88. Digest: Were you surprised to get the call to return?

Trusel: I was shocked. I was like, “You guys still remember me?” I still have the same phone number, which is really amazing. I was like, “How did you find me?” Because I’m not working with an agent or anything. I haven’t been pursuing acting, so it was very unexpected and I had a blast. It was great to seeing everyone: Suzanne [Rogers, Maggie], Kristian [Alfonso, Hope] and Peter [Reckell, Bo]. And some new faces.

Digest: Were you sad to learn Mickey would be dying?

Trusel: At first, I was a little panicked because I thought maybe John [Clarke, ex-Mickey] had died because I haven’t heard a lot about him. And then they reassured me right away that he hadn’t.

Digest: Did you know Melissa had a son, Nathan?

Trusel: Not until they said, “You have a son.” And then I went online and I looked up the actor [Mark Hapka] and saw that he had come on. And he was very nice. I think we kind of look alike now that my hair is dark. Hopefully, he’ll need his mom back in town every now and then.
Digest: Would you come back?

Trusel: I would love to. It would be a totally different story in dealing with a child because I never got to do that because I was a child the last time around. I grew up on that show. I started when I was 14. I met [my husband] David [Wallace, ex-Tod] there on the set. Instead of the normal high school memories you have, those are my memories. At the time, I didn’t want to leave the show when they let me go, but I was glad to be able to be home to raise my children and be a mom. That has been the greatest blessing ever and I would never change that.

Digest: Tell us about your kids.

Trusel: I was 18 when David and I got married and we started kind of quick. We’re still together! 23 years! Ryan Elizabeth is 20; I had her at 21. She’s married and is starting her own floral business. Benjamin is 17 and a football player; he’s huge. We call him ‘The Beast’. He is 6’5”, 270 pounds and a starting offensive lineman. He got a letter of interest from UCLA and three other letters and this spring, we’re hoping he’s going to get recruited by a big school, so he’s working out every day. Emma is 15 and is my little dancer; she’s a ballerina and we’re busy with her performances. She’s tall and thin and can do dancing or modeling. We tried it with Ryan when she was younger, but she just wasn’t the dancer. So when it came to Emma, I didn’t even start. I waited and she came to me and asked me. By 5, she was running around the house in tutus and ballet shoes. And Joe just turned 13 and picked up golf, which is totally random because none of us golf. He joined golf little league and he’s obsessed; he golfs like four times a week. He just loves it. They’re a lot of fun. It’s been a blast.
Digest: And David?

Trusel: David’s great. He dabbled a little bit in trying to make some independent films with a partner of his. It’s not really the bread and butter. He’s an electrical contractor; he has his own business. And that’s gone really well and enabled me to stay at home, which has been great. We’re just so thankful that we’re together. We have so many friends and couples who have not lasted and especially coming from the acting background, it’s not always the case that you stay together. It’s not easy, but it’s definitely worth it.

Digest: Now that Ryan is married, are you ready to be a grandmother?

Trusel: I am; I would love it! I can’t wait. But we’re trying not to pressure them too much!

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