Soap Opera Digest: When did you first start thinking about leaving?
Marci Miller: You know, I started thinking about it about nine months ago, when I was in the midst of the [Abigail/Laura/Gabby] storyline, honestly. It is a lot of work and it’s a big challenge. I was excited about the idea of getting to try some other things. I mean, this is a beautiful job and it’s opened up a lot of opportunities for growth and learning. I got excited to be able to kind of try out all of these things that I learned in other parts of the industry.
Digest: There was such a reaction from the fans and your own castmates to the news of your exit. How did you feel to see how upset they were?
Miller: You don’t ever want anybody to be upset, but it was validating in the sense of like, “Oh, I’m so glad to hear that I served a purpose there,” you know? You go to work every day and we’re kind of in this basement of a place and you bury your head and just show up to work every day and I forget that there’s a whole group of people that are actually witnessing everything that you’re doing every day. It felt really good in a way to feel like they cared.
Digest: How would you describe your final days on the show?
Miller: Oh, it was so sad! I kept telling people that it’s amazing what kind of perspective shift that is because things that were challenging or things that were difficult or frustrating or anything, all of these components of the show just become so dear. I really was intentional about thinking, “Okay, this is the last couple of times I’m gonna sit in this makeup chair. This is the last time I’m gonna be talking to these people.” It was very bittersweet because I love the people and I really do love the job and I love the character. There are a lot of things that were really hard for me to let go of, but at the same time, I knew it was something that I needed to do just to continue to grow as an artist and a person. Just expand and grow.
Digest: Was there anything the show could have done to keep you?
Miller: No, there wasn’t. They asked if there was anything they could do to keep me and I said, “No.” I told my agents that I didn’t want to hear anything about any money, I didn’t want to hear anything about anything. I have the utmost respect for the show. I left on the most beautiful terms. It always will be dear to me for the rest of my life, but I just wanted to go and try something different and that was it. That’s why I didn’t want to hear any numbers or anything because I know I have the affection that I have for them, and I knew I wanted to go, too.
Digest: Who did you have there with you on your last day?
Miller: Oh, my gosh, everybody! Everybody! I didn’t even know that people were out there watching my scenes and stuff. After my last scenes, Sal Stowers [Lani] was standing there with this big, gorgeous bouquet of sunflowers and Christopher Sean [Paul] and Marnie Saitta [casting director] and Missy Reeves [Jennifer] came out, and Billy [Flynn, Chad] and Camila [Banus, Gabi] … Everybody was there! Lamon Archey [Eli] came in on his day off, Sal was not working that day and she came in on her day off. It was incredible! I couldn’t have felt more loved. It was really a sweet experience to have.
You’ve Got A Friend: “They’re gonna come with me for my life,” says Miller of her castmates, including Billy Flynn (Chad).
True Blue: Miller was touched that Lamon Archey (Eli) and Sal Stowers (Lani) came in for her last scenes on their day off.
Digest: Kate Mansi is coming back to play Abigail. How did you feel about that?
Miller: I was thrilled! Honestly, from the very beginning, I said the best-case scenario was for her to come back, because you care so much about a character and it’s hard to hand that off and so you become protective. She’s been here and she cared as much about it as I did, so it was really exciting for me to hear that it was her. We both have a very mutual respect for each other and the character and the job. I think the world of her and I wish her nothing but the best. I told her to call me if she has questions about anything, whatever she needs; I’m totally on her team!
Digest: What’s it like to wake up now and not have the responsibility of playing Abigail?
Miller: For the first week or so, I would say I felt a little blue. I felt a little sad because there’s something about that structure that I really appreciated. But now that I’m outside of it, and I have kept in touch with people to a degree, I’ve had time to fill myself up, whether it’s through listening to things or reading. There’s a lot of life that goes on the back burner because the job is so demanding, and it’s great that it is what it is, but it’s been just so sweet to have the time.
Digest: Are you actively auditioning or taking a little time off?
Miller: It’s a combination of both. I’m taking some time, but I’ve also been writing some things and kicking around the idea of stepping into a little bit of a producing role and that sort of thing. I think I’m going to do a play with Tyler Christopher [Stefan] here in the next month or something like that. There are some question marks, nothing officially officially nailed down, but there are things brewing.
Digest: What would you say you miss the most?
Miller: Hands down, the people. In two years, I really grew to love everybody more than I could have ever hoped and really believe it was reciprocated. I’ve seen Sal multiple times, I’ve talked to Billy on the phone multiple times, I see Missy Reeves … They’re gonna come with me for my life. And I know that and that helps a lot.
Digest: Anything you don’t miss?
Miller: Waking up at 5:40 in the morning Monday through Friday!
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