Throwback Thursday!

#TBT - Alison Sweeney

Credit: Getty

Alison Sweeney’s favorite subject is “lunch,” closely followed by English. Even chemistry is okay — “in its own chemistry-ish way,” says the 16-year-old actress. Although she put in incredibly long hours on DAYS OF OUR LIVES for someone her age, Sweeney won’t say it’s the hardest she’s ever worked. “Don’t underestimate school. Some days, I’m seriously thankful I’m going to work. It’s not easier, but to some extent, I like it more.”

Sweeney plays Sami Brady, the recently returned and all grown-up daughter of Roman and Marlena. A junior at a private prep school in Pasadena, Sweeney hints that her teachers are concerned that she can’t balance her career and her education. “Sometimes teachers aren’t too understanding,” she says. “They want you to do their homework first and then do whatever else your life entails. They’re not sure I’m going to be able to juggle both.” But her grades are “decent. I pass — B’s, some C’s, some A’s.”

Co-star Bryan Dattilo (Lucas) admits that Sweeney creates a high-energy presence on the set. “She’s always got a thousand things to do. She can’t get her thoughts out fast enough,” he says. “Her motors are always going. She’s not always like 240, though.” 240? “Yeah,” Dattilo says. “Like 240 mph. Is my dad the only one who uses that expression?”

As a four-year-old raconteur in preschool, Sweeney caught the attention of her first “talent scout” — her teacher. Sweeney recalls, “When I was in preschool, I used to tell stories. My teacher tried to get me in [show] business and suggested it to my mom.” Sweeney’s first job was a Kodak commercial, and she subsequently did a number of other commercials and guested on the sitcoms WEBSTER and PUNKY BREWSTER.

Her family is small. She has two brothers, but Sweeney is extremely reticent to talk about any of her relatives. Her little brother is, she says, “a little brother, but he’s a really cool kid.” But she refuses to disclose information about her parents or her 22-year-old brother, whom she says requested anonymity . “My dad’s a businessman. He’s a suit.” What kind? “I don’t know the name of his job. He’ s a businessman. That’s what he does. He does business.” As for her mother, she says, “Don’t print what she does because it’s a small profession and easy to get names.”

She is more open about her personal beliefs. Raised Roman Catholic, Sweeney takes classes at church to learn more about the religion. “I have problems with [the church’s] basic principles, like [its position on] abortion. But [overall, the church] is changing, which is why I’m sticking it out. In Chinese religion, you take little pieces of every religion that’s offered and you make your own religion. So I kind of have my own religion. I believe in being a good Christian.”

When she has free time, Sweeney likes skiing (both snow and water), riding her horse, Apparition, watching Disney movies and listening to music. “My range of music spans from ‘Les Miz’ [Les Miserables] to ‘Phantom’ [Phantom of the Opera] to the band Nine Inch Nails.” While Sweeney claims she doesn’t have time for a boyfriend, she also admits that she’s keeping her eyes open for one. “But I think right now I’m happy about being myself, being single and just being with my friends.”

On the set, she hangs out with Christie Clark (Carrie) and Patrick Muldoon (Austin) — “I call him ‘Trick.’ He’s not a ‘Pat.’ ” Will anything happen between Sami and Austin? This minor knows all the rules. “It’s illegal. That’s gonna stop it right in its tracks. Plus, Sami is 15 and Austin’s in his early 20s. That’s sick.” Nevertheless, “I didn’t want to make Sami a good Brady. She has good values, but she’s got a conniving side to her. She’s not so different from what I am.”

Except that Sami has an agenda, and Sweeney admits, “I’m working on tomorrow. This foresight thing is kind of a problem, considering my memory is basically nonexistent. It’s much easier. When people ask you questions you say, ‘I don’t remember.’ Then they’ll get used to it and stop asking.”

Just The Facts

Birthday: September 19

Nickname: Alley Cat

Most Sami-like Behavior: Buying under 12 tickets for R-rated movies

Film Credit: A young Dyan Cannon in The End of Innocence. “Working with [Cannon] as a director taught me a lot,” Sweeney says. “She didn’t push you, but she would be like, ‘I know you can do this because the reason I hired you is because you are the best.’ So you would think, ‘Oh I can do this, can’t I?’ and you did it.”

Rules DAYS Must Obey: “I’m a minor. They can only work me ten-and-a-half hours. There’s a tutor on the set, and every day I’m not working I go to school.”

About That Beauty Salon Scene With Deidre Hall: “I looked like a lioness. I hope they don’t do that again.”