Interview: Marci Miller on Her Daytime Emmy Nom and Life After Days
Image: Jill Johnson/JPI
Marci Miller muses that if you can do soaps, you can do anything.
Marci Miller has had a long, sweet goodbye to her Days of our Lives character, Abigail Deveraux — from her last day on set in 2018 to the upcoming Daytime Emmy Awards in May. She’s capping off the two-year journey with the NBC soap with a second Daytime Emmy nomination that she’s seeing as a final celebration with her cast members. Miller spoke to Soaps.com recently to share how much the show meant to her, how Days of our Lives prepared her for life beyond daytime and what those next steps in her acting career look like. She’s incredibly grateful for what the show has given to her.
On Daytime Emmys nomination day, Miller decided to take a wait-and-see approach to find out if she was nominated. The news came the most fitting source possible — Billy Flynn, who played Chad DiMera.
“I didn’t even look it up. I knew that I would find out at some point that day if I did or didn’t [get nominated]. I just decided I was going to wait and whoever called me or texted me first, they were going to be the one that breaks the news — and it was Billy Flynn,” she revealed. “He called me in the middle of the day and the first thing he said was, ‘Congratulations on your nomination.’ That’s how I found out. Then he told me about everybody else, too. It was really cool.”
What Miller appreciates the most about this nomination is that everyone from her storyline will be celebrating together. It’s the perfect cap to her time on Days of our Lives.
“It’s fun to get to have a day to go back, see everyone and be together,” Miller said. “But also, everybody from my storyline was nominated and they all worked so hard — Tyler Christopher [Stefan DiMera], Billy Flynn, and Kate Mansi [Abigail DiMera]. That’s a big, big deal.”
Miller did take a different strategy this year with her Daytime Emmys reel. She wanted to honor the Dissociative Identity Disorder storyline, while still keeping grounded in Chad and Abby’s relationship.
“[I included] scenes where Abby finds out that she killed Andre and she realizes for the first time, so it’s scenes on the floor with Billy Flynn. It’s super heartbreaking for her and then she kind of transitions into another character at the end,” Miller explained. “Then I tucked in some scenes as this Gabby character that I played with Christopher [Sean, Paul Narita]. There’s this a series of scenes where Abby is sitting on the stairs and going crazy while two other personalities are duking it out in her head. There were also moments with Deidre [Hall, Dr. Marlena Evans] and transitioning into the Dr. Laura character. It’s always hard to know what’s it to put in because you can take many approaches.”
While the second nomination is an honor that she appreciates, what was more important to her was supporting Flynn on his last day on Days of our Lives. She went to the set to give him a loving send-off and complete the Chad and Abby story in her own way.
“I always knew I wanted to go in for Billy’s last day and the reality is when I decided to leave, I didn’t realize that I wouldn’t be finishing Abby’s story. So that part of it came as a bit of a shock to me that I wasn’t going to be able to follow this out because I thought they’d be able to wrap it out by the time I wanted to leave,” Miller confided. “It just wasn’t possible. Everybody did the best that they could with the scenario that they were in and it worked out marvelously.”
Going to set on Flynn’s final day gave Miller another chance to say goodbye to Abby since she left the character last May. It also gave her a new appreciation for her character after watching Kate Mansi complete the storyline.
“It’s been kind of nice to just gradually say goodbye to her. I liked getting to go and be there for somebody else. I got to root for Abby instead of myself as Abby,” she said. “It was actually really cool to watch someone else do it and, to get to observe this person, Abby, that I cared so much about.”
Leaving Days was not an easy decision for Miller and the time after exiting the show did leave seeds of doubt in her mind. However, she knows that the decision was the right one for her.
“The in-between times are not my favorite. I love to work, I love structure. I really thrive in that go, go, go environment, so to switch back into this more laid-back life has taken a little bit of adjustment,” Miller admitted. “I was expecting that and I had agreed to give myself a good month or two of not working at all, but’s still bittersweet. I had some days where I felt down without a doubt and I missed it. I always question, did I make the right decision?”
Miller has been working on consistently since she left the show and fans have a lot of fun projects to look forward to later this year and into 2020.
“I worked on a series for four or five months, the working title is No Livida. They’re going to try to start selling it and that will be a 10-part series,” she said. “I have a film that I shot January called Fear, it’s an incredible survival, thriller movie. Then in May, I start a new film two days after the Daytime Emmys.”
Her experience on Days of our Lives is one that has prepared her for the next stage of her career. Miller knows that working on a soap is some of the best training ground for any actor.
“I learned so much during my time there, I wouldn’t change it for the world. Even with the process of auditioning, I’m so much more comfortable in my own skin,” she shared. “The thing about soaps is that it really tests you as an actor. You learn what you can do and what you can’t do and that’s really valuable stuff to know. If you can do soaps, you can do anything.”
Before her last celebration with her co-workers at the Daytime Emmys in May, Miller wanted to share one final moment of appreciation about what the Days of our Lives experience has represented in her life and career.
“I want people to know that they have meant so much to me and I don’t know exactly what my future looks like,” she summed up. “The two years that I spent with this group of people, fans, co-workers, cast and crew, they really did change my life.”
The 2019 Daytime Emmy Awards will be held at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium Sunday, May 5, 2019. Soaps.com will be hosting on the red carpet and watching along with the fans. We’ll also be dishing on social media. Our readers can follow along on @soapoperafan on Twitter, in addition to @SheKnowsSoaps on Facebook, and over on Soaps.com’s official Instagram page.