Marci Miller’s second incarnation of Abigail Deveraux DiMera has been bolder and more brazen, a major shift from the sweet passive character she portrayed during her first run on of Days of our Lives. Considering the obstacles facing Abigail – in a word, Gwen, the timing couldn’t be better.
Marci Miller On Abby
What’s it been like playing the new improved Abby, rumbling with Emily O’Brien’s Gwen, and facing major “Chabby” strife with TV husband Billy Flynn (Chad)? Miller weighs in on all of it.
A New Improved Abigail
You’re playing Abigail with new energy this time around. You’re more forceful and in charge as an actress. Would you agree?
It’s definitely a different perspective. It’s not so much operating from a place of fear and feeling like I’ve got to prove myself here [at DAYS]. I’m already known, and what I do is already known and established. So I can let a lot of guards down. There’s a different level of comfortability for sure.
It totally works, since Abigail is being written bolder and stronger. How do you like the shift in the character?
I’m so grateful for it. It’s so fun to get to play that aspect of Abby. In my real life, I’m not a very confrontational person. I don’t find myself really telling people how it is on a regular basis. It’s been very liberating and fun for me as a person.
Slugging Things Out
And you’re getting to slug people, like the totally deserving Gwen. That punch looked very real.
That’s a situation where it takes two to tango, so to speak. My punch, my effort was great, but it was matched, if not surpassed, by Emily’s reaction to it. I pulled back and swung, but people were watching her face. It’s really a credit to Emily in a lot of ways.
Speaking of Emily, what’s it been like having a new nemesis?
I love it. I couldn’t have handpicked a better person. Emily is naturally gifted and so talented. She’s so committed. I trust every word that comes out of her mouth, whether it’s script or just random chit-chat. She also has a really strong work ethic and is a pro.
Were you and Billy happy that they stirred things up between your characters?
Yeah. We all know there’s always going to be that ebb and flow. As soon as things are looking great, it’s going to be a mess again. Sometimes fans want things to reside in that positive lovey-dovey space for a little longer, which I understand. I could get hip to that. I wouldn’t mind that. But it’s inevitable that we have to have hills and valleys in this whole thing.
The latest hill has been Laura’s (Jaime Lyn Bauer) death. How is Abby dealing with that, knowing Gwen was there when it happened?
It’s treacherous. It’s unforgivable. It’s like a nightmare. You think it couldn’t possibly get any worse, and then it gets worse. Gwen’s barometer for terrible just continues to grow. Abby thinks she can’t endure any more and then this woman and the world compound something else on top of her. It’s a darn miracle Abby is holding it together with this woman annihilating every aspect of her life.
Fortunately, Chad’s there to help Abby with the tragedy.
Yes, but she’s devastated. That’s the one thing that… Abby can figure out a way to get over Gwen sleeping with Chad. She can figure out a way to get over Gwen trying to be a nanny to her children, drugging her, and blah, blah, blah. But you killed my grandmother. That’s insurmountable.
Gwen ends up at the cemetery, after Laura’s funeral. How does that go down?
Tensions are high. Gwen shows up, and Abby has lingered to say her last goodbyes. So they end up at the gravesite, just the two of them, one on one. Abby, of course, is territorial. This is her grandmother. She’s like, “What are you doing here? I believe this happened at your hands.” Gwen has come to pay her respects, but Abby doesn’t believe anything that comes out of her mouth.
Will more punches be thrown?
It escalates. There’s an intervention. Somebody comes in and intervenes. So it doesn’t rise to a full-on catfight, but there are gestures toward it.
Things end with a great twist. Abby and Gabi (Camila Banus) decide to team up to bring down Gwen. What were your thoughts when you saw that in the script?
Anything that has to do with Camila, I’m all for it. I love working with this girl. She brings so much. She’s so alive. I know there are varied opinions from fans because Gabi is Abby’s worst enemy. But once I read it… it’s not a situation where Gabi and Abby become buddy-buddy. They’re working together because they have a common goal. But you still see the dissension and they make a lot of jabs at one another verbally. They’re not happy about working together, but it’s just circumstance.
Is it Abigail’s idea for them to work together?
Yes. She needs somebody with some chutzpah, somebody with cajones to do what she can’t do, and just the know-how. Abby has this burning desire to get revenge and payback.