Friday, February 06, 2009

Interview AMC: Melissa Clair Egan Enjoys Going Off the Deep End

When Melissa Claire Egan was 12 years old, she made her debut on All My Children as an extra during a baseball game. She never could have imagined then that years later she would play resident psycho Annie Lavery.

Melissa says: “I kind of watched the show on and off when I was growing up, like when Erica was married to Dimitri, that whole time. And I remember Sarah Michelle Gellar being Kendall. I was about 12 or 13 at the time, and they asked if I wanted to be an extra. I remember it was a baseball game with Olivia and Trevor. My parents still have the VHS tape of it. It was only one day of shooting, but it was so much fun. I had a blast.”

If possible, Melissa is having even more fun as of late playing Annie. Annie used to be a good, straight-laced character. But then, as often happens to the good guys on soaps, something inside her snapped. In the course of trying to save her marriage and keep her family together, she killed her brother, Richie, tried to kill Greenlee, killed Di Henry in self-defense, stabbed Erica Kane, tried to strangle Ryan … and the list goes on.

Although the residents of Pine Valley might be up in arms, Melissa, however, is loving every minute of it: “The whole switcharoo of her becoming manipulative and dangerous has been a lot of fun. It’s been nice switching it around, being the bad one and causing trouble for a change.”

Melissa is grateful that this newfound craziness didn’t just happen overnight. She explains: “I like that it is very well written and that we can see where it all comes from. You can see that all of her choices were based on good decisions, but the way she goes about handling it is by making bad decisions. It all kind of spirals down for her. It came from somewhere, but it all went too far.”

Another perk of being off-kilter is the fun it produces on the set. “It’s great fighting with Greenlee all the time. I love Rebecca, so being able to fight with her, and going back and forth with her, is always fun. It’s nice to have this different take on my character.”

With the help of Aidan, who also got himself institutionalized in order to keep an eye on Annie, will she finally be able to reel in “the crazy” and rein in her murderous tendencies? “I remember saying that it should have been Annie’s New Year’s resolution to not murder or attempt to murder anyone anymore. She’s just trying to kill everyone lately, isn’t she?”