Chelsea is no role model! She’s Salem’s newest bad girl. The girl you love to hate, the daughter from hell. But for Rachel Melvin, who plays Chelsea Benson on Days of our Lives, it’s all in a “Day’s” work. She is loving every second of it, and taking it all in minute by minute.
“I am so excited to be playing this role, but I will take it step by step,” Melvin said. “No one knows the future, and let’s just say for now, I’m real happy.”
Melvin’s character without a doubt has been through a lot. Her adoptive parents (The Bensons) were killed in a car accident. She found her biological mother (Billie), whom she despises. She’s not keen on her biological dad (Bo), and she loathes her step mom (Hope). She’s learning to deal with a new family, so what’s a girl to do? Well, she has turned into -- let’s just say -- every parents’ nightmare.
To top that off, she mowed down her little brother with a car and he eventually lost the fight for his life, leaving parents Bo and Hope devastated. She does the opposite of what she is told to do, and gets a thrill out of making everyone’s life miserable.
Soapdom needs to know, are you anything like Chelsea? “Well you know to a point I am,” she said, laughing. “I’m not reckless or perhaps homicidal or irrational like Chelsea, but I am outgoing and I like to explore. It’s all about being a teen,” Melvin continued. “I haven’t experienced in my life what Chelsea has. No kid should have to go through that. As bad as this sounds, perhaps Chelsea is acting normal. I don’t know how I’d handle this, if this was my real life.”
Melvin replaced Mandy Musgrave (previous Chelsea), who left Days to pursue other options. But the ironic twist is that Melvin was on Days of our Lives prior playing the character of Georgia, her actual birth name, in a scene with Julie Pinson (Billie), as her daughter.
“It all sort of makes sense. I already was on the show in a short scene and Julie remembered me as did some of the other cast. I guess you can say I fit in the chemistry,” Melvin said. “I also had the same agent as Mandy, so when she left, I was suggested to audition.”
Melvin was born in Chicago, but grew up in Arizona and always had a flare for the dramatics. While in eighth grade, she participated in Lip Sync and Mime.
She was a National Finalist for the “Teen Choice” Awards, a representative contest, and choreographed the Mountain Pointe Dance Company concerts in Arizona. She is also a former member of the Southwest Valley Youth Orchestra, where she studied and played violin.
Her impressive credits include co-starring roles on “8 Simple Rules” and “Jack and Bobby.” She recently completed the independent film “Boo” playing a lead role, and has extensive roots in musical theater.
Melvin credits her family with getting her started in the business. “I do! My parents back me all the way,” she said. “My dad said ‘look you’re eighteen, but look sixteen, and that’s what Hollywood wants.’ Also, I used to always be the attention getter in the family, so off I went.”
Melvin said that although someday she would like to attend college, for the moment her education plans are on hold. She wants to focus her career on acting. Saying, “After all, that is what I wanted to do all my life.”
She said that when she turned the legal age in Arizona to gamble, she won $600 at Bingo and put that money toward acting lessons.
Aspiring actors take note! You've got to hone your craft to get that first break. Try Melvin's trick. Play a little bingo. But play responsibly, and use your winnings to get some acting coaching or a plane ticket to LA or NY to meet with casting directors and coaches.
Every weekend Melvin would fly to California to study before eventually settling in LA to try her luck.
“It worked out pretty well for me. I didn’t wait tables long. You know...I used to work at the Outback, and this may sound strange, but I love waitressing,” Melvin said. “Then, when this call came through for Chelsea, there was no looking back.”
Melvin auditioned for Chelsea, did the producer session, and finally screen tested for the role. Admitting that she didn’t want to get her hopes up on winning the role, she just left with a good feeling.
“This is the business. There are heart breaks,” Melvin said. “Right now...all I can say is that I’m trying to do the best job I can. Everyday is something new, and I’m constantly learning more about Chelsea.”
Melvin admitted that she would like to see Chelsea mellow out a bit with a positive change and perhaps work through her bitterness. Also, she added that working with Peter Reckell (Bo) and Kristian Alfonso (Hope) has been the greatest experience.
“They’re such pros. I feel so comfortable around them,” Melvin said. “There here are times they help and guide me. Constructive criticism is great, especially when someone like Peter or Kristian is giving the advice. It helps you grow.”
Melvin’s goals include doing films, and continuing to explore what the acting world has in terms of offers to come her way. In her spare time, she enjoys string instruments and wants to play the violin more and even learn the guitar.
Soapdom asked, any message to your fans? “Well, first Chelsea is no role model, and everything happens for a reason and will work out in the end. Also, think before you do, and understand the consequence that can come from your actions. I learned that from my mom. Oops! They’re calling me to the set. Bye!”
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