‘Days of Our Lives’ Star Marci Miller on Abby’s Return: ‘Shock Is Definitely an Understatement’

Marci Miller as Abigail Deveraux, Billy Flynn as Chad DiMera (Credit: Chris Haston/NBC)
Marci Miller as Abigail Deveraux, Billy Flynn as Chad DiMera. (Credit: Chris Haston/NBC)

She’ll make her first appearance as Abigail Deveraux on Nov. 10, but Yahoo TV has an exclusive first photo of Days of Our Lives supercouple “Chabby,” as played by Marci Miller and Billy Flynn as Chad DiMera.

Miller’s debut — she replaces Kate Mansi, who left the role in June — should provide plenty of storyline shocks in Salem, as both Abby’s love, Chad, and her mom, Jennifer, presume her to be dead. “They all really think that she’s gone,” Miller tells Yahoo TV. “They’ve gone through the process of finding out, grieving, mourning, and started a path to healing, like anybody does after something like that, and to then be broadsided… ‘Shock’ is definitely an understatement.

“Imagine if you had a child, or a mother, or a loved one that you thought was dead, and then, all of a sudden, there they are! When I think about it personally, it’s almost unrelatable. My emotional life almost can’t grasp what that would even look like, or what that would be like. They were really interesting first scenes to play, because as an actor, Marci comes to the show, and some of the first encounters that I have with [the cast] are them seeing me for the first time back from the dead.”

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Miller is making her soap opera debut with the DOOL role, but it’s certainly not her first connection to Days. Her mom is a longtime fan of the NBC series, and she says she grew up watching alongside her. “I remember seeing Marlena being held captive by Stefano, and all that,” Miller says. “Actually, since I started working on the show, I found out that my sister is named after Kayla Brady. I never knew that; my sister never knew that… So the show has been a part of life for many, many years. My mom is [thrilled]. She’s constantly trying to get all kinds of tidbits out of me!”

James Scott, Kate Mansi (Credit: NBC)
James Scott as EJ DiMera, Kate Mansi as Abby on ‘Days.’ (Credit: NBC)

Speaking of previews, Miller can’t share specifics about Abby’s return, or whether or not the show will acknowledge that the character looks very different from the previous incarnation of Abby, but she can tell us that her preparation for stepping into the role includes trying to craft an Abby that Days fans can relate to. “Abby and Chad are married now, and I’m a married person, and in my married time, I feel like it’s interesting how your personality kind of molds and is shaped by that relationship,” Miller says. “You wind up having this common ground, where sometimes I’ll do things that are similar to what my husband does, and he’ll do things that are similar to what I would do. I’m not necessarily imitating Chad, but I definitely try to let some of his personality seep into the Abigail character a little bit. I hope that’s evident to people. It’s partially my own personality, and my own thoughts about things, but it’s also a conscious choice of making her a little bit down to earth.

“I just want her to be relatable,” continues Miller. “I want people to be able to say, ‘Yeah, that story is important to me, and I’m learning from it.’ That’s why we wind up doing this work in the first place.”

After explaining her absence to her favorite Salemites, Abigail may face a new challenge right away: Chad has been getting extra chummy with Camila Banus’s Gabi as of late, which could complicate how smoothly Chabby’s reunion goes.

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Miller says she feels confident fans will continue to embrace the character whatever comes her way, and hints that viewers should expect lots of juicy storylines ahead. “There’s an amount of pressure, inevitably, in a recast,” the actress teases. “Initially, I think I was a little bit nervous, and maybe even a touch intimidated, but as I got started, it’s been such a pleasant surprise. The fans have been so warm, and so welcoming, and there’s really been such a positive foundation that’s been laid with the Abigail character, and the relationship between she and Chad. I feel like I hit the jackpot, because it’s deep, it’s complex, it’s fun, it’s heartbreaking … there’s just so much to it, and I’m really grateful to get the opportunity to play with it.”

Days of Our Lives airs weekdays on NBC; check local listings.