The ‘Days of Our Lives’ star on leaving the soap and penning her newest novel, Scared Scriptless.
For the better part of her 37 years, actress Alison Sweeney has lived a double life: her own, and that of Sami Brady, the vindictive and manipulative — yet somehow totally charming — star of NBC’s “Days of Our Lives.” She’s calling it quits later this year, ending a 21-year run to focus on her various other roles — she also hosts “The Biggest Loser” and is a mother of two — and promote her newest novel, Scared Scriptless, out this month.
I remember my audition and first day [on the ‘Days of Our Lives’ set] very clearly. It was with the girl who played my sister, Christie [Clark], and the guy who played Austin. It was a scene about getting in trouble — I was sneaking in late at night through a window and my ‘dad’ held a gun to my head. I think that was my first line: ‘Daddy, don’t shoot me.’
I was at my junior prom [the first time I got recognized]. I went with Bryan [Dattilo], who played Lucas on the show, and we were recognized together by someone on the wait staff — she was so excited, she was such a fan.
[Scared Scriptless takes place] in Hollywood; it’s what I know. I love peeling back the curtain and giving readers a feel for what that reality is — not just for actors but for the crew — when their call time is, what they have to do and what they do to make a movie special. One of the first things you learn when you come out to Hollywood is that every job is just as important [as the next].
I thought of the title in the middle of the night — I woke up at 2 a.m. and was like, ‘That’s it!’ I wrote to my agent and he saw the timestamp [on my email] and was like, ‘Are you crazy?’ But I had been playing around with different words for a while and then I think something in my dream triggered it and it came to me.
Writing the second book was a lot harder in some ways. The first novel [The Star Attraction, 2013] I took years to write — I had all this time and never expected it to be published. I was writing for me and I had no one to answer to. Then [writing] the second novel I was like, ‘Wait, I have a deadline? I have to run the story by someone first?!’
Catch “Days of Our Lives” weekdays on NBC and find Scared Scriptless at Barnes & Noble locations citywide.