Chinese immigrant Haley Chen isn’t alone in being willing to take big risks on DAYS OF OUR LIVES. Her portrayer, Thia Megia, admits that she’d been hesitant to even audition for the role but made the leap, anyway. “I was feeling really unsure whether or not I’d be able to do it, or if they’d even let me in the building because I had nothing on my resumé as far as acting goes,” she confided to Soaps In Depth. “It was my first time ever being in a television studio, so it was surreal that I was there.”
Having attended acting school and spent time producing music videos for YouTube, the former AMERICA’S GOT TALENT and AMERICAN IDOL contestant was at least comfortable enough around a camera to impress the soap’s producers. What she hadn’t been prepared for was being star-struck by the show’s veterans. “As a little girl, I would visit my grandma, and she would have DAYS on. I remember seeing scenes with Hope and Marlena,” Megia reflected. “Coming in on my first day, all the legends were in the makeup room. It was definitely nerve-wracking!”
However, just as Haley made trustworthy friends in Salem and was able to relax, so, too, did Megia. She credits a “laidback and down-to-Earth” Lucas Adams (ex-Tripp) for showing her how. “Doing scenes with him was just effortless,” she suggested. “I just felt the connection… The chemistry kind of did all the work.”
Despite its brevity, the Tripp/Haley/JJ love triangle had one particular benefit for the young woman. “What I think has changed the most about Haley is that because of JJ, Tripp and pretty much everyone else that has done a lot to help her,” Megia said, “she was able to finally let down her walls. That’s freed her in many ways.”
Her love life aside, Haley’s now in a position to relax and focus on her future. That means re-establishing her career, deciding where to live and, of course, getting that elusive green card. With a year now on the job and an intense storyline under her belt, Megia is able to exhale, too. “I’m a perfectionist,” she admitted, “but I’ve kinda stopped criticizing myself and started going with the flow.”
For more on your favorite DAYS stars, keep reading Soaps In Depth magazine.
This story originally appeared in our print magazine
Additional reporting by Michelle Moro Parkerton