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‘Abbott Elementary’ Star Lisa Ann Walter Reveals Why She Was Worried Women Would ‘Hate’ Melissa

Abbott Elementary Star Lisa Walter Reveals Why She Was Worried Women Would Hate Melissa 930
Lisa Ann Walter. Disney/Pamela Littky

Lisa Ann Walter’s character Melissa turned over a new page in the third season of Abbott Elementary — and it had the actress a little nervous.

While speaking to The Wrap in a Thursday, April 18 interview, Walter shared that she was concerned about the reaction audiences might have to Melissa breaking up with her boyfriend, Gary (Bruno Amato), in the show’s season premiere.

 “I was really afraid that American women would … hate Melissa for being so cavalier about throwing away a good man, especially at a certain age,” Walter explained. “Women don’t quite often say, ‘This is what I want, I like the fact that I see you three nights a week. I want to sleep in my own bed.’ And [creator Quinta Brunson] was right — people responded like, ‘Good for you.'”

The Parent Trap star added that she didn’t have any conversations with Brunson, 34, about the breakup but she did get an apology from the show’s creator.

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“We worked on opposite days, so I didn’t really see her,” Walter recounted. “After we shot the scene… she goes, ‘I hope you didn’t mind that we turned you into kind of a hoe,’ and I really meant when I said, ‘No, that’s funny.'”

Abbott Elementary Star Lisa Walter Reveals Why She Was Worried Women Would Hate Melissa 929
Disney/Gilles Mingasson

Melissa and Gary fans can take heart, though. Walter hinted that this might not be the last time the duo are romantically entangled. “I hope that we’ll have plenty of seasons to explore that,” Walter said, “because, you never know, sometimes you change your mind.”

In February, ABC announced that Abbott Elementary had been picked up for a fourth season, a move that made Walter — an acting veteran — feel secure for the first time in her career. The actress, who appeared in movies  like The Parent Trap and Bruce Almighty, shared with People that she didn’t consider herself “a star” in the industry.

“I was the woman that made you cry in The Parent Trap, and you’re still looking for a job the next week,” Walter explained. “So honestly, feeling safe? The season 4 pickup of Abbott.”

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Walter added that her role in the critically acclaimed ABC show has afforded her the chance to have new experiences with her kids, Jordan, 36, Delia, 32, and twins Spencer and Simon, 23. The family went on their first trip to Italy last summer.

“Just because you’re in a movie doesn’t mean you’re rich,” she said. “I had not been able to afford taking my kids on a vacation outside of taking them to the San Diego Zoo, or to go skiing locally. This was the first time I was able to have everybody go on a trip.”

Abbott Elementary airs on ABC Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET and is available to stream on Hulu the next day.

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