“Little House on the Prairie” star Alison Arngrim spent seven seasons as Nellie Oleson. In some episodes, viewers of the series saw Nellie clash with Laura Ingalls (Melissa Gilbert).
The role of Arngrim gradually gained her a reputation as an off-screen “bad girl”
Arngrim was auditioning for other roles in Little House on the Prairie, like many child actors. She disclosed that, at some point, she decided to play her on-screen nemesis.
For ‘Laura Ingalls’, Alison Arngrim auditioned
When she was young, Arngrim’s acting career began.
Before she was booked for “Little House on the Prairie,” Arngrim appeared in TV advertisements. She tried out as Laura Ingalls when Arngrim first auditioned for a part in the series.
The role would have made Arngrim the main character, as Laura and her family are the subject of most of the series.
The actor also auditioned for the part of Mary Ingalls, the older sister of Laura.
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In the end, Arngrim landed the Nellie role.
Arngrim started to be acknowledged for her character almost immediately. Arngrim said that the public had trouble distinguishing her from Nellie in a 2018 interview with From the Desk.
Additionally, after looking for roles outside of the series, she found herself typecast.
Although she got a lot of criticism for playing Nellie, Arngrim said she never had any issues with the role. Long after the series ended, she still did not like being typecast.
I can’t honestly say that I’ve ever been really “I honestly can’t say I was ever really ” with Nellie, including being typecast,” about Nellie, including being typecast,” “I always loved the character and thought it was the funniest thing ever to be cast as the villain.”
Why did Alison Arngrim choose ‘Nellie Oleson’ to play?
Arngrim went on to state that she was happy with her ‘Little House on the Prairie’ character during the interview.
By playing Nellie, Arngrim allowed Gilbert to become Laura Ingalls.
Arngrim and Gilbert became close friends over the course of the season.
In puberty and adulthood, their relationship lasted.
“I’m so glad I didn’t have the burden of having to play a “good” person all those years,” she said. “I think that would have been exhausting!”
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In addition, Arngrim said she thinks each actor chosen for the series made their characters unique.
She says, decades later, that she is still remembered for Nellie’s part. She also expressed that since she was the central character of the story, Gilbert faces the same fate.
Arngrim said, “When you look at the reaction of viewers 40 plus years later, you can see how each of us has made our character ‘iconic’ and forever identified with our individual performances,” “‘Laura Ingalls Wilder’ will always conjure up the face of Melissa Gilbert in the minds of millions of people.
“Alison Arngrim said that she was “proud” to play “Nellie Oleson.
The series continues to reach new viewers, as ‘Little House on the Prairie’ lives on in syndication. The full series was introduced on Amazon Prime in April 2020.
Arngrim said new fans appear to express their feelings about Nellie years after the episodes were made.
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About her character, Arngrim said she cares deeply for Nellie. She also shared how shocked she was to learn that new viewers were watching the series.
“I was and still am very proud of the work I did as Nellie,” she said. “I really thought when the series ended in the ’80s that people would eventually, you know, “move on.” But of course they didn’t.
Between all the years of reruns, cable, VHS, DVDs and now YouTube, Netflix and streaming, there are more people watching the show now than when it aired!!!”