'Abbott Elementary': Lisa Ann Walter Shows Melissa's Softer Side

Lisa Ann Walter talks about her character's vulnerability in 'Abbott Elementary' returning for season 2 and what's in store for fans.

Lisa Ann Walter talks about her character's vulnerability in Abbott Elementary's season 2 return. The actress who plays second-grade teacher Melissa Schemmenti revealed that viewers will see a new side to her character, while also hinting at what's to come for the rest of the season. In an interview with Deadline, Walter talked about the "beautiful" bond her character formed with a student when she returned for the Abbott Primary season.

This episode focuses on Melissa and Jenny's (Quinta Brunson) class going head-to-head in the school's annual reading marathon. However, Melissa quickly realized, from her own experience, that addressing a student's reading difficulties and making reading fun was more important than winning a competition. "One thing that was true in Melissa's case was that she felt close to this little girl because she was also dyslexic growing up, so she understood and wanted to protect her," Walter reveals. "So it's a beautiful place to see a different side of her."

When asked how she sees the softer side of her personality, Walter explained that she was happy Shows a typical "tough" side. "With any character that's as tough as that, there's a reason. Toughness is protection. So anytime you're protecting something, it's because there's something to cover, there's a hole," she said. The actress also added that she tapped into her own personal struggles when delving into Melissa's weaknesses. She said:

“But for me personally, I never had a problem with reading. I was a fat kid in school. So I felt very vulnerable for that reason, in terms of being teased by other kids and feeling like I had to make up for it in some way. In my personal case, it was being tough and being funny.”

In the same interview, Walter revealed that her character's tenderness would begin to extend to the show's other main characters, especially Jenny and Jacob (Chris Pefetti). "Well, unlike Lisa, Melissa doesn't accept anyone new right away. None of them are trustworthy," Walter said, reiterating that she personally "want to hug everyone, especially young people, because I want them to feel safe , to be happy and to be loved, etc.” She likens the character’s mistrust to a maternal instinct, and goes on to explain that because she and teacher Barbara Howard (Shirley Lee Ralph) are largely Feel the coming and going of new teachers, so they are warming up while they stay in school. "But now that [Janine and Jacob] are staying, now that they're invested, they're actually getting better and they're listening to the old team. I think that's it this is. I think part of it is the protection that comes with 'you are now part of our team'. So you are one of them and we will protect you. ’” ^Walter also revealed what’s in store for the rest of season 2, suggesting viewers would love to see more romances in the series. “Well, I mean, obviously everyone wants to know about the romance. I will say that there were some interesting romantic moves before the season ended," Walter joked. "I won't say anything, but I think the audience will be very happy. ” While she wouldn’t reveal what specific scenes she’d be excited to see take place in the upcoming “big event,” she did reveal that the teachers are “just going to be enthusiastic” and that events back in time may be involved. Walter explained :

Abbott Elementary is a mock sitcom about the staff at an underfunded, predominantly black fictional school in Philadelphia. The ABC series, created by Brunson, won multiple Emmy Awards and won six Critics' Choice Award nomination. Season 2 premieres September 21, 2022. The series also stars Taylor James Williams as Gregory Eddy, Janelle James as Ava Coleman and William Stanford Davis as Mr. Johnson.

“Then the writers go, ‘Oh, there’s this great dynamic in between this kid and Mr. Johnson. Let’s bring that back in the middle of Season 3.’ So you never know when it’s going to show up. But little things with the different kid actors or small bits between the teachers will come back and we don’t know when it’s going to happen,”

Abbott Elementary is currently streaming on Disney+ and ABC Network. In the meantime, check out the official season 2 trailer below:

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