It’s tough for one “Little House on the Prairie” actor to see star Melissa Gilbert seemingly always having to live up to her TV role.
Alison Arngrim, who played Nellie Oleson on the NBC family series, feels a lot of heartfelt sympathy toward her costar.
“It’s actually freed me up to say and do stuff get away with things that I couldn’t normally if I was this America’s sweetheart nice girl,” Arngrim said in a 2016 interview for Pop Goes The Culture TV. “So I am very sympathetic to Melissa Gilbert. Can you imagine having to live with that Laura Ingalls thing on your head?
‘Little House on the Prairie’ Star Says ‘It’s Horrible’ What Main Actor Faces All The Time
“I mean its Laura, Laura, Laura and its ‘Oh, she’s perfect,'” Arngrim said. “If the girl has, like, PMS one day it’s suddenly, ‘Oh, how can you be so cruel. You’re Laura Ingalls.’ The woman cannot get a headache. It’s like she has to be perfect all the time. It’s horrible.”
Arngrim wrote about her life on “Little House on the Prairie” and beyond in her book, “Confessions of a Prairie B—h: How I Survived Nellie Oleson and Learned to Love Being Hated.”
In her own life beyond acting, Arngrim is an activist for AIDS awareness and child abuse. She herself revealed in her book that she is an incest survivor.
Gilbert Opened Up About Facing Her Own Isuses With Prescription Drugs
While Arngrim offers her sympathy for Gilbert, the “Little House on the Prairie” star talked about the battles she faced with addiction.
Gilbert focuses on keeping children and teenagers aware of the incredible dangers of drug abuse. She spoke at length about it during a 2012 interview with Entertainment Tonight.
She wants people to know about the dangers of prescription drugs, not just other illegal drugs.
“(Prescription drugs) are actually even easier to abuse because they’re easier to get a hold of,” Gilbert said. “If you’re a parent, or you have a prescription at home, you can sneak in and take it. As opposed to having to find a dealer and going out and buying the drugs. There’s a lot less effort involved, I think, for kids.”
She continues to be recognized around the world for her Laura Ingalls role. But she’s gone ahead to forge a life beyond that one defining moment in her acting life.