Why Alison Arngrim Is ‘So Glad’ She Did not Get the Component of ‘Laura Ingalls’

Little House on the Prairie star Alison Arngrim performed Nellie Oleson for 7 seasons. Viewers of the sequence viewed as Nellie feuded with Laura Ingalls (Melissa Gilbert) in many episodes. Arngrim’s character sooner or later gave her a “mean girl” status off-display screen. 

Like numerous baby actors, Arngrim auditioned for other characters on Very little Home on the Prairie. She unveiled that, at one point, she preferred to enjoy her on-display screen arch-nemesis. 

"The Campout" Episode 9 -- Aired 11/19/1975 -- Pictured: (l-r) Alison Arngrim as Nellie Oleson, Melissa Gilbert as Laura Ingalls Wilder
Alison Arngrim as Nellie Oleson, Melissa Gilbert as Laura Ingalls Wilder| NBCU Photo Bank

Alison Arngrim auditioned for ‘Laura Ingalls’

Arngrim’s acting career started when she was young. Right before she booked Small House on the Prairie, Arngrim appeared in Television set commercials. When Arngrim 1st auditioned to be on the show, she tried out out for Laura Ingalls. The job would’ve built Arngrim the major character, as significantly of the series focuses on Laura and her loved ones. The actor also auditioned to be Laura’s more mature sister, Mary Ingalls. 

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In the long run, Arngrim received the element of Nellie. Virtually quickly, Arngrim started to get acknowledged for her character. In a 2018 job interview with From the Desk, Arngrim stated that the public had issues separating her from Nellie. In addition, she located herself typecasted after she appeared for roles outdoors of the series. 

Whilst she obtained flack for actively playing Nellie, Arrngrim stated she never had any troubles with the character. She also didn’t intellect finding typecasted lengthy following the series finished. 

“I actually simply cannot say I was at any time truly “bitter” about Nellie, even with the typecasting,” she stated. “I usually cherished the character and thought it was the most hilarious matter at any time that I experienced been cast as a villain.”

Why Alison Arngrim favored taking part in ‘Nellie Oleson’

Throughout her interview, Arngrim continued to say that she feels good about her Minor Dwelling on the Prairie character. By playing Nellie, Arngrim permitted Gilbert to grow to be Laura Ingalls. During the collection, Arngrim and Gilbert turned near mates. Their friendship ongoing into their adolescence and adulthood. 

“I am so happy I didn’t have the stress of obtaining to perform a “nice” man or woman for all people a long time,” she explained. “I imagine it would have been exhausting!”

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Furthermore, Arngrim stated she believes that every single actor chosen for the sequence built their figures particular. A long time afterwards, she stated she however receives recognized for playing Nellie. She also shared that Gilbert faces the identical fate, as she was the show’s central character. 

“If you glance at the response of viewers 40 as well as years later, you can see how each of us built our character ‘iconic’ and for good determined with our personal performances,” Arngrim explained. “In millions of people’s head, ‘Laura Ingalls Wilder’ will generally conjure up the encounter of Melissa Gilbert.”

Alison Arngrim mentioned she is ‘proud’ of actively playing ‘Nellie Oleson’ 

As Small Dwelling on the Prairie continues to live on in syndication, the show routinely reaches a new viewers. In April 2020, the entire sequence became accessible on Amazon Prime. Arngrim explained the new admirers have a tendency to categorical their thoughts about Nellie years following she taped the episodes. 


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Of her character, Arngrim said she profoundly cares about Nellie. She also shared how stunned she was to study that new viewers watch the present. 

“I was and am nonetheless extremely proud of the do the job I did as Nellie,” she said. “I seriously considered when the display finished in the 80s that persons would inevitably type of, you know, “move on.’ But of course, they didn’t. Concerning all the yrs of reruns, cable, VHS, DVDs, and now YouTube, Netflix, and streaming, there are more folks seeing it now than when it was on!!”