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Tina Huang Talks ‘Days of Our Lives,’ Her Character Melinda and the Baby Jude Baby Swap (EXCLUSIVE)

‘Days of Our Lives’ star Tina Huang insists Melinda Trask is more than a villain


Days of Our Lives Melinda Trask, played by Tina Huang, is all about taking down the bad guys – but that doesn’t mean she’s always the good guy! Case in point, having orchestrated the Baby Jude baby swap, the former D.A. is now tied to Sloan and Leo in the shadiest of schemes.

As Sloan prepares for Jude’s christening, fans are beyond prepared for Nicole and Eric to finally learn the complicated truth – including that part about E.J. not actually being Jude’s daddy! How long will they have to wait?

FIRST for Women caught up with Melinda Trask’s portrayer, Tina Huang – and while the Rizzoli and Isles alum doesn’t believe her character’s a villain exactly, she admits she loves every second of drama the troublemaker is causing on Days of Our Lives.

Tina Huang wants Days of Our Lives fans to hate her

Tina Huang, 2022
Tina Huang, 2022Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

Since coming to Salem, former District Attorney Melinda Trask has tried to take down everyone from Sami and Hope to the DiMera clan. After Tina Huang assumed the role in 2020, Trask even set her sights on good guy Rafe and she’s continued to ruffle feathers with her snarky attitude and commitment to justice by any means necessary.

“The fans love to hate me, and if they hate me enough, I’ve done my job,” Huang says. “I really love being the villain – even though I happen to believe my character is not a villain.”

Having grown up amid the bustle of New York City, Huang sees her character’s tough demeanor and sarcasm as defense mechanisms.

“Melinda’s very layered,” she insists. “There’s a harshness, but she’s vulnerable underneath. Ultimately, she’s a damaged person who’s a survivor. She’s very wounded, so all she can do is protect herself and defend herself, all the time. That’s what makes her a great lawyer.”

That said, Huang – whose impressive resume also includes stints on General Hospital, The Bold and the Beautiful, Grey’s Anatomy and NCIS – wouldn’t exactly be friends with Melinda in real life.

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“I might be really interested in her,” she hedges. “It’s like my obsession with watching true crime. I’d just be obsessed with knowing about her and how she works.”

Days of Our Lives star Tina Huang talks the Baby Jude swap

This past year, however, Melinda’s machinations reached new heights – and now, it looks like they might finally be unraveling.

“Life in Salem is pretty rough for Melinda,” Huang says with a sigh. “She’s got herself into a little bit of a mess. She’s become close friends with Sloan and stole a baby for her.”

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In a familiar Salem tale, Nicole, who once stole Sami’s baby, currently believes her baby is dead, but she’s been tricked. After she gave birth on the side of the road, she was separated from her son and then Melinda convinced Sloan to pass the child off as the baby she and Eric were supposed to adopt.

To make things even more complicated and soaptastic, while E.J. is mourning this loss with Nicole, Jude’s adoptive dad Eric is actually his bio-dad!

“I feel really sad about this storyline, but I also feel like Melinda’s motivation is that she’s a survivor of abuse and wanted to protect her own child and couldn’t,” Huang says. “So now, she wanted to protect this baby from E.J.”

“It’s interesting,” she adds. “Melinda’s taken this major twist, but I love it because it makes her more complicated.”

The storyline the actress wishes Days of Our Lives hadn’t cut

Tina Huang, 2023
Tina Huang, 2023Harmony Gerber/Getty Images

While most Days of Our Lives viewers agree this baby swap marks a turn in the character, Melinda also showed another side – both literally and figuratively! – when she agreed to be Stefan’s faux girlfriend last year.

“As Melinda, I’ve usually only done the legal stuff and I’m usually coming after people,” Huang says. “Suddenly, I’m naked in bed! We didn’t actually do anything, because it was a scheme. We were playing at it and pretending, but I was in a towel.”

The actress enjoys it when she gets thrown into classic Salem moments – whether it’s silly good fun or wild stories like this baby swap. In fact, with a love of camp, Huang reveals there was one delicious Days of Our Lives twist she still wishes she’d gotten to play.

“A few years ago, there was a Halloween episode where we were all going to become zombies,” she shares. “Melinda was sitting at a café, eating a brain. I would love to do that!”

For the record, she also wouldn’t mind meeting Melinda’s doppelganger.

“Salem is a vortex where a lot of twins exist,” she says. “So you never know!”

The actress swears she’s nicer than her Days of Our Lives character

Tina Huang, 2016
Tina Huang, 2016Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

While Huang is reveling in playing a character Days of Our Lives fans love to hate, there is one downside.

“I posted a photo on social media once and somebody said, ‘Oh, I can’t believe Melinda Trask has a smile,’” she shares with a laugh. “I’m always trying to convince people I’m a nice person. I really am!”

Even Day of Our Lives costar Raven Bowens expected Huang to be mean when they first met – but as someone who grew up with a bestie who was a General Hospital superfan, Melinda’s portrayer gets it.

“I watched General Hospital when Tamara Braun became Carly, and now I’m on the show with her,” Huang says, referring to the daytime favorite who now plays Ava on Days of Our Lives. “She’s the kindest and sweetest. But when I met her, I was like, ‘You were so evil on that show!’

“That’s why I understand the mentality of watching a soap,” she adds. “We’re in their living rooms every day.”

Will Melinda survive her Days of Our Lives baby swap?

The actress in 2022
Tina Huang, 2022JC Olivera/Getty Images

These days, Days of our Lives fans are sitting in those living rooms, screaming at their TV sets and laptops over this Baby Jude baby swap. In the wake of Arianne Zucker’s Days of Our Lives lawsuit and exit last October, her character Nicole is expected to leave canvas before summer – which means fans may just get their resolution sooner than later.

In the meantime, with Sloan preparing for Jude’s christening and Leo blackmailing them, Days of Our Lives’ disgraced D.A. is doing her best to keep it all from blowing up in her face.

“Melinda THINKS she’s in control,” Days of our Lives Tina Huang tells FIRST. “She still has a lot of power with her ability to manipulate people, think her way out of things, and articulate herself…but she does not make the best decisions.”


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