Lisa Ann Walter worried women would 'hate' her “Abbott Elementary” character for becoming 'kind of a hoe’

Lisa Ann Walter worried women would 'hate' her “Abbott Elementary” character for becoming 'kind of a hoe’

Walter's concerns stemmed from her character's big moment in the season premiere.

Abbott Elementary opened season 3 with Melissa Schemmenti (Lisa Ann Walter) center stage amid a surprising breakup with her boyfriend, Gary (Bruno Amato). She has since stepped out on her own and started to (very) casually date again.

It was a significant break from the show's status quo and had Walter, who teased "enormous changes" before the season premiere, a little concerned. "I was really afraid that American women would... hate Melissa for being so cavalier about throwing away a good man, especially at a certain age," Walter told The Wrap. "Women don't quite often say, 'This is what I want — I like the fact that I see you three nights a week. I want to sleep in my own bed.' And [creator and star Quinta Brunson] was right — people responded like, 'good for you.'"

<p>Gilles Mingasson/Disney via Getty</p> Lisa Ann Walter in 'Abbott Elementary'

Gilles Mingasson/Disney via Getty

Lisa Ann Walter in 'Abbott Elementary'

The Parent Trap star and Celebrity Jeopardy champion said that she didn't have any conversations with Brunson about Melissa's big decision before they shot. Later, Brunson offered something of an apology.

"I had no conversation with Quinta, because she had been gone... [and] we worked on opposite days, so I didn't really see her," Walter said. "After we shot the scene... she goes, 'I hope you didn't mind that we turned you into kind of a hoe,' and I really meant when I said, 'No, that's funny.'"

With just four episodes left in its strike-shortened third season and a fourth-season renewal announced back in February, there's still time for Melissa to test the waters with Gary again. "I hope that we'll have plenty of seasons to explore that," Walter said, "because, you never know, sometimes you change your mind."

After the season premiere, executive producer Patrick Schumaker told Entertainment Weekly that Melissa might have "other romantic exploits down the road," but didn't tip his hand on whether that could include a reunion with Gary or if he was simply teasing Melissa's casual romance with Mike O’Malley's firefighter, Captain Robinson.

Abbott Elementary's season 3 finale airs on May 22, and Walter says it's "different than anything we've ever done."

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