At only 24-years-old, Victoria Konefal is officially a Daytime Emmy-award-winning actress for her role as ‘Ciara Brady’ in the hit soap opera series Days Of Our Lives (DOOL.) Konefal sat down with The Knockturnal to discuss the exciting moment of recognition along with what it means for her to be a working actress in Hollywood, post Me Too movement. She even opened up about what we can expect in the future since deciding to not resign her contract with the show.
With any accolade comes a few skeptics; some might attribute the honor to pure luck or the ‘right timing.’ However, Konefal is far from an overnight success. Having graduated from the prestigious Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts in New York City, Victoria underwent the same extensive theatrical training program as many A-listers we love today. (Notable alumni include Jennifer Aniston, Adrien Brody, Timothee Chalamet, Ansel Elgort, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Al Pacino, Sarah Paulson, Adrian Grenier and Liza Minnelli just to name a few.) One day her teacher brought the idea of auditioning for Teen Beach Movie 2 and Konefal immediately went for the opportunity. Shortly after, she got signed.
“It was a dream come true,” said Konefal.
Fast forward, it was no surprise Victoria landed her role as Ciara Brady early in the auditioning process. However, the journey to booking required having confidence in rejection.
“It’s having confidence in rejection,” said Konefal. “Granted, yes, all of this has happened quickly for me but… I did get rejected like 400 times. I went on audition after audition where it was like, ‘nope, nope, sorry, not you, not good enough, no, I don’t like you.’ You hear that so much. It’s 99.999% rejection and that’s something you have to get comfortable with… hearing ‘no’ and being okay with it and continuing to strive for it.”
DOOL, now aired on NBC, is regarded as one of the longest-running scripted television programs in the world. Konefal joined the cast back in 2017 and has been a recurring series regular since. Her character is the daughter of power couple ‘Bo and Hope Brady,’ played by Peter Reckell and Kristian Alfonso. Ciara is known to be a fierce young woman with a tough past and has proven to become a fan favorite. With her 68K followers on Instagram and 16K followers on Twitter, Victoria’s mainstream appeal doesn’t go unnoticed.
For the past 4 years, Konefal has played Ciara week after week. Finding fresh perspectives to keep the character interesting has become the new challenge. She even spoke on a panel with fellow Emmy nominees, Mishael Morgan, Marci Miller, and Beth Maitland in the SAG Conversations “Ladies of Daytime Drama” panel. Watch the full panel here
“One of the biggest challenges on a soap or TV show that has run as long as DOOL has, we film Monday through Friday. It’s not like ya know when Friends filmed for a couple months and then got a couple months off. We don’t have that. So it really is challenging to bring something fresh to the character. The really interesting thing about playing a character for this long is that you get to make her grow. So as much as I separate her from me, she does grow with me,” said Konefal. “When I started the show I was 20 turning 21, now I’m turning 25 and Ciara was young when I was young and we’ve kind of grown-up together. It was written in the scripts, too. At some point, Ciara started as a CEO of a major company so that’s an interesting new fresh storyline for me to take on like being a boss a** businesswoman.”
Victoria went on to talk about the privilege of being a woman in Hollywood post Me Too movement.
“We now have a much louder voice than we used to [have.] We are being taken more seriously. We have women leading in film and TV now. It just makes me so proud like it gets me emotional to think about how far we’ve come and to think about all the women that have had to suffer and sit in the backseat in our past to pave the way for us to shine, like that makes me want to give them all a big hug.”
Hollywood has come a long way and Konefal is hoping these new open doors will lead her to branch out into other scripted opportunities. Film very well could be the next natural transition for her as she previously starred in the Lifetime movies The Wrong Crush with Vivica A. Fox and Lesli Kay as well as Deadly Exchange with Lindsay Hartley.
“It’s pretty much the main reason I didn’t resign the contract with the show… Film is so versatile. You get to film one role immersive yourself fully and then be done and onto the next, ya know?”
Like Victoria says, keep your confidence.
To watch Victoria’s acceptance speech for Outstanding Younger Performer in a Drama Series, click here. You can keep up with Victoria @victoriakonefal on Instagram and Twitter.