Melissa Reeves, the actress behind beloved daytime heroine Jennifer Horton on Days of Our Lives, is opening up about life on the farm she shares with her husband outside Nashville.
In 2006, she and her family moved to Nashville full-time as Reeves took a break from television.
“We never looked back, and we just thought ‘what a great change of pace for our kids’ and we literally moved to the country, we had horses we had goats,” said Reeves. “[The kids] were out at 6 o'clock in the morning feeding the goats and fishing for crawdads in holes right in our front yard.”
Reeves’ children were 9 and 14 at the time. Reeves’ husband Scott, also an actor and musician, was touring with the band Blue Country beginning in 2004. Scott’s most notable on-camera rolls have been Noel Laughlin on ABC's Nashville and Ryan McNeil on The Young and the Restless.
“I just always feel like ‘family is priority’ and you have to do what you need to do for you to be together,” said Reeves.
Initially, the family lived on 5 acres closer to Nashville but have since moved outside Leiper’s Fork in Williamson County to a 30-acre homestead, complete with cows, goats, dogs and cats.
“When we got our cows, we were like ‘oh, we need to have a relationship with the cows’ and the farmer was like ‘no they're just cows they're going to eat,’” said Reeves. “We were feeding our cows cookies out of our hands!”
The farm is aptly named “Revival Farm” and serves as Reeves’ own revival away from her grueling Days of Our Lives schedule which shoots year-round for three weeks a month.
“We do almost 80 scenes a day and sometimes we do 2 and 3 shows at a time, so sometimes we'll go in and you'll have like 20 scenes in a row with all dialogue,” said Reeves, who flies to Los Angeles to shoot the show each week before flying back to Nashville on the weekends.
While in Los Angeles, Reeves arrives at the studio by 6:30 every morning for her hair and makeup.
“Hair and makeup is my favorite part of the whole day,” said Reeves. “It's like being in a spa for an hour-and-a-half.”
Each weekday, Reeves is made into the beloved heroine Jennifer Horton, who she has played off and on since 1985.
Jennifer Horton is known for her popular pairing with Jack Deveraux, most notably portrayed by Matthew Ashford. The pairing of Jack and Jennifer, known as “J&J” to soap fans, has become one of the soaps' most infamous supercouples.
“I remember when Matt and I started working together, they had no intention of making us a couple,” said Reeves. “They just wanted to give Jennifer a job at the newspaper, but we started working together and they kind of saw this thing where he was a little bit older than her and she kind of didn't put up with his thing and they were like ‘this could work!’”
In the 54th season of Days of Our Lives, Jack Deveraux (Matthew Ashford), has come back from the presumed dead, but this time he has no memory of his life these last few decades.
“You never really die on daytime,” laughs Reeves. “You dig your way out of that pit. Everybody finds their way out!”
Her words are like the revival she and her husband have found in their life on the farm.
In August 2018, Scott Reeves began operating a coffee roasting business out of their home, named Revival Roasting. It sprang from his love of coffee and his inspiration on the farm.
“Nashville is a special place and I think that's why we moved here and it really just felt like a community,” said Reeves. “There's a sweetness about it and you don't ever want that to go away!”