Playing the brainy, beautiful Paige Larson on "Days of our Lives" is an easy fit for True O'Brien.
"I can definitely relate to her," says the young actress. "All through high school, my goal was to go to a major university. I studied a lot and was in Advanced Placement classes. School was my whole world until I decided to go in a different direction with acting."
It was a natural segue for O'Brien, who spent her teen years as a successful model doing print work for the likes of Guess and Pottery Barn. Then, there was that ad campaign she did opposite Justin Bieber for his Girlfriend perfume line.
"That was kind of cool," recounts O'Brien. "He was a nice guy and very sweet. He made me feel very comfortable."
Still, O'Brien knew she was destined to move forward.
"I've always had this strong interest in movies, because I love stories," says O'Brien. "I also love the messages they can give people, how empowering they can be and how they can expand your intellect and empathy. So after I graduated high school, I took a couple of acting classes. I knew that was the direction I wanted to commit to in my life."
After a guest spot on the Disney Channel series "Jessie," O'Brien got her big break when she was cast on "Days."
She remembers her screen test for the soap as being "an intense process. It was the first time I had really tested for anything," shares O'Brien. "I didn't know what was going on, so I just let it happen. When I walked out of there, I felt good. I was very thankful to have had the opportunity to even experience something like that."
O'Brien's gratitude hasn't stopped since landing the gig.
"I honestly just love getting to go to the studio, creating new worlds, and working with such amazing people," she says, crediting leading man Casey Moss (J.J.) with taking her under his wing during her initial weeks on the soap. "He's been amazing and very supportive. He's taught me a lot about being comfortable and in the moment and trusting that."
As the pair's onscreen love story blossoms, O'Brien is grateful for its slow, steady build.
"Paige is a very conscientious person," assesses O'Brien. "She has the excitement and butterflies-in-her-stomach feeling when she is around J.J., but she doesn't want to go too fast. Her relationship with J.J. is too important to her. She doesn't want to do anything that she will regret. So she is enjoying her time with J.J. and taking it day by day."