Soap operas are known for their over-the-top storylines and melodramatic dialogue, but back in Lisa Rinna's days as a soap star, it wasn't the wild plot that took an emotional toll on the actress.
Beginning in 1992, Rinna spent several years (on and off) playing Billie Reed on "Days of Our Lives," a character who battled cocaine addiction, endured being on trial for her father's murder, was involved in a complicated love triangle with someone originally believed to be dead and even survived being shot. It was Rinna's first major television role, and, as she tells "Oprah: Where Are They Now -- Extra," it was truly a trial by fire.
"Soap work is really fast and furious," Rinna says. "You [filmed] one show a day, back in the day. Now they do numerous bits of shows per day."
Filming an entire episode in one day was a process that required a lot from the actors, and not everyone could handle it.
"When I started, you'd have 20 to 40 pages of dialogue to memorize every single day," Rinna says. "You had to learn so fast. It was sink or swim… [It's] some of the hardest work you'll ever have to do."
The pressure was so great, in fact, that Rinna often broke down when she came home after an intense day of filming.
"I would come home and I would get in the bathtub and I would cry. I would have a really good cry," she admits. "It was all-consuming."
Though difficult to go through at the time, Rinna now looks back on her soap opera days as the training ground that honed her skill and gave her a strong foundation for the rest of her career.
"It prepared me for anything else," she says. "I really am grateful for that."
"Oprah: Where Are They Now?" returns with new episodes on Saturday, Sept. 19, at 10 p.m. ET. Upcoming guests include Candace Cameron, Danny Pintauro, Tracey Gold, Chaz Bono, Holly Madison, MacKenzie Phillips, Chaz Ebert and more.
Also on HuffPost: