KYLE SMITH, Sue Corbett, Caroline Leavitt, and Thailan Pham
July 05, 2010 12:00 PM

>• She played mean girl Nellie Oleson on Little House on the Prairie, but in Confessions of a Prairie Bitch, Arngrim says she was anything but.

SO YOU DIDN’T REALLY TORMENT YOUR PEERS?

I was the kid who got beat up! I was pathologically shy, with a speech impediment.

HOW DID YOU ACT SO CONVINCINGLY EVIL?

I was abused as a child, so I had a lot of pain and rage. It was an outlet to play Nellie.

WERE THOSE RINGLETS REAL?

It was the most uncomfortable wig ever invented. I used to pass out.

WAS IT HARD TO SHAKE THE NELLIE PERSONA?

Yes! When my husband called his family and said he was marrying the actress who played Nellie Oleson, it was like the line went dead—silence.

IF YOU WEREN’T THE LITTLE HOUSE MEAN GIRL, WHO WAS?

Well, Melissa Sue Anderson, who played Mary, didn’t want anything to do with Melissa Gilbert and me. But we’re now friends on Facebook.

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