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Michelle Stafford Chats On Her Exit From The Young and the Restless & Her New Web Series!

Photo Credit: Duffimages.com

Photo Credit: Duffimages.com

Some fans of The Young and the Restless have been unhappy with the way that the character of Phyllis Summers Newman is being written-off the CBS soap after her portrayer two-time Daytime Emmy winner, Michelle Stafford had decided to leave her soap home after 15 plus years!   Michelle’s last air date is tomorrow, August 2nd.

Stafford, who is one of the most respected, popular, and talented performers ever to grace the daytime screens, has embarked on two new ventures right out of the gate since departing Genoa City!  In one,  she is set to launch her highly anticipated new web series, The Stafford Project on August 5th, and just yesterday, she launched her newly re-imagined website michellestafford.com.

In a new interview out today with Michael Logan from TV Guide Magazine, Michelle clarifies some more for fans that her decision to leave Y&R was not based on the series current executive producer Jill Farren Phelps and head writer Josh Griffith, and reveals the basis behind The Stafford Project!  Here is an excerpt below:

Michelle on if she felt she was being punished for leaving the series by Jill and Josh by their putting Phyllis in coma: “My going had nothing to do with Jill and Josh. You don’t leave a show you love after 15 years because of one person, or two people.  At least I don’t. That just doesn’t make sense. But, if people are pissed, I can see why they might find Jill and Josh an easy target. Nobody should be mad at them. And I am not being punished with the way they wrote out Phyllis! When I spoke to them about my decision to leave, I did say that I thought it would be a mistake to kill Phyllis. And they were very funny about it. “If we say we’re going to kill her, will that make you stay?” [Laughs] A little blackmail! I like that they have kept this role open and I totally support the idea of a recast. Phyllis is way too important of a character to let her go away just because I’m leaving the show. So, no, I’m not being punished.”

So how do you feel watching the final episodes of Michelle as Phyllis? Do you feel cheated as a viewer, that there could have been better way to send Phyllis off the canvas?  Do you like that the CBS soap left the door open for a recast, and can bring the character back?  Will you be checking out The Stafford Project’s premiere next week? Comment below!

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Chaz
Guest
Chaz

What a great interview. I have always thought Michelle Stafford would be a great person to hang with in real life. I love her honesty and her humor. She knows she is taking a chance, she knows she is facing falling flat but, like Phyllis, she has balls. Gotta give her credit for being a strong, risk taking woman…in her personal life and her career.

Judy C.
Guest
Judy C.

SOOOOO PISSED! How dare they make Sharon the bad guy in all this mess when Phyllis pushed off Sharon and killed Drucilla off a cliff! Nick also he held a lie no mater what and ruined his marriage to Sharon. Time for Sharon to be happy! This story is really bad what they are doing.

Linda Stubbs
Guest
Linda Stubbs

I feel the same way. Sharon’s character now is way off. I have been watching since before she and Nick met. She was a strong teenager and very likable. Please let her be wrong about changing the DNA test. The actress might like playing a mixed up character, but as a viewer it is enough to make me stop watching. It is a bad storyline. It happened with Billy and Catherine’s granddaughter when Jill thought she was Catherine’s daughter. Writers, come on! I hate that Phyllis is in a coma now that she is with Jack, the perfect one for… Read more »

Gigi
Guest
Gigi

I just hate to see Sharon get away with it…. I’m tired of Sharon and her pitty party… I liked the fact the it seamed like Phyllis was on the right track with Jack…

Matt D.
Guest
Matt D.

I am not upset to see MS leave for better things just very upset they had to make Sharon the one to do this. Sharon has been through way to much. Enough! Hey maybe we can now finally have our Victoria Rowell back as drucilla and end this awful rose boring story once and for all. Sharon and Dru are the best characters.

Suszette
Guest
Suszette

I am furious that MS left the show. Been watching the Young and the Restless since day 1. Now retired and try not to miss an episode. I had heard that Michelle adopted a child and thought her absence was related to her adopting another child. She is an intricate part of the show and I would look forward to seeing her character. Hopefully she will return to the show.

diana
Guest
diana

I am retired but have been watching Y&R for years. Of all the soap operas this has been my favorite. OKay, about Phyllis, it was a great turn of events of her going in a coma after she finds out that Sharon switched the DNA. But come on, how long are we going to wait for that poor child to find out that Nick is really her real dad!! I am with you Suszette about bring Dru back. She was never found and what a better way to let Phyllis leave and let another character that we loved return. Yes,… Read more »

mary
Guest
mary

Victoria Rowell was let go because of political view points,that might have caused some serious backlash from viewers. I understand her plight,however she seemed to be pushing an agenda on her cast mates,so it was rumored.I believe in many causes,and I fight for them,but when you’re in the public eye,it’s a whole other ballgame.I don’t see he returning at all,but who knows??? I loved her as Dru..

Judy
Guest
Judy

The worst part was making poor Sharon be the bad one in all this. Phyllis is no saint she should of been locked up long ago. I really lost all patience with Y&R’s new writing. Sharon is a great character and why make her be involved in Phyllis’s karma . Sharon be happy and move on with a hot young man now. Adam should be happy and marry you!

Mad/hatter
Guest
Mad/hatter

After just now watching MS swan song what a complete joke and if I was Sharon Case I would be dusting off my resume because they are going to run you out of there next. I know what MS is saying and I respect her for not going around bitching like VR did but JFP so did her wrong and Sharon Case just to protect Joshua Morrow her other golden boy besides Steve Burton. The exit story was so stupid I could hardly get through it and MS looked like she was going to open her eyes at any moment… Read more »

No happy camper
Guest
No happy camper

Im so sad to see Michelle go! She is a great actress. I hope they recast with another strong character just like her! I know everyone moves on but I loved her on the show. I hate people ragging on her. She’s more of a next to normal person in real life. We all have those thoughts she does n she’s just not scared to do it. Most people are that way. What I’m tired of is Sharons pity character. Sometimes it seems they’ve got her in a good place n then they turn left? I’m so tired of her… Read more »

Robert
Guest
Robert

There are just some characters you just cannot recast. Phyllis Newman is one of them. Michelle made this her role so it would be impossible for another actress to try and step in and fill her shoes. It would be like another actress playing Erica Kane if Susan Lucci could not do it or a different actor playing Victor Newman. Forget it, don’t even think about it.

Hopefully she will return but by the tone of her voice it sounds like Michelle is done with Phyllis. Pity.

Loretta Singleton
Guest
Loretta Singleton

I love Michelle Stafford she is one of the most talented Actress on Y&R she bring so much to the show. I am sad that she is leaving but I am so proud of her in this interview. Phyllis Newman is a top act to follow but if they recast I know they will find someone who will make us proud. Michelle we will miss you so very very much and I wish you nothing but the best in your new project. Stay in touch with us love you Michelle Stafford

Loretta Singleton

Marla
Guest
Marla

I agree Phyllis is a tough act to follow, and i wish she would come back, this new Phyllis just does not cut it for me, sorry new actor playing Phyllis its just not the same.

Jenny Brooks
Guest
Jenny Brooks

I just hate that the character of Phyllis is leaving with Sharon having gotten the better of her. Truly, you’d think that Phyllis would wake up just one more time, to get the truth out about Sharon. Phyllis never let Sharon win anything!

Sharon
Guest
Sharon

I hate that too. Sharon better not get away with it. I find this very frustrating.

Gigi
Guest
Gigi

I agree….. She needs to come back at least just to show Sharon who’s boss…..
I’m sooo tired of Sharon and I hate watching her on the show…. She is played out….

HLB
Guest
HLB

I totally agree….Sharon gets on my nerves, I wish she would come back one last time.

Rob
Guest
Rob

Im sad she left Y&R but understand the desire to spread your wings. Lets face it, the show is tanking creatively. I dont like how they are writing her off, Phyllis should have gone out with a bang. Phyllis will most likely be recast but those are some mighty big shoes to fill!

I wish her well and cant wait to see what she’s up to next!

kalamaty
Guest
kalamaty

I couldn’t agree more! I felt it was a horrible disservice to the history of the character; who we all know to be more cunning than those around her. I was secretly hoping she would wake up and blow Sharon out of the water before slipping back into a coma; a last F___ YOU to Sharon, if you will! I am hopeful that she will come back at some point though, perhaps bitchier and more neurotic like she was back in the day. I can’t dream can’t I? 🙂

kalamaty
Guest
kalamaty

Wonderful interview; brash, brutally honest, take-no-prisoners…. just how I love my Stafford! I’ll miss her TERRIBLY on YR but am so SO happy to see her light up my screen in a different way, the preview for The Stafford Project looks so GREAT!! I’m already a fan and can’t wait to see her spread her wings and to be on location and on film…… she’s even more beautiful. She is often noted for her intensity on camera, but I think people forget how F—ING FUNNY she is!! Excited to see her explore that side of herself more and can’t wait… Read more »

Robert in Jersey City
Guest
Robert in Jersey City

She could be the next Julianne Moore. Gotta spread your wings at some point.

Mary SF
Guest
Mary SF

You are right– I really and honestly believe Jeanne Cooper’s passing had a lot to do with her decision to put the character behind her and explore new challenges. JC had a great career before joining Y&R and it was wonderful that she stay with the show until her death. But I think MS was looking at that and thinking at her passing she didn’t want to be just remembered for playing Phyllis Newman on a daytime soap opera. She might flop or she might soar, but like so many said it takes a certain amount of balls to leave… Read more »

Diann Pennick
Guest
Diann Pennick

Michelle you have graced us with your chamelian acting. Your character potrayals ad made us the viewers and fans full of laughter, angry, and sad. I had ven given you code names for how I seen you in certain scenes. Like when you played the crazies I called you Dr.Jeykell & Mr. Hyde , amongst other Ced names. But if you should ever have one of those evenings where you are just chillin, please go to Facebook and go to Real Housewatchers of Geno City. I wrote you an open letter, and a lot us our group members jst loved… Read more »

Rose Johnston
Guest
Rose Johnston

Oh, Michelle, Michelle…what to say? Will the show be the same without you? Absolutely NOT! Can anyone else fill your shoes? NO! I’ve been depressed since finding out you’d be leaving Y&R. You’re positively the BEST actress, and you’ll be sorely missed. Thank you for all of the laughter and tears you brought to the show, and to me. I’ve cried my eyes out over some of your scenes. Wishing you the best of luck with all that you do, and who knows? One day you may grace Y&R”S presence again with your uncanny ability to make Phyllis so real.… Read more »

Alan
Guest
Alan

Even if JFP and Josh Griffith had nothing to do with Stafford’s leaving, the material she’s been given since they took over certainly didn’t give her any reason to stay.

Scott
Guest
Scott

what put her in a coma?
Poison Peanut Butter Banana Pancakes?????

Joyce peters
Guest
Joyce peters

I hate to see her leave because she is the best in daytime,but I wish she would tell on Sharon before she leaves.

Bonnie in SC
Guest
Bonnie in SC

Looks like we’re loosing all the soaps, and eventually they will be a thing of the past to make more room for less desirable shows. Me?? I have decided to do away with TV and maybe catch the news & weather. After all, isn’t that what’s important?

Mark Y
Guest
Mark Y

I think it is a great ‘way out’ for a beloved character and actress. Don’t forget, Phyllis may be recast one day with Michelle Stafford. In the meantime, bring on Liz Keifer. Ms. Stafford is right, Phyllis is too important to lay in a coma for long. Bring in a talented actress who is compelling to watch and let great storytelling proceed.

Lisa M.
Guest
Lisa M.

I will definitely miss Phyllis and I think she should have went out a different way but it does leave the door open for a future recast. I wish her well and I know they will find the right recast.

heidi
Guest
heidi

Great interview… awesome actress… fabulous WOMAN!!! I want all good things for Michelle and hope she is on our screens soon! Love her new website!!! Wish she wasn’t leaving but totally understand and wish her the best!!! Hope they wait a bit and let her back when she wants to return…if that happens!

Lori
Guest
Lori

My heart is broken ever since I found out that Michelle Stafford has left Y&R. I believe she is one of the top 3 characters on that soap. No one will ever play that role as good as Michelle. I believe they should keep the role just like she said because it is too important of a role and is one of the main characters of the soap. Watching these last few scenes of Phyllis in a hospital bed is very emotional for me because I have always loved Michelle Stafford even when she played a villain. I am so… Read more »

Judy
Guest
Judy

Michelle’s character was the one you love to hate, and there were times when I hated her, but I would much rather that she was staying and Sharon were leaving. Sharon has turned into a psycho and I for one, am sick to death of her pitiful acting. They had better never try to replace Phyllis, because she is one of a kind and no one can take her place. Keep it open, maybe some day Michelle will decide to come back.

Elaine Bader
Guest
Elaine Bader

Phyllis I will miss you so much. BUT if they end your story of you in a comma, THAT MEANS YOU CAN ALLWAYS COME BACK TO US. That will make me very happy. Good luck with your new show. But I wish you werent leaving.

Sandy
Guest
Sandy

Wow Michelle, your followers certainly love you from all the loving comments that were posted. All I can say is ditto, ditto, and ditto to what has already been said about you. Sad to see you go, will watch your career unfold, and you will always have a place in our hearts to come back to. Loved you throughout the years.

judy layne
Guest
judy layne

I really will find it hard to watch Y & R after Michelle Stafford leaves today.
She is exiting but Y & R hasn’t even done anything about Jeanne Cooper. That’s crazy!!!! I don’t think, as I said before, I will be watching this soap like I did before. Sorry – not going to be that interesting!!! You are taking the best and it just won’t work.

felicia
Guest
felicia

i feel phylis should have been recasted as soon as michelle stated she was leaving i feel that phylis should have been able to get the truth out before she was taken off i dont feel cheated the way they left phylis off but i feel that they could have done things better

Gloria Zimmerman
Guest
Gloria Zimmerman

Michelle ,thank you so much for all the wonderful exciting years of the character of Phyllis Neumann . I have been such a big fan of yours and will continue to watch anything you do in the media . I wish you all the best , I do wish you had a big show down with Sharon though .good luck on “The Stafford Project “

Gloria Zimmerman
Guest
Gloria Zimmerman

Loved all the years you gave us Michelle , I’m so sad to see you go but good luck with all the future projects you may be involved in

kathy green
Guest
kathy green

do not like the way she left the show, we will miss you,glad it will be re cast by a new actress, and why does sharon get away with everything, i am a long time fan have been watching over thirty years.good luch mechelle on your futer projects

kathy green
Guest
kathy green

Do not like, how your character is leaving the show, good luck on your futer projects, also why do the writers let sharon get away with everything, burning down the newmab ranch etc.

tweeti276
Guest
tweeti276

What network will it be aired on? I hate that she’s leaving the show, but I’m interested to see her new show. Kudoos to her for venturing out!!!

jon
Guest
jon

Phyllis was recast once before so I don’t see why it shouldn’t happen again, although I’ve gotta admit I despise recasts.

Shely
Guest
Shely

Michelle Stafford has been a riot as Phyllis. I wish all the best to this very talented lady. Please no re-cast!

Kerry
Guest
Kerry

Ok, I am sad my favorite actress is leaving but thankful they did not kill off the character. If Y&R replaced Phyllis it is going to be hard to adjust to in a way.

Michelle, I am happy for you!! Look forward to seeing you in future shows or even movies. You are a great actress!!

Marcella C. Fahey
Guest
Marcella C. Fahey

I am so sorry Michelle decided to leave Y & R. She really was the best part of the show now that Jeanne is gone. I can’t believe Sharon Case is still on–her acting for years consisted of pushed her hair over her ears. No talent at all.
Michelle had it all and will be a real loss.
It might be time to become fans of another soaps.

jennifer
Guest
jennifer

good riddance michele stafford. you will be replaced soon. i am so happy that she quit, the young and the restless. michele always was a diva and very annoying. replace her with robin christopher or jamie luner ex liza amc. those ladies can act. all michelle was doing was yelling at people and horrible acting. also michelle was a bully. fighting with victoria rowell ex dru. michelle needs to go away.

Carolyn
Guest
Carolyn

Well, I have just become a former fan of the Young & the Restless. I loved the character of Phyllis and no recast could ever satisfy me. So, bye bye baby bye bye.

Carolyn
Guest
Carolyn

I am done with the Young & the Restless. No Phyllis, no me watching the show. Don’t bother with a recast, I still won”t watch.

tami
Guest
tami

So sad to just find this out. Michelle had me actually believe SHE was Phyllis. Happy for MS and the very best . What will Summer do with SHRON’S lip stick that she found on the stair well??? She knows it’s not her Mom’s aka Phyllis. C’mon Summer give that to Paul the great police chief and detective. Sharon will probably self explode and tell all to Nick in one of her “episodes”

Carly
Guest
Carly

I will miss MS as Phyllis. She is a great actress, and I wish her the best! I am glad that Phyllis is in a coma, so she can come back. I hope that they recast her quickly since she is a core character. The show must go on. I think that Kelly Sullivan with her hair dyed red, would be a great Phyllis recast. Later on down the road, if MS wants to come back, then she will be able to.

Debb Scott
Guest
Debb Scott

Well I quit watching it already. I’m sick of Sharon and those stupid story lines. Sick of everyone feeling sorry for her. Sharon should have been the one in a coma and then she should have died !!!! Y&R has been a part of my life since the very first day it started and it ended the day they let Phyllis go. Maybe they will bring Michelle back ” from the dead ” and then I will watch it again. Goodbye and Good Riddance to Y&R and especially to Sharon. It’s amazing that a woman that gave so MUCH of… Read more »

Karma
Guest
Karma

Always have loved Phyllis…good and bad!!!! Great actress and can’t be replaced!!!!! Feel like Y&R will not be the same, but will continue watching:)

JUDY
Guest
JUDY

OH PHYLLIS……..YOU ARE THE BEST PART OF Y AND R. I ABSOLUTELY LOVED SEEING YOU PLAY PHYLLIS. YOU ARE LIKE THE TONY SOPRANO OF Y AND R. I WISH YOU MUCH SUCCESS BUT I AM VERY SAD YOU ARE LEAVING. IVE BEEN WATCHING Y AND R FOR 40 YEARS AND YOURE THE BEST ONE IVE SEEN ON THAT SHOW. VERY TALENTED LADY!!!!!!!!!!!!

Deb
Guest
Deb

I’m sorry to see Michelle Stafford (Phyllis) leave the Y&R. She portrayed this character very well, such a fiery personality will be surely missed. Too bad Sharon Case (Sharon Newman) won’t get whats coming to her in the classic Phyllis manner, I was looking forward to that….. But. maybe Summer Newman will become more of her Mother’s daughter and be somewhat of a sluth on her own, having had questions about the lipstick. Best of luck to you Michelle in whatever you do I’ll look forward to seeing in other ventures, you’re such a great actress. 🙂

Aims
Guest
Aims

My husband and I, both, started watching this show together. Fell in love with the character, Phyllis. Loved thinking that Jack and Phyllis were going to start a whole new future on the show!! She is by far one of the best actresses on the show. We feel she MADE the show!! We were so disappointed to see her go. Especially the way she did. If they are going to recast, we sure wished they would hurry up and do that. When Phyllis left, we stopped watching it so much. Just seems like the same thing happens, different day. The… Read more »

Aims
Guest
Aims

And just a comment on Chelsea and Dillon……..if Adam is going to find out I wished they would hurry up with that! Her sad “pity parties” are an every day thing. Just like with Sharon and her craziness!! They should have wrote Sharon or Chloe off!

Pat Oneal
Guest
Pat Oneal

I have been watching the Young and Restless for a very long time and I personally feel you can not replace Phyllis every time you replace a character you don’t seem to pick up the special attributes that the person who leaving has. One classic example is Abbey she is ok as an actress but she is totally different than Abbey. Abbey was very short and the new Abbey is tall the only thing they have in common is there blonde hair. I f you do replace her please get someone who at least resembles her. Thank you for not… Read more »

Barbara M. Davis
Guest
Barbara M. Davis

I am hoping that Michelle will reconsider her decision to leave TY&TR. She was a major character and was superbly played by Michelle. I don’t think a re-cast is a good idea, at least not now. I hope the producers will be able to convince Michelle to return to the show within a few months. She is such a great actress and I hope she will start to miss being in the show and can reach a compromise with those in charge of casting. Michelle’s exit from the show will leave a big void for a lot of fans. Think… Read more »

Tina Eichholtz
Guest
Tina Eichholtz

I feel the same way I want nick and Sharon back together and I want them to bring phylis back even if it is a recast

Lemans Adams
Guest
Lemans Adams

I have been watching the y&r for long time when Michael boldwin was the crazy one in the show . I am wondering how can I get a part in the y&r. I always wanted to be a part of that show so bad.

Betty Whitener
Guest
Betty Whitener

I loved and truly miss the character of Phyllis….she just kept the edge going and after the death of Ms C the show really lost 2 main stays….
Their bantering was most enoyable….I wish Michelle well on her new journey…just know you can come back anytime and viewers like me will be elated !!!!

Deanna Cole
Guest
Deanna Cole

I respect Michelle decision to leave Y&R as Phyllis Newman.
Whoever replaces her has some tough shoes to fill. She will
Be deeply missed by fans and I wish her the best of luck on her
Future projects.

Anita F Jones
Guest
Anita F Jones

I just wish to say M Stafford will be misses and wish her all the luck at what ever she
does. I don’t think it is a good idea to recast her. For there is only one. I f she was
ever to come back that would be great. Y & R should have fought for her to stay. U
could have done this. Thanks for letting me say what i felt.

Anita F Jones
Guest
Anita F Jones

Why don’t they ever make Victor pay for the things he does or at least get
caught. I know he is a very important , but at some point u ned to show that
bad guys need to pay for there actions , not let them get away with it all the
time as u let Victor do. Again this is only my idea i am just a viewer. Thanks.

Kelley Wright
Guest
Kelley Wright

I soooooo agree

Tina
Guest
Tina

The character of Phyllis is such an integral part of Y&R, it’s just not the same without her on the show. A recast is a horrible idea because only one person can play Phyllis, Michelle Stafford. I think the majority of viewers want Phyllis (M. Stafford) to return to the show!

tera rudell
Guest
tera rudell

I hate the thought of anyone else playing Phylis. I will miss her something awful.

D.Brown
Guest
D.Brown

I loved her and yes.. feel very cheated.. Summer will never be ok because she can’t be with Kyle and it feels like Sharon will win… and that’s not cool. I don’t want him to be with Avery but he really don’t need Sharon again. Bring her back and fix what’s broken and then if she has to go then at least Summer and Nick will be ok again…. Don’t leave it like this..But if she will come back to stay.. then… YAY…..

Norma Howard
Guest
Norma Howard

Why is Adam such a bad guy? Why does Victor hate his own son? What give Victoria the right to play “Miss High and Mighty”? I am just about to stop watching because of the total injustice. Yes I know it is not real, but I at least would like to see the bad guy get what coming to him sometimes. And Sharon is a silly, silly, silly character!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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