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The Lauralee Bell Interview – The Young and the Restless

Photo Credit: CharlesBush.com

Photo Credit: CharlesBush.com

If you are watching The Young and the Restless this week, the past is truly being revisited, which will have far reaching consequences for many of the citizens of Genoa City!  To kick things off, Christine (or known best to those from her past as Cricket) has just returned to Genoa City with a job to do, and Danny Romalotti has returned to check in on his son Daniel, after all the young man’s trouble with Daisy!  So enter soap favorites Lauralee Bell (Christine) and Michael Damian (Danny), who after a long stretch of time not being on Y&R together, finally have their reunion!  And it’s quite a spectacular one!  The old on-screen lovers end up hitting the sheets in short order!  But then comes the fallout!  Where do these two go from here?

But that is only half of the story!  As Lauralee talks and previews with On-Air On-Soaps, there is much more to her exciting return and the upcoming components of this story, where an unsolved crime puts her smack dab in the middle of all the controversy.  Cricket was run down by a vengeful Phyllis back in the day, and Phyllis never paid for the crime!  She got away with it!  Now with evil Ricky, the bad seed spawn of Paul and Isabella wanting to teach Phyllis a lesson, old wounds and old rivalries will be reopened, which gives the actors in this story some meaty material to sink their teeth into.

So, how does Lauralee feel Y&R is doing, while the series is receiving such backlash from fans unhappy with many of the current stories?  What was it like trying to capture the magic decades later with Michael Damian on-screen?  And, will this story be the one to finally make Lauralee want to stay on Y&R more long-term?  The answers to these and more burning questions can be found below in our conversation with the always “tell-it-like-it-is” Bell!

MICHAEL:

Finally, soap fans get to have both you and Michael Damian on Y&R at the same time and in scenes together … and in bed together!

LAURALEE:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

On last Friday’s air show, I would say it was how a classic Bill Bell moment would be where we built it up to where Danny and Christine just see each other!  Then came the three day Memorial Day weekend!   For me, as a viewer, I really get into stuff like that.  It was almost painful to have them just stare at each other, and so Tuesday’s episode was intense, and then Friday’s episode is wicked.  Every day is intense, but where Michael Damian and I had big scenes was on Tuesday and then Friday.  Those are the big days.  My time is not quick this time around at Y&R.  I am there.

MICHAEL:

What really brings Christine back to Genoa City this time?  All of a sudden there she was!  Did it make sense to you why was she was there?  Many times you have chosen not to return for a guest-arc to Y&R if it didn’t feel right to you.

LAURALEE:

Well, it did make sense for her to come back.  Genevieve is in such hot water, and it has become a much bigger issue than the Genoa City cops can handle.  It is now a federal investigation.  So it did make sense that Christine was there, and it did make sense for Danny to be there with all the stuff going on with his son, Daniel.  That is what I was so excited about, because it wasn’t really forced.  I did like that we were both in Genoa City, but did not see each other the first few days we were back.  A lot of things occur in these few weeks!

MICHAEL:

The cool thing about how Christine and Daniel were brought back onto the canvas was they were there for completely different reasons, which I thought was a good way to write it.

LAURALEE:

I liked that, too.  So we are having scenes and then all of a sudden on Tuesday’s episode Danny and Christine end up in bed, and that is a shocker!  That is showing again the growth and the history of the couple, but the growth of them as adults knowing they can just do some things on the spur of the moment, where it’s like, “I have a couple days with you and I am going to make the most of it.  And after that, we will deal with it.”  The history of their relationship justifies basically anything at this point.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/CBS

After they have sex, some territory is covered about their relationship and if they could ever be back together.

LAURALEE:

At the end of it all, there is a question of, “Do these two want to get back together?”  It really comes down to logistically how would they make that work?  He loves being a rock star and she loves working for the Justice Department … and who is going to give that up?  It sounds great and could be fun for a couple of weeks, but the reality is; who is going to drop everything?  Which one of us is going to drop everything and go to the other and really be happy?  I think they both love their careers so much that the sacrifice would cause them to hate being with the person that they wanted to be with, because they changed their life.

MICHAEL:

Then they come down the stairs from the GCAC from their romp and who should be there but their exes, Phyllis and Paul!

LAURALEE:

I think there is a little bit of  “Sorry, we don’t want to hurt you.”  But you know what?  None of us are technically together.  Paul is going through a lot, so he doesn’t need that in his face, but it is touched on so briefly, which I think it’s great.  We are all adults and Paul has been with Nina, so there are no dibs on anyone.  But it is always nice to throw something back in Phyllis’s face!  Lord knows, she deserves everything she gets.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/CBS

Your return is part of this overall story arc of the show reopening the cold case of when Cricket was mowed down in a hit and run, thanks to Phyllis, who has never paid for her crime.

LAURALEE:

There are some scenes coming up with Michelle Stafford (Phyllis) which I will need to ask the production manager to get me a copy of the old scenes, so I know what I am talking about.  I don’t mean the actual hit and run, but there are scenes around that time that I start snipping with Phyllis over.  The lines are great, but I would like to have that vision of what I am talking about. (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Phyllis hated Cricket!

LAURALEE:

Yes she hated Cricket.  It’s interesting.  I didn’t remember that Paul and I were about to get married, but she apparently saw Danny and I saying goodbye to each other and it made her very upset.  Cricket was on to Phyllis’ shenanigans.  For some reason, I feel like Paul and Cricket had people that were angry with them because of their work.  So it was always just assumed that it had to be someone from his P.I. work, or Cricket’s legal work, that had a vendetta against us.  I don’t think Phyllis was ever really considered.

MICHAEL:

So this cold case involving Cricket’s hit and run is really the spark for Ricky’s revenge plot against Phyllis, and there seems to be lots of twists coming up with many long time favorites involved in it.   How has taping gone have so far, in particular the scenes with Michael Damian?

LAURALEE:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

When Michael Damian and I were sitting there running lines, it was interesting to see the crew there and their reactions to us, and when Michael and I taped our goodbye scenes.  It was so intense and people came out and said, “Oh my God.  That was very emotional.”  It’s Cricket and Danny, and that is one of the reasons I did not come back a couple of years ago when Michael was back.  Because if you don’t do it right, it could go wrong.  I have to say this was done so well, in terms of the reasons why they are there … the surprise of seeing each other, the intense quickness with them recognizing even though they have not seen each other, the connection is there.  They have such a strong connection, and then it’s goodbye.  That is why I have been eager for people to tune-in.  If you don’t watch Y&R that much anymore, but you were a fan back then, you have got to watch these episodes.  Watching the last few days of episodes with Jack and Victor and Nikki, these seem to be really strong shows.  And what is great now too, is that there is a lot of suspense.  You have Ricky getting creepy on everyone.  I kind of like those feelings where you are nervous.  I think there are multiple emotions going through the viewer’s mind when they are watching these days.

MICHAEL:

But Danny comes to town, and then is gone pretty quickly.  What’s up with that? How much of Danny/Cricket can we expect to see?

LAURALEE:

I think we are on for five days together.  Danny is on tour ‘baby’ and he has to get back on the road!  We were laughing in rehearsal when Danny tells Cricket he has to go.  It’s like, “Hello?  Maybe you should have told me this four hours ago, before we hopped in the sack.”  What is so great with Cricket at this age and point in her life, as we saw with Nick, I think she is very much in control of this, as you saw on Tuesday.  She is not the weak “Oh, I am not so sure if this is the right thing to do.”  There is none of that in her anymore.  There is the kindness in her, but no longer the naïve or scared side to her.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/CBS

So, Danny calls you Cricket, and not Christine!

LAURALEE:

I know, and he had to!  What was great about it was how it was addressed.  Michael, Michelle Stafford and I have this great scene where he is defending Cricket.  Phyllis says, “You know what? You have to move on, because she has.  Her name is not even Cricket anymore.  She is working woman.  So you have to get on with it and not live in the past!”  I am all for calling out what the audience was thinking and she nailed him with, “What era are you living in?”  To Nina and Danny, she will always be Cricket!

MICHAEL:

Should we expect some key showdown scenes between you and Michelle Stafford (Phyllis?)

LAURALEE:

I work with her a bit more coming up.  She came up to me my first day back and she was like, “I love what your character brings to the character of Phyllis. I immediately feel like the old Phyllis.“  I think people love seeing her like that.  I think by making her pregnant and having her do all these weird things because her hormones are out of whack, that is the Phyllis people want to see.  They don’t want to see her motherly and sweet, or if they do, they want to then see her flip out the next day so you can see she is not entirely stable.   What is great about their dynamic is… you can grow up, but it’s that deep- seated jealousy that is always there, even if you are sugar coating it.

MICHAEL:

Jeff Branson (Ronan) is coming back to Y&R, too!  Will you be working with him? Do you think Ronan and Christine could have a thing for each other?

LAURALEE:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

I did not know that at first, but I got my scripts for this week and we are working together.  Jeff is a really good actor, and I like Christine and Ronan.  There is an element of “Have those two gotten together?”  We both try to play it like that, because again, you don’t know what we do on our off hours.  I think that is what is so fun about playing my character now. You can sort of manipulate the story a bit, because I am off the canvas a lot and the audience has no idea what I do with my nights … whether Christine is drinking scotch alone, or at a strip club?  (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

If you and Jeff Branson could both stay on the show long enough, (laughs) what about a Phyllis/Ronan/Christine triangle?  Phyllis was having sex with Ronan!  And Phyllis is pregnant with what we believe is Nick’s child… but what if it is Ronan’s?

LAURALEE:

I know!  How crazy was it that those two hooked-up?  And again, having all of us back now make senses, and it is all very justified.  Now with Michael Baldwin becoming the D.A. and then Heather Stevens coming back into his life.  I met Jennifer Landon (Heather, Y&R) and she is great!  What I can tell you is Jennifer is very real, there is nothing in her acting that will come across forced or fake.

MICHAEL:

Y&R has taken a hit by its fans in recent months with consistent criticism that the stories are not to their liking, and it doesn’t feel like the show they remembered wanting to tune-in to every day.   They have been very disgruntled, to say the least.

LAURALEE:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

My big request to people is this: I know the story is there and I understand people are frustrated, but I am just saying, if you are going to give it a week and you are asking for classic Y&R, then you have to watch this week!  This is the beginning of a lot of good story.  I am all for watching shows that I don’t like and saying, “Why are they doing this? Why are doing that?”  I think what we can all agree on is it’s a lot people you know so well.  And I love watching a scene where you could have no dialog, and you put five Y&R characters that you have grown up with, you just know what they are all thinking about because you know them so well.  Everyone has their dynamics with everybody, and this is the time to watch.  If we don’t do in story what the fans are hoping for, it will break my heart, but I really feel like they are strong shows.

MICHAEL:

So has this return whet your appetite for possibly making it the real deal and coming back to the series on a more permanent basis?

LAURALEE:

Judging by what I will be taping next month, it looks like I will be around for a while.  There is a pretty steady amount of Christine.  But you know me!   I always like to wait to see how it is received before I make any other commitments.  I really have a bunch of shows that I am pitching full force right now, so I am in that mode to get them out.  I don’t want to commit to anything, but fingers-crossed, I can move forward with one of these.  And by the way, they are not my web projects.  So I believe things happen the way they are supposed to.  I will be on a ton on Y&R in June and July.  Then I will be taking a trip with my kids, and then we will see in August if this was all successful.

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

MICHAEL:

How was it for you, personally, working with Michael Damian again?

LAURALEE:

He is great!  It was odd, I have to say, because we haven’t seen each other in years. Rebecca Street called me and said, “I’m in town”  So we arranged to have lunch together and 40 minutes into the lunch she said to me, “Do you ever talk to Michael Damian?” And literally within 30 seconds he tapped me on the shoulder!  He happened to be in the same restaurant!  So that was so weird.  And this was not intentional!  And after that, I had not seen him in 2 years.  You can’t spend the kind of time Michael and I spent together, without having a really tight relationship.  It was great seeing him at Y&R.  But I did tease him that he was telling the same jokes he did back then.  Some things never change.  (Laughs)  But it was nothing but great, and I think it showed on camera.

MICHAEL:

Who do you think is Christine’s true love?

LAURALEE:

That is a tough one!  It’s hard to pick between your first and then your adult relationship. I think she only has two true loves, Danny and Paul.  I think there is always something about your first love, because it was the first time you ever experienced those feelings that are that intense.  On the goodbye scene, you will see how intense Danny and Cricket’s relationship is.  They weren’t planning on this.  It dredges up feelings.

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

Speaking of dredging up the past, the Danny/Cricket romance was 80’s Y&R, and you wearing the typical look of the times, and sporting the big hair!  Can you look at those episodes and pinch yourself at all the cool things you did in story, or are you mortified when you see yourself in those days?

LAURALEE:

I am mortified, and that is why I never read the message boards.  I would be the first one to say that I looked ridiculous, but that is what it was back then.  I wouldn’t be defending how silly we looked, but it was a sign of the times and it is funny that I now can say, “We look better now than we did 20 years ago!” (Laughs)  You have got to laugh at yourself.  I am always trying to find the humor in everything and people take life to seriously, and if you do, you will just stay locked up and cry all day.

MICHAEL:

Where is Christine at with Paul?  The two of them to me look like there is still such love there between them.

LAURALEE:

I don’t think that is done.  Doug Davidson (Paul) and I purposely play that they still do love each other where we can.  With Paul and Christine, when they need support, or help or a friend, they always go to each other.  It’s hard to do that without crossing the lines for Paul and Chris. 

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: CharlesBush.com

So what do you hope unravels as the story kicks into high gear and Phyllis’ crime could be exposed?  Do you hope that it will put Christine in grave danger from Phyllis or Ricky?  Or, do you hope she will be able to finish the job she originally set out to do when she returned to GC?

LAURALEE:

It’s too soon for me to say.  I would like to play both, knowing that there is huge danger and fear looming for her, and also knowing she has a job to get done.  Christine comes to help Paul do a whole background check on Ricky and finding out his past, but she really comes back because she knows Paul is not doing well and that he needs some guidance. (Laughs)   I am just a flight away from Genoa City via Washington D.C.! (Laughs)

 

 

 

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Michael
Guest
Michael

Michael, you had to know that Lauralee wasn’t about to badmouth her sister-in-law, Maria Arena Bell. I don’t even know why you asked her about the extremely negative publicity that the show has been getting thanks in large part to MAB’s horrific writing of the show. For her and for the sake of “family harmony”, she had to keep her personal opinions about Maria and her writing to herself, even if she absolutely HATES what Maria has done to her late father’s show. I’m now in Week 4 or 5 of not watching Y&R. I refuse to watch the drivel… Read more »

kay killgore
Guest
kay killgore

Michael I am with you 110% but the Bell family has always been about nepotism as a lot of familes are and that is fine but MAB to my knowledge had no previous writing experience. This could be a good plot if I was writing I would have the character Ricky whack Daisy and pen it on Phyllis. It would be a kick to have some Karma finally come back to her, it is amusing how they have whitewashed her character to complete boredom.

jackie
Guest
jackie

michael i need { ya to stay on young ^ restless ‘
huge fan of you _ on the show + danny w / christine + late 8o _
great seen you + jackie } no#1 fan

tash36
Guest
tash36

Hi Michael. How r u? Yes, I am asking same question and I know u r tired me asking. Bit do u have any news about Jack Wagner returning to GH and reuniting with Kristina Wagner(Felica) and Maxi? I wish they bring him back. I hope u have good news about that or any info y
ou can,give us fans.
Again Michael I thank,you for answering my question. I appreciate it so much.

Tash10204@aol.com

jackie
Guest
jackie

how are ya michael _? miss seen ya on the young & restless _ so much +
great to see ya on the show with laurnelle _ { danny & christine __
* how is your music coming along & movies _ coming out soon _
*
i appreicted you staying with the show +
*
i am hard of hearing + and talk + & single +
*

jackie
Guest
jackie

wish you was coming to pgh pa – so i can met you in person = handsome -& tall –
as i remember danny and chrisitne married – and have children _ and become granparents – when they do marries + please – michael + as danny +
love ya * you need ya & christine toqther ] please =please & stay on the show

Stacy
Guest
Stacy

They really need some good story lines. Who ever was writing the story lines in the mid to late nineties did an awesome job. After that, I basically stopped watching . They have to realize that y and r is shown in many countries including the one I’m from. They have to please the world, not just America.

Alyssa
Guest
Alyssa

I hope someday you can be back on The Young and The Restless for good. I am a huge Danny Romalotti fan. And a huge Cricket Blair fan also. You two are my fav couple on Y&R. I hope they can get back together. Well thanks for reading! Bye

~Alyssa~

Susan
Guest
Susan

After reading this interview almost a year after, I have to say almost if not everything has changed. Almost all the people mentioned in the interview are gone. Christine is now back with Paul. The question I would love to ask Lauralee now is: Is Paul the great love of her life because she gave up her job in DC in order to make the sacrifice of moving back to GC with the man she loves. I remember her stating to you that logistically speaking, she cant give up her job for Danny.

General Hospital

General Hospital’s Nancy Lee Grahn Chats On Her Daytime Emmy-Nominated Performance and Its Significance

When the nominations were revealed for the 49th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, General Hospital mainstay, Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis Davis), was recognized for her stunning work in the Alexis-centric standalone episode which honored her 25th anniversary with the ABC daytime drama series.

Grahn, is already a two-time Daytime Emmy winner.  She won back in 1989 in a tie for Outstanding Supporting Actress for her work as Julia Wainwright on Santa Barbara along with All My Children’s Debbi Morgan, and again received the honors in that category in 2012 for her work on General Hospital.

Now. she is vying for the gold in 2022 in the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series category against other formidable actresses including: B&B’s Kimberlin Brown, DAYS Stacy Haiduk, Y&R’s Melissa Ordway, and her GH castmate, Kelly Thiebaud.

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Nancy to talk about her decision to enter the Emmy race this year, her powerful and moving scenes, why this nomination is significant and important to her, and her take on some very important social issues of our time.

Always candid, insightful, combined with great humor and wit, here’s what Nancy had to share below, and make sure to check out GH this week when sparks fly between Alexis and Gregory (Gregory Harrison). Will he turn out to be the new beau in Alexis’ life? Stay tuned.

Courtesy/ABC

Congratulations on the Emmy nomination.  How do you feel about being in the running again, especially with the material from your 25th anniversary episode?

NANCY:  You know, I don’t submit myself if I don’t think I have something, and I didn’t last year.  This year, I had the one show, and the first reason I submitted myself was I had the episode that was worthy of the competition. These judges have to sit, and watch this stuff, and very often, it’s hard to watch soap opera scenes.  It really is, unless you’re in it.  It’s a different kind of material that most primetime people aren’t used to watching.  So, it’s tricky business.  I don’t want to put them through anything too awful. I don’t want to torture them and I’ve judged before. It can be a bit tedious. So, for me to submit myself, I thought, it has to be something that isn’t going to torture another human being. The second thing is, older women get marginalized the older they get, and they get diminished very often, and every time we get nominated, it means something different to me.  This time, to me, I want it to somehow be symbolic, or a shoutout to women who are still producing, who have been doing their job for a long time and are still doing it good enough, and that it’s still worthy of respect and recognition.

When we were at the GH Convention back in March, I played the scene on-stage for the fans in attendance of when Alexis goes over to the corner of Kevin’s office and heals her younger self.  You saw the reaction just from the fans.  It’s such a beautiful moment within the story.  What did you think about how the standalone episode was crafted?

NANCY:  It was a different experience for me because GH co-head writers Chris Van Etten and Dan O’Connor, and script writer, Scott Sickles gave it the attention, but even more to that, they allowed me to participate in the creation of it.  They allowed the director, Phideaux Xavier, to participate.  We all sat in a room.  They said, “You know what?  Make it how you’re comfortable with it.”  There were so many people who gave it time and effort, and Phideaux gets a lot of credit because he came up with a lot of ideas.  So, the little girl in the therapy room wasn’t initially a part of it.  That was Phideaux’s idea, and they let us alter things, and they allowed me to write some words that meant something to me with the character.  Our producers, Michelle Henry and M.K Weir, who I both adore, were also a part of this.

Courtesy/ABC

That is great to hear that you were involved in the collaborative process of the creation of the episode.

NANCY:  We read through the whole script, and we worked it like you would on primetime. We went through it like, “Does this moment work?  Does that moment work?  Does this make sense?  Does that make sense?”  We never do that in soaps.  We don’t get to that.  So, it was a gift to me.  It really was. Chris and Dan, and Scott and Phideaux, and the two producers, generosity in gifting me that experience and making sure that it was to everybody’s liking, was really very special to me, and it meant a lot.

Did you come up with the key lines which summarized Alexis as a person and her journey: “I’m Alexis Davis, and I’m a fighter, and an idealist and an advocate?”

NANCY:  No. They designed it, but we were allowed to enhance and contribute creatively to it, and, we don’t normally have the time to do that.  They don’t have the time to – and you can’t allow people to do that with every episode, to be creatively participating, because it would turn into madness with everybody.

Then, when it came down to choosing the scenes from your anniversary episode to include for your Emmy submission, was that a challenging process of which moments to go with?

NANCY:  I just told a little story with it with the time that I had, and so, I edited it with a friend of mine.  I did a sort of pre-edit on it, I’m good at that, and handed the timeline to our editor, who nicely put it together. It took very little effort.

In my humble opinion, I think that episode featured one of your all-time best performances.

NANCY: Thank you. There was a nice effort from everybody, from the lighting to everybody else, and all the effort Phideaux put into it.  He worked so hard on that!  It was fun for us.  It was like the old days where you really got to work something out.

Photo: ABC

It truly harkened back to everything we knew up to that point about Alexis and her past as well, and included a montage of scenes over the years.

NANCY:  I think it was M.K. who put that together, but when you’re working at the pace we’re working now, to have to sit and put together a montage of twenty-five years, that’s not an easy feat.  Nobody has time for that anymore, but they did it, and like I said, it was really, really appreciated.  My only thought with it is that I wanted it to be relatable to other people.  I didn’t want it to just be some, you know, self-indulgent Alexis episode. I knew that by bringing in the little girl and talking about people being hurt in their childhood and how that makes somebody feel that it was probably relatable to many people, and so it became meaningful to other people and not just me.

Do you think you’ll attend the Daytime Emmys? I know the last time you won you were not present.

NANCY:  Yeah, I’m planning on it.  I mean, barring anything happening! (Laughs)

Does it feel nice to be recognized by your peers?

NANCY:  Of course, it does.  It always does, and way too often, women who are still producing well in their jobs, don’t get the respect and the acknowledgment for it.  So, that’s why I’m saying, this is no small thing, and that I want other women to know that I know that, and that I wish for them the same thing.

What was the reaction of your daughter, Kate and your fiancé, Richard, when you told them you were Emmy-nominated?

NANCY:  Richie goes, “What is this?  Your 18th nomination?” (Laughs). You know what I mean?  It was just kind of like, “Yeah, sure, why wouldn’t you be?” It wasn’t like, “Oh, my God!”  It was like they kind of expected that.  That was nice!  I’m glad they feel that way.  I’m glad they weren’t surprised.  They were like, “Sure!  Of course, you would be.  Why wouldn’t you be?”  I said, “You know, it doesn’t always work like that!”

Photo: JPI

Now comes the part of having to find a dress and all that goes with it for the red carpet.  Do you enjoy that part?

NANCY:  No, I hate that part.  That is my… oh ‘boohoo’, you know?  I mean, I have to find something to wear.  Also, the older you get, that becomes so much less important, and the more makeup, and the more hair, and the more foofy, the more ridiculous I look. I start looking like Whatever Happened to Baby Jane.  You’ve just got to keep it simple.

You were talking about women and ageism.  Do you not feel that also exists for men?

NANCY:  It exists for men, but it’s not at all on the same par as women.  I mean, men still get paid more than women, and men still are valued more than women.  I mean, there are exceptions, but if you look in any place of employment, even the soaps, you will typically find the men making more money than the women, and the older the women get, the less they get.  Life’s not fair right now.  It’s fairer than it was, but still the equality game is not won yet.

Photo: JPI

I know how much all of this means to you in terms of equality for women, and people being run out of their jobs because of their age.

NANCY:  It’s just a reality.  It’s not something that I’m hopeless about, but I have a story to tell.  I’ll tell it when the time is right.  It’s life!  It happens in every field everywhere.  When my mom was 70, she was still producing the exact same way she was producing when she was 30, and she got run out, and was replaced by a man who was 40 or something, and there was no particular reason for it.  It was just, “You’re done.  We decided you’re done,” but like I said, it happens everywhere, in every line of work, and that’s why I just wanted to give a shout-out, when you still, after 36 years, can be recognized or shown respect or acknowledgment for what your do.  It’s a very big deal that I am appreciative of and grateful for.

So, rooting for Nancy to win the Outstanding Supporting Actress prize? Happy she was nominated for her work in the the milestone episode devoted to Alexis? Share your thoughts in the comment section below, and to tune-in to the 49th annual Daytime Emmy Awards on CBS and streaming on Paramount+ on Friday night, June 24th.

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General Hospital

GH Alum Sydney Mikayla Talks On Her Daytime Emmy Nomination, Decision To Exit & Her Former Co-Stars

It’s been quite the banner year for Sydney Mikayla (Ex-Trina Robinson, GH) thus far, and she topped it off with her second Daytime Emmy nomination, when a few weeks ago she landed in the Younger Performer in a Drama Series category.  That means, Mikayla will be vying for the gold statuette, but also against some of her dear friends and former co-stars from General Hospital.

Back in March, Mikayla revealed she was leaving the ABC daytime drama series to focus on college full-time where she is a freshman at UCLA. With Sydney’s departure came recasting the role of Trina and the part went in to the capable hands of Tabyana Ali, who is currently appearing on the soap and carrying on the Trina Robinson torch.

As the 49th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards are just around the corner (they air live next month on June 24th on CBS), Michael Fairman TV caught up with the very busy Mikayla, to get her take on all things Emmy including: the scenes she chose for her nominated reel, working alongside with Nicholas Alexander Chavez and creating what would become the popular “Sprina”, the factors that led to her departure and more. Here’s what Sydney shared below.

 

Your former co-stars and fellow ‘Younger Actor’ nominees, William Lipton (Cameron) and Nicholas Alexander Chavez (Spencer) appeared on my Daytime Emmy Nominations livestream special, and both share how thrilled they were that that you got nominated.  I know you’re friends with them, but they just could not have spoken more highly of you.

SYDNEY:  That’s so sweet!  I’ve loved working with them for so long.  It just feels so great to know that they said that.

Photo: ABC

What was on your Emmy reel submission that landed you the nomination?

SYDNEY:  I was a little bit nervous this year, more than last year, because last year was the first time that I ever had a storyline.  So, for this year, I was definitely like, “I’m not really sure how this is going to go,” because there’s just so many new elements that were happening with everything that was going on, for example: Trina getting a more acclimated relationship with her mom, and then we had Cyrus (Jeff Kober) come in for a little bit.  I chose the best moments that really showcased my acting, even though it wasn’t a cohesive storyline from start to finish on my reel.  I’m really glad it worked!  I was a little more on pins and needles for this one, and ultimately, it turned out great.

Photo: IG

Was Nicholas Alexander Chavez in any of the scenes you submitted?

SYDNEY:  He was! I got to show that soft side of Trina, which I really didn’t think we got to see, especially in my first Emmy reel, and her being vulnerable.  We never see Trina really make a mistake, so that was really fun.  Not that her relationship was a mistake, but more that we never get to see her slip up or say the wrong thing, or just put herself out there, and put her heart on the line. I enjoyed being able to play that and then being able to put it in my reel.  Nicholas just made it so easy … what an amazing co-star.  He just made me feel so comfortable.  It was just really fun to do and to include.  I also had scenes with the teen scene …there’s five of us! Of course, I had to include Trina’s standoff with Esme (Avery Pohl).  I think, it was actually the last clip I put in on my reel.

Which was a great scene!

SYDNEY:  Yes, and Avery is so sweet, but she plays evil so well.  So, that was also so incredible to do, just that standoff of: ‘Who’s going to win!?  Trina?  Esme?  What’s going to happen?  What’s going to go down?’  No one knew, so that was really fun, too.

Photo: JPI

Did you include scenes between you and Eden McCoy (Joss) as bff’s Trina and Joss on your Emmy reel?

SYDNEY:  Oh, of course, of course! It was some of those heartfelt bestie moments of her just kind of consoling me, and making sure everything was okay between Trina and Esme. I like those heartfelt moments that Trina had with one of her closest friends on the show, and a great friend in real life, as well.

When you found out you were nominated, who was the first person you called … or was your phone blowing up and you were receiving lots of congrats?

SYDNEY:  This year, with being on a college campus and being in person for the first time, it’s really easy to get sick.  So, I was not feeling too great. I was sleeping in my dorm when the nominations came out.  I still keep in contact with my makeup artist from the show, Ali, and she’s so sweet.  We were texting, and she was like, “By the way, congrats”, and kind of kept texting me, and I’m like, “Congrats for what?” I looked, and I was like, “Oh my gosh!  I got nominated!”  So that was pretty funny, and I screamed through my whole dorm!  I posted a video on Instagram because I wanted to keep everyone in the loop, and I really do feel so grateful.  I feel all of the support from my friends, and family, and the fans of the show. I always try to make a video every year to try to just be grateful, or say ‘thank you’ because I really want to key everyone into this journey.  It was a little bit of a shock, but definitely in the midst of not feeling too well, it was the highlight of my day, for sure!  Now, I am feeling that heat of finals at school, but I am so excited. The Emmy definitely breaks up the stress a little bit, so I’m very grateful.

Photo: ABC

Was there somebody you called to let them know you were nominated, though?

SYDNEY:  I actually called Nicholas and William, first, to say congratulations.  William had called me before I had woken up, and then I called him back, and then of course, I called my mom and dad.  It was also a surprise to them.  I think it was just because I had been so laser-focused on school that looking at the Emmy nominations really wasn’t the priority this year.

Could you believe how popular ‘Sprina’ became so quickly?  They weren’t even a bonafide duo yet!

SYDNEY:  I could not!  I was really shocked, but I was excited to see how much the fans loved it, and how much the fans kind of lived through it. That in turn, gave us more of that ammo to really build that story and build that tension, and to always kind of play those moments in between.  Nicholas did a really great job of that, and of challenging me to always have that subtext, under the lines.  I was really shocked to see how quickly the popularity of Sprina blew up, but I’m grateful that the fans loved it for as long as they.  I hope that they continue to love it with Tabyana Ali playing the part.  She is such an incredible actress and powerhouse.

Photo: ABC

You were so popular in the role of Trina, and now Tabyana is bringing her take on the role.  Do you check in on GH? 

SYDNEY:  Don’t cancel me, but no! (Laughs) I don’t have time to watch TV!  I’m very serious.  I’ve just had so much going on here.  I’m also part of clubs, and leadership is also something that’s very important to me.  I love planning things, and when you’re planning things, that also takes up your time.  So, doing that along with school and just trying to keep my GPA up, I just don’t have the time to check in on it.  I think that was kind of part of it for me too.  On a spiritual level, I always believe that you can’t receive other things in your life, great things, acting or otherwise, until you are able to let things go, and so for me, I knew when I was leaving, I really would have to leave mentally and physically. As much as I love General Hospital (and I really cannot wait to see everyone in person, I really can’t wait to have that big reunion!), I really don’t feel like any part of me is still clinging on to General Hospital. I’m so grateful that the audience has also received Tabyana so well, because that’s exactly what I’ve always wanted.  So, I’m really happy for her, and I’m really happy for both of us.  I think we are both in a great place.

Was making the decision to leave GH a difficult one for you?

SYDNEY:  Honestly, no.  I always kind of knew in the back of my mind that it would have to come at some point because as much as I love General Hospital, I’d really been working for college for all of my life.  I wish someone had told me that colleges really don’t look at anything past high school because I was working really hard in elementary and middle school too!  But that’s my point, I’ve always had this dream of, “I’m going to go to college.  I’m going to get that second education.  I’m going to do really well.  I need to get my degree, and possibly even get my doctorate.”  We’ll see if I even want to go that far, but I know for sure that going to college and getting that bachelor’s was really important for me.  So, I knew that took precedence over anything else in my life.

Photo: ABC

What are you studying?

SYDNEY:  Right now, I’m studying sociology.  That might change.  Honestly, as a freshman it’s just been really general classes, still kind of general science, general math.  We’ll see as time goes on if I still want to stick with sociology. So, that’s also been really fun, and just meeting people, and experiencing the college life.

You’re in a gender-neutral acting category at the Daytime Emmys …   Outstanding Younger Performer. How do you feel about that because you’re actually competing against your former castmates, Nicholas and William, in the same category?

SYDNEY:  Coming to college, you meet a lot of people who are non-binary. I’ve always wondered how that would work when we are going to have more actors who identify as non-binary as our generation starts to get older and as we start getting cast in these movies. I actually think we are kind of moving towards the future and in the future, it will all be smooshed together for all of the categories.  We are going to eventually do away with the Best Actor and Actress because a lot of people don’t identify as either.  I think either way, whoever wins is going to win.  I’m just really glad to be nominated, and it works for me!

Courtesy/ABC

If a role came up in a movie or project that interested you, would you do it, or are you just only concentrating on your studies?

SYDNEY:  We’ll see kind of where life takes me.  It would definitely depend on so many things, of course, but if an opportunity were to present itself, it would definitely just be by a case-by-case basis.  Of course, I’m definitely open to doing things in summer too. During the school year, like I mentioned, it’s really important for me to get this degree.

Photo: SMikaylaIG/ABC

Is there any favorite moment you had from your time on General Hospital as Trina that you wish you could have included in your Emmy reel, but didn’t?

SYDNEY:  There were so many good moments!  If I could include any moment, I would include one of the blood scenes.  I had never worked with fake blood, and it was sticky, but ultimately a good experience.  I was acting, but there wasn’t much of me talking.  It was more everyone being concerned for me, like, “Why is she covered in blood?  What’s going on?”  So, I don’t think I included that as much, but if they just wanted me to include amazing makeup, then I could have put it in there!  So, it’ll always be in my heart.  It’ll always be in my personal reel, and I hope that counts for something!

Photo: TimSchaeffer

I’m assuming you like picking out a dress, and then walking the red carpet?

SYDNEY:  I do!  It’s actually funny because I don’t usually enjoy hair and makeup on a day-to-day basis, but I do think I enjoy the creativity of doing my own look for the Emmys.  I get to be somewhat a little different, like a super awesome version of myself.  I wonder, for celebrities who have to go to red carpets every week if they really like it, but for me to do it a few times a year, I really love it.  I love choosing the aesthetic that I’m going for.  This year, I’m definitely trying to do something classy and stylish.  I’m super excited for you guys to see because I’m beaming even as I talk about it now!

The Daytime Emmys are back to being in-person, after two years of being virtual.  Didn’t you have to tape an acceptance speech last year when you were nominated, in case your name was called?

SYDNEY:  Yes!  It was so funny, one of our producers, Nneka Garland, called me, and she was like, “Oh, it’s going to be in person,” and it just like, snapped for me: “Oh, this is going to be live!” I’m looking forward to that this year.  I’m looking forward to seeing everyone, giving everyone real, in-person hugs!  I can’t wait!

So, are you rooting for Sydney to take home the gold in the Outstanding Younger Performer category at this year’s Daytime Emmys? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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Interviews

The Young and the Restless Daytime Emmy Nominees Talk Reactions, Reels, and Their Co-Stars

All of the nominated performers from the cast of The Young and the Restless, who just recently received Daytime Emmy nominations for the upcoming 49th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, chatted with Michael Fairman collectively in an exclusive on You Tube’s Michael Fairman Channel. 

Y&R received the most nominations of any daytime program in this year’s race leading the pack with 18.

Sharing their reactions to being Emmy-nominated, plus what scenes they submitted on their reels; that landed them in the position to be going for gold were: Outstanding Lead Actor nominees, Peter Bergman (Jack Abbott) and Jason Thompson (Billy Abbott), Outstanding Lead Actress nominee, Mishael Morgan (Amanda Sinclair), Outstanding Supporting Actor Nominees, Bryton James (Devon Hamilton) and Jordi Vilasuso (Ex-Rey Rosales), Outstanding Supporting Actress nominee, Melissa Ordway (Abby Newman), Outstanding Younger Performer nominee, Alyvia Alyn Lind (Ex-Faith Newman) and Outstanding Guest Performer Nominee, Ptosha Storey (Naya Benedict).

Throughout the virtual roundtable interview, several of the actors who have won previously including: three-time Daytime Emmy winner, Bergman and two-time winner, Bryon James as well as past winners, Jason Thompson and Jordi Vilasuso gave words to the wise if they should win a gold statuette. In addition, the Y&R Emmy nominee ensemble shared the secret to their collaborative process when working with one another in the fast pace of daytime dramas, and much more.

You can catch the 49th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards on June 24th on CBS and streaming on Paramount+ to see if these Y&R nominees names will be called when the envelopes are opened.  In the meantime, you can watch our candid, informative, and heartfelt conversation below.

Now let us know, what did you think of the scenes the Y&R Emmy-nominated performers shared that they submitted? Happy to see them in the race this year? What was your favorite moment from the virtual roundtable? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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Cameron Mathison talks with Michael Fairman on taking on the role of GH’s Drew Cain, the latest developments in Port Charles for Drew. his busy career outside of soaps and the loss of his mother and his public battle with cancer.Leave A Comment
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