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The Young and The Restless Michelle Stafford Interview: One Of Soaps Greatest On Her Daytime Emmy Nomination!

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

Photo Credit: Duffimages.com

There is no question that The Young and the Restless’ Michelle Stafford is one of the most phenomenal actresses in the history of the soap genre! And now this year, Stafford scores her tenth Daytime Emmy Nomination for her role as Genoa City’s fiery Phyllis! Already a two-time Daytime Emmy winner, could this be the year that Michelle adds to her gold collection if she takes home the prize for Outstanding Lead Actress?

On-Air On-Soaps chatted with Michelle in her dressing room at Y&R’s studios at CBS to get her thoughts on the recognition from her peers, what episode she picked when she always has some amazing work to choose from, and how not to let an Emmy win, or never being nominated, define your hard work and performances.

Always a straight-shooter, always humorous, and always someone who understands the human condition, here is our Emmy chat with Michelle!  Don’t forget, the 40th annual Daytime Emmy Awards will be handed out on Sunday night, June 16th and broadcast live on HLN!

What episode did you submit that landed you in the finals of the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series category this year?  And, why did you decide to go with that episode?

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

MICHELLE:  I actually loved the show because on paper it was very different than how I played it.  I always go with what I like, and if I don’t get in, I don’t get in.  Like last year, I loved the show I submitted and I didn’t get nominated.  And you know, I feel better not getting nominated, or not winning based on integrity, and what I thought was good.  I don’t always go with how I think people will perceive it.  I liked this because there were a lot of twists and turns in it.  In the episode, Phyllis goes after Christine (Lauralee Bell) in the coffee house, and I kind of made it funny.  Then I was pissed, and then it was like a ‘screw you!’  It was a rollercoaster ride, which I liked.  And, then there are scenes with Nick (Joshua Morrow) where she is hurt over his relationship with Avery (Jessica Collins).

How was it on paper, or written in the script?

MICHELLE: On paper they wanted me to come in a like a bull and lose my mind on Christine.  I was like, “Well, you know … she is a lot smarter than that.”   The thing was, Phyllis already won.  She got off for the crime.  So when you already won, you don’t need to throw it to be mad, because you won!  I put some gloating in there!  Like, “I’m free, bitch!” (Laughs)  Phyllis was just making fun of Christine, and Lauralee Bell was awesome in the scene!  In fact, she pushed me as Christine, and that was not in the script, and so I pushed her back! (Laughs) It was a good old-fashioned bitch fight! (Laughs) I am so glad though that the writers had these scenes for me to play.

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

Who weighed-in on your choices for your Emmy submission?  I know Christian LeBlanc (Michael, Y&R) always usually helps you pick, or offers up an opinion to you come Emmy time!

MICHELLE: It was one of those years that I had some really good scenes in episodes, and then two boring ones at the end.  Everyone falls into that.  I had two really great shows, but then at the end of that I had these two scenes, where I talk about nothing for a long time with somebody.  So it was between this one with Lauralee and Josh, or the other episode was with me and Christian going back and forth.  I sent it to Christian and I also sent to Nancy Lee Grahn, (Alexis, GH) because she sends me hers.  And, she did not look it at it because she was too busy.  So it was just Christian.  See Nancy! (Laughs)  In the end though, I go with my gut.

What do you think about the other ladies in your category this year …  Susan Flannery (Ex-Stephanie) and Heather Tom (Katie) for their work on The Bold and the Beautiful, and Peggy McKay (Caroline) of Days of our Lives?

MICHELLE:  There are only four nominees in the category, which is shocking!  I saw a performance of Susan Flannery’s (Ex-Stephanie, B&B) in scenes with John McCook (Eric, B&B) as I judged Lead Actor.  Having just experienced going through cancer with my sister every single day, the way that Susan Flannery reacted was brilliant.  I was so relieved to see she did not go to the tears and the histrionics, and I really loved it.  I don’t know what she submitted, but this one I loved.  These ladies I am in the category with are all amazing!

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

We have often talked that the best way to look at the Daytime Emmys is that it’s just a big game, in which you play to win, but in no way does it define you.  What advice would you give to other actors or nominees, having been a veteran of these proceedings now ten times?

MICHELLE: I think you can get wrapped up in it.  It is a validation of your work, but you put to much credence on it.  If you think it means that you’re good, or not good, it can screw with your head, that’s all.  I can see if someone is continuously not nominated, like Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke, B&B) up until this year.  Now, this year she has said to me, “It’s embarrassing.”  And I said to her, “No.  It’s not embarrassing. You’re in!  It doesn’t matter!”   So I am very excited for Katherine.  She worked so hard and deserves it, and she is a sweetheart.  It is a game.  It’s not, “I don’t care if I win or lose,” because when I play a game, I play to win. 

And … you have lost many times too!

MICHELLE: Oh, my gosh. (Laughs)  I have lost so many times.   One year I remember I was just pissed!  And I wasn’t pissed that I lost.  I wasn’t pissed at the person who won, but I was just like, “Really?  I got dressed up tonight!  God! I had so much going on!  I got my hair and make-up done!  Geez!”  (Laughs)

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

You are always, if not thee, one of the stunners always walking the red carpet on Daytime Emmy night!  Is it fun for you to get all dressed up?  Or, do you feel pressure that you have to top yourself year after year with the look and the dress?

MICHELLE:  Yes, it is totally fun, and it is not pressure.  Every woman wants to dress up and look pretty.  Every woman wants to look good.   And every man wants to look good, right?

Well… some men dress up better than others!

MICHELLE: Yes, but in their mind, they look good! (Laughs)

So Y&R fans, what do you think of Michelle’s choice of submission for the Daytime Emmys?  Do you think she has a good shot at winning the Lead Actress prize this year? Would you agree she is one of the best actresses on television? Share your thoughts!

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Steph (Cherokeegirl226)
Guest
Steph (Cherokeegirl226)

I think she picked the best scene. I remember the confrontation at Crimson Lights. I really hope Michelle wins! I love her to death! I have the utmost respect for Michelle. ❤

Vonda
Guest
Vonda

I hope Michelle wins. She is my favorite on the show!! Michelle is up there in the Jeanne Cooper category for me. Class Act!! They are my 2 favorite women on the show! Michelle is always stunning on the red carpet! Good luck Michelle!!

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

sour grapes. sure.

it’s about time the NATAS panel – realize in this day and age of economics… that bringing credibility to the Emmys…is not dumbing down… the one genre that has built daytime.

i’m over the popularity contest and/or lumping all your votes for said persons’ to bring recognition to said show.

Michelle Stafford… thank you for contributing…

where’s Sharon Case.
where’s Finola Hughes.
where’s Kelly Sullivan.

This isn’t your year. Heather Tom won last year…. Susan Flannery.. sentiment – Possibly. Peggy McCay.. Why not… it’s not like the voting is all that.

Cgoff0704
Guest
Cgoff0704

Evidently the judging panel did not think the others were worthy of an Emmy nomination!

Doug Davidson was one of the judges for Lead Actress and in his interview on this site on 5/12 said “Michelle Stafford day in and day out brings it to the table, I think she is arguably one of the best in the genre”

Michelle has a great chance of winning!

Jerrica
Guest
Jerrica

she is my fave on the show..im rooting for her!!

toscanti
Guest
toscanti

I think she is FANTASTIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

heidi
Guest
heidi

I think she’s great!!! Love her character! I am hoping Susan wins… but if not Susan… then Michelle!!!

Great interview as usual Michael… thank you Michelle!!!

Michael
Guest
Michael

I’m going for Susan Flannery for the win since this is her last year to be nominated and to win. If I really want to get greedy, I’d have Heather Tom winning with Susan as well…….a tie or as they prefer to say it, “There are two recipients and the first one is…..”. That would be my preference. I saw the same scene too and I just don’t think Michelle will win with that one. The other three actresses have much stronger material than she does. Peggy McKay, Susan, and Heather all had social issue storylines that they were playing.… Read more »

Harlee
Guest
Harlee

WOW! This catagory is packed heavy with talent….I know the scenes which was very good…because you had not only Christine, Nina, Paul, Lauren, Michael in the scene and it was a fun ride. I love her and hopes she does win….

Nancylee
Guest
Nancylee

I pick Michelle video for the Emmy before Y&R did I told my Brother his is the video will win the Emmy for Michelle…I just don’t understand why Michelle Sister Finn was left out of the Emmy this year…and Why wasn’t LLB left out Support Actress for the same Video is the Emmy Fix….will watch Michelle was Ann 12 time stright so shye better win she lose 12 times that enough..GO Michelle.

I Know Bull
Guest
I Know Bull

Michelle Stafford is talented. She can swing so much emotion out of a viewer, she can make you want to hug her, so her or just smirk cause you get the joke. I really hope she wins.

Chaz
Guest
Chaz

I love her portrayal of Phyllis. She projects every emotion to a T. Deep down I think Phyllis is mentally disturbed and Ms. Stafford allows that to come out every now & then. It is not only the vocal aspects of her acting but the way she uses her entire body,,,hands shaking and neck tensing when she is upset. Phyllis is such a complex character and Michelle Stafford has the acting chops to pull off the entire range of emotions that are necessary to bring out the complexities.

Lily
Guest
Lily

Ms. Stafford should take into consideration what she liked about Susan Flannery’s performance: “I was so relieved to see she did not go to the tears and the histrionics”. And lol yes, Phyllis did come in like a bull and lost her mind on Christine,lol. Phyllis came off like a total loon – the writers got what they wanted out of those scenes.

Wendy
Guest
Wendy

i met Michelle las summer n Vancouver and had a chance for a chat. She is as genuine as in this interview. Her enthusiasm is always so present. At the Charity Tea she attended in Vancouver, she gave up a weekend with her daughter to help promote the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. That was done after her work week and then a flight back to LA. She was totally enthused for the event. I found out following, her sister has now been declared ‘cancer free’ after treatments for the same cancer. Am hoping for Michelle to be recognized once again… Read more »

Christine Milligan
Guest
Christine Milligan

Just read that Michelle is leaving Y&R. What a HUGE loss!!!

Domino
Guest
Domino

I wonder if that means Victoria Rowell is coming back. I can’t think of whom else would want to break up Neil and Leslie if not Drucilla.

SR
Guest
SR

I love & support MS in any scene she does. She is a consummate pro. Good luck Michelle in both the nomination & your new ventures.

Carlton Mcquay
Guest
Carlton Mcquay

I’ve enjoyed watching Michelle Stafford for years. As for the Daytime Emmys, win or lose, I will always have love for Michelle. She’s truly one of the best.

jmvrn
Guest
jmvrn

Michelle is a phenomenal actress. She plays the heavy role so well and with such ease. She doesn’t even appear to be acting and I know she is under alot of lights, cameras, people all around and still makes every scene so believable. Michelle has been one of my favorites ever since she came on the Y&R. I hate to see her leave the show.

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Courtesy/ABC

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Congratulations to Michael and Rebecca on their winning short  film! Share your kudos via the comment below.

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