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Y&R's Sally Kellerman Talks On Taking On The Role Of Constance Bingham,The Gabriel/Adam Mystery & Her Co-Stars: Justin Hartley and Kelly Sullivan!

Photo Credit: Hutchins Photo

Photo Credit: Hutchins Photo

Who would have ever thought that veteran motion picture and television actress Sally Kellerman would end up on a role on The Young and the Restless? And in a role that ushers in the return of one of the most pivotal characters to the number one daytime drama canvas, Adam Newman, now the form of Justin Hartley!

As viewers of Y&R have seen over the last few episodes, Kellerman plays a wheelchair bound elderly woman named Constance Bingham, who seems to be believe that Adam with his newly reconstructed face, (which now is a dead-ringer for Constance’s grandson, Gabriel) …  is truly her grandson Gabriel! Confused? Stay tuned!  All the more intriguing is that Constance seems to be assisted with her daily routine by Sage (Kelly Sullivan), and as we have witnessed, Sage knows that Chelsea (Melissa Claire Egan) and Connor are Adam’s wife, and son.  And on Friday’s episode, Adam’s bandages came off to which he looked in the mirror and with a smirk said, “Now, I can reclaim my life!”  The story now begins to take its next turn!

So how did Kellerman, an Oscar nominee for her iconic role as nurse “Hot Lips” Houlihan in the classic film M*A*S*H, wind up in Genoa City?  What has it been like for her working for the first time in her legendary career on a soap?  And what does she have to say about her character … and working with Kelly and Justin?  Read on for our enlightening and entertaining interview with the one and only Sally K.!

What was like for you coming in as accomplished and well-known motion picture and television actress, and taking on the pace and the rigors of performing on a daytime drama?

Courtesy/IMDB

SALLY:  I never thought about doing a daytime soap before, not even for a moment.   I am on my knees in adulation for the people who do this.  These young kids and the people that have been on the show for 28 years or so, and learning all those lines, it’s unbelievable!  I kept thinking to myself, “How could I have possibly signed up for this?” (Laughs)  But, I really enjoy my time there and love everybody.  It’s so organized and amazingly run.  They have given me the nicest dressing room and parking spot! They have treated me like gold.  I love everyone in the make-up department.  My idea of a good movie is a good make-up artist and some burritos and a donut and hanging out in the trailer! (Laughs)   I will say … people seem so happy at Y&R and I have been really having fun.  I know I may like to whine and complain sometimes, (laughs), but luckily they are not drowning me in 20 pages of dialog a day all of the time.

You share scenes with Kelly Sullivan (Sage).  What has it been like working alongside her?

SALLY:  Kelly Sullivan is so adorable and talented.  She had to deliver a soliloquy the other day – and it was like three pages long with all kinds of names she had to remember.  I love Kelly!  She’s amazing.

Courtesy/IMDB

How did this even come about that you were cast in this part on Y&R? 

SALLY: I was sitting there doing the Mark Maron Show were I play his nice Jewish mother, where in story she had just got back from a cruise and was worried that she got STD’s, so he has to take her to the hospital!   It’s very funny and I just loved doing it! And then, I get a call to do The Young and the Restless.  They asked me if I would do the part, and they told me that I could keep appearing on the Mark Maron Show, too!  It has been a wonderful experience.  Doing Y&R, well, it just moves like the wind.  It is fast!

And when you debuted this week as Constance Bingham, there you are in a wheelchair!

SALLY:  My fantasy is I am leaping up soon. (Laughs)  The whole thing just happened so quickly, and then I found myself in a wheelchair! (Laughs).  They are wheeling me in and out of the room all the time going, “Hello, Constance!” They might also say, “Would you like to go rest?”  Then, out I am wheeled! (Laughs)

Courtesy/CBS

In my interview with Kelly Sullivan, she says she has been “driving” you around in this wheelchair and bashing into set props!  (Laughs)

SALLY: (Laughs) The other day they wheeled me in and said, “Would you like some tea to calm your nerves?” Constance had just been through a rather trying experience.  I said, “Well that would be lovely. Thank you.”  So, she gives me this big cup and saucer and then she says, “Would you like to go rest Constance?” So, out again I am wheeled with a teacup in my hand! (Laughs)

You are such a vibrant woman and actress; it was very unusual to see you, of all people, tootling around wheelchair bound!

SALLY:  When I started I said, “Who is she?”  They told me, “She loves her grandson.” I said, “But, what else?”   Working on the soaps is a whole different world to me.  On the second day, they gave me two scripts, and the second one had a lot of dialog on in it.  So I had a boy who was running lines with me.  I made it through the first script, and then I got through half of the second one, and then they said, “OK, now we are going right on to this other part.”  I was horrified and so embarrassed! (Laughs)

So, what do you think of your “Gabriel”, our new Adam Newman, Justin Hartley?

Photo Credit: CW

SALLY:  He is so wonderful.   I know I must sound like Miss Pollyanna with a bow in my hair, but that is the way I feel.  He is remarkable, too!  Justin and Kelly get to have these long conversations of fighting and carrying on after I am wheeled out of the scenes.  Justin is really nice and really talented.

You, Justin, and Kelly are all in scenes together in this gothic type setting.  In story, the three of you are really kind of like an island on to yourselves right now.

SALLY:  The first day, the rest of the cast is way over there on one side of the set and studio, and I am over here in my wheelchair!  So, I did feel like an island on to myself.   It was so brand new to me.  I hope I brought something to the party.  It was really different being in a wheelchair.

Does Constance truly believe that Adam is her grandson Gabriel?

SALLY:  And the plot thickens!

Is Constance a kind and decent lady?  We don’t know quite know what to think, or if she is a bit wackadoodle!

Courtesy/CBS

SALLY:  She is a good person, and she doesn’t like her enemies.  She is part of one family, and there is another family that has bad people in it.  The viewers are supposed to like this lady, but let me know if they do!  She loves her grandson and she loves Sage, and Sage loves her, too.  Sage is caught in the middle of a lot of stuff; she is the character that is walking a fine line.

Have you met Y&R icon Eric Braeden (Victor)?  Did he give you an official Y&R welcome?

SALLY:  I did meet Eric Braeden.  He came up to me and with that voice of his said, “Hello, and don’t you worry about a thing!” (Laughs)   He was great.  I could see why he had been on the show for so many years.  He has such a presence about him, a great presence, even when saying “hello” in the make-up room.

When you made news in  the mainstream entertainment outlets that you were guest starring in a story arc on The Young and the Restless, everyone of course made reference to your most famous role, that of Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan in the motion picture and 70’s classic, M*A*S*H!

Courtesy/Motion Pictures Society Archives

SALLY:  The series has been on forever, and a lot of these young kids don’t even know that there was the movie version of M*A*S*H, before the TV show, and that’s O.K baby! We had me, and Elliot Gould, and everybody that worked on it, and we had one of the best times of all of our lives.

You were nominated for an Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actress for your role in M*A*S*H. Would you consider it to be the defining role of your career?

SALLY:  I was nominated for an Oscar for that, and it was my first real break in my career.  The rest of it I spent beating down “Hot Lips”, not really.  I love it! People can call me “Hot Lips” until I drop over.  I was just signing autographs in New Jersey the other week. Every guy who was in front of who wanted an autograph said, “Did you meet my nieces? Call me when you got no class!” and that is because I was in a film with Rodney Dangerfield called, Back to School.   That was the most popular film. People see it like five or six times.  So, in my career I have been in two blockbusters: M*A*S*H and Back to School.  You know, I’ve done over 50 films in my career including A Little Romance, and Foxes with Jodie Foster, and Brewster McCloud to name just a few.

Courtesy/IMDB

Now decades later, a new audience and new fans can get to know you from your mysterious role on Y&R!

SALLY:  Now they know me from a wheelchair. “Hello dah-lin!” (Laughs)  I said to Y&R’s executive producer Jill Farren Phelps, it says in the script, “Old woman goes to the door … or … old woman comes back”   I then said to her, “Am I suppose to talk with a scraggly old voice?”  She said, “No! We want you just the way you are.”

So, what do you think thus far of Sally Kellerman in her debut role the soaps and Y&R?  Who is Constance Bingham? What do you think is happening in the storyline if Constance believes that Adam is Gabriel, and Adam assumes his identify?  Will he be able to reconnect with those he loves and those he wants to seek revenge on?  Where is the real Gabriel then?  What are your thoughts on how this plot may play out?  Intrigued?  Comment below!

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objkshnMegilajkalamatyjoyce evans Recent comment authors
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su0000
su0000

well..
Constance Bingham is a bit senile and Sage is tricking her into believing that Adam is her grandson..
Constance has never seen Adams face so she knows nothing lol

Adam is going along with it to get care and safety , and to have Sage do his dirty work,,
Is the way I see it …. dunno ..

Brenda
Brenda

Nice to see Sally, but the Adam/Gabriel storyline is an old, tired retread from other soaps. Why can’t Y&R’s writers & producers come up with something NEW? It’s tiresome the show is so predictable. You can see where this is going from a mile away. Lots more FF scenes coming up for the audience. Zzzzzzz.

su0000
su0000

If I believe this story came from AMC..
It may have variations, but it’s in the same realm ..

I’m still a counted number but FF through about 60% of an episode…
I wonder how many others are counted as happy fans/whatever but are FFers like me..

Mark Y
Mark Y

FF?

Harry
Harry

Marky, FF means Fast Forward and is only relevant to those who record using DVD’s or perhaps DVR the show.
Suoo, this story is not lifted from AMC. Tadd Martin was presumed dead after he fell off a bridge when in the midst of a struggle wit Billy Clyde Tuggell.
Bad Tadd ended up in Napa County and happened to bear a striking resemblance to an older woman’s grandson, Ted Orsini.
Ted and Tadd were doubles while Adam looks nothing like Granny Sally’s grandson. The storylines are somewhat similar but certainly not identical.

Nikki
Nikki

I kind of like the story myself but I fast forward Summer/Avery.

objkshn
objkshn

Yawn. Yawn. more yawn.

I’ve watched Y&R and #GH for 35 years. General is the best ever these days with riveting story. I have been looking forward to seeing it the day it airs. Y&R on the other hand I watch Sunday nights and can fast forward through most scenes. Yawn fest. Boring. Predictible. Been there, done that. Same old same old. Insomnia cure. Why bother updating the sets when the stories are so old and tired?

A Baptiste
A Baptiste

She gives a delightful interview, let them give her that delightful edge to her character…a welcome addition is Ms. Sally indeed.

davlestev1
davlestev1

I agree and she pulled NO PUNCHES…that interview was off the cuff and enlightening and hilarious and tellling…I don’t blame her…”old woman goes to the door…old woman says hello” so should I talk like one cuz you got me twisted…this is your character…not me…LMAO…Old Hollywood…If you gonna hire me…I WON’T BE CENSORED!!! Very telling and excellent interview Mr. Fairman….KUDOS

Harry
Harry

I agree–I like her even better after reading this interview.

Patrick
Patrick

the one constant the moves me…. every actor… who is unknown to daytime… “pages and pages of dialogue” that is the one absolute that makes me beam and stand for… the rigors of Serial

this is no slouch that you’re invited to

Serial commands attention

I am intrigued at whats going on : Justin, Kelly, and grand dame Sally

add in Gina Tognoni

effervescent Eileen Davidson… thank the gods… that the Abbotts… are with;
Jack, is always at his best, when his siblings traverse

Sharon and Victoria are always in my upper most regions… mindset for pull

will Nikki get a life… party with Meredith Baxter

whats handsome Stitch… drool… up to

is Michael faring well.. with his wife… and support from bro Kevin

give that truly grand dame… Judith Chapman LIFE

Y&R isn’t #1 in my realm… it’s go to

TherealAdamNewman
TherealAdamNewman

I can’t believe they gave Adam a new face. I wanted a storyline where we see Adam finding out that his camera’s out and framing another character for Delia’s murder, only to find out that it was actually another character. Yet, with the fact that he’s action a wanted man for running over a child and leaving her to die, I can totally see why reconstructed/plastic surgery, and the fact that Muhney was more popular than his last processor, Chris Engen, had to take place for the character’s return!

Mo
Mo

Enjoying Sally and Constance. Glad this explained that Constance thinks Adam is her grandson, but isn’t really, because I was confused, like how had Adam gotten to his grandmother so quickly after the accident and that he didn’t know his grandmother existed before the accident.

joyce evans
joyce evans

Sally would have made a great ms. Chancellor

Meg
Meg

I’M ENJOYING SALLY ,I’D LIKE CONSTANCE TO BE THERE FOR ADAM ,WHEN SHE FINDS OUT HOW THE NEWMANS HAVE TREATED HIM ,WHEN SHE FINDS OUT HE’S ADAM ,I HAVE A FEELING GABERIEL WASN’T AS WONDERFUL AS SHE WANTS TO BELIEVE HE WAS AND SAGE KNOWS THIS,

kalamaty
kalamaty

I love what Sally Kellerman brings to all of her characters; she talks about Eric Braeden’s presence, well she’s got it, too! She brings a lot of class and gravitas to any role she takes on and I’m really enjoying her scenes.

ilaj
ilaj

Sally Kellerman brings so much to Y & R! She also looks amazing! So nice to see a legendary actor bring her best to every role – even a different and challenging one, especially for a 77-year old! And also nice to see an older actor not have had scary surgery! She is classy, much like Jeanne Cooper was.

Meg
Meg

I want to know what she meant by there being two families. will She still be on after Adam leaves for GC.

Meg
Meg

I hope so.

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