Deep Soap: Y&R’s Eileen Davidson on Tucker, Abby and Hugh Hefner

Eileen Davidson (Robert Voets/CBS)

Eileen Davidson (Robert Voets/CBS)

2010 has not been the greatest year for ‘The Young & The Restless‘s Ashley Abbott.  She found out that she was raising another woman’s child and had miscarried her baby.  Her daughter Abby turned into a rebellious aspiring reality star.  However, the actress who plays her, Eileen Davidson, could not be happier.  At a recent Sony Television Critics Association party in Beverly Hills, she spoke about Ashley’s hot new romance, learning Japanese and partying at the Playboy mansion.

Do you like Ashley’s relationship with Tucker? Do you enjoy working with Stephen Nichols?
I love working with Stephen.  I think they’re a great pair.  A lot more can be explored with them.

You two had some steamy scenes in Japan.
Those were some scenes.  Try having to learn Japanese.

Did they give you Rosetta Stone?
An interpreter, a coach.  We worked off and on together for a couple weeks.  Strangely enough, I can still say my lines.

How do you like working with your new on-screen daughter Marcy Rylan?
She’s a lovely person. I have a great time working with her.  I like the way they’re taking the character.  It’s very well defined character now. She’s older so there’s more that can be done with her.  I think that [Ashley feels] how a lot of parents feel when they have trouble like that.  It’s heartbreaking for her.  She kind of takes responsibility for it because she hasn’t been the best parent in the world.  She has a lot of guilt.

How far will the war between them go?
It gets even crazier.  It becomes very divisive.

What will happen when she learns that Jack is pretending to be on her side while secretly advising Abby?
I don’t know how she could be okay with her brother doing that with her daughter. That could be very tricky.

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You have great chemistry with both Marcy Rylan and Stephen Nichols.  Do you have any techniques for developing that on-screen chemistry?
You can act your way around a person but a lot of it is really out of your control.  Kristoff [St. John] and I also have great chemistry but I don’t know if it translated to the screen, so who knows?

Ashley’s handled being gaslighted and learning the baby she thought was hers was actually someone else’s a lot better than I would have.
You don’t want to belabor her recovery because that’s not that interesting.  I always say we only see her for an hour a day.  We don’t know.  Maybe she’s in therapy for 23 hours a day.

What would you like to happen next for Ashley?
I would love to see her deeply romantically involved with somebody.

It seems like a bit of a missed opportunity that they didn’t play a triangle between Tucker, Ashley and Neil.
I would love that.  You’ve got to have some conflict.

Y&R veered into sensationalistic, off the wall plots for a while before starting to return to form this month.
I’m not running the show and I’m not writing the show. What [the writers] have to go through to keep it interesting, keep pushing the envelope, keep it current, keep it viable, I can’t even begin to fathom.  So if they feel they need to go there, I might not always understand, but it keeps people interested.  The went there for a while, they visited that real place, and now they came back to another place.  If it were the same thing all the time, people would get bored.

You have a side career writing mysteries.  How did that come about?
My third book Diva Las Vegas just came out.  My husband had written a book with Rob Randisi about the poker world, a murder mystery.  Rob was over one day and I said we should do something around soap operas.  I had an idea.  He said, “pitch it.”  I pitched to Penguin.  They gave us a two-book deal, and then they gave us a third book.

Do you use a different part of your brain when you write and when you act?  Which do you enjoy more?
They’re very different.  I actually really love writing.  I really get into it.  I crack myself up.  I come up with all these different scenarios that really make me laugh.  I also get to show people what’s behind the curtain.  I call it truthiness.  The third book opens at Hugh Hefner’s Halloween party.  The first time I went [to the Playboy mansion] I could not believe what I was seeing.

You’ve partied with Hugh Hefner?
Yeah.  I’ve done just about everything I have ever written about.  The book actually opens up with my lead protagonist saying, ‘No way,’ when she sees a woman who is painted but she thinks is really wearing clothes.  When she gets closer she’s like, ‘Oh my God! She’s naked!’

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That’s not going to happen in daytime.
Probably not.

Do you feel any rivalry with the former Y&R actress who also has written a novel about daytime?
Are you talking about Victoria Rowell?

I don’t have any desire to be mean-spirited [in my books.]  I just don’t. I love everyone I work with.

Are there going to be any more of the mini-remotes, like the recent storm?
We did a remote that was at CBS Radford [a different studio from the one where Y&R tapes] at the ‘Father Knows Best‘ set. A father who knows best will be making a guest appearance.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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