Soaps.com: What was your favorite storyline you were involved in?
Rachel: I guess there were two of them because I really got into them. When Blake (Berris, ex-Nick) first came to the show I had a lot of fun with him. The energy that he brought made me snap into this more focused, serious actor mode and I started to appreciate and take on his outlook and perspective on the world of acting. I think had he never come to this show that’s something I never would have gained because it was just a special something he had. When he and I worked together we had a lot of fun because we took it seriously, not saying no one else does, but it was just the dynamic he and I had and I really enjoyed what they were doing with the romance and it was a bummer it had to be destroyed and dismantled the way it was. I thought that made for good storyline, but when they tried to reconnect Chelsea and Nick, the timing of it all did not make sense to me whatsoever and I found it hard to justify and get back into.
My other favorite storyline was when I was saving my dad (Bo) with the pancreatic transplant because I love medical storylines and I’m a huge fan of “Grey’s Anatomy”. Death is my biggest fear and I think in any circumstance where death is a possibility, I mean that’s the end all be all, that’s the worst case scenario and the darkest place you can go to and so for me it was a great challenge and something I really sunk my teeth into and got lost in.
Soaps.com: So then would you say Nick was your favorite love interest for Chelsea or did you like someone else for her?
Rachel: I guess it would be a toss up between Max and Nick for totally opposite reasons actually. I think the way they wrote Chelsea and Max in the beginning it was never meant to last. I think the way they’re writing us now is great and vice versa for Blake’s character. I think in the beginning it had such great potential and then the second time they tried to reconnect it just lost that fire. Because the way I was sensing it, it was like, okay, here’s this kid who slept with my mom and then Chelsea got beyond that and then she leaves him for another guy who sleeps with her grandmother. It’s just going to stir up feelings of the first time it happened and make her even that much more angry towards guys, especially the two who screwed her over so to speak. I found it hard that she would go back to Nick because Nick is just a constant reminder of the other trauma that had just happened to her. I didn’t think it made sense, which disappointed me because I would have loved for Chelsea and Nick to reconnect down the line, I just can’t say I was completely sold on the timing of it all and sold on the idea of how it could happen after what happened with Daniel.
Rachel: I wanted it work out too. They were adorable and fun and I think the dynamic was great. I think it actually makes sense that they’re putting me back with Max because it’s realistic. I haven’t been with him for like two and half years in real time, God knows what that is in soap time. It’s feasible, you know? He never broke my heart, I kind of broke his and I just think it makes sense.
Soaps.com: Aside from the whole sleeping with her grandmother thing, what were your thoughts on Chelsea and Daniel as a couple?
Rachel: On one hand, it made sense because she never really did have the closeness with Bo, so there’s the whole father complex or whatever. Um…I don’t know. I had an issue with it because I look at myself and I know I’m twenty-four, but I still look like I’m seventeen and I still feel like I’m eighteen. For me to kind of call upon this maturity to be convincingly old enough and mature enough to play opposite this guy, it was really hard and I almost didn’t buy it so I was like how is anybody else going to buy it? That being said, I love working with Shawn (Christian, Daniel). Shawn is one of the coolest people I’ve ever worked with. He’s just really down to earth, we have a lot in common and he was fun to work with. In that aspect, I did enjoy the characters together. I found ways to make it work, but to me it was never going to last.
Of course towards the end of the storyline too, I enjoyed the more maturity of the material that I was given, that Chelsea was dealing with. I liked that they were pulling her away from the young teen storyline. It’s not that I have anything against the teen storyline, but now that they were kind of taking me back there after I had been with an older man, that I found kind of hard to justify too. But it’s a soap, I’ve been on the show for four years, you have to make story and it’s hard to keep things consistent sometimes as a writer when there’s so many. I don’t mean to criticize everything that they do, I know their job is hard, but it was just hard to keep the consistency of the character with all the different paths she was going down.
Soaps.com: Also, with all the behind the scenes shakeups the last couple of years I imagine it would be hard to keep that consistency.
Rachel: Yeah, you’re dealing with different writers and the writer we had before Dena Higley I think was putting me with Daniel and that was making sense so far and when Dena came, I don’t know what her vision was, but obviously it wasn’t for Daniel and Chelsea because they spilt us up. Then I think they were hinting at me getting back with Nick and I just had a problem with that because I thought it kind of depreciated the character because she had grown up and matured and I think it just would have made her in a sense seem pathetic because, okay, I’m going to leave this guy who broke my heart because he slept with my grandma to go back to a guy who did the same thing? I think if you want to focus on why a character would do that, if you’re going to go into that storyline, by all means, write me back with Nick. If we’re going to explore the psychology of that, because otherwise I can’t justify that. So, that’s my opinion on it all. (laughs)
If you haven't already, check out part one of our interview with Rachel and find out her reasons for leaving the show and look for part three where Rachel shares what she would have liked to see Chelsea go through, what she learned working in Daytime and her message to her fans.
- Lori Wilson