Y&R's Cait Fairbanks and Camryn Grimes Talk Mariah and Tessa image

Chemistry in and out of Genoa City.

Tessa and Mariah have been dancing around their attraction on The Young and the Restless for some time now. While Soaps.com is keeping tabs on if the two will forge a true romantic relationship, their portrayers Cait Fairbanks and Camryn Grimes talked with Soap Opera Digest about their dynamic on and off screen.

mariah-tessa-tense-conversation-yr-hwWhen the actresses learned their characters would be pursuing a romantic attraction, they wanted to make sure the story was done right and that it came across as real. As for whether it made sense to explore Mariah's sexual identity, Grimes said, "Yes, because there's 20-odd years of Mariah's life that is unseen. You only know the Mariah that's discovering herself in Genoa City. She has been such a closed-off person, but it just made sense to me that something like this could catch her off-guard and be unexpected but beautiful at the same time."

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Off-screen, Fairbanks shared her first impression of Grimes, saying, "I remember thinking how bold Camryn was, in general. I was really nervous about making a good first impression and she was so warm and friendly to me. I mean, everyone was friendly but I think we bonded especially because we have a lot in common." Which apparently includes a shared sense of humor, musicals and all things Disney.

As for what their characters like in each other, Fairbanks mused, "I think Tessa is attracted to Mariah because of how open she is and her self confidence in who she is." While Grimes opined, "I think Mariah is attracted to Tessa because of her talent … seeing Tessa's intensity, passion and drive for her music, and the soul and the heart that comes with that is a big draw.

tessa-mariah-talk-over-wine-yr-hwWhen asked if they were nervous about their big onscreen kiss, Grimes recalled, "I've been doing this kind of quirky, comic relief thing for a while and I was really dying to sink my teeth into something emotional, so I was ready. I felt like I was in an epic sports movie and yelling, 'Put me in, coach!'"

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The crew was apparently more concerned about it than the actresses, as the stage manager offered to clear the set to make sure they were comfortable. Grimes shared, "I said, 'You literally just had two people pretending to have sex over there. Did you clear the set for them? It's just a kiss! We're good!'" Fairbanks said, "I guess I never really thought of the gravity of it at all. I was just like, 'Okay, we're doing this and it's going to be great!' … I didn't think about it in that way because it's just another relationship! And then it was time and we were done and I felt like, 'Oh, I'm sad it's over.'"

As for whether or not the actresses want to see Mariah and Tessa move forward with a relationship, Grimes said, "Of course! I'm always down for whatever story they want to tell." Fairbanks chimed in, "I say, 'Bring it!'"

Do you want to see Tessa and Mariah get together? Tell us your thoughts below.

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Photo credit: Howard Wise/JPI

- Lori Wilson