Soaps.com caught up with "Y&R's" Lauralee Bell to discuss her most recent return as Christine Blair Williams. Keep reading to find out what her character will get up to, and how long she's staying this time.
Soaps.com: Christine and Danny (Michael Damian) are back in town at the same time, and teasers say they will hook-up. Do you think it was the right time?
Lauralee: A couple of years ago, Michael came back, and there was talk about me coming back, but it wasn’t the right time. This time, Christine’s back because of the whole Genevieve (Genie Francis) thing and Danny’s back because of Daniel (Michael Graziadei) and his situation – it just all made such great sense. To have us both on for a few days and we don’t cross paths, and then to have the sighting and what occurs; it’s so well done. For me, when you see Phyllis (Michelle Stafford), Paul (Doug Davidson), Cricket, and Danny, if that’s what you’re waiting for – to me, this week is classic. The show’s so great right now.
Soaps.com: It must be fun being back on the set interacting with Doug, Michael, and the others…
Lauralee: It was terrific fun, but the great thing was, it was like no time had passed. There were people on the set who hadn’t seen us for a while just staring at us, like, "I can’t believe it, it’s like the good old days." They were sort of reflective, and, you know, we feel the same way. We spent a lot of time together, and the story was built so well; from the ground up, in real time with such real relationships, that when you put the characters together this many years later it falls right back into place. It’s so fun because at this stage, Chris is in DC, she’s an adult and can make a decision about running off with Danny for spur of the moment insanity, and then say, "You’ve got your life, I’ve got mine, and I don’t know if there’s any halfway." It’s talked about; you know, we’re consenting adults and both have careers – what do we do with the problem?
Soaps.com: Of course, fans want to know if Christine and Danny could ever wind up married, or come back on the show as a couple…
Lauralee: For myself, and I’m sure for Michael too, who is doing other stuff, this week and how it’s received will be a starting point for something like that. You know, maybe the few days will be fun to see and then everyone will just move on, but if it’s something that is exciting to people, and that topic gets brought up to us, then we would certainly be open to it. We’ll see how it’s received.
Soaps.com: What’s up with the renewed focus on the animosity between Phyllis and Christine?
Lauralee: [laughs] There's been just a little, but even with just 4 or 5 lines you see that hatred. For Michelle and me, we love stuff like that – the junior version of Katherine (Jeanne Cooper) and Jill (Jesse Walton) – it’s so fun to play. I have a little bit of a break after we go through this initial story with Danny, then I’m back again for about a month, and you’ll see much more of that, which is great. I think Michelle loves it when Phyllis is that Phyllis, and Chris finally has a little bit more of a backbone, and loves to try and go head-to-head with her. There’s a little more this week – sometimes just a look – but if you know the characters well, you know what that look means.
Soaps.com: The old hit-and-run from the past will be brought up. What do you think of that finally being addressed? It’s been a long time coming.
Lauralee: It has been a long time. We haven’t taped that stuff yet, so I feel like I need a little refresher, but Doug and I will never forget being on the pavement of that busy Pittsburgh street that was shutdown at three in the morning, and getting 'hit' by the car. I think it’s great; this is another reason why "The Young and the Restless" is so brilliant at storytelling, because the Cricket/Paul/Danny storyline has been over real time. I love that. Here’s something so many years later...a crime being solved so many years later. We really didn’t suspect Phyllis back then, because Paul was a private eye, and Chris had people who were angry at her in Legal Aid – we just assumed it was someone from work or a fluke. They didn’t force it through years ago just to give the story a beginning, middle, and end – the fact that it’s coming back all these years later is great.
Lauralee: I love the fact that he’s getting creepier by the minute. I love that when you’re watching the show you might be smiling at Jack (Peter Bergman) and Nikki (Melody Thomas Scott) and then you see Ricky and you’re kind of uncomfortable and creeped out. Those are the fun episodes where you feel multiple emotions. It would be nice if Paul had a great, sweet son that he could talk to and all that, but the fact that Paul is a private detective and his own son is this bad seed, is so much more interesting. Ricky came in, and in a matter of months kind of spun this web that worked with all the characters. I think it’s great – I love when the show has uneasy suspense like this; I’m a huge fan of it.
Soaps.com: The past few times Christine has been back, with the Ronan (Jeff Branson) stuff, and now with Cane (Daniel Goddard), she seems tougher somehow. How has she changed over the years?
Lauralee: I love that they did that crazy thing with Christine and Nick (Joshua Morrow) – it’s sort of the same adult behavior that happens with Danny this week. There’s no question, Chris will always be that good person, but [viewers] don’t know what she does now; how she spends her days, who she’s with, and what kind of person she is – is she a loner or does she have lots of friends? You just don’t know. Whenever I can toughen her up…because back then it was hard to play someone very good, but it did work well against Nina (Tricia Cast) and Phillip (Thom Bierdz). Now, there’s this opportunity – she’s in a serious job dealing with criminals and businessmen – there’s no way that doesn’t harden you up. You’ll kind of see too, when Chris and Danny have this intense rekindled thing, as much as she wants to be with him, she’s worked hard for her job and instead of putting emotion first, she’s business-minded and strong and says, "I don’t know if I can give up my life and be a groupie on your tour." [laughs] I love anyplace where there can be strength, it’s important. People grow. She was sort of a lost kid in the past and now she’s going to make up for it and get a backbone.
Soaps.com: Speaking of the kiss between Christine and Nick, is that going to come to light?
Lauralee: How great would that be?! [laughs] Especially now that Phyllis has been with Ronan. We always play like you really don’t know what’s gone on between Chris and Ronan, so it’s another element that would fuel the fire between her and Phyllis. That would be fun to bring back. Joshua and I had fun that day – it was so unexpected!
Soaps.com: How long are you back for?
Lauralee: You’ll see me for the next 2 ½ weeks, and then I have a week and a half off of air shows, and then I’m back for a month and a half. It all makes sense, nothing’s forced; as the story goes on, her place there is totally justified.
Soaps.com: How about a teaser?
Lauralee: Just plan to be on your couch all this week – if you’re ever going to give it a chance, this is good stuff!
Read our previous interview with Lauralee Bell.
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- Candace Young