Welcome to the second installment of Soaps.com’s chat with Lauralee Bell. We hope you enjoyed hearing all about her new project, Family Dinner, in Part I of the interview. Now, how about that nagging question of a return to The Young and the Restless for the beautiful actress…

When I asked Lauralee about coming back to the show, she laughed and said that although she gets a call every few months from her sister-in-law [Maria Arena Bell], she hasn’t been interested in returning for drop-in stints where there wouldn’t be an opportunity to mine her character’s history. How about now? “Now, Nikki’s involved with Paul, and Nina and Phillip are back, so it certainly makes sense. However, if I did it, I would probably agree to something short, only because I want to see some other projects through. So, I’m certainly open to it, and I’m right here! Tricia Cast is one of my dear friends, so working with her would be amazing, and when I heard Thom [Bierdz, Phillip] was coming back – well, it would definitely make sense! We’ll see!”

With the reveal that Phillip III has seemingly faked his death it would be an emotional, character-driven storyline to play. Lauralee agreed, saying, “Exactly. That’s completely what I feel would be the right fit.”

The friendship with Nina was one of the most memorable storylines for Lauralee on Y&R. She also mentioned the “challenging” date rape and sexual harassment stories with characters Derek and Michael respectively, saying “There was a lot of responsibility in that.” There was also the Danny and Cricket wedding in Hawaii. “Weddings aren’t always as fun as they look, but that was fun!” Overall, the writer/actress/mom said what she liked best was just the evolution of Christine’s life, saying she appreciated the way developments, like love stories, were done in real time.

Did she enjoy the Christine/Phyllis rivalry? Lauralee laughs, “I loved that. People say that my character on Family Dinner is so unlike me – it’s so fun to play a nutcase! I would work with Michelle [Stafford, Phyllis] and it would be fun when we would battle it out, but I was always thinking that she got the fun part [laughs], and she’s clearly so brilliant at it. Yeah, I loved that whole rivalry. It’s fun to have rivals [like Jill and Katherine] who, the minute they’re in the same room trigger that tension – who’s going to say what to whom? That’s what I love about The Young and the Restless – I really have to give my parents credit – these characters, and the actors, that have stayed – they really are a part of your life.”

We agreed that Maria is doing a great job of bringing back characters from the past on Y&R. Lauralee remarked, “It’s so important.”

I noted that it was kind of surprising that there wasn’t a Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Daytime Drama Series for Y&R, considering the show is always at the top of the ratings. Lauralee commented, “It was really devastating, however, she did come in and help during the writer’s strike, so I have a feeling it’s based on that. I emailed her right away and I said, “As my dad would always say, ‘The ratings are what matters.’ You’re still number one!” She’s done an amazing job, and to come in and have the cast adore you is huge – and they do! So it is disappointing, but when you’re still the number one show and your company is thrilled to have you, that’s worth more.”

Of course, Lauralee’s brother, Brad Bell, did get the nod, for The Bold and the Beautiful. She enthused, “I know! It’s amazing. I’m hoping that it’s his year!”

Soaps.com hopes that Lauralee will turn up on our television screens as Christine again soon! In the meantime, don’t miss her as Karen O’Connell in Family Dinner! Do you want to read Part I of this interview? Click here! Do you have a comment about this interview? Leave your thoughts below!

-Candace Young