YR judith chapman gloria HW
Credit: Howard Wise/JPI

“You’ve been with everyone else… when’s it my turn?”

Judith Chapman is not The Young and the Restless’ Gloria. But the actress admits that there are certain ways in which the line between the two of them blurs. “A lot of her sassiness is me,” she tells Soaps.com. “I’m a total smart aleck. There’s a fair amount of Gloria in me, and I’ve injected that into her until we’re a bit of a composite. I’m still trying to figure out what I am!”

There are, however, definite differences between the two. “For one thing,” the soap vet says with a laugh, “anyone who knows me knows that I don’t want to wear clothes that are as tight as what she favors!”

More: Great gifts for every soap fan [PHOTOS]

One benefit of the symbiotic relationship that exists between the two women? “Gloria is braver than I am sometimes. I learned through her to be less fearful. I’m not really a scaredy-cat,” says Chapman, “but playing her has helped to evolve my own inner strength. I won’t put up with garbage from anybody!”

Unlike Gloria, who tends to keep her softer side under wraps, her portrayer has a huge heart that she couldn’t hide if she wanted to. Her empathy comes shining through as she discusses The Guys, a play she first did nearly two decades ago which will return for a limited run on September 11 and 12 at the Palm Canyon Theater in Palm Springs, Calif.

More: Fan favorites return to Y&R

“It’s a sweet, dear tearjerker but filled with joy and peace, celebrating the lives of the first responders who gave their lives on 9/11,” she shares. In the two-person show, Chapman plays Joan, an editor helping a New York City fire chief write the eulogies for eight firefighters who died under his command on that tragic day.

“She helps him to find the words, because as he explains, ‘I’m not a writer on the best of days,'” she elaborates. “I had friends ask if they were going to cry through the whole thing, and I said, ‘Yes, but they will be tears of both sadness and joy, because it so honors these ordinary men who rose to the challenge during these extraordinary circumstances.”

In an unusual move, Chapman and co-star Michael Pacas will do a special presentation of The Guys for a group of grade-schoolers who weren’t yet born when the events around which the play revolves took place. “I don’t know if they’ll get it, or if they’ll truly understand, but I think it’s important,” she says.

YR Diane Gloria Victor SS

Above: “I’d like to think that Victor is amused by Gloria,” says Chapman.

Credit: Sean Smith/JPI

Meanwhile, the natural born scene stealer continues to embrace every opportunity she’s given to spend time in Genoa City. “I love Gloria,” she enthuses. “She’s such a well-defined character. She came from nothing and would do absolutely anything to make sure she doesn’t go backwards. She’s like Sisyphus pushing that rock up the hill again and again. She may be pushed five steps back, but she’s going to then move forward five and a half steps!”

And although Gloria’s not had much of a personal life of late, that doesn’t mean she — or Chapman — is ready to give up on love. In surveying the locals, we immediately thought of one man who might be up to the challenge of handling a woman like Gloria… and her portrayer agreed.

“I cannot tell you how many times I’ve gone up to Eric Braeden, whom I adore, and said, ‘Come on, Victor, you’ve been with everyone else. When’s it my turn?'” she laughs. “I have a huge soft spot in my heart for Eric. It would be fabulous to work with him.”

To catch Chapman live on stage, click here for tickets. Then visit the gallery below in which we do a deep dive into the fabulosity that is Gloria Fisher Abbott Bardwell!