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Credit: Howard Wise/JPI (2); Sean Smith/JPI

“Maybe it’s time for a little bit of her Victor side to come out!” 

Like portrayer Melissa Ordway, The Young and the Restless‘ Abby tends to be a very grounded person. That wasn’t always the case, however. “The character was in such a different place when she was being played by Emme Rylan,” says the actress, who debuted in the role on April 16, 2013. “Abby was going through her Naked Heiress phase and was sort of Genoa City’s version of a Paris Hilton-style party girl.”

With a new actress in the role, the show took Abby in a different direction. “She was taking herself more seriously and wanted others to do the same,” recalls Ordway. “She wanted to be seen as a business woman. In some ways, Abby grew up.”

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One of Ordway’s first pairings was with Ignacio Serricchio’s Alex Chavez.

Credit: Howard Wise/JPI

It was a transition that Ordway believes was totally in keeping with the character’s already-established history. “She is the daughter of Victor Newman and Ashley Abbott, and those are two very smart people who are also amazing businesspeople. That’s who Abby is at her core, so I always like when they play that aspect of her.”

At times, however, that same history can work against her. “Abby is a little bit lost, because she didn’t grow up with the Newmans,” muses Ordway. “She’s not fully connected to either of her families, even though she has great relationships with them. She’s constantly reinventing herself because there are so many layers that make up who she is.”

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“Abby is her father’s daughter, even if she sometimes forgets that,” says Ordway.

Credit: Sean Smith/JPI

If there’s a through line for the character, it is that at heart, she is a good woman. “Abby always tries to do the right thing,” nods the actress. “She might not always succeed or even know exactly what that right thing is, but even when she messes up, her heart is usually in the right place.”

In fact, that’s something Ordway wouldn’t necessarily mind changing. “Everybody wants to play the bad guy for a while,” she laughs. “You get to do all the things you’d never do in real life. She’s been a very good girl for a very long time. Maybe it’s time for a little bit of her Victor side to come out. It might be fun to play Bad Abby!”

Want to relive every step of Abby’s journey, from birth to present day? Check out our photo gallery chronicling her life