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Alice Hunter Is “So Thrilled” to Be Starring on THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS (EXCLUSIVE)

For THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESSAlice Hunter (Kerry), she can trace her decision to become an actress to an exact moment while growing up in Australia. “When I was 12, I used to sing and dance in competitions. I was never the best singer, but I always had the most pizzazz!” she told Soaps In Depth with a laugh. “I remember doing this competition at the local shopping center. I was competing against people older than me and younger than me, and I won the whole thing just off of purely pizzazz!”

As the prize, Hunter was allowed to pick a free course in modeling, makeup or acting classes. “I had no interest in modeling. But I did like being on stage, so I was like, ‘Oh, I guess I’ll try this acting class,’” she recounted. “The very first class, I was like, ‘This is it. This is for me!’” Having made the decision, the ambitious teen hit the audition circuit Down Under. “I did a lot of extra work, but my first big job was H20: JUST ADD WATER, which was a children’s mermaid show,” she shared. “I played the best friend to the mean girl.”

Hollywood soon beckoned. “My dad’s an American, and I’ve always had dual citizenship, so it was always in the back of my mind that I’ve got to go where the work is. The last year of high school, while everyone was applying for different colleges, I poured everything into moving to the United States,” said the British transplant. “I had folders and folders of printouts. I knew the names of every agency in L.A.. I ordered a Thomas Guide [map] and had it shipped to Australia, where I circled all the studios!”

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The Best-Coast.

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The prep work helped, but Hunter admitted that she’s a little amazed that she made such a big move when she was only 17 years old. “I have to wonder how I did it!” she laughs. “I remember hitting the ground running. But a few months in, I had issues like a sore neck. Looking back now, I’m like, ‘Oh, I was incredibly stressed out!’ But at the time, it was like, ‘Go, go, go!’”

Interestingly, soaps were high on Hunter’s must-do list. “I auditioned for all the soaps when I first moved here and got close to a few, particularly DAYS OF OUR LIVES. But when that didn’t happen, I sort of put soaps to bed,” she confessed. “I was like, ‘Well, my window has passed.’ I went on to do other things. I ended up doing a lot of comedy. The comedy world really embraced me, which was unexpected. I did nighttime television and experienced a lot of ups and downs, where a pilot doesn’t get picked up or a series that you think is ‘the one’ gets dropped after the first season. When the Y&R audition came up, I was surprised — and so thrilled when I got the role!”

It wasn’t all that long ago that daytime dramas were regarded patronizingly by the entertainment industry. But those days are over, Hunter insisted. “Six or seven years ago, my fellow acting friends would have been like, ‘Oh, are you going to try to leave [the show]?’ Now they’re like, ‘I am so jealous!’” she laughed. “There is so much content out there now, but it comes and goes so quickly that actors’ lives are in constant flux. A job like this is really a blessing!”

The Young and The Restless Jack Kerry

Hunter calls co-star Peter Bergman (Jack): “Inspirational!” (Photo Credit: Howard Wise/jpistudios.com)

So, too, is exploring a character like Kerry, who Hunter says she can relate to quite a bit. “I am a very driven woman, focused on my career, and there is not a man in Alice’s life — just as Kerry is ambitious, with no man in her life.” Of course, for Kerry, the latter isn’t entirely true, given the attraction between Hunter’s alter ego and Jack. “This is not something Kerry was prepared for!” Hunter chuckled. “Jack has definitely thrown her. There is an age gap, which will bring up all sorts of issues. I’m excited to play all those levels.”

While the actress said that she has no idea what’s in store for her character, she’s appreciating her new gig — and getting to meet Y&R fans. “My mail lady came up to me and was like, ‘Is this you?’ That was special to me. On social media, you get negative comments, too, but every show, every piece of art, gets criticized by someone, so I don’t let that bother me. I’m just grateful to be even a little blip on the radar of Genoa City!”

For more on your favorite Y&R stars, keep reading the CBS edition of Soaps In Depth magazine!

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