When it comes to her THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS alter ego, Lauralee Bell loves that Christine is a strong woman ready to fight for her beliefs. However, there’s a difference between being strong and being hard, and the soap vet confessed to Soaps In Depth that she felt her character may have crossed into the latter category as she faced off against Nikki, Victoria and Sharon. “The trial was so well-written, but I had a personal struggle with it,” she admitted. “I totally understand Christine’s position as D.A. Nikki had a choice. Obviously, she was acting to save her daughter, but they could have called 911. She could have said, ‘Get away from my daughter, you [jerk]!’ But she didn’t have to let J.T. die. They could have gotten a restraining order, which they never did.
“So I totally understand that the D.A. side needs to be presented,” she continued. “My issue comes when I cross-examined Victoria. It was clear that J.T. was hurting her. When I say, ‘Why didn’t you do this?’ I know it’s because she was scared! He was dominating her! I talked about it with the producers and directors, and we shaved some of the dialogue because my character is uber-sensitive to what Victoria went through because Christine was date-raped and sexually harassed. It was really complicated for me to play!”
If Bell could have waved a magic wand, she would have added a scene or two. “This is the perfect example where Christine should have gone home and talked to Paul or called Nina, and been crying. There should have been an opportunity for her to say, ‘I had to do this today, but it broke my heart!’ That would have made my character human again. The audience could see that Christine was suffering. I do address it where I say to Victoria, ‘I am so sorry about what happened to you,’ but by the end of it, I’m like, ‘You should’ve done things differently. You made a bad choice. Nikki should’ve called for an ambulance. You should have tried to revive J.T. That would have made all the difference, but you didn’t even try!’ That dialogue was really hard for me to say!”
Despite that challenge, Bell says that she relished flexing her acting muscle in the courtroom. “Gina [Tognoni, Phyllis] and I had a 10-page scene where I was cross-examining her on the stand, which we did in one take,” shared the talent. “It sent chills through both of us! Afterward, everyone clapped, which was really sweet.”
Having Christine being harder than nails has Bell waxing nostalgic for the days when her character was a tad more light-hearted. “She used to giggle and smile a lot more, and I miss that!” she reflected. “I know the fans get annoyed. Nobody is more annoyed than me. People might not realize that we are thinking that, too! I want Christine to be a strong woman, but it’s difficult because she doesn’t show any emotion. I understand she needs to represent one side, but I would have liked to have added just one line to remind everyone that Christine suffers, to remind everyone that she’s human, too!”
For more on your favorite Y&R stars, keep reading the CBS edition of Soaps In Depth magazine.