Nobody is more surprised that Mishael Morgan is back on THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS than Mishael Morgan. “I had no idea that I’d be back so quickly,” laughed the beauty, who, after being killed off last year as the uberpopular Hilary, is now playing Amanda Sinclair. “There were so many factors to why I decided to leave in the first place, but one of them was that I had played Hilary for five years. That’s a long time for most actors to play a character.
“Not in this genre, no — here, 25 years is more common!” she added with a chuckle. “But for most actors, five to six years is a long time to play a character, so I was looking to see if there were other opportunities out there, other characters to play, other stories to tell that I could facilitate.”
Yet Morgan says that she was intrigued when Y&R called to pitch her the idea of slipping into the stilettos of a new character. “I thought it would be such a challenge for me as an artist to be able to walk on to a show with everyone I already know but start new relationships and new dynamics with these same characters,” she shared. “The idea seemed really fun to me. The creative aspect to acting has always been the driving force for me in my career. And that’s why I said, ‘Yes. Yes, I’ll do it!’ Y&R gave me an offer that I couldn’t refuse all around. I was like, ‘Let’s make this work!’”
While Morgan has said that returning to the sudser has been like coming home, she admitted that her first day on the set was “kind of surreal. The new EP [executive producer Anthony Morina] announced to the cast and crew that I was back, and I was given this huge round of applause. It really felt like I had come back to my family! It was really nice!”
Of course, that doesn’t mean the actress hasn’t been dealing with a few butterflies. “I’m terrified!” she confessed with a laugh. “Fans really did love Hilary for very specific reasons — reasons that made Hilary Hilary. But I have to take out some of what was specific to Hilary because I am playing a new character. It’s been a challenge trying to make Amanda different than Hilary but still likable. I’m excited for the opportunity, but I’m a little scared that people are really going to miss Hilary and they’re not going to adjust to this new character.”
At first blush, however, Amanda does resemble Hilary — and not just in looks! “Amanda is a high-powered attorney. She is very strong, very confident — in those key words, she sounds like Hilary,” conceded Morgan. “But it’s different. When Amanda walks in, she has already achieved her level of success and confidence in herself, whereas Hilary was becoming that. There was almost a desperation with Hilary to be somebody. I think that redeemed her in many ways from her craziness.”
One could argue that Hilary’s sweeping love story with Devon also redeemed her; certainly, the pairing was wildly successful with fans. Even though Devon has recently found love again with Elena, social media is buzzing about whether the Hilary look-alike could destroy all that. “Being part of a power couple can be a double-edged sword,” admitted Morgan. “Everybody wants you together, but if one character is gone, you wonder if your character will ever recover or if fans will be okay with you being with someone else. From what I heard, Devon and Elena are pretty popular. It might feel a little weird if Amanda came in and broke them up, but at the same time, that’s what makes it interesting if we have some fans who want them to break up and some fans who don’t. That kind of battle is always fun!”
For more on your favorite Y&R stars, keep reading the CBS edition of Soaps In Depth magazine.
This story originally appeared in our print magazine