She’s beloved in the daytime genre for the enduring role as Ashley Abbott on The Young and the Restless, and her Daytime-Emmy winning star turn as Kristen DiMera on Days of our Lives, but soap fans identify her most as the one and only Eileen Davidson.
A few years ago Eileen added ‘reality star’ to her resume appearing in season 5 and 6 of the hit Bravo franchise, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
On-Air On-Soaps Michael Fairman caught up this week with Eileen at the CBS TCA Summer Party With The Stars to get the lowdown on: where things stand with Ashley, her take on the new EP of the top rated soap, her thoughts on being part of the legacy of the series that is about to air its 11,000 episode milestone, and how we need to go about finding a new leading man for Ash!
Then, Eileen confirms that she is indeed back for her third season of RHOBH, and that being on the series has provided her with some exciting and unique opportunities, and why in the beginning she was the “reluctant reality star”, and more.
We always love the chance to speak with Eileen, who calls it like she sees it, but with humor, and that star-appeal spark that makes her so special to us and millions of viewers worldwide.
Y&R needs to find a good man for Ashley! The series toiled with a pairing between her and Dr. Simon Neville prior to Michael E. Knight exiting the show. Have you put in your dibs for who you would like to work with now from the cast, romantically?
EILEEN: Yeah, it would be nice for them to find a man for Ashley. But I have not discussed it at this point. There has been a changing of the guard at the show recently that you sometimes wonder what’s the point putting in your two-cents when a lot is happening. So I really haven’t, but it’s probably time that I do.
How is Mal Young to work with as your new executive producer?
EILEEN: I love Mal. He’s terrific! I got along well with Jill Farren Phelps (Ex-Y&R, executive producer) and I get along well with Chuck Pratt Jr. (EP and head writer, Y&R), too. So, I don’t have any issues there. But right now a story for Ashley isn’t quite happening, so I have been concentrating on other things.
How does Ashley feel now about her daughter Abby’s (Melissa Ordway) marriage, and relationship with Stitch (Sean Carrigan)? After all, Stitch and Ashley were red hot there for awhile.
EILEEN: Well, she loves her daughter, and that’s about what Ashley has going on in her life right now! (Laughs) But, I think Ashley is happy for it.
So her feelings for Stitch are over, and Ashley just compartmentalized them for now?
EILEEN: Yes, I would say so, just because it would be weird for her to be harboring this thing for him, unless the show is going to do something with it. So I would say ‘yes’ … until further notice.
Y&R’s will air its 11,000th episode coming up in September. Did you think it would be around as long as it has when you started on the series back in 1982?
EILEEN: No! Who has any concept of what that is? It’s too huge. Even my son, Jesse, who saw the script and the episode number on it went, “What??” I go, “I know!”
Could you possibly envision a time when Victor (Eric Braeden) and Ashley would reconnect in a romantic way after all the ups and downs with their relationship, and their families?
EILEEN: I’m always open for a good storyline, but I don’t know. They have tried it, and they have been there and done that. But again, it depends on how everything is written.
There was so much press on last seasons’ The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, in which you appeared as part of the cast, and at times you were vocal about some of the scenes, and moments with the other ladies that were filmed for inclusion in the episodes!
EILEEN: It is what it is! I don’t know what to tell you. (Laughs) They always get new people on the show, so there are new personalities involved in the mix.
I’m amazed that you continued with RHOBH, only because it was just never something I thought you would entertain being a part of it, but it’s also been great exposure for you and opened you up to a new audience.
EILEEN: This will be my third season coming up on RHOBH, and I would never, ever in a million years, seen myself on a reality show, either. However, I have to say it has opened up some things for me. The books I wrote are now being made into movies, and I am going to star in them, and I just had another interesting meeting the other day about something I’m working on. I am pretty excited about all of that.
It’s so funny, because knowing you as long as I have I would never have predicted you opening your life up on a reality show. You were always known to be such a private person.
EILEEN: Tell me about it, I know! It just got to the point where I’m like, “What the hell!” (Laughs). But I decided if I am going to be doing it, then I am really going to do it. So, I am opening my life up even more, and even being more real. If I am going to be in a reality show, then I want it to be the real me that is shown, and not a façade. And if I am going to do it and appear on it, then I think I can help people, and lead through example. As people know, I have lost a lot of people in my life, and I will be exploring that, and grief, and taking it to a different level.
Does your husband Vincent Van Patten ever watch you on Y&R or RHOBH and see the shenanigans you get involved with on-screen?
EILEEN: Sometimes he watches me on Y&R, and sometimes he watches “Housewives”. But sometimes he does say to me: “It’s entertainment, honey.” And my response is, “AHHHHH” (Laughs) He then goes, “Honey, it’s great TV.”
So, what storyline would you like to see Y&R’s Ashley involved in where she is driving story? Who should be Ash’s next leading man? Glad to hear Eileen is back for season 7 of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!