On-Air On-Soaps caught up with The Young and the Restless, Lauralee Bell (Christine) this week to discuss Chance’s “death”, Tricia Cast’s (Nina) and Lauralee’s heartbreaking performances surrounding the key story point, and to find out if she would now consider a permanent return to the soap. Lauralee was on hand at the set of B&B for the celebration honoring her mom, Lee Phillip Bell, who received a Lifetime Membership to IATSE Local 33 (International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees) for her contribution to the the Guild for the past 37 years. Below are some excepts from our conversation with Lauralee!
Lauralee on if she knew of the story twist that Chance was going to end up alive when she signed on to come back for her visit to Y&R this time: “I did not know Chance was going to be alive, either. And once I did find out, I had to call up to the office and ask, “Did Christine know all along?” But I did kind of figure this out for myself. Even the day we were taping the scene where I am yelling at Ronan about how did it go down this way, I had to call the booth the day before to get clarification. As an actor, I think it was the best way to do this. I was never ahead of myself. Even at the funeral, all of the Abbott’s did not know what the hell was going on which was great, and that is rare for soaps these days, because everyone usually knows. So it kind of kept it exciting.”
Lauralee on her thoughts of those final scenes where Chance meets up with his mom, Nina, and father, Phillip, after they believe he had “died”, and where Christine was so heartbroken over watching Nina’s emotional turmoil: “It was amazing and great. It is a whole different mentality because we would never have to do something like that before. Now that I have a son in real life, when the line is spoken between Chance and Nina, “Let’s make a promise to look at the moon” it is really powerful. As my character, Christine, I was thinking this is so amazing, and so sad at the same time, that this is what they are going to have to go through. And, I can relate it back to my own son. We are all older, and so it gives it a whole different feel to everything we played.”
Lauralee on how the relationship between Chris and Nina will wrap-up before she exits: “The way it wraps up is kind of sweet. There are a couple of final scenes with Tricia (Nina) before I go. You will see. There is also a little scene with Jeanne Cooper (Katherine), but very little. Chris is not going to leave before she can do her best to get everything as well situated for Nina’s life as she can. But this time when I say goodbye, I really do leave! (Laughs) I have an exit where you know I am leaving.”
Lauralee on how she felt about her return to Y&R this time: “I purposely waited a long time to come back to the show, but it made sense and I feel like “mission accomplished”. I know it may sound silly to say that, but it was the proper amount of time, and what I wanted to do for now. It gave the audience a taste of what it would be like to have Christine around, so we shall see. Maria Bell, (Y&R head writer and EP) has been asking me to do more, but I am still airing, so it hasn’t been that long. I told her we would talk again in a couple of months.”
Lauralee on her real-life relationship with Tricia Cast: “We are very, very close friends, and we are very different as people, but we are so tight as friends. We have grown to respect and count on each other, and love each, and that makes this all the more fun.”
Lauralee on her mother, Lee’s honor by IATSE: “My mom for years would be so graciously received by IATSE. It’s nice to be respected by the crew and everyone behind the scenes. I am super proud of my mother and every award is due to her, and I truly believe it. She is amazing woman.”