January 7th, 2009  |  Leave a comment

THE EILEEN DAVIDSON INTERVIEW – THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS

On “Y&R” and its crossover “B&B” she has played Ashley Abbott on numerous occasions over the past few decades. In October of 2008, Ashley returned to Genoa City with a rekindling of the legendary Victor/Ashley romance during the show’s Paris remote. But this time under very different circumstances. Will the relationship be fully explored and be built to last?

Actress Eileen Davidson shares her thoughts on: the show’s plans for Ashley and Victor, past attempts at “B&B” for her character’s love life, working with Eric Braeden 20 years later, and what makes this Abbott a force to be reckoned with.

EileenMain11.jpgMICHAEL:

Victor and Ashley’s romance is getting another chance after several missed opportunities during the last few times you were on the “Y&R” canvas. Did you know when you came back to the show this time that a romance with Victor would be imminent?

EILEEN:

Not initially, because they approached me last April.
By summer time they told me that’s what they
were planning.

MICHAEL:

Once you were told, I’m sure you felt good about it.

EILEEN:

I felt good about coming back before. Frankly, I had mixed feelings because it’s a real tricky subject, and it all depends on how it’s handled. It seemed they were bringing them back together rather quickly, but when I realized that the whole back drop with Paris and everything, it made sense. Victor and Ashley… they are sort of thrust together by circumstance, so she is not quite sure where it’s going. I have been trying to play it like that, because what intelligent woman wouldn’t under those circumstances?

MICHAEL:

She is treading water a bit….

EILEEN:

I don’t want to have her go 100% right back in like nothing happened. She has lived a lot of lifetimes, since the last time Ashley was with Victor. And so there has to be a little trepidation. There is still a little bit of trepidation, but it’s also the feeling that she needs to figure out what this is.

MICHAEL:

Was Ashley surprised that the old feelings were there, or did she know the feelings deep down would be there for Victor?

france33.jpgEILEEN:

I think that’s why she was kind of afraid to go save Victor in the first place. If there were nothing at stake, it would not be a problem. She has been down that road too many times and has been burned. Why would she want to go back in?

MICHAEL:

Nikki asks Ashley to go find Victor, and I really did like the plot device. Did you?

EILEEN:

I do like the plot device. I think Ashley was being sensitive to Nikki, and I know people are going to read what they want to read into that. But she does not want to hurt Nikki. She is trying to make peace with people in her life, but Nikki is coming at it as if she is all kind of pissed off with the whole thing.

MICHAEL:

It seems its been Ashley’s personal project to clear Victor.

EILEEN:

I think she knows he kind of has to do that, or there is no need to go forward. He needs to face the charges and the demons of his past, and to go forward.

MICHAEL:

You had left “B&B” and are now back to “Y&R”, and have gone back and forth. How is that for you?

EILEEN:

It’s really nice and I feel comfortable in both places. It’s a nice situation.

kyle.jpgMICHAEL:

Do you feel like your time on “B&B” was another botched opportunity for you and Ashley? When we last did an interview together it was you, Kyle Lowder (Rick, “B&B”) and me, discussing how things had fizzled on air with your on-screen romance; and the characters at that point had nothing to do!

EILEEN:

I got fired from “Y&R” and Brad
Bell picked me up and employed
me at “B&B”. I had the opportunity
to work with people and do something
different than I had been doing over
at “Y&R”. I am actually grateful now. I think Brad gave me the opportunity to breathe new life into Ashley. Things change. It did not work out the way I was hoping it would, but I don’t blame anybody for that, or have any ill will. The bottom line is it’s a really hard gig to figure out story, and story that works. I have learned the way Brad and other writer’s work: that is, that something will appear and you go with it. How can I feel bad about being employed, and being treated exceptionally well? They wanted me back over here and it’s like
I never missed a beat. So I think I would be incredibly
ungrateful if I had anything but gratitude to Brad Bell
and the show.

MICHAEL:

I think it’s a testament to you as an actress and to your on-screen popularity, as well. But on “B&B” it’s a lot less show to tape, so that must have worked well with your family life.

EILEEN:

Definitely! I got a lot of family time. It’s incredible. A lot of the cast has families or kids…. Ronn Moss (Ridge), Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke), and Lesli Kay (Felicia). I like them all so much, and Kyle Lowder, too. And by the way, I happened to see a scene with Kyle the other day, and I love what they are doing with him. I love him mean. I was like, “Oh my God. I wish they would have had him mean when I was there!”

MICHAEL:

It was rough for Ashley on “B&B”. She seemed to float around with no real family ties.

EILEEN:

On “Y&R” it’s a better fit on the level of having history and connections to people than at “B&B”.

EileenPink.jpgMICHAEL:

In a recent scene, the show brought back the old Abbott bickering breakfasts with Beth Maitland (Traci), Peter Bergman (Jack), you, and Billy. How is working with Billy Miller, as the new Billy Abbott?

EILEEN:

He is terrific! I like him very much. I have not done a lot of work with him yet, but it feels fine and nice. I worked with the new Abbe recently, and she is fifteen.

MICHAEL:

How did that come about? With in a blink of an eye, Abbe really suffered from a severe case of SORAS!

EILEEN:

Well, (A)…. they aged Noah and so they had to age Abbe if they aged Noah. And (B)… I now have a teenage daughter and I love it!

MICHAEL:

How is working this closely again with Eric Braeden as Victor?

EILEEN:

It’s very nice! Eric and I have a certain kind of groove we get into when we are working together. I think it works for the characters as well, that we are getting reacquainted as actors and as characters. I think that will work for us.

MICHAEL:

Should we expect there to be a commitment for a while in telling the Victor/Ashley romance?

EILEEN:

Reading ahead, there are a lot of problems with family coming up. It’s a good thing to have Ashley and Victor connected, and have Jack as the foil. It works so well.

MICHAEL:

What do you think is at Ashley’s core? What drives her?

EILEEN:

She basically is trying to get her life on track. She has been roaming around for a long time. I think at this point, coming back home and reconnecting with Victor is a real attempt at putting down some serious roots and figuring things out. Going into this relationship with Victor, and going in with her eyes open…. not knowing what’s going to happen with this because they never had any closure… is certainly something that drives her, as well.

MICHAEL:

How was the Paris Remote? Did you like it?

EILEEN:

I did. I thought it was epic. It was a lot of work, but I thought it was awesome!

eileen.jpgMICHAEL:

I hear that the Paris remote and schedule was very daunting at times?

EILEEN:

Yes, we got in on Sunday. Then Sunday afternoon we had a meeting, and then we went and did photo shoots, press conferences, talks shows… and I would have to shoot with early morning call times. Then, my son got sick so I had to take him to the hospital. Thank God it turned out to be nothing. The stuff I was supposed to do Thursday afternoon, I had to do Friday morning and that was all the stuff on the Seine with Victor. Then we had a luncheon with fans, and that evening was the Sony party. I had more publicity to do than anyone else, it seemed. I had new things added onto my plate everyday. In fact, there was a big party on Friday night after the Sony party that Billy Bell was doing for all of us, and I just couldn’t do it. It was this big fancy, expensive restaurant in Paris, and I was getting sick. I was so disappointed. Finally, when you get a chance to have fun! I was so wiped out. It was that kind of a trip, and I was back to work right away.

MICHAEL:

What did you think of “Katherine’s” funeral scenes, where you were sitting in the pew waiting for Victor and you knew as Ashley what was going to happen?

EILEEN:

I did not see the scenes, but I liked it and I thought it was a great set-up. I hope I did not come off as being too huffy! I was trying to play it as I am being protective of him, and that this is going to rock everybody’s world when he shows up!

MICHAEL:

What does Ashley think of Nikki?

EILEEN:

I think she’s thinks she is not stable. She is too emotional and freaking out all the time.

MICHAEL:

And Ashley is a much more controlled character?

EILEEN:

She is desperately more in control now, given her situation.

MICHAEL:

Wouldn’t you like to see her have a breakdown again?

dial11.jpgEILEEN:

No, I don’t think so, not for a while. She needs to have some stability and a life, and then she can have a breakdown. But you have to establish that first.

MICHAEL:

How is your book doing?

EILEEN:

Its doing great! I did some recent book signings over in Southern California. “Death in Daytime” is a mystery novel. It’s based around a female actress who is on a soap and all the things that go on behind the scenes, and then some. The second book is coming out in a few months, “Dial Emmy for Murder”. Basically, this is a soap opera series. The lead character is Alexis Peterson, who is an actress on a soap. In the first book, she is on the “Yearning Tide” and in the second book she is on “The Bare and the Brazen”, where she is presenting at the Emmys and the person she is presenting with is nowhere to be found. I just pitched the concept of the third one. It’s all about death! (She laughs) It’s available at Barnes and Nobles and Amazon.com.

MICHAEL:

What can we say is coming up for Ashley in 2009?

EILEEN:

More of Victor and Ashley, and a bumpy
ride. I am going to give it a shot. I like
that they are both giving their romance
a shot… and they are hoping it’s the
right time.

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