Daytime favorite Cassandra Creech (Grace Buckingham, The Bold and the Beautiful; ex-Denise Maynard, As the World Turns) has dreamed of an Emmy nomination all of her life, which makes her recognition in this year's Outstanding Guest Performer category an amazing achievement that has her truly over the moon.
"It's a journey, a wonderful journey, and a journey that... tickles me," she tells Soap Central's Dan J Kroll. "I recall a time as a child, just this was my dream. You know, this was it. I knew it was in my soul. It was in my genetics... I didn't know in what capacity, but I knew that I had a gift of connecting with people through storytelling."
Funny enough, Creech was at the gym when she found out she'd been nominated, and her reaction was enough to make anyone drop their dumbbells, dumbfounded.
"I was walking out the door. I had just finished my workout. I was headed to my vehicle and my phone rang... and I picked up the phone. I said, 'Hello?' And I heard this, 'Cassandra?' And I thought. 'Oh, no, who is this?' And I said, 'Hi.' And it was [B&B executive producer and head writer] Brad Bell. And I said, 'Hi, Brad,' and he said, 'Well, congratulations.' I said, 'What are you talking about?' He said, 'You got an Emmy nomination!'" she shares, adding, "I just laughed, Dan. I started running up and down in the parking lot. I had my headphones and my workout gloves. I was running. I was jumping up and down. I was hugging my car. I ran back in the gym. I yelled out at the gym, I said, 'I got an Emmy nomination!' And everyone turned and looked at me... and then I ran back out. It was just... that's it. I mean, it wasn't anything glamorous, but that's [how I reacted]... I needed to hug something! I needed to. That's why I ran in the gym. And I just, oh, my gosh, it was just... Yeah, it was pretty, pretty exciting."
Nobody can blame the actress for her amusing reaction, especially because, as she says, acting has been her passion for as long as she can remember.
"This is my bliss, okay. I'm doing and living my dream, my vision... and I love what I do. I love it. Not just love it. I am in love with it, and the relationships along the way. And this community, especially Bold and Beautiful, have been extraordinary," she says. "It goes to different parts of who you are, different parts of your relationships on set, your relationship with the behind-the-scenes crew and your castmates. It is those relationships beyond the work, that branch off outside the work, within the work, that are extraordinary, and it encourages you. It inspires me, and also, I've learned so much. I love watching other people work, and it's just -- it's a wonderful journey."
That being said, don't expect Creech to celebrate her Emmy nomination with a huge blow out or anything extravagant. She tells Soap Central that she's a lot more low key and is more likely to be found hiking or gardening than partying.
"I don't believe I'll have a big celebration," she shares. "I give myself a pat on the back. And my mother, her acknowledgment means a lot, too, and for my dog, Herbert. But it's a time for me to just appreciate this gift and to acknowledge my peers who acknowledged me, you know, and it's a time of thanksgiving for me."
As for what went on her Emmy reel, Creech says it was "a lot of the interpersonal relationships with... my daughter, with Diamond [White], with Paris, and then certainly that dynamic with Carter [Lawrence Saint-Victor], and Paris, and just the humanity of that conflict as a mother, as a loving mother. And confronting a man. There were quite a bit of those scenes on the reel. There was, of course, the slap. And those are most of the scenes. Yeah, pretty much most of the scenes, just those intimate conversations with my daughter."
The actress shares that she made note of the scenes after performing them, knowing that it might be something that she could put together for an Emmy reel. "There are scenes .. that I feel that are extraordinary, and that there was a true, authentic connection with Grace," she says. "I do make notes of those things, yes. I do."
Though Creech is no longer starring on B&B, the writers have left the door open for Grace to return, and if that does someday happen, Creech would like to think that her alter ego would have a little more going on in her life than obsessing over her daughter's love life.
"Grace [is] a well-known, world-renowned cardiologist and surgeon and I think Grace has a very full life," Creech shares. "I think she is beginning to enjoy her experience in a new place. Certainly, her connections at work. And she's also creating, also exploring new ways of healing... As much as she's concerned about her daughter and her well-being, of both her daughters, as well, she understands the value of having boundaries. Well, sometimes, but maintaining her well-being, so I see her... Grace is attending art galleries, Grace is working out in the gym, Grace is in a yoga class, Grace is doing things that refill the well for her."
When asked what song might sum up her time as B&B's Grace, Creech doesn't hesitate to say Bon Jovi's "You Give Love a Bad Name."
"Music is, for me, it's another language, and it's an integral part to my life," she says of why she was able to name a song so quickly. She then adds Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" as another good song that matches Grace. "It starts out very unassuming, and Freddie Mercury, he just [goes nuts]. There's so much passion."
Time will tell if Grace will be back on the B&B canvas, but whether or not that happens, Creech shares that she is extremely grateful for the fan support she has received, both during her time on B&B and throughout her career in daytime.
"First of all, I appreciate the support... from my first gig in daytime and some of those relationships, I still have to this day. And I'm always appreciative of people that see or have sort of a glimpse of the best of you," she says. "And this win, which I believe in my heart that just the nomination itself is a win, but it's a win not for me, it's... there's a great deal more of 'we' in that, and I'm just so grateful for that. I'm so grateful for that. I'm truly, truly grateful for that."
What do you think about Cassandra Creech being nominated in this year's Daytime Emmy Awards' Outstanding Guest Performer category? Do you think she'll take home the gold? We want to hear from you -- so drop your comments in the Comments section below, tweet about it on Twitter, share it on Facebook, or chat about it on our Message Boards.