INTERVIEW: Getting to know Y&R's new Mattie, Lexie Stevenson

Posted Thursday, June 08, 2017 11:47:36 AM
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INTERVIEW: Getting to know Y&R's new Mattie, Lexie Stevenson

From early dreams of being a grocery bagger to how she handles bullies, here's everything you need to know about The Young and the Restless' Lexie Stevenson (Mattie Ashby).

From the second The Young and the Restless announced it had SORAS'd Cane and Lily's young twins, Mattie and Charlie, fans were conflicted. Former portrayers McKenna Roberts and Brandin Stennis were so cute! But once viewers get to know the twins' new portrayers -- Lexie Stevenson and Noah Alexander Gerry -- we're pretty sure no one will mind the sudden age difference. After all, the pair will be quite integral in spicing up the CBS soap's teen summer storylines and may even play a big part in their on-screen parents' recent marital woes. To find out, Soap Central caught up with Mattie's new portrayer, Lexie Stevenson, who not only opened up about her own sometimes awkward teen years but also gave us the scoop on what's ahead for the Ashby family in the weeks to come. We heard you have wanted to be an actress since you were five years old, and you're now appearing on a major television show. Is this just a huge dream come true for you?

Lexie Stevenson: It's a huge dream come true, you have no idea. What made you want to become an actress? Do you remember, even though you made the decision quite young?

Stevenson: Yeah, I do. I was super dramatic when I was little, and I told my parents I wanted to be an actress, and I think for a while they were like, "Oh, well, every little girl wants to be an actress." But then they said, "Hey, maybe you should do a play or try acting classes or something." So we decided for me to initially go into a play to see if I liked it, and I did the play, and it ended up being musical theater, so I also fell in love with music. And I ended up falling in love [with acting], and I kept doing plays, and my parents flew me out to New York and Atlanta, Georgia, and Miami, Florida. I was super fortunate that they were able to do that. So, yeah, I just kind of fell in love with it and then made the decision to come out here to Los Angeles. It's really great that they were so supportive of you! Like you said, many parents think every kid wants to be an actor, and they don't foster their child's desires. But you are proof of what could happen if parents take their kids' wishes seriously and give them early opportunities.

Stevenson: I agree 110 percent. My mom has always been my biggest supporter. She would always tell me, "Even if you want to be a grocery bagger, I'll support that." Because I did -- I wanted to be a grocery bagger when I was little, as well. I thought, "I could always be a grocery bagger if things don't work out." I always thought it sounded like so much fun. [Laughs] It took my dad a little bit longer to get on board, but he's all about adventure, so when I started flying to different places, he would come with me, and he kind of saw the passion that I had for acting and slowly but surely he got on board. And now, obviously, he's like, "I'm super on board!" Do you have acting in your family history?

Stevenson: Actually, I do. It's kind of a combination of things. My family is pretty artistic. My dad's job doesn't have anything to do with music, but he's very good at playing the guitar and can pick up any instrument. My mom was on the Nickelodeon show Livewire when she was younger and lived in New York, my grandmother and my grandfather have a few published books, my uncle is the vice president of Fox News Corp's legal department, and my other uncle was an actor on Frasier. So there's a lot of acting and creativity in my family. Yes, so you come by it naturally!

Stevenson: Yeah, I mean, I guess so. It's in my blood, I guess. I think when I was getting into acting, I really didn't know any of that; it kind of came out later. But a lot of what I did, I wanted to do it on my own. I'm pretty stubborn and independent. [Laughs] Good qualities to have as an actor! From what I can tell, you spent a lot of your childhood appearing in various stage productions. But did you also have the time to have a "normal" childhood, or were you working all the time?

Stevenson: Well, first of all, I wouldn't call it working because I love doing it. But I think I did have a normal childhood, because [my theater friends] were the people I liked hanging out with, anyway, and I also did swim team and I tried to keep my weekend as clear as possible and tried to have a two-week buffer in between each play so that I did have time to hang out with my friends. So I definitely had a fuller schedule than other kids, but it was my normal, I guess. I guess if you don't know any other way, it feels normal to you! Did you go to a regular school and keep the same schedule as the others for the most part?

Stevenson: I did. My first high school that I went to, to put it nicely, was not so understanding of me wanting to become an actress and definitely didn't accept that. So [I transferred] to a different high school in a different town, Brunswick High School, and they were so supportive. They really fostered my acting and were super understanding and always let me make up my tests in my classes, because I definitely did have to miss a lot of school. But I was missing it for something I wanted to do as a job. A lot of big celebrities who started working when they were kids were picked on and teased in school. Did that happen to you? Or were the kids pretty understanding of your early career, as well?

Stevenson: It was pretty split, I'd say. I was definitely not someone the others would say, "We're going to pick on her to her face." Luckily, I had a lot of friends in school, and I had a really good time in school. But after I came out to California, there were a bunch of kids who I knew didn't like me in high school and tweeted some really, really mean things about me. But I ignored them because, honestly, whatever! I rose above it. That kind of stuff shouldn't get to me, and God only knows where they're going! But anyway, other than that, no. All of my friends were insanely supportive, and most of the kids understood because it was a really artistic school. My best friend from second grade also went there, so it was a really easy move for me, and I wish I had done it earlier. It's great to hear how you handled the negative tweets, and in a way, it was good preparation for the future. When you put yourself in the public eye, that kind of thing can happen, and you have to be able to hold yourself gracefully and get through it.

Stevenson: Yeah, exactly. And I'm all about positivity. So if it's not positive, it's not around me. We're just getting to know what kind of girl Mattie has grown up to be. We've seen that she's struggling a bit, so in your own words, who would you say she is, and what can fans expect her from her as we get to know her better?

Stevenson: I think right now Mattie is definitely awkward! [Laughs] She's still growing into herself. She doesn't pay attention to things like having her nails done or the trends or anything. She's very into school. But I think that she is starting to try to become a more normal teenager, where it's not school, school, school, school. As seen in some of the episodes, she's a perfectionist, and her mom tells her that she needs to loosen up a little. And I think she's trying to do that, but it's pretty difficult for her. Were you at all like her when you were in school?

Stevenson: I think I found a balance pretty well. Like I said, I had a really full schedule, so I would be like Mattie in the sense that I wouldn't have a paper done and I would freak out! [Laughs] But my parents were always super helpful. They didn't do my homework for me, obviously. But if there were things they could do to help, like going to the store and getting me poster board so I could do a project, they would do that. Sometimes I was so crunched for time, and that was super helpful when they did that. And I don't even know how they did it, because they're both insanely busy. I don't know how they handled all the stuff that I did. My mom is a dentist and a lawyer, so she was like, "Oh, Lexie, you can handle it." But they both definitely helped. It sounds like you like you lucked out with awesome parents in real life, and you also lucked out with great on-screen parents! Everyone loves Daniel Goddard and Christel Khalil. What has it been like working with them?

Stevenson: Amazing! Christel and Daniel are my parents in the show, and they act like my parents off the show. [Laughs] They're really just so incredible. It's very new, so I've been able to go to Daniel a lot for any questions that I have, and he is always really there for me, as well as Christel. They both give me really good advice when I need it, and not even just on the show, but also with real life things. I can say, "Neither one of my parents are answering!" and they'll be there for me. It's really like being part of the family, and not just the family on the set, but the family off the set, the CBS family. It's really, really wonderful. Most actors come on to a soap alone, but you have the pleasure of being part of a twin team. Have you felt that twin connection and comfort with Noah as you've adjusted to the show, the set, and working with new people? Is it like having a built-in buddy?

Stevenson: Exactly! It's kind of funny, because Noah and I went through testing together and the audition process together, and even before we started filming, Noah and I became the best of friends. Seriously, he's one of my best friends, and I love him to death. So having that connection with him on set, I mean, I wouldn't even call it acting because we have it in real life. He's so wonderful. We hang out every day that we're both in L.A. Actually, after this interview, I'm going to hang out with him! It's been really awesome. Do you have siblings in real life you can sort of compare the relationship to?

Stevenson: Yes and no. I don't have any biological siblings, but when I was younger, we had a foreign exchange student come for a year ,and I built a sibling-like relationship with him. And ever since then, he comes for every six months out of the year. Our families clicked, and he's just great. We've definitely gotten in fights [like siblings do]! He wants to be in the States, so he comes for a big chunk out of the year. And he's coming again in two weeks, I think? And we go and visit him; he's from Spain. So I can compare it to that! The tease that we got when the news came out that Mattie and Charlie were going to be older is that they are as different as night and day. So will they be fighting a lot over the summer?

Stevenson: Oh, yes! As shown on-screen, they have sibling rivalry, for sure. But I think that in the end, Charlie has Mattie's best interests at heart, and everything that he does, he does it to protect her. And he thinks that everything and anything that he's doing is best for her -- but I don't think Mattie always see that! But they definitely love each other a lot. It's not one of those situations where they're not going to talk to each other when they're 20. They couldn't, anyway, in a small town like Genoa City! I find it interesting because Cane and Lily have had a really long relationship, and they're one of the very few -- if not the only -- soap couples who has, up until recently, not had any cheating in their past. That has started to change recently, right around the same time their kids turn into teens. Can you say how Mattie and Charlie will get involved with their parents' issues, if at all?

Stevenson: I think it's always hard when a child starts to see their parents as adults. Even me in real life, when I was younger, my parents of course got into fights, and that was hard to see. You're like, "You guys are perfect! There's nothing wrong!" But to see if and how it affects the family, you'll definitely have to keep watching. Okay, fair enough! So I remember what it was like to have my first big job in New York City; that time in my life was so exciting and memorable. What is this like for you, moving to Los Angeles and immediately hitting the big time?

Stevenson: I am insanely grateful. I know that's not usually the way this kind of business works. But I did work really hard when I was back in Maine and took advantage of all the opportunities that life presented to me, and I will never forget it. I will never forget the day that I aired, I will never forget the day that I was told I got the job, I will never forget the day I auditioned. It changed my life, and it's such an amazing opportunity. On social media, I am constantly saying how appreciative I am, because I am, and I seriously mean that from the bottom of my heart. I still have to pinch myself sometimes to make sure it's real, and I wonder, "When am I going to wake up?!" It's been really, really, really exciting.

What do you think of Stevenson in the role of Lexie? How would you like to see Cane and Lily's daughter get involved in future storyline? Are you interested in seeing a Lexie/Reed romance? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.

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