INTERVIEW: Y&R's Elizabeth Hendrickson dishes on Emmy fashion and returning to the soap world

Posted Tuesday, April 17, 2018 9:37:38 AM
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The Young and the Restless' Elizabeth Hendrickson (ex-Chloe Mitchell) opens up about the major change she plans to make for this year's Emmy Awards and how she feels about reentering the soap world for the star-studded event.

Soap Central: Congratulations on your Outstanding Supporting Actress Emmy nomination! The announcement came out a couple of weeks ago, but are you still feeling the excitement of the nomination?

Elizabeth Hendrickson: No, now I'm feeling the stress! [Laughs]

Soap Central: Oh, no! Are you in the throes of finding what you're going to wear and all of that?

Hendrickson: Yes, and that's exactly what makes it so stressful!

Soap Central: Well, you always look so good on the red carpet. You put so much thought and effort into looking stunning, and it really shows.

Hendrickson: Well, it's really an extension of who I am, so I like to feel comfortable, and I want to feel like myself. It's something you're in all day, and you're sitting, and you're standing, and you want to dance in it, so I take it pretty seriously. I'm not one of those people who are like, "Ah, sure, whatever! I'll wear that." I wish that's how I felt about it, though!

Soap Central: Do you have ideas yet about what you'll wear?

Hendrickson: This is kind of how it always goes for me: I think I have an idea of what I want to wear, and then I end up wearing something completely different than what I had planned, because it always just depends on, when I put something on, I just know that it's IT. At first, I thought I was going to go vintage, and then I started having a hard time with finding something that was right for the red carpet. And that led me into maybe wanting to go short, and then, as of a couple of days ago, I'm thinking I might want to wear a pantsuit. So, you can see that I'm really all over the place!

Soap Central: You're really known as one of those actors who is always in the know about fashion and what's going on in that world. So, do your costars ever come to you and ask you for help with their Emmy looks?

Hendrickson: That's a good question. My friends and costars definitely come to me for my help and opinion about what they wear in their [everyday] lives, but I don't really remember ever sharing any advice with each other when it came to what to wear on the red carpet. Well, I did send Christel Khalil (Lily Ashby) to Sharene, who I wear almost every year. So, I think she ended up wearing something from her at one time. It's interesting; I don't know why we don't all talk about that, but I don't think we do!

Soap Central: So, are you looking through the latest Sharene collection again this year?

Hendrickson: No, I'm not looking through the Sharene collection this year. I want to do something that I've never done before, so who knows what I'm going to end up in.

Soap Central: I'm sure you'll look stunning, as usual, and I can't wait to see what you put together.

Hendrickson: Thank you!

Soap Central: You just recently opened up your own salon, Ellie and Sass. Will you be getting ready for the Emmys there, with your beauty squad helping you out?

Hendrickson: Yeah, I'll definitely be doing my lashes, my nails, and a facial the week before. And my mom is going to do the same. But I'll probably get ready at home, just because it's always more comfortable to do it there. And it's on a Sunday, and Sundays are really busy at the salon! But I will be doing all of those other lovely things there the week of, for sure.

Soap Central: On the day the nominations came out, how did you find out that you'd received the nomination?

Hendrickson: I was actually on vacation with my boyfriend, and we were at lunch with his boss, so I wasn't able to pick up my phone. But thanks to my trusty iWatch, I had a text message that came through from my mom, because she was watching [the announcements on] The Talk, because I knew I wasn't going to be able to see it. So, I saw it come up on my watch, and I had to quietly whisper to my boyfriend about it, saying, "Psst! I just got nominated!" I didn't really know how to react in front of his coworkers!

Soap Central: Did you end up celebrating later that day so you had a nice way to let out your excitement?

Hendrickson: Well, I guess the rest of our day was spent at the pool, and we enjoyed ourselves, and then my boyfriend and I went and celebrated over a drink later that evening.

Soap Central: Does he follow this whole thing and care about the event and what you're wearing and all of that?

Hendrickson: That's a good question... but actually, yes! He is interested. When I told him I was considering a white dress, he said, "I don't know, babe; white is very hard to wear." [Laughs] So he definitely will have some input. He'll actually be traveling the rest of this month and will be away for work, so my mom is actually coming with me. So, he might not have as much say in it. I'll for sure send him pictures, but in general, he's usually good at that stuff. He has very good taste, and I trust his opinion.

Soap Central: So, did I just hear you're bringing your mom as your date?

Hendrickson: Yes, my mother is my date again. She's been there with me once before -- I think she came with me for my first nomination. And it's her birthday the day before [this year], so that will be special.

Soap Central: So, then you have to win, Elizabeth! So you can give her the most perfect birthday present!

Hendrickson: [Laughs] I know, it would be a really great birthday present for her. She deserves it, too.

Soap Central: The Academy released everyone's reels, so fans have been able to view them, which is nice. Can you walk us through the scenes you submitted and say why you narrowed down your body of work last year to those specific moments?

Hendrickson: So, I decided since I was able to choose up to twenty minutes of different shows, I thought I would tell a little story as to what happened to Chloe last year. The past few years, I've gone for these really big and heavy dramatic scenes, and kind of wanted to take the viewer on a journey, so I started with something a little bit lighter. I think that drunk scenes and comedy scenes don't usually play all that well for Emmy submissions, but I really did like those scenes, and it was showing Chloe's relationship to Chelsea [Melissa Claire Egan], their relationship, versus Chloe's secret that she was holding and how that started to unveil itself -- especially when she was feeling good and loose. And that led when Chloe was getting married and the reveal of what Chloe had done to Chelsea and to Adam. Those were my favorite scenes, and I really just needed something before and after. Like I said before, I wanted to have it all threaded, so [I did] the reveal... and then I closed it out with Chloe being exposed and her running away and blackmailing Victor [Eric Braeden] so he'd help her out. That was probably the strongest story that I had had last year, so I just kind of put it all together. And it worked!

Soap Central: You're kind of lucky this year, because you're up against so many other women from Y&R! What do you think about your competition?

Hendrickson: I know! I'm so happy for our show. Everyone is so talented. I left the show before I got to see Cammie's [Camryn Grimes, Mariah Copeland] whole lesbian storyline play out, so I never got to see that. Marla Adams [Dina Mergeron] is incredible, and that storyline that she was able to tell was so well done; I think she's probably going to take it home this year. And Mishael [Morgan, Hilary Curtis], I don't know what she submitted, but gosh, she had amazing material last year. She had some really, really great storylines and so much to play last year. It's going to be a tough one! You just never know. You really never know who will win. There have been so many years where I'm like, "Oh, this person is going to take it," but you just never know what people are into.

Soap Central: This has happened to you before, where you had left the show and were nominated, so you got to come back into the soap world temporarily for the Emmy extravaganza. And it's happening again! What's that ride like, when you haven't been a part of the world and then you get to come back for this really fun, celebratory occasion?

Hendrickson: I really love it, because I just get to see all of my friends and have a great night. So, if I don't win, at least I get to see all of my friends in one place, and everyone looks nice, and we all have a couple of cocktails together and just have an awesome evening. It's a win-win!

UPDATE (May 3, 2018): Elizabeth Hendrickson announced that she has joined the cast of General Hospital. Learn about it here.

What do you think about Hendrickson's nomination this year? Do you think she has a strong chance of taking home the win? 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.

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