INTERVIEW: Courtney Hope chats Sally's bold moves on The Young and the Restless

Posted Monday, December 14, 2020 7:21:20 AM

Mystery, romance, and a whole lotta "spec"ulation: Courtney Hope opens up about what Sally Spectra is really up to in The Young and the Restless' Genoa City and says that it's only a matter of time before the designer's baggage from The Bold and the Beautiful catches up to her.

The Bold and the Beautiful's Sally Spectra has been on The Young and the Restless for a little over a month now, and it's still unclear why she has decided to settle down in Genoa City. Claiming she wants a fresh start after all the drama she caused in Los Angeles, Sally has boldly ingratiated herself into the lives of some of GC's biggest movers and shakers in the fashion and beauty world, including Lauren (Tracey Bregman), Jack (Peter Bergman), and Summer (Hunter King). But rather than focusing on actually starting fresh, she's constantly giving secret looks of disappointment and seemingly doing everything she can to make enemies in her new town! So, what gives? What is Sally really after? And will her life on Y&R be just as wacky as her life on B&B? Soap Central caught up with Sally's portrayer, Courtney Hope, to find out!

Soap Central: Courtney, it's been so much fun to see you on The Young and the Restless. Have you been having a blast?

Courtney Hope: Oh, yeah, I'm having a great time! Everybody over there is so wonderful. I love who I'm working with, and everyone is really just so great -- and great at what they do. I love how they're writing Sally, too. It's different and interesting, so I'm really enjoying it.

Soap Central: Sally was really known as a troublemaker on The Bold and the Beautiful, and it looks like that probably won't be changing at Y&R!

Hope: Probably not! [Laughs]

Soap Central: Will she be stirring up similar types of drama as before, or do you think that being in Genoa City will bring out some different sides to Sally that fans haven't seen before?

Hope: I definitely think that things are going to be different, just given the fact that it's a different show with different writers, and people are going to bring a different perspective. But I also think that trouble tends to follow Sally, just given her Spectra name and what people expect. I do hope that Sally has learned from her mistakes and tries to do things a little bit differently -- not to say that the outcome potentially would be any different! [Laughs] But Sally is obviously getting a little bit older, and hopefully she [won't be] as ruthless as she was before. I will say she doesn't have a bad heart or bad intentions -- things just kind of always end up going a little sideways for her. And I definitely don't expect anything less for her in Genoa City! But hopefully things start to go her way.

Soap Central: It definitely seems like something is going on with her, although viewers don't exactly know what that is at the moment. Do you know the bigger picture of what Sally is up to in Genoa City, or are you just as in the dark as the audience is this point?

Hope: I have a little bit of an idea because there's been some communication [with the powers that be], but it's nothing drastic, nothing crazy. Right now, she's just kind of moving forward, trying to make a name for herself, getting back into what it is that she really truly wants, and leaving behind everything that happened in L.A. She wants to start fresh and create this new life, and I think that's her main goal. But obviously, your past eventually catches up, and the baggage comes. It may come late, but it always shows up at some point! [Laughs] So, that's what I feel like we're kind of waiting for -- her baggage to arrive.

Soap Central: It'll take a lot more than just moving for Sally to escape her crazy past!

Hope: Right?! Me, as Courtney, I'm a big believer of manifestation, and if you continue to talk about the past or even think about the past in a specific way, then it's kind of like that is what propels forward into the future, as well. And I feel like Sally tends to do that. There is a constant, "Everyone leaves me behind," and, "I'm a Spectra, and I've had to scrap and fight for everything I've ever had." And the more Sally says stuff like that, the more it's like, well, yeah, you're going to keep getting that! So that's my perspective. Every time I see Sally saying something like that, I'm like, "Girl, you are manifesting this over and over and over again!" [Laughs]

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Soap Central: Sally was really bold in the way she just waltzed into these big offices in Genoa City and presented herself for jobs, especially when she told Lauren that she was the perfect person to run Jabot Collective. Are you similar in your own career, being confident enough to simply declare, "I'm your girl!"

Hope: Yeah! That is something that I had difficulties with growing up, but I've grown into it more as I've gotten older. I'm more confident, and I know what I can do, I know what I can't do, I know what I'm willing to learn, what I'm willing to grow in, and what is best left to somebody else. Knowing more about what I want, I'll definitely speak up and say, "This is what I want," or, "This is what I don't want." And I'm very thankful for that. It took a lot of personal growth on my part. I've always been pretty confident. I mean, as a kid, for sure, but then as life comes at you, you start creating walls, or insecurities come up, or whatever it might be, and then it's about pushing past them, and I definitely think I have finally gotten to that point where, yeah, if it's worth it, I'm definitely going to say something. Especially if it's something I want and I know I'm great for it. So, I appreciate that about Sally. She does it in a different way than I would! [Laughs] But she definitely has no problem speaking her mind, which I love.

Soap Central: What's one of the most daring or bold things that you've done in your career in an effort to land a part?

Hope: I feel like for a lot of my auditions, I go in as if the job is already mine. I would like to say that's pretty daring. Like if [the character] has a black eye and is beaten up, I will do my makeup as if I have a black eye and I'm beaten up. I had an audition for a series regular role on a TV show, and it came down between me and somebody else, and I remember when I showed up to the first audition, I had this massive black eye and I had split my lip, and I will say, I did a pretty good job of doing it. When I showed up to the audition, I wore sunglasses in the waiting room, and when I got into the audition room, I took my sunglasses off, and the casting director and the producers were there, and they both turned and stopped for a second and just looked at me. And actually, after my scenes, the casting director messaged my agent and said they were blown away by the fact that [I did that]. I was the only girl who did! And that was crazy to me. I didn't originally think it was bold, but I've been told by other people, "Really? Man, I wouldn't have done that!"

Soap Central: Honestly, I feel as if many women, in particular, would feel uncomfortable with something like that because they feel like it would hide their beauty, you know? So, in that respect, it is brave, to set your beauty aside and just go and be what the role requires.

Hope: Absolutely. I just had an audition not that long ago for the role of a meth addict, so I put meth sores all over my face and made my eyes look really gaunt and dark. It was for a self-tape, and I walked downstairs, and my boyfriend [General Hospital's Chad Duell (Michael Corinthos)] was sitting on the couch and was like, "GOD!" He was so startled! [Laughs] And he even said, "Wow. You really went for it." So, yeah, I love that stuff, and I would say I'm bold in that way. Charlize Theron is one of my biggest inspirations because she's beautiful, but she's had so many moments -- like in Monster [in which she plays real-life serial killer Aileen Wuornos] -- where she says, "This is the role, and this is how I'm going to look." And I've always been that person. I don't always have to just be [pretty]. Like, when I was dying on The Bold and the Beautiful, I never was like, "I want to be attractive." I said, "If I'm going to be dying, this is what we're going to go for." I remember in the beginning, the girl that did my makeup, [Stacey Alfano], she's one of my best friends and has been on the show for years doing makeup. We've known each other since we were 15, and she's really great at doing prosthetics and special effects; that's what she's done and has worked on Westworld and all kinds of stuff. So, she said, "Let's go for it." I remember showing up to set and getting ready to film, and they were like, "Okay, we have to tone this down a little bit!" [Laughs] I mean, I really looked like I was dying. Even Darin [Brooks, Wyatt Spencer] was like, "Um, whoa!" [Laughs] I'm one who likes to go all out. They can always tell you to pull it back, you know? It's harder to tell someone to go forward.

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Soap Central: I'd love to ask about the transition that you had from B&B to Y&R. When you were done at Bold, was there a space of time where you didn't know that Y&R wanted you, and if so, what were your emotions like, and what were you planning to do?

Hope: Yes, there definitely was. It was a little over a month [before Y&R called], and it was really interesting because I was actually okay. I've gotten to a place in my life where I know -- tapping into the last question -- I know what I'm capable of, and I know my work ethic. I've been in acting class ever since I can remember, and I've been in this particular one for five years now, and I love it. I've been online doing it during the whole pandemic, and my point is is that I'm getting to play all of these different characters in class, I'm getting to tap into all of these different human beings, and when I found out that I wasn't going to be on Bold anymore, I was just thankful that I was able to keep doing what I love to do [via this class] and be all of these different human beings. I had four different plays that I was working on, and I know it might sound silly, but I just knew that work was going to come. I just knew it was. I've gotten into this place where I just love what I do, I love playing pretend, and I love creating and growing and expanding my emotional and human capacity, and so during that month, I really just put my nose to the grindstone and just delved into my class.

Soap Central: It's like what you said earlier, about manifesting your reality with your thoughts. If you stayed relaxed and thought work would come, then work would come.

Hope: Absolutely. I had family members calling and being like, "Financially, make sure you're doing this, and maybe get back into your fitness [training]," I mean, everyone was coming every which way with advice, and I listened to them, and I was like, "You're right, at some point, when it's right for me, for sure, I'll be doing that stuff. But I'm okay. I'm really okay." And I was so proud of myself, because there have been plenty of moments in my life where I wasn't working and my entire world crumbled. I mean, I went into for sure clinical depression. And that has been my career -- up and down and up and down and up and down -- and finally, I've realized that I love to act, I love to play pretend, and finding a class and finding a space where I can grow has helped me... I know that sounds a little weird, but I felt like everything was going to be okay, and it was.

Soap Central: Who did you most look forward to working with at Y&R?

Hope: Oh, my gosh, that's a hard one because I really respect all of the actors on The Young and the Restless. I think they're all fantastic, so I was just kind of like, "I'm okay with any of them!" [Laughs] And I still feel that way, really. I'd love to work with everyone at some point. But I knew Hunter just through friends, and I was really hoping I was going to get to work with her, because it was a familiar face, and I thought it would be a nice transition. And obviously, I was excited when I found out that I was going to work with Peter Bergman, too, because I think he's fantastic. I've always really respected him. But, I mean, everyone, Michael [Mealor, Kyle Abbott] and Tyler [Johnson, Theo Vanderway]. I'm excited to see where Sally goes within Genoa City because there are so many people that I'd love to work with. I feel like everyone is really grounded in what they do, and they're just great, great actors.

Soap Central: Romance is a huge part of soap operas, and I know that Sally is currently focusing on getting settled into town and getting her career going, but do you feel like the writers are watching your chemistry with certain actors and figuring out where she'll fit in romantically?

Hope: Yeah, I'm sure. I definitely feel like that's something they're always looking out for, which I always think is so funny, because as an actor, I like to say that I can have chemistry with anything or anyone! [Laughs] But, yeah, it also depends on how they write things; if someone has a rivalry with somebody, maybe their chemistry won't be jumping off the charts as much as it would be with a character they're friends with, just given the circumstances. But, yeah, I definitely think that they are feeling things out and seeing how it is. But I think it's okay if they take their time, because with everything that Sally went through, I'm pretty sure that the last thing that she wants right now is a relationship! But she's going to be forming friendships that could end up transforming into something more, and I think that's beautiful, and that's heartfelt. Sally wants to be loved, and she wants a family because she didn't have one. She wants something that is substantial and long-lasting -- for as "long-lasting" as something can be on a soap opera! She's not just after the fame and fortune, if you will. She wants that grounded love and to feel safe, so we'll see. Hopefully she can find it in Genoa City!

Soap Central: There are plenty of people to choose from -- way more choices than she had in Los Angeles!

Hope: Yeah, that's definitely true. Sally pretty much went through all of them in L.A. who were in her immediate circle! [Laughs] Thomas [Matthew Atkinson] and Wyatt and briefly with Liam [Scott Clifton], but she kind of went, "Okay, he's married. I'll leave him alone." [Laughs]

Soap Central: Having you come to Y&R was a great way to potentially pull some B&B viewers over to Y&R. If they were to do the opposite and have a character from Genoa City move to L.A., who do you think could make a huge splash?

Hope: I definitely think Theo could create some crazy drama in L.A., just given his character. He could bring in a little bit of conniving and plotting, which could be quite interesting. But also, Summer for sure!

Soap Central: You would say that, because Summer is Sally's new nemesis!

Hope: Yeah, let's get rid of her! [Laughs] But really, with Summer, I think it's more about her job. It's the same with someone like Chloe [Elizabeth Hendrickson], who has her own fashion line. I'm thinking about what the characters are doing and how they could connect at B&B, and that's why I also said Theo, as well, because he loves social media, and we were always talking about that at Forrester Creations. But there are a lot of options. And I love the fact that crossovers are possible and that they happen. It's fun!

What do you think about the way Y&R is writing for Sally? Where do you see Sally's storyline going in the months ahead? 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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