INTERVIEW: The Young and the Restless' Alyvia Alyn Lind talks Faith's new rebellious side

Posted Wednesday, January 20, 2021 10:30:02 AM

The Young and the Restless' Faith Newman is veering off the rails in a coming-of-age story that's set to get a lot more emotional in the weeks ahead. Portrayer Alyvia Alyn Lind opens up about the fictional teen's alcohol issues -- and what her real-life parents think about her tackling such serious subject matter.

The Young and the Restless' Faith Newman (Alyvia Alyn Lind) isn't a little girl anymore, and her problems aren't so little, either. The normally "goody two shoes" daughter of Nick (Joshua Morrow) and Sharon (Sharon Case) has developed a rebellious side, and she's currently struggling with alcohol issues. Her parents are at their wits' end when it comes to how to deal with their troubled daughter, and they'll soon be turning to Nikki (Melody Thomas Scott) to help set Faith straight. But will the concerned grandma -- who's had her own problems with alcohol -- be able to help? Soap Central caught up with Faith's portrayer, Alyvia Alyn Lind, to discuss the character's very serious storyline and what it's been like to play Faith as she struggles with her past and finding her identity.

We also chatted with the young actress about her exciting new writing project; her relationship with her two older sisters, Natalie Alyn Lind and Emily Alyn Lind (ex-Emma Lavery, All My Children; ex-Grace, Days of our Lives); what it's been like to work with huge stars like Drew Barrymore, Will Ferrell, and Dolly Parton during her ten-year career; and the super sweet thing that she says gives her a sense of stability and helps keep her "normal" as she grows up in Hollywood.

Soap Central: I know you were really young when you started at The Young and the Restless -- just three years old! -- but do you remember your audition and your first day in the role of Faith?

Alyvia Alyn Lind: Oh, my gosh, yes! I definitely remember my audition like it was yesterday. My sister Emily came with me for good luck, because she had been on All My Children -- she actually played Melissa Claire Egan's [Chelsea Newman, Y&R; ex-Annie Novak, AMC] daughter, [Emma Lavery] -- so, she knew the casting director, Judy Wilson, and her assistant, Greg Salmon, who is still with The Young and the Restless. It was my first real theatrical audition, and I had seen my sisters and my mom go through the audition process so many times, so it was kind of no big deal to me; I wasn't nervous at all. [Laughs] But I remember also the first day meeting the cast, and everybody was so sweet. Josh was making me laugh so hard, and I remember thinking that this was going to be such a fun place to come and hang out.

Soap Central: I love that your older sister was on a soap opera. Did she help you with any tips or tricks that she'd learned during her time on All My Children?

Alyn Lind: Yeah, I remember her being so excited when I booked Y&R because she had such great memories of working on All My Children and Days of our Lives. As far as advice goes, she just told me to appreciate every day on set with your soap family because nothing really compares. It's really the best job in the world.

Soap Central: I actually spoke with Emily a couple of months ago when she was doing promotion for her new series, Gossip Girl, and she said the sweetest thing about you. She said that if anyone should be giving anyone advice, it should be YOU rather than the other way around because you're naturally brilliant at everything you put your mind to. I thought that was really sweet of her to say!

Alyn Lind: Oh, my gosh, yes! Yeah, we definitely all three are our own therapists! [Laughs] We are always helping each other through our problems and asking and running lines. Really with everything -- boys, emotional problems. We're always there for each other.

Soap Central: Nothing in the world compares to having a sister. And you get two, which makes you extra lucky!

Alyn Lind: I know. I get to be the baby -- the one that they take care of! [Laughs]

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Soap Central: As you said, Emily told you to enjoy every moment on set at a soap opera, because it's like nothing else. Your soap colleagues become family -- like Sharon Case and Joshua Morrow, who play your parents, Sharon and Nick. What is your relationship like with them?

Alyn Lind: Growing up with Sharon and Josh has been absolutely amazing. We have the best working relationship, and I'm so lucky to have them. They're always so prepared and professional, but we still manage to have the best time. We always have so much fun and laugh constantly. And they're always there for me during more emotional scenes. We just had an automatic connection, and we still do. Oh, and by the way, Josh told me at a very young age that he was organizing an arranged marriage with his real-life son, and that's the only boy he'll approve of in my life. So, maybe one day he'll end up being my real-life father-in-law! [Laughs]

Soap Central: That's hilarious. Do you have any other funny memories or behind-the-scenes stories that you can share?

Alyn Lind: There are so many! It's always so much fun on set. We are constantly laughing and making jokes and pranking each other. One of the fun memories I have is Y&R has the best food, always, and I remember when I was like five, they would bring out this big plate of fresh baked cookies or cupcakes, and I just remember thinking, "Oh, my God, please mess up your line so I can eat more of these cupcakes in the scene!" [Laughs] And my mom would be whispering on the side, "Don't eat unless you're in the scene or if you're filming!" And I just remember thinking, "Please mess up! I want more of the cupcake!" It would be all I could think about. [Laughs] So, I always remember that and take that with me. And I will also say that Y&R has the best hot chocolate that you will ever taste. I don't know why, I don't know what they put in it. I'm going to ask them for the secret recipe, because that's my favorite hot chocolate in the world.

Soap Central: I can't believe that they bring all these treats on set at a show where people are expected to wear swimsuits and stuff! So mean!

Alyn Lind: They like to tempt us! [Laughs]

Soap Central: I guess it helps you learn to behave! And speaking of learning to behave, Faith has always been a really sweet character, but she has definitely done some growing up in recent months. How do you feel about her developing this new rebellious side?

Alyn Lind: I mean, it's always so much more fun to play a flawed character. Perfect can get kind of boring, and I think the viewers like to see characters that they can either relate to or root for. Faith is going down a pretty dark path -- but for good reason! She's had a really, really tough life. But she still has a really good heart of gold. She has a good heart. But she's carrying around some resentment and I think some sadness. She's also figuring out who she is, and that's what you do when you're 14 years old, and it can sometimes be a hard process. It's hard for her and the people who love her. Faith is experiencing real life problems, including supporting her mom through cancer. I love that the writers have given her so much dimension. It's so much fun to play.

Soap Central: Her parents will be turning to Nikki for some help on how to deal with Faith. Can you tease what those scenes will be like, as I imagine it'll get pretty emotional! And also, what it's like to work with Melody Thomas Scott?

Alyn Lind: I've always loved working with Melly, but Faith, I think, has always felt a special connection to her grandparents. It makes a lot of sense that Faith turns to Nikki, because she knows that Nikki can relate to her and she never passes judgement. The fact that Faith is drinking makes Nikki very emotional because of her past with alcohol. And she feels kind of almost responsible, so those scenes between them will definitely get pretty deep. But I'm so excited for the viewers to see them. They were definitely some of my favorites to film.

Soap Central: This isn't the first time that you've dealt with adult subject matter -- one of your last roles was on Netflix's Daybreak, where you played a pyromaniac! When you have serious material like that and with Faith drinking, do your parents get pretty involved?

Alyn Lind: My entire family is in the business, and we all have very open communication about every little issue. When I started doing this storyline specifically, my mom told me that she loves when me and my sisters get roles where we can break the rules on camera and get it out of our system, so we don't have to do it in real life. [Laughs] Usually, when I get a role and I'm playing something I haven't experienced, I look up articles and videos and movies with young characters that I can study. But like I said, it's so much more fun to go out of your comfort zone and try things that you haven't gotten to do or wouldn't do in real life, and that's one of my favorite things about this job.

Soap Central: With three daughters in the industry, your parents must be pros at dealing with stuff like that, obviously, but also at making sure you guys live a "normal" life, as well. Are there certain things that they do to make sure that you have a normal childhood and you don't get caught up in the whole Hollywood thing?

Alyn Lind: Yeah, when we're not working, our lives are completely normal. We make sure to celebrate every holiday to the fullest, and no matter where we all are, we always try to somehow get together. And whenever one of us gets a role, we're like, "Oh, my God, where does it film? I can't wait to come and visit you! It's going to be so much fun to go hang out in Hawaii!" It's kind of an experience for all of us. But we always take advantage and appreciate our time together so much, because we don't get it that much, because everybody is always all over the place. And also, my dogs are definitely my stability! [Laughs] And I say dogs in the plural, because I just got a new Goldendoodle puppy for Christmas, and she is everything to me! So, Georgie and Rocky are my normalcy. They're like my babies.

Soap Central: Aw, congratulations on your new baby! Do you play with them a lot, take them to the dog parks, and stuff like that?

Alyn Lind: Yeah, definitely! Like I said, they're like my babies, and I try to spend as much time with them as I can. Georgie is a little bit older, and she is not impressed by Rocky yet. [Laughs] She definitely has a little resentment, but I'm waiting for the day that she puts that aside and just looks at her as kind of her baby. But Georgie and Rocky are so tiny, and I think that Georgie is a little bit intimidated that Rocky is like, the same size as her, because Rocky has grown so much already. But, yeah, they're like my stability, and I'm so lucky to have them. They're the best dogs in the world.

Soap Central: Are they just your dogs, or do you share them with your sisters?

Alyn Lind: They're the family dogs. Actually, I have a fun story. When we got Georgie, it was Christmas when I was three. All I talked about that entire year before Christmas was wanting a Hide and Seek Monkey, which was this little thing that you hide and you press a button and you have to find it. That's all I talked about when I was three years old; I wanted it so badly. My sisters were asking for a puppy, and I was asking only for a Hide and Seek Monkey. So, on Christmas morning, we came downstairs, and there was a puppy sitting under the tree, and there was a Hide and Seek Monkey also sitting under the tree, and I will never live it down: I ran to the Hide and Seek Monkey, and my sisters ran to the puppy! [Laughs] I will never live that story down. But this year, I got to redeem myself. Rocky was sitting in a little bed under the tree, and in the bed next to Rocky was sitting my old Hide and Seek Monkey, so I got to redeem myself and run to the puppy instead! [Laughs]

Soap Central: You must be quite busy with working and taking care of your dogs, but I imagine you have to make time for school, as well! What kind of school situation do you have? Do you go to a regular school, or do you have a tutor that comes around with you when you're working, or...?

Alyn Lind: I've been homeschooled my whole life. I was a kindergarten drop out! [Laughs] My mom is my teacher, and school has always been a main priority. But it definitely has not been a traditional education. When my workload is full, I work fewer hours on my schoolwork. But I do more school in the summer and on weekends, when I'm not working or on set. Reading and writing have always been my favorite subjects, and that definitely comes from my love of reading scripts and working in the profession I do. But it's really exciting, because during quarantine, I've actually been working on writing my own script from a novel I optioned during quarantine. So, that's really exciting, because it's kind of a work thing and a school thing, and I can connect those two sides.

Soap Central: Wow, that's exciting! Is there anything that you can tease about your writing project yet?

Alyn Lind: It's pretty early on, but I am so excited to talk about it more in the future. I can't say anything too much yet, but I'm really excited. It's kind of been my other baby for the last few months.

Soap Central: Is this the first time that you've written something, or have you done writing projects for fun in the past?

Alyn Lind: I've always been obsessed with writing, whether that's writing a song or it's writing a scene or putting on plays for my family in my living room. But I'm really excited to be doing something a little bit more professional. I've always loved writing scripts in my notebook or writing on my computer, but I am hoping that this one gets seen by more people than just my eyes.

Soap Central: When it comes to acting, what would you say is the most difficult thing about your career?

Alyn Lind: I guess the most difficult part of this job is having to be away from family and friends. But at the same time, my favorite part is being able to travel and meet new people and experience new places! But it's been especially hard during COVID because we haven't been able to just jump on a plane and go and visit my sisters. One is in New York right now and the other is in Vancouver. But because of quarantine, we knew when they left that it would be a longer goodbye than usual. So, that's definitely been tough.

Soap Central: Oh, wow, I didn't think about that. You may not know when you're going to see each other again, with everything happening.

Alyn Lind: Exactly! With all of the two-week quarantines and the other quarantine restrictions, it's so hard, because we would love to just jump on a plane and quarantine for two weeks and be able to see them, but there's barely ever time that we get a good chunk of work off to get to go do the whole quarantine thing. And we want to make sure that we're all safe and healthy while working, so definitely saying goodbye to them for a little bit longer has been tough.

Soap Central: Have you had to do any traveling for work during the pandemic, or have you been lucky enough to have your work in L.A.?

Alyn Lind: I've been really lucky because The Young and the Restless was one of the first shows to go back during quarantine, so luckily, I have not had to travel or be exposed. It's been really good to work on Y&R because they are so careful and make sure to follow all protocols, and I just feel very safe and protected while I'm there. Y&R is always my home, and I've felt so safe and secure there during COVID. They're going above and beyond to make sure everybody is safe.

Soap Central: Even though it's home and you've known the actors that you're working with for so long, do you ever get nervous before any of your scenes?

Alyn Lind: I mean, I wouldn't say that certain scenes make me nervous, but some emotional scenes definitely require more concentration and focus, just to take myself to a deeper place while I'm on set. To just block out the lights and the makeup and the cameras and try and make it as believable as possible.

Soap Central: Does that change if you're working with big stars? Were you nervous to work with actors like Drew Barrymore, Dolly Parton, etc?

Alyn Lind: Yeah, I have to say that meeting Will Ferrell [for A Deadly Adoption] was pretty cool. It was really awesome, and the second we started talking, he was such a real person, and I felt totally comfortable with him. But I'm not going to lie -- every once in a while, it did cross my mind that I was working with Buddy the Elf! [Laughs] Also, meeting Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore [in Blended] and actually getting to hang out with them was absolutely surreal. But again, they were so great, and they just became real people to me, too. Oh, and of course Dolly, [with whom I worked in [Dolly Parton's Coat of Many Colors]! There is nobody like Dolly. She has the biggest heart. She kind of became my Aunt Dolly. She was always giving me advice and supporting me. I love her, and I miss her so much.

Soap Central: You have worked with a lot of major stars, but is there anyone else that you would love to work with in the future??

Alyn Lind: Yeah, I always say that working with Margot Robbie would be such an amazing honor. She is such an amazing and breathtaking actress, and she has played so many different roles, from comedy, to drama, to a crazy psycho like Harley Quinn [in Suicide Squad]. She just absolutely nails everything she's in. So, it would definitely be cool to play a young Harley Quinn or maybe a younger version of her or her sister or something. That's definitely always been one of my dreams.

Soap Central: I can definitely see you two sharing the screen together, so we'll put it out there in the universe, and maybe it will happen! You just mentioned that Margot Robbie plays a lot of different characters, so I'm wondering what kind of characters excite you the most, in terms of playing them in the future?

Alyn Lind: Like I said, certain characters that have a lot of dimension, like Anjelica [in Daybreak] and Faith recently, characters that can start out with a wall up and then, while watching them, you start seeing their front kind of come down, and you start seeing the real them and more of their dimensions. Playing Faith has been so much fun recently because she's always been kind of like a little goody two shoes, and she's growing up, and she's becoming her own person, and she has her own problems, and she doesn't always want to talk to her parents about them. She's a normal teen, and it's been so much fun to represent that. A lot of teens that are watching the show [probably] know exactly what Faith is going through.

Soap Central: Do you feel like you're at all surprised by the direction that Faith is going in, or did you feel like she might end up this way, considering everything that she's gone through?

Alyn Lind: I mean, I've just been waiting for Faith to crash! [Laughs] She's been through so much. When I first started getting the scripts and saw that she was starting to break down a little bit and that she has an older friend, it was so exciting, because again, I love playing roles like that, and it's so exciting to take Faith to a whole other level that we've never seen her at before. So, I think it was a little bit expected, going through all that she's gone through -- being stolen as a baby, going to like 50 weddings with her parents, everything that she's had to do. [Laughs] I'm really proud of her for sticking up for herself and also kind of disappointed in her for going down this path -- but hopefully she'll come out stronger on the other side.

Soap Central: Faith is a legacy character and is getting bigger storylines as she gets older. Y&R might want to have her on-screen a lot more, so would you be open to a more permanent situation with the show, or is it important for you to keep your options open?

Alyn Lind: I've always loved being on the show. I've always called it my home base, and I'm so excited that her storyline has become so interesting. I'm hoping that Faith keeps getting more complicated and the fans will start rooting for her. I'm definitely down for a deeper, darker version of Faith.

Soap Central: Is there anything else that you'd like to add that I didn't ask you about?

Alyn Lind: Yeah, as I'm getting older, I'm kind of realizing how interested I am in, like I said, developing my own projects and hopefully producing and directing. I'm starting to go down that path, and it's been really eye-opening and an extremely exciting experience. So, I guess, just stay tuned! I have really, really high hopes for 2021, and I'm also really excited to see where Faith ends up in 2021 -- if she ends up in rehab or if she ends up coming up stronger from this journey she's going on. I'm just really excited to see where she ends up.

Soap Central: So are we! From an acting perspective, I hope they make her go really off the rails. But I also love that Faith is so sweet, and I don't want to see her in trouble, so I'm torn -- as I'm sure many fans are, as well.

Alyn Lind: Definitely, me too! [Laughs] I'm biting my nails and reading my scripts and hoping she doesn't do anything else stupid!

What do you think about our interview with Alyvia Alyn Lind? How do you feel about Faith developing problems with alcohol? How would you like to see the character's storyline develop? 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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