INTERVIEW: The Young and the Restless' Conner Floyd talks Chance, Abby, baby drama, and maybe a li'l sumthin' with Sharon?!

Posted Tuesday, February 01, 2022 3:30:57 PM

Get to know Conner Floyd, who's thrilled to be tasked with taking The Young and the Restless' Chance Chancellor through PTSD, a heartbreaking custody arrangement, major stress with Abby (Melissa Ordway), and whatever else the writers throw his way.

The Young and the Restless hasn't had an easy time of finding the right person to play its long-running character Chance Chancellor. Several talented actors have stepped into the role of Phillip and Nina's son over the years -- including Guiding Light favorite John Driscoll and You/Gossip Girl star Penn Badgley -- but it's only now that the CBS soap opera looks to have finally found Chance's perfect match.

New portrayer Conner Floyd, who made his debut as Abby's (Melissa Ordway) tortured hubby in the fall of 2021, instantly wiggled his way into fans' hearts, which wasn't an easy task, considering the storyline he's been a part of isn't exactly the most relatable tale. Struggling with guilt and PTSD after returning from a failed mission in Europe, Chance found himself unable to cope and properly bond with his and Abby's son, Dominic, who was brought into the world during Chance's absence via sperm donor Devon (Bryton James) and surrogate Mariah (Camryn Grimes).

Chance's vulnerable mental situation was the catalyst for him and Abby to recently grant Devon shared custody of Dominic, which was a pretty shocking move. So, where does the story go from here? Soap Central spoke with Floyd to get the details about that, as well as his reaction to the rumor that there might be a little sumthin' sumthin' on the horizon for Chance and Sharon (Sharon Case)!

Soap Central: You've been airing for a couple of months now and have had time to get settled in at the show. Do you feel like you've found your groove as Chance?

Conner Floyd: I've definitely gotten my feet wet, and I know how to go about the week, how to prepare for the week and get on set and work with certain people, so, yes, I've definitely found my groove. But there is always more work to be done!

Soap Central: Especially on a soap opera, because just when you think you've got things figured out, they throw something else at you!

Floyd: Yes, they'll throw you a curveball, and then you've got to rethink everything! [Laughs]

Soap Central: How much did you know about Y&R before you started?

Floyd: Well, it's a really historic show, so I knew of it, and I started watching it when I moved out to L.A. because of the auditions; I wanted to get a feel for the show and how the rhythm went. But actually, my mom, and both of my grandmothers, and a few of my aunts on my dad's side, were all giant fans. So, as soon as I got this gig, they were absolutely stoked, asking about Victor and asking about Jack Abbott, trying to get pictures with them and everything. They were ecstatic about it!

Soap Central: Well, you're from Texas, so that is not a surprise! You've got a lot of major soap fans out there.

Floyd: We sure do! I'll tell you what, as soon as the word got out that I was on Y&R, I was getting text messages left and right from people that I didn't even know watch soap operas! They were like, "Wow, that's awesome!"

Soap Central: Has anyone at Y&R taken you under their wing or shared any useful tips with you about being on a soap opera?

Floyd: Melissa has obviously been my partner in crime on set, but one of my first weeks, I had to do the big welcome home party, and I had some really good conversations with Eric Braeden [Victor Newman] and with Peter Bergman [Jack Abbott]. They kind of pulled me aside and gave me their two cents on the whole thing. I had to give this giant speech for the scene that I was really nervous about, because all of the OGs were sitting out there in front of me! I wanted to do good for them. But they had nothing but nice things to say, and every time I see them on set now, they'll throw me another piece of advice. It's like one of those, "You're doing good, kid!" That kind of thing.

Soap Central: Have they given you any specific advice that you thought was really helpful or that you hadn't thought about before?

Floyd: Nothing I've never thought about, but Peter was just like, "Prepare. That's the key to all of this: know your stuff, show up prepared, be professional." It's a job, you know? It's like a factory -- you've got to show up, and you've got to know your stuff. You can't cause any delays, you can't slow things down, because you're on the clock, and they're expecting you to perform. So, preparation was kind of his main advice to me.

Soap Central: You work a lot with Melissa Ordway, who is always prepared. How has the process been of working with her and creating the bond that Abby and Chance have?

Floyd: Oh, she's great! During my chemistry read, I actually met her in the lobby, and she was like, "Are you testing?" And I was like, "Yeah, are you reading?" And she was like, "Yeah!" So, we put together that we were reading as husband and wife pretty quickly. She's got that Southern background from Georgia, and I've obviously got the Texas roots, so we hit it off pretty quick along those lines, too. And she has been nothing but helpful. She's kind of my best friend on set, giving me all the tea on everything and showing me how to do things, where to go for lunch, she shows me where the secret snacks are, that sort of thing. She's been absolutely wonderful to work with. She's an amazing actress, and just like you said, she's always extra prepared. I'm always trying to compete with her -- she knows her lines so well, so I try to know my lines more than she knows her lines. But she's been doing this for a while, so I've got a lot of work to do! But she's been an absolute sweetheart to me and has kind of showed me the ropes.

Soap Central: As I'm sure you know by now, Chance is one of the most recast roles on soaps -- many actors have played him over the years. Did that make you more or less intimidated to be a recast for the character?

Floyd: That was something that was kind on my mind when I first started, but everybody on the show made it very clear that Chance has been through a lot, that this is a different Chance than we've had, so, to make it my own and don't worry about all of that. [They said], "We cast you for a reason, and we believe in you. So, get after it, kid!" [Laughs] It was a quick conversation. They basically said not to worry, so I swiped that from my mind pretty quickly and have just focused on making him my own.

Soap Central: It's been an uphill battle for Chance since he returned home. We've seen him struggle with PTSD, and now he's given up some of the rights to his child -- all very challenging material! Did you do anything special to prepare or to figure out how to relate to Chance's situation?

Floyd: Yeah, totally. It has been challenging, and one of the things I've put some research into was the whole PTSD part; I really wanted to do that justice, because it's a very real thing, and I want to do it right for everybody that is watching. I have a couple of friends who are in the Army, and I've been talking to them and getting pointers here and there on terminology and how certain things might look. Also, having a kid, I don't have a kid, so it's kind of funny, being Chance -- he doesn't really know how to be a father, but I don't really know how to be a father, so I didn't have to do much research on that -- I just kind of showed up and figured out how to hold the baby. [Laughs] But yes, Chance is really struggling. He's got a lot of layers to him, which is an element of the character that I really like sinking my teeth into, and I'm sure there will be some more drama down the road!

Soap Central: Having friends in the Army, as you mentioned, must give you such unparalleled insight into PTSD.

Floyd: Yes, and that's been really cool to kind of explore and talk to people about. There's a buddy that I played football with in college, he's over in the Army right now -- he's taking a French class -- but he's got all these friends that are experiencing something along those lines, and it's been cool to talk to him and talk to them, and like I said, do this thing justice. I really want to do this story justice for people who have experienced that.

Soap Central: Have you ever seen a character in a TV show or a movie that you think is similar to Chance?

Floyd: It's a little blown out of the water, but I'm a big Wolverine guy, and I know that when Hugh Jackman portrays Wolverine, he's got a lot of PTSD and flashbacks, and he's waking up in the middle of the night. So, I thought [about the similarities with Chance] when I was watching that. He's got a lot more anger to him, which is a little different than Chance, but as far as the "can't escape the past" thing, I thought that was a pretty good comparison.

Soap Central: You mentioned adjusting to playing a parent. What has it been like working with real babies on set?!

Floyd: It's actually really fun, because, at heart, I am a giant kid, and I love playing with babies! So, every time the babies are on set, I'm trying to get a smile out of them or trying to get them to crack a laugh. It's a hard life for them -- they don't know what's going on around them! So, if I can crack a smile out of them, it's always nice. Melissa always jokes, "The babies like you more than anyone, but when we have to roll, the baby is supposed to hate you!" So, that's kind of funny. I think I'm picking up some parenting skills while I'm here!

Soap Central: Devon is a great guy, so I imagine it would be much easier to co-parent with him than if, say, someone like Adam Newman wanted to share custody! That being said, the way someone parents is a really personal thing, so, will we see Chance struggle with this decision and maybe even regret it?

Floyd: Chance is a really observant guy, and he sees how much Devon cares about Dominic, and he sees how he is with him, and he sees that Devon loves Dominic more than just about anything on this earth. Abby is definitely going to have a hard time, but as much as Chance is struggling, I think he understands that this is what's best for Dominic, and he's trying to keep Dominic's needs in the forefront of every decision. It's a tough little pickle to get out of, but he's trying to do what's best for his kid, which he thinks is having Devon involved.

Soap Central: Chance is struggling now, but that doesn't mean he'll struggle forever. Is it possible he'll change his mind about the custody arrangement?

Floyd: Hey, it's a soap opera, baby -- anything could happen! I'm sure I'll get another curve ball out of left field that will blow everybody's minds. [Laughs] But no, Chance is trying to get a grip on this whole thing and get better for his family, so we will see what will happen in the future.

Soap Central: What has it been like to work with Bryton James, especially now as your stories become more and more intertwined?

Floyd: Oh, it's awesome! My first couple of months on set, I was just stunned by him and how he goes about memorizing his lines, and all of the different choices and decisions he was making. He was kind of my "lead by example" guy for a long time. He's a great dude, and he's been nothing but helpful to me. I hope that down the road, we get a little brotherhood bond there, a fatherly bond over our child. I think that would be fun to have with those two.

Soap Central: Abby has done so much to keep her and Chance's relationship together while he was gone, and this whole return hasn't been anything like she imagined. What can you say about Chance's love for her and whether or not they'll be able to weather this storm?

Floyd: I think at the end of the day, Chance and Abby have a love between them that is extra, extra strong, and I don't see that going away anytime soon. That guy just loves her, and she loves him, too. And yeah, he's having a hard time, but they're trying to fight this battle together as a team, and they're trying to come out on the other side kind of how they used to be. I think that they'll get there. It's going to be a tough fight, but I think they'll get there.

Soap Central: There's a rumor that there might be something on the horizon between Chance and Sharon. Can you say anything about that?

Floyd: Chance and Sharon?! Wow, I don't know. Sharon hits really close to home with Chance, just because of Rey [Jordi Vilasuso], but like I said, it's a soap opera, so we shall see! Who knows...

Soap Central: Have you been recognized a lot more since you joined the show?

Floyd: I've been recognized two times -- just two! And each time it happened, I was like, "Thank you so much for recognizing me, because this is only the first and second time this has happened in my life. So, thank you. Thank you so much!" I think I was more excited to see them than they were to see me! [Laughs]

Soap Central: You've been acting for quite some time -- your IMDb credits go back to 2016 -- but when did you decide that you wanted to be an actor, and how did you go about that journey?

Floyd: It's funny because acting was always something that I did when I was little. Football was my main thing growing up, especially in high school, because I figured out that I could probably get a football scholarship, so I put all my focus toward that. But I always took theater arts classes on the side, just because I always had so much fun. Me and my buddies were obsessed with Jackass, and we stole my friend's mom's camcorder one time, and we made our own Jackass movie, which sort of evolved into us making our own little commercials. We made these little skits, and there was a time, way back when, when we were absolutely dedicated to being YouTube famous. [Laughs] It didn't work out, but I got into college, and I took some... basic acting classes and some film study classes and voice classes, and after my senior year ended in 2015, I packed up my Jeep and drove out to L.A. and gave it a go! But it was always something that I really enjoyed. I always enjoyed the filmmaking aspect of it, filming those videos with my buddies and chopping it up on my computer, throwing some music behind it and then showing it to them. And I really started to love acting in college, when I started to understand a little bit more and study it.

Soap Central: I read that Y&R was your first studio audition. Is that true?

Floyd: Yeah, it was my first studio test. I was pretty nervous, but I was really excited, too. I was really pumped to get an opportunity, because I know they're not a dime a dozen out here. So, to get the opportunity, I was like, "Hell, yeah! Let's get after this one!" So, I went in there, guns blazing.

Soap Central: Well, it worked, because you landed the role, and the fans seem to be loving you! Have you had good interactions with them and gotten good feedback?

Floyd: Yeah, I get some nice feedback, but it's hard not to see the negative ones, too! [Laughs] But I'm trying to stay away from all of that. Most everyone has been very kind, and I appreciate that, because I'm bringing it. This show has a giant fan base; a lot of people love the show and love these characters, so I hope I am delivering for everybody.

Soap Central: Speaking of love, Valentine's Day is coming up! Is it a holiday that you typically celebrate?

Floyd: Yeah, I sure do! It's funny, my girlfriend Carly [Frei] and I actually met on Valentine's Day, so it's kind of a little anniversary for us.

Soap Central: Really? How did you meet on Valentine's Day?

Floyd: We met through a mutual friend, weirdly enough. I was out and about at a dinner with friends, and she was with one of my other friends -- we weren't together -- and we noticed him, so we went over and talked, and we ended up talking and hanging out the rest of the night. So, we'll have a special Valentine's Day, seeing as how it's also an anniversary.

Soap Central: That's great! I think a lot of guys roll their eyes about Valentine's Day, but you can't!

Floyd: Exactly! I've got to give it my all, give it a hundred percent now!

Soap Central: We know Chance can be quite romantic -- when he's in a better place, obviously. How about you? Would you say you're a romantic guy?

Floyd: Yeah, I try. There's probably always room for improvement though! I like to think I am, but if you asked my girlfriend, she'd probably say something different! [Laughs] But I give it a try, and I do my best. I think I do okay. I've got the Southern gentleman in me, so I've just got to stick to that.

Soap Central: Yes, you're a natural. And all you have to do with your accent is say something sweet and you've won already! Totally unfair.

Floyd: Oh, gosh, I wish that was the case! Come on!

Soap Central: As you continue to get to know Chance on a deeper level, is there anything that you're looking forward to for his future?

Floyd: It's so fun doing this role because I really don't know where they're headed until I get the script. Like we've been saying this whole conversation, I could get a curveball here and there, and it's particularly fun with Chance because he's just layers on layers on layers; there is a lot going on, and I'm sure there will be a lot more going on in the future. I'm really excited to sink my teeth into all of that. And I'm just really thankful for the opportunity. Like I said earlier, this is such a historic show with some really iconic actors, so I'm trying to make the best of this and learn as much as I can, and do justice to the role and make all the fans happy. I'm very thankful and very blessed.

What do you think about our interview with Conner Floyd? Do you feel like he's doing a good job as Y&R's new Chance? How would you like to see the current Dominic custody storyline play out for Chance and Abby, and what else would you like to see for Chance's future? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.

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