Trouble with a capital "T" can't even begin to describe Bethany Bryant, the fiercely independent wild child headed to Genoa City, starting Wednesday, May 25. She loves to live dangerously and push things to the limit, as Soap Central previously reported. But her portrayer, Chrishell Stause (ex-Jordan Ridgeway, Days of our Lives; ex-Amanda Dillon, All My Children), tells Soap Central that her alter ego's wild streak is just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, when Bethany appears on the canvas tomorrow, she'll run smack into Jason Thompson's Billy Abbott -- which sets off an explosive chain of events! Check out our interview with the actress below for all the details, and be sure to tune in to Y&R on Wednesday, May 25, to catch her exciting Genoa City debut.
soapcentral.com: Hi, Chrishell, and welcome to The Young and the Restless!
Chrishell Stause: Thank you! I am super excited. It has been so much fun.
soapcentral.com: I know that you grew up watching the show with your mom, so this must be a dream come true for you.
Stause: I did, and I always tease her because when I got my first job in daytime, I called her to say what show I had booked, and her response was -- and of course, she doesn't know the business at all -- she said, "Oh, I don't watch that one. Can you get on The Young and the Restless instead?" [Laughs] So I tease her about that now, like, "Okay mom, eleven years later, I'm finally doing what you asked."
soapcentral.com: And both your boyfriend [Justin Hartley, Adam Newman] and your best friend [Melissa Claire Egan, Chelsea Newman] are on the show! Does it feel like a secret club that you finally got the key to join?
Stause: That's funny! No, I didn't think of it that way, but it is a very fun way to think about it. Yeah, I got the key. I'm in!
soapcentral.com: The powers that be would think of you to play a wild child, wouldn't they? "Hey, we need a troublemaker. How about Chrishell?!"
Stause: [Laughs] Yeah, and it's kind of nice because the character I played for a few years before this one [DAYS' Jordan] was very opposite, and it's fun to kind of go back to the wild child roots. It's just more fun to play, especially because the character I played before was so opposite. I am having the time of my life.
soapcentral.com: What makes Bethany such a wild child?
Stause: I think it's one of those things where she's in a place in her life where she's not tied to anyone, she's got nothing to lose, and she just does what she feels in the moment. She's just out to have fun, and sometimes that means being mischievous. Her idea of fun isn't always what someone else's would be! So, yeah, I would say just that feeling of nothing to lose and living in the moment. "Carpe diem" would probably be her motto!
soapcentral.com: Were you a bit of a wild child yourself back in the day, or do you have to dig deep to find that because you were more of a goody two-shoes?
Stause: I can definitely relate to Bethany. I do have that streak in me where I like to live in the moment. I mean, for God's sake, I got a tattoo blindfolded once, so I definitely think I can relate to her.
soapcentral.com: Seriously? Did you pick out the tattoo while wearing a blindfold, too?
Stause: On a dare, I blindfolded myself and picked one off the wall. My friend and I did it together and called it Kamikaze Tattoo. I don't know if that's a public story, but yeah! I have a Sagittarius tattoo and so does she, and she's a Gemini and I'm a Cancer. So in a nutshell, yes, I can relate to Bethany!
soapcentral.com: Oh, my gosh, that's hilarious. Your mom must have freaked out.
Stause: Yeah, it was a live in the moment thing, and now it's a memory. So I can relate to not taking things so seriously. It was fun, and I don't regret it. Even to this day, it's one of my most fun memories to tell, because other people cannot possibly fathom that somebody would actually do that.
soapcentral.com: You got really lucky that it was just a zodiac sign, girl!
Stause: Yes! It could have been so much worse. You should have seen what was next to it. Not good! [Laughs]
soapcentral.com: What else can you say about Bethany, outside of the fact that she's a wild girl?
Stause: Well, I know this is going to be the teaser for right before she airs, so she's definitely going to be playing alongside the lovely Jason Thompson [Billy Abbott], who everybody loves. I've never been able to work with him, and I'm super excited to finally get to do that, because I've known him for so long.
soapcentral.com: How do the characters cross paths together?
Stause: It's one of those things where he's meeting her for the first time but he quickly realizes maybe they have met before. She definitely knows who he is, so you'll see there's a little bit of history there, and it's up to her to remind him how they know each other.
soapcentral.com: Do you feel Bethany will have a lot of secrets that unfold over a long period of time, or is she a character whose backstory comes out in kind of an explosion as soon as she hits the canvas?
Stause: One of the things that makes her so fun is that it really is what you see is what you get. But you know soaps: you never know what possibilities are there and what it could turn into. But I think in the beginning, it's really about the story they're telling between Phyllis (Gina Tognoni) and Billy, and who knows where that could take it. But in the beginning, I'll say it's not really about her backstory so much as it's about her coming into a situation and really kind of adding a spicy element.
soapcentral.com: Please tell me she'll develop faster than Jordan Ridgeway! That story took forever to get off the ground.
Stause: Oh, my gosh, I know, right? But that's what I mean -- I don't exactly know. It's different because Jordan was a contract player, and unfortunately, it took a very long time to get her backstory. But with Bethany, I think they're hoping for a really fun story and to move story forward between Phyllis and Billy and really shake that up a little bit. As far as backstory goes, I don't know how far we're going to go into the character yet. As of right now, you'll enjoy the really fun levity she brings to the show, but whether it goes deeper, we'll have to wait and see.
soapcentral.com: How has it been working with both Jason and Gina Tognoni? You're right in the middle of fire there!
Stause: Obviously you've been doing this for a long time, so you know they are such genuine, nice, talented people, and I am so grateful to be working with people who are happy to be there, prepared, and who just want the scenes to be good. And that's how I feel when I work with them, that we're all like-minded people. And in between takes, we can have fun. There's an ease with working with them, and I have so much respect for them. They're awesome, and it goes without saying, they're very talented. I feel like in the scheme of storylines, I really lucked out with who I'm working with.
soapcentral.com: Totally. Although, Justin and Melissa would be awesome to work with, too!
Stause: They would be awesome to work with, but gosh, I wouldn't want to upset those Chadam fans! I'm actually kind of grateful [that I'm not working with Justin and Missy], because I know as soon as they announced I was doing the show, that was a main concern for a lot of Chadam fans. So rest assured, I haven't even worked with them yet! A lot of people will be relieved to hear that. But, of course, there are a lot of people who thought for sure that was the storyline I was going into, so I know that's a big reveal, because so many people were waiting to hear if I'd be working with them or not.
soapcentral.com: Even if you're not in scenes with them, how cool is it to go to the same workplace and see each other throughout the day?
Stause: Yeah! That has been one of the coolest things. We'll have moments where we're free and we'll grab some lunch or it'll be like, "You only have five scenes left and I'm done, so I'll meet you at the Grove." So we're not working in the same scenes, but we're definitely having fun with things like sitting in the hair and makeup room together. It's been awesome, and it's really nice to have [people there I already know]. Sometimes when you join a new show, you're the new kid on the block. You don't know anyone, it can feel like you just joined a new high school and you have first-day jitters. So it was so amazing to not have any of that. I was joining old friends and people that I've known so long. Even if it wasn't those two, I know so many people already on the show, so it really was a happy homecoming with friends. Everyone was so excited and very welcoming.
soapcentral.com: And now you can be in on all the Y&R/Genoa City secrets, right? Provided Justin and Melissa followed the rules and didn't tell you anything before!
Stause: That's right -- spoiler alert! [Laughs] But to be honest with you, I helped Justin with his lines all the time. I'm always playing Victor [Eric Braeden] and Chelsea. I think that's allowed; we live together, and I'm helping with his performance. So I always knew the story, anyway, because I'm always playing other characters. I've been Michael [Christian LeBlanc], too!
soapcentral.com: Ah, good choice the casting department made. You can be a stand-in if any of those guys calls in sick!
Stause: Yes! I play a mean Victor Newman, just so you know.
soapcentral.com: Have you had a run-in with your former All My Children costar, Michael Knight [Dr. Simon Neville]?
Stause: I have! Oh, my gosh, I adore Michael Knight. He's such a great, great guy. He's so excited for me, and I know he's so excited to be at Y&R, as well. That's what I was talking about before, it's somebody you've just known for a long time. I've worked with Michael, and he's so talented. I really love his acting style. You never really know how he's going to play it; it's very alive and in the moment, which I love. And so hopefully I'll get to work with him. That would be really amazing. He's one of my favorite people from All My Children, so I'm super excited to be able to run into him in the hall.
soapcentral.com: It would be so much fun to see you guys in a scene together. All the AMC fans would go bananas.
Stause: I know! They should write a... scene where we make a few inside jokes. That would be amazing.
soapcentral.com: Is there anyone from the show you grew up watching that you hadn't met yet or were nervous to work with, since you grew up watching them?
Stause: I did have an experience that's a little different from what you're asking, but one of the first days I got my dressing room assignment, I went to find which room it was, and it was Jeanne Cooper's [Katherine Chancellor] dressing room. It had a plaque on it, and when you walk in, so many things are preserved to be the way she had it. That really, truly felt like such an honor to me, because she really was such a scene stealer and so fun to watch. I remember watching her two different characters when I was a kid, so that really was a moment where I was like, "Oh, my God!" I couldn't believe I had her dressing room; it was so amazing. I get switched around, and every day is a different [room] assignment, so that was really an honor to be able to think about what a contribution she had to the show that I'm now able to work on. And to be in her room and taking inspiration from thinking about, "Oh, this is where she was during [that storyline]." It was a really cool moment for me. I've been doing this for eleven years now, but that was one of those moments that reminded me of why I wanted to be on a soap in the first place. Being in her room brought me back to being a kid and having this dream and being really grateful of what has come of it. It was a cool moment for me.
soapcentral.com: Because of your history with the show, does this debut feel different than when you debuted on All My Children or on DAYS?
Stause: That's a good question. I guess it feels different just because I'm excited for the character. She's so much fun, and I can't wait for you guys to see what we've shot so far. When I was on All My Children, that was my first job, so it was more like, "Oh, my gosh, is this really happening?!" I couldn't believe it, and I was so excited. And on Days of our Lives, I had those glasses and scrubs and no makeup, so it was totally different, and I had some trepidation over, "Here I am, America, with no makeup!" So each show has felt different. With this one, I'm just excited. Bethany is so fun, and I think it came at the perfect time. I'm living in the moment and going in and having a blast, and I can't believe I call it a job.
soapcentral.com: Speaking of working, we recently did a story about the latest Not Safe For Daytime video that featured Missy Egan helping The Price is Right's Yodely Guy with some career advice. If you were to do a Not Safe For Daytime video, what would you want your video to be about?
Stause: I saw the makeup challenge and a whisper challenge, and both were hysterical. I think of the two that I've seen, I'd go with the makeup challenge because I feel like I'd kind of know what I'm doing. But it's already been done, so I don't know!
soapcentral.com: Well the cool thing is this could be the chance for you to work with Michael Knight or even with Justin and Melissa without upsetting all those Chadam fans.
Stause: Oh, true! That's a good idea.
soapcentral.com: I don't know how much you can say, but everyone is talking about Justin's new primetime series, This Is Us. What do you think about the series, and did you two celebrate when he heard the news that NBC picked up the pilot?
Stause: I'm one of the few people who have seen the show, and I'm just so proud of him. It really is a special show. He was actually working [when the news came out], and I freaked out and texted him and left him a voicemail. He kept it because it's really funny. Honestly, I'm not exaggerating, you literally can't hear anything I'm saying because I'm screaming so loud. [Laughs]. But he was actually, sadly enough, under the weather when he got home that night, so we didn't really get to celebrate at all because he was so sick. So I said, "Hey, at least you got good news when you're sick. Imagine if you were sick and got bad news!" But yes, I'm just so happy and proud of him. He's so talented.
soapcentral.com: Were you a big fan of his costar, Mandy Moore, when you were growing up? She was really popular when you were high-schoolish age.
Stause: Oh, yeah, totally! A Walk to Remember and Candy?! I love that stuff. And she was so sweet when I met her. She almost came across a bit shy, which you wouldn't expect from a pop star/movie star. It was awesome. And she is really, really good in the show.
soapcentral.com: Well, we can't wait to see that, and we all can't wait for you to debut on The Young and the Restless.
Stause: Thank you so much, Kambra! It's going to be a lot of fun once the ball gets rolling. I can't wait for everyone to see what's going to air.
How do you think Stause's Bethany will shake up the canvas? What kind of story would you like to see for the character in the weeks ahead? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.