Fans of The Young and the Restless can hardly imagine Genoa City without Amelia Heinle in the role of Victoria Newman, but the actress says she was thisclose to running out of her audition -- and if that had happened, then another actress would be playing the role.
In a new interview with Soaps In Depth, Heinle reveals that a case of some serious nerves almost prompted her to flee her audition.
"I was a little overwhelmed when I came in to test for the role. There were about seven other girls who were there auditioning, and I would have to test with a lot of actors," she explains. "I was the last person to test, and I had all these people coming in and telling me, 'I really want you to get it. This is how you should play it.' So I was waiting around, getting nervous, and finally, I was like, 'Aaah, get me out of here! I can't do this! I'm sure they'll find someone in the girls that are auditioning.'"
Fortunately, one very smart cookie knew just the way to get Heinle to stay.
"I got my stuff together to leave -- I was in [the dressing room of] Don Diamont [ex-Brad Carlton, YR; now Bill Spencer, The Bold and the Beautiful] -- and I opened the door, and [then casting director] Marnie Saitta was standing there with this big basket filled with chips and cookies. She was like, 'Snack?'" the actress recalls. "I was like, 'Oh, my God, she knew I was going to leave!' She could tell that I was a flight risk!"
Heinle continues, "I wasn't really hungry, but I thought that was a sign that I should stay because I was out the door! It was too much pressure, and I wasn't interested in sitting there anymore. But I felt I couldn't take a snack and then leave, so I stayed... and the rest is history!"
Even after landing the role, though, Heinle shares that it took a long while before she was able to relax -- especially considering that the character of Victoria had previously been played by the super talented Heather Tom (now Katie Logan on B&B).
"I gave myself a year because I knew there were a lot of variables. I thought Heather would probably want to come back and take her role. I was like, 'Okay, I'm just going to hang here until she gets back,'" Heinle says. "Or I thought fans would hate me so much that Y&R would have to fire me because it was such a difficult recast! I knew I was replacing somebody who was a very strong actress and everybody really liked. A lot of actors do that -- it's like a defense mechanism where you prepare for the worst. You're just trying to be realistic, but the next thing I knew, I was here a lot longer!"
Heinle is now celebrating her 15th year in the shoes of Victoria, which she says is "crazy to think" about -- but hard to imagine otherwise.
"A lot came from it -- if I wasn't on Y&R, I would not have met Thad [Luckinbill, ex-J.T.], we would not have had kids [son Rowe and daughter Georgina], and I wouldn't have all these friends that I have now," enthuses the actress, who is also mom to son August, whom she shares with ex Michael Weatherly (ex-Cooper Alden, Loving/The City]. "It turned out pretty great!"
What do you think about Amelia Heinle nearly walking out before her audition as Y&R's Victoria? Have nerves ever stopped you from achieving a dream? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.