Just before The Young and the Restless went into a forced hiatus earlier this spring due to the coronavirus pandemic, viewers were ecstatic to see Abby finally on an upswing in the romance department with chivalrous charmer Chance Chancellor (Donny Boaz). The pair seems like a match made in heaven -- even though their devilish adventures aren't exactly saintly! In celebration of brand-new episodes of the CBS soap opera resuming today (happy dance!), Soap Central caught up with Abby's portrayer, Melissa Ordway, who gave us the scoop on what's ahead for Abby and Chance, what makes them such a dynamic duo, how she and Boaz are keeping the characters' blossoming connection alive in the midst of physical distancing, and more.
Soap Central: Hi, Melissa! Y&R is back with new episodes, and everyone is so excited! How does it feel to be back at work after such a long hiatus?
Melissa Ordway: It feels so good! They are keeping us safe and following very strict protocols. It was so wonderful to see everyone!
Soap Central: Were you able to find ways to keep your acting chops fresh over the last few months, or did you need a moment to "find your sea legs" again when called back to set?
Ordway: My daughters [Olivia and Sophie] kept me very busy acting out scenes from their favorite movies and pretending to be different characters. They're a tough audience. It was like an acting boot camp every day! [Laughs]
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Feeling very thankful for all the birthday love!!! ❤️ Spending this beautiful day with these babes and @jmichaelgaston. Playing outside, doing art and the girls even baked me a cake! 🎂 These are unusual times, but we're making the most of it! Thank you all for thinking of me! Hope everyone is staying safe and well!!! ✨
Soap Central: Fans were loving the dynamic between Chance and Abby just before the show went on break -- it was a bit like they were turning into a couple like Bonnie and Clyde. What do you think about the pair's connection, and what do you think makes it special?
Ordway: I think Chance is a great match for Abby! He comes from a very prominent family in Genoa City, so he understands the family dynamics in Abby's life. He also feeds Abby's adventurous spirit. He keeps her on her toes, and he keeps life exciting.
Soap Central: We did an interview with Donny Boaz several months ago, and he seems like such a super sweet and charming gentleman. Like, with saying ma'am and everything! How would you describe him, and how do you feel about having him as a scene partner?
Ordway: Donny is a Southern gentleman. He brings Michelle Stafford and I coffee every morning we're all working together. He is always prepared and is a hard worker. We have a great time together!
Soap Central: You guys have said that the characters' chemistry was so instant, the director had to tell you to stop touching each other so much because they weren't in a relationship yet, which was super funny. Obviously, you can't touch each other at all now, so how are you conveying their chemistry and attraction?
Ordway: We are conveying that chemistry through our eyes! [Laughs] And with well-written dialogue. Socially distancing while playing this story has its challenges, but we're making it work!
Soap Central: What adventures would you like to see for Chance and Abby as their connection grows?
Ordway: I would love for them to solve some crimes, and maybe get into some trouble. I think the future is bright and fun for Abby and Chance!
Soap Central: Abby and Phyllis have really been butting heads a lot. How do you feel about sparring with Michelle Stafford, who is a powerhouse actress all the time but especially in head-to-head scenes!
Ordway: Michelle Stafford is a force to be reckoned with. She's incredible and always challenges me to be the best actress I can be. I feel so lucky to get to work with her. I feel like she has helped me grow so much as an actor.
Soap Central: Will the tension between the two characters get even more intense?
Ordway: Yes! There's a lot more drama between Phyllis and Abby coming up.
Soap Central: Speaking of Abby holding her own, right before new episodes went off the air, Adam (Mark Grossman) threw out some barbarous comments about his siblings, including one about how Abby is content to stand back and not really stand up to Victor (Eric Braeden), for example. Do you think he's right about that, or do you think there's more power in Abby than her brother and other people in Genoa City might realize?
Ordway: I think people better watch out for Abby. She's a lot smarter and more powerful than people give her credit for. Just watch!
Soap Central: No surprise there! And finally, before I let you go, a lot of people have described the last few months of real life as a sort of reset. Has the stay-at-home time changed your perspective on anything or changed the importance of any elements in your life?
Ordway: Absolutely. I feel like we had gotten used to living life a certain way, and then suddenly everything just stopped. It made us reevaluate a lot in our lives and think about how we want our family's future to look, and what we want for our girls. We made some pretty big life changes... stay tuned!
Soap Central: Ooh, that's a tease! We look forward to learning more. Is there anything else that you'd like to add that I maybe didn't ask you about?
Ordway: I just want to send everyone lots of love and prayers for safety, health, and happiness!
What do you think about our interview with Melissa Ordway? How do you feel about Y&R's Chance and Abby pairing? Do you think Abby has what it takes to continue sparring with Phyllis and/or make herself a more powerful part of the Newman family? Why or why not? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.