Fans have known for months that Chelsea's (Melissa Claire Egan) homecoming on The Young and the Restless would shake things up for Adam (Mark Grossman) and Sally (Courtney Hope), but one of the characters who will actually be most affected by Chelsea's recent return to Genoa City is her bestie, Chloe!
The fashionista put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into building a business that would give Chelsea a safe place to land when she made her way back to town -- but she might get the blood, sweat, and tears thrown back in her face once Chelsea gets wind of what's been going on with Sally and Adam while she's been away!
Will Chloe get the blame for bringing Sally into Newman Fashion and consequently into Adam's life? How will Chloe deal with the drama that is no doubt coming down the pipeline? And how strong is the friendship between Chloe and Chelsea, really? Soap Central spoke with Elizabeth Hendrickson to find out!
Soap Central: Happy holidays, Elizabeth! Are you feeling in the Christmas spirit this year?
Elizabeth Hendrickson: Not yet, but hopefully soon! It always [comes so fast]. Thanksgiving happens, and then it's like, "Okay, it's New Year's!" [Laughs]
Soap Central: Your daughter, Josephine, is a little bit older this year, so has having her made Christmas any more meaningful to you or changed the way that you celebrate?
Henrickson: She's still a little bit too young to really get what's going on -- she's only one and a half -- so, I feel like maybe next year will be more fun with Santa, and her being able to put the cookies out and all of that. But Christmas has always been a very important holiday in my family. My mother always hosted our family, we always came together, and there was always holiday music playing in the house and a fire burning and a gorgeous tree, and I am very excited to start that tradition with [my daughter].
Soap Central: Do you feel like you're just as Christmassy as your mom? She sounds like she goes all out!
Hendrickson: It's definitely her vibe, and I hope to be! I don't want to throw my husband completely under the bus, but he's not as festive as I am, so, I kind of have to get him in the Christmas spirit. Don't get me wrong -- he loves giving gifts and is all about that, but he's not jumping to go get the tree or caring about the scented candles that I want to burn around the house. [Laughs] But, yes, I definitely hope to carry on my family's traditions and also take her back to the East coast and start doing some Christmases over there and hopefully have a white Christmas at some point.
Soap Central: I can imagine it can be tough in L.A., especially when you're used to having a white Christmas.
Hendrickson: Yeah, it never really feels as Christmassy. But at the end of the day, it's not really about that. It's about being thankful and having your family and being healthy and taking the time to spend that special time with each other.
Soap Central: Even if you don't get the Christmas feeling in Los Angeles, you're lucky in that you at least get it at Y&R. Genoa City is usually decked out for the holidays -- quite early!
Hendrickson: Very true! We film about a month ahead, so we're usually doing Christmas around Thanksgiving, which is always funny. You're like, "Oh, wait, okay, let's get in the Christmas spirit -- extra early!"
Soap Central: Did you film any holiday scenes as Chloe this year?
Hendrickson: I don't think I was a part of the Christmas shows this year -- Chloe was more involved in the New Year's Eve episodes. And Chloe is a little bit of a Debbie Downer this New Year's.
Soap Central: Oh, no! Why is that?
Hendrickson: She's just more concerned with her best friend while she's out on a date with her husband, and she's kind of talking about Chelsea and her poor choice in love. The love triangle that's going on [with Chelsea, Sally, and Adam], it's going to cause a lot of distress for Chloe, so, she's very focused on that and has a hard time focusing on enjoying New Year's with her very sweet, understanding husband who is always listening to her complain about everyone else!
Soap Central: Chloe has such a big place in her heart for Chelsea. No matter what Chelsea does -- even when she's not a great friend -- Chloe manages to forgive her and love her. Is that something that you love about Chloe, or does her forgiving nature sometimes annoy you?
Hendrickson: No, I think it's a really beautiful quality about Chloe! It's a great reminder for anyone that it's very easy to pass judgment on others, and sometimes from an outsider's point of view, especially for those we are closest to, we see it much more clearly than the person who is actually going through it, and we only want the best for them. But sometimes, when someone is stuck in the thick of it, it's hard for them to realize what they deserve or how special they are. So, I think it's a really great reminder to always stick with your friends through good and bad. It's always great when you have that one friend who is just never going to judge you and is going to be there for you no matter what.
Soap Central: Definitely. Chelsea is very, very lucky to have Chloe! That being said, Chloe has been working quite closely with Sally and Adam these past few months, which I can see Chelsea having a strong opinion about!
Hendrickson: Yeah, but listen, Chloe's main goal was to start this fashion platform not only for herself but also for her best friend Chelsea to have this safe and stable place to land when she came back. Chloe felt like she was making the best choice by bringing someone on like Sally, who would be an asset to the new company. Chloe was really inspired by her, and I think, also, Sally had that same kind of spark and fire that Chloe and Chelsea have, so there was a lot of camaraderie there from the get-go. And, I mean, it's a soap opera, so I would hope that the drama would start at some point! The writing was kind of on the wall that there was going to be some tension when Chelsea came back. Now, it's sort of, what does Adam decide, and where does Chloe land in that tricky triangle? And how does Chloe be there for her friend, again, being as supportive and nonjudgmental as possible, while also taking care of herself and this endeavor that she has really, really worked so hard to create and build for all of them -- how does she not lose all of that by just being pushed around because of these two women getting caught up in the middle of this guy that Chloe is really not that fond of! [Laughs] Everyone is put in a really difficult position.
Soap Central: There's a lot of potential for drama in this storyline, but it also sounds like there is the potential for some amusing, catty, and perhaps even comedic moments, as well. You're very good at playing those more lighthearted, amusing scenes, so, have you had a chance to flex those muscles with this storyline?
Hendrickson: I have, and it's been so much fun! I miss it, and I even had a stage director come up to me, and he was like, "You know, you're funny!" [Laughs] I was like, "Thanks!" Because I really like playing that on the show. I think that every show needs it. It's very much how I personally react to uncomfortable situations -- sometimes it's better to lay the jokester in the middle of it, just to kind of let the air out or let all of the tension out of the room. So, yes, I have a lot of opportunities to do that with the script, which I've had a lot of fun with. I love a good laugh, and I also love a good catfight, so, I'm waiting for a good catfight to come along! We'll see how dramatic the whole thing ends up playing out.
Soap Central: How do you feel about Melissa Claire Egan being back? I know you guys are close in real life, so it must be fun to get to work with her again?
Hendrickson: Oh, of course! She came back and was so excited to jump in with Courtney and myself, because she knew that it was going to be such a fun little trio, which it really has been. And Missy and I, we just always pick up from where we left off. It could be two years, it could be two months, but we get right back into our groove. But this time, it was a little different because we're both new moms, and as we know, she's a very fresh new mom, and I am just [so impressed with how she is as a mother] -- not that I thought that she was going to struggle at all, but, oh, my God, the girl is killing it! I came back to work when Josephine was four and a half months old, so, I had a good chunk of time to [adjust]. When I came back to work, she was sleeping through the night, I had a routine down, all of those things that make it really difficult when you have to go home and you have to learn 30 pages of dialogue and be at work at 6:30 the next morning and on camera at 8:30. And they write Missy extremely heavily, you know? She's got chunks and chunks of dialogue with a lot of drama and a lot of emotion, and she's always been a consummate professional, but, man, she is killing it at being an excellent mother and an excellent co-star/actress. She's really working her butt off at home and at work. She's basically my hero right now!
Soap Central: Melissa said you were a huge help to her and sent this long email with tips of what worked for you and what's worked for friends. She really speaks highly of you and all of the ways that you helped her. So, my question for you is, who was your Liz when you were pregnant and becoming a first-time mom?
Hendrickson: Aw, yeah, I was so happy to be there for her... I was really lucky that I have a really solid core group of girlfriends, most of whom have had two children, and I was kind of right on the heels of them having their seconds. As I always say, I have this tribe of mothers around me, and once you get that and receive that, you realize how valuable it is, and you just cannot wait to pay it forward, because it's hard. And it's also beautiful. And sometimes when you're so stressed about everything, you can kind of get lost in the real beauty and intimacy of having a newborn, so, whatever you can do for someone when they're about to embark on this new journey of everything kind of being turned upside down, whatever support you can possibly give, you just can't wait to give it. And I'm sure she's going to do the same for a friend of hers down the line.
Soap Central: I'm sure any support during that time is something to be grateful for!
Hendrickson: Also, Missy and I really bonded over us both having a real struggle with our journey to get pregnant. When she told me that she was pregnant, I was so overfilled with joy for her, because I know what she went through to get there. She had a rougher time than I did, and it's not a competition of who can get pregnant more easily or who has more miscarriages, by any means -- I don't mean it like that -- but I was so excited for her to have the feeling that I was feeling. I just wanted her to be so excited, and I was just so happy for her. When she told me that she was pregnant, I cried. I was just doubled over with joy that she was finally having her moment. She had waited and she had fought really hard to have that baby, and I was just so happy that she was finally having her moment that she so deserved, and I was going to do everything to let her know that I was there and that I loved her.
Soap Central: Did you guys become friends through your All My Children connections, or did you meet at Y&R?
Hendrickson: We had some mutual friends from All My Children, but we just missed each other on the show, so, I didn't get to know her until she was on The Young and the Restless. We really became close here, and I would say our bond gets stronger and stronger each year. We're probably the closest that we've ever been now, since we've been going through so much with each other for the past few years.
Soap Central: We can see that bond when you're doing scenes as Chloe and Chelsea, which is always a nice thing to watch.
Hendrickson: Oh, I'm so glad! It makes work so joyful -- it actually doesn't even feel like work. You're just kind of getting to play with your friends, you know? And our support for each other on-screen is as strong as the support we have for each other off-screen. So, I'm so happy that really plays through, because it is genuine, and we have a really, really fun time working with each other.
Soap Central: Is there anything else that you'd like to add before I have to let you go?
Hendrickson: I would just like to wrap it up with thanking the fans for continuing to watch and support us. Hopefully we helped some fans feel a little bit more joyful or a little bit less stressed this year about what's been going on in the world. That's one great thing about soap operas -- it's so nice to be drawn into other people's worlds, and I hope that we were a safe haven for people who may have been struggling this year.
What do you think about our interview with Elizabeth Hendrickson? How do you think Chloe will fit into the Chelsea/Adam/Sally triangle? Are you looking forward to seeing the dynamic between Chloe, Chelsea, and Sally now that Chelsea is back in Genoa City? What else would you like to see for Chloe in the year ahead? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.