INTERVIEW: The Young and the Restless' Melissa Ordway celebrates Emmy nod, says it's a moment she's "always dreamed of"

Posted Thursday, May 19, 2022 10:23:51 AM
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First-time Emmy nominee Melissa Ordway (Abby Newman, The Young and the Restless) opens up about her lifelong dream coming true, why the moment deserves sparkles, and why her entire Genoa City family is to thank for her work being recognized.

After nearly a decade of playing The Young and the Restless' Abby Newman, Melissa Ordway has finally been nominated for her very first Daytime Emmy Award. The actress is obviously over the moon about the exciting news, but she reveals to Soap Central that she's still pinching herself and is still worrying that the whole thing might be a dream!

Soap Central: Congratulations on your very first Emmy nomination! How do you feel?

Melissa Ordway: Thank you so much! I'm still pretty shocked, to be honest. Part of me is going, "Is someone going to tell me that they're kidding?" [Laughs] The whole time right after I found out, I was like, "Are we sure? Are we really sure that it was me?!" But I am so excited and I'm just trying to soak in every minute. I feel very, very honored. It's pretty unbelievable though; it's crazy.

Soap Central: I feel like a lot of actors probably dream of moments like this for their future career. Did you dream of this moment, and if so, how does it compare to what you imagined?

Ordway: I absolutely always dreamed of this moment. When I was growing up, my mom and I would watch the Daytime Emmy Awards every year, and it was such a big deal in our house. I think it was an even bigger deal than the Oscars and any other award show, because we loved our daytime soap operas. I remember watching all of these people win these amazing awards when I was growing up, so yes, it was something that I always dreamed of, and to actually be a nominee and to be going and to have this honor is a dream come true. I'm so excited, but like I said, I think I'm still in shock, so I'm like, "I know I need to find a dress and I know I have to do all these things," but I'm still soaking it all in and trying to pinch myself with thoughts of, "Are we sure?!"

Soap Central: How did you find out that you'd been nominated, and how did you react in that moment that you heard the news?

Ordway: It was such a cool moment because all of the nominees except for Jordi [Vilauso, Rey Rosales] were actually all on set, working together, when the announcements came out. Matt Kane [our show publicist] came down, and he went over to Jason [Thompson, Billy Abbott] and Peter [Bergman, Jack Abbott] and said he wanted to congratulate them on their nominations, and... then he walked over to Mishael Morgan [Amanda Sinclair] to congratulate her, and then he moved down the line and said, "Congratulations to Bryton [James, Devon Hamilton]," and then I was standing next to Bryton, and Matt said, "And let's congratulate Melissa Ordway on her first nomination!" Everyone who was there says they wished they had been recording it, because my face was like, "Wait, what?!" I was just so excited for Mishael and Bryton and Jason and Peter that I was not even thinking about myself, so I was like, "Really?! Oh, my God!" It was a lot like when Justin [Gaston, ex-Chance Chancellor] proposed to me, and I was like, "Wait, what?! Seriously?" [Laughs] But it was so awesome, because we were all together, and we all got to take in that moment and give each other hugs and celebrate together. It was really, really cool.

Soap Central: As soon as you were able to reach out and share the exciting news with friends and family, who did you call first?

Ordway: I called my husband, Justin. I have my lines and everything on my phone, so I actually had my phone next to me on set, and I quickly picked it up and was like, "I can't really talk right now, but I just got nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award!" And I tried to call my parents, because I knew they were going to be so excited, but they were on an airplane on their way to L.A. to come visit us, actually! So, I had to wait until they landed to tell them, and it felt like an eternity!

Soap Central: But how cool that you got to tell them in person!

Ordway: I know! It was really cool. As soon as my dad turned his phone back on, he had a bunch of messages saying, "Please call me, please call me," and so, he calls me, and he's like, "Is everything okay?!" And I was like, "Yes -- I got nominated for a Daytime Emmy!" Both he and my mom were so excited, and we got to celebrate all weekend together, which was really cool.

Soap Central: What scenes did you submit for your reel? They're your first Emmy-nominated scenes!

Ordway: I submitted the scenes with Sean Carrigan, who returned as Stitch [Rayburn], where Abby is trying to figure out if he's lying about kidnapping Mariah [Camryn Grimes] and if he knows where she is. It was that roller coaster of scenes where she was trying to figure out if he's lying, if she should believe him, and also trying to play him, because she believes that he does know where Mariah is, and Abby needs him to tell her or to bring her to Mariah. So, it was those scenes and also the scene where Abby finds out -- or they think -- that Chance is dead. And I also included a scene with Mishael Morgan and Bryton where I dropped Dominic off at their house so I can go look for Chance.

Soap Central: Was it difficult for you to narrow down which scenes to use, or did you have a strong feeling of which ones to submit?

Ordway: There were certain ones that I knew I wanted to include. Like, I knew I wanted the Sean Carrigan scenes in there, because I just felt like we got into such a groove when we were working together this time. I don't know if it was because we had all of the history of working together for years prior, but I just felt like those scenes were really special to film, and I just knew I wanted to include those scenes. The other ones were a little bit harder to narrow down. I think I had a few other ones in there that I was toying with putting in, but I always go to other people, because I think there are other people that know better than me about these things, and you are always your own harshest critic, so I asked a few other people for their advice in narrowing it down.

Soap Central: That would be one of the hardest things about what you guys do, watching yourself and trying to judge your own work.

Ordway: It is so hard, because you're watching yourself and you're like, "Oh, my gosh, do I really sound like that when I talk?! Is that what I look like?" [Laughs] It's so hard to sit there and judge yourself. The deadline was approaching, and we had to figure out which scenes were going to go in there, and I remember thinking, "Tonight is the night that I actually have to sit here and watch it all, because the deadline is coming up, and I have to do this." But I kept putting it off because it's just so hard to watch yourself and be like, "You know what? I think that's great! I think people should nominate me for an Emmy for this!" [Laughs] I'm just really bad at that.

Soap Central: How do you feel about the other nominees in your category?

Ordway: I'm just so honored to be nominated with this incredible group of women. Everyone is so talented, and to just be in the same category is, like I said before, a dream come true. I'm rooting for everybody. I feel like I already won, just being able to be nominated and to be a part of that group. I'm just such a big fan of daytime and a big fan of everyone that I'm nominated with. It really is an honor.

Soap Central: What are you most looking forward to about the Emmy ceremony in June?

Ordway: I'm most looking forward to just everyone being together in person again this year and to be able to celebrate what we do every day. Our jobs are not easy! I mean, we are very lucky to be able to have our jobs, but there is a lot of dialogue, there's a lot of preparation, and to get to celebrate our peers and what we all do every day and all of the hard work that we put in, it's really exciting.

Soap Central: Do you think you'll prepare an acceptance speech ahead of time, in case you win?

Ordway: Oh, man! [Laughs] My mom has already been talking to me about this. She was like, "You know you probably need to have something prepared." I'll probably write down some names just in case, people that you cannot forget. My mom was asking me what I think about who has to be in there, and I was like, "I think most of them are in the top of my head!" But I guess if you're in the moment and you just won, you might forget about a lot of things and a lot of people because you're just so excited. And honestly, everyone from our cast and our crew at Y&R, everyone was like, "Congratulations!" And my response really is, "Congratulations to you guys, too, because it's a team effort." This nomination is not just for me; it's for everybody that I've worked with this year, from the directors, to the writers, to my scene partners, and everyone that has put in so much time and energy and all of the support that they've given me. It really is honoring all of us, not just me -- it just happens to be my name on there. I couldn't do it without everybody at work, that's for sure.

Soap Central: I know you said you were still shellshocked and you might not have started thinking about what you'll wear on Emmy night, but do you think you'll start planning that soon? And do you know which way you might lean, being that it might be the year that you walk up on stage?

Ordway: It's definitely different when you're a nominee, and I've been looking. Every night after I put the girls to bed, I'm just looking on my phone for different dresses and different inspiration pics. I'm a pretty minimal kind of person, like a jeans and a T-shirt kind of girl. Prior years at the Emmys, my mom would send me dresses with sequins on them, and I was like, "No, no, I'm not wearing sequins. I can't do sequins because I'm not nominated, and it's not my thing." But I think I might do sequins this year! I've been looking at a lot of sparkly dresses, so I kind of know that I want it to be sparkly.

Soap Central: Is there anything else that you'd like to add before I have to let you go?

Ordway: I just want to say that I'm so honored, and I am just so thankful to be nominated. It really is a dream come true, so thank you to everybody for all of the love and support. I'm really excited.

What do you think about Melissa Ordway being nominated for her very first Daytime Emmy Award? What did you think about her work as Abby last year? Do you think the actress will take home the gold at the Emmy ceremony in June? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.

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