Drama seems to follow The Young and the Restless' Sally Spectra (Courtney Hope) everywhere she goes, meaning one thing is certain: her recently revealed pregnancy won't be a smooth journey!
The first snag is it's unclear whose baby she's carrying; does it belong to her recent ex, Adam (Mark Grossman), or does it belong to Adam's brother, Nick (Joshua Morrow), who Sally began dating not that long ago? Each paternity scenario has its pros and cons, and some viewers have already started speculating that Sally -- a notorious schemer -- will lie to get herself into the position she desires. But is that true?
Meanwhile, the fashion guru also has to contend with the fact that Nick and Adam's father, the powerful Victor Newman (Eric Braeden), has already made it clear that he thinks Sally dug her claws into both of his sons in an attempt to get her hands on the family's large fortune. Sally's pregnancy news will no doubt fan those flames, meaning she might have the fight of her life ahead of her.
We spoke with Courtney Hope to find out how she feels about all the baby drama possibly heading Sally's way, and she reveals that viewers should probably buckle up because it's going to be a wild ride.
Soap Central: How do you feel about Sally discovering she's pregnant? Is that something you expected?
Courtney Hope: No! But I long awaited the day that it would because I always thought she would be such a fun, interesting, complex mother. So, I'm excited to go start that journey.
Soap Central: How early do you start speculating about your character's future? Did you immediately start thinking, "It's probably so-and-so's baby?"
Hope: I immediately started contemplating it, but I definitely did not want to know... because I don't want it to skew my creative work in either direction, and I wanted to know what emotions I would be going through as Sally would. But I definitely immediately started looking at certain things, like, "Well, these characters are saying this, so maybe it's Adam, but other characters are saying this, so maybe it is Nick!" It's a constant pendulum swing, but it's been fun! It's fun to go back and forth and figure out if I was right.
Soap Central: Sometimes the writers themselves might not know which direction they want to take it, right? They could start out with one idea and then change it midway through.
Hope: Absolutely. And I think there are so many factors that could come into play and so many things that can change along the way. That's why I'd just rather not know. Plus, it makes a huge difference in how you play it. A couple of years ago, when I was on The Bold and the Beautiful, there was a storyline where I was originally supposed to be really sick, and then halfway through the storyline, it was like, "Well, actually, Sally is faking it." And I've often thought back to that and wondered if I would have played it differently if [I had known she had been faking] from the beginning. That made a huge difference for me, and now I just prefer not to know. Things can change, and I'd rather play it as authentically as possible.
Soap Central: As soon as viewers realized that Sally was pregnant, many began speculating that Sally will lie about the paternity of her baby. Do you think they might be correct?
Hope: I've thought a lot about that. Growing up, Sally did not have great mentors in her parents. She moved around a lot and didn't have stability, so she will want the best-case scenario for her child. But I think within that, she also wants truth. Truth is one thing she never really had, and so, yes, I've thought, "Would she fake the paternity or skew the results?" I don't know, but I don't think she would because she wants everything to be as authentic as possible and get the truth out -- Sally's had so many lies in her life, even ones that she's mustered up herself [laughs], and I think she's really trying to do the right thing these days. But it all depends on whose baby it is and how that would work out long term. Regardless, they're both Newmans, so I feel like it could be worse! [Laughs]
Soap Central: Everyone has an opinion as to which man is better for her. Do you have an opinion, and has your opinion changed at all when you consider each guy's abilities to be a father to Sally's child?
Hope: Absolutely! There are pros and cons to both, honestly. I very much see the struggle back and forth. With Adam, I see someone who authentically understands who Sally is. I've said this often, but they're cut from the same cloth and were two peas in a pod. I think there's something beautiful, profound, and important in that, because they forced each other to be as authentic as they can be. There's also a ruthlessness with Adam, which I think is attractive -- obviously as a father figure and as a partner, but that same ruthlessness is also what causes her to not fully trust him, because she completely left him, [even though his ruthlessness was done] in an attempt to protect her and give her the job she wanted, but it hurt her in the process. Then, on the other hand, Nick has that father figure side in general, because he's got so many kids, and I feel like he's strong in that sense. But then he's also got this safety thing, and he makes her want to be completely honest but on a higher vibrational scale. She's a better person with him; he makes things lighter, which is good, because I think Sally sometimes gets in her head and gets really stressed out. So, there's that, and I think he would definitely protect her. But there's also the fear of whether or not Nick really loves her, because that hasn't even been addressed yet. So, she's assessing what a good partner looks like, but now, at the same time, she's assessing what is best for a baby, which is hard because the baby's not even here, and it's her first experience with all of it.
Soap Central: As you said earlier, they're both Newmans -- she could be in a worse position! And if she gives birth to this baby, she will forever be linked to the Newman family. How does that make you feel, considering the Newmans are such an iconic Y&R family?
Hope: I'm honored and blessed, for sure. It's going to be very interesting to see how it all plays out, because it's such a dynamic family. When I found out, I was over the moon, not just for the story but also to be part of such a legacy family. And I also think it's funny because Sally is a Spectra, and the Spectras are not seen as having a lot of hierarchy. Obviously, B&B's Sally Spectra Sr. [Darlene Conley] was extremely successful, but she was always the rebel and the one that was causing chaos. She was in opposition to Forrester, so I feel like in this, it's kind of the same thing, and seeing Sally integrate herself into this family is going to be extremely fun to watch and play.
Soap Central: How do you think the pregnancy might influence this already very tense relationship between Sally and Victor [Eric Braeden]? Victor is convinced Sally is after the family money, and I can imagine that her being pregnant with Adam or Nick's baby will fan those flames!
Hope: Oh, absolutely! He definitely doesn't think highly of Sally or her capabilities, which I think could make for some interesting moments, especially because Sally is a firecracker and has had to fight for so much. She's already gone against extremely powerful people, such as B&B's Bill Spencer [Don Diamont], so I don't think she's intimidated whatsoever by Victor, which could be a great thing. But it could also be not such a good thing -- she could start a fire where she doesn't want to! [Laughs] I wouldn't put it past Victor to go, "You know what, we're going to get full custody," or something, just based on what he thinks about Sally. My brain has gone into so many different things, because there are so many layers to it. But I hope that Sally continues to fight. She was given up as a kid, so, I know for a fact that she's going to be overly protective of her child. She knows what it's like to not have your parents, so I think she will try and do whatever it takes to [protect her child]. So, it will be interesting if Victor comes into the picture -- it could lead to a lot of explosiveness!
Soap Central: I know Chelsea [Melissa Claire Egan] is not Sally's favorite person, but Chelsea has had to deal with Victor on a similar level that Sally might have to. Do you think there's a possibility that Sally might be willing to turn to Chelsea for help, inspiration, or advice?
Hope: Yeah, definitely! It might be a good opportunity for them to bury the hatchet and maybe start fresh. Because, yes, Chelsea has had success dealing with Victor, and maybe this whole situation will force Sally into acceptance. Sally has to accept that this is her life, and this is what her actions have provided for her. So, yeah, it would be nice to have that connection progress finally! [Laughs]
Soap Central: What do you look forward to about playing pregnant? And are there things that you don't look forward to about playing pregnant?
Hope: I think it's just going to be so fascinating. I've never been pregnant, so, for me, just going through the mental gymnastics of what that would be like and putting on a baby bump and all of that every single day. Seeing myself in that arena is going to be a bit bizarre, just because I've heard other people say that, and I can absolutely imagine it will be. I've already gone up to wardrobe and tried everything on, just in the beginning stages of all of it, and it's already strange! [Laughs] But I'm excited about it. Everything I've ever played has brought me more empathy, to myself and others, and it's also given me a deeper insight to my own truth, through the eyes of what Sally sees. I'm always fascinated by whatever storyline I get to play because I know that it's going to really expand my perspective and my world. So, that I'm excited about. There's not really any negative downside to it. I know it's obviously going to be a challenge and it's going to be something new, and I welcome that. I'm excited to see where it goes, and it's going to be so funny seeing myself with a baby bump. But you know, it's part of the journey, and I'm excited to embrace it.
Soap Central: Y&R has been celebrating its 50th anniversary and you've all been doing lots of promotion for that. You're fairly new to the show, so, have you discovered anything interesting or amusing about the show's history the past few weeks with all the anniversary coverage?
Hope: They just had Tracey Bregman's [Lauren Fenmore] show, and I think the biggest thing has just been seeing some of the old clips and the old airshows. It's been fun to see the history. Sometimes when you walk in, you think, "Okay, it's been 50 years," but at the same time, there's not really any visual representation of what that looks like. So, going back and seeing everything, it brings the history of the show out in full force, and it makes it more embodied than what I think when I just walk on set and go, "Oh, my God, this is wonderful. What a legacy! What an accomplishment!" And it's been cool to see, "Oh, this person was with this person, and this person was with that person, and this person had a baby with this person." The more I learn, the more I see how it's all so intertwined and entangled, and it's just so funny and cool to watch. In life, we have a lineage of our own family, and it's nice to see that lineage on the show come to life.
Soap Central: Do you have favorite moments from the show's past?
Hope: There was one moment recently, when I was watching Tracey's show with Jill [Jess Walton], Lauren, and Michael [Christian LeBlanc], where they catch Jill in Lauren's office and she had slept with someone. Michael starts laughing, and then they were all just laughing uncontrollably, and the scene was still going, and at first, I thought it was a blooper, but I guess that's actually what happened on-screen, and I watched it like four times because it just brought a smile to my face every single time. It was so funny, and they looked like they were having so much fun, and it was a beautiful reminder that we get to play for a living. Even though it was this big storyline of, "You slept with this person in my office," or whatever, in the midst of all of it, there was this authentic laughter and irony and comedy of the moment. I really enjoyed watching that scene in particular because it reminded me that these people that have been here for so long still love what they do. They loved it as much then as they do now, and it's a good reminder, especially when you have days where you're crying all day long or there's something dramatic going on in your scenes -- you're still playing pretend, and you're still having fun.
Soap Central: Are there any actors that you haven't had much of a chance to work with yet that you'd like to?
Hope: I haven't gotten to work much with Bryton James [Devon Hamilton], Camryn Grimes [Mariah Copeland], or Cait Fairbanks [Tessa Porter]. They're the ones that I've worked with the least, and I think they're all great, so it would be fun to be able to work with them at some point in time. I've been very thankful and fortunate that I have gotten to work with a bunch of different cast members since the beginning in different capacities. I've been very thankful for that. But I actually just saw Bryton today in the hair and makeup room. He was running his lines with someone, and I thought to myself, I don't know if I've ever had a scene with him. Maybe at one big party, he might have been there, but I think that's probably the one person who I don't think I've had an actual scene with. So, that would be cool, because I think he's a great actor.
Soap Central: Do you have anything going on outside of Y&R that you can tease or want to let fans know about? Or has Y&R been keeping you too busy lately?
Hope: They actually have, which I'm thankful for. Y&R has been my main thing lately. But sometimes here and there I do fitness modeling, which I love to do. Control is coming out with a sequel, but all of that is under wraps at the moment, so hopefully there will be some stuff opening there. But mostly, I'm doing things kind of outside of the business. I've been writing a little bit for myself. There's a project I've been working on for a year now with a writing partner, which has been a lot of fun -- it's a screenplay that is mental health-based. I'm super excited about that. I'm always interested in so many things, so I dabble in little bits here and there to keep my free time busy. Anything that allows me to be creative expands my imagination and my capacity for exploration, so it definitely all benefits. But I'm also thankful to be working all of the time on the show. It's always so much fun, and you never know what's going to be thrown your way!
What do you think about our interview with Courtney Hope? Whose baby do you think Sally is carrying? What drama do you foresee coming with Sally's pregnancy and the paternity of her baby? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.