The Young and the Restless' Phyllis Summers is no easy character to play, though nobody would think that, seeing as how portrayer Gina Tognoni makes the work look so effortless. However, the Emmy winner reveals that it really can be quite difficult to keep the Genoa City staple in viewers' hearts, simply because powerful women aren't always the most lovable characters on the canvas.
“When I see scenes that are written in a way that make me sound like a bully, I like to find a different level with it; I like to make her more interesting than just a bully,” she points out as an example of the delicate work she puts into playing Phyllis. “She's not a bully; she's a strong woman, and she owns her power. She tries not to be diminished by anything around her. So to try to portray that every day, it's a great challenge. But I love it, and it keeps me interested.”
If her recent Emmy win is any indication, Tognoni seems to be hitting the mark. And most viewers agree.
"The fans love the power and her outspokenness. They're like, 'You get it, girl!' the actress says with a laugh, adding that she hopes her Y&R work can serve as an inspiration for both viewers and other actresses tackling strong female characters. "The tendency when you read [power-woman scenes] is to think, 'Oh, I don't want to be mean. Oh, I don't want to offend.' No, no, no: Own it! Get in there and own it and be clear with your point of view."
What do you think about Tognoni’s views on portraying strong female characters? What do you think about the way Y&R’s Phyllis is written and portrayed? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.