The Young and the Restless' Abby was passed over for a promotion at Newman Enterprises, betrayed by her criminal boyfriend, and cheated into developing a product used for a sex trafficking ring, and she dealt with it all by landing in the arms of a taken man. One could say her life has been obliterated -- but that would be an understatement.
With the weight of the world on her shoulders, will Abby crumble like the Underground or rise up from the ashes, smarter and stronger than ever? soapcentral.com spoke with her portrayer, Melissa Ordway, to find out.
soapcentral.com: What a perfect time to talk to you. Abby's life has been completely obliterated!
Melissa Ordway: Oh, my gosh, everything that she thought she knew is done. It's just crazy. Everything changed.
soapcentral.com: The first major blow was finding out that her boyfriend, Zack, is actually the head of a sex trafficking operation. And not only that, he also manipulated her into unwittingly designing a dating app that helps his illegal business. How horrified is Abby about these revelations?
Ordway: She is completely shocked. There were a lot of red flags, and things kept coming up that seemed strange, but he always knew the right thing to say to her. He kept talking her off the ledge, even though deep down, she knew something wasn't right. But then for it to come out that he is part of a sex trafficking ring -- she never could have guessed that. How do you hide that from someone? She feels so betrayed and taken advantage of. She can't believe somebody could do something like this, and she's asking herself, "How did I fall in love with someone who could do something so horrific?" So now she's second-guessing herself and her judgment and asking how in the world something like this could have happened. She was caught off guard, and even though she had moments where she thought something was off with Zack, she never in a million years would have thought that it was something like that. It's her worst nightmare coming true. And on top of that, knowing that her business that she created with him is attached to the sex trafficking ring, and thinking about all of the things that could happen at her job and to her family -- there's a lot for her to deal with.
soapcentral.com: So, will she beat herself up about not seeing this?
Ordway: Oh, for sure. She'll definitely beat herself up. I don't think she can trust her judgment anymore. She thought she knew this person. So she's thinking, "Not only am I a terrible judge of men, I'm also a terrible judge of business decisions because I didn't know this was happening at my own company."
soapcentral.com: What did you think about Y&R delving into such a sensitive and tough topic like sex trafficking?
Ordway: I was actually pretty shocked when I found out they were going to do a storyline like this, but at the same time, it is something that affects our country and our world right now. I read a statistic about the amount of girls who are in a sex trafficking situation, and it was [mind blowing]. It happens everywhere, even in L.A., and it's not something you think about. Like, how could that possibly happen to someone? But it does. So to bring on a storyline like that and be able to tell it on our show, it's relevant for the time -- unfortunately.
soapcentral.com: How do you think the whole reveal will affect Abby in the future? Her confidence has been shaken, at the very least.
Ordway: I think it's going to affect her in a lot of ways. She was feeling pretty confident about her skills at Newman and what she had to offer, and I think that now she's going to rethink that and second-guess herself. In some ways, it might actually make her a better businesswoman, because she'll be more thorough and find out a lot more about whatever company she's getting into. And I think it will also affect her family life. Not only is Victoria back in a power position at Newman -- she basically took Abby's job -- Abby made a huge mistake, so she's going to have to compete with her sister. There's just a lot.
soapcentral.com: Abby is very career-minded. So how angry is she that Victor gave Victoria the COO position? Or is it too early to say, because Abby has been busy with other drama?
Ordway: No, it was a huge blow to her ego, because she thought she was going to get a promotion that night. She thought her dad was going to put her in charge of the company because she thought she had been doing such a good job, so to find out that promoting her wasn't on Victor's radar at all, that he had no intention of promoting Abby, was devastating. And for Victoria to come in and take the position she thought she was going to have is going to be really hard. Especially because Victoria and Abby are already very competitive. Their new dynamic is going to be interesting, because Victoria now is essentially Abby's boss.
soapcentral.com: Why is their relationship so damn icy?
Ordway: I always joke that Abby wants to be Victoria so badly. [Laughs] She wants the praise from her dad, and she feels like Victor will never love her as much as he loves Victoria. So I think most of the competitive aspects come from Abby. I don't even think Victoria is always aware of that, and I don't think she's nearly as competitive with Abby as Abby is with her. Abby is just sort of her annoying little sister that always keeps trying to one-up her and be better than her. I think to Victoria, Abby is just more annoying than competitive. [Laughs]
soapcentral.com: You and Amelia Heinle must have so much fun playing that rivalry.
Ordway: Oh, my gosh, it's so much fun. It's so funny, because we'll be dying of laughter during rehearsal, and sometimes it's hard for us to keep a straight face during taping because I'm having to say these crazy lines and be so rude to her. It's just so funny, because we love each other so much in real life, so it's really fun. I love working with her. We have a good time.
soapcentral.com: So Abby's heart is broken, and she just lost a great job opportunity. Is she more likely to fall apart, or is she more likely to kick some major ass with all that hurt and anger propelling her forward?
Ordway: Oooooooh! I think Abby is ready to kick some major butt. She is ready to take on the world. She is heartbroken, but she is not going to let it get her down. She is ready to really take charge and not only try to help with the sex trafficking ring and put an end to it, she's also ready to compete with Victoria, take her place at Newman, and prove that she's not as naïve as everyone thinks she is.
soapcentral.com: I guess one of her first "power" moves, if you can call it that, is sleeping with Sharon's man!
Ordway: [Laughs] People say that when you hate someone so much, there must be some sort of love there, and I think that's true [for Abby and Scott]. I think there has been a lot of sexual tension between the two of them; they get on each other's nerves, they're the complete opposite, they can't stand each other, but they're always attracted to each other at the same time. So I think the sexual tension has always been there, but [they finally act on it] because they're both scared in the moment because of the Zack situation, and they don't even think about the consequences or what they're doing. They're vulnerable, and they just go for it.
soapcentral.com: What have fans said to you about Abby and Scott? Have they also noticed the sexual chemistry?
Ordway: I've heard from so many people who have said, "Oh, my gosh, we want Abby and Scott together!" They love how he kind of puts her in her place, and they love the dynamic because the characters are so different. But then you have a lot of people who love Sharon and Scott together, and they're like, "Abby, you better stay away!" So I do think it's something people have seen coming, because I get messages both ways -- and nothing had even happened between us yet! So there are definitely going to be some people who are pro Abby and Scott, and there will be others who say, "You better back off, because he's Sharon's!" So it's going to get good. Though I should say that just because two people sleep together doesn't mean they'll actually get together. But there will definitely be some drama.
soapcentral.com: Speaking of drama, you've had to play quite a bit of it while being pregnant in real life. How has that experience been?
Ordway: I definitely think it's been easier to cry, being pregnant! [Laughs] A song comes on the radio, and I'll start crying, so it's definitely been a lot easier to play that aspect of it. It's funny because I'll be filming a love scene or yelling at somebody, and I'm like, "Oh, my gosh, my baby can hear all of this!" She's going to come out and be like, "What was my mom doing while I was in there?!" But, yeah, it has been easier to play the hard stuff because you're a lot more emotional when you're pregnant.
soapcentral.com: I've always wondered if pregnant actors talk to their doctor about that, if they say, "So, I'm going to be under extreme duress at work. Is that okay?!"
Ordway: I probably should have! [Laughs] It's funny because my husband is also an actor, and yesterday, he was practicing an audition and was really angry in the audition, and our daughter, who's eighteen months old, walked into the room, and I was like, "We're not really upset with each other! It's just for an audition, and we're practicing our lines. This isn't real!" But I guess it'll just have to be one of those things they'll tell their therapists when they're older: "My parents were actors and did really weird things when I was growing up." [Laughs]
soapcentral.com: You seriously have the best mommy Instagram of all time. Not only do you make motherhood look like such a joy, you also make it look so easy!
Ordway: Instagram makes it look a lot easier than I know it really is! But I have the best time with her. Olivia is my whole life. Parenting is definitely not easy, but I have the best daughter. She makes it as easy as it possibly could be. We have the time of our lives. She's the best little thing that has ever happened to us, for sure.
soapcentral.com: How does she feel about getting a new little sister soon?
Ordway: It's funny because we keep trying to tell her that her little sister is in my belly, and we say, "Give her a kiss!" And I keep asking her, "Are you going to be sweet to your little sister?" And every time, she says, "No." [Laughs] I don't think she quite understands, but she's going to be the best big sister ever. It just might take some time because she's used to being our whole world. She has our attention all the time, so it's going to be a challenge, balancing it, but it will be fun.
soapcentral.com: Have you already had your baby shower?
Ordway: I haven't. It's going to be in December. One of my friends from General Hospital is throwing it for me -- Emily Wilson -- and some of my other friends. And one of the other friends is pregnant and is due one day apart from me, so it should be fun. It'll be simple. It's co-ed. I just wanted all of our friends to get together and have a relaxing, fun time. Nothing too crazy.
soapcentral.com: Well that's a nice balance, especially considering Abby's life is crazy enough! And speaking of that, I know you have to get to set, so is there anything else you want to add before you go?
Ordway: I'm just so excited to have such a great story. It's been so much fun to play. I hope the fans like it, and happy holidays to everyone!
How would you like to see Abby deal with the terrible cards she’s been handed? How do you feel about her getting frisky with Scott? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.