Michelle Stafford has delivered powerhouse scenes over the years on The Young and the Restless as Phyllis has driven many memorable storylines. But viewers were recently reminded that the two-time Daytime Emmy winner can play a softer, more compassionate side to Phyllis while at the same time never losing the fiery redhead’s edge. That’s why Stafford has been chosen by Soap Hub as YR’s Performer of the Week.
Performer of the Week: Michelle Stafford
Phyllis knows that she can’t be Faith’s (Alyvia Alyn Lind) favorite person in Genoa City. Granted, Faith’s not holding out hope that her parents, Sharon (Sharon Case) and Nick (Joshua Morrow), are ever going to get back together, but that doesn’t mean she wants to be pals with her father’s girlfriend either.
So, when Phyllis came upon Faith in Chancellor Park on a school day, she approached her cautiously, not wanting to play truant officer, but rather seeking a chance to genuinely help Faith, who looked a bit down and under the weather.
Faith covered that her parents knew she wasn’t in school, but Phyllis, aware something might be going on, gently probed, hoping Faith would confide in her. Stafford played Phyllis hovering between wanting to help, but not wanting to crowd Nick’s daughter. She backed off, but not for long.
Phyllis returned with some water just as Faith was chatting with her new “pal” Jordan (Madison Thompson). “Are you feeling under the weather, too?” Michelle Stafford’s Phyllis cheerfully but pointedly asked Faith’s pal.
Phyllis is a character whose wheels are always spinning. She’s been around, so she knows a con when she sees one. Jordan exited, and Summer tried to leave, too. “You’re not going anywhere,” Phyllis stated. “We need to talk.”
Stafford stepped up Phyllis’s game at this point. The time to see if Faith was going to come clean on her own was over. “I know a hangover when I see one,” Phyllis told Nick’s daughter. Busted!
Next, she brought Phyllis from being Nick’s apprehensive girlfriend to acting as Faith’s confidante in an almost big sisterly fashion. Slowly, Faith felt comfortable opening up. She shared her and Jordan’s drinking escapade with Phyllis. The redhead said, “After you drank the vodka, you filled the bottle up with water so her parents wouldn’t find out.” Faith was incredulous as most youngsters are who think that adults were never their age themselves.
Phyllis behaved in a way with Faith that she’s not often with most people — fully transparent. She couldn’t promise Faith she wouldn’t tell Nick, but she assured the girl that she didn’t let Nick down – Faith just used some bad judgment.
Stafford got to play the dynamics of another relationship later in the episode, the one she has with Nick. Before she could gently inform Nick about her daughter’s incident, Nick pressed Phyllis on her working relationship with his sister Victoria (Amelia Heinle). Instantly, Phyllis’s back went up against the Grand Phoenix wall, asserting her authority. “I don’t work for her – or you!” Phyllis said.
Michelle Stafford shows Phyllis as being keenly aware of her surroundings all the time. So, Phyllis knew better than to inform Nick of what was going on with his daughter as he was all worked up about the dynamic between his girlfriend and his sister. She backed off — for now.
Note to Jordan: viewers may not know what you’re up to or if you’re going to continue to be a bad influence on Faith. However, be forewarned: Phyllis appears to already have your number! The Young and the Restless airs weekdays on CBS. Check local listings for air times.