Michelle Stafford is back as Phyllis on The Young And The Restless. And now she’s speaking out on her headline-making return!
The two-time Emmy-winning actress recently appeared on The Talk with co-stars Mark Grossman (Adam) and Melissa Claire Egan (Chelsea) to talk about YR.
This spring, the shocking news broke that Stafford, who had quit YR back in 2013 and had gone on to join General Hospital as Nina Reeves, was returning to her role as Phyllis.
Shortly thereafter, Gina Tognoni released a statement saying she was exiting the soap and that she had greatly enjoyed playing Phyllis and wished YR well. Tognoni, another two-time Emmy-winner for her role as Dinah on Guiding Light, won the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series for playing Phyllis in 2017.
“I played the role [of Phyllis] for 15 years and then another extraordinary actress, [who] has been playing it for the past five years, named Gina Tognoni, [and she] will be doing amazing things in the future,” Stafford said.
As she’s been absent from Genoa City for five years, Stafford decided to bone up on Phyllis’ history over the past half-decade. “I read every single synopsis of every day the character was in so I wasn’t, ‘Hey…what are we doing?’ I hope I do it justice.”
Phyllis’ stories over the last five years include cheating on Jack with Billy and their subsequent breakup, convincing Nikki, Sharon, and Victoria to lie about J.T.’s “death” — and later, throwing them under a bus, and blasting Victor in open court for hiring a man to impersonate Jack, who then had sex with an unsuspecting Phyllis.
Upon her return to the top-rated CBS soap, Stafford said she noted that none of her co-stars had aged a day! “It must be the air, which means, I’m staying!
“It’s really great, everybody is really nice,” the actress said. “It’s been incredible.” The Young And The Restless airs weekdays on CBS. Check local listings for air times.