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Y&R’s Eileen Davidson Reveals ‘This Is What I Live For’

The talented Y&R actress explains how she’s bringing Ashley’s DID to life.

Ashley on The Young and the Restless and Eileen Davidson with the Soap Hub logo across the bottom.Eileen Davidson lives for storylines like Ashley's.

With Ashley having multiple personalities vying for control on The Young and the Restless, actress Eileen Davidson has a lot of work to do portraying her character’s Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). Thankfully for her (and for us), the veteran soap actress is up for the challenge. In fact, she’s grateful for it.

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As Soap Hub pointed out before, Davidson has frequently portrayed multiple roles or multiple personalities in her characters. It’s something she told TV Insider she enjoys doing. Davidson said of Ashley’s big storyline, “I didn’t see this coming. It’s a huge gift. I told Josh, ‘Please just keep going. This is what I live for.’ It’s a blast for me. I’m having a great time.”

Of course, long-time fans know that Ashley has dealt with mental health problems in the past. That’s a fact that Davidson reminded Y&R head writer and executive producer Josh Griffith of ahead of this arc.

“Josh and I had been talking, and I happened to mention Ashley’s mental health issues [from the ’80s],” Davidson told the publication. “He remembered and got really inspired by that. So, it was an offhand conversation about the character that tied in beautifully with what he’d already been writing.”

Davidson revealed that she spent time researching DID on Google and talking with professionals to help make her portrayal authentic. “Everything is so readily available now, and there are so many ways that [DID] displays itself that you have a certain amount of latitude with it.”

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Of course, while she’s used to portraying multiple characters as she did on Days of our Lives, Davidson noted that portraying Ashley’s different alters has been more subtle than entirely different characters, and it’s been somewhat difficult.

So far, Ashley has had Ms. Abbott and Ash, and she’ll soon display another identity as well. “They’re all vastly different from one another,” Davidson explained. “If I walk by the TV, and I happen to be on, I absolutely know who it is just by the way she’s looking.

“It takes a lot of concentration,” to portray the different identities inside Ashley’s head. “It makes my head hurt because it’s Ashley and then sometimes mid-scene, I’m becoming the alter, so I’m starting off as one and ending up as another who’s talking to someone else in her head.”

It sounds like Traci (Beth Maitland), Jack (Peter Bergman), and even Billy (Jason Thompson) may soon come together to get their sister some help. Will Tucker (Trevor St. John) be part of it? Perhaps, but maybe not since Audra (Zuleyka Silver) wouldn’t like it. We also suspect that Abby (Melissa Ordway) might be called on to guide her mother.

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