For nearly four months, Elizabeth Leiner has been playing loving mother Tara Locke on The Young and the Restless. She’s had nothing but her son Harrison’s best interests at heart this whole time. Recently, however, as Summer Newman discovered, Tara’s revealed a whole other side to herself. In short, Tara’s a manipulative bitch willing to use her son as a pawn to get what she wants! For her portrayal of a calculating woman, Soap Hub bestows Performer of the Week for Y&R honors on Leiner.
Elizabeth Leiner — Performer of the Week
Certainly, the actress has been hiding Tara’s more manipulative side well. She likely figured that sooner or later Kyle Abbott’s (Michael Mealor) paternal instincts would kick in and, sure enough, they did. Once that happened, Tara saw that it was time to make her move. She threatened Summer (Hunter King) that she will take Harrison (Kellen Enriquez), leave Genoa City, and never look back unless Summer takes that job in Italy she’s been offered!
Summer tried to convince Tara that she was in no way a threat to Kyle’s relationship with Harrison. “Harrison’s well-being is not something I’m willing to compromise on,” Tara shot back. The future ex-Mrs. Ashland Locke announced to Summer that she was going to do her best to recapture Kyle’s heart. Summer maintained that Kyle only sought out Tara because he was trying to get over her.
“I’m aware you’re childhood sweethearts, but first loves aren’t meant to last a lifetime,” Tara coolly shot back, dismissing Summer as if Tara were the head cheerleader in high school and Summer was an uncoordinated freshman. Each time Summer tried to convince Tara that she and Kyle were solid, Tara replied that she wanted Summer gone. In fact, Tara not only wants Summer to take the gig abroad but she wants her to end things with Kyle so he’ll be free for her.
Leiner’s fascinating to watch because she doesn’t play Tara like an obvious meddler or screaming harpy. Soaps have plenty of extroverted antagonists. Leiner takes a more subtle approach but one that’s still potentially lethal. Sweet and demure in her scenes with Kyle and Jack (Peter Bergman), Leiner is an expert at playing the men in her life one way while drawing clear boundaries with her female opponents.
Summer kept calling Tara out on her evil actions but it was clear that her remarks were falling upon deaf ears — and disinterested ones too. “Your opinion of me is irrelevant,” Tara simply shrugged to her rival.
Summer flat-out called Tara a bitch. “Oh, sweetie,” Tara responded with a smile. “You have no idea.” Due to Elizabeth Leiner’s understated and deft performances, we weren’t quite sure either. However, now? Game on! Summer’s got her work cut out for her now that she — and we — know just how manipulative and evil Tara can be. The Young and the Restless (YR) airs weekdays on CBS. Check your local listings for airtimes.