'Young & the Restless' Revives In-House Gossip Show 'GC Buzz' — With a Twist
For years, Young and the Restless had its own version of TMZ called GC Buzz and Genoa City citizens did their best to avoid being on it. Now, Y&R actors are virtually running towards this two-day revival of the show as hosts Camryn Grimes (Mariah) and Mishael Morgan (Amanda; ex-Hilary) check in with their self-quarantined castmates. The two-day event starts later today and airs tomorrow on Y&R’s social platforms.
TV Insider talked Grimes and Morgan about bringing GC Buzz back in this format, and their characters’ current stories – Mariah’s love story with Tessa (Cait Fairbanks), and just what is – or isn’t – the connection between attorney Amanda Sinclair and her late doppelganger Hilary Hamilton? Read to get the buzz!
Who better to interview the show’s cast members than former GC Buzz hosts?
Camryn Grimes: Yes. Only we’re doing this as ourselves not as our characters. We don’t know how they’ll exactly edit this but I think it’ll be Mishael and myself side by side [on-screen] and then we’ll talk to individual actors.
Mishael Morgan: What I like about this is it almost feels like we’re getting a glimpse into what backstage at GC Buzz was like. It’s a reflection of what we’d do [on-air] before we’d ‘roll’ the show. Hilary played this over the top boss and Marah was the straight man. We played with that so much on set.
Did interviewing the cast allow you the opportunity to get to know them more? Or do you all know each other pretty well by now?
Grimes: I’ve been on the show for so long. I’ve known most of them since I was little. (Note: Grimes joined the show as Mariah’s twin Cassie in 1997). For me, it was nice to see everyone again! I almost hated this was formatted because I wanted to keep talking to people.
Morgan: I’ve been on and off the show for seven years including taking time off to have a baby, but even if I wasn’t in someone’s storyline, I know who they are. You see each other at the Emmys and events. What this did was let me not only get to know people a little better, but we get to see into their houses and homes a little bit. I was thinking, ‘This is how I envisioned what Peter’s [Bergman, Jack] home would look like or Eileen’s [Davidson, Ashley].’ That was so cool.
What was it like shooting this event on Zoom?
Grimes: We had rehearsals to understand how this would all work. It takes away a bit of spontaneity, but I think we came up with something really great that will make everyone happy. We’re co-hosts but we’re also kind of writing and directing, too. Our team is so freaking incredible. They held our hands ever step of the way.
Morgan: It’s about working with new parameters. We can’t talk over each other on Zoom. That would disrupt the flow. It’s all about learning new skills.
How are you handling being quarantined?
Morgan: My oldest child is 4-years-old. He’ll be 5 in August. This is definitely the most uninterrupted time we’ve had. I love it for what it is. I wake up with him and we spend all day with him. I will add that we’re all human beings! (Laughs) I want happy hours and spa days with my girlfriends!
Have you had to put on a teacher’s hat?
Morgan: Yes. I was a bit of a nerd in school so, I was happy to teach my son the foundations. I’ve gotten a little bit crazy with structure. Some days, we stick to the schedule more than others and I’m realizing that that’s okay. Kids are so high energy!
Grimes: Cleaning’s been major for me. I’m getting household projects done, setting up my office. I’m big on purging. I’m trying to be a minimalist. I get overwhelmed having trinkets and tchotchkes. I look around the house and want to throw everything away! Well, not everything, but I’m very clean and simple. I’m going through drawers and purging. I think your space can be a reflection of your mind.
Y&R has done theme weeks since running out of original episodes. We’ve seen ones with Katherine (the late Jeanne Cooper) and Victor and Nikki (Eric Braeden and Melody Thomas Scott). I can think of two highly emotionally-packed episodes that would make for a theme week – have you seen each other’s death bed scenes?
Morgan: I remember watching when Cassie died and being so sad! I was watching back then. I also remember when Camryn won her Daytime Emmy [for Outstanding Younger Leading Actress in a Drama Series in 1999]. It’s surreal now that we’re on the show and are friends in real-life.
Grimes: I think it’s been mentioned that we want to stay away from episodes that will make people really sad, but [Cassie’s death] is something that people ask about. If they re-air it, I’ll live tweet it! I remember shooting Hilary’s deathbed scenes. It hit me during the day we taped it that I was saying goodbye to Mishael and that she was really leaving. Of course, it’s not the same thing, but I did start to really cry. It hit me – oh my friend is leaving!
Mishael, viewers have speculated that there’s got to be some kind of connection between Hilary and Amanda as Amanda grew up in foster care. Thoughts?
Morgan: I’ve seen those comments on line. I don’t know what the deal is yet, but we’ve talked about it with the show’s writing team. They haven’t given me an answer that the two characters are related, but, personally, I feel since they look so similar [maybe they are?] If they’re not related, then what is it?
Can you talk about how Amanda’s relationships with Devon (Bryton James) and Nate (Sean Dominic) have changed since her arrival?
Morgan: When Amanda first came on, she tried to be very professional. She knew it was going to be difficult given what she walking into – as an attorney, she was representing a client that was trying to take Devon’s inheritance away from him. She felt she had to have this hard demeanor. Things change when you get past the professional role people play. That’s what’s happening now. Amanda was doing her job. Now, people are seeing different sides to her.
Grimes: I was in a similar position when I came back on as [Cassie’s twin] Mariah. She came on super-strong. As she got to know Sharon (Sharon Case) and everyone else, things eased. It’s a natural progression as what happens in real-life when people get to know you.
Fans were thrilled that Mariah and Tessa got past Mariah’s indiscretion. Thoughts?
Grimes: I think it’s been a beautiful experience. I’m very grateful. Hearing messages from fans and hearing their stories has added to the care and depth in which I approach this story. Most of the complaints is why are we seeing [same sex characters] on every show. I respond to that by saying shows are representative of life. This is what it is.
Would each of you like to do a show in which Mariah somehow interacts with Cassie and one in which Amanda could somehow interact with Hilary? Dream sequences or fantasy episodes?
Grimes: Yes. I’ve said it a bunch of times before. I want to do that cool ‘what if?’ episode. I’d live Tweet it.
Morgan: That’d be so cool. You’d have to be so specific in your choices.
Grimes: I got a moment of that when we did Sharon’s dream episode. Right now, we don’t have any new episodes, but we’re going to get back to work as soon as we can. If you love the show, this is a great time to get your friends hooked on it [through the classic episodes and today and tomorrow’s GC Buzz ‘revival’.] The fans have kept us alive all these years. We thrive because of them. If you love us, share that love and get your friends hooked!
Morgan: We love our fans and this is why we’re doing this event today and tomorrow. We want them to know we’re going to get through this. We can’t wait to get back to work. We’re all still here and we love you.
Young and the Restless, Weekdays, CBS