Courtney Hope on Sally Spectra Being Back & Living Large in 'Y&R's Genoa City

Courtney Hope, Young and the Restless
Q&A
Gilles Toucas / Courtesy of: Bell-Phillip TV Productions, Inc.

A white lie is one thing, but telling people that you’re dying and then kidnapping someone to keep your lie secret is quite another.

Earlier this year, Sally Spectra (Courtney Hope) went to extremes to hold onto beau Wyatt (Darin Brooks) on The Bold and the Beautiful. The victims of her machinations felt more comfortable with Sally getting out of town so, she agreed to pack her bags and leave Los Angeles. The good news is our gal Sal is starting over in Genoa City, home of The Young and the Restless. Watch for her debut on Tuesday, November 3.

TV Insider chats with Hope about who her first friend in town will be, how her move to Y&R all came about, and how she hopes Sally finds something in her new home denied to her in L.A. —redemption.

How did joining Y&R come about?

Courtney Hope: It was absolutely a surprise to me. I got a phone call on a Monday from my agent. I was told the writers from Y&R were hoping to write Sally into the show and would I be interested in joining. Immediately, I  said yes! I love Y&R and everyone there. I was very flattered, honored, and excited.

Courtney Hope, The Bold and the Beautiful

Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS

How do you feel joining Y&R as Sally and getting to continue her story?

I love the fact that it’s Sally. If they’d had another character in mind, that would have been OK, too. That being said, there was so much left unsaid with Sally. I really wanted to explore that, especially in a new place around new people. She’s in a new city and she’s forming new relationships. Does she bring her past with her? Does she leave it behind?

What's her reason for moving to Genoa City?

She’s looking for a new, fresh start in every area of her life.

It would be organic to see Sally cross paths with Lauren, played by Tracey Bregman, who is pals with Sally’s namesake, Sally Spectra.

Lauren definitely has a history with Sally’s great aunt. Sally gravitates towards that connection. Her great aunt is having a great time on a beach somewhere, but she definitely still has connections. From my point of view ... it makes sense to touch down in a place where there’s someone familiar as opposed to going to completely new territory.

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Had you done shows at B&B with COVID safety protocols in place?

Yes. I did about seven or eight shows working with protocols so [this is not new]. This is the new normal. There’s been a little bit of an adjustment.

What feels different?

I’ve always been one to do the work at home and I come to set ready to play. Pre-COVID, there’d be more, "Let’s try it again," or "Let’s do it this way." Now, everyone is on their game. We play it and we’re done. There's no mingling, which is sad, especially as I’m new. I love people and I love meeting people.

Did you know many people from Y&R before?

I didn’t know Tracey. I knew faces and we were always cordial when we’d see each other in the hallways. I’d had a few interactions with Mark [Grossman, Adam], Donny [Boaz, Chance], and Hunter [King, Summer] at an event. Then there’s that kind of six degrees of Kevin Bacon. Mark had introduced me to Donny when he first joined the show. I’d had a brief conversation with Peter (Bergman, Jack] at [a restaurant]. Michael Mealor [Kyle] knows Josh Swickard [Chase, General Hospital] who’s friends with [my boyfriend] Chad [Duell, Michael, GH]. Now it’s nice to have real conversations with people.

Were you able to give input about Sally at Y&R? You know more things about her than anyone else.

Yes. Josh Griffith (Y&R’s head writer and co-executive producer) was really open to [hearing about] Sally’s past. It was definitely a collaborative meeting. They want to make sure the history is accurate and to make sure what has already happened is brought into the script when it’s necessary to make sure that there is consistency. I definitely want to honor where they take Sally. They’re different writers. Genoa City is different [from L.A.]. Josh said if there’s anything that’s important to you, please let us know. All in all, I’m very impressed with where they’re taking Sally.

The outpouring of fan support when you exited B&B and when the news came that you’d be joining Y&R must have felt great. 

It felt wonderful. It made me feel really good and, most importantly, that I’d done my job. The fans are so supportive. Sally went through a lot, to hell and back, as many characters on soaps do.

Do you still watch B&B?

Yes. I saw Jacqui [MacInnes Wood, Steffy]’s storyline with the drug addiction. I thought she just killed it. I’ve been peeking in here and there and seeing Matthew [Atkinson, Thomas] and the mannequin. I’ve seen Lawrence [Saint-Victor, Carter] and Kiara [Barnes, Zoe] and it’s been great getting to see them getting to shine.

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We can’t outrun our past. It’ll be interesting to see if anyone from B&B comes over to Y&R and finds Sally living this new life — whatever it may be. It’s a great set-up.

It is. There are so many great opportunities for stories. Sally’s past is still a big part of her. There are things she wants to hang onto and she also wants to grow. I love everyone over at B&B. I’d love to work with them again — here or there, wherever it is. There’s a lot of redemption that can happen. It’d be nice to see Sally be on more solid footing and then have her see people from her past again so she can say to them, "Hey, I made it!"

The Young and the Restless, Weekdays, Check Local Listings for daytime/syndicated shows, CBS