Golden GIRL N

Cam­ryn Grimes (Mariah) talks about what it means to her to win a sec­ond Day­time Emmy

ABC Soaps In Depth - - Feature Interview -

o one was more shocked than THE YOUNG & THE REST­LESS’ Cam­ryn Grimes (Mariah) when her name was called as Out­stand­ing Sup­port­ing Ac­tress at this year’s Day­time Em­mys. “All I heard was my first name, and then every­body from Y&R sort of leapt up!” she re­calls with a laugh. “Robert

Adam­son (ex-Noah), who was my date for the even­ing, yelled in my ear, and I was like, ‘Oh

God, here we go!’

“I didn’t have a speech pre­pared, so it looked like I was mak­ing a bee­line for the stage, but I was re­ally like, ‘Oh God, oh God, oh God — now I have to think of some­thing to say!’” she adds. “I didn’t turn and fo­cus on any­one around me. I was like, ‘What do I do now?!’”

Grow­ing Pains

Of course, this isn’t the first time Grimes has heard her name called out at the Day­time Em­mys — al­though 18 years ago, she was barely tall enough to see over the podium! De­spite hav­ing won in the Out­stand­ing Younger Ac­tress cat­e­gory back when she played then-al­ter ego Cassie, the gin­ger-haired beauty con­fesses that tak­ing home this year’s golden stat­uette gave her a boost of con­fi­dence like noth­ing else. “If I were be­ing per­fectly hon­est, hav­ing a

ca­reer that I’ve had that spans now a lit- tle over 20 years — with all the nor­mal peaks and val­leys of this crazy busi­ness — you do start to won­der if you’re as good as an adult as when you were younger,” she muses. “Do I still have it? Or was [the pre­vi­ous award] a cir­cum­stan­tial fluke? Es­pe­cially when you’re go­ing through your teenage years and early 20s, all these doubts come into play when you think about your ca­reer. You think, ‘Can I ever do that again? Am I as good now as ev­ery­one thought I was back then?’ I think that’s nor­mal.

“Some­thing like this shouldn’t be val­i­dat­ing — I should feel val­i­dated on my own… which I do, for the most part — but it is very val­i­dat­ing!” she ad­mits with a smile. “It’s like, ‘Okay, I can put aside all those in­se­cu­ri­ties and doubts, and just do my job!’”

Funny Busi­ness

A job that Grimes says she still has to pinch her­self to be­lieve that she has. Af­ter all, 11 years ago, her char­ac­ter was

killed off in a tragic ac­ci­dent. “Never in a mil­lion years did I think I’d be back [af­ter Cassie flat­lined] or that my life would come so full cir­cle,” she shares qui­etly.

In­deed, even when she re­turned to play Mariah, in 2014, the Emmy win­ner wasn’t cer­tain about her new al­ter ego’s longevity. “Af­ter it was re­vealed that I was Cassie’s twin, I feel like they re­ally didn’t know what to do with me,” she says. “But I was so lucky they paired me with Greg Rikaart (ex-Kevin; now Leo, DAYS OF OUR LIVES), be­cause that gave me a chance to do com­edy.

“Com­edy didn’t come nat­u­rally to me, and a lot of what I learned, I learned from Greg,” she shares. “I re­ally credit my char­ac­ter’s long-term suc­cess to him, to how bril­liant he is and how much work he and I put into craft­ing the Kevin and Mariah sto­ry­line.”

Mariah’s Evo­lu­tion

As much as she en­joys tick­ling the au­di­ence’s funny bone, Grimes ad­mits that she’s loved re­turn­ing to her dra­matic roots as Mariah has be­gun to ques­tion her sex­u­al­ity af­ter be­com­ing at­tracted to Tessa. It is a sto­ry­line that she cred­its to ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer/head­writer Mal Young. “I have loved ev­ery writer since I’ve been back,” she in­sists. “Every­body has a dif­fer­ent take on things, but I think when Mal came on — and I have no idea why — he took an in­ter­est in this char­ac­ter, Mariah, and in ex­plor­ing her more. That’s why I got this amaz­ing story [be­tween Mariah and Tessa]. And I am for­ever grate­ful!”

—Julie McEl­wain

Y&R’s for­mer Abby, Hay­ley Erin (now GEN­ERAL HOS­PI­TAL’s Kiki), and Grimes “got ready to­gether” be­fore the Emmy cer­e­mony, says the red­head.

Mariah was passed out when Nikki mur­dered J.T., and Vic­to­ria,

Phyl­lis and Sharon helped her dis­pose of the body — which is

just fine with Grimes. “Mariah doesn’t need to be an ac­com­plice to mur­der!” she laughs. “She’s

got enough to deal with!”

“We’re just friends,” Grimes says of her Emmy-night es­cort, for­mer cast­mate Adam­son. “He was like my stress ball for the even­ing!”

“Hi­lary and Mariah are one of my fa­vorite re­la­tion­ships on the show,” says the ac­tress. “They are a per­fect ex­am­ple of be­ing a fren­emy.”

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