Golden GIRL N
Camryn Grimes (Mariah) talks about what it means to her to win a second Daytime Emmy
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?!’”
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!’”
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.”
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!”
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.”