Genoa City has lost a lot of locals over the years, but as Daytime Emmy winner Camryn Grimes can tell you, some losses leave an indelible impression. Not only has her character Cassie Newman been haunting The Young and the Restless for almost a decade, but even when Nick and Sharon’s daughter is left to rest in peace, her short life and untimely death continue to propel the story.
Now, a surprise twist has brought Grimes back onto the canvas as Cassie’s mysterious look-a-like, Mariah Copeland. At 24-years-old, Grimes is back on the scene and this time, she’s all grown up.
“That’s the most interesting part, being back as an adult,” notes Grimes, who was cast at 7 and grew up on the stages of Y&R. “You have to reestablish your relationship with people. It’s very different when you drive yourself here! It’s a whole new relationship with everybody. It’s been fun. But I’m an awkward person, so it’s definitely been challenging trying to re-talk about things and re-get to know people. It’s been good.”
All of her costars welcomed her home with open arms, including former onscreen parents Sharon Case (Sharon) and Joshua Morrow (Nick), who still calls her “Kid” and “Squirt.”
“Josh and I have a crazy– he’s just a funny dude, so it’s awesome to get to work with me now,” she says. “And I love, love, love Sharon. It feels exactly the same, and yet it’s still so new. It’s a new dimension of being on the show.”
When pushed to reveal the biggest change between her last contract run on Y&R, back in 2005, and this run, Grimes draws a blank. “I have no idea… I have boobs? That’s all I can think of. It was the first thing that popped into my mind, but my brain was like, ‘Don’t say that!'”
Joking aside, that is a key difference. Cassie’s demise started with a tween crush on Daniel Romallati, but Mariah is an available woman with a history — one that involves hot Tyler and devious Ian.
“I’ve never had a love interest in anything I’ve done,” Grimes reveals. “I mean, in Magic Mike, I got a lap dance. That’s not really love! I would be excited to do that here. People wanted to pair me with Carmine. Some people were even joking that it might be Nick! Um, no, that’s too weird.”
For the record, weirder thing have happened in Genoa City! And while it might be weird for Grimes, Morrow and fans, we’re not ready to put it past Mariah.
Grimes is up for anything, especially now that she can talk about it. The hardest part of her homecoming was the uncertainty surrounding her initial return and then the secrecy that followed.
“The days when I couldn’t say anything!” she cries. “People wanted to interview me and I literally couldn’t say a word. Initially, it was supposed to be just 4 to 6 episodes [as Cassie’s ghost], last summer . Then they just kept adding shows and it expanded. I started to feel like they were keeping me around for a reason.”
That’s when Grimes started visiting the Y&R productions offices whenever she was onset, hoping for news on her future. “I must have been the most annoying person around,” she laughs.
When she finally learned that her character was not Cassie’s ghost, after all, but a look-a-like called in by scheming Victor, she was thrilled. After all, she’d been ghosting for months — in the same outfit!
“I was like, ‘You want me to be alive and get out of that pink top? Great! Let’s go for it,'” she recalls. “Any way that would bring me back as a real character, I was for. I was very ready to interact with people, at that point.
“The biggest surprise has been them keeping me around,” she adds. “I was excited about that. I didn’t know if that would ever be possible. You always hope. You always wonder…”
Now, she’s just enjoying the ride, along with the mystery of Mariah. “It’s still developing, which is what’s so interesting,” she shares. “I’m always learning new stuff about her and when I watch older episodes, I think, ‘My gosh, so much has happened since then.’ I’m excited to see what’s coming.”
Whatever comes, she hopes Mariah keeps her edge.
“I love the little bite she has to her,” Grimes says. “I have some of that in me — Not in a mean way, but that sassy, sarcastic, dry humor. I’d love her to keep like that, but it would be nice if people liked her! Everyone kind of hates her. She’s kind of a bad girl with a heart. I’m hoping Mariah starts making friends, but if not… Being the one everyone hates is a job. Someone needs to fill it. I’ll do it!”
Who says you can never go home?
When is The Young and The Restless on TV? In Canada, The Young and The Restless airs weekdays at 4.00 et/4.30pt on Global TV
Where can I watch The Young and The Restless online for free?GlobalTV.com/theyoungandtherestless streams full episodes of The Young and The Restless online for free, or watch with the Global Go app on your iOS or Android mobile device. Episodes are typically posted the day after the initial on-air broadcast.