The Young and the Restless just celebrated 40 years on CBS, and Michelle Stafford’s fiery bad girl Phyllis has been front and center for almost half that time – winning Stafford two Emmys along the way.


Michelle and Carolyn at a 2012 Emmy party.  Note: It was 100 degrees!

Michelle and Carolyn at a 2012 Emmy party.
Note: It was 100 degrees!

Carolyn: Was there a party for Y&R’s 40th?

Michelle: There were many festivities. Steve Mosko [President of Sony Pictures Television] threw a party on the Sony lot and invited [Sony] International. He said, ‘I wanted these guys to meet you because they work so hard on your show.’ It was very cool. Then there was the cake-cutting party last week on the set. I want to say there was another party, but maybe that’s it.

Carolyn: Maybe you weren’t invited to it.

Michelle: Maybe I wasn’t [laughs].

Carolyn: How did those interviews at the start of the show come about?

Michelle: They shot me and a couple of other actors months ago for something on the Internet. Somebody liked them, so they decided to do it with more of the cast and put it at the beginning of every show. It was a great idea, I enjoyed it. I have to admit that Mel’s [Melody Thomas Scott, Nikki] and Jeanne’s [Jeanne Cooper, Katherine] brought tears to my eyes. There was something really sweet about their interviews.

Carolyn: Do people know that’s your body on Y&R’s opening credits?

Michelle: I think so. People ask me about it.

Carolyn: Do you get paid for that every time it airs?

Michelle: No. Should I? Let’s look into that.

Carolyn: Whenever they show a photo of a former character on the mantel or something, the actor gets paid.

Michelle: Maybe that’s why they cut my head off!

Carolyn: I see you on Twitter all the time – those Phick [Phyllis and Nick] fans are amazing. Do you have good relationships with most fans?

Michelle: My Twitter relationship with anybody who is nice to me is pretty strong. I hate to bring this up, but I will because you asked me. There were some Phonan fans [Phyllis and Ronan] who would get mad at me for not acknowledging them enough. They would write to me, ‘You’re so rude to us. You’re much nicer to Phick fans.’ Oh my God, honestly? If somebody says ‘Will you say Happy Birthday to my grandmother?’ or ‘Your storyline makes me feel something for your character’ I’m obviously going to respond to that better than, ‘Why won’t you talk to me? You’re a bitch.’ I don’t respond to negative comments. ‘Oh, you only respond to nice comments?’ Well, YEAH. I’m going to respond to ‘You’re fabulous’ over ‘You’re a troll.’

Carolyn: Phick fans are so supportive of you and Joshua Morrow [Nick]. Is there any hope of them getting back together?

Michelle: I don’t foresee anything lovely happening between Phyllis and Nick in the near future. I think these writers want to take things in another direction.

Carolyn: How do you feel about that?

Michelle: I’m an actress. My job is to do what’s written. My job is not to manipulate story or complain about it, but to do the best job I can with what’s written. Period.

Carolyn: Doesn’t it frustrate you when so many people are tweeting that they want Nick with Phyllis?

Michelle: I understand it. Phyllis and Nick have so much passion between them. You put Josh and me in a room together and we have so much chemistry. That’s just our thing. What’s going on now is that they are intensely disliking each other, which is where they started with the whole Daniel/Cassie drunk driving story. They started there, so it’s interesting to see them go back. I think Phyllis is incensed that Nick is with her sister. She can’t get over that; her sister having no respect for her marriage to Nick. After everything they shared as husband and wife, why would he want to be with her sister? But then, Nick has been so hurt by Phyllis betraying him with Ronan and also her not ever telling him that she tried to run over a few people. That slipped her mind. They love each other so much. Right now they are having problems with their daughter [Summer] so they just keep yelling at each other.

Carolyn: And you hear about it every day on Twitter.

Michelle: Social media has changed the game for sure. You get to hear right away how people feel. I think it’s a great thing as an artist, but there’s also a lot of criticism out there. The networks are definitely paying attention to what people say on social media. I think it’s important for people to have a voice and to state their opinion. If people like or don’t like a story, they have every right to talk about it. If you don’t like Phyllis’s dress, you can talk about it. If you don’t like Phyllis’s ass, you can’t talk about it because it also happens to be Michelle Stafford’s ass [laughs].

Carolyn: Do Jack and Phyllis fans weigh in?

Michelle: Phack! They do weigh in.

Carolyn: Do Nick and Avery have fans?

Michelle: I’m not privy to Navery fans because they don’t usually add me to their comments.

Carolyn: You mean you’re not trolling the Internet 24 hours a day looking to see what people are saying about you?

Michelle: No [laughs].

Carolyn: What happened to Restless Style?

Michelle: It went bankrupt.

Carolyn: I thought Phyllis was supposed to be a good business woman?

Michelle: It wasn’t Phyllis, it was Billy. Phyllis is an amazing business woman.

Carolyn: What else is she good at?

Michelle: She’s great in the sack, let’s not discount that. She’s a maid in the living room, a cook in the kitchen, and a whore in the bedroom. You can quote me on that.

Carolyn: Can I quote you on the rumor that Summer is actually Jack’s kid, not Nick’s?

Michelle: You’re going to have to watch the show to find out the answer to that. Nick is the only one who saw the paternity test results so that would mean that Nick lied. Or they would have to work it out that they gave him the wrong piece of paper; a mistake was made in the lab.

Carolyn: That never happens on soaps… If Jack turns out to be the dad, Twitter will go crazy.

Michelle: Right?! I dig Twitter. I like talking to my peeps. I like sharing random Stafford comments like, ‘I’m not a fan of road kill’ or ‘Boring is worse than turnips.’ I created a hashtag on Instagram called #DoingItAsASingleChick for single parents trying to have a career and get their groove on and be a good parent.

Carolyn: ‘Doing it’ meaning having sex?

Michelle: NO! Doing life. I have so many people who say, ‘Oh my God, I’m single too and I’m trying to have a career and find love with all these things going on.’ I’m into social media because you can find a voice with something to say and then add to it. I’m going to write a blog about it on my website [].

Carolyn: I like your site. You put new pictures on there all the time, as opposed to some actors who let their fan club presidents manage it and they just write, “Michelle will be performing at The Chuckle Hut this Saturday.”

Michelle: The Chuckle Hut?! Check my site in the next few months. I plan to do some big things with my blog and some other things in the works that I can’t discuss.

Carolyn: Are we breaking news here?

Michelle: Yes. Breaking news!

Carolyn: Speaking of news, isn’t your contract up soon?

Michelle: I don’t ever discuss my contract in public. I think its bad form.

Carolyn: Some actors do. They even mount campaigns on Twitter to get fans to write in and get the show to re-sign them.

Michelle: Those are probably the same people trolling the Internet for nice things being said about them [laughs].


9 Responses to TAINTED DREAMS: Michelle Stafford Takes a Phick-ing and Keeps On Ticking

  • Jared says:

    Wow! What an awesome interview.

    Love Michelle – so down-to-earth. And she’s totally right about using Twitter.

  • lucy says:

    Cool interview, sometimes i hate Phyllis sometimes i love her, sometimes i don’t mind her..I like Michelle Stafford, she is a pretty funny (and stunning) and tells it like it is, fun interview.

  • Jane says:

    This is in response to your recent column in SOD, in which you said you “can’t see” Todd on any other show but GH.

    You “can’t see” Todd on OLTL? Can’t see him where he was an alpha male fratboy and football star? Can’t see him where he a led a gang rape on his classmate? Can’t see him where his attorney defended him… and then nearly ended her career by throwing the trial when she realized he was guilty? Can’t see him where he went to prison? Can’t see him where he went to therapy? Can’t see him where he manipulated a naive religious zealot to get out of prison, and then fell in love with her? Can’t see him where he sacrificed his freedom to save the child who believed he was a genie along with his rape victim? Can’t see him where he lived below the poverty level working as a hospital janitor with an ankle monitor trying to claw his way back into the free world? Can’t see him where he was framed for rape, stabbed, and kidnapped while he finally realized that rape is a horrible crime and he should never have committed it? Can’t see him where he bawled over his father’s death even as his father disowned him? Can’t see him where he met a woman in a bar and learned to feel affection for a woman as a human being who might have the same feelings and problems as he did? Can’t see him where he learned that, biologically, he is the bastard son of newspaper magnate Victor Lord? Can’t see him where he snarkily named his own newspaper “The Sun” as a pun on “the son?” Can’t see him where he was put through a loop by his newly discovered sister’s multiple personalities? Can’t see him where he learned to adore and trust that sister, despite both of their intentions? Can’t see him where he faced the idea of being a father himself? Can’t see him where he learned to be brave enough to say “I love you” and mean it? Can’t see him where he learned to listen when a woman talked to him, so much so that she could be stunned when he bought her a birthday gift based on her childhood fears and fantasies? Can’t see him where he sacrificed his wedding night and his child’s birth to help not out his rape victim, and protect the man she loved? Can’t see him where he met his child and fell in love with her? Can’t see him where he went off the deep end and paid his attorney to marry him? Can’t see him where he delved into his childhood abuse? Can’t see him where he took half the town hostage, then faked multiple personalities to get out of it? Can’t see him where he taught his daughter to scheme and cheat? Can’t see him where he covered up a shooting, then tried to turn the shooter in, then nearly died trying to destroy the evidence he handed over? Can’t see him where he had a son of his own, and then threw that child away at birth, and then moved heaven and earth to bring him home? Can’t see him where he returned after eight years of torture to dare his ex-wife to forget him, ask his sister for a hug, discover a long-lost twin brother, and blackmail his son into being nice to him?

    You can’t see him there?!

    Oh, yeah, he made witty remarks on occasion.

    Now can you see him there?


    Look, I can understand being a Carly fan and wanting Todd for her. I can understand being a GH fan who would prefer OLTL cutting out its heart to GH getting a hangnail.

    But not being able to imagine Todd Manning on the show for which he was created and of which he was a vital part for 20 years (through presence and absence) is ridiculous.

    • lucy says:

      I love Todd on GH and on OLTL. Yep i said it, problem with that ?
      Roger Howarth make and play a pretty unpredictable, fictional quite fascinating fictional character, with lot’s of humor (well on GH he is very witty, fun-lighted, on OLTL he was more complex and tortured, brooding, i like both versions, a mix of all would be even more great) with Todd Manning (i was not so fond of his Paul’s character on ATWT, maybe it was the stories maybe it was his character but i was bored with it most of the time). If he has good stories and good characters to interact with i can see Todd on BOTH shows, this new direction on GH was breathe of fresh air for this character for me therefore yep i would like to see him on GH, OLTL seems to be a bit behind him imho.

  • DeeDee says:

    Michelle Stafford is a classy lady. Love the interview

  • Julie Iaccarino says:

    What a great and entertaining interview! Kudos to the interviewer! Love you Carolyn!

  • Stephanie (Cherokeegirl226) says:

    I love this article. Thank you Carolyn for asking such great questions. I’ve been a huge fan of Michelle for YEARS! I love Michelle for soooo many reasons.

  • Fiona Keegan says:

    Great interview!!!

  • Joni Matthews says:

    Love Carolyn Hinsey!

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