Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Interview: Christel Khalil - The Integrity of Lily Winters

At 21, Christel Khalil has spent most of her acting career as Lily Winters on “The Young and the Restless.” When she left the role in 2005, it surprised a lot of her fans. Wise beyond her years, Christel knew that she needed the break.

“I left because of stress,” Christel tells me. “I was so young; I wasn’t able to handle it. I needed the break -- I needed the chance to relax and do what I wanted. Besides doing a guest spot on ‘Malcolm in the Middle,’ I wasn’t really doing anything.”

In the meantime, Davetta Sherwood took over the role, but the powers that be at “Y&R” really wanted Christel back. “They asked me to come back a few times, but I said no. After about a year, they asked again. I’d had a year off; I felt rested and ready to go back. Plus, I was really missing everyone.”

The character of Lily Winters is like a breath of fresh air in the every-man-for-himself world of soap operas. She has morals and compassion. Even though she loves Cane, she knows that the right thing for him to do is be there for Chloe and the baby they have together (or so Chloe has made everyone think).

“I like that Lily has morals and values. She’s not out to hurt anyone. Even through this whole Chloe thing, she finds a way to relate and have compassion for her situation. Lily and (her father) Neil are just about two of the only characters who are just nice people -- they are really honorable.”

A short while back, Lily miscarried her and Cane’s baby, which changed the way Lily viewed the world. “It matured her a lot,” Christel explains. “It made her strong, and she has a greater respect for life. It was very hard on her. It was strange, the way it all happened. She was starting to like the idea of having a baby -- she related what was going on to her mother; she wanted to be just as strong and as good of a mother as her own mother was.”

Now that there is another baby in Lily’s life -- Cane and Chloe’s -- Lily’s good character has come shining through. “Lily really cares about the baby; it doesn’t matter to her that it is in Chloe’s belly. Lily loves Cane, so she loves his baby as well. The baby comes first. Lily will always do what is best for the baby.”

But underneath that strong facade, Lily is struggling. “What makes this whole situation even harder for her,” Christel says, “is that she is supposed to be OK with the whole situation. Lily is the one who told Cane that he needs to be with Chloe, so she HAS to be OK with how things are turning out.”

Even with another woman’s baby in the picture, can Cane and Lily still have their happy ending? “I definitely think that’s a possibility. It’s not like it hasn’t been done before. She definitely can see the hope, and they can adapt and love each other in a more mature and honest way.”

After all this baby mess is over, what does Christel hope for when it comes to Lily’s future? Christel says: “She’s portrayed as smart and intelligent, but we never see it reflected in her business life. I want to see Lily become a lot like her mom -- strong, maybe a CEO or a business owner. She could open her own modeling agency and be a mentor.”


fanofyours said...

I'm sure all the troubles Christel's character has gone through has helped other teens. I'm a big fan and was happy to see this interview, thank you.