Thursday, October 16, 2008

Interview: YR's Ashley Abbott Is Back, Again!

It seems like just yesterday that Ashley Abbott showed up in L.A., had a short-lived relationship with Ridge Forrester and then quickly disappeared into the background. Initially, they had big plans for Eileen Davidson on “The Bold and the Beautiful,” sister soap to “The Young and the Restless.” But those plans soon fell by the wayside, as did Eileen’s screen time.

Eileen explains how Ashley made her way back to Genoa City: “Billy Bell Jr. asked me to meet with him — he had discussed with Brad that they didn’t have any story for me over at ‘B&B’ — and he asked me to come back to ‘Y&R.’ I said yes, of course — that was back in May.”

Although Eileen has only just returned to the “Y&R” set, she picked up right where she left off. “It was great to be back. I’ve been shooting scenes with Peter (Bergman, Jack Abbott), Beth (Maitland, Tracey Abbott) and Billy Miller, the new actor who plays Billy Abbott.”

Although Eileen’s time on “B&B” might have been shorter than expected, she definitely does not have any bad feelings about leaving. “My leaving was more story-line dictated. I know Brad had big plans, and I don’t take it personally. The story went someplace else — that happens all the time.

“I think of it as a cool turn of events: ‘Y&R’ let me go, Brad picked me up, and now I am back at ‘Y&R.’”

There is always a chance that Ashley will be back in L.A. for shorter visits, as she has done in the past when the story line necessitated it. “I hope so,” Eileen admits. “I really like working there.”

Eileen remains tight-lipped about Ashley’s future in Genoa City, but not because she is being evasive. “There is only so much I know,” she explains. “They are keeping the story line under wraps, even from the actors.”

She is excited that Jabot seems to be coming back to the forefront for the Abbott family, with Jack planning his maneuver to wrestle the company away from Jill and Kay. “I love that. Jabot has been there longer than I have — it always plays a signature role on the show, and it should.”

With Eileen’s return, viewers can expect to see a slightly different Ashley. “Ashley has gone through a lot of different things — her character is kind of reborn a bit.”

Eileen herself has been reborn a bit, in a way, as an author. In her free time, she has written “Death in Daytime,” a murder/mystery set in the soap world. “It has a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff. It’s really tongue-in-cheek and was a lot of fun to write.” (Buy it here on

Eileen co-wrote the book with mystery writer Robert Randisi. “Writing is my first love,” Eileen says, “and I am being paid by Penguin to learn how to do it. I am also lucky that I have Bob to write it with me. My husband (Vince Van Patten) had written a book with him about the poker-playing world (‘The Picasso Flop: A Texas Hold’em Mystery’). We were having dinner one night and I said that we should write something about the soap-opera world. We just kind of went from there.”

Whether she will be writing more novels in the future, Eileen hesitates to say one way or the other. “I’m really taking it one day at a time. We’ll see how it sells, how it’s received. My daytime job is very time-consuming. With my children and my husband, I have a very full life. But I’d never count anything out.”