There’s no question that Eileen Davidson has been a force in the soap world for decades. From her role as Kristen DiMera on Days of Our Lives to her current gig as Ashley Abbott on The Young and the Restless, there’s a reason fans tune in to see her storylines.
However, in recent years, Davidson’s character has been on the back burner and been relegated to less screen time than fans would like. Why would Y&R take a legacy character and relinquish her to background status?
In a November interview with TVInsider, returning head writer and co-executive producer Sally Sussman explained her thoughts on the topic.
“Here’s the problem: Eileen is a very powerful performer and there are very few men that she’s really worked well with over time — very few who can match her,” Sussman said. “And that’s going all the way back to 1982 when she first came to Y&R. I wrote her exit story on Days, so I know her power.”
Now a new interview with TVInsider is proving that Davidson doesn’t necessarily agree with Sussman’s assessment.
“I don't completely agree, but... okay,” she said. “It's not the first time I've heard it. I used to get that from [Y&R co-creator] Bill Bell when I was in my 20s.”
Even if Bell was telling Davidson the same story decades ago, she was still at the forefront of Y&R’s storylines. Sussman promised “an unexpected soulmate story” for Davidson and it looks like it’s playing out with computer geek Ravi, played by actor Abhi Sinha.
The new romance hasn’t reached a boiling point, nor has it made her a central character again on Y&R. So what’s the real problem here?
It’s possible that Davidson’s other gig over on Bravo is affecting her Y&R job. Even though CBS cast her Real Housewives of Beverly Hills co-star Erika Girardi in a small role recently, it seems like the network is shirking away from the drama and girl fights that play out on the reality show.
That doesn’t seem to affect Davidson too much because she’s been open and honest about her personal struggles on RHOBH. She wants to be true to who she is in her personal life.
“I just try to be myself. Sometimes I take the high road, sometimes I don’t,” she said to TVInsider. “The thing that makes this reality gig so hard is that you are constantly voicing thoughts you’d normally let slide or keep private.”
Is her honesty keeping her from moving into a greater storyline on Y&R? It’s hard to say, but Davidson admits that she gets a variety of opinions about her time on Bravo.
“I’ve heard it all. ‘You shouldn’t be doing a soap opera.’ ‘You shouldn’t be doing reality TV.’ Everybody has an opinion, but, as time marches on, I’m still standing,” she laughed. “And there’s a lot to be said for that.”
For Davidson, doing it her way seems to be the best approach. Two jobs, staying in the spotlight and staying authentic works for her.
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