Tracey Takes On...

In April 2006 on Y&R, Lauren informed her thrilled husband, Michael, that she was pregnant with his child. In real life, portrayer Tracey E. Bregman has two children — Austin, born in 1991, and Landon, born in 1996 — however, only her first pregnancy was written into her character’s story (during her first stint on Y&R). In honor of Mother’s Day, Bregman chats about the challenges of playing pregnant while she was actually expecting versus pretending not to be with child when she actually was. For more on this topic, check out Digest’s feature in the 5/16 issue.Soap Opera Digest: When you were carrying Austin, and Lauren was expecting her first baby on Y&R, were there any “art imitates life” moments?
Tracey E. Bregman: I remember when my character was about to give birth to her baby, the medical/technical people hooked a heart monitor up to my stomach, and over my scenes with Doug [Davidson, Paul] was Austin’s real heartbeat, my baby’s real heartbeat. That was pretty cool.Digest: On soaps, characters who’ve just had a baby always seem to bounce back physically in no time at all. How did this play out with you and Lauren being pregnant at the same time?
Bregman: When I was breast-feeding [Austin], I was on camera an extraordinarily long time. You know you’re supposed to feed the baby every two hours, and I couldn’t do it. I was on stage for like five hours straight. Doug said it was like watching two balloons fill with helium. He actually does a great audio to what my breasts sounded like when they were getting bigger [laughs]. He’s like, “You’re now wearing them as earrings.” It was taking so long, and he was just watching my boobs get bigger.Digest: Later, when you were pregnant on B&B, how difficult was it concealing your condition on-screen?
Bregman: One of the funniest things of all time was, I didn’t think I was getting that big on BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL, and I was supposed to walk into Brooke’s office. It was during one of the fashion shows and they said there was a monitor, which Lauren would be hidden by. I walk in figuring it was going to be a nice little television. It was the biggest freakin’ wide-screen television you have ever seen in your entire life. I was like, “Hey! I’m not that big!”Digest: Were your B&B co-stars as “understanding” as Davidson was?
Bregman: Poor Dylan Neal [ex-Dylan, B&B]. He had to pick me up. The good news was I’d only gained 20 pounds, but still! I almost made it looking nonpregnant, but when he laid me on the bed — my stomach — I mean, it was a riot. I was like, “I’m so sorry. It’s lovely that you finally get into a storyline with a whale.”