Y&R's Elizabeth Hendrickson: "Mean Girl"By Janet Di Lauro Posted: Jan 6, 2009
What started as a 10-episode arc as a bitchy stylist transformed into a meaty contract character and an even meatier storyline for Elizabeth Hendrickson (Chloe, YOUNG AND RESTLESS). The actress, who first came to daytime audiences' attention as Bianca's girlfriend, Frankie, on ALL MY CHILDREN (and then returned as her bisexual twin sister Maggie), is enjoying every manipulative minute of playing the complex Genoa City bad girl.Soap Opera Weekly: Did you know Chloe was going to be Esther's daughter, Kate, from the start?
Elizabeth Hendrickson: I had no idea. I was so excited when I found out Chloe was going to have some family ties. I knew it would give me, as an actor, a chance to finally explain to viewers why Chloe is the way she is. She's not just this bitch who likes to destroy people's lives. This [story turn] gives me the opportunity to show people that Chloe is damaged goods. She was missing a mother and a family, and the love that every child needs and deserves. She wasn't raised by her [parents]. She never had anyone tell her wrong from right.
Weekly: Have you had a hand in Chloe's development?
Hendrickson: The character was written as a stylist who was coming in. I was the one who wanted to make her edgy and funny. Most of the people I know who are in the fashion business are a little bitchy. I wanted to make Chloe interesting, instead of just playing her like some girl who was putting on fancy clothes. There was no conflict there. The writers definitely gave me that in the writing, and I tweaked it a little. They seemed to enjoy it. Each day, Chloe kept getting funnier and bitchier.
Weekly: Once Chloe's identity was revealed, you got to work with one of Y&R's greats, Jeanne Cooper (Katherine). What has that been like?
Hendrickson: Jeanne has been so nice and welcoming to me. I remember one day I was having a rough time. I had these emotional scenes where I was sitting on the couch, crying, and everyone was sort of attacking Chloe. It was a lot of material, and I was clearly having some trouble with it. Jeanne came over, grabbed my hand, and said, "Stop thinking about it. Just go." She gave me this comfortable reassurance that I really needed at that moment.
Weekly: Did you mold Chloe after anyone, or does she remind you of any character you've seen in a film or on TV before?
Hendrickson: There was a time when Cane and Chloe really started interacting and Chloe started threatening him. Daniel (Goddard, Cane) and I had talked about it. We were playing a sort of Fatal Attraction [scenario]. So, yes, I've definitely channeled my inner Glenn Close at times. But I'm trying really hard not to make Chloe go down the crazy path. I don't think she's crazy. She just desperately wants to be loved.
Weekly: Speaking of Cane, as Chloe, you're put in the unenviable position of coming between a beloved couple: Cane and Lily. Is that hard, because viewers aren't exactly loving Chloe?
Hendrickson: I understand that. You watch two characters come together and you root for them; then someone comes and messes it up. But it's a soap opera. [No couple] lasts forever. The funny thing is Christel (Khalil, Lily) and I have become really good friends in real life. Whenever we have these bitchy scenes with each other, we end up hugging each other at the end of them. The other day, we were saying, "I hope [our characters] become friends again," although I don't think it will be in the near future. But Christel and I don't like yelling at each other on-set.