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Christel Khalil On Y&R Return

Ever since Christel Khalil (Lily) and her 10-year-old son, Michael Caden, moved permanently to Toronto, Canada last June to be with her boyfriend, Sam Restagno, the actress has been making sporadic appearances in Genoa City. Khalil had been considering a move back to Los Angeles for the summer when, in a case of fortuitous timing, Co-Executive Producer/ Head Writer Josh Griffith mentioned his desire to bring back Lily for a much longer stay. “I happened to run into Josh in the hallway at Y&R shortly after New Year’s Day and he was like, ‘I have this really exciting storyline, I think you’ll love it,’ ” Khalil recalls. “I was really excited. It’s like home there, so it was nice to even be thought of for a new storyline.” Pulling up stakes to live in Toronto was “just personal life reasons, and nothing to do with work or anything else. And it’s been great, but I miss working and being on the show.” Since Khalil and Restagno had already discussed relocating to L.A., it didn’t take long for her to accept Y&R’s offer. “Sam and I had talked about possibly moving back before Josh even approached me, so we were already on the same page with all of that,” she explains. “It kind of was kismet when I ran into Josh and we had that conversation. Sam was definitely supportive knowing that he’d have to do a lot more and watch Caden when he’s in school and stuff. I think we both care about making money [laughs].” Khalil is elated that Lily is getting into big business by running a media company with Billy. “It’s something I’ve always wanted for Lily, so it’s nice to actually have that,” she enthuses. “Plus, I thought it was great for there to be a job to show more women in power as well, which is something that Josh was really wanting to do. And then also to work with Jason [Thompson, Billy] has been wonderful. I love Jason. He’s such a great actor. He’s so easy to work with and he’s fun. So, I was like, ‘Yeah, it would be great to do something different with someone else.’ I was really excited. I mean, this is better just because Lily is the one calling the shots rather than following other people or being an employee. She is now the employer. It’s really cool.” Of course, the Corona- virus crisis shut down production and Khalil has since, like the rest of the world, been sheltered in place. “I’m back in Toronto with my family right now,” she shares. “We still have plans to move to L.A. this summer, although I don’t know when because of this whole drama. But it’ll be great to really be back full time.”
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