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Daytime Emmy Nominee Q&A: Michelle Stafford (Phyllis, Young and Restless)

The 51st Annual Daytime Emmy Awards will be held on Friday, June 7, with the ceremony airing live on CBS starting at 8 p.m. ET. Digest chatted with the nominees to get the scoop on how they found out, what episodes they submitted, and more as we count down to daytime’s biggest night!

Michelle Stafford

Sonja Flemming/CBS

Outstanding Lead Actress

Michelle Stafford (Phyllis, Young and Restless)

What episodes did you submit?

“Well, now you just do a certain amount. It’s not episodes anymore, it’s not full shows, but I did just the culmination of Phyllis spinning out and then pleading to not be put in jail.”

How did you find out you were nominated?

“The great Mattie Kane [Publicist, Young and Restless] called me.”

Did any of the messages that you received stand out?

“Yes! I had to do a thing with my kids after I talked to Mattie. But yeah, so many great messages I received. I mean, so many lovely messages from co-stars and from people on GH [where Stafford originated the role of Nina Reeves] as well, congratulating me, which was really cool. And yeah, it was really nice.”

Did you do anything to celebrate?

“Maybe we’ll do something today. Maybe we’ll do a little something and celebrate our greatness like Christian LeBlanc [Michael, Y&R] and I always used to do, when we would be nominated the same year, we’d always just take a minute to celebrate our greatness and just talk about ourselves for an hour. And then I think that you need that in life. You need to really, really celebrate the brightness, the great things that happen. You need to celebrate them because life can be a very wild ride and you need to even step out just to celebrate how great you are. Right? Know what I mean? Just for an hour in your day because when are you ever walking around the world going, ‘I’m great.’ Usually, we’re not feeling so great. Damn it. We got to love ourselves and we got to even it out.”

Will anyone in your family be attending?

“I get very, very stressed out if I have to bring somebody and how they’re doing. I always just do. It’s an industry. I mean, if I was married, I would, of course, bring my husband, or maybe not, maybe he wouldn’t want to go. It’s more about me and the people I work with. So I would really just love to go alone this year. Last year, I brought my daughter and it was wonderful. She really loved it and she was so cute. She was so wonderful. But she was sitting there at the table with Mary Ellen, Peter’s [Bergman, who portrays Jack on Y&R] wife, who’s the most amazing person on the planet. And the two of ’em were just talking for an hour. And I’m sure it was uncomfortable for both of them. They don’t really know each other. Mary Ellen’s used to it, of course. But my daughter wanted to go. I kind of wanted to stay at the party longer, but my daughter, her feet were hurting and she was cold. And I was like, okay, I guess I got to go and I want to not be a mom that night. I want to be a coworker that celebrates my coworkers and celebrates my show. And so long-winded answer to your question, but I think I may just go alone.”

Any thoughts on your fellow nominees?

“I’m so excited for Allison [Lanier, Summer on Y&R]. She’s worked really, really hard. She was almost in every show, and this is her first nomination. I’m just really excited for her. She did so well. She was just so great. And Courtney [Hope, Sally on Y&R] was so wonderful too. And she worked so hard. And Bryton [James, Devon on Y&R] is always incredible. I know what he submitted. It was very early on. It was a wonderful scene. I know he submitted that. He, and, of course, Linden [Ashby, Cameron on Y&R]. I’m so excited for him. I talked to Susan [Walters, Diane on Y&R, also Ashby’s spouse], I’m very bummed out about Susan — I’m very, very bummed out about that. But Linden, even Susan said, ‘Hey listen, even if I don’t get in, if Linden gets in, that’s fine.’ It’s his first nomination too.”

Are you a “prepare a speech” or wing it kind of person?

“Well, I think you should always go in expecting to lose and expecting to win. Either one of those things can happen. It’s 50-50. I have a one-in-six chance. So you have to think of something. You have to prepare something or else that’s just silly.”