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Exclusive: Y&R's Judah Mackey On His TV Parents And Connor's OCD

Judah Mackey


Judah Mackey (Connor, Y&R) checked in with Digest about his Genoa City life and important new storyline.


What’s your favorite part about working on Y&R? “I’m proud to be a part of such an iconic show with hard-working and talented people. The entire cast and crew are really nice and it feels like a big family. Recently, my younger brother, Benjamin Mackey, came to the studio and everyone took time to say hello and get to know him. Everyone is so welcoming and friendly.”

What do you miss most when you’re away from the studio? “I miss seeing everyone. I’ve been working on the show since I was 8 and the studio feels like my home away from home, so in some ways, it’s like missing home.” 

Your TV dad, Mark Grossman (Adam), is always excited about working with you. What do you like best about working with Mark? “He’s super-cool and fun to chat with. We talk about soccer, Formula One and catch up on life.”

Now that you’re older, is there anything different about the way you and Mark interact and get along? “Not really. We really connected from the very beginning and get along just as well as when I was younger.”

You guys used to kick around a soccer ball between takes. Does that still happen? “That was fun. We haven’t done that in a while… thanks for reminding me! I think I’ll bring a soccer ball to the studio next time!”

Melissa Claire Egan (Chelsea) is always happy to see you again, as well. What do you like most about Missy? “Missy has such good energy. She’s always laughing and smiling. I also don’t know anyone who can cry on cue like Missy can! It’s pretty amazing. We’ve always gotten along really well, just like with Mark.” 

Both Mark and Missy were blown away by how tall you’re getting. Were their reactions funny to you? “Definitely. Whenever I go to the studio almost everyone comments about how tall I’m getting. There was a scene in Dr. Alcott’s office where the script said ‘Chelsea kneels down to Connor’ but during blocking we realized I’m almost as tall as her!”

Do you feel you, Mark and Missy have a good rhythm when working together? Does your rehearsal time and running lines go smoothly? “For sure. I make sure my lines are well-memorized before coming to set. After blocking, we usually meet up somewhere quiet to rehearse our lines together. Jason [Thompson, Billy] joins us when he’s in the scenes, too.”

Melissa Claire Egan, Judah Mackey, Mark Grossman


The Family Way: Mackey with his Y&R parents, Melissa Claire Egan (Chelsea) and Mark Grossman (Adam).

This is a very important storyline for you because it centers around Connor. What was your reaction when you learned that Connor would be affected by Obsessive-compulsive disorder? “It felt good to be trusted to tell this important story about Connor and children’s mental health. Chelsea’s depression storyline was handled responsibly and respectfully so I knew Connor’s OCD storyline would be done with the same care.” 

Did you do your own research on OCD or was there someone on set who explained this condition to you? “The show consulted with, which is a great organization that provides free evidence-informed resources so everyone can understand and promote mental health for children. They created a free guide to OCD in kids and teens which explains what it is, signs and symptoms, what to do if you’re worried, and what the best treatments are.”

Your acting on the first day Connor visited the child psychologist was amazing; you effectively expressed Connor’s fear, concern and anxiety. “Thank you. I wanted to give an honest performance and prepared myself by thinking about times when I felt anxious and afraid. That episode was directed by Sally McDonald, who is awesome at explaining things when I have questions.”

How do you feel about this story progressing and the audience watching how Connor deals with his condition? “I look forward to seeing how Connor copes with his condition because intrusive OCD thoughts and behaviors are not ‘fixed’ overnight. It takes therapy, time, practice, treatment and support to improve.”

What do you hope people will learn from Connor’s story? “I hope Connor’s story helps to change the way some people think and talk about mental health — to not make judgments or assumptions or dismiss someone else’s condition. People can really be struggling on the inside and they may not show it on the outside. I learned that 1 in 5 children has a significant impairing mental disorder but less than half get the treatment they need. Also half of all lifetime mental illness starts by age 14. I hope people know that they are not alone and it’s okay to ask for help. OCD can really disrupt someone’s life but with the right treatment it can be manageable. So, it makes me feel good that I can help bring awareness to that.”