Interview

Gina Floyd dishes on her famous son Conner Floyd

What was Conner like as a child? “He was super-active, always on the go and always with a big pack of friends. He’s still like that. He’s a huge people person and just a whole lot of fun. We started him on sports by the time he was 4, which helped to channel all that energy. He was a hard time in restaurants when he was little because he couldn’t sit still for very long. Even to this day, he’s a ball of energy.”

Does that mean he really kept you on your toes? “Yes, but he was a very easy kid, just good all around. I have two children, he’s the oldest, and I have a daughter. The oldest will fall in line most of the time and it’s the youngest who gives you a run for your money. Since he was our first kid, we learned quite a bit from him.”

How did he get along with his sister? “They’re super-tight and have a great relationship. They never really fought at all. He has a very tender heart for being a big, tough, football player kind of guy, so she’s always been his biggest fan and biggest protector.”

Did Conner go through a rebellious stage? “He really didn’t. He was an athlete growing up and that kept him pretty disciplined. He didn’t just have us keeping him in line but he also had those coaches. We’ve never experienced a rebellious stage with him yet and I hope we never do.”

What kind of student was he? “He was the class clown, for sure, but he was a good student and always got good grades. Studies always came really easy for him. He’s smart and he’s got a photographic memory, which always blew my mind.  The proof in the pudding is all the lines that he’s able to handle at Y&R. There’s a lot to learn and it can be very trying but I do think the whole athletic thing helped him with that. He was a wide receiver all through his football years and they had to memorize all of those plays.”

What did you think of his interest in acting? “He had talked a little bit about his acting class in college but we never knew to what extent he was getting into it. He got a business degree in marketing at the University of Tulsa so we were really excited and proud about that. Both my husband and I are in business and we just knew Conner would be great in marketing. He also had that big dream of becoming an NFL player but then he took one acting class in college and he came to us before he was even finished and said, ‘Hey, I think I’ll go to L.A. and do acting.’ We were like, ‘Whoa, wait a minute, what about your business degree?!’ I told him that pursuing acting was a big goal and like finding a needle in a haystack. I asked him, ‘Are you sure?’ But I knew his mind was made up, just like when he was little and said, ‘I’m going to play football and get a scholarship,’ so I knew in my gut that he was going to make this acting thing happen. That’s why we’ve been supportive because who am I to tell him that he can’t pursue his dream? So he packed up his Jeep and off he went.”

How did you feel when he moved to L.A.? “We were sad but we made it a point to get out there and visit a lot. L.A. is very different than Texas and we fell in love with California. And he tries to work it out so he can come home to visit as much as he can.”

Were you already familiar with soaps before he landed on Y&R? “Oh, yeah. My mom was a huge Y&R fan. I remember when it came on every day that the world would just stop so she could watch her show. It was a staple in our house. She had a huge crush on Victor, which is a fond memory ingrained in my head.”

What was it like to watch him on the soap? “I was smiling from ear to ear but I was crying through the whole episode, as well. Of course, they were tears of joy. I can’t even describe the happiness a mom and dad experience to see firsthand that he achieved a dream that’s so incredibly hard to do. And to see him on TV all of the time is such a joy and such a blessing.”

Have you visited him at the studio? “No, and I’m dying to but I don’t know if that’ll ever be a possibility [because of Covid restrictions]. It would definitely be the highlight of my life. I might even faint when I see Victor.”

What makes you the most proud about the person he is today? “His attitude that anything is possible and his lack of fear to go get it. You encourage your kids to chase their dreams but you also fear that those dreams can crash at some point, and when do you know when to stop?”

How would you describe your relationship today? “We’re very, very close. He was our firstborn. We were young, too, and we didn’t know what we were doing but he’s my one and only son and you know how those boys are with their mamas. He loves his daddy, too, but I love to say he’s a mama’s boy.”

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