Y&R’s Greg Rikaart (Kevin) & Elizabeth Hendrickson (Chloe) Are Thrilled To Call Genoa City Home Again
Soap Opera Digest: First of all, how does it feel to be back together on Y&R?
Greg Rikaart: You go first, Lizzie.
Elizabeth Hendrickson: Oh, thanks, Greg! Greg and I always have a great time together. No matter how long it’s been, we never skip a beat and we just fall right back into place. It’s just always so refreshing. It always feels the same. It always feels like home, it feels comfortable, it just always feels right. This time back feels just like that all over again.
Rikaart: Yeah, I think because of the fact that we left together, it would have felt a little incomplete if we didn’t get to come back together. You can imagine how hard it must be to have to live sort of off the grid with fake identities, away from people that you know and love.
Digest: Before you were officially asked to come back, was there a point when you had an inkling it would happen?
Rikaart: I got invited to Melody’s [Thomas Scott, Nikki] 40th anniversary celebration, and that was right after Josh [Griffith, head writer] and Tony [Morina, executive producer] had taken over. It was my first time back in the building in quite some time. It felt really great to be there and everyone seemed really happy to see me. People were asking me if I was coming back and I was saying no, that I was just there to celebrate Mel, but I sort of left feeling like it was in the air a little bit. Josh had been asking how my experience was going on DAYS [where Rikaart played Leo] and I let him know that I had wrapped. While nothing was official, it sort of felt like, I don’t know, that something was in the air. Maybe it was just me “Secret”-ing it because again, with Josh and Tony at the helm, I really wanted to go back.
Hendrickson: I hadn’t heard anything but when I saw [actors from the past] slowly but surely signing on, I was like, “Oh, I wonder if I’m gonna get a call, too. It would be nice to go back when all of my friends are there.” So when I did get the call I was pleasantly surprised. I was like, “Oh, okay. Cool!”
Digest: Did you guys call each other before the invites?
Rikaart: Oh, yeah. We were in cahoots while it was starting to unfold.
Hendrickson: We’re always in cahoots, just like our characters!
Digest: It must have seemed really promising when Greg was brought back.
Hendrickson: Yeah, and it wouldn’t feel right if Greg wasn’t there. I don’t think I would’ve been as excited to return if my other half wasn’t there.
Rikaart: Josh and Tony were taking such big swings to right the ship. In no time they had Missy [Claire Egan, Chelsea] and Michelle [Stafford, Phyllis] and Liz and me and Doug [Davidson, Paul]. They were really sort of getting back to what the show had been.
Digest: After you guys had left the show, how much did you stay in touch?
Hendrickson: We checked in with each other here and there, mainly via text or Instagram. Thanks to social media we would keep tabs on each other.
Rikaart: There were also a few times when there was some work things that would come up, whether it was Lizzie dealing with something at GH [where she played Margaux] or me with something at DAYS, where I’d seek her out for professional advice or something like that. But it’s harder when the common thread of getting to work together isn’t there because that makes it easier. Now we’re in touch all of the time even when we’re not at work.
Digest: What was it like on the first day at Y&R?
Rikaart: It’s like that old cliché that you don’t really appreciate something until it’s gone. I certainly felt like I always had gratitude and appreciation for that job and for all of the people that I got to work with and stuff. But then it went away and it was only until after that happened that I realized how important to me it was. Going back was such a gift and I got such a warm reception. And then that just sort of continued when Liz came back.
Hendrickson: It’s so bizarre; no matter how long you’re gone, when you come back it feels like you’ve never left. It felt so comfortable. I realized how much I had missed everyone. When I left and then they asked, “Would you like to come back and do more in a month or so?” I was so happy that I had those couple of days because that’s what really had reminded me that yes, I definitely did want to go back.
Digest: Liz, how does it feel that your character doesn’t have to lurk in the shadows anymore?
Hendrickson: It’s great, but I do think she got off the hook quite easily. I’m surprised more people haven’t been giving her the stink eye around town. But it’s also nice to move on from that chapter. I think that’s what [Josh and Tony’s] goal was. I do like that she’s able to start over and get a second … or a third, fourth chance. Whatever it is.
Rikaart: That story and their exit was such garbage. I like that they’re doing what they can to write it as best they can without completely rewriting what’s already been written, what has been done.
Digest: Is the way you guys work with each other the same as before?
Rikaart: I think it’s pretty much the same, right?
Hendrickson: Yeah, I think so. If anything it gets easier. Sometimes when you leave and you come back, you’re like, “Am I going to be able to memorize lines like I used to?” I would say that this has probably been the easiest it’s ever been. It just feels so familiar and at home it’s almost like you’re not playing your character anymore.
Digest: If Kevin and Chloe got married again, what kind of wedding do you envision for them?
Hendrickson: It should be something ridiculous, something kooky and fun.
Rikaart: Like we get married at the circus on a high wire. I think something small. I don’t think a big wedding. I mean, they’ve been together for so long.
Hendrickson: Yeah. Something small and intimate, maybe just family and a couple of close friends.
Rikaart: But still a comedy of errors, right? Like everything keeps going wrong.
Hendrickson: Yeah. That would happen to Chloe and Kevin.
Rikaart: The imperfect wedding would be perfect for them.
Digest: Liz, how is your pregnancy going so far?
Hendrickson: Really great, thank you. I’m so happy and thrilled that it has been as enjoyable as it has been. I really, really enjoy being pregnant.
Rikaart: You’ve got that glow, for sure. I remember we were at work one day —
Hendrickson: I know exactly what you’re gonna say.
Rikaart: She comes waddling in and sits down in a chair the way a pregnant woman sits down in a chair and I’m like, “Girl, when are you gonna tell people you’re pregnant? You’re about to, like, have a baby.”
Hendrickson: I actually thought he was gonna say something different. So Greg and Missy were the first people that I told and it was very early on. I was keeping it very hush-hush. But I couldn’t keep it in because I was eating like every five minutes so I looked ridiculous when we were rehearsing lines. I mean, every time Greg turned around I had like another piece of food in my mouth. It was before I knew what I was having and he said, “They say that if you’ve having a girl it takes your looks. We’ll see how that goes for you!”
Digest: Is your baby bump more challenging to work around?
Hendrickson: I can hide it pretty well. I just need to be in something flowy. I’m pretty lucky because I’m petite, but when I wear something tight it really shows it off. I think it’s more of what Greg said, reminding myself to walk like a normal human being and not waddling like a pregnant person. I think that’s the big giveaway.
Digest: Have you spent any time with Greg’s son, Monte?
Hendrickson: I haven’t. Greg, you’ve got to bring him in.
Rikaart: I know. He’s such a boy. He’s always on the go, just always wants to explore. I’ve taken him to work a few times but it’s not really a fun place for him. It’s been a while actually since he’s come in. And now that he’s in school it’s even harder. We’ll have to have a playdate once your baby comes.
Hendrickson: Show me the ins and outs.
Digest: You’re both married to Robs.
Hendrickson: Yeah. We got “Robbed”.
Rikaart: We did.
Digest: Liz, what do you think of Greg’s Rob?
Hendrickson: He’s such a great guy. He’s a funny guy. He’s a great father. It’s unfortunate that we don’t really have time to hang out more outside the show.
Rikaart: And even though it’s been a while, we’ve always had fun when we spent time together.
Digest: Greg, what do you think of Liz’s Rob?
Rikaart: Oh, he’s amazing. Liz will show up every morning to work with so much prepared food and snacks and drinks. Her lunch box is basically prepared by Rob. He wakes up to kind of help get her ready in the morning and get her breakfast all set. I’m so charmed by how attentive he is.
Digest: What does it mean for you that after all these years, this couple still strikes such a chord with the audience?
Rikaart: That is something that I’m really grateful for. I think it also speaks to the love I have for Liz and our friendship
off camera. I don’t think that relationship would be dynamic and interesting, and it wouldn’t resonate with the audience, if there wasn’t love and respect between us.
Hendrickson: It makes me happy. I’m really grateful. It’s such a great reminder. And, of course, we are so thankful for our fans sticking with us throughout everything. As cheesy as it is, it really does warm your heart. It just makes it all feel worthwhile.