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ICYMI Joshua Morrow and Courtney Hope Interview

Soap Opera Digest: Before your story lines converged, how much interaction did you have with each other?

Joshua Morrow: We had some scenes when Sally was messing with Summer. It was a lot of me and [Michelle] Stafford [Phyllis] sort of complaining about Sally and mad dogging her from across the room.

Courtney Hope: I remember a couple of scenes with Joshua in the Grand Phoenix Lobby where Sally was talking to him about how he used to work at Restless Style magazine.

Morrow: Those were probably some of the most impactful moments of your career though. I remember every second of them but I just didn’t want to embarrass myself by saying all of that [laughs].

Hope: Oh, I get it, I get it.

Digest: Do you remember the first time you met?

Hope: I remember the first time I saw, Joshua. I was on B&B and we passed each other in the hallway and he kind of smiled. Because I knew who he was, I got a little intimidated, so I just kept walking and then the next time I saw him, was at Gina Tognoni’s [ex-Phyllis] going away party. I became friends with her, so I wanted to come over and say good-bye. Joshua was there but I didn’t really talk to him. I was a little nervous because he’s been on the show for a while and he’d probably be like, “Who the hell is this girl?” And then, when we started working together, I discovered he was totally not that person at all.

Morrow: I had seen Courtney around and I smile at everyone but I didn’t know her. She’s obviously an extremely beautiful young woman, so she’s hard not to notice. Now, Courtney, correct me if I’m wrong on this, but at Gina’s party, were you wearing red leather?

Hope: Yeah.

Morrow: I remember her showing up to this thing in the hottest outfit. I was like, “Who is this girl?!”

Hope: Thank you, I definitely stood out. I didn’t know anyone at Y&R at that time except Gina and Hunter [King, ex-Summer], so I was standing in this sea of Y&R bodies and I felt like this massive neon sign pointing at me, “Hi, I’m the odd one out!”

Digest: When you officially met, what was your first impression of each other?

Hope: Right away, you can tell that Joshua is a really funny guy and I appreciate a good sense of humor and a lighthearted spirit. So the first time I met him, I thought he’s really easygoing, which I really appreciate and enjoy. Sometimes people can be very serious and he’s not like that at all. And I remember thinking to myself, “Oh, we’ll get along.”

Digest: Joshua?

Morrow: I was immediately drawn to her right away because I like her sort of youthful energy. She’s a cool chick and I really like being around her. When Sally was jacking with Summer and she and Phyllis were constantly at each other’s throats, I remember saying to [Executive Producer/Head Writer] Josh Griffith, “Isn’t this Soap 101? Don’t I need to hook up with Sally to cause lots of problems?”

Hope: So it’s your fault [laughs]!

Morrow: Maybe. but Josh said, “No, no, no! That’s not in the cards,” and I was like, “I’ve been doing this a long time and it sure makes a lot of sense to me.” But he kept saying no and I was like, “All right, cool.” That was it.

Digest: When did you first get the sense that your characters would become romantically entangled?

Morrow: Nick was starting to mentor Sally at work and I remember talking to Courtney that maybe something was going to happen. However, I knew as her boss, Nick can’t seem like he’s hitting on her because of the landscape of the business world today. So, there wasn’t anything that the audience could see as far as chemistry. It was very important to me that it was not something that was hitting people over the heads, but it slowly started turning into something more and I thought the writers took a good time with it. Then I was excited at the prospect and it turned out to be a home run and I’m really loving the storyline. Courtney is a great gal and I’m a big fan of hers.

Digest: How do you respond to that, Courtney?

Morrow: That was like eight minutes long [chuckles].

Hope: Yeah, I was thinking maybe I should hop off because he’s got this covered. It was so funny because Sally was with Adam and the second Nick started mentoring her, it did cross my mind, “Well, here are two brothers and they’ve been involved with Sharon, and with Chelsea. So, maybe…” Joshua mentioned playing it very platonic and professional, so in my mind, I was like, “Okay, maybe, this isn’t where it’s going.” And then one day, Tony [Morina, then-executive producer], pulled me aside and said, “Hey, this is the direction we’re going.” So I thought, “Let’s soften things up.” I went to the drawing board and asked myself, “Okay, how do we go from professional to something more intimate?” And so it slowly did develop into that. But yeah, I was very excited to work with Joshua and see what we could create. I feel like their relationship naturally evolved into whatever it was going to be.

Digest: Did either of you worry that the audience wouldn’t accept your characters in a relationship?

Morrow: Usually, I’ve never worried about things like that, but our age difference did concern me. I mean, I’m freaking up there, man, so that was my one concern. [Mark] Grossman [Adam] is way more in her age range and I just didn’t want my age to be a problem but two weeks into it, I was like, “This is not a thing.” When I look at us on screen, it doesn’t seem jarring to me. They both have a nice, easy banter with each other. There’s obviously some chemistry there, so that sort of quelled any concerns I initially had.

Hope: The age difference didn’t worry me because Sally just came from [a relationship] with Jack, which was more of an age gap. I just don’t see Joshua as a lot older than me. My brother is 53 and my sister is 51, so Joshua’s age didn’t even cross my mind. I see him as a peer and someone I relate easily to. No matter who I’m working with, I want to bring my best every single day.

Digest: And let’s be honest, Joshua doesn’t look anywhere near his age.

Hope: Not at all. I remember him saying something about it. Three or four times he was like, “Oh yeah, I’m an old man,” and I just kept thinking to myself, “I just don’t see it.” It’s so funny, he was like, “Hey, kid,” then after a while I said, “Dude, I’m making out with you, so don’t call me that. It’s so freaking weird.”

Morrow: Well, yeah, I was throwing the “old man” out there to gauge her knee-jerk reaction. I’d be like, “Yeah, I’m a lot older than you,” and she’d cast a glance at me and say, “Yeah, you are.” But she never makes me feel that I’m much older than her, which is good. I do still act like I’m 23. That’s been something that my wife and mother have complained about me for years. I definitely don’t act my age.

Digest: Joshua, did you have any resistance to Nick picking up with another woman who has been involved with Adam?

Morrow: No, not at all. I trust Josh and the writers. Our show is filled with incredible actors and I want to work with all of them. So, if it involves another triangle with Grossman, great. I love the relationship that Adam and Nick have, but in this triangle, my favorite part of it is Courtney. I love to watch Sally be completely different with each guy. You can watch them do scenes and there’s a different heat. When Sally’s with Nick, it’s light, it’s fun, it’s a breath of fresh air. Sally knows Nick is 100 percent supportive. He’s her cheerleader, he’ll offer her advice if she wants it, and I think she appreciates those qualities. So I love watching who Sally is when she’s with either dude because it’s so different.

Digest: What have been your favorite scenes?

Hope: I really love the scene where Sally found out that the baby was Adam’s. I felt like there was a lot of substance. She really wanted the baby to be Nick’s, and he felt the same way, so when it turned out he’s not, there were some really powerful moments to play.

Morrow: When Nick and Sally told each other that we wanted the baby to be his, I thought that was flipping great TV. My favorite thing to play is being in love. It’s especially great if the writing’s right and the two people are right. But my absolute favorite scenes with Courtney without question was when she told Nick she was pregnant. Courtney said the line simply because the way she said it was heartbreaking and the best scenes she’s ever done on our show.

Hope: Thank you. That’s really, really sweet. I just remember every time during rehearsal I said, “I’m pregnant” I kept laughing. First off, I’ve never said those words out loud in my life ever, so when they came out of my mouth, I just thought they were comical, but laughing came out of the discomfort Sally felt to say, “Hey, I’m pregnant.”

Morrow: At that point, Nick didn’t know that it could possibly be Adam’s baby, so she was struggling with that, which came across as this whole other layer to her performance. I just thought those scenes were the best thing she’s done and it was fun to be a part of that. Courtney was awesome.

Digest: Courtney, how do you like wearing pregnancy pads?

Hope: It’s so funny to see, especially in the last couple of weeks, because the pads have been getting a lot bigger. So when I put that on and then the extra-padded bra, I’m like, “Is this what it really feels like?” I’ve seen other women do it and I always thought, “Wow, I wonder what that’s like?” and now I know.

Digest: Joshua, you experienced a lot of pregnancies, both on soaps and in real life because you’re a father of four. Have you ever offered any tips about playing pregnant to Courtney?

Morrow: I don’t. I gotta stay in my lane when it comes to that. Women have an innate ability to deal with that, so I won’t offer up any advice on the subject. If somebody wants my opinion, I’ll certainly give it, but I’m not going to inject any of my own personal experiences in it. Courtney’s done a masterful job of acting like a young woman who’s pregnant under circumstances that aren’t ideal. It’s been a struggle for Sally with a lot of fears and questions and Courtney has been portraying them to the hilt. She’s doing a fantastic job, so she doesn’t need my advice when it comes to that.

Digest: What would you like to see unfold for your characters?

Hope: I’m enjoying that their relationship is deepening and would love to see it continue. There’s so much going on in the story as a whole because the circumstances are so heightened. I would like them to find their way through the chaos and create a bond that’s unshakable.

Morrow: Eventually I’d like their relationship to be just about the two of them and not Adam. I want them to stay together and build a relationship that, despite the fact that nobody except Chloe is rooting for, they don’t care what’s going on around them — as long as they’re together.