INTERVIEW

ICYMI Linsey Godfrey Interview

After an on-screen absence of nearly a year, Linsey Godfrey is finally back on DAYS as Sarah. “It felt very odd and completely foreign, yet familiar at the same time,” says Godfrey, describing her first day back on the job. “I was having to do things where I was flying blind a little bit. That was hard. And I was not used to being around so many people, either. So that was an adjustment.”

Godfrey’s initial scenes were with Gwen, with Godfrey playing Ava in a Sarah mask. “I’d never seen them act before, and I had never acted with them,” she notes of Tamara Braun (Ava) and Emily O’Brien (Gwen). “I didn’t have time to sit down and watch people or question them. I just hope I did it okay. I didn’t get to play Sarah for quite some time.”

Fans, of course, already loved Godfrey’s original character — the Salem heroine who abruptly vanished without a trace 10 long months ago. The move not only caught viewers by surprise, but the actress, as well. “I was as thrown as everyone else was, for sure,” admits Godfrey. “It was a tough time for it to happen with everything going on in the world and me personally. I was definitely very sad. I very much liked working. I very much liked working at DAYS. And I very much liked the people I had the pleasure to work with. People kept thinking that I left because of my mental health. No, it was just a series of coincidences.”

It was shortly after her DAYS departure that Godfrey took to Instagram and bravely opened up about her personal struggles. Namely, her diagnosis as Borderpolar, battling both borderline personality disorder and bipolar disorder. “It was one of those things where Mental Health Awareness [Month] was coming up and I thought, ‘Let’s just be brave here for a minute,’ ” she shares. “I wouldn’t have done it had I had to go to work the next day. It really was the perfect timing, because it gave me the right amount of courage.”

Godfrey says it was important for her to reach out to her followers. “I was trying to be as open and honest as I could be and maybe just make other people realize they’re not alone,” she explains. “You look at the people we’ve lost to mental illness and they are some of the happiest seeming people and the funniest seeming people. It’s important to show that mental illness doesn’t discriminate. You can have any type of job and be any type of person [and be affected by it].”

After her revealing post, Godfrey received “a really lovely response,” she relays. “I had friends reach out who were struggling. I had people I work with reach out. I’m not an expert, but I’ve gotten to exchange tips and tricks and things that helped me. It ended up becoming this community where everybody felt safe to talk for a minute. I had these really great Instagram Lives, where the people who were in there with me were talking to each other and sharing with each other. It became this beautiful support system. It was such a lovely experience for something so scary.”

In addition to addressing her mental health, Godfrey also tackled her physical health. “I had lost a lot of weight due to some things going on in my personal life, so I kind of was like, ‘I need to get healthy. I need to take care of myself, for me and also to set a good example for my daughter [Aleda, 7, who she shares with Robert Adamson, ex-Noah, Y&R],’ ” recalls Godfrey. “Because I was very thin for a period of time and I didn’t want her to think that that’s something that you have to be.”

So the actress committed to becoming the best version of herself. “I’ve always worked out with my trainer. I just never took it very seriously, and I was never very consistent about it. Because the gym that I go to is a private one, we got to go back very early [during Covid]. It just became something that I got to do to get me out of the house, and I got to spend time with my best friend Kimberly [Matula, ex-Hope, B&B]. We work out together. People have this idea that we’re going like crazy and doing these insane workouts, but we’re not. We just go twice a week, and we do heavy weight lifting.”

As a result of the workouts, “My relationship with myself started to change,” she notes. “I no longer focused on what my body looked like. I focused on how my body felt and how I felt. The benefits of the aesthetics came with it. And it helped my brain so much. The consistency of going and the routine made me feel a little bit more in control of things.”

In a good place, both mentally and physically, Godfrey then got word DAYS wanted her back. “The call kind of came out of nowhere,” she recounts. “I was at my dermatologist’s office. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Albert’s [Alarr, co-executive producer] name on my phone. I was like, ‘There’s no way that it’s that name.’ You always get nervous when you get a call when you’ve been gone. You’re like, ‘Are they killing me now? Is that the conversation we’re going to have?’ ”

After all, she’d already had that experience as B&B’s Caroline. “I was gone, then I got a phone call from Brad [Bell, executive producer/head writer] and was so excited. He said, ‘We’re killing you.’ I was like, ‘Oh! That’s not the phone call I thought I was getting.’ ” Fortunately, this time around things were different. “I was so happy to hear Albert’s voice, and he seemed so happy. I thought that was really a good sign,” notes Godfrey, who was asked to resurrect Sarah.

By September, Godfrey was at the soap’s Burbank studios filming. “My first day back was really exciting,” she enthuses. “I don’t like making a big deal out of anything. So I kind of left really discreetly, because I hate good-byes and they’re uncomfortable. Announcements make me uncomfortable. I just try to fit in. Whoever I saw I said hi to, but it was really nice to see people like Paul [Telfer, Xander] at work again. That was really cool. Paul’s a good egg and a wonderful actor. He’s so generous and easy to work with.”

Godfrey has a similar affection for her TV mom, Suzanne Rogers (Maggie). “We hugged each other so big and for such a long time,” she smiles. “Suzanne and I have always had this really beautiful relationship and connection. It makes me so happy to be able to see her.” And Godfrey hasn’t been disappointed by her new on-screen romantic rival. “Emily has such a beautiful stillness to her [acting] that I am so in awe of and almost envious of,” she admits. “Because I lack the ability.”

No matter. What Godfrey brings to the table as Sarah — a blend of sweetness and hot mess rolled into a feisty and unpredictable package — has made the character a hit with fans, and she’s thrilled to be portraying her again. “I’m very happy to be back, and I’ll be excited to see what [the fan] response is,” says Godfrey. “I’m really grateful to the people that have been consistent about petitioning for Sarah to be back, and the people that have expressed their love and support for Sarah, ‘Xarah’ and me. Those encouraging messages via social media have been very comforting and lovely.”

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