ICYMI: Y&R's Donny Boaz and Melissa Ordway Interview

Soap Opera Digest: Melissa, when Jason Canela first came on the show, you had a hunch that his character, Arturo, was a romantic partner for Abby. Did you have the same inkling when Donny arrived?

Melissa Ordway: I did a little bit, but not 100 percent, because Michelle Stafford [Phyllis] was kind of involved in that storyline, as well. I didn’t know if Chance was for Abby or for Phyllis.

Digest: When did you first meet each other?

Ordway: We met at the audition when Donny was screen-testing for the role. I called him Texas. I was like, “Hey, Tex!” the whole time because I heard his Southern accent. I was so excited that he was from Texas because I have so many friends in Texas. And I’m from Atlanta so we kind of connected in the audition with that Southern thing.

Donny Boaz: I think my first words to her were, “Nice to meet you, Miss Melissa.”

Ordway: Yes, that happened.

Boaz: Michelle was a little busy that day. She would do an audition with us, run back upstairs, shoot something and come back down. Melissa had some downtime that day and she spent more time with us.

Digest: What was your impression of Donny?

Ordway: I thought he was so nice and we got along so well immediately. I only had positive things to say about him. I didn’t know who was going to get it, but I was hoping it would be Donny. I thought he would be a great addition to the show, so I was super-excited when he got the role.

Digest: Donny, what was your first impression of Melissa?

Boaz: There were five actors there, me being one of them, and we just loaded her down with questions and Melissa had answers on the spot. She couldn’t have been more helpful. Day one, we just clicked and became friends.

Ordway: I was even more excited when Donny started working. Every morning he would text Michelle and me and ask what our coffee order was from Starbucks. I was like, “All right, this guy’s a keeper.”

Boaz: Now, you get to a week later of me filming and it’s about the camaraderie between me, Melissa and Michelle. Those are my buddies. We run our lines and we just click off each other. It’s an amazing work environment and I’m so thankful for those girls.

Digest: At what point did you know you were going to play each other’s love interests?

Boaz: The mock sides for my character in the audition kind of implied that it was Abby, but I was the rookie in the game. They did the triangle thing for a while and then it became pretty clear where this was headed. I think Chance has put it on the line. “Woman, I’m not playing games with you anymore. You’re all that I want.”

Ordway: I just knew Chance and Abby would be such a good couple. I didn’t want to get too excited because Abby has had so many love interests that end up falling apart, like the sex trafficker who she thought was perfect for her. So, when Chance went out on a date with Phyllis, that kind of threw me for a loop. I was like, “Maybe there’s still a chance for Chance and Phyllis,” so I was really excited when it became Chance and Abby. I feel like it’s such a good match.

Digest: Did not knowing which way Chance would go become a challenge to play?

Boaz: There was one day they needed about four takes from me because I just wasn’t giving them exactly what they wanted with Michelle. “You have to act like you’re into her,” and I’m like, “But I’m into Melissa’s character.”

Ordway: I remember we were in Society and Abby and Chance had been out on just one date. The director said, “Okay, you’re touching him too much. You’re not in a relationship yet.” I felt like they’re such a good match that it’s almost impossible sometimes to not play that.

Boaz: I think the ultimate affirmation was when Melissa told me, “My mom loves you. She loves how tall you are and that you look manly.” And my mom had already said about Melissa, “I like her. She’s tall and she’s got big blue eyes.”

Digest: How did you guys prepare for scenes? Do you meet up in Melissa’s dressing room and go over lines?

Boaz: That’s kind of our morning routine. I show up with a coffee, I ask Mel what time she’s getting out of hair and makeup and usually we’ll go in her dressing room. We just bounce off each other with the lines, the intent that we’re looking for, pace … it feels effortless. It takes longer for us to rehearse than it does to shoot the scene. We spend 30 minutes rehearsing it and then we’re done shooting in like five minutes.

Digest: Do you guys have a good time on the set?

Boaz: Melissa’s reputation is that her laughter is contagious. You can be walking past THE PRICE IS RIGHT soundstage and hear her up in hair and makeup. But that’s what everybody loves about her. She shows up at 6:45 in the morning and she’s just happy to be at work.

Ordway: Yeah, we have fun. We’re always laughing together and having a good time. Why not? We get to do what we love. We have the best job ever. I have to pinch myself that I get paid to go do what I get to do every day.

Digest: Ever have a blooper during a love scene?

Boaz: A fan just posted some scene online where I was shirtless and Melissa was in a bra. I picked her up and it looks so sensual on camera but what nobody sees is my feet are tangled up in her robe or jacket or something.

Ordway: Oh, yeah!

Boaz: I feel like I’m about to bite the dust on the way to the bed. Everybody is like, “Oh, look at their chemistry,” and all I can think about is, “Don’t drop her. Don’t drop her.” We always look for our — what do we call it, Melissa? Our magic breath spray?

Ordway: Our love spray.

Boaz: We always have to have perfect breath before we kiss each other.

Ordway: Poor Donny. One day I told him, “I’m so sorry. Both of my kids have been sick and now I have a runny nose. Are you ready to make out?” And any time they have me pouring any sort of beverage, it can definitely go wrong. I’ve poured water in the wrong place, like that day where I was supposed to destroy Phyllis’s laptop.

Boaz: That water went everywhere.

Ordway: There’s always something that makes us bust out laughing.

Digest: They’re willing to break the law for each other so it must be true love.

Boaz: Instead of the soap opera love triangles, find your partner and go on shenanigan crimes! I like that they go on these little adventures together and push each other’s buttons. I think that has its own interesting aspect more than just running around all over Genoa City with everybody. I like that back and forth but yet they’re heading in the same direction.

Ordway: I feel like that Abby impersonating Phyllis was so honest to who Abby is, because she’s always been a little bit rebellious. Yes, she’s a smart businesswoman but she also has this wild side, like when she was The Naked Heiress, and it’s cool to not forget that. She’s still a good girl, but she’s had her fun with breaking the law.

Digest: How did you guys like working with Michelle?

Ordway: Oh, my God, she’s amazing.

Boaz: Michelle is a powerhouse. She’s so good. She is effortlessly charming and devilish at the same time.

Ordway: She just makes everyone better. When you have scenes with Michelle, you know you have to step up your game. You can rehearse it 50 million times with her and then you get to set and you don’t know how it’s going to go because she throws something in there that’s genius. You’re always having to listen. She just makes everyone better. I love watching any scene that she’s in. She’s just so good. And she’s such a great person on the side.

Boaz: Amen.

Digest: Have you been communicating with each other during quarantine?

Boaz: This is the first time I’ve heard her voice in a long time, but we’re text buddies. Me, her and Michelle have got our little text chain going, so we stay in touch often. A lot of times it’s just about what’s going on across the country and keeping each other’s spirits up. We have a nice support group between the three of us.

Ordway: Peter [Bergman, Jack] always texts me and he’ll schedule a weekly phone call to make sure I’m still sane. Hunter [King, Summer] drove by my house on my birthday. She was in her car and I was in my driveway. It’s been nice trying to keep up with everybody and making sure they’re doing well.

Digest: What do you appreciate about each other?

Ordway: I just love Donny’s love for people. He has such a good heart. He loves talking to people. He loves getting to know people. He’s so kind and a very giving person. He has a great sense of humor. He’s an all-around good guy.

Boaz: We are buddies. We’re like-minded. We finish each other’s sentences half the time. She is one of my best friends in town and I couldn’t be more thankful for her. She’s so passionate about everything, not just her job, but everything. It’s infectious just to watch her love of life. How could you not like that?

Digest: What would you like to see happen for Abby and Chance?

Boaz: [Hums wedding march.]

Ordway: I do want Abby to finally find her happily ever after. I would love to see them get married and have a family. Abby as a mom would be hilarious. They would definitely have their problems and all of that, but I think Abby’s finally found her match.

Boaz: We’re on the same page. I’d like them to have a future, but again, it’s not just happily ever after. I want the speed bumps and the hurdles to show how they get through them, but I don’t want all the triangles on the side. I’d rather go on adventures and see how they handle them. I like these two as a couple. I don’t want to be a dumb-dumb like Arturo and cheat on her.

Ordway: You better not!

Boaz: I want Chance to be the white hat, the good guy that keeps following his moral code and is good to his woman.

Ordway: We are on the same page.