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ICYMI Y&R's Sharon Case Interview

Soap Opera Digest: The Nick and Sharon pairing just clicked in a really unique and very enduring way, but why do you think that relationship struck such a chord with the audience and continues to?

Sharon Case: I think it’s because it’s just a true romance. It’s a true love story that started between two people so innocently and it started in the right way, and carrying forward, they have children together that they continue to co-parent and they’re just so involved in each other’s lives. I think the two of them have a lot of respect for each other and even though they’ve been through so many ups and downs, I think when you get through that many hurdles together in life it glues you together forever. And Joshua [Morrow, Nick] and I feel the same way personally. We’ve been working together for almost 30 years. We’ve individually gone through a lot in life and been there as each other’s colleague through everything for 30 years of our lives. His four children were born. We’ve got the same love and respect for each other and both feel very lucky that we were both chosen for these roles and we’ve gotten to work together all these years. That just really worked out so great for us.

Digest: And for us!

Case: Big “Shick” fans always want to know if or when the two of them are getting back together and I always like to say, “I don’t know because I don’t have the scripts.” Obviously, this is a big supercouple, so one would think they could get back together anytime, and that’s probably true. But for me to say, “Oh, this storyline is or isn’t leading to a ‘Shick’ reunion,” I honestly don’t know because the truth is, I could get a new script tomorrow and it could have “Shick” getting back together for all I know. It could blindside me as well. I don’t know what’s coming forward. I do know as we watch every storyline that the two of them go through together, or even just a casual scene in the coffeehouse, they are very close. And when they go through ordeals together, of course, that always makes them closer. So, we don’t see Nick and Sharon fighting and distancing themselves from each other over the years. We see them growing closer and with a fondness and respect for each other more and more all the time. So what I don’t see is the two of them deciding to be enemies one day. At this point, they’re on the same team, so we’ll see what happens.

Digest: Fans have sort of fallen into two camps regarding Sharon’s life after becoming a widow [with the death of husband Rey]. Some fans have really wanted a new man to come into her life, and others sort of appreciate the realism of her not rushing into some sort of new relationship. Where do you fall on that subject?

Case: I guess I fall somewhere in between, but maybe on the side of the realism. I think that after a horrific loss like that, nobody’s feeling very amorous for at least a year in reality. On the other hand, it’s a soap opera and the show has to go on so, had the story been told any other way, I wouldn’t be upset about that either, but in sticking with reality, yeah, after a trauma like that, it’s not only a loss, but a horrific trauma, suddenly her husband’s killed in a car accident. That’s a lot to endure and it’s a big life adjustment that takes time. I thought it was told very realistically that she take that time.

Digest: You had a lot of work to do in [the Cameron Kirsten] storyline that seems like it carried a high degree of difficulty. What scenes for you were the most challenging and what made them so?

Case: I mean, all of them were! It’s hard whenever you have to suddenly get shocking news; somebody died, somebody’s kidnapped, it’s your daughter, it’s your husband. That’s always hard, to play the shock value of what just happened — the horror, the sadness, the tears. It’s a lot to play all in one beat. And that’s a lot for the actor to think about or decide on because in real life, when these things happen, people react in so many variety of ways that there is no right and wrong. You just have to pick one and go with it. When we were shooting all this, we shot it very condensed. I think we shot nine episodes in one week. So when I was shooting each of those beats [I] did all of those different emotions and reactions and events happening possibly within the same day, or definitely within the same week. [I] kind of just got myself into this mental place, this emotional place, and just stayed there that week, and then I could just react naturally.

Digest: Can you talk us through what the five minutes before you’re shooting [an emotionally intense scene] looks like?

Case: We’ve been shooting these kinds of scenes at YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS [for] so long that my preparation time is shorter and shorter, but in that five minutes [I] just need to focus, so I don’t want a lot of noise or distractions. Although now I’m so used to distractions while I’m doing my emotional preparation that they almost don’t bother me anymore! I think the only thing that distracts me out of my emotional prep is when Joshua Morrow makes jokes. Then I have to laugh, okay? Then I’m drawn out of it. But nothing else drags my attention away from my focus on my emotional prep. So I just need about five minutes to really focus on the scene. I definitely use the circumstances of the scene, try to really commit to that imaginary world and take five minutes to meditate myself into that space. I’m mostly thinking of the real circumstances and trying to apply them to myself in my real life.

Digest: Do you feel [lingering emotions that you play as Sharon] or does it shut off immediately when they call cut?

Case: It just shuts off. One thing I learned in acting school was that your work is your work, your commitment to the imaginary world is one thing, and your commitment to your own real world is there just as strong, and they both exist, so you’re never confused about what’s what or how you feel. In fact, I could be shooting the most treacherous thing and if I feel like I really nailed that, or at least am satisfied if I don’t feel like I nailed it, if I’m satisfied with what I did, I go home that weekend thrilled, relieved, jumping for joy! I dive into my real life happily because I feel a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. And I don’t let the coming Monday morning daunt me until it absolutely is necessary that I really do have to look at it again.

Digest: I really loved — and I think a lot of fans really loved — that [Sharon] insisted that she needed to face Cameron alone. [The] show was really playing Sharon as that courageous, [who] is that able to essentially be her own hero.

Case: Everything you just said, yes. When I saw that was the direction I was going, I’m like, “Wow.” I said to Vivian [Gundaker], our producer throughout the years, “You know, Sharon has often [been] in some kind of trouble, the damsel in distress, and it’s always Nick or Victor [who] saves her.” That’s the formula of the show and of a lot of shows, so that’s fine, but I’m really glad to see that this time, this was her moment to rise up and become really strong. I’m sure she still loves having a hero in her life; who doesn’t? But you’re exactly right, [she’s] going to be her own hero and be strong. This was a female taking care [of] herself and being strong and not needing saving necessarily. Of course she just still needed help or had a lot of support, but this story was a strength story for Sharon.

Digest: How does it feel when you walk on the Crimson Lights set? This has been your set for so long.

Case: I know that a lot of the viewers were speaking out for a long time that Sharon never left that set, so that made them kind of tired of Crimson Lights and maybe even angry at Crimson Lights [laughs]. But for a few reasons we don’t always put a lot of sets up. [We] can only fit a certain number of them on the stage…. I totally understand what the audience is saying is they just want to see Sharon get out more into the other sets that are there. I agree! Well, she’ll be doing that, so if you tune in you’ll see Sharon moving about more often, but I could never part with Crimson Lights. I don’t know how I would! It would be devastating to me to depart from it entirely.

Digest: We’re coming up on the 30th anniversary of your debut with the show next year. What does it mean to you that you’ve made Genoa City your professional home and have made and continue to make such an important impact both on the show and on the viewers’ experience of watching it day in and day out?

Case: It’s wild. You know, it’s wild. I think no matter what you [do] for a living, if you spent 30 years at one occupation or in one company, you [would] look back and go, “Wow, this is what I did with my life,” with the body of your work life, your work years, you would’ve never known in advance. You start out as a youngster, you don’t know what path you’re going to take. You just work hard, you throw out a million things against the wall and hope something sticks. So to one day, 30 years later, pause and look back and go, “Wow, I did that. How lucky am I? How grateful am I?” I wish that my older self could have gone back and told my younger self that that’s what was going to happen.