INTERVIEW

Karla Mosley On Stepping In As Y&R's Amanda

W hen Y&R’s Mishael Morgan (Amanda) had to take a sudden leave of absence after undergoing emergency eye surgery, the show had no choice but to find a temporary replacement since the character was in heavy story. Luckily, Karla Mosley, best known as B&B’s Maya, was available to pinch-hit. “The call came completely from out of the blue, in my little quarantine bubble,” smiles the actress. “Of course I was so sad to hear about Mishael, and just happy that it wasn’t anything more serious than what it was. I do love CBS shows, and I’ve worked near these Y&R folks for so long and now I was asked to be on their show. It was such a beautiful phone call to receive.”

Mosley, who hasn’t appeared on B&B since 2019, points out, “Up until an acting job comes up, it always seems you’re waiting around and suddenly the whole world changes, so you’re having to juggle things. Thankfully, I have a partner who’s used to all of that and willing to sup- port this and be excited for me to be on set again. He also grew up watching soaps with his grandmother, so he’s really excited, too. So basically, my response to Y&R was, ‘I’ll do whatever it takes to help,’ so I felt really good about accepting.”

Once she committed to the show, things moved pretty quickly. “They called me on Friday and I was on set the following Wednesday,” she marvels. “Everything was solidified on Friday night, so Saturday was an influx of emails and I got my scripts. Tony [Morina, executive producer] called me on Sunday to welcome me and he was so appreciative for me filling in. He gave me the rundown on who Amanda is and we had such a great chat. On Monday, I took a Covid test at Y&R so I could fill out paperwork and could get on schedule with shows. On Tuesday, I was back and took another Covid test so I could be fitted for wardrobe. Then I was back on Wednesday to work, so it was quite the whirlwind. Tony was right there on set to introduce me, which made me feel so welcomed and supported.”

In between her visits to the set, Mosley contacted Morgan. “I was able to connect with Mishael, who is such a goddess,” she praises. “We had always been friendly whenever we saw each other around CBS, but we never had a real heart-to-heart sit- down. The only hesitation that I had about doing this is that I was stepping into such big shoes because Mishael is so beloved and such a wonderful human and actor. It was great that I could talk with her and say thank you for leaving me such a wonderful path to follow. I also told her, ‘I’ll be happy when you’re healed and able to return.’ ”

Getting back into the swing of things took a minute, Mosley confides. “On the first day, I did have a couple of moments,” she says. “I like to go in and just knock it out but there were a couple of times where my brain just went totally blank. That really annoyed me, but everything was fine and luckily I didn’t hold anything up at all. It just made me want to be really on it.” The actress shares that she made the decision to put her own spin on Amanda instead of trying to emulate Morgan. “I was going to watch some previous episodes to understand Mishael’s take on the character, but then I decided I wanted to find who Amanda is for me and that’s been really fun,” she explains. “The directors are awesome. They really know how to talk to actors and they’ve given me great direction and also allowed me to do my thing and that’s been a great collaboration.”

Playing another strong female was a thrill for Mosley. “I’m so grateful that those kind of characters are available,” she notes. “Amanda is so driven and so smart, and I really love everyone who I get to work with. They’re such solid actors and really easy to work with.”

Bryton James (Devon) tops that list. “What a dream he is,” Mosley raves. “I already knew he was this great guy and an awesome actor, but he reached out to me first and said, ‘I’ll be there early on Wednesday if you wanna run lines.’ He found me at the studio and he comes 200 percent prepared. Leigh-Ann [Rose, Imani] is amazing, as well. I haven’t worked with Ptosha [Storey, Naya] yet but I’m really looking forward to that.”

Although she’s just a placeholder for the time being, Mosely is happy to step in again “or maybe for something else … who knows? All I do know is that soaps and soap fans are so very near and dear to my heart and I’m just very grateful to be back in this world for even just a few weeks.”

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