INTERVIEW

Leigh-Ann Rose On Y&R Role

Now that Amanda’s bio family is getting more air-time, the role of little sister Imani is getting beefed up as well, which thrills portrayer Leigh-Ann Rose. “I was getting so tired of being inside the house all of the time because of Covid, so I’m just happy to get out and go to the set,” chuckles the actress. “I’ll take that any day. I’m getting to know Imani more and more and I understand where she’s coming from. I could easily see that she’s someone who cares.”

When trying out for the role, Rose didn’t know that much about the character. “They sent me the information, but I had no idea what the storyline was about,” she recalls. “I got the call that the role was mine and I was so excited,” she enthuses. “Especially during a time like this, it was a real blessing. I didn’t do anything to celebrate. To me, celebrating was getting to work.”

Starting on a show while practicing Covid safety measures was an interesting twist. “You’re masked up the whole time, even when you’re rehearsing, and you have to always be 6 feet apart, even when you’re taping,” she points out. “That was challenging at first because I was working with Ptosha [Storey, Naya] and your normal reaction when you’re with your mom is to hug her and I was told, ‘No, don’t touch.’ So I had to sit on those natural actions when you want to connect with a loved one and just say, ‘Hey, Mom.’ I’m getting used to that now but it was an interesting adjustment to make at first.” However, Rose adds that acclimating to her new work environment was a breeze. “There’s such a family feeling on this set,” she declares. “Everyone gets along really well. There’s a good energy here and no divas. It’s really a nice place to work.”

That positivity extends to working with her TV family. “Ptosha has such a sweet soul,” Rose notes. “She makes it very easy to play that family dynamic because I’m taller than her, and it’s almost the same height difference with my mom, so I just want to protect Ptosha. I love working with Mishael [Morgan, Amanda]. She’s so awesome and we’re both foodies, even though I don’t cook [laughs].” Regarding Karla Mosley [ex-Maya, B&B), who is playing Amanda while Morgan is on a short medical leave, Rose says, “She’s very sweet and kind. She just jumped in and kept things moving.”

Rose feels she has a strong grasp on her character now. “Imani is strong-willed and a smart girl,” the actress notes. “She doesn’t tell you everything she’s thinking and when information comes out, it’s at her timing. She’s also very clever and doesn’t show all of her cards. She’s very caring about the people she loves. If you’re accepted in her inner circle, she will fight for you.”

And even though Imani’s fierce protectiveness can come off as abrasive, “She’s definitely a fighter,” Rose contends. “My mom will send me the emoji with the hand covering the mouth and tells me, ‘You are so mean!’ But I tell her it’s very therapeutic to play this kind of character!”

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