Patrika Darbo On Y&R Gig

No one was more surprised than Patrika Darbo herself when she was asked to come to Y&R to reprise her B&B role of Sally’s grandmother, Shirley Spectra. “I adore Courtney Hope [Sally],” raves Darbo. “I’m sorry that storyline didn’t work out the way they had planned initially, and even though just knowing Courtney has been a fabulous experience, when she moved over to Y&R, I was like, ‘Okay, I’m done.’ ”

Turns out, she couldn’t have been more wrong. “I always said if the stars aligned, that Courtney and I would get the chance to work together again and, well, the stars aligned,” Darbo chirps. “The Y&R people called my people and they had a great little idea.”

Which was Sally having video chats with her “Grams”, and as Y&R viewers not familiar with Shirley quickly learned, “She’s a bitch,” Darbo chuckles. “Basically Sally and her grandmother are schemers and manipulators. As far as they’re concerned, if you allow yourself to be manipulated by them, then too bad. Shirley wants to make sure that Sally is well taken care of, but she’s also, ‘What’s in it for me?’ Shirley was once living pretty well on B&B but now she’s stuck at a bakery in Texas and doesn’t want to stay there. Shirley values who her granddaughter is and wants to make sure that Sally is always taken care of.”

Darbo reveals that she didn’t have to go into the studio to shoot her side of the virtual call. “I’m a tech dinosaur, so my publicist, Anthony [Turk], helps me with my commercial and theatrical auditions that I have to put on tape; he’s very adept at filming and editing, so he was able to record exactly what Y&R wanted,” she explains. “They have hired me for a couple of chats with Sally but I haven’t seen another script, so it’s hard to see where they’re going, but I’m thrilled to be a small part of it.”

If Y&R would want to feature more talks between the two women or bring Shirley in the flesh to Genoa City, Darbo enthuses, “I’d be there in a heartbeat. I’m an actor and I want to act. I already know the character, and the fact that I’ve been welcomed back even in this way is heaven-sent. Christian LeBlanc [Michael] and Kate Linder [Esther] are already very good friends. I think strong women in soaps is a wonderful message to the women in the audience.”