Quick Take With Camryn Grimes (Mariah, Y&R)

When we left off with Mariah she was unemployed. How is she doing? “For me, I know being unemployed is very, very jarring and not okay for my psyche and for my body. I can’t imagine that Mariah’s very different. This is somebody who’s been providing for herself her entire life and has managed to make a lot of different careers work. I think the question for her right now is, what is her drive? What does she love doing most? I think that is the question that she’s eager to get answered. And I think it’s also [that] she sees her partner now doing well. I think that disparity is often interesting with couples, to see how they handle it when one person is thriving and maybe the other person is trying to figure it out. I think it’ll be interesting to explore where Mariah lands and more specifically why.”

What kind of job do you think she’d be suited for? “I think where we saw her most confident was running PR for the Hamilton-Winters company. I think running a business is important for her and I think it is a really strong suit. I mean, there’s lots of companies in Genoa City, whether it be Newman or Jabot or Chancellor Communications. But something where she can lead and then let her creativity kind of flourish. I loved seeing her confidence grow in a leadership position. I would want that to be something that was focused on and kept going.”

We know Mariah doesn’t like or trust Theo. Do you think they could be friends? “I don’t know about friends. But what I will say is I think that Mariah is very protective of the people she loves, so part of her disdain for Theo comes from being protective of Lola, being protective of Kyle. But I think there’s also this really interesting part of her that kind of recognizes part of herself when she first came to Genoa City, this sort of outcast who really just wants to please people, really just wants people to pat them on the back and say, ‘You did a good job,’ and is looking and craving for acceptance and community, but will never admit it and puts on this tough exterior. I think one of the cool things about their last conversation was her just kind of, like, leveling with him and being like, ‘Dude, it’s not gonna work. It didn’t work for me. Just be real. You keep losing jobs. You keep losing opportunities. Be able to admit when you’re wrong. Be humble. Break down the walls.’ ”

Mariah and Tessa’s relationship seems to be back on track. Do you think Tessa has fully forgiven Mariah? “I think there’s an understanding, which makes it such a beautiful relationship. These are two flawed people coming into this brand-new thing, uncharted territory with their own baggage and their own problems. Tessa has messed up a number of times and now it’s Mariah’s turn. That’s how we’ve seen them move forward. I think that’s the same with any real relationship. You have to fail to learn how to win. You have to mess up to know what to do right to get to know your partner better, to get to figure out how to overcome the obstacles. I think obviously with something like cheating, there is a great amount of trust to be earned back, but I think both people in that relationship have experienced that to an extent, so I think in this really tough moment they actually understand each other maybe even better.”

Do you think Mariah has forgiven herself? “No, and that’s the beauty and curse of Mariah. She is her worst critic and struggles with confidence and struggles with worthiness. I think it makes her incredibly appreciative for a second chance, but also probably lingers a little too long and weighs a little bit too heavy.”

If Tessa was to go off on tour again, how do you think Mariah would handle it? “I think it would be night and day [from the last time]. You have to remember on top of all of this, not that it’s an excuse, Sharon got cancer, Mariah lost her job, and in her relationship, she chose to bottle everything up and keep it to herself and she didn’t want to worry Tessa. It all led to this giant explosion. She’s mentioned that a few times now and I think she understands that was the complete wrong way to handle it. Those are moments to rely on your partner regardless of the situation.”

Would you like to see Mariah and Tessa get married? “I would love to see them get married. Obviously, given the context of everything I don’t know how possible that would be in the near future. But again, these are two people who probably need a little bit more time to settle back in from what they’ve been through. Maybe that’s a good thing. What an epic story to tell. I mean, they’ve been together longer than a lot of couples on the show. It’s taken a more realistic approach. It’s been a pretty incredible story and to have their love story come together in that moment would just be really powerful.”

Then there’s Sharon. How is Mariah handling her cancer diagnosis? “Sharon is the person who taught Mariah how to care and how to protect the people you love. She learned from Sharon. To have the first person that she connected with in Genoa City and this person be her mother and really understand what the meaning of that word is for the first time in her life, I think it’s incredibly scary. I think so much of her new identity is attached to Sharon. I think it feels like if she were to lose Sharon she would lose that, as well.”