Quick Take With Emily O'Brien

This week, the secret of why Gwen has an ax to grind with the Deveraux family is revealed. How does it feel to finally play the moment? “I put a lot of pressure on the final reveal. We were shooting the scenes on a Monday and I got the script the prior week. That entire weekend, my head was in the script because I wanted the entire story, with all the characters, to feel justified and I didn’t want it to be, ‘Ta-da, here you go. Here’s the story.’ I wanted it to have depth, I wanted it to have layers and I wanted people to feel empathy because when I read it, I definitely felt empathy for Gwen. And I needed to make sure that I was very careful about how I conveyed that. I didn’t want it to just be a sob story, either. So I put a lot of pressure on it and I’m curious to see how it turns out. Everything is always so different when you’re in it, doing it, and then you see it later and you think, ‘Oh, that looks so different to how it felt.’ ”

Fans have been waiting to find out Gwen’s secret. Are you aware of just how much they want to know? “People comment on my pages and things and I understand that, but if we just jump into what’s happening, then you won’t be invested in the character. So it takes time, and maybe this is slower than normal for daytime television, but I think it was necessary so that you can understand where she’s coming from in the end and invest in the story.”

Did you know from the beginning what Gwen’s secret was? “No [laughs]! I knew nothing! All I knew in the beginning was that she’s with Jake, she likes ketchup and she bites her nails when she’s nervous. And I ran with that. I tried to create something regarding what I knew from the very first script that I got. Albert [Alarr, co-executive producer] would leave me teeny tiny hints and clues that would make my mind just reel, and I wouldn’t know what do to with it because I didn’t have any sort of finite answer. I knew one thing that was a possibility but that was said early on and I didn’t hear anything more about it until we came back from Covid. It’s helpful to know, but it can also keep it fresh and interesting if I don’t know because then all these things I’m doing would be completely genuine without a hidden agenda as the actor playing it.” What was your reaction when you found it out? “Confused because I didn’t know how the story was going to work but once I read how it comes together, I thought, ‘This is going to be really fun.’ There’s a part of this story that I don’t think anyone will be expecting.”

Where does this reveal leave Gwen? “Even with this reveal coming out, it still makes her an outcast and she finds it very hard to trust anyone. She definitely struggles to find her place. And struggles to trust. Trusting is a very new experience for her.”