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Quick Take With Hayley Erin (Claire, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS)

Wow, Claire is really scary now! “[Laughs] Thank you so much. That really is the best compliment.”

Did you know this character was going to take such a bad turn when you accepted the role? “I didn’t know, but shortly after, I had a little chat with [Executive Producer/Head Writer] Josh Griffith, and he let me in on some of what was to come and I couldn’t have been more excited. I absolutely love playing Claire.”

At first, Claire seemed sweet and likable, but many viewers pointed out on social media that the other shoe could drop at any time, since Nikki didn’t vet her thoroughly before hiring her. “Well, the fans are so smart, and it’s fun to see how they can predict what’s going to happen. And you know, some are right, some are wrong. From my point of view, I was like, ‘Yeah, that’s decent vetting of an employee.’ You call a couple of references and that seems thorough enough to me. But some of the fans right off the bat were like, ‘Oh, no. None of this is good enough to let her into the inner circle!’ She’s really good at being an assistant. I thought that was enough.”

Are you having a good time playing Bad Claire? “Oh, yeah, it’s fun because I think there’s a really fine line that I get to dance on, which is, how much of it is truly crazy and how much of it is her enjoying playing with Nikki? I saw a clip from one of the shows this week and I was so pleased with it. As an actor, you always have motivation. No actor playing a character is feeling, ‘Oh, this character is evil’ or ‘This character is crazy.’ You have to find the humanity in it. Claire has got layers like an onion, and there’s a lot of fun stuff coming up where many, many layers will be peeled away.”

Claire has been so cold and unfeeling with Nikki after imprisoning her. Were you explicitly instructed to come off that way? “I feel like the writing and directing are so good, plus I’m also given a lot of freedom to play Claire the way I want, but I can’t claim all of it. It really is such a great way to play it because it feels even creepier that she’s relishing it, that passivity while doing something so wicked.”

Melody Thomas Scott, Hayley Erin

Howard Wise/

Torture Chamber: Claire has been indifferent at best to Nikki’s (Melody Thomas Scott) suffering.

How do you like working with Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki)? “It’s a dream. I absolutely love that woman. She is hilarious. She’s such a professional and been such wonderful guidance for me.  She knows every door in that building, she knows all of the gossip, and she tells me everyone’s names, which is really important. She has shared lots of wisdom and old stories with me. She’s just a wealth of information. I was so lucky that when I landed on Y&R, I landed next to her. I couldn’t have asked for anything better.”

What’s it like between takes when you two shoot one of those trying scenes where Claire seems so indifferent to Nikki’s suffering? “There’s definitely been loads of high fives, a few hugs, and lots of laughs. I think what’s great is that we cope with humor, so there’s a lot of joking and messing around between takes and it really keeps things from feeling too dark. After a big, heavy episode, it’s really nice that you’re surrounded by people who can keep you just lifted up enough that you’re not damaging your own psyche.”

You previously played Abby as a young teen on Y&R. Have you run into your former soap mom, Eileen Davidson (Ashley)? “Funny enough, I’ve only seen Eileen once because we’re on separate shooting schedules, but we talked about many lovely memories. She is so gorgeous and sweet.”

And have you gotten to know the current Abby, Melissa Ordway? “Yes and she’s so awesome. It’s been a great sisterhood of Abbys. I never got to meet Darcy Rose Byrnes, who played child Abby. And I worked together with Emme [Rylan, ex-Lulu] on GENERAL HOSPITAL [where Erin played Kiki], who played Abby after me. And now I’ve gotten to know Melissa away from the set and I can’t get enough of her. I’m so proud to be a part of the Abby sorority.”

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