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Vail Bloom On Her Return To Y&R

According to Vail Bloom, who played Heather Stevens from 2007-10, “There were little wonderful signs from the universe,” even before Y&R asked her to reprise the character.
“I bumped into Michelle Stafford [Phyllis] and I haven’t seen her for so long and we were so excited to talk and catch up by the tonic bar in the middle of Erehwon [market],” explains the actress. “That was just a couple of months ago, and then I kept bumping into Jennifer Gareis [Donna] from BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL, which shoots across the hall from Y&R, in Beverly Hills, so there were these two soap world encounters that were so enjoyable. It seemed like I was primed and ready when I got the call from my agent that Y&R wanted me to come back as Heather. I was completely surprised, but I was really happy to hear from them.”

It didn’t take very long for Bloom to respond to the offer. “It wasn’t a think-about-it kind of thing because it was presented to me as it was for Y&R’s 50th anniversary and I immediately felt nostalgic and pride for an institution that’s been around that long,” she shares. “I’ve done other things; I produced some films and then focused on entrepreneurial and business ventures, so the last two years have been about building a brand, creative marketing and launching a company. Still, I missed being part of a story in film and television that connects people, and what can better do that than a 50-year-running show with history and consistency that has a viewership crossing generations? I immediately thought it was an honor and accepted.”

From what has been revealed on screen, Heather relocated to Portugal for a job and brought Daniel’s daughter, Lucy, along because he had significantly strained those relationships. “I absolutely love that they threw in the maternal aspect,” Bloom enthuses. “It’s really wonderful that a storyline can challenge the norms that make up a family. I think it’s really healthy and beautiful to see a strong woman stepping in and completely assuming a maternal role even though they’re not biologically related. Heather and Lucy are very close and Heather is doing a great job of raising Lucy, and Lucy really respects Heather being such a caring mother figure.”

Bloom adores working with Lily Brooks O’Briant, who plays Lucy. “She’s such a doll,” Bloom praises. “We showed up to set wearing the same exact nail color, which is not that popular, so that was super-cute. She’s a real professional, and has that 13-going-on-30 vibe. She’s very friendly, confident, humble and respectful. She’s fantastic and I think she kind of looks like me a little bit, in the eyes.”

Of course, being reunited with Michael Graziadei (Daniel) is a big plus as well. “When I was first here, we were only in group scenes and not anything terribly substantial, but we’ve always been friends outside of Y&R,” she shares. “I couldn’t have picked a better person to have a storyline with now than Graz because we’ve had so much fun together and really respect each other.”

Bloom’s first day on set “didn’t feel like a lot of time had passed,” she reflects. “I was shocked when I actually did the math. Everything still felt familiar and very comfortable, even though I totally was getting lost in the building. But still, the first day was cool and surreal.”
Which was further enhanced by seeing former co-stars. “I talked to Peter Bergman [Jack] and he’s always been such a lovely gentleman, just graceful and debonair,” she smiles. “And it was great to see Christel [Khalil, Lily] in person because we’ve stayed in touch by phone for the last few years. Amelia [Heinle, Victoria] gave me a bright hello and, believe it or not, Michelle was really surprised to see me. I asked, ‘Michelle, did you say something to someone here after we bumped into each other?’ but she said no. When she heard they were bringing back Heather, she was hoping it would be me.”

As far as returning for a longer stay, Bloom offers, “It’s been a really heartwarming and fun experience, so I absolutely would entertain the idea of coming back.”