Already have an account?
Get back to the


Y&R’s Lauralee Bell Dishes About Christine And Phyllis’s Long-Running Feud



It looks like Christine has finally won a round in the Christine/Phyllis rivalry but you can bet that even though she got the guy — things aren’t over between her and Phyllis. Lauralee Bell spoke with Digest about what it’s like to do those intense battles and why it means so much to her.

Knowing that you and Michelle Stafford (Phyllis) are real-life buds, you two must have a blast playing the animosity between your characters. “We love it. I mean, we love it. There’s always the soap feuds that have so many layers of hatred or jealousy and we feel so fortunate to have such a deep-rooted rivalry. In my brain, I’m always thinking of so many ways that Phyllis could still be a part of Danny and Christine’s lives. It will always irk Phyllis if they’re happy. I think fans were a little tweaked when she came on to Nick (relive that romance here) but that’s Phyllis. She’s constantly searching, so, ‘Next!’ She’ll go to the next one, and even if she’s involved with someone else, it would always irk her to see Danny and Cricket happily together. Even if Christine is having a conversation with Michael Baldwin, Phyllis gets upset because that’s her friend. There’s such a territorial thing that goes up with her right away.”

After the debacle of Phyllis renting out Society for a romantic dinner with just her and Danny and he turned her down, she admitted to Abby that Christine had won but vowed “I’m going to make her wish she never had” — it sure sounded threatening. Should Christine be concerned about Phyllis’s next move? “I know it’s always looming in the back of Genoa City. ‘Careful! Don’t walk down that dark alley’ or whatever because that’s the thing with Phyllis. There are people even in our real life that you can’t tell how they’re going to act on a certain day, but with Phyllis, it’s so heightened that nothing’s off the table. She’s capable of really coming up with anything, so to sleep soundly at night is not easy because you just wonder if there’s something brewing with her.”

What was so interesting was that not too long ago, these ladies clearly didn’t like each other but they’d just limit their interaction by exchanging snarky looks and comments, but when Danny came back into the picture, boy, the gloves came completely off! “That has been so fun. Michelle and I get super excited, but it usually never turns out exactly how we rehearse it. Not that we would run it with feelings but it’s so fun to take it to a whole other level. You can’t say things like that and have such a heated argument without really internalizing it and you feel your adrenaline rushing. They gave us the note, ‘You guys really have to top each other constantly and it has to go fast’ and we were both rocking in place right before we were going because it’s such intense words. You have to give it so much edge and anger while they both act like, ‘This isn’t phasing me at all, although inside, my blood pressure is off the charts.’ After the scene, we were both out of breath, and it was such a good note because it did need that. There was no room for a breath and even though we wouldn’t want to make it seem like we knew what the other one was going to say, the minute a word got out, we were on top of each other. I remember after the scene, both of us just looked at each other like ‘That was crazy!’ You just don’t have those kinds of scenes with everyone. We realize it and we totally appreciate it. We get really excited, too.”

“The Bug” is about the funniest nickname in all of soaps, don’t you agree? “I love every time that Phyllis calls Christine that. I think it’s hysterical. [Phyllis will say] ‘The Bug can be so boring’ and it makes me laugh. I don’t defend my character because I’m like, ‘Yeah, she can be.’ When Michael [Damian, Danny] came back, I was so excited bringing back those fun, laughing scenes between Christine and Danny. I’m hoping that when Phyllis isn’t terrorizing them, they can be happy because that playful kind of interaction isn’t seen as much on camera anymore and I think the lighter we can be in contrast to the scenes that have to be business or emotional is needed for the audience. I just think they want to smile, too, so there’s the highs of Christine and Danny’s happiness and the lows of Phyllis.”

What do you think about the naysayers who feel these two women are at an age where they shouldn’t be fighting over a man? “I almost always agree with the fans, but I can’t stand negativity so unless it’s on my page, I never look at anything because it’s just healthier for me that way. I have coworkers that look at the negative comments and I just see their sadness and how it bums them out. I’m a fan of shows, so I understand being passionate and all of that stuff, but I think people do definitely take things to a really nasty level. A part of me agrees with the fans, ‘If you’re not sure what you want at 50 years old, then I’m out.’ And I feel if maybe [the triangle] had gone on any longer, one of them would have had to make a definite decision. But at the end of the day, it’s entertainment and the [Cricket/Danny/Phyllis] scenes were fun to play, and we had a great time and it reminds the people of our dynamics if they didn’t watch us many years ago. For Phyllis, I do think it is about a competition and I do think Cricket didn’t want to give up because if it’s not going to be Paul, she really wants to be with Danny. It would also be letting Phyllis win and even though we’re beyond the age of playing games, we’re all trying throughout life to learn a lesson and I think because Cricket is so business-minded and believes in what’s right and wrong so much, it would be almost ethically wrong for her to give up and let the wrong person win.”