Y&R’s Melissa Ordway and Justin Gaston Interview

Soap Opera Digest: You first met after being cast in the movie Escapee. Melissa, you shared before that you told your mom that you met the man you would marry. Justin, what kind of first impression did you have of Melissa?

Justin Gaston: I flew out to L.A. and we met at the audition. In the scene, we had to hug and that’s when I felt that something was different with her. It was weird, because we didn’t know each other, so it was like a chemical reaction. I told a few friends that I met this girl I liked but I was really subtle about it. I didn’t know if I would see her again. When I found out that I got the job, my first thought was, “I hope she gets it.”

Melissa Ordway: I knew he got the movie and that I’d be seeing him again, so I decided to play it cool and not be obvious.

Gaston: The movie was being shot in Louisiana and when she showed up at the hotel we were all staying at, she was all Hollywood — strutting in, wearing sunglasses.

Ordway: I guess I was trying a little too hard.

Gaston: It was funny but I was really excited that she was there.

Digest: Who made the first move?

Gaston: Clearly I liked her, so I asked her, “We should get a coffee,” and she invited the whole cast and I was like, “Oh, great.”

Ordway: I was nervous!

Gaston: I found out her room number so I called her room to ask if she wanted to hang out the next day, and when she answered, I asked, “Is this Melissa?” and she pretended it wasn’t her. She just didn’t make it easy.

Ordway: I don’t know what was wrong with me. I gave him such a hard time.

Digest: You got to know each other when your characters were killed and your “bodies” were dangling from a tree for hours. What were you talking about up there?

Ordway: I just remember laughing. They bungee-cord us together and when they were pulling us up, this guy was yelling, “Heave! Heave!” We couldn’t stop laughing and we were supposed to be dead.

Gaston: If you watch the movie and look closely, our bodies are probably shaking because we were laughing a lot. It was a curious way to fall in love.

Ordway: After that, we were pretty inseparable.

Gaston: It just seemed we were always together.

Ordway: I remember he flew to Boston and we went to my grandparents’ wedding anniversary.

Gaston: I had already been in Boston to make a record, came back to L.A. for a photo shoot and then I flew back to Boston to meet her grandparents. That should tell you how special she was already to me.

Digest: How did the proposal go down?

Ordway: It was super-romantic. He put a lot of thought into it. He planned a picnic at the beach and I was totally surprised. I wasn’t expecting it. It was just before Christmas and I was going home for a week, so I thought he was just planning something fun before I left.

Gaston: The thought was great but when it came to the execution, I missed a few things.

Ordway: No you didn’t. It was perfect.

Gaston: I asked her to marry me while the sun was going down. There was this photo shoot going on nearby and we didn’t know they snapped a picture. After Melissa said yes, we were having our picnic when someone came up and said, “Hey, I took this picture of you guys and I think you should have it.”

Ordway: So we have this awesome shot where we’re silhouetted right when Justin proposed.

Digest: You had quite the splashy wedding. Justin, did you have any input?

Gaston: No, I did not! I stayed away as far as I could. The wedding was in Atlanta and I was doing a movie somewhere and she flew to Atlanta and planned out the whole wedding in a weekend. After that, her dad did all of the running around.

Ordway: Yeah, he became my wedding planner. I was in L.A., so I would call him with, “Dad, can you run over here?” and, “Dad, can you check this out?”

Gaston: All I had to do was show up in a tux on the big day, except my pants weren’t there. I had gotten my pants altered at her parents’ house and then I went with my brother, the best man, and the groomsmen [to the venue] to get ready. Someone was shooting video and said, “All right, let’s film you unzipping your garment bag and taking out your tux.” I opened the bag and said, “Where are my pants?” Someone gave me these baggy parachute pants that I was fine with but I knew she wouldn’t be.

Ordway: Someone said, “Melissa, don’t freak out but Justin doesn’t have any pants.” I was like, “Uh, so what’s going to happen?” I was trying to stay calm until I heard, “Brian gave Justin his pants,” and I was like, “No! Justin wears skinny pants!”

Gaston: Luckily, her parents’ neighbor hadn’t left yet and they grabbed the pants. I was literally outside the door, ready to walk in wearing these baggy parachute pants and they ran over with my pants. I went over to the side and changed really quick.

Digest: How would you sum up your freshman year of marriage?

Ordway: Great!

Gaston: Well, we’re still together [laughs].

Ordway: We didn’t argue at all during that year, right?

Gaston: That’s right. At that point of our lives, we were living in Burbank, no kids yet and had a great group of friends. We were just having a lot of fun.

Digest: When it seemed like starting a family wasn’t going to happen the old-fashioned way, you decided to adopt. What was it like when Olivia came into your lives?

Ordway: At the time, it was the greatest moment of my life.

Gaston: When we didn’t get pregnant, I prayed, “Why isn’t this happening?” and was so frustrated. And then this miracle comes into your life and you’re like, “This makes so much sense now.” There was no way I could imagine this outcome myself. It was better than what I wanted.

Ordway: Olivia was the most special thing ever and she changed our world for the better.

Gaston: And then 10 months later, we got pregnant!

Digest: What did that feel like?

Ordway: It was unbelievable. I remember trying to think of all these ways I was going to tell Justin but I ended up waking him up, sticking the test stick in his face and saying, “Look!” He was like, “What?” Then he refused to believe it until I took seven [home pregnancy] tests and so I took seven tests.

Gaston: I’m really weird about numbers.

Ordway: I called my doctor and told her, “I think I might be pregnant because I took seven tests,” and she asked, “Were they all positive?” I said yes and she said, “Oh, you’re definitely pregnant.”

Gaston: At that point, it had been four years that we were trying to have a baby, so Melissa getting pregnant was incredible.

Digest: So, Sophie came along. How would you describe your daughters’ personalities?

Ordway: Olivia has the kindest heart. She’s so sweet and talks to anyone.

Gaston: She makes friends so easily. We go to the park almost every day and every time she makes a new best friend.

Ordway: She’s just an angel baby.

Gaston: And Sophie is …

Ordway: Feisty [laughs].

Gaston: Olivia wears her heart on her sleeve so you know what she’s thinking, but Sophie has a hard exterior. She’s also the protector. If anyone messes with Olivia, Sophie will take them down. She’s very sensitive.

Ordway: And hilarious. She’s got a really great sense of humor.

Digest: What was it like working together on Y&R when Abby and Chance got married and Justin subbed as the groom?

Ordway: It was the most fun two weeks of my life. It was cool because we hadn’t worked together since the movie. Everyone at Y&R is like family, so it was like hanging out with your friends and husband at the same time. You couldn’t really call it work because it was so much fun.

Gaston: It definitely helped that we lived together because we were able to bypass the Covid restrictions and actually kiss, so it was super-helpful for a moment like that.

Ordway: And Justin was making me laugh the whole time, even when we were hanging out in my dressing room.

Digest: Justin, have you met the new Chance, Conner Floyd?

Gaston: I did. It was very brief but he’s a super-nice guy.

Digest: Why did you decide to set up a second home in Nashville?

Ordway: I’m from Atlanta and Justin is originally from Louisiana, so we’re both Southerners. We also had so many friends who moved to Nashville during the pandemic. Before we met, Justin was planning to move to Nashville because of his music, but he ended up staying in L.A. for me. We went back to Nashville, just before we started back to work [after the shutdown] and we both love it there.

Gaston: For me, it’s a great place for my music.

Digest: Do you run into Tracey Bregman [Lauren] while you’re there?

Ordway: We do! She lives, like, 10 minutes from us. Sometimes we’ll go into a restaurant and she’ll be there.

Gaston: We’ve been to her house and it’s really beautiful.

Ordway: It’s so gorgeous and the girls love it out there. Tracey lets them pet her mini horses.

Digest: How do you celebrate St. Valentine’s Day?

Gaston: Well, it’s actually not a big deal.

Ordway: It’s something that we celebrate more with the girls.

Gaston: It’s a good excuse to go to one of our favorite restaurants. To us, it’s not about the one day of expressing your love. We want to show that every day and not just on February 14th.

Ordway: We’re both super-chill about it.

Gaston: It’s not like the only time I’m going to give her a dozen roses. Actually, she wouldn’t like that.

Ordway: I just want a nice card.

Gaston: That’s one of the things I love about Melissa. She’s so easygoing and down-to-earth.

Ordway: Even when I see all these big romantic gestures on the show, I’m like, “That would make me very uncomfortable.”

Gaston: Having fun every single day is who we are.

Digest: What would you say is the secret to the success of your marriage?

Ordway: At the core of our marriage, we’re best friends.

Gaston: First of all, I think we’re just meant for each other. I have a very dry sense of humor that some people don’t get but from the very beginning, Melissa thought I was funny.

Ordway: We also have similar interests and we just know how to have fun. I’m not saying things are always smooth, but we know how to find the humor in almost anything.

Gaston: We’re both very positive people, too.

Ordway: We always try to see the bright side.

Gaston: If we ever do have an argument, within 10 minutes, we’re talking about it.

Digest: This September will be your 10th wedding anniversary. How would you sum up a decade of being married?

Ordway: It’s crazy.

Gaston: In some ways it feels like it just flashed by.

Ordway: But at the same time it feels like we’ve been together forever, but in a good way. I really can’t remember life without Justin. They are the best 10 years of my life.

Gaston: You took the words right out of my mouth.