Michelle Stafford on The Young and the Restless' Phyllis: "I'm Completely Done"



 




Michelle Stafford doesn't seem too worried about Sony and CBS Daytime recasting the iconic role of Phyllis Summers. The former The Young and the Restless superstar sat down for an exit interview with Soap Opera Digest's Stephanie Sloane, where she got real about why she decided to quit the soap and what's next for her. Here's a snippet:

 

Digest: How would you feel if the show recast you?

Stafford: You know what? Let's be honest with this. I absolutely think they will if they haven't already done it. They are just going to be quiet about it. And I say this because the character is so instrumental in the show, and I really, really take it as a compliment that they don't want to lose the character. The character of Phyllis is such a driver of people's stories. She is so instrumental in how they are writing the story now, very instrumental in Jack's life, Avery's life, Summer's life and Nick's life. Phyllis created conflict. This is a soap opera. As a producer, I see how they can't lose the character. I'm pretty sure they will recast. They may, as a courtesy, ask if I wanted to come back; I don't know, they may not. It's okay with me. It doesn't matter because I am done. I'm completely done. And I'm not upset if they recast, I totally would understand. Even when I called Angelica [McDaniel, head of CBS Daytime], I said, 'You will probably recast.' And she said, 'No, no, no. We won't recast.' And I said, 'Well, I have some ideas, if you are interested.'

For more of The Staff's revealing interview, pick up the August 5 issue of Soap Opera Digest.
 


Comments

bishbay's picture
Member since:
23 June 2010
Last activity:
7 weeks 6 days

MS is one of two actors on Y&R (the other being MM) who committed to every scene. She kept her energy at 110% for the nearly 15+ years she was on the show.

She's an amazing actress and Phyllis is easily my favorite character. So sorry to see MS go but glad (because I like the character so much) that it seems likely another Phyllis will be coming along. I don't know if RC could ever match the intensity that MS brought but that's fine--she'll have to make the role hers anyway.

Member since:
27 December 2009
Last activity:
3 hours 54 min

Quote:
That said, I still consider MS one of the Top 5 actresses in this show's history so it's gonna take a real powerhouse to fill her shoes.

I would agree if we only evaluated Stafford's performances from the 90s. How can we ignore all of her shitty performance (e.g. the miscarriage scene). For the past three years, she has given awful performance that have made me cringe.

IMO, Stafford is pissed she's no longer "the star" or "babe." B*tch please. I'm so glad the years of Stafford being this irresistible cougar are done. Never in a million years did I buy Ronan wanting her granny body. As the character, Phyllis, got older, her storylines needed to mature and Stafford wasn't down with that direction.

pjc722's picture
Member since:
6 February 2012
Last activity:
23 hours 14 min

Stop with the NEGATIVE guessing on here. While I do sense a bit of animosity from Michelle Stafford in her decision to leave the show and then here "I'm done. I am completely done." statement, I am left to wonder what the real reason for exiting the show was for her.

Usually if an actress wants to leave a soap for family or career, that's what is said. Here it seems to be something much more than a young family, etc.

While I could definitely come up with a lot of scenarios, my nosy buddy instinct still wants the truth.

As for Michelle Stafford, I wish her well. For years she has entertained me, pissed me off, made me cry, made me cheer and made meeeeeeee sooooo maddddd at the tv screen. BUT NEVER at the actress or person... always at the character.

She's an amazing actress and will miss her.

Dakotaral's picture
Member since:
12 August 2012
Last activity:
7 weeks 2 days

I know she is leaving because the writing on the show SUCKS now under the new regime - anyone is replaceable - but unfortunately - the show as a whole has been shot to Hell with boring storylines and too many wrong recasts... Its not the same show anymore - and I have hung in there waiting for things to improve and frankly its a waste of my time now... The new online All My Children is telling compelling stories with wonderful actors - Jill needs to take a few lessons on running a soap opera - she has run this one into the ground like she did General Hospital.... And I give Josh a month or two before he quits again, too -

maxsmom's picture
Member since:
20 February 2009
Last activity:
1 hour 34 min

The Young and the Restless is the non-ABC show which held me the longest because even when I hated characters from the moment they were introduced, like Phyllis, I respected the actor with the exception of Cricket and Victor, those actors I can't stand.

I too hear diva in Ms. Stafford's statement but I also hear hurt and so I agree with those who say there is a bigger story here which once again is probably more interesting than anything onscreen.

Member since:
26 July 2011
Last activity:
20 min

Michelle going to be Michelle, Victoria Rowell going to be Victoria Rowell, Eric Braeden going to be Eric channeling (Victor) Brenda Dickson going to be Brenda; what that being said these actors are people with big egos, but as Jamey has said on the podcast those actors on that show have more drama behind the scene than their current storylines.

I think if any actor in daytime work on that show you better be prepared for the drama on and off the set, because being #1 doesn't mean it all roses and peaches it mean you better have your switch blade out to see who going to stab you...Maybe Michelle had enough, and is ready to move on. There always a little truth in every lie-

Member since:
25 October 2011
Last activity:
1 day 5 hours

1titanman wrote:
Michelle going to be Michelle, Victoria Rowell going to be Victoria Rowell, Eric Braeden going to be Eric channeling (Victor) Brenda Dickson going to be Brenda; what that being said these actors are people with big egos, but as Jamey has said on the podcast those actors on that show have more drama behind the scene than their current storylines.
I think if any actor in daytime work on that show you better be prepared for the drama on and off the set, because being #1 doesn't mean it all roses and peaches it mean you better have your switch blade out to see who going to stab you...Maybe Michelle had enough, and is ready to move on. There always a little truth in every lie-

You are right. The thing about soaps is that as regimes change, so will favorites. It's hard to maintain that position from Regime to regime. MS/Phyllis managed to get it with MAB. JFP, not so much. The last 7 years have been hell for me as a viewer. I have stopped watching altogether for long periods of time. I just couldn't stomach Phyllis in every story always coming out on top.

gato1's picture
Member since:
29 October 2009
Last activity:
2 weeks 2 days

HA Sashay Away Gurrl!!!!!!!!!!!

stoney07's picture
Member since:
18 August 2009
Last activity:
6 hours 8 min

I loved Phyllis believe it or not. Even after she had a hand in my Dru falling off that cliff, I have STILL loved Phyllis.

I don't know MS personally to know whether or not she's a diva. But I have to say...it's not as if we go weeks and weeks without seeing Phyllis on screen. At first I was a little suspicious, but now that I think about it, I doubt that she'd quit the show because she doesn't like the paternity story.

But there's no denying that she doesn't like the story. She said on several occasions (before the story was penned) that she thought it would be a horrible idea, so that's that. LOL. But, Phyllis has also had her share of HORRIBLE and ridiculous stories before (like Phelia), and it didn't seem to bother her or affect her performances.

Maybe she's just OVER the show in general. Clearly something happened behind the scenes, for her to say she's done for good....but then say "never say never" to going to another soap (most likely GH). But whatever...I say recast her. She was recast successfully before (altho that's debatable to some people) and she could be recast again. Nothing against MS, but yeah...she has her own little quirks and characteristics, but Nikki Newman, Katherine Chancellor, Victor Newman, Victoria Rowell...she is NOT. Phyllis can be recast...and I think she SHOULD be.

Member since:
31 March 2008
Last activity:
2 weeks 3 hours

Whomever wrote that she was irreplaceable is delusional in my view. She can be replaced in a heartbeat and people will not even look back. That said, she's had great years on the show and I've enjoyed her earlier years more than the latter. In real life, she certainly appeared to be a Diva. And supposedly she walked around like she owned the joint at YR, so now she's finally met a bigger bitch in Phelps, who didn't bow down to her diva-esque ways; thus, the only way to deal with it is to leave. Just like when Victoria Rowell left, it seems the working environment will be better for the rest of the folks without her. So goodbye...maybe...just maybe, Rowell is returning and she was spooked.

Member since:
25 October 2011
Last activity:
1 day 5 hours

Victoria Rowell will never return to Y&R despite the constant calls for it.

It is quite....interesting (for lack of a better word) to see MS seemingly walk the same path as VR did/has been. Now that MS is gone, she probably will never be allowed back even if she wanted to go back. I just think there is some bad blood that might just get worse.

Member since:
20 August 2012
Last activity:
1 day 23 hours

Jill Farren Phelps is hardcore. She is the Head Bitch In Charge at Y&R and anyone who works there must play by her rules. It's no surprise that a Diva like Stafford resented JFP's management. "I am done. I'm completely done." LOL!!! Those two butted heads, as everyone predicted. No doubt. JFP won. No surprise.

Stafford didn't like her storylines, the writing changes, playing the matriarch, stuck with Old Man Jack, losing Josh Morrow & Jeff Branson as love interests, relegated to the backburner or matronly supporting role while JFP's new leading ladies Jessica Collins, Hunter King, Melissa Egan took center spotlight. Stafford's ego took a massive hit. JFP took her down a million notches.

She says in her SOD interview that she was so unhappy at work that she broke down in tears on the set one day and felt she couldn't go back there. Apparently that place was so toxic, she had to get out, even if that meant losing the steady paycheck! Her sister's cancer gave her the courage to leave. DAMN!!! You know JFP must have done something to make Stafford feel so depressed and demoralized about her job. JFP does have a rep for pushing out the ones who don't fall in line. Cracking the whip!

Stafford also mentioned nobody tried to change her mind or talk her out of leaving. Ouch! JFP just let her walk. Bye Red, don't let the door hit your 47 year old butt on the way out. That's JFP attitude.

Anyway, best of luck to Michelle Stafford. I'm sorry to see her go. But I knew she would be one of the first to leave under JFP's regime. Saw that coming a mile away! Hopefully she has a nice nest egg saved up from her 16 years on the show.

I fully expect Robin Christoper will appear as recast Phyllis in 3 months time. She is a #1 Friend Of Jill and the same age & red hair as Stafford.

happy2's picture
Member since:
25 August 2012
Last activity:
3 weeks 5 days

Surely you want to stay and watch what they do to Sharon for this mess. They have made her character someone I don't even recognize anymore. Someone on the writing team hates her and wants the rest of the world to hate her as well.

happy2's picture
Member since:
25 August 2012
Last activity:
3 weeks 5 days

I want to go on record by saying I want Carmine run over by a really big truck. He makes my skin scrawl and he has the ick factor going non stop. Tension is expected in soaps, but does it always have to be repulsive, really repulsive. Now Victoria is a totally different reason to be run over by a really big truck. Please don't give that woman another baby, she is already not playing with a full deck. Hurt anyone to keep them away from Billy, but you can't stand to be in the same room with him. Oh, and get your hair done. You won $500 million dollars and you still don't have a descent hairdo. Grow up and act your age. It was a beautiful gown your wore to your Mom's benefit, but your hair was all over the place.
Daniel is coming to take Phyllis home with him to get her off the show. Yeah that will last.
Neil and his flashbacks are wearing thin.
Poor Dylan, it doesn't pay to be a good honest person on this show. Always kind and caring, I hope that last after you find out the truth about the baby.
I love Sharon and the writers are destroying her. Stop that.

Member since:
31 January 2013
Last activity:
7 weeks 6 hours

YR always strikes me as having the most arrogant, self-absorbed, diva cast. This just reinforces that thought. WOW! Soap stars amaze me sometimes. There's not a lot of gratitude or class shown. Maybe many of them should take cues from Susan Lucci and Erika Slezak. They speak their mind, but they are always grateful for their show, their character, their fans, and their fellow actors.

Member since:
26 July 2013
Last activity:
37 weeks 5 days

I am a huge fan of MS. I think she's the best actress on all of daytime, and I will sorely miss her. Having said that, I still believe a recast can be successful, though hers are certainly big shoes to fill.

In fact, Phyllis has been recast before--which I'm surprised none of the other commenters hav pointed out. Sandra Nelson played the role of Phyllis for a year or so the first time that MS left the shoe. While she was no MS, she did do a good job.

Member since:
26 July 2011
Last activity:
20 min 1 sec

The biggest Diva of them all is JFP; however with being said it sounds like Y&R is a very toxic place to work, but I would love to be a fly on the wall to see all the drama that goes down.

To Oprah: There should be a reality show of behind the scenes of Y&R,

But do the other shows have this much backstage drama like Y&R? Days, GH, B&B and other past show, because Y&R takes the cake and runs with it...Many actors on this show complain etc over this and that over the years, and from the podcast when Jamey said they bringing donuts and gift baskets to campaign for their Emmy real. I was done Sad SMH-

Member since:
16 April 2010
Last activity:
12 hours 4 min

Jill Faren Phelps is a show killer because of her ego. Michelle Stafford is a power house actress and the character of Phyllis is an iconic character that only Stafford can play to the hilt. If she is a diva, she earned it. I said when Phelps was hired as EP at Y&R you would not recognize the show in five years, so far we are right on track to that happening. The beauty of Y&R has always been its longevity of its characters and history. Im sure Phelps isn't finished with her destruction of the history of this show. Be careful with what you wish for with all these negative posts about Stafford leaving, it wont be long before you will wish she was back so you can actually recognize Y&R.

Member since:
29 July 2009
Last activity:
1 day 15 hours

Of course, there is more to the story than we know. I believe it's about money. That seemed to be the case when EB, MTS, JM, and SC were all renegotiating their contracts. She can say she is gone for good, but I will believe it when I see it. Frankly, I got tired of Phyllis getting away with everything. I would have rather seen her go to jail for a while.
In regards to recasting, the Y and R has proven anyone can be recast. Who would have thought Terry Lester or Brenda Dickson could be replaced? (BD was actually recast successfully twice in my opinion). And MTS isn't the original Nicky. I nominate Liz Keifer (Blake, Guiding Light).

Member since:
27 December 2009
Last activity:
3 hours 54 min

Why is everyone automatically blaming JFP? Couldn't it be Stafford's fault?

Member since:
27 December 2009
Last activity:
3 hours 54 min

Why is everyone automatically blaming JFP? Couldn't it be Stafford's fault?

Member since:
27 December 2009
Last activity:
3 hours 54 min

How much do you want to bet Stafford asked her character to be paired with the cop Alex?

JFP probably replied, "Sure, Alex needs a mother on the show." LOl and Stafford left.

I can see her wanting to be with Alex and being told no and getting pissed.

Ryan-Scott's picture
Member since:
4 May 2009
Last activity:
21 hours 6 min

JFP is the one who killed off Mo Bauer, let Beverlee McKinsey walk, and who fired Anna Lee.

Welcome to JFP in the 2010s....

Everyone get your container of lube cuz this won't be pretty.
She is going to drive this show into the ground like all the others..

Ryan-Scott's picture
Member since:
4 May 2009
Last activity:
21 hours 6 min

SOD for me usually comes in Monday's mail...can't wait to see it!

Seems like Scrumptious and Jamey are the only ones on here who have actually seen the SOD article...

Santa_Barbara_4Ever's picture
Member since:
3 April 2011
Last activity:
6 weeks 1 day

ANYONE and EVERYONE is replaceable in their jobs...the same goes for soap stars. The key part is finding the "Right" replacement. So many times that is the reason for the failure of a recast: they chose the wrong actor/actress to fill the role.

I was born in 1977 and grew up on DAYS and AW....but in July 1984 when Santa Barbara premiered, I was a full on addict to the genre! I tried to watch them all during the summer months but consistently supported SB from beginning to end. As an avid SB viewer, I LOVED Eden Capwell (Marcy Walker) and was just absolutely heartbroken when she left the show. Marcy was Eden and she was phenomenal in the role! When she left the show though, there was a hole in the Capwell Clan. I missed Eden terribly and longed to have her back....with or without Marcy Walker.

Phyllis is as MS said, "Instrumental" to so many stories on Y&R. They should recast IMO. Just do it justice and pick the right person that is going to make the role their own but still remain the Phyllis that we all love to hate and/or hate to love. These shows are about the characters we let into our lives 5 days a week. Yes, the actors/actresses bring them to life, but deep down it is the characters that we relate too, hate, love, etc.

All the way to the end of SB in Jan. 1993, I still missed Eden and still do when I think back on the show. I agree with many that Robin Christopher is probably on standbye bc she is indeed a FOJ...BUT, she is an exceptional red headed actress too! She tore it up on AW, I remember that. I didn't see her much on ABC, but I can imagine it was just as comparable as her stint on AW (as long as the writing was there.) That's another key part too. The writers have the control about what our characters are saying/doing. It is so easy to forget that, but imagine how frustrated they must be sometimes having to say some of the things they do when it is so outside of their view of the character.....At the same time we are online posting about how we can't believe that so and so would do that. I'm sure it makes things VERY interesting backstage for sure.

Oh, and yes. I'm sure there are Divas Galore on these shows....no doubt! Someone was asking in a post if it was just YR that had all the backstage drama. Uhm that would be a big ole "NO"! Not by a long shot. It certainly has had it's fair share and seems to have the most talked about right now, but all soaps have had it and will always have it to some degree. JFP has had quite her part in many of them too, throughout her career. SB had some serious backstage turmoil during its run (ultimately, that is what tanked the show). Check out their Wiki page and read up on it if you are unaware. I agree with the above poster......I'd love to be a fly on the wall too...for just one week to see what really is going on behind these scenes.

So, What did the interview say about her NEW JOB????????

Member since:
25 October 2011
Last activity:
1 day 5 hours

Ryan-Scott wrote:
JFP is the one who killed off Mo Bauer, let Beverlee McKinsey walk, and who fired Anna Lee.Welcome to JFP in the 2010s....Everyone get your container of lube cuz this won't be pretty.
She is going to drive this show into the ground like all the others..

This show was being run into the ground long before JFP came. And a major problem was letting the actors dictate the story and show's direction. MS was one of those that needed to be pulled in. That is why JFP was hired. I wouldn't be surprised if Muhney was next.

pferrando's picture
Member since:
28 June 2012
Last activity:
12 hours 35 min

Why does it have to be anyone's fault?

I don't ever remember Stafford saying she was the "star" of the show. There are too many iconic actors for her to have anyone believe that anyway.

I never thought she was, and I've watched her the entire time.

It's funny...people bitched about her acting when she tore it up on the screen, then now call her lazy and over it.

Let her leave in peace. She deserves it.

Member since:
7 February 2012
Last activity:
1 week 1 day

Muhney just signed another 2 or 3 yr contract around the beginning of the year. He also went silent on twitter in May, something's going on there just don't know what.

From another thread, Sharon is the next to get her walking papers.

miztee246's picture
Member since:
21 March 2011
Last activity:
24 weeks 5 days

I have to agree that Robin Christopher could easily step into Michelle Stafford's stilletos and make us forget about her. Another choice might be Alicia Coppola, who plays a really good trouble-maker, too.

To JFP -- please spare us any of these newbies who cannot act and are looking for OJT.

Member since:
20 December 2009
Last activity:
1 week 4 days

I'm disappointed to see her go and to hear that it's final. I kept hoping she'd at least come back at some point. I wonder what caused this definite split?

Has anyone read the article? I'd like to know what her "new job" is...motherhood?

As for being replaced, I think we've seen time and time again, NO ONE is irreplaceable. phyllis WILL return....right about the time summer walks down the aisle with Noah:)