The surname Bell could almost be synonymous with the Daytime Emmy at this point. Starting with the late William J. Bell and wife Lee Phillip Bell, members of the soap opera dynasty have been bringing home the gold for decades.
This past Daytime Emmy weekend, The Bell's youngest daughter, Lauralee, accepted the award for Outstanding Special Class — Short Form Daytime Program for her powerful texting and driving teen saga mI Promise.
Photo credit: CharlesBush.com
Bell, who starred in the web series and produced it with husband Scott Martin via their Martin Bell Productions shingle, is riding high post the 41st Annual Daytime Emmys. The Young and the Restless, where she's played dutiful teen model-turned-attorney Christine "Cricket" Blair Romalotti Williams on and off since 1983, won big at the kudofest. Bell is also in the middle of a red-hot storyline centered on Christine's husband Paul Williams (Doug Davidson) learning he fathered a son decades earlier with town socialite Nikki Newman (Melody Thomas Scott).
I caught up with Bell to discuss her Daytime Emmy win and to see if I could get a little spilled tea on her Genoa City happenings! Will the revelation that Dylan McAvoy (Steve Burton) is Paul and Nikki's kid change the game for the CBS sudser?
Daytime Confidential: Congratulations on your Daytime Emmy Award for mI Promise! What went through your mind as your name was called?
Lauralee Bell: One of our other producers, Anne Clements, was sitting next to me as the award came near and she said, "Which way should we walk up?" and I said, "If we win." She said she had a good feeling, she had watched all the other shows online and felt we had a strong tape and a strong chance. However, I reminded her, that I'd sat with my dad for many years and the reality is, you never know! So a sense of relief went through my mind. When mI Promise was read, then, "Which way should we walk up?" came into play, since we were far back in the room. Happiest walk ever!
DC: I hear you became emotional during your speech, while talking about your parents, broadcasting pioneers Bill and Lee Phillip Bell. What does Mom think of your award?
LB: I think my mom and brothers wanted this more than anyone. Very sweet. Scott [Martin] too, really knew how much it would mean to me. I really was thrilled to be nominated ,but the family was really anxious for the win!
DC: Do you think your father would be proud of his baby girl?
LB: I think my dad would be 100 percent proud. I thought of him so much during the writing of it. My challenge was to make Riley [the protagonist in mI Promise] so likable in a couple minutes, that an audience would care about her enough to be devastated by her crash and stay tuned! Any success I had with that came from observing my father and learning from the best!
DC: You were an early adapter to web programming, producing comedy Family Dinner and glitzy, branded content series Just Off Rodeo through your Martin Bell Productions shingle. What's next for your production company?
Photo: Feldman Public Relations
LB: I'm not sure what's next. I've been so busy on Y&R that I haven't had time to discover it yet. My pattern has been to spend a lot of time with my family each summer and let my imagination run wild. By September, I have a clearer picture and run it by my husband and then spend a couple of months working on it until we are satisfied with the results.
DC: Speaking of Y&R, Christine is dealing with one gut punch after another. First Paul was shot by Avery's kidnapper. Now the Williams and Newman clans are reeling from the revelation that Dylan McAvoy is Paul's son with Nikki. How will Cricket deal with this bombshell?
LB: This storyline with Doug has been so great! So much more to come, and what a somewhat fearful reality for Chris. Not knowing if Paul will still want a child with her now that he's found out about Dylan. Lots of emotional dynamics to play with Nikki too now in the picture! Chris's world has defiantly been rocked a bit.