The Young and the Restless' Chelsea (Melissa Claire Egan) is currently breaking viewers' hearts as she battles depression on the CBS soap. The actress shared the behind-the-scenes work that went into this storyline and its importance when she appeared on The Talk on November 4.
Well, my character has been struggling the past few months with anxiety and depression and some mental health issues, and then it really all culminated last week when she came close to taking her life. So it's been very serious and very heavy but also really relevant, unfortunately, because it's something that affects so many people. So our writer and Josh Griffith, our head writer, and our show really wanted to tell this story and hopefully make an impact.
When Josh first brought me up to his office to tell me, I was kind of in shock, to be honest with you. But then I was honored to be able to tell this story. It's just so important for these times, you know, and our show, our writers are incredible and they tell a lot of serious stories but they also tell lighter stories. For example, last year, I tried to frame my ex-husband for attempted murder by poisoning somebody, something that's not particularly...you know, that you can't really relate to, you hope.
Y&R worked with Dr. Dan Reidenberg, managing director of the National Council for Suicide Prevention, on this storyline. Egan said of working with Reidenberg:
He could not have been more helpful. When I knew I was taking on this story, I asked if we could do some Zooms and some texting and I just had a lot of questions about... you know, my character is a mom, so how does someone get to that place, if you have a child? And he really taught me a lot, that you're in so much pain that your brain can't recognize who you love anymore, and I thought that was so heartbreaking but really taught me a lot and helped me to be able to get in the mindset in order to play those scenes.
Watch Egan open up below.