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Hayley Erin talks about starring in ‘The Young and The Restless’

Emmy award-winning actress Hayley Erin chatted about portraying the new character Claire Grace on the CBS soap opera “The Young and The Restless.”

Hayley Erin
Hayley Erin. Photo Credit: Howard Wise, JPI Studios
Hayley Erin. Photo Credit: Howard Wise, JPI Studios

Emmy award-winning actress Hayley Erin chatted about portraying the new character Claire Grace on the CBS soap opera “The Young and The Restless.”

Being back on Y&R

On playing Claire, she said, “I am having the best time. I am so glad to be back at Y&R after so many years. It is such a great group of people and it’s such a fun set to work on. Claire is such a dream character to play; I never know what she is going to do next, and she always keeps me on my toes. I am just having a blast.”

“It is such a cool thing to be able to be back on Y&R,” she admitted. “I was first on the show as a teenager, and it was my first introduction to daytime TV.”

“Then, a few years later, I went on to ‘General Hospital,’ where I was able to sink my teeth into things and I got to learn the ropes of how to work on a soap opera; it is so different from anything else in the industry,” she elaborated.

“I returned with skills that I’ve gained and the life experiences that I’ve had since I was here last, and that is a really cool experience,” she acknowledged.

Working with Colleen Zenk, who plays Aunt Jordan

On working with Colleen Zenk, she said, “It is so much fun. She is a gorgeous human being; she is so lovely to work with. Her character is so much fun, and she plays her so enigmatically. She brings life to Aunt Jordan, and that is just incredible.”

Working with Melody Thomas Scott

“Also, Melody Thomas Scott is so iconic and such a pleasure to work with,” Erin added. “Melody took me under her wing when I got there, and I felt so comfortable and safe here having her as my scene partner for so long.”

Emmy win

In 2019, she won the Daytime Emmy Award for “Outstanding Younger Actress in a Drama Series.” “I am very proud of it. It is high on my mantel. I blow it kisses every day,” she said with a sweet laugh.

At the time, she was thrilled to receive it from “Jeopardy” host Alex Trebek.

“I could not believe that. I’m the biggest Jeopardy nerd,” she said. “It is such a great part of our pop culture, and I was so grateful that I got to meet him. That was the honor of my life. I could not believe that he presented me with the award. This is the stuff that dreams are made of.”


When asked how she handles being dialogue-heavy on the show, she said, “It is a lot. It is funny though because it’s a muscle. Once you cultivate it, and you get that strategy that you need, it really is like riding a bicycle.”

“When I first returned to Y&R, I thought it was hard but now constant practice has made it a lot easier. I’m trying to stay sharp, and it gets a little easier once you are back in the saddle,” she said.

“Now, I can amaze myself with what I am capable of, and it feels really good. It’s a nice feeling when you get through it. Once you break it down one scene at a time, it is never as bad as you think it’s going to be,” she added.

Advice for young and aspiring actors

For young and aspiring actors, she encouraged them to “watch a lot of films and be persistent.” “I’ve been acting since I was a small kid. I started doing commercials when I was three, and television when I was 10,” she said.

“Even when you are feeling like you’ve put in everything that you’ve got, you always have more, and that’s an amazing thing that is going to happen. It’s not an easy industry to break into but persistence is key,” she explained.

“Also, practice makes perfect, and honing your craft, as generic as that may sound,” she explained,” she added.

The digital age

On being an actress in the digital age, Erin said, “It is interesting. It has really changed the face of this industry. I still don’t know what is going on. The streamers have so much content these days, and the availability of it has really changed how we make television.”

“I am all for progress,” she noted. “It is interesting to see this new era that we are walking into. Hopefully, everyone can find out a way to make it benefit everyone. We are all trying to figure out what this new world looks like. There are definitely some growing pains.”

“The fact that more people have more access to material is going to be a good thing in the end,” she added.

Matt Cohen

Erin praised actor and TV host Matt Cohen for being “such a lovely man.”

“Matt introduced me to my husband,” she said. “I love Matt and his entire family. His wife, Mandy, and his son Maklin are so beautiful.”

“Maklin is the most gorgeous kid, and Matt is so doting. He loves my twins (my girls  Juno and Maude), and it is such a sweet dynamic. We’ve come so far. So much has happened over the past few years,” she acknowledged.

More scenes with on the show

Erin revealed the actors that she would love to do more scenes with on “The Young and The Restless.”

“I would love to do more scenes with Eileen Davidson,” she noted. “Eileen played my mom on the show when I was Abby. The same holds true for Melissa Ordway. I haven’t had a chance to work with them yet but that would be really fun.”

“It would be fun to see what Abby and Claire’s dynamics are like. Melissa is so talented, and I find her absolutely hilarious,” Erin added.

Contractors for Kids charity

Erin had great words to say about the nonprofit organization Contractors for Kids.

“While I haven’t been able to get out there in so long, I had so much fun working with Contractors for Kids,” she said. “Deborah O’Rourke and the people that run it are so lovely. They are such a wonderful group of people doing such great work.”

They help families with kids in hospitals by getting them accommodations and helping them with transportation, and so many other notable causes for children. Now that I have my own kids, I really appreciate the work that they do,” she expressed.

Stage of her life

On the title of the current chapter of her life, Erin said, “Work-Life Balance or The Working Mom.”

Speaking of motherhood and her career, when asked how she balances it all, she responded, “I am trying to figure that out. It has been so interesting. My girls were born during the COVID pandemic, and in a way, that was the perfect time to go on maternity leave because I wasn’t missing anything.”

Superpower of choice

If she were to have any superpower, it would be to “talk to animals.” “That would be very cool,” she admitted. “I would love to know what my cat is thinking, and I would love to be able to tell her what to do. I think that would be a fun superpower.”


Erin equates success to “true happiness.” “I think success is being able to define joy in your life and reach your goals, and still have goals to strive for, and feel like you are loving life.”


For her daytime fans, Erin expressed, “Thank you so much. I am so grateful for everyone’s kind words, and the acceptance of this new character, which is always so nice. It is great to have people rooting for you and your success.”

To learn more about Emmy award-winning actress Hayley Erin, check out her IMDb page, and follow her on Instagram.

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 21,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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