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Y&R Interviews

Y&R's Jessica Collins (Avery) Responds to Your Burning Questions
You Asked, She Answered! From Soap Opera Digest 9/29/14

Suzanne Lanoue: How did your interest in cooking start? Was your mom a great cook, too?

Jessica: When I was 16, I opened one of my mother's McCall's cookbooks. The first thing I ever attempted to make was spaghetti and meatballs and an apple pie. Everything came out delicious! I was fascinated with the idea that if I just followed the instructions, I could make these wonderful meals. That's when I got the bug to cook. My mother worked when I was growing up, so she didn't cook day to day. But she loved to make big dinners for all the holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter and our birthdays. We didn't have much money, yet somehow she would put together these incredible feasts. I still use some of her holiday recipes today.

Shelley H.: Why did you come back to soaps?

Jessica: It was really the role of Avery Bailey Clark that got my attention. I've never worried too much about what medium I was working in (film, prime-time, daytime) as long as the role is something challenging and like nothing I've done before. I loved Avery from the moment I met her!

Rita W.: Do the actors get as upset as we do over getting rid of good actors?

Jessica: It's never fun to see someone lose their job. And it's tough to watch people go, even when they choose on their own to leave. We're a family. And I completely understand as viewers, we're your family, too. It's always hard to say good-bye.

Lorna (Hamilton, Ontario, Canada): What was your favorite storyline on "Loving"? Who did you like working with the most?

Jessica: My favorite storyline was when Dina Lee and Ava went on the run... a complete rip-off of "Thelma & Louise". We went on location to Orlando, Florida, just Lisa Peluso (ex-Ava), myself and a small crew for the shoot. They threw us in a convertible and off we went. It was the very first time I was given comedy to play and I was terrified that I wouldn't be funny. I learned so much from working with Lisa, who's a natural at funny, and she just gave me so much confidence. I'm forever grateful for getting to work with her. That was really the stepping-stone for me in terms of doing comedy, which I went on to do a lot of in my career.

Mark S.: Who would be your dream actress/actor to work with?

Jessica: I've always wanted to work with Jessica Lange. Hey, wouldn't she be a great mom for Avery and Phyllis?

Josh (Cleveland, OH): How does it feel to still be one of the top all-time hot soap opera actresses on TV since you started in daytime television?

Jessica: I've been in show business for 26 years, so I'm beyond grateful that anyone still wants to watch me do anything!

Elsa M. (Helotes, TX): Your guest appearance on "Perception" was awesome! Will you be doing more prime-time television?

Jessica: It was so much fun working with Eric McCormack! And my friend Michael Sussman wrote the episode. And yes, I plan to keep working in prime-time. The producers of Y&R understood when I took this job how important it is to me that I still get to spread my wings and work on other projects. Y&R has been nothing but amazing in keeping that promise.

Diane S.: Which do you enjoy more, acting or cooking?

Jessica: I love them both in different ways. Acting is what drives and fulfills me creatively and cooking grounds and calms me.

Deb B.: What would be your advice to a new cook? I just love to watch your cook! You make it look so easy.

Jessica: My first advice would be to check out my website at www.jessicacollins.com, which is geared especially toward new cooks! You can make any of the dishes if you follow my recipes (just as I did when I opened my first McCall's Cookbook!). Then I recommend you just keep practicing. Make the same thing over a few times until you get the hang of it. Then starting making things your own -- adding or subtracting ingredients you like/dislike. Have fun and don't stress. It's just cooking.

Alli M.: What's your relationship like with Aly Lind (Faith)? Does she really like working with you? Her personality is so heartwarming!

Jessica: She's the cutest thing EVER. Her mother and I actually worked together on "American Dreams" years ago. Funny Aly story. The first time Faith had to be really mean to Avery, Aly ran up to me and grabbed me in a tight hug and said, "This is the hardest acting I've ever had to do because you're so nice!" She just warms my heart. I've met her sisters, too, and they are all lovely young ladies.

Kristina O.: I loved your episode of "Two and a Half Men" and I was wondering what it was like working Charlie Sheen?

Jessica: I had a wonderful time shooting that show! It's actually my absolute favorite medium to work in because of the time to rehearse following by taping the show in front of a live audience, which is thrilling to me. Charlie and I had a lot of fun. We played brother and sister, but we didn't know we were brother and sister...Hmm, sounds like a soap opera storyline, doesn't it?

Denise H.: Avery's former husband, Joe, will be played by hottie Scott Elrod! Have you ever worked with him in any of the primetime shows you've appeared in?

Jessica: No, we've never worked together and I haven't met him yet. But I'm excited he's joining the show and can only imagine it's going to cause some serious trouble for Avery. We've been teasing the audience about Joe for almost two years, so I'm sure Scott and I will get into some mischief.

Vivian L.: Do you like playing Avery? Because you are so great!

Jessica: I love the character and I always have. She's a badass lawyer who is strong and smart, and lives her life to save people. Her weakness and vulnerabilities come out in how she loves the people close to her. Just recently, Avery Bailey Clark has become the character I have played the longest in my career, over three years now, and I can't believe it.

Betty R.: Are you an aunt? If so, how many nieces and nephews do you have, and what kind of things do you like to do together?

Jessica: I'm Aunt Jessie to my brother, Zac's, four amazing kids: my niece, MacKenzie, and nephews Kyle, Riley and Quincy. Mac and Kyle are in college, and my youngest nephews are 8 and 6. With the older kids, we go to museums or restaurants. With the little ones, we play games like Twister or they like to show me their video games and tell me about all the bad guys in them.

Shannon: I love Avery and Nick (Joshua Morrow) and was wondering if you think they will finally reunite and find their way back to each other? We "Navery" peeps have been waiting forever for a reunion. Love you guys!

Jessica: The "Navery" fans hold a special place in my heart and they know that. I think there is always a bit of "What if?" when Avery and Nick come together, and well, it's a soap right? So, never give up hope.

Angela D.: Do you think there are any similarities between Avery and your "Loving" character, Dinah Lee?

Jessica: The only similarity I can think of is that they were both played by me! They couldn't be more different. Dinah Lee was a bad girl/have-not from the wrong side of the tracks (with a heart of gold, of course!). Avery went to Yale and devoted her life to saving innocent people. What I *could* see is Avery taking pity on the mess Dinah Lee is and representing her in a case...Hmm, I've never played double roles before!

Brandi M.: I want to know what your dream storyline would be if you could pick?

Jessica: I don't have a specific storyline in mind, but I would love to get some juicy material that really challenges the character, something that takes both Avery and myself out of our comfort zones. I always enjoy playing stories that mirror stories going on in the real world.

Larry B.: I saw on the internet that your sister will appear on Y&R as an extra. That made me wonder if you have other siblings and if they are older or younger than you?

Jessica: Yes, I put my little sis to work for the day! She had a blast. She's a freshman at University of Texas in Austin. I am the oldest of five children. Me, my twin brothers Zac and Chad, followed by my brother Justin, and Olivia is the youngest.

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Page updated 10/11/14

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