Guiding Light’s Nick McHenry. All My Children’s Kelly Cole. Bold and the Beautiful’s Karen Spencer. The list of soap twins, who make the scene after their identical sibling has died, is fairly long. Young and the Restless is adding another name to that roster now that Amanda Sinclair (Mishael Morgan) has received DNA results revealing that she’s the twin sister of the late Hilary Curtis Hamilton.
Viewers pretty much suspected as such once Amanda, an attorney who came to Genoa last year to question the validity of Katherine Chancellor’s (the late Jeanne Cooper) will, revealed that she had grown up in the foster care system. How will this news affect Amanda’s relationships? Should Elena (Brytni Sarpy) fear that Devon (Bryton James), Hilary’s widower, will fall for his newly discovered sister-in-law?
Morgan chatted with TV Insider to give insights on this plot twist. Read on for the scoop!
What’s Amanda’s mindset now that she knows she has a sister whom she can never meet?
Mishael Morgan: It’s pretty strange and crazy. Being the person who played Hilary and plays Amanda, I feel Amanda’s loss even though I’m the one who played Hilary. There’s a feeling of loss and that Amanda can’t get any closure. Hilary’s gone. Amanda is stuck in this place of ‘Oh, I had a sister, but I don’t have a sister.’
Turing to Devon, Hilary’s widower, would be logical for Amanda if she’s looking to learn about her sister.
I think so. Amanda not only doesn’t have a sister, but she can’t track down any information about her [birth] father and her mother is gone, too. Her only tie to Hilary is Devon. I don’t know how it’s going to go given how painful it was for him to lose Hilary.
Hilary’s loss was tragic. What were your thoughts when you learned Hilary was going to die?
It was flattering, in a way. If they had recast the role, it would have meant that she had left such a mark in Genoa City, that they didn’t want to lose her. If they killed her off, it spoke to how they may have felt that nobody else could have played the part. I was open to whatever they were considering doing. The door was closing for Hilary, but I was going through a lot of changes. At the time, I’d been with Y&R for five years. I definitely didn’t think I’d be back. There were other people leaving the show [that year] but we went further with Hilary dying.
Viewers had hoped your return to the show as Hilary’s ghost meant a door was open for a longer return. And then, you came back as Amanda. Did doing one lead to the other happening?
Those are two are completely different situations. When I came back as a ghost, there was no conversation about extending that. Later, Tony [Morina, executive producer] said he wanted to have [me] back. He valued me as an employee and talent on the show. He articulated that to me. There were a few different reasons I left. I’d been playing Hilary for five years. Y&R gave me an opportunity to play somebody different.
What kept you busy during the year you were off?
One thing was having a baby! (Morgan gave birth to daughter, Naliyah, in 2018). I really enjoyed nesting during my time away. I enjoying spending more time with my son [Niam, 5,] and bonding with my daughter. My agent was pushing me to get back into pilot season. I did a few auditions and had gone back to Toronto for a few months. I had quality time with my dad. I did a Lifetime movie.
When did you sense that fans were behind Hilary and Devon vs. Hilary’s pairing with Neil (the late, great Kristoff St. John)?
Right away. I had watched the show for so long I knew that their putting me with Neil so quickly and still playing Hilary’s connection with Devon meant that this would be a long play towards Devon. Both Bryton and I felt that. Writers like to keep things close to their chest, but we figured it out and we said, ‘Let’s make this journey fun. Let’s make this epic, a really fun, love story.’ I’m glad it had the response that it did. Even though my character is gone, fans are still rooting for them.
The stage is set for an Elena/Devon/Amanda triangle. Do you know where things are going next?
I have no idea… but I actually like that. Sometimes it’s nice to know where the story’s going so you can get to work. Other times, it’s best to trust and enjoy the journey. Amanda’s surrounded by friends. She’s connected to Devon, who knew her sister, and he can just look at her and be reminded of Hilary. Nate (Sean Dominic) has embraced Amanda and looked beyond what other people saw regarding her resemblance to Hilary. He’s the dream guy for her. He checks all the boxes.
Amanda also has this dynamic with Billy (Jason Thompson). He’s fun and he pushes her outside of her comfort zone. I want to be open and honest in [all] these scenes and see what’s going to happen next.
In a way, this is just the beginning.
Yes. It is.
Do ever have to remind yourself that Amanda doesn’t know certain things that you, having played Hilary, do?
Yes. That’s something I’m hyper-aware of. I want to make these characters be different from one another. The first thing I do when I get a script is look at who is in the scene [with me]. What was Hilary’s relationship like with this person? Then, I make a choice as to what Amanda’s relationship will be with them. It helps to be mindful and adds to the performances as I’m creating this new character.
Young and the Restless, Weekdays, CBS