Wed, 10 September 2008
(Editor's Note: This episode of Daytime Confidential featuring Victoria Rowell (ex-Drucilla Winters, The Young and the Restless) was set to air as our special 300th episode, however after completing the interview, we realized we couldn't sit on it. Download now to find out why!)
From her unforgettable debut in 1990 as Drucilla Barber the street smart niece of Mamie, the Abbott maid, on The Young and the Restless, through today as a world-recognized advocate for foster children and a New York Times Best Selling author, few actresses in the history of daytime television have made the kind of impact of Victoria Rowell. Who better then than Rowell to help Daytime Confidential celebrate our 300th episode?
Rowell speaks to Luke and Jamey from Atlanta, GA, where she is busy doing press for her hugely successful memoir The Women Who Raised Me, as well as writing her juicy first novel–Secrets of a Soap Opera Diva.
Rowell talks about the experience of being out on the road for the past 17 months "pressing flesh" with the droves of fans who have adored watching her on the big (Distinguished Gentlemen, Eve's Bayou) and small screen (Y&R, Diagnosis Murder) for the past 25 years.
She talks passionately about her work with foster children, via the foundation she started almost 20 years ago, the Rowell Foster Children's Positive Plan (RFCPP). She elaborates on how her other passion–ballet–helped her to carve a niche for herself in the world as a 17-year-old girl, fresh from the foster care system and why the RFCPP strongly utilizes the arts to teach its students discipline.
Rowell then provides a revealing and sometimes shocking glimpse into her time on The Young and the Restless, where she rose to fame as the insurmountable Dru. She remembers how it felt to work with the legendary Bill Bell, whom she shares she was as "thick as thieves" with. She tells how the daytime pioneer allowed her to help shape many storylines for the Barber-Winters family over the years, including Dru's ballet storyline and the Congressionally-recognized foster care storyline which helped win Bryton McClure (Devon) the Emmy and how that spirit of collaboration and trust died with Bell.
She reveals how it feels to have never won the Emmy herself (she was nominated twice and boasts 11 NAACP Image Award) and why she feels a "gang mentality" exists among much of the cast of daytime's number one show in terms of Emmy voting. She tells how on set popularity is measured above actual talent when it comes to making the all-important list of pre-nominees.
Rowell goes on to respond to remarks made by former Y&R costar Peter Bergman (Jack Abbott) in an interview with TV Guide Canada's Nelson Branco. Rowell reveals just why she feels Bergman is absolutely right, she wasn't "playing with a full deck", but not in terms of her sanity, in terms of onset equality.
She talks about what it was like working opposite Michelle Stafford (Phyllis Newman) and why an onset violation resulted in Sony Pictures Studios (which co-owns the CBS soap with Bell Dramatic Serial Company) having to get involved to facilitate an apology.
She answers a Daytime Confidential reader's question about why Lily (Christel Khalil) doesn't seem to have her mother's spirit and responds to questions about when and if she will ever return to Y&R. It's only fitting that this, our 300th episode, is Daytime Confidential's most revealing, poignant, jaw-dropping, interview ever.