It’s been exactly 20 years since Christel Khalil came into the soap opera world as Lily Winters on the CBS showÂ The Young and the Restless. And now the 34-year-old actress is recalling how “nervous” she was when she began as a teenager, as well as looking back on some of her most pivotal storylines.
Khalil began her time as Lily, a rebellious teenager, in 2002, nearly 30 years after the show began its run. In an interview with TV Insider, the actress remembered her first scene with Victoria Rowell, who played her mother, Drucilla.
“I remember being nervous and wanting to do a good job,” Khalil said. “My first few years, it was about introducing the character. I was a kid. I wasnât quite old enough to be a part of the teen storylines.”
Once she was around 15 years old, Khalil did a chlamydia storyline with Greg Rikaart, who played Kevin Fisher, an abusive man Lily met on the internet with whom she fell in love and got chlamydia from. According to Khalil, she got her first Daytime Emmy nomination for the scenes where her character tells her parents about what happened with Kevin.
“It was a great storyline and I think they did it really well,” Khalil said. “I remember doing PSAs after shooting scenes related to the chlamydia storyline.”
While she didn’t win the Emmy for those scenes, she did go on to win the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series in 2008 and the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Younger Actress in a Drama Series in 2012.
Another big storyline for Lily was when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, something Khalil says she did a lot of research on.
“What would the symptoms be, how would a person feel,” she said. “I relied on the writers and focused on how I would feel. I wore a bald cap on my head [when Lily lost her hair]. Theyâd make it match my skin. Iâd wear a head scarf and later, a wig.”
Fans of the actress (and her character) took to Twitter to comment on a tribute the show’s page posted for her two decades of service to the soap opera.
One wrote, “Thank you for 20 years, of joy and tears. Youâve literally crushed every scene written for you.”
Another said, “Your character is one of the reasons I got hooked on this show. Keep up the great work!” while someone else commented, “You make it easy on us, the fans. You are one of my favorites. You always do an amazing job.”
As for the future of the long-running show, Khalil says she hopes they “can keep everyone interested.”
The Young and the RestlessÂ airs weekdays at 12:30 p.m. ET on CBS.
The post ‘The Young and the Restless’ Star Christel Khalil Reflects on 20 Years of Lily Winters: “I Was Just a Kid” appeared first on Decider.