Interviews
Photo Credit: Andrew Eccles.


By Deanna Barnert

Melody Thomas Scott is nothing like her The Young and the Restless character Nikki Reed Newman … but that doesn't mean the Daytime diva hasn't seen her share of drama! In her new memoir, Always Young and Restless: My Life On And Off America's #1 Daytime Drama (Diversion Books), Scott opens up for the first time about the cruelty inflicted upon her by her own grandmother, the abuse she experienced as a child coming up in Hollywood, and how she ultimately took control of her life and career.

Melody Thomas Scott pictured on her memoir  Always Young and Restless My Life On And Off Americas No 1 Daytime Drama

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Diversion Books.

Known for playing stripper turned well-heeled heroine Nikki for 41 years and counting, Scott started preparing for her 60-year career when she was only three-years-old. After her big screen debut in Alfred Hitchcock's Marnie at only eight, the powerhouse worked with the likes of Clint Eastwood, John Wayne, and Brian De Palma.

Melody Thomas Scott in a white dress

Photo Credit: Andrew Eccles.

While Scott doesn't hold back in sharing the personal and professional challenges she's faced along the way, she also celebrates her successes. Her story is one of finding her own path to healing, love and family—and how Y&R has fit into that journey! Not only will fans read about how Melody Thomas Scott found her husband and built a family on the Y&R stages, but there are plenty of juicy tidbits about life in Genoa City and what it's been like to team up with co-star Eric Braeden (Victor) to sustain "Niktor"—one of television's most iconic super couples–for decades.

Black and white photo of Melody Thomas Scott and Eric Braeden of The Young and the Restless

Y&R stars Melody Thomas Scott and Eric Braeden, circa 1984.

Photo Credit: CBS Photo Archive. ©CBS Broadcasting, Inc.

Watch spoke to Melody Thomas Scott about her character Nikki and the release of her memoir Always Young and Restless: My Life On And Off America's #1 Daytime Drama, which hits the market on August 18.

Catch all-new episodes of The Young and the Restless Weekdays on CBS and CBS All Access.

Watch is all about television's hottest shows. How do you feel about your 41-year (and counting!) run as Nicole "Nikki" Reed Foster Bancroft DiSalvo Newman Abbott Landers Newman Newman Chow Sharpe Abbott Newman on The Young and the Restless?

Being a part of Y&R for all these years is truly a blessing.

Tell us about your iconic character. Why do you think she's continued to resonate with fans? And did we get that list of last names right?!?

The fans have always wanted to guide Nikki back onto the right path when Nikki takes the wrong road. They never get mad at her; they instead feel protective of her. And regarding all of Nikki's husbands, you are correct with 12!

Eric Braeden and Melody Thomas Scott of The Young and the Restless

Photo Credit: Aaron Montgomery/JPI Studios.

What was the first day on the Y&R set like?

It was a joyous day, working with so many talented people and immediately liking so many of them. Many would become lifelong friends.

Tell us about your TV family and co-stars like Eric Braeden, Joshua Morrow, and Amelia Heinle.

Adore.

Amelia Heinle, Eric Braeden and Joshua Morrow at a 40th anniversary celebration for Melody Thomas Scott.

Amelia Heinle, Eric Braeden, and Joshua Morrow at a 40th anniversary celebration for Melody Thomas Scott.

Photo Credit: Howard Wise/JPI Studios.

Tell us about the creative/writing process for penning your memoir. How did it all come about?

My family and friends had always told me I have to write a book. So I thought about it for a long time before putting it on paper. It was a 10-year effort, with a few false starts, due to not being emotionally ready.

Watch usually asks how people decided to become an actor, but you were 3 when you got your start. How did that come about, and was there a point when you realized you were in fact doing what you wanted to do?

I guess those wondering about this complicated question will have to read the book!

Melody Thomas Scott in a silver gown

Photo Credit: Andrew Eccles.

Who's your biggest inspiration?

The late Lee Phillip Bell (co-creator of Y&R and The Bold and The Beautiful was someone I always looked up to and learned so much from. Music has always been my greatest inspiration.


This may not be fair… but who are you most thrilled to have worked with beside outside of Y&R and why?

Robin Williams [in an episode of The Crazy Ones]. Because he's, well… Robin Williams! Also Geraldine Page. She was such a gifted actress. I loved watching and learning from her [on The Beguiled set].

Black and white portrait of Melody Thomas Scott by a piano

Photo Credit: Andrew Eccles.

What TV shows are you currently binge-watching or catching up on right now?

Finally got around to The Kominsky Method. Am enjoying it so much. Also, still love Everybody Loves Raymond. Of course, I Love Lucy is still the mold from which all comedies should emulate!

Watch all-new episodes of The Young and the Restless Weekdays on CBS and CBS All Access.

Photo Credit: Michele Crowe/CBS.

As told to David Hochman

Editor's Note: This interview took place in January, before COVID-19 took hold in the United States.

60 Minutes airs Sundays at 7/6c on CBS. Stream full episodes on CBS All Access and cbsnews.com.

6:00 a.m.

On days I'm not traveling for work—which isn't often—the dreaded alarm goes off and I drag myself into the bathroom to dress with the news on our little TV. After I feed our dog, Parker, I try to get through the papers—yes, real paper!—with multiple cups of coffee.

8:00 a.m.

I go to a slow-weightlifting gym two mornings a week. It's what it sounds like: You push or pull heavy weights slowly till you cry! I do not love it.

\u200bLesley Stahl in the 60 Minutes studio taping a segment.

Lesley Stahl in the 60 Minutes studio taping a segment.

Photo Credit: John P. Filo/CBS.

9:00 a.m.

I live 20 New York City blocks from the 60 Minutes office on West 57th Street. If the weather's good, I'll walk. I'm determined to lead a normal life. I love being out on the streets: I get a lot of "Hi! We love 60 Minutes!"

Lesley Stahl interviews Tom Cruise for a segment.

Photo Credit: Tony Esparza/CBS

10:00 a.m.

One of the best parts of the job is that no two days are the same. My schedule depends on where I am in the cycle. After traveling to do an interview, I might be at my desk reading research, or working with a producer on a script or questions, or having our boss look at our finished stories and call for changes—often many.

I've worked on stories that take a year (like the one on a choir of teenage gospel singers) or a single day. I once did a live interview. This is rare: Virtually all our interviews are on videotape. It was with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld the day Saddam Hussein was captured.

Lesley Stahl in a boat with a commerical fisherman

Lesley Stahl reporting on commercial seaweed farming off the coast of Connecticut.

Photo Credit: 60 Minutes.

Noon

I go out to lunch with my girlfriends whenever possible. When I started out in the early 1970s, there were hardly any other women in TV news. A small group of us—this was in Washington—had lunch once a week. The group included Cokie Roberts, Linda Wertheimer, and Nina Totenberg, all of NPR. I'm in another lunch group in New York. The same women for 30 years.

4:30 p.m.

I'm thrown off when I'm asked about my hobbies. I don't have any. Lately, though, I've been FaceTiming with my granddaughters. Does that count? I like to play the piano (though I'm not very good at it), and I did find time to write two books. Working mothers become adept at managing their time.

7:30 p.m.

I don't cook. So my husband and I eat out a lot, or order in. After the 6:30 news (we're creatures of habit) on CBS, we either read in bed or watch TV. We like crime dramas, the History channel, and now a show called Servant on Apple TV. Our daughter is the producer.

The aurora borealis

The aurora borealis.

Photo Credit: Dave Moorhouse/Getty Images.

9:00 p.m.

Because we at 60 Minutes travel so much, I often wake up in New York but go to sleep in some far off place. Once it was near the North Pole. I woke up in the middle of the night in a toasty warm tent. To go to the john, I had to get fully dressed in multiple layers and heavy boots, step out gingerly onto the ice, and find the outhouse (with the wooden toilet seat).

There was a really good part: The sky was bright emerald green. The most beautiful sight, at the top of the world. More important than the places are the extraordinary people I've met and interviewed, from heads of state to school teachers.

\u200bLesley Stahl walking on the beach with Steve Kroft.

Lesley Stahl interviewing Steve Kroft for a segment marking his retirement from 60 Minutes.

Photo Credit: 60 Minutes.

11:00 P.M.

I do think about retirement, just not mine! The job is my hobby. I still love to travel. I get to work with an A+ team of brilliant journalists who are also decent and honorable. So I plan to stick around—as long as they'll have me.

Originally published in Watch Magazine, May-June 2020.

60 Minutes airs Sundays at 7/6c on CBS. Stream full episodes on CBS All Access and cbsnews.com.

Photo Credit: Timothy Kuratek.

By Brantley Bardin

She's that prolific comic actress whose work you adore, even if-until now-you've had trouble recalling her name. No worries: The fabulous Michaela Watkins is chill with that.

"People always have to download their brains with what I've done to remember who I am," she says with a laugh. "But unlike Jennifer Lopez, whose best friend I played in The Back-up Plan, that gives me the benefit of walking through life totally normally."

Actress Michaela Watkins Of The Unicorn smiles broadly while wearing a green top with black polka dots.

Photo Credit: Timothy Kuratek.

In addition to starring in a passel of films including last summer's Brittany Runs a Marathon and October's Torrance opposite Ben Affleck, Watkins is a Saturday Night Live alum and a recurring television MVP on everything from The New Adventures of Old Christine with Julia Louis-Dreyfus to Transparent and Casual.

Although she's renowned for her portrayals of comically unhinged women—"I love playing terrible people!" she exclaims—she's currently having a blast playing the take-charge pediatrician Delia on The Unicorn, the hot new sitcom about a recent widower (Walton Goggins) who is encouraged to get back into the dating pool by Delia and his three other best friends, played by Maya Lynne Robinson, Omar Miller, and Rob Corddry. Says Watkins, "I love that our show is about something so worthwhile: grief, and how to come out of it with the help of your friends."

Rob Corddry as Forrest, Michaela Watkins as Delia, Omar Miller as Ben, Maya Lynne Robinson as Michelle in The Unicorn.

Photo Credit: Michael Yarish/CBS.

A beautiful thing. You're married to entrepreneur and non-profiteer Fred Kramer, but The Unicorn deals with online dating when one is hitting 40 and beyond. What have you learned about that world?

That dating's easier for men! Kidding. Listen, thank God I didn't have to put myself out there on the internet thing, but I'll say this: It's intriguing, because it's so normal and unstigmatized now. I love how it's all, "We're just swiping and if it doesn't work out, no harm!" That said, no thank you.

So, are you an old-school matchmaker instead?

It's in my bones! I have an instinct with how people will get along. Now, I'm not saying that every date turns into a marriage. Or that some marriage doesn't end in divorce. But I am saying that some of those people maybe had kids before they got divorced. And that's a success, OK?! [Laughs.]

Actress Michaela Watkins Of The Unicorn smiles and looks to the sky while wearing a green top with black polka dots.

Photo Credit: Timothy Kuratek

OK! You've said that Joan Rivers was your biggest childhood inspiration.

My mother took me to see her in Syracuse, New York [where Watkins lived as a child], and I laughed so hard I peed my pants. I thought her filthy, foul mouth was a wonderful thing coming out of a woman. I also felt like, "Somebody gets me"—and I was 10! It taught me that women can do whatever the hell they want if they allow themselves.

You went to Boston University College of Fine Arts, did repertory theater in Portland, then moved to L.A. and trained as a Groundling before being discovered by SNL when you were 37-

The oldest woman they'd ever hired at that point! I was actually taping The New Adventures of Old Christine when I found out I'd just booked my life dream. I got the call at 10 p.m. The audience was clapping, and I turned to Julia [Louis-Dreyfus] and said, "I just got SNL," while we were bowing. I looked like a deer in headlights. Julia said, "We're getting a drink." And I was like, "I'm flying to New York in five hours and I have to pack, I have two cats, I don't know what to do!" And she said, "We're getting a drink."

Michaela Watkins and Kristen Wiig performing a "Today" skit on Saturday Night Live.

Michaela Watkins as Hoda Kotb and Kristen Wiig as Kathie Lee Gifford during the "Today" skit on Saturday Night Live.

Photo Credit: Dana Edelson/Getty Images.

Then, boom, your beloved SNL character, Angie Tempura, only got to say her catchphrase, "Bitch, pleeze!," for one season.

Yep. I always have to remember the attitude of "We don't know how we're protected." Because some of life's greatest disappointments end up becoming our biggest highs. I did one season of SNL and wasn't asked back, but then I wrote a script [Benched] which made it to series, and then I got my husband, and then [the Hulu series] Casual, and now The Unicorn! It's the That's Good! That's Bad! books come to life.

Or The Little Engine That Could. Here you are at 47, and you've never been more in demand.

I've got no complaints. So my pace is sometimes a little slower than others. But you know what? I get there! I've loved my ride.

Originally published in Watch Magazine, September-October 2019.

Stream full episodes of The Unicorn on CBS All Access.

Photo Credit: Erin Simkin/SHOWTIME.

Reporting by Marc Berman

Stream Black Monday on SHOWTIME and SHOWTIME ANYTIME® apps, as well as via SHOWTIME On Demand.

If you haven't tuned in to the SHOWTIME original series Black Monday—an outrageous comedy that chronicles the worst stock market crash in the history of Wall Street—we recommended you start binge-watching, stat! Watch interviewed cast member Casey Wilson and chatted about her crazy character, her hidden talent, and being recognized in public.

Actress Casey Wilson in TV show Black Monday

Photo Credit: Nicole Wilder/SHOWTIME.

Watch is all about television's hottest shows. Tell us about your character on Black Monday.

I play Tiff Georgina who is the fiancée of Andrew Rannells' character Blair. Tiff is hell on wheels and, frankly, abusive. She is heiress to the Georgina Jeans fortune and never met an '80s clip-on earring she didn't take off dramatically when answering the phone.

Casey Wilson and Andrew Ranells in 80s wedding attire.

Casey Wilson as Tiff Georgina and Andrew Ranells as Blair Pfaff in Black Monday.

Photo Credit: Erin Simkin/SHOWTIME.

Why did you decide to become an actor?

I don't remember deciding. I think when I was about three years old people told me I started talking about storytelling and performing. I always said I was going to write and act.

Most unusual or interesting place you've been recognized?

At a lot of baggage carousels and at piano bars.

The cast of Black Monday walks a red carpet.

Casey Wilson, Don Cheadle, Regina Hall, Andrew Rannells and Paul Scheer at the SHOWTIME 2019 Emmy FYC Screening of Black Monday at the Wolf Theatre in Los Angeles.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of SHOWTIME.

What's your hidden talent?

My hidden talent is gossip. I'm also writing a book of comedic essays that I'm really excited about.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Hopefully I will be spending time with my two wonderful sons and continuing to get the opportunity to act and write.

Casey Wilson and Andrew Ranells wear 80s style clothing in a still image from Black Monday.

Casey Wilson and co-star Andrew Rannells embrace the '80s fashion for Black Monday series set in New York City, circa 1987.

Photo Credit: Erin Simkin/SHOWTIME.

Stream Black Monday on SHOWTIME and SHOWTIME ANYTIME® apps, as well as via SHOWTIME On Demand.

MOST POPULAR

Trending

By viewing our video content you are accepting the terms of our Video Services Policy.
© 2020 CBS Interactive. All rights reserved.

Follow us: