By Susan Pocharski
Growing up, Natalie Morales enjoyed watching a good soap opera. “Because I mostly lived overseas (my father was in the Air Force), I got hooked on a lot of Brazilian and Latin American telenovelas,” says The Talk co-host. “And I was a huge Dallas and Dynasty fan.”
Now, she’s combining her passion for drama—and her background in journalism—with a story arc on The Young and the Restless, starting August 17, playing investigative reporter Talia Morgan.
She took time out of her busy schedule to talk with Watch about her foray into theatrics.
A publicity shot of Morales for The Talk
Cliff Lipson/CBS ©2021 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
What inspired you to act on Y&R?
I love the opportunity to challenge myself. While I’m not an actress, I’ve played a reporter before for a few TV shows and movies, so this was a great opportunity to develop a character and appear on one of CBS’s most popular daytime soap operas. It’s a great opportunity for crossover promotion and synergy between our two daytime shows. The Young and the Restless audience is loyal and I hope they stick around and watch us on The Talk.
Oh, the Drama!
Talia (Morales) talks with Nikki Neuman (Melody Thomas Scott) and Phyllis Summers (Michelle Stafford)
Photo Credit: SONJA FLEMMING/CBS
Describe your character: In what ways is she different from you?
Talia is an investigative journalist who loves a good story and juicy characters, which of course there are plenty of in Genoa City. I would say I am like Talia in that sense. However, I do question her objectivity right now, as she is getting swept up in the complicated web of Diane Jenkins (Susan Walters), Nikki Neuman (Melody Thomas Scott), and Phyllis Summers (Michelle Stafford). As a journalist I would question each of their motives a little more intensely, but I do love a good drama.
Morales (left) with her fellow hosts on The Talk: (l. to r.) Amanda Kloots, Sheryl Underwood, Akbar Gbajabiamila, and Jerry O’Connell
Sonja Flemming/CBS ©2021 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
What’s the difference between acting and working as a reporter/host?
As a reporter and host I am just telling the story, fact finding, not embellishing the details. The similarity between the two is perhaps the skill needed to memorize a live shot while reporting (and because it’s live, there are no second takes, which can be challenging). Acting involves a lot of skill, memorization, and of course putting yourself out there in a more emotional sense. I’m having a great time trying to develop Talia and am excited to see what she turns up in her future reporting.
Morales, with Melody Thomas Scott and Michelle Stafford, says she appreciates the Y&R cast’s patience with her onset.
Photo Credit: SONJA FLEMMING/CBS
Did you take acting lessons to prepare for the part?
I have taken acting lessons in the past, though a long time ago. Talia is not that different from me, so that makes it easier. However, I needed advice on how to learn my lines and figure out how to move and talk at the same time, and thankfully the Y&R cast and crew have been patient. Also, my friends’ daughter introduced me to a fantastic app, Scene Study, that allows me to learn my lines while listening for the right cues.