Robert Voets/Nickelodeon

Robert Voets/Nickelodeon

It’s only been a few weeks since Melissa Ordway took over for Emme Rylan as “The Young and the Restless’” Abby, and the actress already feels right at home. That’s partly because the cast has been together a lot celebrating the show’s 40th Anniversary, but it’s also because, as the actress puts it, the entire cast is just like a real family.

“The experience has been amazing,” the former “Hollywood Heights” star reveals. “The first scene I had was with Eric [Braeden, Victor Newman] and Joshua [Morrow, Nicholas Newman] — basically my whole family.  I was so intimated, because I had watched the show forever, so I was like, ‘Oh my gosh! I have a scene with all of these people that I’ve grown up watching?!” But they were all so lovely and kind, and they made me feel right at home immediately.”

Ordway is relieved that she has seemed to fit right in, especially because she admits that taking over the role from Rylan hasn’t exactly been easy. “It was at first a little bit intimidating, because Emme did such a great job playing Abby,” she says. “To try and make Abby my own is definitely going to be a challenge, but I’m excited to do it. The fans love Abby, so I just want to make them happy.”

Even though everybody loves a bad girl, the actress is thrilled to finally be portraying someone who’s regarded as a sweetheart. “Chloe on ‘Hollywood Heights’ was so mean! And when [fans would] see me in public, just as me, they’d think that I’m actually really mean. But I’m like, ‘I promise I’m not Chloe. It’s just a character!’” she says with a laugh. “It’s going to be fun to be nice for a change, and hopefully the fans will like me more than they liked Chloe.”

In fact, Ordway says that she really relates to Ashley and Victor’s mostly-sweet daughter. “I definitely feel like Abby is more like me than any other character I’ve ever played, because Abby, she doesn’t like to get in the middle of things, she’s trying to a little bit more grown up,” says the actress, who debuts as the Naked Heiress on Monday, April 22. “She’s done some wild things in the past, but I think that she really wants to get her life together and make a name for herself. I definitely feel like she’s more neutral. She’s part of the Newman family and the Abbott family, so she just wants to be one big, happy family!”

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