In an interview with Soap Opera Digest, on newsstands now, Leiner says of her exit, “To be fair, I had a feeling from a story perspective, and then the executive producer, Tony [Morina], had a conversation that was delightful because he was so supportive and kind. So nobody blindsided me. It was a very lovely way to wrap it up.”
Calling her time on the show a wild ride that was only supposed to last a few days, Leiner notes, “Every time they kept scheduling me, I would think, ‘Whatever is happening, I hope it keeps going.’ Tara was getting more interesting and I enjoyed seeing where she would go.”
While her storyline appears to have wrapped, Leiner does note she’d be interested in returning should the opportunity present itself. “Of course,” she says to Digest when discussing a possible return. “I never say never. If it’s the right time and the right moment, I would definitely be up for it, for sure.”
The role of Tara Locke was originally scheduled to be played by actress Rebekah Graf (“Walker,” “S.W.A.T.”) beginning Tuesday, February 23, but a change in actresses was required after a scheduling conflict. Leiner’s first airdate was also pushed back to March 1 due to CBS’ airing of The Second Impeachment Trial of Former President Donald J. Trump.
“I started 48 hours after finding out that I had the job,” Leiner recalled to Digest. “On that first day, we shot bits from two or three episodes, so it was a lot of different pieces and wardrobe changes. I felt like a crazy person running up and down the halls in heels, trying to get to different sets. It was quite a trip, but a lot of fun.
Prior to her joining “Y&R,” Leiner appeared in episodes of Lifetime’s “Drop Dead Diva” and “Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders.” She also appeared in the TV movies “Suburban Swingers Club” and “Nanny Killer.”