Identity theft: The Young and the Restless' Eileen Davidson reveals how Ashley's alters came to life

Posted Friday, March 29, 2024 4:36:46 PM
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Viewers have wondered why Ashley Abbott has been acting so oddly over the past couple of months. Now the answer is known: Ashley has Dissociative Identity Disorder, previously known as multiple personalities.

The Young and the Restless' Ashley hasn't quite been herself for months. When she returned from her Parisian honeymoon separately from Tucker McCall, she insisted that Tucker had been violent with her in a café. However, Tucker remembered the situation differently, leading some fans to wonder if he was gaslighting her.

It turned out that he was not. Instead, Ashley is now the latest soap victim of dissociative identity disorder (DID), a very real condition that's given soap performers some meaty material to sink their teeth into over the years.

It's only become apparent over the last month that Ashley has a real problem -- one that her family is begging her to get treatment for. They just don't know what's really wrong yet, and that's because Eileen Davidson purposely played things subtle.

"It had to be more subtle, especially in the beginning," Davidson told TV Insider, while also explaining why this is a different experience than playing five different characters on Days of our Lives. "She didn't want to tip anybody off. As time went on, they each became more assertive."

Now the personalities -- Ashley, Ms. Abbott, and another alter who has yet to be given an on-screen name -- are so distinct that Davidson can easily recognize each one when she spots herself on TV.

"They're all vastly different from one another," she said. "If I walk by the TV, and I happen to be on, I absolutely know who it is just by the way she's looking."

So, how did this story come about when it's the last thing anyone expected from Ashley after she wed Tucker against her family's wishes.

"Josh [Griffith, executive producer and head writer] and I had been talking, and I happened to mention Ashley's mental health issues," Davidson said. "He remembered and got really inspired by that. So, it was an offhand conversation about the character that tied in beautifully with what he'd already been writing."

Davidson even got a taste of her time in Salem when she got her BFF and former DAYS body double a job for scenes in which the alters begin conversing with one another.

"I called Josh and I said, 'From the script, it looks like you guys need a double. My best friend has been my double and she is game for it for old time's sake.'" she explained. "We've had so much fun. I mean, we never thought we'd be doing that again on a different show, and it's just been great."

What do you think? Does it make sense for Ashley to have alters? We want to hear from you -- so drop your comments in the Comments section below, tweet about it on Twitter, share it on Facebook, or chat about it on our Message Boards.

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