‘The Young and the Restless’ Star Melody Thomas Scott on Being an ‘Emergency’ Nikki Recast: ‘Such a Whirlwind’

The Young and the Restless star Melody Thomas Scott has played Nikki Newman for years on the show, becoming one of the most notable figures in all of daytime television. In a new interview, Scott looked back at her time on the show, including the fact that she was a recast.

Melody Thomas Scott on the red carpet
Melody Thomas Scott | Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic

Melody Thomas Scott plays Nikki Newman on ‘The Young and the Restless’

Scott debuted as the character of Nicole “Nikki” Reed Newman on The Young and the Restless in 1979. She was the second actress to portray the character. Scottt came after Erica Hope, who was in the role for a short period of time from 1978 to 1979.

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Nikki is an iconic character on the show known for many things, but she is definitely best known for being one-half of a supercouple with Victor Newman (Eric Braeden). Nikki’s overall story arc is thought to be one of the best in soaps, as the character going from a prostitute to a prominent businesswoman in Genoa City.

Melody Thomas Scott on being an ’emergency recast’ as Nikki

In a interview with Soap Opera Digest, Scott revisited all of the years she’s played Nikki and some of her fondest memories.

“My start at Y&R was such a whirlwind,” she said. “I was an emergency recast and the process happened very quickly. The show was only 30 minutes back then, so we shot it as if it was live, but on tape. I have such fond memories of those times and of forming relationships with some of the cast and crew that have lasted a lifetime.”

Melody Thomas Scott on memories of playing Nikki and about her on-screen kids

On said memories, Scott talked about her favorite thing about playing Nikki, as well as some of her favorite co-stars. “Playing Nikki changed my life in ways I could never have imagined,” she said. “She and Y&R have given me a home and a second family for 42 years, and the opportunity to do what I love on a regular, consistent basis, which is an actor’s dream.”

Scott also talked about some of her favorite fellow cast members, such as Amelia Heinle and Joshua Morrow, who play her on-screen children, Victoria and Nicholas. “I remember when he first joined the show. He was just 20 years old and still living at home,” she said of Morrow. “Such a baby! He is now a husband, a father and such an integral part of Y&R. I’ve loved him since that first day. I’m so proud of the work he has done on the show and the man he has become.”

The actress recalled the first time that Heinle was Victoria on set and said that she remembered where the set was standing.

“At the time, Victoria was living in Florence, Italy, and Victor and Nikki came to visit her,” she explained. “She radiates a warmth that is intoxicating, which quickly endeared her to her new Newman family. We’ve played mother and daughter for so long that it’s hard not to look at her as one of my real-life daughters.”

The Young and the Restless airs weekdays on CBS.