‘The Young and the Restless’ Star Melody Thomas Scott Was Initially Uncomfortable With Nikki’s Stripping Scenes

Nikki Newman is one of the most iconic characters to ever be on TThe Young and the Restless and her introductory storyline may have been a bit taboo at the time for daytime television audiences. Nikki was originally a stripper and it was something that Melody Thomas Scott, the actress, that plays the character, was uncomfortable with at the time because of her dancing skills.

Melody Thomas Scott on the red carpet in 2015
Melody Thomas Scott in 2015 | Gregg DeGuire/WireImage

Nikki Newman is one of the longest-serving cast members on ‘The Young and the Restless’

Scott has played Nicole “Nikki” Reed Newman on CBS’s The Young and the Restless since 1979. She is the second actress to portray Nikki, following Erica Hope, who played the character from 1978 to 1979. Nikki ones one of the show’s most popular characters and one of its most beloved heroines.

Nikki is perhaps known for being one-half of a supercouple with Victor Newman (Eric Braeden). She is one of the biggest character in the soap opera’s history, going from a prostitute and stripper to one of Genoa City’s most prominent businesswomen.

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Melody Thomas Scott on Nikki Newman’s early days as a stripper

In an interview a couple of years ago with CBS Watch Magazine, Scott talked about her long tenure on The Young and the Restless and Nikki’s storylines. She spoke about when Nikki was introduced as a stripper and says that the storyline was going to be a little bit different.

“Bill Bell [Y&R‘s creator and head writer] originally wanted it to be mud wrestling, and then the network nixed that, so she became a stripper,” she said. “I was around 24 years old and very uncomfortable with it. I never felt that I was a good dancer, and suddenly I was dressed up on this stage and having to do these choreographed numbers. Every week we did a new strip. If we were to watch that now, it would be so tame. I was wearing pantyhose!”

Melody Thomas Scott on learning from Nikki Newman

Being in the role for so long, Scott has been able to learn a lot of things from playing the character and says that portraying the character has taught her things.

“She’s taught me humility. Sometimes if I go out shopping and I see a woman behaving like Nikki, I will recognize that immediately and I think, Thank God I’m not really like that,” she continued. “I don’t want others looking at me and saying, ‘Look at her, what a diva.’ And I’m very grateful for her longevity, certainly! It’s given me a life beyond my wildest dreams.”

Scott even admitted that her time on the show has lasted a lot longer than she thought it would. “The actors’ life is [to] get a job, do the job, and go back out there and do it all over again,” the veteran actor added. “But this job changed all that. This was a permanent job for what I thought would only be three years, and three years became six, and six became nine, and here we are at 40. That is unheard of in the television industry for daytime, nighttime, any time. I’m so grateful for it.”

The Young and the Restless airs weekdays on CBS.