Exclusive Interview: Christel Khalil From The Young And The Restless

by Groshan Fabiola - Date: 2007-07-21 - Word Count: 801 Share This!

Christel Khalil may only be 19 years old but the petite young beauty from Los Angeles, California can very well be considered a veteran in television years. Khalil has been a regular cast member of the long-running CBS soap, The Young and the Restless, where she plays the part of Lily Winters, since 2002, when she was just 14 years old. She bade farewell to the role that made her a familiar face on television, in September of 2005, to pursue a film career, but returned to the series in November of 2006. She has since stepped back into her character without missing a beat. Christel recently talked with BuddyTV about getting started in showbusiness, leaving The Young and the Restless and her plans for the future.

When asked about how she got her start in the business, Christel admitted: "Well, I have three other brothers and they were all in acting - the eldest brother is six years older than me so they were all in acting and my mom just kind of put me in it but I was really, really shy cause I didn't really wanna do it at first, and I liked it and started doing it and I was the only one who never quit, so that's how it came to be." She further tells the story of how she got the part of Lily on The Young and the Restless: "I got an audition for the part and I went there, it was the first soap I ever auditioned for.. and then I had the screen tests with Kristoff St. John, who plays my dad, and he was just such a great actor, and he just really made it easy for me and I went there and I did it and I did the best audition I ever did in my whole career. The producers gave me a hug and said `Oh great job' and the casting director, Marnie, came to me and she was like, `Oh I just want to say bye to everyone and thanks for coming.' And so I'm like `Okay.' So I walked up there, I go there and she was like, `Congratulations, you got it!' And I was like, `Oh cool!' So it was really funny cause nobody will tell you right there on the spot that you booked it."

When asked whether it was difficult for her to return to the show after a year of absence, Khalil said: "Yeah, it was a little difficult.. my agents told me they wanted me back, and I was like, `Oh really?' I wasn't expecting it at all and I was actually thinking about the show before they asked me back. I was thinking I kind of missed it, cause when I was there, I was so young I couldn't handle the stress of the job and I just had to leave and it was just so stressful and when I left and I was able to have time off and relax, and look on as things were coming into perspective and I realized what a great job it was. And when they said that and it happened so quickly, like `If you sign the contract, you're working this Thursday,' and it was Tuesday, so I was like, `Oh okay, you need a decision right now cause you're gonna be working in two days if you do.' So I just prayed to God, and I was like, God, please, if this is the right thing, let it happen, and I was listening to worship music and put it on pause and all of the sudden after that, the music just came on full blast, and I was like, `Huh, I wonder if that was a sign?' I'm just going to go back and do it, so I did and I'm glad. This was the best decision ever."

As for her future plans, Christel admitted: "I'd definitely love to branch into film and TV, but I think I would still like to be on the soap as well - it's such a great job. I'm definitely starting a production company but you need a lot of money for that so that won't happen for a long time, but I want to get more into it and more involved. There's still a lot of things I want to accomplish and just even things outside of acting - just traveling. I want to travel a lot and I just want to stay on the soap, but still try to do other things as well."

When pressed for any plans outside the soap, Christel clarified: "Not as of right now. Right now my contract doesn't allow me to do anything for another year, I think, so there won't be anything in the future, but after that, yeah, definitely. Hopefully something will come up."

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