BANGOR, Maine — A soap opera on CBS has a decidedly Maine touch these days. Three Mainers are now part of the cast of the long-running show “The Young and the Restless.”
Lexie Stevenson and Max Shippee recently joined veteran Melissa Ordway from Portland on “The Young and the Restless.”
Stevenson, 18, moved to Los Angeles after graduating high school to pursue an acting career she had on her eye since she was 5 years old. The Brunswick native she was surprised but comforted to join a show with other actors from Maine.
“I constantly find myself looking for pieces of Maine in California,” Stevenson said.
Ordway has played a main role on the show since 2013, starring as Abby Newman. While she resides in ever-so-sunny California, Ordway visits Maine every Christmas and Fourth of July.
“I don’t think people realize how beautiful it is there, because the coast of Maine is gorgeous. You have all of the mountains, like Mount Katahdin, and there’s just so much to do there. There’s just so much nature,” Ordway said.
Shippee made his daytime debut on May 3, starring as Graham Bloodworth. The graduate of Katahdin High School started his “acting career” performing skits with his three siblings at their home in Sherman. They called themselves the “Shippettes.”
“When we go home, it’s a Shippee show,” Shippee said. Although trees vastly outnumber humans in northern Maine, Shippee said there are some good opportunities for aspiring actors there.
“Performing is performing. When you’re kids, you’re nervous — regardless. It doesn’t matter if it’s a big show or small show,” Shippee said.
“I do think that it is very hard in Maine to make it, but me, Melissa Ordway, Max, Anna Kendrick and Patrick Dempsey have all managed to do it,” Stevenson said. “So, I think that if you really, really want it, I think that no matter where you’re from, you can get there.”
Shippee said on his first day at “Y&R,” he walked into the makeup room, and Ordway began asking him about Maine. They began reminiscing about Sherman, the Clam Shop and Katahdin Schools. Ordway’s cousin and Shippee attended Katahdin High School.
“It was just wild, because Sherman is such a small town that you’d never think that anyone would even know where it is,” Ordway said. “Normally when I say I have family in Maine, people always know Portland and they know Bangor. They know the big cities. But other than that, they don’t know the tiny cities. So to hear that he was actually from Sherman and we knew similar people, it was just so weird.”
Ordway’s mother is from Ashland, where her aunt and grandmother reside. Ordway’s father is from Sherman. Her childhood was split between Maine and Atlanta, Georgia. The Ordways were drawn to Maine for the state’s beauty and their family nearby but were pulled to Georgia for work.
“The positives about growing up in Maine is it’s so beautiful and you get all the beautiful weather in the summer. … And being close to family was always really nice,” Ordway said. “I love Georgia, because I grew up there too, but Maine is a much more beautiful state than Georgia.”
A few weeks later, Lexie Stevenson joined the cast. Shippee said the first thing Stevenson asked him was, “Are you Sugarloaf or Sunday River?”
“I am a Sugarloafer. I love Sugarloaf. My family gets a place there every winter, and it’s really wonderful because when I go home and when I’m able to visit, it’s awesome to be able to go there and feel like I’m super at home and submerged in the Mainer life,” Stevenson said.
Mainers have more to brag about than McDreamy when it comes to representation in Hollywood.
“We’re moving from the East Coast. Everyone from Maine is coming on ‘The Young and The Restless,’” Ordway said.