Femme on Fire: Mishael Morgan

By Vanessa Butler Photography by Wendy Hall

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Femme on Fire: Mishael Morgan:

The lovely Mishael Morgan, known for her Young and the Restless character Hilary Curtis, is making waves this summer with a new CW show and the upcoming film Swearnet: The Movie made by Trailer Park Boys alumni. We chatted with Morgan about the ins and outs of soaps and her two new projects.

Playboy.com: That’s so cool you’re going to be in Swearnet! Were you a big TPB fan growing up?

Morgan: Not a huge fan, it’s really a guy thing. All of my boyfriends I had growing up were huge Trailer Park Boys fans, though, so I definitely know all about them and all of the insanity and craziness. In the film I play Jamie, who’s a PR consultant. She basically meets these three guys at a bar after they decide that they want to kick off their own network and gets really excited because she’s young and new to the industry and wants to help promote these guys’ show and make it a huge success. So she’s all about it but then realizes that these guys are kind of crazy. They’re doing everything live and doing all of these crazy things which makes her job even more difficult to try and push the network. It was so much fun. Just shooting with those guys is amazing—I’ve never had as much fun on set as I did with the guys. They just make you feel wonderful. They don’t even know what it’s like to be nervous on set because they just shoot all of this stuff with friends. I really felt like I was a part of the family, shooting stuff with my friends too! They’re the producers on the show too so it was just so chill.

Playboy.com: You’re also on a CW online series called Backpackers.

Morgan: Yes, it’s their first online web series comedy. It was amazing; everything is starting online these days! But the show has actually got picked up. They ordered a few more episodes and it will be airing on the CW in July. On Backpackers I play a character named Maya. She’s this new-age hippie. She’s free-spirited and takes a year off to travel around Europe, which was amazing because we actually got to shoot there against these beautiful backdrops, which is so much fun. But in the process she meets Noah Reid’s and Dillon Casey’s characters so they go on a few adventures together. She’s someone who is fly-by-night, so she just kind of appears throughout the different episodes. [laughs] Dillon’s character, Brandon, is spending a lot of time trying to find her and meet up in all different places like Prague, Italy and Paris.

Playboy.com: Oh poor you, that must’ve been a really hard show to shoot.

Morgan: [Laughs] It was so hard!

Playboy.com: So that’s a lot of comedy for someone who’s known for her soap opera work. Do you like doing comedy?

Morgan: I love shooting comedy. The vibe on set is so different than when you shoot dramatic pieces. Everyone is just so alive and it’s always about exposing yourself and enjoying life and bringing that into your art in such an open way. I usually play the straight characters, though—I’m usually the one who thinks everyone else is crazy, which makes it very difficult, especially on Backpackers and Swearnet because everything they were doing was so ridiculous that I literally had to train my brain to not look at what they were doing. The thing was that they’d try and make us laugh because I’m the one who’s standing there thinking, “What are you guys doing?” I distinctly remember them doing it, you know, acceptable for TV but when it was our coverage they would go insane making all of these sexual connotations and going nuts while we were trying hard to keep it together.

Playboy.com: You might have to school me in this area—I read that you have signed a three-year contract with Y&R. Is that how it usually works? Is it kind of like collateral that they don’t kill your character off?

Morgan: There are always outs on the contract, so every year it comes up for a little bit of renewal. They essentially set it up with your pay and how long they expect you to be on the show, so yeah, you get a little bit of a guarantee. But the lucky thing was with my contract I was able to negotiate some guest-starring role that I’ll be able to have, so I’ll be able to shoot other things along with the soap opera, which at times can be a challenge.

Playboy.com: You must be a pretty busy girl—that’s a lot to juggle.

Morgan: Yeah, I’m on set two to three times a week. I love being busy—that’s the amazing thing when you do what you love to do because you never feel busy. I’m living my dream and I tell myself that all the time so I stop complaining about being on only two hours of sleep. [laughs]

Playboy.com: What initially got you into acting?

Morgan: It was a car accident where I broke my neck. With 10 percent more pressure I would’ve been paralyzed from the waist down. A lot of things happened before I got the surgery and got patched back together that scared the living crap out of me. It was then I decided to live my life everyday like I’m going to die tomorrow. That started with the dream I had that was hidden. I would do stage plays in school but I never vocalized that I wanted to be an actor. So I came home two weeks before law school after booking with an agent and told them that I was not going to go to law school and was going to be a series regular on The Best Years and I’m just going to become an actor until I don’t want to do it anymore. My parents were in shock; I had never said that I wanted to act for a living. Fast-forward a few years later and I book Y&R and it’s my mom’s favorite show so they don’t care at all anymore. [laughs] I never look back on that experience as negative; I look back on it as the time I was reborn. I was stuck in a place in my life where I was going through the motions. This journey has just completely rebirthed me. I never lived my life until I became an artist; it’s what really opened my eyes to spirituality. To follow your dreams and believe in something that seems so unattainable your mind has to change.

*Playboy.com: *What’s your…

Favorite food: Pad thai!

Favorite film: Gladiator—I’m just saying whatever comes to the top of my head though!

Summer Song: “Let Her Go” by Passenger. I don’t know why, his voice is just intoxicating and I can’t stop listening to it.

Embarrassing Moment: We were shooting some love scenes on Y&R. They put pasties on your boobs to cover yourself up and I learned throughout acting that you can’t think about all that stuff, so I just went for it. After the scene they cut and said, “Okay, we have to shoot that again because you can see the stickers on your boobs.”

Worst Pickup Line: When I was bartending in university I came out of the nightclub and someone approached me and said, “You’re the bartender, right? I am from out of town partying with a few of my friends and I just want to have sex. Would you be down with that?” I was like, “Uh, no. I think I’ll pass. Good luck though!”

First Memory of Playboy: I think I watched a movie about Hugh Hefner when I was younger and I think it’s my first memory. In my mind it’s all black and white. And then I auditioned for The Playboy Club that came out on NBC!


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