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Kelley Menighan Hensley: Back on As the World Turns

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As As the World Turns fans are gladly aware of, Kelley Menighan Hensley is back on the series. She recently talked to CBS about the return:

CBS.com: Welcome back. How does it feel to be back on set?
Kelley Menighan Hensley: Thanks. It feels good. It took me a couple of weeks to say it feels good, but it feels good now.

Kelley Menighan Hensley PhotoCBS.com: What’s it like being a mom for the third time?
Kelley Menighan Hensley: It’s the best the third time around. [I’m] way more relaxed, way more appreciative of what I have, and just holding on to every moment.

CBS.com: What do you think is the biggest difference being a mom this time?
Kelley Menighan Hensley: All I can say is, I have so many friends trying to get pregnant, whether it’s their first child or their third child, and they cannot. I’ve had friends who have lost pregnancies. The gratefulness and the appreciation for this life that I’ve been given are unspeakable.

CBS.com: It’s not like Emily returned to town slowly. You had a major storyline when you left, and a big one upon your return.
Kelley Menighan Hensley: Yeah, but you know what? It’s actually been nice. When [the show and I] agreed on when I was coming back, I begged them to let September be easy days, [a] light schedule. I was not thrilled about coming back initially. I was not thrilled about leaving [new baby GiGi], more so than with my other two [children]. But now that I’m back, I’m in a groove.

She’s on a schedule; I’m on a schedule. Jon and I are almost always opposite work schedules. And having the same nanny that I’ve had since I was pregnant with my first – that’s nine years – makes it [so that] I don’t even think about it when I’m here.

CBS.com: How has it been working with the new Chris, Dylan Bruce?
Kelley Menighan Hensley: It’s been great. He has been an easy transition. Unfortunately, that character has been cast so many different times; we call it “Cursed Hughes” instead of “Chris Hughes.” But, I think he has changed the curse. I think we finally found a good rhythm and I think the audience is going to respond to him like we all have. You just have to wait and see, but it’s really good.

CBS.com: What has Emily been up to since leaving Oakdale?
Kelley Menighan Hensley: I was just traveling. I was in Europe getting rid of all the bad energy that I’ve been dealing with for the last year. I think she wanted to get rid of all the drama in her life, not think about Dusty and her sister and betrayal. She just wanted to connect with her son and have fun.

So, she came back much more light-hearted. [She] has a little more perspective in her life than she had before. And hopefully it’s real. Hopefully it’s not covering something. I still think she obviously has feelings for Dusty but she feels so betrayed that [she wonders] how can she ever go back to that? So, I think time away was the best thing for her.

You can only handle so much drama and so much negativity in your life before you snap. And she snapped so many times already, she had to go away.

CBS.com: Now that she’s back, has she come to terms with what happened?
Kelley Menighan Hensley: I think she’s come to terms with it. But, I also think emotionally, she still has feelings for Dusty, as hard as she tries not to. He was the one who betrayed her; she didn’t betray him. So, I think she’s trying very hard to push away those feelings that are innately there for him.

But, he also reminds her of all those things she was before she left. And Chris is the opposite of that. She’s just having fun with him.

CBS.com: So, Emily just ran into Chris during her travels?
Kelley Menighan Hensley: Yes. They met each other in Paris. He was doing pro bono work in Darfur, saving lives of refugees. They come back together and shake things up. I come back with my sister’s ex almost husband.

Read the full interview at the show's official website.

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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