Today marks a very special milestone for The Young And The Restless as the show airs its 12,000th episode while the cast prepares for the wedding of Abby and Chance.

CBS‘ Matt Weiss caught up with Melissa Ordway, who plays Abby Newman, to discuss this landmark episode, her lifelong relationship with the show and what the show’s passionate fanbase means to her.

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MW: Melissa, nice to talk to you today! It’s a big week for The Young And The Restless as we have the show’s 12,000th episode. First of all, what does that mean to be a part of that?

MO: It means so much to me, to be a part of the legacy of The Young And The Restless, to celebrate 12,000 episodes. It’s insane. How many shows can say that they’ve been on the air for 12,000 episodes? I’m just filled with so much gratitude to be able to be a part of it. I just can’t wait for the fans to watch this week’s shows because they’re filled with so much love.

I feel like they’re going to be so excited. There’s flashbacks, so you can take a look back at some of the memorable moments of The Young And The Restless. It’s also filled with so much love and just wonderfulness for the future. I’m very excited for people to watch it.

MW: And you were a fan growing up, right?

MO: A huge fan of the show growing up! My mom watched this show five days a week. I think my mom had seen every episode. I would grow up and I would play Barbies. I would sit there while she was watching, and my Ken doll would be Victor and my Barbie doll would be Nikki. I would act out all of these different storylines. I feel like The Young And The Restless has just always been a part of my life.

MW: Then fast forward to today and now you play the daughter of Victor and Ashley, is that mind blowing for you?

MO: Totally mind blowing! I just can’t believe it. I grew up in in a small town in Georgia and just to think that I could be a part of this legendary show, I pinch myself. Last night I was watching an episode, my eyes filled with tears. I was like, oh my gosh I can’t believe I get to be a part of this. It’s so cool.

MW: Almost more importantly what was your mom’s reaction?

MO: She was very excited when I told her I was going to be on the show! She was like, are you sure? Like it’s the real The Young And The Restless. She was so excited! She called every person in our family and let them know. It’s so cute because they watched the show every day, so they’ll text me like, oh my gosh I love today’s episode. Or like they have all their commentary on every episode. It’s really fun, I love it.

MW: That’s really cool. That’s funny she asked if it was the real one, like are you sure it’s not Restless And Young or some spin off…

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MO: Yeah like another knockoff. [laughs]

MW: The show is known for those big epic weddings. What are those like to shoot?

MO: They’re so much fun because you know there’s certain people that you don’t get to work with that often. I feel like anytime that we all come together as cast it’s like a big reunion. We just have such a great time. I feel like the days that we film these wedding episodes the whole day was spent with us just laughing and just having such a great time together.

They’re so much fun. Like I said, I’ve always been a huge fan of the show, so looking around the room and being like, oh my gosh I’m a part of this. I get to act along alongside these legends. It’s just incredible. I know I’ve said it before, but a dream come true!

MW: I know you can’t give too much away, but as for Abby and Chance, what do we have to look forward to in the future with those two?

MO: I hope Abby finally gets her happy ending. She’s had a rocky road as far as romances go. It is Genoa City, so I’m sure they will have their challenges. I’m excited to see what lies ahead for them. I’m sure that it’s not always going to be like puppies and rainbows so I’m excited to see what happens.

MW: Last question before I let you go. It’s been a tough year for a lot of people so the fact you’re able to put out the show now and potentially there’s a little girl in her living room playing with Barbies watching you on the screen, what does something like that mean to you?

MO: It’s been a really hard year for so many of us. To just bring some happiness and some joy into people’s living room even if it’s only for one hour a day, it really means a lot. I know that I can speak for the whole cast that we’re just so thankful to everyone for watching our show.

Really our fans and our viewers are like our family. We really are like one big happy family. I just hope that everyone watches these episodes, and they smile. I hope it just brings joy to them for an hour a day.

MW: Awesome. Melissa thank you so much, it’s been great talking to you. Congrats on the new episodes and all the best!

MO: Thank you, you too! Happy Holidays!

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The Young And The Restless airs weekdays at 12:30PM on CBS. Check your local listings for more information.