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Y&R's Miles Gaston Villanueva Reveals His Life-Changing Week With Al Pacino, Judith Light & Gina Rodriguez!

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On CBS’ The Young and the Restless, Miles Gaston Villanueva plays the not-to-be-trusted Luca Santori, who soon may just wind up being the husband of Summer Newman (Hunter King), but not if Summer’s mother, father, and grandfather have anything to say about it.  If all that daytime drama isn’t enough, Miles has been one busy actor in Hollywood these days working on some exciting projects.

In fact, last weekend Villanueva just completed moonlighting in performances of a workshop production presentation of a new play, God Looked Away.  And, it’s not just any play workshop, but one that Miles co-starred with Academy Award-winning actor, film, TV, and stage legend, Al Pacino, and alongside two-time Tony and Daytime Emmy Award-winning actress, Judith Light (Shelly, Transparent and Ex-Karen, OLTL). God Looked Away was directed by noted stage and film director, Robert Allan Ackerman.  Quite the heavy hitters!

After what Miles calls a “life-changing experience”, there was more in store for this rising star’s immediate future when he was booked for an upcoming role on the CW’s hit series, Jane the Virgin, opposite series star Gina Rodriguez!  On-Air On-Soaps caught up with Miles, as he filled us in about his whirlwind last several weeks, and gave us the Intel on his role in God Looked Away, and his takeaway from his time with the iconic Pacino and Light.

Photo: MVillanueva

In God Looked Away, Miles plays the role of ‘Baby’, who is closely tied to that of Pacino, who portrays the legendary playwright, Tennessee Williams. “The story in the play gives you a peek at Tennessee Williams trying to mount one of his plays, and the struggles he goes through to produce, and write a play in his later years,” Villanueva explains.  “It’s joyful, and it’s heartbreaking.  My character ‘Baby’ also begins and ends the play talking about Tennessee, and his time with him.  ‘Baby’ was Tennessee Williams’ lover for 14 years in the play.  The character of ‘Baby’ is based on our playwright, Dotson Rader (pictured with Miles right), who wrote this from his own experiences with Tennessee.”

Before they hit the Great White Way, or London, many plays find their initial creative footing, and financial backing starting in workshop production presentations that are closed to the public, and just for industry only invitees, which was the case for God Looked Away.  Miles let us in on how top secret it really was!  “We had the workshop production presentations last weekend in a theatre in West Hollywood.  We had to keep it under wraps, and very hush-hush.  Producers and backers came in mostly from the east coast in New York, and in Los Angeles to see it.  They have had meetings this past week following the performances, and they are figuring out what is the next step.  The feedback has been very positive, and the word is there is going to be life after the workshop presentation, and likely pretty soon before the year is up.”

Photo: MVilluenuvaFacevbook

So what happened when Miles found out he would be working alongside Al Pacino, known for such classics as: Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, Angels in America, and more? According to the young actor, the enormity of it didn’t quite hit him initially! “My manager went: ‘Hey Miles. This is kind of a big deal!’  And I was kind of going: ‘Yeah, that is a cool opportunity.’  However, he kept drilling into my brain that this could be ‘life-changing for me.’  It didn’t sink in till I started working with the man, and sharing the stage with him.”  Once Miles was in a collaborative process with the likes of Pacino, nothing but superlatives was what he shared about the nature of the powerhouse talent:  “Al is incredibly warm, sensitive, sincere, and so generous.  He is incredibly funny both as himself, and in the role that he is playing, and is insightful and creative.”  As to if Mr. Pacino gave Mr. Villanueva any acting tips, Miles related: “Al was so encouraging, and he would give me positive feedback on certain things.  After we all did our first run-through you could see the excitement on Al’s face, and he said, ‘Can you just imagine what this would be like if we were running this for a few months?’  Our bond was offstage and on, and when you bond offstage, there is more depth on stage.”

Photo Credit: Luke Fontana

Soap fans everywhere would have loved to be fly on the wall when the effervescent Villanueva met up with the one and only Judith Light.  Miles says that she is what you would expect and did not disappoint one iota:  “She is a glorious woman, both on the inside and out.  Judith calls everyone either ‘Darling’ … ‘Sweetheart’ … ‘Baby’… and it’s like everyone is a ‘dear’.   She treats everyone with sweetness.  She kisses you on the cheek when she greets you, and when she says goodbye.   Judith and Al were on the same level with their warmth, and generosity, and their courtesy.  There is a complete lack of ego with both of them, and they have every right to have an ego, you would think, but they are not that way at all.  She is just as beautiful and fierce as a person, as she is in her work.  In God Looked Away, Judith plays the role of Lady Estelle Bagmoor, a longtime friend to Tennessee Williams.  And if there ever becomes an opportunity for people to see her in this, she is unbelievably stunning.”


Miles admits he did have a moment to exchange some soap biz chat with Judith, especially because of their collective daytime experience: “Yes, we talked.  Judith knew I was doing double days.  I would shoot Y&R and get called in at 7:30am in the morning, and then I would finish at 11:30am or noon, and then I would go rehearse the play.  I talked to her about the challenges of doing both, and the dialog line load, and all that stuff.  Judith is nominated for a primetime Emmy for Transparent, so when we found out she was nominated, she came into the theatre for rehearsal, and we all applauded her. But, I have to say I did look up that courtroom scene of hers from One Life to Live and it was pretty nuts, and she was amazing.  Judith was fascinating to watch in it!”

When the weekend performances were over it was time for Judith, Al, and Miles, and the cast and crew to go their separate ways: “Judith said: ‘See you soon’ which I thought was lovely.  The director Robert Allan Ackerman, the playwright, and the crew, we all are a family now.  While it was a whirlwind, (we rehearsed for five weeks and then we had three presentations of it) it all of sudden seemed like, ‘Well, that’s it?’  We were all hopeful, and are hopeful, we will do this again.”

Photo: MVillanuevaTwitter

As fans of Villanueva know, he announced via social media that he landed a role on an upcoming episode of season 3 of Jane the Virgin!  But one should look no further than the magic created on stage during God Looked Away that sent him in the direction of working opposite series star, Gina Rodriguez: “I actually had a casting associate for Jane the Virgin come see me in God Looked Away on opening night, and then he texted my manager right afterwards and said, ‘We want to bring Miles in for this role.’  So, I came in to see them on Monday and I booked it a day later.”  For Miles it was a joyous capper to his God Looked Away experience:  “This has been incredible, surreal, and profound working with Judith and Al, and our director Robert Allan Ackerman, who has worked with everyone in this business.”

Photo: MVilluenuvaInstagram

Miles ended his week working with Gina Rodriguez on the set of Jane the Virgin, who he says is “unbelievable.”  And just what will he play when he guest-stars on the CW series?

Miles teased: “My airdate is tentatively October 17th.  What I play is a secret!  I could be a rival, cousin, a brother … you will have to tune-in and see!  I was telling my all my friends, especially my female friends who are huge fans of Gina, ‘What ever you think she is, she is that times 100!’   I have to say we have gotten along famously.  We have talked about all sorts of things, life, love, relationships, and career.  It’s just a pretty stunning thing to be working with her.”

So, what do you think about Miles Gaston Villanueva’s last six weeks of workshopiing a play with Al Pacino and Judith Light, and the experience he shared?  Are you excited to find out what he will play on Jane the Virgin come October?  And isn’t is nice when a performer can share his triumphs with his fans as he continues to build his career as Miles has?  Share your thoughts on his story in the comment section below and of course continue to watch what plays out in the coming weeks for Luca Santori on The Young and the Restless.

Leave a comment | 26 Comments


  1. Llanviewer717

    August 14, 2016 at 5:42 pm

    What a fantastic experience for him working with Al Pacino and Judith Light at the same time. OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He must have been through the roof excited. Congratulations to Miles as his career continues to grow.

    • Timmm

      August 15, 2016 at 8:47 am

      Oh, we are all so lucky!

      • Celia

        August 16, 2016 at 2:23 am

        LOL, Timmmy!!

  2. meg

    August 14, 2016 at 6:03 pm


  3. elm1951

    August 14, 2016 at 7:04 pm

    wow – he was totally with some heavy hitters of acting – good for him!!

  4. Mo

    August 15, 2016 at 6:31 am

    I don’t like Luca and hope the character gets his.

    • dmr

      August 15, 2016 at 11:47 am

      I can’t stand Summer. UGH.

    • Celia

      August 16, 2016 at 2:29 am

      Prophetic words, Mo. Away with Luca’s head. Do not like this character one bit. And, in my opinion, he can never be redeemed.
      I am somewhat befuddled by the ridiculous communication between him and Travis?
      What the hey? I thought they were mortal enemies……now, they are chatting away as best buds would discuss a ball game? So confused!! Now Luca is warning Travis Victor is pinning the oil-thing on him????

      • Mo

        August 16, 2016 at 6:44 am

        I was confused by that too. And why would Travis trust anything Luca says? Travis knows Luca is a liar, only out for himself. Maybe Travis will call Victoria to warn her. We can but hope.

      • Timmm

        August 16, 2016 at 10:15 am

        I hope this is not an excuse to bring FBM back! [Travis, is Fake Billy Miller!]

      • Celia

        August 16, 2016 at 9:20 pm

        Now, that’s funny, Timmmy. I think fake Billy Miller is so much hotter than Billy Miller. LOL.

  5. Nikki

    August 15, 2016 at 8:38 am

    Congratulations to Miles. I like him and think he could go places but I can’t stand him as Luca. I think if he had been paired with Natalie or Mariah I would like him more but I can’t stand Summer or anyone she’s paired with.

  6. Timmm

    August 15, 2016 at 8:46 am

    Miles, the human, good luck! Miles, the character known as Luca, go pound salt! I cannot stand Luca! His skin tight vests, his beady eyes and his stale delivery! I hope he is casted full time on JANE like his future “Wife” is on PIECES! Good bye to both!

  7. Joanne Martin

    August 15, 2016 at 11:20 am

    I’m so excited to hear about and see all that Miles Villanueva is doing. He’s a very versatile and so great on stage and on screen. I hope he stays on Y&R for years to come but also gets to do other exciting shows and projects like acting alongside Al Pacino! Wow, how amazing. Way to go Miles, living the dream!

  8. Gloria E

    August 15, 2016 at 3:36 pm

    Wow…sounds like he has a bright well a great present one…wish him the best…another one too good for Y&R…….I come home from work & take a nap while I play Y&R back…it’s so boring…

    • Celia

      August 16, 2016 at 4:11 pm

      Well, Y&R would be better off without Luca, Summer, Billy and Gina. Th-th-that’s all folks.

      • Celia

        August 16, 2016 at 4:11 pm

        I mean, Phyllis…oops!!

      • Lillian

        August 17, 2016 at 1:21 am

        PUZZLE: Chelsea (new character), new Billy (Jason Thompson), and new Adam (Justin Hartley) asked Chloe (an established character) why did she return to Genoa City.

        In Fairman’s Interview With Bergman and Thompson, Thompson said: “I didn’t know if Chloe was ever going to come back on the canvas, but that is exciting.”

        Is an actor privy to such information before signing a contract and taking over a role? Billy and Adam are established characters, but I see them as “newbies” because the actors are new to the roles.

      • Nikki

        August 17, 2016 at 3:31 am

        NO NO NO ! We’ll have to agree to disagree on some of that CeeCee my friend. I love Gina, Billy well I can take or leave. Now Summer!!!! She gives me time to go to the washroom, wash my hands & peel my potatoes for supper. I’ve come to realize that without her supper would be late!

      • Celia

        August 17, 2016 at 8:25 am

        You know I love you, right, Nikki? LOL.
        I love Gina. I meant Phyllis. I can’t get Michelle out of my head. However, more than anything else, I have lost all respect for Phyllis. Cheating grates on me.
        Are you Canadian? You said ‘washroom’…..LOL.
        I just got back from Toronto.
        Your last two sentences cracked me up. Keep ’em coming.
        I will just blame Summer’s naiveté on her youth. But, considering the less-than-honest relationships she’d had, she should know better.
        I do feel the same way, though. Summer is very forgettable, and not very ‘convincing’. I can take her or leave her…..more ‘leave’.

  9. Barbara from Atlanta

    August 15, 2016 at 10:44 pm

    The guy has some screen presence and, if he is landing jobs with someone like Al Pacino, he has a promising future.

    That being said, I don’t see much future for him on Y&R. His character was poorly introduced (ex-husband of a woman who hadn’t been on the show for 6 months and is now barely seen). It is difficult to invest in him. The character suddenly appears and, within a month, is in the middle of everything.

    I’m no fortune teller and not a soap writers. But, it seems to me that the show is writing him to an exit. They’re clearly building up to some backstory about him. I figure he’ll cause some havoc in the next couple of months before being gunned down by Paul/Dylan/Victor while he has a knife at the weeping Summer’s throat.

    Good luck to the actor….. just not on Y&R.

  10. April

    August 16, 2016 at 2:31 am

    Excellent news for the actor. Big time stuff. Can’t stand the Luca character. Wish they had paired him with Kevin instead

  11. Tani Sterling

    August 16, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    Luca’s role and the writing for that role have not panned out. One fantasy show had him playing the piano, pounding away with a wonderful smile. That looked far more natural for him than any of what he had been given to work with on the “Young and the Restless.”

    However, reading this he must have a very deep acting talent in addition to the more happy side I spotted. That perhaps tells me he could have played the son of a Mafia King given a better tension in the scripts as a struggle was emerging from a role inherited or the continued devious role.

    How exciting to have such possibilities. All the best!

  12. JK

    August 17, 2016 at 10:03 am


  13. MARY

    August 25, 2016 at 11:41 pm


  14. lulu

    September 3, 2016 at 9:52 pm

    One play with Al Pacino and all the doors are opening..Hollywood is above all about connections, timing and opportunity…and if you are talented and good looking well bonus..It seems this actor very soon will be successfull in bigger and better projects than a daytime soap opera..good for him !

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