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Michael Graziadei On Gina Tognoni As Y&R's New Phyllis: "I Would Love To Get In There And Work With Her At Some Point!"

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

Former The Young and the Restless star Michael Graziadei has been off the number one soap opera since the end of 2012 as Daniel Romalotti, or as many people may also know him as … the son of Phyllis!  Graziadei returned to Y&R in 2013 for a short stint, but these days Michael can be seen starring in Lifetime’s new series, The Lottery!

In a new interview out in this week’s Soap Opera Digest (on newsstands now), the talented young star offers up his thoughts on Gina Tognoni now taking over the role of Phyllis from Michelle Stafford, who Michael worked with for many years.

Graziadei stated: “Gina is awesome! She’s fantastic and will do a great job.  I’d love to get in there and work with her at some point!  But isn’t Gina really young? (Laughs)  It’s not so much me coming back (that would be the problem), it’s if she would want me to come there and say, ‘Hey Mom!'”

So, would you like to see Michael return to Y&R for a visit when Phyllis finally wakes up out of her coma?  What do you think about Michael’s sentiments on Gina Tognoni?  Let us know!

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Mary SF
Mary SF

I know it might look silly, but for the story to fly, one would expect Daniel to be a part of Phyllis’s return — so I hope he can come back for a return engagement — but perhaps they will recast Daniel, since this show can’t seem to go a month without recasting someone. Another Adam reject they want to give a job to no doubt if they did go that route.

Mark Y
Mark Y

Michael ie an excellent young actor.

Erica
Erica

he has a point! he looks too old to play Gina’s son. which is why they should have hired someone older.

Sammie Jo
Sammie Jo

Ever noticed, the parents never age as fast as the kids do? lol

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

If only that was true in real life…lol

Sammie Jo
Sammie Jo

No kidding! lol

michael
michael

he’s 35, Michelle Stafford is 49, so he was too old to be her son as well unless, of course, she had him when she was 14. it’s called suspension of disbelief people! Gina Tognoni is one of the few name actresses in the right age category that will be able to make this part her own. Stafford is an incredibly tough act to follow, but Gina’s gonna rock it! EVEN in scenes with her son

su0000
su0000

Gina Tognoni is a bit too young for the role of Phyllis..
Y&R has a horrible casting dept aha..
But what can you do .. I’m sure she will be fine ..

Timmm
Timmm

High School plays are casted better! Heres the thing, Gina is too young to play Daniels mother but for the other characters like Summer, Jack, Nick, and Sharon, she will fit in, age wise.

Ricky
Ricky

I think they ( Grazadei and Tognoni ) are only 6 years apart so I get where he is coming from! Can’t wait until Gina’s first airdate she is going to be a pleasure to watch! Pretty much the only thing I’m looking forward to on Y&R right now, if you don’t count Eileen Davidson returning in September.

davlestev1
davlestev1

LMAO..cuz in the real world this phyllis would have had him when she was 6 years old and Michelle’s Phyllis would have had him when she was 14. He is so right that would be incredibly awkward to play son to an actress who is only 6 years older than you. Makes no sense and now there will most definately be a new younger Daniel to incite fans unhappiness with those show even more. Phyllis wakes up..Daniel MUST be there. Or they’ll do what I suspect and keep on writing as if it makes no difference what so ever and not even bring him back. He’ll call. Oh..glad you woke up gurl!!

davlestev1
davlestev1

this not those

Nicole
Nicole

On GH the actor who played Trey was only 4 years younger than yge actress who played Connie, his mother.

Tv shows and movies have always had tons of actors who while that playef parents and the actorswho played their kids were less than 10 years apart in real life. It is no big deal.

Lew S.
Lew S.

Graziadei is 34 and Michelle Stafford is 47/48. She was also too young to play his mom. I think Gina Tognoni is talented enough to carry this off.

Cinnamon
Cinnamon

I love the Y&R but I like all the old cast.. I don’t like that you change the actors so much.. And the story line drags out to much…I am starting to watch Day of our Lives that’s on the same time as Y&R..

su0000
su0000

the now Y&R opening credits- doesn’t even look like Y&R any longer..
when I see the opening credits I just cringe at the newly appointed stars (newbies..

Traci
Traci

I love Gina so much, but I scratched my head when they cast her as Phyllis. She is MUCH too young for that role! I didn’t realize that Gina and Michael are only 6 years apart, but um…yeah…having him come back with Phyllis’s return would be awkward. What are they thinking at Y&R casting? The last 2 Billy’s have been horrible and Cady McClain isn’t right for the Kelly role (I love her, by Cynthia Watros was much better. With the re-cast, her sleeping with Billy isn’t realistic.),

Darlene
Darlene

I have never heard of her! Where was she prior to landing the gig on Y&R?

su0000
su0000

put ‘ Gina Tognoni ‘ in your search; google her .. you find all .. 🙂

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

One Life To Live and Guilding Light was some of her previous work…you can always google actors unfamiliar to you and learn about them…

sonniorsolita
sonniorsolita

She’s a fantastic and charismatic actress who won a Daytime Emmy as Dinah Marler on Guiding Light (a spitfire character who didn’t always do the right thing, much like Phyllis). She also played Kelly Cramer on One Life to Live. She’s one of daytime’s best.

Omar
Omar

I agree..She is one of daytime’s best..Every role she takes, she is great..I am sure regardless of the age issue, she will deliver and kick ass as Phyllis…Y&R is back on track!!!

Lawrence
Lawrence

He’s right. Gina is 40 and Michael is 34.

Diane A.
Diane A.

Would love to see Michael return at some point. I miss him.

mike
mike

Jack Wagner played the son of Lesley Anne Down on B&B and he looked older than she did. Gina is the only good casting choice Y&R has made. New Billy is terrible.

Lew S.
Lew S.

Exactly Jack Wagner is 54 and Lesley Anne Down is 60 and they played mother and son! It was a stretch, but they pulled it off for years.

Timmm
Timmm

The new Billy looks like Jack Wagner.

Scott (ATWT Fan)
Scott (ATWT Fan)

I would love to see Michael return as Daniel, even in a guest capacity, and have some scenes with Gina’s Phyllis! I miss Daniel somewhat, and cannot await for Phyllis’ return to Genoa City!

su0000
su0000

Gina and Michael would like weird lol
She would come off as a cougar with a younger stud .. but not mother and son..

casting has been terrible, both Bill’s=awful..
hope Gina can pull off being thee Phyllis..

Beacon
Beacon

Gina is an old soul. She will be able to play Phyllis 10-15 years older to her actual age, I have no doubt. Even when she was on OLTL, her character Kelly was like a nutty old lady in a beautiful young woman’s body. Gina can pull it off. I hope Graz comes back!

Sue Long
Sue Long

He was always one of my favorites on the show and I was very disappointed when you cut him out! He had his own style, he is adorable and he played his role great. I miss him.

k/kay
k/kay

It was his choice and it was a good one he is having much success away from Y&R.

Timmm
Timmm

Stay away Daniel! I know Phyliss is his mother but we havent missed the character. You have to ask yourself with people like him, what can he bring to the show to make it better? NOTHING! Think about it, Daniel, Chloe, Ronan, Phillip, Kyle, Fen, none of these characters matter. I would like to see Heather [Eden Riegel] come back now that Paul and his new family are center stage.

Jimmy
Jimmy

Eden Reigel was completely miscast in that role, she looks absolutely nothing like Paul or her new brother, Dylan. Sure, Reigel is a good actress, but not for the role of Heather. The only actress able to pull that role off well was Vail Bloom, the original actress. Jennifer Landon was good, but she was only on for 5 months and has nothing in terms of substantial material to make a lasting impression.

Timmm
Timmm

Your right Jimmy, Vail Bloom was excellent.

Janie
Janie

Timmm, I totally agree with you. Eden Reigel was TOTALLY MISCAST in the role of Heather….in fact I hated her in that role. She will always be Bianca to me. Same thing with Billy Miller, Michelle Stafford and Michael M.
They WERE Billy A., Phyliss N. and Adam N. Wish all three would return. It would certainly improve the show. I did not care for David Tom in the role of Billy…he was too young and came across as a whiny kid. I like the actor now playing Billy. Granted, he is not Billy Miller, but he is doing an adequate job. Gina T will never be another Phyliss in my opinion. Loved her on OLTL but just don’t think she can pull off the snark and deviousness. Now to vent: sorry, but have to gripe a little bit. Story lines are way to long…need to complete them a lot quicker than they have been doing. That was one of the best things I liked about this show when I started watching…they resolved things much quicker than they do now. I am sick to death of Victoria and Stitch. I am tired of her constant “poor me” attitude. Billy made one mistake and she has gone to bed with Stitch numerous times. Same with her mother, grow a backbone Nicki and get on with it. Can’t stand Stitch now…he has become obnoxious where she is concerned and so arrogant and so sure that baby is his. Like Cady, but she is not the right age for this role. I won’t get into Nick and Sharon….would take too much time. Thanks for allowing me the time to vent.

Jimmy
Jimmy

Most actors and actresses can play roles 5-10 years younger or older than they actually are – Michael Graziadei is 34 but can easily play 25… Billy Miller is 35 but can play 40-45.

And the problem isn’t so much Gina T’s casting, its that Daniel was SORASed. He was born originally in 1994, making him 20 in real life. But he’s in his high-twenties because that’s what the writers needed when they were writing story for him. The same thing is happening with Noah right now – he was born in 1997, making him a teenager now, but he’s already in his mid-twenties.

Gina T is 40 right now… so 20 years ago, she would have been 20, and that’s how old Phyllis said she was when she came to town in 1994, the same year Daniel was born! Which means that everything works out logically. The problem isn’t Gina’s age, its that Daniel was SORASed and now MG looks too old to play GT’s son.

davlestev1
davlestev1

No amount of number crunching can change the fact they’re only six years apart. Especially on camera and i’m sure she didn’t allow herself to be even slightly aged with make up for the role.

su0000
su0000

they could never pull of being mother and son ((another horrible casting)
but-
Daniel and Gina most likely will never be on screen together..

sonniorsolita
sonniorsolita

Sorry, but there’s no way to think of landing Gina Tognoni, a breath of fresh air in any role, as horrible casting. Do you think they should have cast the role around an actor who quit the show years ago? Gina is age appropriate to be Phyllis. It’s not her fault, nor the fault of Michael G., that the character of Daniel was aged so drastically. This is the result of SORASing, and it happens all over the soaps.

Mary SF
Mary SF

Yes, SORASing has wreck havoc with many a soap’s time line– by next summer we should have teenage Reed and Faith to add to that list.

Chaz
Chaz

The problem with bringing Daniel back in part is outside of being there when his mother comes out of her coma, there is little story possibility for him. All the age appropriate characters are matched up to others so what could they tie him into?

Of course, I think he would be perfect to put together with Kevin if they ever were brave enough to do a gay story with him. They were good friends, both been in tumultuous relationships with women and could end up turning that friendship into more. I am sure many people would go off the rails if they did this, however.

Jimmy
Jimmy

That’s the problem, there are not many late-twenty to early-thirty characters on this show. Other than Lily, Cane, Devon, Kevin and Tyler, the other characters either fall into the late-teen to early-twenties (Summer, Noah, Abby, Mariah), late-thirties to forties (Billy, Victoria, Nick, Sharon, Phyllis, etc) or 50+ (Victor, Nikki, Jack, etc).

Chance, Ronan, Chloe, Heather, Daniel… all of these well-established characters that fit this age block are off the show, which doesn’t make any sense from a story standpoint because characters this age are the show’s future, and ones like Chance, for example, will one day be the head of one Y&R’s more important, core families.

Bill
Bill

The MOST laughable re-cast was Jed Allan’s brief stint as Edward Quartermaine. He was but two years older than son Alan!

davlestev1
davlestev1

And it was a bad idea and showed on camera. Never worked.

Linda
Linda

This is just another STELLAR (NOT!) casting job by CBS/SONY and JFP! JFP is notorious for getting it wrong–Hunter King (Summer), David Tom (Billy), Melissa Ordway (Abby), Max Ehrich (Fen) …. Getting the appropriate age would have only mattered had the leadership had a brain! They have shown consistently they are only worried about this particular minute. To Hell with the Long Term fit of a character! JFP and Angelica (at CBS) ARE RUINING THIS SHOW! Hire a 30+ or 40+ year-long FAN for the EP job and it could be saved! SMH

su0000
su0000

JFP doesn’t do the casting ..
The casting dept casts the characters..
I’m not sure if JFP has much say about it..
Nonetheless; the casting has been horrible ..

Mary SF
Mary SF

Are you serious? The Executive Producer has final say on every aspect on the show, including casting. The casting people are there to give the EP all the options and their recommendations, they do the interviews and audtions, but in the end it is the EP and Sony who have to sign off on it– no JFP has a lot a say in casting otherwise Steve Burton wouldn’t be on the show.

sonniorsolita
sonniorsolita

I have to disagree with you, Linda. Getting Emmy-winner Gina Tognoni is actually a casting coup for Y&R. And as a bonus it’s a nice nod to CBS soaps fans, who have missed her since “Guiding Light” was cancelled. As other posters have eloquently pointed out: These little age discrepancies happen all over daytime, and Gina is actually the correct age for Phyllis. The problem is the character of Daniel was aged too much.

k/kay
k/kay

JFP has everything to do with the casting!! Who the heck do you think hired Steve Burton and brought him on to totally revamp the history of Nikki. Little Bo Peep?

k/kay
k/kay

Other JFP castings Melissa Ordway/Abby, Hunter King/Summer, Robert Adamson/Noah, Burgess Jenkins/nu/nu/Billy and trust me if they ever cast Adam it will be an FOJ.

Jimmy
Jimmy

Gina T is a great actress and will fit well with the rest of the cast, Phyllis is an important character and Gina’s talents will no doubt shine in the role. Yes, there have been some questionable casting choices recently, but Gina is not one of them.

k/kay
k/kay

He will never share a scene with her he is no longer on the show. All of these kids go up the stairs at age 7 and walk down age 18. The fact that Phyllis was made a grandma under MAB was so stupid that fact will never be mentioned. They will have a phone call or two then no mention of them again if even that. GT is a fine actress sorry she signed on for this mess of a show I guess she needs the pay check.

T
T

He’s absolutely right. Gina is beautiful and talented and now Phyllis will be played by someone who is much younger and looks much younger. Phyllis well looked into middle age when played by Michelle Stafford, who just was no longer convincing–sorry, but some people age well and others don’t, and it was absolutely impossible, and laughable, to see her as possibly being involved with Nick. The de-SORASed Phyllis will have so many new opportunities for storylines and will also look to be in the same decade of age as Sharon. She will look like a young mom if MG comes back to play Daniel, but that will be fine by me. Stafford is now over at GH doing her embarrassing over-the-top acting and YR is lucky to be rid of her and welcoming the much more capable Gina T.

su0000
su0000

Michelle Stafford is knocking it out of the park at GH.. great acting!
she is doing an excellent performance..
Y&R loss GH’s gain..

Michelle Stafford (Nina) GH.. Rocks! .. two thumbs up!
Gina’s (Phyllis ) to two thumbs down.. .. 🙂

MS will always hold Phyllis ..

Laurel Twist
Laurel Twist

What I would like is for Jill Farren Phelps and Angelica McDaniel to be fired. Sweep the writing staff, fire ALL of the newbies, & hire people who truly care about the characters, of the show, who will write a balanced ensemble show, period.

su0000
su0000

ALL the great loved characters are gone..
Y&R is not recognizable– look at the opening credits!! all newbies or dullards ..

Looks like they are getting rid of the old and in with younger new..
they are trying to put the ”young” back into Y&R..

Janie
Janie

From your lips to God’s ear su0000. Love your idea. Cannot stand the new Abby. I get so tired of hearing her laugh after every stupid sentence she utters.
and PLEASE FIRE JILL FARREN PHELPS. She is a total DIASTER as EP. I did read a few months ago that both Michael M and Michelle S were offered their jobs back and both declined. What a shame. Michael should never have been fired…….Billy Miller would have stayed if they had just given him the “outs” he requested to do other things and IMO Michelle and JFP must have clashed big time for her to leave a show that she had been on for 16 years.

jo
jo

Let JFP start a new soap online with her Y&R newbies. Get a new EP, rehire what & who made this show so special.
Bring back the beloved actors- Miller, Muhney;
Adrienne Franz as Amber with Michael Graz, I loved.
Gina T should have been hired as Victoria, Amelia did not have a big following.
Vail Bloom looked like DD Paul, who needs Dylan?
Back to the topic, MG was so natural as Daniel, he would be lovely with Gina T and as I said, bring Amber back to create a storyline.
They do need a gay sl. Kevvie is your man, so run with it. Let him out of the closet, this is the 21st century.
Does anyone listen?! Doubtful.

Donna Pifferini
Donna Pifferini

I would love to see Daniel again!!! Anytime!!! Anywhere!!! But as far as this new Phyllis goes… she sucks!!! She could never hold a candle to Michelle Stafford… NO ONE COULD!!!

Joseph
Joseph

Both Michael and Gina are great at their craft and would be a great to each other if Michael would return. Frankly I miss seeing him on Y&R. (hint..hint)

Keith
Keith

I would love to see Michael Graziadei back on Y&R if only for a short visit. Only he can play Daniel. Phyllis is awake and Daniel should be present.

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Angelica McDaniel, executive vp daytime programs and syndicated program development at CBS, spoke to the Hollywood Reporter on what has made this remarkable run; attributing it to strong storytelling and a cast that includes several beloved veterans who have been around the entire time.

The executive noted that while other soaps over the years have fallen by the wayside, and even though we are down to only four surviving network soap operas, that Y&R will be around with no end in sight.

McDaniel stated, “We have this award-winning, ratings-generating, money-making show, and it really adds value to CBS. We expect it be a part of our lineup in the future.”

Photo: CBS

She also added, “The Young and the Restless has some of the best actors in the industry — not in soaps, not in daytime, but in television. We have iconic, legacy characters that have been on our show for decades. Melody Thomas Scott will be celebrating her 40th year on the show in February. Peter Bergman just reached his 30th anniversary in November. Eric Braeden started in 1980. We just have an incredible arsenal of actors who are so talented and play these characters so well that you don’t even realize they’re characters. They become people who are part of your life, part of your daily existence.”

As for the continual investment and ways the audience watches the show on various platforms, McDaniel expresed: “The great thing about daytime television is we have loyal, passionate viewers, and they really like to tune in day and date. They want to stick with their stories and see what’s happening today. … Having said that, The Young and the Restless is also one of the top streamed shows on CBS.com. As trends evolve, we are where our viewers are, and we’re making shows readily accessible so they can get their fix and follow their stories.”

So, what do you think about Y&R? Will it remain if and when all other soaps have come to theirconclusion? Do you think it will continue on for years to come, given its position at number #1? Comment below!

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Young has been busy with other projects involving acting roles, his You Tube show, and music career, but certainly is open to a return to the soap opera.

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Jacob took to Twitter to offer up his feelings on the matter tweeting: “I for one am incredibly sad and disappointed. Rick and Maya have split. (Love that would never die) I loved working with Karla Mosley.  it has been the highlight of my 21 year career in daytime. TRUST ME when I say your opinion matters.”

Since that posting, fans of the couple known as #Raya, have been voicing their thoughts and sharing photos of the on-screen duo.  Young responded to one in particular saying, “Who remembers this? Gosh, I miss Maya.”  In it,the posting read: “This is heartbreaking, Raya was the only example of what true love looks like on that soap!”

Previously, B&B has told the emotional and socially-relevant love story of a transgender woman falling in love with one of the men of the wealthy and renowned Forrester family.

So, what do you think of Jacob’s comments?  Do you want Rick back on the canvas?  What should then happen next for Maya with no Rick?  Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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As previously reported, the series executive producer Gareth Naeme said about the film,  “We aim to deliver everything that one would hope for as Downton comes to the big screen.”

Look for the film to land in movie theatres on Friday, September 20th, 2019, with it debuting internationally the week prior on Friday, September 13th.

Most of the cast is intact including: Hugh Bonneville, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter, Brendan Coyle, Michelle Dockery, Kevin Doyle, Joanne Froggatt, Matthew Goode, Harry Hadden-Paton, David Haig, Geraldine James, Robert James-Collier, Simon Jones, Allen Leech, Phyllis Logan, Elizabeth McGovern, Sophie McShera, Tuppence Middleton, Stephen Campbell Moore, Lesley Nicol, Kate Phillips, Maggie Smith, Imelda Staunton and Penelope Wilton.

Julian Fellowes once again writes the script for the film for the characters he created for the TV series.

Now check out the first trailer below, when just hearing that memorable opening theme song, it brought us back to the drama and the romance of Downton Abbey.

Let us know if you are thrilled to know that the movie is set for release …. and if you are looking forward to seeing what happens to the Crawleys and others in the next chapter of their story when the movie comes your way via the comment section below.

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