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The Greg Rikaart and Elizabeth Hendrickson Interview – The Young and the Restless

© JPI Studios

© JPI Studios

If there are two young stars that break the mold from your standardized soap opera acting  style, the names Greg Rikaart and Elizabeth Hendrickson of The Young and the Restless are at the very top of the list.  As Genoa City’s unconventional, at times eccentric and flawed duo, Kevin Fisher and Chloe Mitchell, they make this on-screen duo endearing to our hearts, and yet they have the ability to break them at the same time.  Not an easy feat, but the accomplished Rikaart and Hendrickson can pull all the strings making us laugh, cry, or leaving us plain surprised on what their alter-egos reactions and behavior might be in their growing complex relationship.

Greg and Liz, who are great friends in real life, translated that chemistry on screen to Kevin and Chloe becoming great buds and roommates on the Genoa City canvas. However, fans of Y&R this past week saw pivotal episodes where their relationship took a turn, when Kevin gets up the courage and admits to Chloe that he has deep feelings for her that are more than friendship.  In another of Rikaart’s moving performances, Kevin announces to Chloe, “I’m a really good guy.  And you should want to be with me the way I want to be with you.”  He goes on to tell Chloe, “You’re smart, beautiful, my best friend…”  I mean what girl wouldn’t just melt?  Well, not exactly, Chloe.  Her reaction included walking out on him!  So, what’s a guy to do?  Have sex with your ex!  Enter crazy Jana.

On-Air On-Soaps caught up with the two Y&R scene stealers to discuss Kevin and Chloe’s burgeoning romance, how it is being good friends while having to play
high emotional stakes, and to take a look back and look ahead for their characters
as the year comes to a close.  Here’s our chat with Greg and Elizabeth!

MICHAEL:

The two of you are very good friends off camera.  How did you come to get acquainted with each other, which in turn blossomed into this great dynamic between you and has manifested itself into an on-screen relationship between Kevin and Chloe?

LIZ:

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We knew about each other.  I remember meeting Greg through my friend Emily.  I remember saying “Hi” to you at a soap event in New York.  It might even have been the Emmys years ago, when I was on All My Children.

GREG:

I guess we knew of each other, but we did not become chummy until she started working on Y&R. We did a stage reading of a one act together for a friend and we worked together a little bit in that. Then, Barbara Bloom (CBS Sr. VP Daytime Programming) had been a really big fan of Liz’s.  So when she came in to read, I remember them wanting us to read together, which is kind of funny in a roundabout way, that here we are three years later and we are finally working together.  But it was a chemistry read.

LIZ:

Yes. It was a chemistry read.  I thought you were the one they were going to put me with.   I recall I had met Barbara when I first moved to L.A.  I had a meeting with her and nothing came of it ever again.  Then two years later, I was doing this stage reading with a friend, and that is when I officially met Greg.  Barbara came to see the show and a week or so later I got a phone call that she wanted to do a chemistry reading with me at the studio, and that was with Greg. And prior to that, I was driving with AMC’s Rebecca Budig (Greenlee) and Bob Guiney, and they were looking for a house. We were coming from the dog park with our dogs and Greg was standing outside. They saw a for sale sign, and they went, “Oh look! This house is for sale.” And I went, “Oh, that’s that kid from The Young and the Restless.”  They rolled down the window and went in and bought the house!  That was the other time, except times throughout the soap world, that I met Greg.  So I am kind of responsible for your house being sold, Greg!

GREG:

Well thanks, I owe you.  It’s funny. We have been kindredly connected before we were friends, so it’s kind of nice.

MICHAEL:

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Liz, what makes Greg a great friend?

LIZ:

Let’s see…Greg stealing my phone and hacking into my facebook page! (Laughs)

GREG:

I think what she means to say is…. that she loves me so much that she sub-consciously leaves her phone on the set, and then I will hack her status update and make up something… and I post it for the world to see. (Laughs)

LIZ:

From the very beginning, Greg and I have had an awesome time with each other. I think that is why you enjoy watching us on television, and thank you very much to the fans for enjoying us, but we are really comfortable with each other.  We have a very similar sense of humor and we don’t take ourselves too seriously. When I work with Greg, I tend to be more myself.  So it’s always a safe supportive place to be.  I have a lot of fun with it because I feel I can fully trust it.  And so whatever I do, I know he will always be there to catch me if I fall, or make fun of me.  And, we have an awesome banter with each other!

GREG:

That is a good way of putting it.  Liz is a great dance partner and I feel the same way around her.  The level of comfort is so easy, certainly for portraying the friendship part of the Kevin/Chloe relationship, that is a no-brainer.  So it was like, when are we going to have to start acting?  I think there was a lot of material that was scripted not too dissimilar to the way we would goof around in real life, even when the relationship starts to change a little bit.  For instance, there is something coming up next week where she does something physical to me. It was as simple as her saying to me, “Hey, this is what I am thinking of doing. What are your parameters?”  I think there is that trust and comfort.  And off-camera, I love palling around with her, whether it’s at work or hanging out outside of work.  It’s a fun relationship.

MICHAEL:

So was it your personal relationship that influenced Y&R executive producer and head writer Maria Bell and her creative team, to pair you on screen as Kevin and Chloe?  Because as you know, many times in soaps, writers will tell you that in watching the actors on set, they see something that strikes a chord for them and they run with it.

LIZ:

We were gunning for it and planted a seed a long time ago. (To Greg) Should we let him in on our little secret?  Ok, remember the holiday party…

© JPI Studios

GREG:

I will never forget.  I was at the Y&R holiday party and I said to Liz, Maria Bell is having a cocktail, so this would be a good time to be subtle and casually mention that we would be interested in working together, which Liz interpreted as walking right up to Maria and saying, “We want to work together!” (Laughs).

LIZ:

Any chance we could get, we would have fun with it.  And whether that be that I would shamelessly flirt with him in front of Maria, or make sure to hop in front of the camera so they can see us being really cute together.

GREG:

But also, my interest in working with Liz was less about that I love her as a person and more about that I think she is fantastic on the show. And from day one, I always thought she is really like a Fisher/Baldwin.

LIZ:

That is what I wanted to be when I came on the show!  All I wanted to be was a Fisher/Baldwin. (Laughs)

GREG:

You know, I think our on-screen family has all very solid actors who are all a bit off and quirky, and I think she kind of fits in perfectly.

MICHAEL:

What do the two of you think of the repositioning and retooling of Jana being the bad girl in the mix?  And, how is Emily O’Brien (Jana) to work with in this new beat of story?

GREG:

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I think it’s the most genius thing she has gotten to do. She has always been amazing, but Emily playing crazy with a lid on it, with sort of a Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction vibe, or Rebecca De Mornay in The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, is so genius. And, I think it’s amazing.  I also like that it created such obstacles within our story.  I love it and I think it’s great.

LIZ:

I love it, too. This is the first chance I have gotten to work with Emily.  I have wanted to work with her for a long time, just like I was waiting to work with Greg, because I have always enjoyed their work together.  She just takes us by surprise every time.  It is so far from who she is as a person, and so when you are with Emily on stage, you are so in it. Sometimes I find myself watching her rather than being in the scene with her, which works because it’s kind of the way you look at a crazy person. You think, “Is this real or is it not?”  Sometimes it even cracks me up, and we have laughed at the end of some tapings.  It wasn’t funny when Greg and I would later watch it back, and then I don’t remember why it was so funny in the first place.

GREG:

You know what I think?  I think sometimes the laughter comes from how uncomfortable she makes you feel.  And you think, “Ok, I am going to nervously laugh now, because I wonder if Emily is legitimately crazy?”

MICHAEL:

How are we justifying this evil turn of Jana?  Was it the countless brain surgeries that have damaged her, or do you think its kind of the more extreme version of the original Jana that was a bit of whack-job?

GREG:

I think the character of Jana, and like the character of Kevin and other characters on the show, is a rather loose canon.  I don’t think she has ever been completely rational and normal.  Even before the brain tumor, she killed Carmen Mesta… (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

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Greg, Kevin is so great with Chloe’s little girl Delia, and he has also come to the aid and defense of Daisy, wanting to make sure her baby is loved and has a father.  Does Kevin want to be a dad?  Why does he want to help Daisy so bad, after all the things she has done to his loved ones?

GREG:

I don’t know he necessarily wants be a dad just yet, but he wants to sort of protect that innocence that he sees in Daisy’s baby, and protect her from the horror that he and Ryder and Daisy went through. I think that is more motivated about him wanting to protect her then him wanting to raise a kid.  Kevin loves Delia, too.

MICHAEL:

This past week we saw some game-changing moments in the relationship between Kevin and Chloe, especially, when Kevin bares his soul and feelings to Chloe.  I feel bad for Kevin!

LIZ:

I felt so bad for Kevin.

GREG:

I do remember Liz telling me that she did feel bad for me.

LIZ:

© JPI Studios

I felt horrible almost in the way that I played it.

GREG:

It came out of that sort of build of emotions that have been happening within him, that whether he realized it or not, has been going on for a long time already.  It all came to a head when he needed to step up in some way with the whole incident with Child Protective Services. Then he really lays into Jana after that and accuses her of masterminding that, and in the midst of that, getting shot down with Chloe when she says something while Billy is there that sort of diminishes their relationship.  I think that made something in him snap and he thought, “Alright, I can’t keep this to myself anymore.”   I think at that moment he had no choice.  He thought either I am going to go crazy, or I am just going to tell her how I feel.

MICHAEL:

Liz, so Chloe really had no clue that Kevin could possibly have deep romantic feelings for her? How did you decide to play those beats of the story that just aired?

LIZ:

I think she had been through so much with guys, and even if she had feelings for Kevin, it was so deep down that it wasn’t even something she was willing to recognize.  I think that what happened between her two great loves had damaged her so much, that I don’t think she was willing to accept the fact that this is possibly what love could be like.  Having it come from a friendship and think, why would you ruin something that is so great? Anything with Chloe that started on the right foot got ruined.  Even Chance started on the right foot and got ruined. With Kevin, that is something you keep in a safe place and it’s not even something you go near because, God forbid, if I lost that person, I would have nothing.  And so, she finally finds someone she can trust and be with, and it’s not how she associates love, or how she would even think about it.  I think that begins to change the minute she sees him with someone else, and it’s like daggers to the heart.  I am trying to play the fine line because I know Chloe is getting jealous of Jana.  She was originally thinking, “Well, she is not good enough for you.”  But she wasn’t taking it as, “Well, I want to be that girl.”  I think until she sees him with someone else, it is then she realizes it is a different feeling.  I mean your heart should not sink into your stomach if you walk in and see a guy with another girl.  If she didn’t have feelings for him, she would have been able to walk in and go, “Eww! That’s disgusting. I just saw my best friend half-naked.”  And not be repulsed by the fact that his tongue is down her throat.  I think just the thought of her having to disappoint her daughter again and have another man come in and out of her life is a major issue for her. Chloe thought Kevin was there with her and Delia for a reason.  So she thinks we are going to keep Kevin in that place because this is safe. I think it appears to be almost too good to be true. When Kevin shows her the Christmas photos, it is the life that she pictures, but I just don’t think she really knows how to get it and hold on to it. I think she gets that from the last screw-up she had with Ronan.  I don’t think Chloe thinks she deserves to be treated well.

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MICHAEL:

By the way, I like the Chloe/Kevin Christmas card! So cute!

GREG:

(Laughs)  I was not at the Y&R Christmas Party, but I heard they had that picture blown up.

LIZ:

They did?

MICHAEL:

Greg, be honest, was it revenge sex for Kevin with Jana? (Laughs)

GREG:

Yeah, basically. (Laughs)  The thing is, no matter what Jana has put Kevin through, he doesn’t hate her, and certainly, he’s not trying to cause her any grief.  It was totally revenge sex.  Kevin was in a pretty vulnerable place where he was feeling pretty bad about himself, and here Jana comes along and she feels for him the way he wishes Chloe did.

MICHAEL:

Why are you able to tap into Kevin’s vulnerability so well?

GREG:

I think for me, it’s not trying to manipulate the audience, but saying he is doing some bad stuff.  Having sex with a woman he has no interest in, is one of them.  If you do that it’s too black and white, and he looks like an asshole.  So you say, this is what he is going to do, so how do I make this real for me?  He is really hurt.  I think showing vulnerability gets me through the tough stuff that comes his way sometimes, where it’s like me as an ethical person might judge Kevin’s motives.

© JPI Studios

MICHAEL:

Liz, looking back as 2010 comes to a close, what was your favorite Chloe moment?

LIZ:

This has been the most fun material I have gotten to play since when I first started on Y&R.  That was fun when I was kind of being bitchy, manipulative, and taking advantage of people. The first thing that came to mind when you asked, is anytime I get to play a little comedy.  I can’t just pick one.  I just know this is the most comfortable I have been since being on the show and being able to do everything I wanted to do in daytime.  I have been able to explore them over the last few months, and that is just having those moments and just letting things pop up and happen. On the flipside as my other favorite Chloe moment, would be the reveal of Chance cheating on her. That for me was the first time I was able to connect and feel the pain of being heartbroken.  It was actually the most heartbreaking thing for me to let myself go there.

MICHAEL:

Greg, your turn. What was your favorite Kevin moment of 2010?

GREG:

One thing that comes to mind is, whatever I am getting to do, I always like getting a break from that.  So, if I have been in a heavy storyline, it’s always nice to have a comedic break or vice versa. That was what was nice about the scenes that aired this week.  Kevin and Chloe’s relationship for the last few months has been light, fresh and fun. I think my favorite moment was our first real scenes together. That is when Kevin gets really drunk at the bar and they are commiserating and he is complaining about Jana and Ryder, and it was right at the same time that Chloe was dealing with her Chance issues.  I remember those being inherently funny because Kevin was getting really drunk, but there were serious moments, too.  It was the first time Liz and I got to play around together. And I think there were scenes where Kevin walks in on Jana and Ryder at the Athletic Club.  I think while he had been suspicious and confused by her attachment to Ryder, I think that was the moment where she tells him where her priorities lie, and it was devastating for Kevin, and are some my favorite scenes, too.

© JPI Studios

LIZ:

Wait… that just took me back to when we had those first scenes together, because I am just so proud of us for that!  We used to not be able to look at each other, because we would break out in laughter and non-stop giggles.  We were getting really nervous on set, and we thought, what are we going to do?  Even those scenes Greg is talking about that he did such an excellent job with.  I think the first time we did it, I laughed at him and we had to do the scene over again.  Greg, we have come so far!  (Laughs)

GREG:

Yeah, I know.  It was like if we were even in a group scene and I looked at her and she looked at me, we would giggle.  Liz still makes me laugh all the time and Emily, too.  I have gotten quite giggly of late on set. I am sure I am going to get a talking to soon.  I have been having a lot of fun lately with Liz; it’s not the worst thing. (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

I assume you may have shared a romantic kiss on-screen, or that it may be coming at some point soon.  Is there any trepidation knowing that you’re dear friends in real life and now the time has come where you have to, or had to, have your lips locked?  Any apprehension about it?

GREG:

No, not for me.

LIZ:

You know, it’s really funny because I thought I was going to, after I got what I asked for! All of a sudden when the time was near it was, “Oh, wait. Ok. Hmmm.” And the minute it happened, Greg went, “You’re a good kisser,” and I went, “So are you!”  And you know what it totally goes back to, is the whole trust safety thing. The fact that I know that if there was ever a time I did something and I looked at him and I was not comfortable with something, I know he would go, “Ok. We will never do that ever again.”

MICHAEL:

So would you say, Liz, that Greg rates as a one of the best kissers of all your Y&R leading men?

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LIZ:

Definitely!

GREG:

I would tease her though, and say, “I am going to stick my tongue as far down your throat as I can! (Laughs)

LIZ:

I know! (Laughs)

GREG:

I would be reviewing the scenes we have to do the night before taping, and I will send Liz a text and say, “Get ready!”

MICHAEL:

As had been announced in the soap magazines for this coming week, Jana is going to try to capitalize on an invitation to Christmas dinner at Katherine’s house.  That is bound to be an uncomfortable situation for Chloe and Kevin.  As we head into the holidays, can we expect any happiness, or more sadness and conflicted feelings, for your on-screen alter-egos?

GREG:

Kevin and Chloe’s Christmas and New Year’s will be sort of affected by what you just saw happen on air this past week.  I think things go from bad to worse.

MICHAEL:

Are the two of you checking out the message boards and getting fan reaction and feedback to see if the fans want Kevin and Chloe as a “love” couple, or if they want them to just stay best friends?

LIZ:

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We are.  Look, I never pay attention to the bad press, because it makes me upset.  I have definitely paid attention and heard people at the studio say, “I like you two together.” And the fact that someone even had an opinion about it is good enough for me.  If you like it or don’t like it, that means you’re involved.  And if they are involved, that means we have you thinking about something and you are kind of waiting to see what happens next.

GREG:

The stuff I have seen and heard is mixed.  I think fans like us as friends, but I don’t know if everyone is sold on wanting us to be anything more.  If I have something big that happens in a storyline, and if and when I have time, I will go and see what the fan reaction is.  I don’t look to see if they say it’s good or bad.  I just look to see if they are talking about it. You are better off having people disagree and chatting about it versus people who don’t really care.

LIZ:

It’s the same thing of, if you hate me, that’s good.  Love to hate me; at least you’re having an opinion about something.

GREG:

The worse thing to be on a soap is boring, and I always say that. With thirty some actors on our show, it’s one of the most challenging part of the job, and that is figuring out what your niche is supposed to be, and what am I going to do that nobody else is doing. That is the other thing I like about our relationship.  There is that quirkiness factor …

LIZ:

There are no other characters on our show that are like us.

GREG:

Sometimes I wonder what came first, the chicken or the egg?  Did they have the idea to do awkward family photos for Christmas first?  Or was it, what are we going to do for Kevin and Chloe?  I think no matter what, when the idea came up of who is going to do the awkward photo, the powers-that-be thought, “Oh yeah, Kevin and Chloe.”  No one else fits that other than us.

MICHAEL:

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Do you think Kevin and Chloe could still be friends, if they embarked on a romance and it fell apart?

GREG:

It’s tricky, because you build up to this point and the whole thing is now, will they or won’t they?  My ideal situation for us would be if we can keep some sort of obstacle in our way for as long as we can, because who wants to be a happy couple?

LIZ:

I don’t want to be a happy couple! (Laughs)  I love the fact of Kevin still having a pull towards Jana. There is some sort of push and pull going on with them. I hope this goes on all year round, and we got to keep things moving, or we all are going to get boring.

GREG:

Kevin wants to get Chloe in the sack a couple of times, but living happily ever after?  I am sure Kevin would like that, but I would not like that.

MICHAEL:

In closing, Greg, what is your New Year’s wish for Kevin? What would you like to see him get involved with in 2011?

GREG:

What I like most about Kevin is the push/pull that happens in his brain, where he is like, “I want to be a better person. I want to be a good guy.”  Then it’s really easy for him to get lured into some sort of underhanded stuff.  I would like to see more of that in the New Year, and for him to continue to battle himself.  I would like to see him find some luck in love, but not too much.  And, I would love to see more integration of the fun family stuff as was in the past with Judith Chapman (Gloria) and Ted Shackelford (Jeffrey) and the Fisher/Baldwin gang.

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MICHAEL:

Liz, what is your New Year’s wish for Chloe?

LIZ:

I would love to see Chloe get back to her passion of styling and fashion, and start to take over some jobs (Laughs).  I want to take someone down and replace someone, and go toe to toe with a really strong female.

GREG:

On that note, I would like to have Kevin and Chloe become allies on a caper to take somebody down… now that sounds like fun for the New Year!

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Sunshine
Guest
Sunshine

I Absolutely loved this interview! EH and GR work so well together and they have a great relationship! I don’t think either one of them have had better chemistry with someone than they do with each other! I hope to see them as a couple on Y&R because like GR said they both play Fishers really well. They are Perfect for each other! Love, love, love them! Chloe & Kevin FTW!!!

Judy
Guest
Judy

What a great interview! At this point I see them still more as friends but I’m more open to it becoming more after reading this. I guess more than anything I am afraid of having their friendship end if the romance doesn’t work and that I would miss. I’m definitely willing to give it a shot. I don’t want it all hearts and roses but rather some effort to make it work. I do think there is potential there!

Thanks for another great interview!

Robin S.
Guest
Robin S.

Great interview, Michael! Love the show and their characters. Great questions. The interview didn’t feel like the staged ones one reads in magazines. This felt like a truly intimate conversation between three friends.
I love their take on their character’s relationships with themselves and with each other. GREAT JOB!!!!!!

Yvonne G.
Guest
Yvonne G.

I absolutely love them together! Great interview. Love them as friends and have no doubt I will love them even more as a romantic couple. I hope we get to see that soon on the show.

Doe
Guest
Doe

loved the interview, Michael. These are two very fine actors who got lucky with their chemistry. They obviously play off each other extremely well. I enjoy what is happening within this triangle with Jana, Chloe and Kevin. Emily is doing a very fine job as well with all her connivings. I don’t want Kevin to go back to Jana. She is a loose canon!

Stephanie
Guest
Stephanie

This interview was amazing!! Pure gold!!

Fan
Guest
Fan

I FLOVE these two, That was a great interview. I am a huge Kevin/Chloe shipper, If the right kinda chem is between two characters/actos, I love soap romances that start as friend and lead to more. The only thing I wouldnt want is if they were to end, they stop being friends and having scenes together. I think its their fear too. They want their characters to hook up, but are afraid if they get torn apart they wont get to work together anymore. Sidenote: Jana freaks the hell outta me!!

semaj
Guest
semaj

love chloe and kevin pairing

Y&R Fan
Guest
Y&R Fan

I absolutely LOVE the pairing of Chloe & Kevin. The chemistry between Elizabeth and Greg is amazing. I have become such a fan that I literally fast forward to their scenes. Now this is the type of love story daytime needs. I FLOVE them so much! Chloe and Kevin have become my #1 favorite daytime couple to watch. Kudos to the writers.

Y&R Fan
Guest
Y&R Fan

I’ve said this numerous times and it’s been reaffirmed in this interview. There’s no two characters like Kevin and Chloe on any soap let alone theirs. Put the two together and call it a day. I’m a fan…a big fan.

Carrie
Guest
Carrie

I loved the scene when where Jana was “hot to trot”, and keeps asking Kevin for sex…When he said he was having “Gender Confusion” issues, it was laugh out loud funny, and a great excuse.
Also, the scenes in the theater with Jana and Kevin…Chloe throwing popcorn from the back rows..I loved them.
We Need A Little Humor…Right This Very Minute…
Bravo!

Peyton
Guest
Peyton

Like their friendship, but they don’t really work in a romantic sense at ALL! They are more like Carly/Jason. Chloe comes across really insecure and whiny with him.

Chloe Fan
Guest
Chloe Fan

Chloe and Kevin are awesome friends but there is no romantic chemistry at all. (IMO) Kevin is Chloe’s worst pairing by far! Chloe worked best with Ronan, I’m bitter that they dropped them like a hot potato! Now talk about passion and chemistry and a great duo! Kevin and Chloe just don’t do it for me as a couple, but great interview! Love Chloe and Liz Hendrickson!

Interviews

Y&R’s Christian LeBlanc and Michelle Stafford Talk On Their Enduring Friendship, Sharing Scenes & Preview Special Episode

Coming up on the Monday, January 10th episode of The Young and the Restless, the CBS daytime drama series will mark the 30th anniversary of Christian LeBlanc as Michael Baldwin.

In it, Michael will being trying to figure out what’s next in his life, after he has been a successful legal eagle for decades, with the assistance of several characters and some memorable flashbacks that might inform him.

Photo: JPI

LeBlanc debut on Y&R back at the end of November in 1991, and has won three Daytime Emmys for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series throughout his time in Genoa City.

To celebrate Christian’s 30th anniversary, Michael Fairman welcomed Christian and his longtime co-star and dear friend, Michelle Stafford (Phyllis) for a special conversation on You Tube’s The Michael Fairman Channel along with some memorable clips.

Photo: JPI

During the chat, Michelle and Christian reveal their favorite scenes together, how they met, the key to their enduring friendship, and and how they have gone through the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.  Later, Christian shares his reaction to the on set celebration in his honor with his co-star and previews his special episode.

Photo: JPI

In addition, during the holidays, Michelle helped organize a toy drive for the second year in a row to help children and families in need along with the NAACP and the National Action Network, which Christian participated in along with several Y&R cast members, and they discuss how the toy drive came together during these trying times for everyone.

Courtesy/CLeBlancIG

Now below, check out the full interview with Christian and Michelle, followed by the promo for LeBlanc’s special episode.

Let us know in the comment section what your favorite part of the conversation was, what are your favorite Michael and Phyllis scenes through the years on Y&R and share your congratulations to Christian on a job well-done for his 30-year milestone.

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Interviews

Y&R’s Joshua Morrow Chats On Nick’s Standalone Christmas Eve Episode

Nick Newman (Joshua Morrow) is one tired Santa! After delivering presents to the less fortunate for Christmas, he is tuckered out, and thus will begin the special episode The Young and the Restless is serving up on Friday, December 24th.

The Christmas Eve airing of this all-new standalone episode marks the fourth time in Joshua Morrow’s career that he has been featured like this on the top-rated CBS soap.

In this story, Nick will try to come to terms with where his life is headed when he is taken on a journey through his dreams. Enter plenty of your other favorites from the Newman clan and more, who will definitely make an impact on Nick.  At the end of it all, will Nick come away with some revelations and reflections? Will he learn anything that will change him for the better and give him a clear direction?

As viewers recently witnessed, Nick and Phyllis (Michelle Stafford) called it quits in heartbreaking scenes, leaving Nick once again at a loss in the love live department.  Will he, in turn, eventually reunite with Sharon (Sharon Case), when all is said and done?

Michael Fairman TV talked with Joshua to get insight and a preview on what to expect during this holiday episode including: if he feels Nick is adrift, how he sees each of the characters from Adam (Mark Grossman) to Victoria (Amelia Heinle) impacting his alter-ego, and of course, Nick’s relationships with the women in his life.  So, with that, ‘ho, ho, ho,” here’s our yuletide chat with Mr. Morrow.

Photo: SonjaFlemming/CBS

How did you feel when you got a script for this special Christmas episode, and that it was all centered-on Nick?

JOSHUA:  My first reaction was, “Do people really want to see more of Nick? (Laughs) When you see an episode like this, you instantly know that you’ve got to do a lot of work. You’re basically in every scene, and I think it’s pretty common knowledge that I learn my lines in the morning when I get to work. However, on those days, you can’t do that, so you just know that you’ve got to prepare, and everyone is counting on you.  I like doing my scenes as fast as possible, but when you have that much material, you’ve got to put the time in.  As an actor, you hope it’s written well, and that you perform it the way they want you to, and you just go from there.

It’s not about which women Nick should sleep with next?  (Laughs)

JOSHUA:  I think all of Nick’s dreams are women-based. (Laughs) He’s walking around town going, “Who’s next?”  No, it’s a dream about figuring out who he is.  He is going through this kind of loop in his life where he’s not entirely sure where he is, where he should be, what he should be doing, how he’s treating people … it’s just kind of a look inside himself to see if he can come up with any solutions because he knows that what is happening and what he is doing right now is not working.  He doesn’t necessarily know why or how he got to this place, but with the help of some family, hopefully he will figure it out in the dream.

Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS

Sounds like Nick is very much at a crossroads here.

JOSHUA:  Yes, that’s a good description of it.  He’s just kind of wandering, and the biggest thing (and he’s been going through this a lot throughout his whole life) is that he just doesn’t know why he gets to this place.  It’s like, is it something he’s doing?  Is there something wrong with him?  He’s just questioning a lot of things, so during the holidays, it seems like the perfect time to come up with solutions for oneself.

So, in his dream, should viewers expect to we see different characters coming to him, like we’ve seen in other Y&R episodes similar to this?

JOSHUA:  Yes, in the dream, we’re seeing his family coming into his life, and they’re talking about who he is, the good parts about him, sometimes the bad …

… Wait, Nick has bad parts about him? 

JOSHUA:  Well … just maybe some things that he needs to improve on. (Laughs) Without him knowing it, I think Nick is kind of hard on people.  If they don’t necessarily think like he is, without knowing it, he tends to hold that against them.  Just because somebody doesn’t think like you, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re wrong.  He is just struggling with where he is in life.  He is wondering if he is doing things right.  The dream comes up, and it helps him realize some things.

Photo: JPI

You and Michelle Stafford (Phyllis) did some wonderful scenes recently that aired when Phyllis and Nick broke up.  Do you remember taping those?  How did you feel about the on-screen relationship going south … again?

JOSHUA:  For me, Stafford is my bro.  When you start doing those types of scenes, you realize it’s the end of something for now.  I realized that there was a window when I was with her every day, laughing, making fun of each other, doing the fraternity style comedy that we do with each other.  I did those scenes with sadness because I knew that they were breaking us up and that I wouldn’t get to see her every day, but they were great.  Michelle is such a freaking tornado of talent. I was excited to see her really do the thing I think she does best, which is just unbridled passion, whether it’s positive or negative.  She obviously crushed it.  I was just happy to be a part of it.  I don’t have to do much heavy lifting in those scenes. I just wanted to be there for her.  I think that the scenes did turn out very well.  I wasn’t happy to do them, but I always want to do good work.

Photo: JPI

So, where is Nick at with Sharon (Sharon Case) at this point?  How does she impact him in the holiday episode?

JOSHUA:  Sharon is in the special episode offering Nick a lot of advice and guidance.  Sharon is one of Nick’s biggest cheerleaders.  She is constantly trying to make him feel good and better about things that he does.  They’re really good friends.  They are coparenting, you know.  I’m no dummy, obviously the writing is on the wall as to where this will lead, but the journey of how they get there will be the question.  I don’t know when it will happen, but obviously Nick and Sharon have a tremendous history, and anytime they get together it is usually beautifully told.  I don’t know for certain because I don’t ask, but if that is indeed the path that they are going down, I am sure that it will be something the long-time “Shick” supporters are very happy with.  Like I said, there is no romantic anything at the moment. They’re nothing about that.  It’s just that around the holidays, it’s tough not to have someone, and they’re there for each other.  They’ve got kids, and they’re just trying to have a good Christmas.

Photo: JPI

Nick and Adam (Mark Grossman) have a very contentious relationship that is very complex. How does that figure into the equation?

JOSHUA:  It’s an interesting dynamic because Nick is forever grateful to Adam.  I literally think he has saved every one of Nick’s children’s lives at some point in their past, and maybe even Noah a couple of times (Laughs) It’s a delicate relationship because whether he mentions it or not, Nick is jealous that Victor (Eric Braeden) seems to turn to Adam now.  Despite all of Nick’s, “I want to do my own thing, leave me alone, etc.” it really hurts him that Victor turns to Adam when the family needs it.  For all of Nick’s, “I’m my own man,” he still really believes in the strength of the Newman family.  He will always have its back, and if it’s being threatened, like it was with what Nick perceives Ashland (Richard Burgi) to be doing, and Victor doesn’t come to Nick to help with that (or … he does in the beginning, but when it comes to an end, he basically casts Nick aside), that really bothers him.  It’s hard not to take that out on Adam. Still, he doesn’t trust him fully, and he is always kind of on edge around him.  It’s a delicate balance of trust and acceptance with Nick and Adam.

Photo: SonjaFlemming/CBS

Does Nick feel like the ‘odd man out’ with Victor, when it always seems that Adam and Victor team up?

JOSHUA:  He absolutely does, and again, Nick had brought a lot of this on himself.  He is constantly saying, “I’m going to do me.  I’m going to make my own decisions.  I don’t want you impacting any of those,” but then when Victor turns to Adam and not Nick in a very important situation that involves his sister, Nick is pretty hurt by that.  Nick does feel like Adam has come into his relationship with his father.  They’re working together very closely.  It seems like Adam had Victor’s ear.  It seems like Victor trusts Adam – at this point, maybe even more than Nick.  That definitely bothers him. I don’t fault Victor in this because all Nick has done is stomp is feet and say, “I don’t like the way you handle things,” and, “Leave me alone.  I’m going to handle things my own way.”  It’s an interesting situation for Victor to be in because I think he wants Nick to be in the fold.  He wants Nick to be there whenever he needs him, but Nick has not made that easy.  He is very hardheaded when it comes to the family dynamic at times.  Nick has created all these difficult relationships now in his family, except with his mother.  He and Victoria (Amelia Heinle) are at odds.  He and Victor are always staring each other down at opposite sides of the fence, and then Adam comes in, and threatens what he perceived to be his role in the family, and that also kind of leads to the whole dream.

Photo: SonjaFlemming/CBS

You brought up Nikki (Melody Thomas Scott).  How do you see the bond between mother and son?

JOSHUA:  Nick and his mother have always had an extremely close relationship.  Nikki leans on Nick to bring peace in the family, and Nick leans on her to talk him off the ledge at times because he does overreact, and he acts impulsively at times, while Nikki is very cool, calm, and collected at all times.  Usually, he does everything she asks of him.  Nick is very clearly a Momma’s boy, and he always will be, and if his mother needs him, he is going to step up and do what she wants.

Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS

In terms of his sister, Victoria, how does Nick feel about their stormy relationship?

JOSHUA:  I feel like they are not contentious now, but there is a level of sadness because they’ve always been the best of friends.  They have always relied on each other for everything, and now that has been completely cast aside.  They realize they are no longer each other’s person, the person they go to for anything: advice, support, comfort, whatever.  That is gone for each of them now.  It started with the Phyllis situation with the hotel, and now, it is certainly taken to another level with the Ashland thing.  I think that’s what the overall feeling is between the two of them at this time.

Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS

What’s amazing is that you, Amelia, Eric, and Melody are all really close in real life.  It’s like you truly have a second family.

JOSHUA:  It’s a real family.  The four of us are, for sure.  Without question, my favorite scenes to do on the show are when the four of us are together because we really are so close. Those dynamics are the fabric of what the show is about.  It’s not just the Newmans, but with the Abbotts and the Winters as well, and when the show highlights that, and really puts those small details at the front of the show, the fans realize that you don’t need those big, dynamic stories.  You don’t need the big explosive things.  When you just see those tender moments between those family members, that is everything.  That is the Bill Bell (Co-Creator, Y&R) playbook.  It’s easy to play because we care so much about each other, and I think it comes across on the screen.

Photo: JPI

Now, you’ve got a new Noah in Rory Gibson, and you got a new Faith in Reylynn Caster, both who came on to the show in the last several months.  How are they doing, and how has it been for you to adjust to working with them as their on-screen father?

JOSHUA:  It’s been awesome.  I’ve always said it’s a very tough job because I fall in love with these kids who play my children, and eventually they go off and do something else, or when they are little, sometimes there is a window when they turn about four, where they go, “I don’t want to be here! (Laughs) But when they’re babies, they’re just kind of in your arms, and it’s hard not to fall in love with them, but then when they get older, I see them grow up and turn into young adults.  Rory is an absolute stud. I did screen-test with the actors auditioning for the role of Noah, and he went first. I’m not exaggerating when I say two beats into our rehearsal, not even the actual screen-test in front of the network, I locked eyes with him, and I went, “This is him.  What are we doing?  I don’t need to do this with anyone else.”  He’s got a soul to him that is really amazing to watch.  He’s got depth.  He’s a really tremendous actor.  He’s a good kid, too.  He works hard, and he really wants to do well, and he’s humble.  In the special episode, Rory steals the dream. He does a scene in this show that is going to break women’s hearts around the world.  I am excited for people to see what he can truly do.  The sky is the limit for this kid.   I love having him here.  I super miss Robbie (Robert Adamson, Ex-Noah).  I love him like he is a son of my own, but Rory has taken this role and done something really good with it.  So has Rey-Rey.   She is obviously a tremendous talent.  Losing Alyvia Alyn Lind (Ex-Faith), who was one of the great loves of my life, killed me.  However, I couldn’t be prouder of her.  We text weekly about what’s going on with her, and she’s off crushing it, and the world is not ready for Aly, trust me!  Rey-Rey has come in, a beautiful, talented, young girl, who really wants to do well, and she fits right into the Newman mold.  I’ve been very, very blessed.  The casting department has really knocked it out of the park with these two.

Photo: JPI

I know Hunter King (Ex-Summer) is not on the show right now, but I know you two are really close.

JOSHUA:  Yeah, good grief.  It’s hard for me.  Probably Hunter and Amelia are the two others loves of my life along with Aly.  Hunter and I will text each other constantly, making fun of each other.  We have such a special relationship.  There is not a day that goes by that I don’t miss her.  I just know that she will be back someday.  I don’t know why.  Whereas I know Aly is gone forever.  She is off, and she is going to be a huge star.  Some fish outgrow their ponds, and I said that about her when she left.  Aly is off to a much bigger world, but I have a feeling (and maybe it is more of a hope) that Hunter will come back to me, and I say “me” because nobody loves her more than me. My kids are just everything to me on this show.  Honestly, it is one of the things that keeps me coming back for now almost 28 years.  I love them.  They’re all great people.

Photo: TMorrowTwitter

What are you and your wife, Tobe, and the family, going to do for the holidays?

JOSHUA:  We always go snowboarding.  We didn’t go last year obviously because of staying safe from COVID, but we tend to go Colorado every year, and we will be doing that again.  My oldest is away at college this year, so it will be fun to get him home and go off and do what we do.  I remember when I was in my teens learning to snowboard, I was like, “Someday, I cannot wait to lead a bunch of sons down big mountains!” and I’ve been doing that for years with them.  Two years ago, my middle son, who is just this testosterone-raged-alpha-male, finally said, “Dad, I’m leading us down.”  I was like, “Okay.”  He is the one son who has surpassed me in speed, and now we follow him. (Laughs)

Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS

Now let’s talk College Basketball! (Laughs) Gonzaga has already had two losses and it seems every week there is a new team at #1 in the rankings.  Who do you think is looking good? 

JOSHUA:  I only watch Oklahoma hoops. (Laughs) The days of going off to March Madness with all my friends and acting like jackasses for multiple days are gone because I have soccer and lacrosse commitments with my family, but I am still equally as passionate about Oklahoma basketball as I’ve ever been.  I always say it, and it is definitely more heart than mind, but Oklahoma is going to win the national championship this year.

Okay, Joshua.  We will put it out there in the press!

JOSHUA:  You’ve got to put it in the universe!

So, looking forward to Nick’s Christmas journey on Y&R? Which women in Genoa City would you like to see Nick have a relationship with next? What advice would you give Nick Newman to get his life on track? Share your thoughts on this, and our conversation with Joshua, via the comment section below.

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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Chandler Massey & Zach Tinker Chat On ‘WilSon’, Being Recasts, ‘A Very Salem Christmas’ and that Drag Show

Chandler Massey (Will) and Zach Tinker (Sonny) are back for another streaming special, reprising the duo of “WilSon”.  Massey and Tinker can now be seen in the holiday film, Days of our Lives: A Very Salem Christmas now on Peacock.

In a new virtual interview with Michael Fairman for You Tube’s Michael Fairman Channel, Chandler and Zach talk about their scenes and their participation in the Salem Christmas tale.

Courtesy/Peacock

As many know by now, in story, Will has to act fast to come up with a story for his script with his Christmas Eve deadline approaching.  Sonny decides he will assist Will and help conjure up the story, and thus we get an altered version of Salem from the guys that plays on the history of Days of our Lives.

Photo: JPI

During the conversation, Zach weighs-in on being a recast for Sonny (previously played by Freddie Smith), and Chandler shares that it’s always challenging to step into a role played by someone else – something he also had to do when he began on DAYS.

Courtesy/Peacock

In addition, the two discuss reprising their drag roles of Amanda Bottom and Sonny Delight for the holiday number to help save Salem business owners from eviction in Days of our Lives: Beyond Salem.

The actors also banter about the importance of maintaining a presence for ‘WilSon’ as one of the only LGBTQ on-screen duos as part of a daytime soap opera.  The question is: will the airshow write them back in?

Photo: JPI

Chandler also weighs-in on: if he was writing Will’s holiday script, what would he like to see befall the good citizens of Salem? You’ll hear his answer.

Check out the interview with Chandler and Zach below.

Now let us know, are you enjoying Chandler and Zach as the new version of WilSon? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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