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Y&R's Greg Rikaart Interview: His Ten-Year Anniversary, Jeanne Cooper, and Kevin & Chloe!

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

This week marks the ten-year anniversary of one of the finest young actors soap opera has ever had the good fortune to have as part of its genre.  We are referring to The Young and the Restless Daytime Emmy winner, Greg Rikaart.  As tormented, conflicted, and yet loveable Kevin Fisher, Rikaart has delivered powerful performances for a decade!

On-Air On-Soaps caught up with Rikaart this week at the SAG-AFTRA event honoring Y&R’s recent 40th anniversary.  Of course, top on our minds was getting Greg’s thoughts on the loss of his dear friend, the legendary Jeanne Cooper (Katherine Chancellor) who passed away one month ago.   In addition, Greg fills us in on what he hopes will happen with his on-screen relationship with Elizabeth Hendrickson (Chloe) and what is happening to Kevin and his apparent issue with stealing things!

Here’s what Greg had to share below, and … Happy ten-year anniversary, Mr. Rikaart!

You lost one of your dearest friends from The Young and the Restless, Jeanne Cooper.  I know how close you were, from my many conversations with her, and you, over the years.  What would you like to say about her passing and your friendship?

GREG:  I have so much to say.  She truly redefined to me what it meant to be the elder in the tribe, and how to go about your life in a way that is truly and absolutely ageless. She was absolutely wise and someone to be revered, but she had this vitality and youthfulness about her that I was in constant awe of.  I have never had a friend that was 84 year old, and it never felt like I had a friend that was 84 years old.  It just felt like I had this really wise friend who was funny and silly, and gave me great advice when I asked for it, and pinched my ass.  I would also have tender moments where she would tell me that she loved me.  She was just so special.

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

Why did you think you and Jeanne connected so well, and had this special bond?

GREG:  One of the things that I told Jeanne’s son, Corbin Bernsen, was that shortly after I started on Y&R, I was on set watching her, and Jess Walton (Jill) shoot the “garden hose” scene.  She was having so much fun, and she was in it and she was so prepared.  I was like “Oh, wow!”  Jeanne always looked like she was having more fun than anybody else.  I think that was always the thing that drew me to her.  And beyond that, we did a personal appearance together a few years ago, and spent a lot of time together then, and connected then, too.  At that point, we had really had a close relationship and we sat next to each other on the entire plane ride home.  I kept saying that after a half hour on a plane your neck is hurting, and you kind of want to stop a conversation because you’re neck is hurting.  Well for me, I kind of re-adjusted so I could keep talking to her!  She was just great.  Jeanne used to tell me I reminded her of a young Montgomery Clift, which was such a great compliment!  She was wonderful, and I miss her a lot.

When we last talked, you were hoping that Kevin splits up with Chloe and that he causes more trouble again, which looks to be happening!

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

GREG: Yeah, and we are getting there.  What I like about what is happening on the show is that it is a slow burn.   It’s really taken awhile, which is how things and relationships happen.  Relationships, more often than not, do not fall apart over night.  So it’s been fun to play. There has been a little bit of a back and forth of “will they split up? Or, won’t they?”  Kevin loses his business this week, which is a big blow to him!

Why do you think Kevin gets off on stealing and danger?

GREG: I think it is a power thing, and I absolutely, in justifying it for me, liken it to an addiction.  Where it is that kind of thing where you dip your toe in something you are not suppose to do.  It’s easy to dive in head first, and then it’s hard to stop.  I think the addiction for Kevin is not thievery.  I think in some ways, I can really relate to him with this, which is kind of funny.  But it’s about hovering that line and border between right and wrong.  I don’t think he wants to fly right over it and be really wrong, but I think being righteous, or good, bores him to tears.

Have you and Elizabeth Hendrickson sat down and said to each other, “I hope we break up?”

Courtesy/CBS

GREG:  Yes, and look, I adore her.  We are friends.   I am fairly confident she adores me, and she would be crazy if she didn’t (laughs) but we always say, “We have done this. We have played this.  Now let’s play breaking up.”  That will be different.

This Saturday, June 8th is your ten-year anniversary of playing Kevin Fisher on Y&R.  Are you shocked you are still around and in Genoa City?

GREG: Am I shocked?  Again, they would have been stupid to fire me! (Laughs) But no, when I first got to Y&R I was supposed to be here for a couple of weeks and that became a year, and after my first week, I already drank the Kool-Aid.  I am happy to be here as long as they will have me.  Sometimes it feels like I have been here six or seven years, and sometimes six months, but it is hard to believe at times it’s been ten years as Kevin.

Did you ever think you would be a soap actor?

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

GREG:  Not really.  I certainly think I had moments in my career where I had ideas of being a movie star, and I’m not saying that I have put that to rest, or that I don’t want that to happen.  But, I also know in the big picture of my life I am absolutely satisfied with my career, and I am content, too.  When I look back and I am Jeanne Cooper’s age, I want to look back and go, “Look at this body of work I had.”   And if I can say that, I will be happy.  It doesn’t mean I have to be a movie star.  I just want to be able to work.

So then, what will the name of your memoir be?  Jeanne Cooper’s was Not Young, Still Restless.   So, yours will be titled …?

GREG:  “How I Never Got Crabs, I’ll Never Know!”   I didn’t even have to think about that answer! (Laughs)  I have said that in the past.   Look, we all have our checkered past, but I never got an STD, and I am grateful for that.   See, I think it’s answers like I just gave you, are why Jeanne Cooper and I connected! (Laughs)

So what do you think about Greg’s sentiments on longtime friend, Jeanne Cooper? The future of Kevin and Chloe on Y&R?  Kevin’s penchant for stealing? And Rikaarts incredible performances now a decade on the CBS soap? Share your thoughts!

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Cassondra
Cassondra

Loved what he said we all miss her so much and her family and her yr family misses her even more so I love hearing about their relationship and i just laughed my head off his future memoir and yes I see how Jeanne and him got along awesomely

Scott (ATWT Fan)
Scott (ATWT Fan)

You could tell Greg and Jeanne had a really special connection, and I loved whenever they talked about each other. It was definitely a beautiful bond to see on and off camera. And I’m quite sad we won’t get those kind of stolen moments between them anymore.

As for his ten year anniversary, happy happy Greg! I never thought he’d be around for ten years. But he’s become one of my favourites. As for him and Chloe splitting, I like that it’s taking a while. It’s realistic and I can appreciate that. I loved their pairing in the beginning, but by the time Angelina came around, the relationship really fizzled.

james hawley
james hawley

What I’ve enjoyed the most about Greg is his comedic genius ! He makes me laugh so often…I compare him to a young Jackie Gleason..he can do anything !

Harlee
Harlee

He’s such a hottie and loved how it shows again the generosity of Jeanne’s spirit to nurture so many young actors over the decades…everyone of them Jeanne lives on for being a mentor, teacher & friend.

but I hate this story he’s in right now…I’m tired of ChloeKevin…it looking this way and better story for each to come out.

I have mention how I enjoyed the LilyKevin scenes last week, simply because it’s been a moon’s age since seeing them together…nice reminder on the growth & forgiveness on Lily’s part…we need more of KevinLily…..

Michael
Michael

Wouldn’t it be a hoot if Lily starts really straying from Cane that she doesn’t go towards Tyler, but of all people, she goes in the direction of Kevin!? Talk about an odd pairing but it could work, given Lily and Kevin’s history.

Efrat!
Efrat!

Oh my goodness, I’ve been saying that for ages! I’ve been waiting for sooo long for these two to become friends – at least! I would have matched them back together as a romantic couple long ago! And it’s just plain ridicuolous that he was already present at her wedding, and didn’t exchange a word with her even there. I mean, please – as long as he’s in her wedding????? and yes, I don’t like this current storyline either, I don’t know what they’re planning to do with Kevin if he keeps on stealing – why do they have to make him so stupid all of a sudden? but Greg has done a magnificent job all these years – I have never seen an actor who could play on my feelings like that. In fact he’s the only reason I keep watching the show in YouTube and torrent, as the show is no longer in our TV… hope he stays with us for ten years more, at least!

Harlee
Harlee

Absolutely, they could commiserate together because both marriages are in trouble, but just as friends for a spell and show the forgiveness that Lily does have in her heart and everyone would freak out! This would be a great way if they ever wanted to write Kevin’s problem is deep seeded in acceptance of his own bisexuality….to Kevin’s “WILL” to Lily’s “GRACE”…TylerLily isn’t working as a couple but maybe a bad mistake that causes problems in her marriage to break up…at least for a minute so Lane could then find their way back to each…. Another new (getting to hate this word new it’s been constant lately) A-A actress is coming on canvas, maybe Tyler & her. KevinLily was great the other day I so enjoyed it….it wasn’t a big scene but a nice reminder of their past.

Patrick
Patrick

Jeanne Cooper. “…how to go about your life.”

that’s what I get from her.. as well.

what a treat to know “old hollywood” – “old skool”. Professionalism… making it easier for those to follow.

Kevin’ character – I last likened to “Picnic” . William Holden busting in to town… and Jeanne likens Kevin’ to Montgomery Clift.

———-

The big picture of life.

I have 30 plus years watching to draw from. what a staple.
—————

Congrats to Greg Rikaart. watching Gloria with Michael and Kevin…. You use your mind when watching this 3 some.

Patrick
Patrick

The big Picture of Life.

We’ve been blessed to see eye to eye on so much Talent… on daytime.

for years… and we wouldn’t have it any less.

oye… we’re spoiled. and we wouldn’t have it any less.

Thankfully…. these artists – humbled – ? saw the big picture…. and remained steadfast. with us. ALL a treat.

Joshua
Joshua

I have always generally liked Greg and his character Kevin. You can tell this guy really knows “how to act.” But I fell head over heels in love with him and his courageousness when he was the only daytime actor to call out that homophobic bully Melissa Reeves last fall.

You go, boy!

claudiakurzyna
claudiakurzyna

I am happy for his anniversary on the show, and I do enjoy him as Kevin. May we see him on the Young and the Restless for many more years.

Fox
Fox

Rikaart is by far one of my favorite daytime actors, not just because of his talent, but also his humanity. Unfortunately, his last few years of “storyline” on Y&R (if you can call it that) have been very lacking. It started with the infamous Silver Chipmunk material back in 2009. And yes, he’s great at comedy, but “skits” do not make a storyline. At this point in time, I’m totally uninterested in anything Kevin-Chloe and actually prefer his new “relationship” with Alex (Ignacio Serricchio). Kevlex? ..lol!

(nacho Ser. .. lol! Future roommates?

Efrat!
Efrat!

actually I did like the chipmunk storyline – sure, it was stupid, but – hey – it’s a soap opera – what’s not stupid about it? there’s just something about Greg’s acting, somehow he can play on my feelings in a way no other actor can. I don’t know what it is about him, everytime his character is in distress it can break my heart! So watching him tormented by these guys and mentally broken down made me want to cry… and in the end – when he finally gathered enough courage to fight the chipmunk and found out it was himself underneath it (I knew it would be…) – nice message, you know – we create our own fears… so actually I think it was a good storyline from this aspect – “good” in soap opera terms, that is…

Harlee
Harlee

Yes I hated that story, it seems LML & MAB didn’t know how to write for character and I so loved his flawed character of Kevin…I’m so over ChloeKevin & now he’s a THIEF…ugh! It seems they don’t know how write for his talent. Kevin needs to be in jail enough is enough! I hope the writers write something that’s not “comedy” or as you said in “skit” because it does damage to Kevin…Where’s Gloria? Her & her “angel” is always a good time!

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“The events of the past few weeks have been incredibly emotional for all of us,” executive producers Lee Daniels, Danny Strong, Brett Mahoney, Brian Grazer, Sanaa Hamri, Francie Calfo, and Dennis Hammer said in a statement this morning following the legal fallout for Jussie Smollett and his arrest stemming from an alleged hate crime reported on January 29th that he staged on himself.

The producers went on to say: “Jussie has been an important member of our Empire family for the past five years and we care about him deeply. While these allegations are very disturbing, we are placing our trust in the legal system as the process plays out. We are also aware of the effects of this process on the cast and crew members who work on our show and to avoid further disruption on set, we have decided to remove the role of ‘Jamal’ from the final two episodes of the season.”

This happened even after Smollett returned to work on Thursday, and even after the actor/singer reportedly apologized to the cast and crew of Empire for any embarrassment the recent allegations may have caused, but at the same time, sources reported, that he maintained that he was innocent,

According to CNN: “The person at the meeting said they were shocked and dismayed that Smollett stuck to his story of innocence. For the most part, the source said, Smollett paraphrased what was in the statement that his attorney put out that afternoon, blaming the legal system and the media for his woes.”

So, what do you think of the Empire producers decision to cut Smollett from the last two shows of the season? What do you think of Jussie still maintaining his innocence to the cast? Comment below.

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In a press conference currently being conducted by the CPD supervisor, Eddie Johnson and Commander Edward Wodnick, they revealed that Smollett turned himself in quietly and without issue.   In addition, the Chicago PD are outlining the events and timeline that led to Smollett’s arrest.

Smollett turned himself in at the Central District police station in Chicago at 5 a.m., police reported.  Thursday morning, Smollett was scheduled to appear for a bail hearing Thursday at 1:30pm central time on a felony charge of a class 4 disorderly conduct, and with that charge Smollett could face up to 1.5 years in prison.

Jussie’s attorney’s released the following statement on Wednesday night after Smollett was charged by the Chicago PD: “Like any other citizen, Mr. Smollett enjoys the presumption of innocence, particularly when there has been an investigation like this one where information, both true and false, has been repeatedly leaked. Given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense.”

Smollett reported that he has been attacked as he was walking home around.  He claimed two masked men shouted racist and homophobic slurs as they beat him, put a noose around his neck, and poured a chemical on to him.

Enter two brothers, Ola and Abel Osundairo, who Smollett knew, who were arrested last week, but later released as suspects. The two brothers told police they helped stage the attack with Smollett.  They were paid $3,500 to orchestrate the attack by Smollett.  In their press conference, the Chicago PD revealed that they have the check as evidence were Smollett paid the brothers that sum.

The brothers left for Nigeria hours after the attack, and were arrested days later when they returned to Chicago.   On Wednesday, they testified to a grand jury. Smollett was later charged with disorderly conduct.

What do you think now about the events and the arrest of Jussie Smollett?  Comment below! But first watch the Chicago PD police department.live feed of the press conference on Smollett’s arrest.

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