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Y&R's Justin Hartley Chats On Playing The Black Sheep Of The Newman Clan!

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

As Adam Newman has only allowed a select few to know that he is alive and well with a new face and a new identify, the black sheep of Genoa City’s most prominent family continues to weave, worm, and fight to regain the life he had, and even to seek revenge on those who wronged him, while trying to avoid prison time for the hit and run that claimed the life of little Delia Abbott.  Playing this kind of character is an actor’s dream and needs to be in the hands of someone more than just capable who can bring all the subtle complexities, the dark troubled soul, and the soap romance to the role.  Justin Hartley is that such actor and more, who has delivered stirring performances since taking over the integral character on the number one daytime drama series.

On-Air On-Soaps caught up with Justin at the recent CBS TCA Summer Party 2015, our first chitchat since our video interview together earlier this year back in February.  Hartley weighed-in on: his thoughts on the major scenes that aired this summer where Chelsea learned that Gabriel is actually Adam, where he sees the relationship between Jack and Adam, now that the character has done some pretty-underhanded maneuvers to his buddy, if he would like to see the truth revealed to everyone in Genoa City that Gabriel is Adam, and his thoughts on the complex relationships between Adam and his father Victor, and with Sage, and more.  Here’s what Justin shared.

Back in July, Chelsea (Melissa Claire Egan) learned the truth, that Gabriel is really her believed-to-be-dead husband Adam Newman.  The performances by you and Melissa Claire Egan were so riveting, moving, subtle, and yet heart-wrenching.  What did you think about the scenes when you watched them back?   Did you walk away from those pivotal scenes thinking you hit all the right beats?

Courtesy/CBS

JUSTIN:  We pulled it off, which I am thrilled about.  You want to reach people … that is the idea.  It doesn’t matter what time you are on television. You want people to cry with you, and root for you.  Missy is easy to work with.  She makes all of our scenes better, and I thought she was fantastic.  I did watch those scenes back, and I loved them.  It’s hard for me to judge my own work, but I was happy with it.  I believed it.  You watch and you go. “That’s good.  I believe that guy is in love with her.”  It was heartbreaking and it was well-written.  I thought the scenes were shot well and tonally it played right.  I was very proud of them.

What was also amusing was that after disclosing to Chelsea that he is Adam, next thing you know while he is interim CEO running the company from out from under Victor, he is talking down to the employees, and restructuring everyone’s job duties: Abby (Melissa Ordway), Billy (Burgess Jenkins), Victoria (Amelia Heinle), Neil (Kristoff St. John), etc.  Did you have a good laugh when performing those scenes with your co-stars?

Courtesy/MelissaOrdwayTwitter

JUSTIN:  My thing is:  I’m surrounded by so many talented people that have sharp, sharp memories.  And you can change things, and they will come right along with you and they will play, and they are not afraid to lose.  I love these people.  Kristoff  St. John is not afraid to lose, and I love that about him.  He’s an actor’s actor.  I have to go, “Well, in this scene I am going to try and annihilate the guy.” He understands that it is actually a win – the story wins – when you do that.  Kristoff is great.   Peter Bergman (Jack) is the same way, and no one is afraid to be the loser in a scene, and that is wonderful.

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Adam and Jack’s relationship has been truly tested.  Adam has capitalized on Jack’s misfortune, and has also pretended to his biological-son.  Where do you see things headed between them in the future?

JUSTIN:  Jack understands Adam, and they are cut from the same cloth.  Adam truly does believe that his heart is in the right place and he sort of steps in his own way a lot.  Jack understands it.   He has been in some tight situations himself, and so there is some compassion there.  Jack sees how much Adam loves this woman and how he is trying to start a family, but he knows what a bastard Adam’s father is too!  Jack has had to deal with Victor most of his life, so he sympathizes with that.

Sage (Kelly Sullivan) is getting ready to marry Nick (Joshua Morrow), but of course, she had slept with Adam, and she is pregnant.  And Sage could also spill the beans at anytime and blow Adam’s cover to the rest of the world sky high! Would you like to have more scenes between Sage and Adam?

Courtesy/CBS

JUSTIN:  I miss working with Kelly Sullivan.  She is fun.  I love her.  On set those two characters – Sage and Adam – drive each other insane.  I hope we will get to continue working together.  I think one of the great parts about playing the character of Adam is that I get to work with pretty much everybody.  It’s such a great character, and through the character I get to have a different relationship with every single person, and they are all like Adam’s little pawns.  But then Adam realizes he is actually the pawn, but he always realizes it to late, and then it starts over.   I love that dynamic where Adam always thinks he is a step ahead, even when he’s not.  Sometime’s he is, sometimes he’s not, but he always thinks that he is, and that always gets him in trouble.   I also love the humor they let me bring to him.   My whole thing is … this guy has a second lease on life.  He should be dead.   So, he’s a little bit more appreciative of things, and maybe less cynical, and he has got a genuine sort of humor to him.   He understands things a bit differently than he did before.  I think the charm of Adam comes through.

Are you waiting for the day when more key characters find out the truth that Gabriel is really Adam Newman, especially the Newman clan?  When his identify is finally and completely out in the open?

JUSTIN:   I don’t want to be ever relaxed in this role.  I will say this: I am looking forward to playing whatever brings the most drama to my character and to the town of Genoa City.  I would steer that way.  However much hell Adam can raise is the direction that I want to go.

Courtesy/CBS

Recently, in a knee-jerk Adam type reaction, he decides to kidnap his son Connor and run away with him  … for a millisecond! (Laughs)

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JUSTIN:  Well, you know.   C’mon!   It was a minute.  We all do things under duress! (Laughs)   It’s how you handle the losses that matters, not whether you win or lose. (Laughs)  So, he brought Connor back.  It’s his kid!   Adam just took him around the block went to the mall, the mall was closed, and he took the kid back home. (Laughs)

Victor and Adam’s relationship is so fraught with deep, emotional wounds and familial drama.  Are you looking forward to having more scenes with Eric Braeden (Victor), where you can really dig into this father/son relationship?

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

JUSTIN:  I get a kick out of firing him up!   I enjoy that.  People always talk about how much Adam hates Victor and the hate that they have towards each other, but I say … Adam loves him.  Adam loves his dad so much, and that is where this comes from.  If Adam didn’t care about Victor, he wouldn’t care what Victor thought of him. Then there is this massive, massive fear that is weighing on Adam.  He sees his father, and he has so many problems with him. One being he thinks was never good enough in his father’s eyes.  We all know relationships like that, or maybe we are in them.  It’s a horrible, horrible position to be in.  Now, Adam has his own son, and it’s this fear that he has got that he may end up this same sort of way.  Everyone else tells him, “You’re just like you’re father.”  And it’s like, “Wait a minute, am I?   Am I going to have the same sort of relationship with my son that I have with my father?Adam doesn’t want that to happen, and so he is going to fight against that.  Adam loves his son, but I think that when people tell you over and over again, “This is who you are,” you start to think, “Maybe this is who I am and I can’t get away from it.”   He’s going to do everything he can to get away from that, and in turn, this is what causes all of the turmoil and the drama.   Adam oversteps way too often, but with reason.

Courtesy/CBS

November Sweeps will be upon us soon enough.  I am assuming somehow Adam will be a part of it?

JUSTIN:  Yeah, it’s big.  It’s good, tune-in.  I will be a part of it … as far as I know. (Laughs)  I think you will enjoy it.  Yes, you will!

Would you like to see the truth about Adam finally be revealed to everyone in Genoa City? Are you enjoying Justin’s portrayal of the black sheep of the Newman clan

What do you think will happen between Sage and Adam?  Will Chelsea and Adam’s deep love for each other conquer all?  Share your comments below!

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Timmm
Timmm

He seems like a good guy AND a handsome guy but I just dont connect him with this role. Hell, it could be worse, though, they STILL havent fixed Billy Abbott!

Carolina
Carolina

He is definitely the soap star that got his soap career resuscitated in 2015. LOVE HIM!

MICHAEL MUHNEY WHO???

Ashleigh
Ashleigh

I’m not so over losing MM. Sniff. I do like him, but he doesn’t piss me off and make me love him and loathe him like MM.

Millie
Millie

I know who Michael Muhney is. He made Adam Newman into an incredible character. If it wasn’t for his work, there’d be no Justin Hartley on Y&R now.

Timmm
Timmm

Yeah, the Michael Muhney era may be over but for you to say “Who” means you dont know talent when you see it! Justin is good but Michael was great!

Laura
Laura

Don’t even remember the Muhney guy now.
Justin takes it!

Sylvia
Sylvia

Loved Michael Muhney as Adam. He made me want to watch Y&R. Now, Hartley is on and frankly the character is nothing special anymore. Sure if you like a Chippendale’s version, then he’s terrific. But I miss Muhney’s acting skills and ability to draw me into a flawed and conflicted character. Even with all of his evil shenanigans, I always rooted for Adam. Now, he’s a shell of a character that runs after Chelsea like a puppy dog. Plus, he’s dumber than a box of rocks. I liked Muhney’s Adam, just like Billy Miller’s Billy Abbott. Y&R lost their future when they ran those two guys off. Just my opinion.

CC
CC

Been nice had you asked a Chelsea related question since Chelsea/Adam are the current pairing. Instead you focused all questions on Jack, Victor and Sage.

sonniorsolita
sonniorsolita

CC, maybe you read over it but the first question is about Chelsea, and Justin discusses how much he enjoys working with Melissa Egan.

June W
June W

He’s yet to attain the stature of the role which was established by his predecessor. The underlying turmoil and complexity is totally missing. Taking your shirt off isn’t a replacement for acting talent. Maybe soap fans think so, but I guess superficiality is accepted since the genre is second-rate melodrama.

Ashleigh
Ashleigh

I totally agree.

Heather
Heather

If you don’t like soaps (they’re “second rate melodrama”) why are you on this website? Michael Muhney was so fantastic that it would be hard for anyone to step in. I think Justin is doing as well as anyone could and look forward to seeing him every day – shirt or no shirt.

Nikki
Nikki

I totally agree. MM is gone for good and people/fans of his have to get use to it. Justin is Adam and a damn good one. I haven’t really seen too much of him acting with Sharon but he has made Adam his own and I for one love it.

Rob
Rob

I think he is doing a great job making Adam his own. Does he have the acting chops Muhney does, no BUT he has made this role his own. This was a thankless job for any actor after the Muhney uproar and I think hes doing a great job. The shirtless scenes are just an added bonus.

CeeCee
CeeCee

Adam should remain Gabe. The Newman clan will crucify him even more so , if he comes clean. The fires of hell will burn even higher…the flames licking and scorching his being worse than before. He was never a true son in the the eyes of the Mighty Victor.
For Victor to complain and bemoan Adam is farcical. Genetics and heredity, in general, speak volumes…they share the same DNA. Quelle surprise!!

CeeCee
CeeCee

If Gabe announces his true identity, he should think twice. Victor may do a Van Gogh on him, or whatever it is he did to Marco’s ear. LOL.

Timmm
Timmm

You know damn well Marco will resurface in a couple years with a new ear. Hell, if John Wayne Bobbit can have his manhood reattached I’m sure reattaching an ear is a piece of cake!

CeeCee
CeeCee

@Timmm.
HaHa…not only did Bobbit have his thingy reattached, he went on to have kids. LOL.
Yup…Marco will return…will return…will return. Have noticed I don’t mistake him for Bruno, anymore? Double LOL.

Chadam forever
Chadam forever

What if Justin Hartley’s Adam is not really Adam Newman? What if Sage killed Delia and Gabriel Bingham found out a few hours after they got married. So she shot him, but only manages to get him in a coma. Sage then found Adam in the burning car, with his face unhurt. She then propose that he takes over Gabriel’s life. He refuses and threatens to tell the world she killed Delia. So she threaten to kill both Chelsea and Connor and told Adam to tell parts of his life to Gabriel to brainwash Gabriel into making him believe he is Adam Newman and that Gabriel died saving his life as well as believe he’s Connor’s father. Either way, Justin Hartley seems to be doing a good job in the role of Adam Newman.

Nikki
Nikki

WOW! I want some of what your on.

Timmm
Timmm

Sage could have killed Delia but I really think Gabe killed her.

CeeCee
CeeCee

When this farce of the Bingham story first surfaced, Timmm? That’s the first thing that popped into my head, as well. A very reasonable and sound deduction.

Nanci
Nanci

I loved MM, but am now enjoying Justin’s portrayal of Adam. He’s great!
I think his coming out to everyone to reveal his identity is overdue, but
hope it happens soon.

Amy
Amy

Great interview! I loved his answers about Chelsea and Sage. His dynamics with both ladies are great and I can’t wait until they reveal the baby is Adam’s. Talk about drama!

Nikki
Nikki

I missed an episode. Is the baby really Adam’s?

CeeCee
CeeCee

Ah, Nikki, Nikki. Will we ever really know what baby belongs to whom? I am forever prepared for genetics to change course at any given soap-moment. LOL. Whatever happens, I will not be shocked.
I still expect for Summer to be Jack’s again. Perhaps if they ship her somewhere else, I’ ll be happy. She should have been sent away with Marco.

Nikki
Nikki

Oh CeeCee how I love your way of thinking. We’re back to seeing Summer in every episode yuck. Guess that’s what happens when you kiss up to the bosses. I was kinda hoping someone would kill her off but no we had to lose Mark Harding and wouldn’t you guess Dummer had to be the one that remembered the ring tone. As for the baby I remember when Sage had a test done and Nick read it but I thought the test showed he was the dad and he was a little annoyed that she never told him she slept with Adam? You are right I bet just as everything starts to go well for Adam & Chelsea that baby needs a blood transfusion and oops here we go again.

CC
CC

He’s doing a fine job as Adam. I have resented from day 1 they inserted a new character in his return and more than likely giving him a kid with her. Chadam had a ton of drama to work through and they finally revealed him to Chelsea then looked over everything that had happened. I wish Sage was no where near Adam’s storyline. And have no use in watching her replace Chelsea in Adam’s life. Nope, YR can miss me with that one.

Michele
Michele

JH seems like a great guy with all the right intentions. I just feel like the portrayal is very one dimensional. Multi dimensional Adam was far more riveting. I’m hoping Gabe is really just Gabe.

Timmm
Timmm

Gabe is Gabe and dump that bitch Summer and bring back MM!

su0000
su0000

I still do not care for this Adam, the role is owned by MM..
anyways-
this Adam is way overly whipped! A beggar.
He runs after Chesia like a screwed puppy, always begging her, constantly beginning her to be with him, beg beg beg very weak in comparison to the MM Adam.
This Adam has a one note personality, get Chelsia to love him/get Victor- that is his soul purpose, YAWN!

(Chelsea’s lap dog lol)

Ashleigh
Ashleigh

Actually that’s really true, isn’t it? Old Adam wouldn’t have let anyone have that much control. He would have escaped to Sharon or something to get his own ego stroked. I do sort of wish Sharon had some sort of connection with Gabe, where every time she saw him she felt like she knew him. That would be exciting to me and seems like a missed opportunity.

CeeCee
CeeCee

Perfectly stated by both you and su. On the other hand, Pretend RoboCop would not be able to wield his lance on his mighty white charger and be Sharon’s knight in shiny, tin-foil armor…..Would he? Why is this actor (Steve B) so obsessively coddled and cradled? I don’t get it! I wish Victor would have HIM earmarked. Pun intended.

Harry
Harry

But the actor has made this work.
I really see him as the new and improved Adam working through his old demons.
I loved Michael just as much as the rest of you but Justin has made this role his own just as Michael did when he took over the role. Keep in mind that Adam was presumed dead and experienced a rebirth of sorts. Adam was bound to have changed under the transformation he experienced emotionally, physically and soulfully. Finally, Adam gets his priorities straight which puts his wife and son ahead of all things Newman.
However, I agree with the lot of you that the writing is just not there. But this actor is doing a fine job rising above the poor writing which has been afforded to him.

Ashleigh
Ashleigh

Ehhhhh, I agree with most of what you said, but Adam still doesn’t have his priorities straight, which is what is going to be his undoing, and which is a good thing for us viewers. If he had his priorities straight, he wouldn’t be coming home to close ties with his father from Paris. He’d be forever French with Chelsea and the storyline would die. We see him begging like a puppy, but Chelsea sees him not being able to walk away from Victor and their feud.

CeeCee
CeeCee

When you’re right, you’re right, Harry.

elm51
elm51

i have thought this for a long time – i am not satisfied with the way tptb are writing adam…………it is just not the same personality

CeeCee
CeeCee

That’s exactly what happens when a character is recast, elm51. Bringing his/her own personality and spin on a character, is inescapable. The distinct and subtle nuance is a natural happening. I loved Michael M, but if truth be told, I like Justin’s more effusive presence. I think we were so accustomed to Michael’s Adam….we find it hard to ken that they are two different people. But, I understand how you feel.

Nikki
Nikki

I think it’s because he’s making Adam his own. I actually like it.

Brian J. Greene
Brian J. Greene

Go Justin Hartley. Yummy! (Y) <3 😀 😀

JUDY
JUDY

GIVE CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE….LOVED MM BUT JUSTIN IS DOING A GREAT JOB…

CeeCee
CeeCee

I have always loved Justin Hartley. He brings it!!!!!

Case
Case

He is phenomenal in this role, and brings everything he has to it every single day. He’s just such fun to watch, and has awesome chemistry with everyone. But I think the one-dimensional thing comes from the writing, which is failing this character and actor so badly. I have faith that JH could play every single facet of Adam, but the current regime isn’t writing him to be as complex as before. I think that’s unfairly being blamed on the actor. He is doing so well with what he’s been given.

mmc
mmc

I love Justin Hartley & I don’t care who knows it.! I’ve always loved MM & always will but we had to move on & we couldn’t have done it with a better actor. .What I love about Justin is not only that he’s so handsome he should wear a warning sign, but he really is a brilliant actor.He’s so believeable that its impossible to take my eyes off the screen when he’s on. I love your interviews Michael Fairman …keep on interviewing this fabulous Justin….you’re both winners.

Mary SF
Mary SF

Have you ever owned a pair of really comfortable running shoes that you kept for years and years, until they become so worn out and broken you have no choice but to buy a new pair, but despite buying a pair almost exactly the same as your old pair, the new ones never quite feel the same? Well that is how I feel about JH as Adam. There is nothing wrong with him, he does the job, and he does it well, but no matter what it will never be the same Adam as when MM played him. And that is not necessary bad, because I rather have shoes than no shoes, meaning a decent Adam is better than no Adam.

Sylvia
Sylvia

Brilliant observation Mary SF. Hartley’s version of Adam is different, but Muhney’s version defined the character and can’t be replaced. Just the facts.

JayeLynn
JayeLynn

Miss Michael Muhney from this show so much. He created Adam Newman after Chris Engen abandoned the role. His 4 1/2 years were just amazing to watch. The role was recast, but Muhney will never be replaced. He is just that good.

CeeCee
CeeCee

@Timmm.
You bet, Timmm. NuBilly is too old and mean to play Billy. He should be renamed Bully; and Kyle, Byle.
Have you noticed how Marissa’s South American accent (or whatever she was affecting) mysteriously disappeared? I did not hear one iota of an accent yesterday. Was I the only one?

MBmomof3
MBmomof3

Thanks for the interview. I’m a fan of Justin Hartley’s portrayal. Adam is an important character and I look forward to him returning to GC and moving the story along. He and Chelsea are more interesting when they are in the mix with the Abbotts and Newmans.

Nikki
Nikki

I don’t think it’s fair to keep comparing him to MM. Both are great actors. MM played Adam one way and J.H. plays him another. Some people just can’t let go and that’s unfair to J.H. Can we just get past the MM and let it go. J.H. is taking Adam in a new direction and I for one love it. You know we had a few Billy’s, a couple of Victoria’s, a couple of Kyle’s,and even had a few people play Ashley. At the end of the day their all doing a great job. I think this is the third Adam & I hope the last because J.H. is Adam Newman.

Ashleigh
Ashleigh

You’re right about how we shouldn’t compare him. The fact is there are some replacements that work and some that don’t. There were no Noahs that fit until our current Noah and Billy just sucks now that we don’t have BM, but I do like JH even though I loved MM. He’s different but in a good way. MM was way more villainous. I’m comparing because it was a loss for me when they fired him. I do think that the fans have been much kinder to JH than I expected when there were planes flying around in support or MM. It goes to show that we fans are fickle if you give us the right actor.

Timmm
Timmm

I think fans have been kinder to JH because he is handsome, MM is NOT returning and looking at the big picture, the recast could have been a lot worse. Look no further than the Abbott brothers. Billy and Kyle SUCK!

Barbara
Barbara

I am very happy with Justin Hartley as Adam. I am starting to like the character. I did not like Michael Muhney as Adam. I didn’t like the actor or the character. I think Justin is doing a great job.

carol
carol

I don’t know what happen but my posts just didnt show up,okay I just love Justin Hartley he is so hot and a fantastic actor as well.Boy do I ever wish that I could do those love scenes. hey I can dream can’t I? Oh ya one more thing i guess you could say he arrived Justin Time .

carol
carol

Justin is hot I maybe old soon to be 63 but I ain’t blind I know how sexy and a great actor he is,I loved him ever since I first saw him on Passions,Justin is doing a wonderful job playing Adam when he is on I wont leave my seat,keep up the great job Justin

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