May 20th, 2009  |  Leave a comment

THE CHRISTIAN LEBLANC INTERVIEW – DAYTIME EMMY NOMINEE

On The Young and the Restless, Christian LeBlanc may be the most respected actor from the A-class acting troupe, who day in and day out, brings us the lives of the characters in Genoa City.

Last week, Christian received another Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, something many were certain he was a lock for. Now he looks to be one of the front-runner’s for the prize. Winning is no stranger to Christian, having walked off with the top prize at the Daytime Emmys both in 2005 and 2007. Will the man who plays the complex Michael Baldwin take home his third when the ceremonies are held in Los Angeles on August 30th? I chatted with Christian to get his thoughts.

christianMain.jpgMICHAEL:

So, here we are again, Mr. Emmy Nominee! My guess is that you submitted the Christmas episode where Michael does his take on “It’s a Wonderful Life” story. Am I correct?

CHRISTIAN:

Yes, I did. I had to be talked into it, because of the length. I loved it, but since the competition went to submitting only one show, it was going to stick out as being long. Then I talked to Thaao Penghlis (Ex-Tony, “DAYS”) and he said he submitted a 27-minute show. I said, “Thaao, I am not so shy anymore.” It was a perfect show. Everyone in it is amazing and they made me look good. It was hard to put together, and not just for me, but everybody who worked so hard on it.

MICHAEL:

I loved that on CBS.com, they had an online special with you commenting and doing the narrative as the scenes unfolded, giving the user and the fans an inside look at the making of this amazing episode, and your take on the performances.

wonderfulLife.jpgCHRISTIAN:

I never heard my narrative, and they told me it came out really good. But truly, that was the first time I had seen the episode back. It was fascinating!

MICHAEL:

Why did you choose this show for competition? Did you know that this was the one?

CHRISTIAN:

I was convinced I put up my best work. That is the only thing you can be sure of in yourself. I looked and looked, and I did put the work in. If you are going to play the game, do your homework! I put my actor reel together as I go, because it helps me look back. I put things on it that I like. I tried not to put the Christmas episode in, but it just came back to being the best thing.

MICHAEL:

It was a true ‘tour de force’… a clear, stand-alone performance! Was that written as your Emmy show?

CHRISTIAN:

That doesn’t happen on our show. You will hear that a lot on set, “Emmy time”. Sometime some shows lend themselves to submitting something, and granted I had Ted Shackleford (Jeffrey) in my Emmy reel last year, and it was the whole show of me ranting at Ted in a wheelchair! I think people, as a compliment, say things like, “There is your Emmy reel!” I don’t know if the writers go about that or say, “Let’s give him his moment in the sun,” kind of thing. I think when you have the special combination of wonderful writing, and that I loved the original movie “It’s a wonderful Life”, it worked well. I think it was a happy medium.

MICHAEL:

It was your show, but there were some pretty incredible moments from your cast mates, as well.

CHRISTIAN:

I thought it was an amazing show, but I thought the writing was seamless and they should have put it up for Best Show. I thought everyone was on their best behavior because the actors really got to do a lot of character work, and they were excited. I looked good because everybody else was good, and the writing was amazing! I’ve got to tell you that when you walk in on those characters, those were done in one take. Not many people could have pulled that off, except daytime people.

door.jpgMICHAEL:

You had discussed this in previous interviews, and if I recall, the scenes were shot out of order and done in one day.

CHRISTIAN:

Yes. For instance, I had to open the front door to the Lauren scenes and had to do the scene outside the door where the magic happens, then wait to get through the door several scenes later. So, you had to recapture the moment of finding Lauren and seeing that she was there after she has slammed the door in my face at the very end. That’s like film work every day. I got the benefit from it, and it got me the nomination.

MICHAEL:

Were you shocked, as so many were that perennial powerhouse “Y&R” did not get Emmy nominations in Show, Writing or Directing?

CHRISTIAN:

I am surprised we are not up for Best Show, but so much is relied upon what you submitted. It’s so subjective, and I am under no illusion that I am the overall best leading actor, EVER! Damn it! (He laughs) Look, it’s an honor, but it’s an honor we give to daytime in general because the Emmys are a business proposition. We want to get people to watch by showing them what our best could possibly be.

tracyChristian.jpgMICHAEL:

Where were you when you found out you were nominated?

CHRISTIAN:

I was at my computer, and a friend of mine called from New Orleans going, “Aren’t they today?” I truly did not know this was the day, because it had become so confusing when it was going to be.
So, I was at my computer, and Tracey Bregman (Lauren) called me. Tracy is always the one who knows. She has her finger on the pulse of everything, and it’s always good when your hot TV wife calls you first.

MICHAEL:

Are you familiar with the other actor’s work in your category?

CHRISTIAN:

Those are really great people. Thorsten Kaye (Zach, “AMC”) I respect. Every time you say “Thorsten Kaye” to anyone, especially the girls, they go and repeat, “Thorsten Kaye.” It’s so upsetting! Tony Geary (Luke, “GH”)… I always know he is going to have phenomenonal work, and Peter Reckell I don’t know. I have never met him. Bo and Hope are legendary and iconic for “DAYS”… and Daniel Cosgrove (Bill, “GL”) is excellent, too. I haven’t handicapped it yet, but Tracey would know!

MICHAEL:

So, it looks like you have a great shot at the prize!

CHRISTIAN:

You want to be the one, even if you lose where they go, “You were robbed. Why didn’t you win?”

dressUp.jpgMICHAEL:

I thought it was an interesting twist to use the Christmas episode dream, or ‘time out of time’ shows to refer back to when Kevin was in a straightjacket for his latest dilemma. He was in a straight-jacket in the same room with a padded cell in Michael’s dream. Did you think they were going to use that, moving forward for story?

CHRISTIAN:

I didn’t think so. I was not told. I had no idea they would reference the dream. I did not even know I would comment on having it. I started referencing it, which I like, and I liked they used it later on. I thought it was brilliant. There was no indication that they were going to renew Kevin’s father issues in such a big way, with the Marge kidnapping. That was a
pleasant surprise, and what Maria has been
doing is tying in old storylines and making
it relevant to what is going on the show now,
and it’s terrific.

MICHAEL:

Are you going to pick out something to wear for the big event on August 30th?

CHRISTIAN:

From the floor you mean? (He laughs) Joseph Abboud measured me himself for my tux, and I am not giving that one up that easy. It’s a recession, my friend. Maybe I will be on the red carpet with my lunchbox and bring it to the banquet!

MICHAEL:

What did you think about the Emmy broadcast finally landing a home on the CW?

christianNaked.jpgCHRISTIAN:

We can’t afford to be lazy or run lax. I think at NATAS and ATAS no one can afford to feud. Maybe the CW is where we need to be. We need to entertain the people and we need the ratings up. I don’t think that is an impossibility. The audiences are shrinking, and that happens because they don’t see what they want to see. I don’t think it’s about dummying things down. I think it’s about stepping up and being more intelligent and not less. Despite what some may think, the audience does not want to be talked down to. There is a place for daytime. What there is not a place for here are people sitting on their laurels or being complacent. It’s a business, baby! We have to find a way to fill the seats and we will find the answer. And, it’s about a good story!

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