December 22nd, 2009  |  Leave a comment

The Darius McCrary Interview- The Young and the Restless

Darius Main1

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Next week on December 29th on The Young and the Restless, all eyes of long-time fans will be watching the debut of the new Malcolm Winters, played by Darius McCrary. It’s the role made famous by Criminal Minds star and former soap heartthrob, Shemar Moore. Moore won a Daytime Emmy and was uber-popular in the role of the wayward Winters brother. When Moore decided not to return to Y&R (this time) the show put out an extensive casting call for Neil’s younger brother, who is also the biological father of the cancer-stricken Lily. Yes, a short refresher course: One night when the late Drucilla had taken a double dose of her cold medication, (which left her somewhat groggy), Malcolm stopped by to check on her, and well, the duo ended up in bed together! And after their “romp,” Malcolm realized he had made a terrible mistake, and that mistake would change and alter the Winters family for years to come. Recently, Malcolm’s whereabouts have been unknown, and in this On-Air On-Soaps first look interview with Darius, he tells us all will eventually be revealed.

While this is McCrary’s first soap, he has quite an extensive resume. Darius is best known for his role as Eddie Winslow on the hit television series Family Matters. It was there that he met and worked with another member of the current Winters clan, Bryton James (Devon). He has also starred in many motion pictures and television specials.

Journalists, message boards and discussion threads have not been most kind to Darius’s arrival because they are saying; “He looks nothing like Shemar Moore!” But, who does? Recently, Y&R execs told On-Air On-Soaps that the show really wants to delve back into the origins of the original concept for the character – edgy, and street savvy. Can Darius McCrary change people’s minds? Will Y&R viewers give a new actor in a prestigious role an opportunity to make it his own? McCrary says he is definitely up for the task!

Listen to the audio:

The Darius McCrary Interview – The Young and the Restless

Play

MICHAEL:

The time has arrived and shortly we will first see you as Malcolm Winters. I remember coming up to the offices here one day and seeing a slew of young actors vying for the role. How did this come about for you? You auditioned like everyone else, right?

DARIUS:

I did. I was not in here with a whole lot of people, but the day that I was brought in, it was not really crowded and there was a short list after the audition. I was just happy to be there.

Malcolm Arrives

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MICHAEL:

You knew this was a choice primo role that Shemar Moore had played and won a Daytime Emmy for his portrayal. So where were you when you found out you got the gig?

DARIUS:

I was traveling and going to visit family and take care of some business, and my manager called and gave me the news and I was ecstatic. I keep telling everybody that signing on this show to me is just as big as me signing on to a film with Julia Roberts or Brad Pitt. I say that because this is a coveted role, number one, and also it’s a great show. I had no idea Y&R was as popular as it is!

MICHAEL:

Did you know that it was thee top soap on daytime?

DARIUS:

I had no idea. I have always wanted to do daytime television, but past handlers and agents had steered me away from it because they would say to me, “Darius, you have already passed that mark in your career. You have done prime time and feature films and continue to go upward,” and I go, “Are you kidding me? Do you know who Erica Kane is? Do you know who Luke and Laura are?” (Laughs) Growing up, my mom was an All My Children and One Life to Live fan. Then I got into General Hospital as a kid because of Luke and Laura. I never really watched Y&R, but my Aunt Cathy does. So my Aunt was ecstatic when she found out! And one of the things that is beautiful to me as an actor and entertainer is that relationship you develop with a fan, when they follow your career, and they follow you to where they feel like they know you, and television enhances that when you have a long-term gig or a long-term role. I learned that on Family Matters and they call me, “Eddie”. Last night I ran into some fans and it was funny. They go, “Oh, my man! Hey, my dude! Wassup, Eddie Winslow?” And I am like, “Hey, wassup guys?” I say, “ Hey, guys, I don’t care what you call me, but can you spread the word that I am now Malcolm Winters? Malcolm is my name.” And they go, “That’s cool dude. But Eddie is my man!” (Laughs) Soon I will be Eddie Winters! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

You have the task of overcoming the mark that Shemar Moore left in this role. There are skeptics that say you look nothing like him. And, “How can Y&R recast this role?” Do you feel you are up for the task? And, does that pressure play with your mind?

Shemar Moore2

©JPI Studios

DARIUS:

No. I have been doing this long enough to know a few things. Look, Shemar is a great guy and a great actor, and a beautiful human being, but he is Shemar and I am Darius. I have been doing this since I was nine years old. So whatever the role is, I am going to do the best I can do. The only thing I am concerned with is stepping on the stage in front of that camera and giving the best performance I know I can give, day in and day out as an actor. The way I look at it is, it’s just like if I was playing football, and if there was a running back before me who put up some numbers and he gets traded and I come in and I get to run that backfield. Believe me, I am going to step on some heads to get the numbers and the yards that I have to. Also, it makes it easy to do when you are working with a group of consummate professionals who are extremely gifted. This is an unselfish group of actors here at Y&R, who are completely thorough.

MICHAEL:

Did Kristoff St. John (Neil) and Christel Khalil (Lily) give you any Malcolm pointers, or bring up Shemar to you on set?

DARIUS:

Nobody brought up Shemar and it’s cool. It has not been a thing of “Oh, Shemar did this.” Everybody is giving me the love and respect to allow me to do what I do as an actor, and that was one of the beautiful things about this from the beginning. When I went in I did not know what to expect. I have never read for a soap before. I am all about breaking barriers and challenging myself, that is why everything I have done on my resume is different. I have never played a cop again, and I have never played a boxer again since I played Muhammad Ali. That was a challenge, being darker than him, and the film won Best Television Movie and I was a part of that. I was in Mississippi Burning, which won an Oscar.

MICHAEL:

You were in the original Mississippi Burning?

Neil and Malcolm

©JPI Studios

DARIUS:

Yeah! I was nine years old, but I look at the journey. Everybody trips off the destination, but you have to enjoy the journey. This is a part of the journey I am enjoying. And as I was saying, when I went into the audition Maria Arena Bell (co exec prod and head writer, Y&R) and Paul Rauch (co-exec prod, Y&R) were wonderful. They knew what they wanted, but they allowed me to do what I am capable of as an actor, and that is the best gift a producer or writer can give an actor when you are reading for something. “This is what we want. We know what we want. Do what you do.” And when you meet in the middle, it’s magic. Every time I read the lines for this role, I feel it. I feel like I know this guy.

MICHAEL:

What can we expect from Malcolm’s return to Genoa City?

DARIUS:

All I am going to tell you is, there is a whole lot of tension, and let’s just say there is a ‘family matter’. (Laughs) There are family issues going on. He comes back to make things right with the family.

MICHAEL:

Is his brother, Neil glad to see him? Or, will he punch him?

Malcolm and Cane

©JPI Studios

DARIUS:

Let me tell you something… Neil is a piece of work, man! Kristoff is great. It’s so cool that I get a chance to work with him. I have known his work for a long time. He is so solid as an actor.

MICHAEL:

Are we going to like this version of Malcolm? Is he a good guy who, shall we say, will be extremely flawed?

DARIUS

We are all flawed in life, but some characters in soaps are more flawed. I have been doing my homework going, “What’s wrong with these people?” (Laughs) I think we will feel and care for Malcolm.

MICHAEL:

It’s great that Y&R is bringing in another black character to once again expand the Winters family. How do you feel about what it represents to have you here in this role?

DARIUS:

I think it’s a wonderful thing to have African-American characters. Look at life. It’s not a white world or a black world; there are all kind of people in it. It’s showing growth, and in today’s world there are so many outlets. I don’t believe there are any more blockbusters films. Back in the day with music, people would wait up all night for the music store to open to get their favorite CD, and if it were sold out they would come back again. The thing I love about soaps, and from what I know about this is its run in a very old school way, which I like, since I have been doing this entertainment thing for a long time. But I see that there are some new barriers that they can break. I feel that by being part of Y&R, I am hoping that new viewers who haven’t watched soaps before will tune-in.

Christel Khalil hug

©JPI Studios

MICHAEL:

Will there be a lady-love for Malcolm?

DARIUS:

Malcolm loves the ladies!

MICHAEL:

A few words about working with Christel Khalil?

DARIUS:

She is bright and extremely great to work with. It was sad to come back and see that Lily had cancer, and it was tough emotionally as an actor, to give what you need in a scene and thinking of the dire situation she is in and absorbing that. It’s a trip!

MICHAEL:

You know the baby mama, Drucilla, took some cold syrup and Malcolm sort of took advantage of her, and that is how Lily came into this world?

DARIUS:

Man, I was like; “This Malcolm is something else!” It’s crazy, because I like this character because he has got some baggage, and it gives you somewhere else to go as an actor and stretch.

Darius and Bryton

©JPI Studios

MICHAEL:

Who else have you enjoyed working with thus far?

DARIUS:

I got to work with Daniel Goddard (Cane). I am very impressed how he retains his lines and that is a trip, and Bryton James (Devon) of course. I used to hold Bryton in my arms. He was my ‘baby boy,’ and I look at him now all grown up and handsome and stuff. It’s so funny; I have to tell this story. I was so out of it. So, in the story Devon has his hearing aid on…

MICHAEL:

…The cochlear implant…

DARIUS:

….Right, the cochlear implant, and so I said to him, “Hey Bryton, I was watching you the other day. What kind of Bluetooth was that, man?” (Laughs) Bryton has been showing me the ropes, which is a trip. You never know the difference you can make in the life of child. I worked with him when he was little Richie on Family Matters, and we picked up right where we left off.

MICHAEL:

Have you met Genoa City and Y&R’s living legend, Jeanne Cooper (Katherine)? You are truly not a member of the cast unless she welcomes you into the fold!

Darius leatherjacket

©JPI Studios

DARIUS:

She is actually wonderful, and she is a joy and funny, and she did welcome me. Jeanne told me, “To get my lines right, because she is ready to get the hell home.” Doug Davidson (Paul) on my first day gave me some great advice. I am not too technical in my acting, and I feel when I get too technical it becomes unbelievable. My thing in this day and age, with reality television and so much other stuff that is going on, is people want to feel the reality. They want to relate. Back in the days with James Cagney movies, they were acting and really ‘givin’ it to ya’, and that was cool, because people wanted to escape. People still want to escape, but today’s escape is different. People now want to know that there are people out there who have more problems and are a train-wreck! This is why I think it’s difficult for sitcoms these days, because people are not going to believe, joke, beat, beat, joke, because there ain’t nothing to laugh about. We are in a recession! Folks are dying overseas! It ain’t funny right now. That is another reason this transition for me into soaps makes sense for me, because I would get to work at my craft every day. I would be able to play this very real character. Doug said, “Even though we are working so fast, don’t rush your lines. Take your time with your moments,” and that stuck with me. Because, what I have been finding is Malcolm has been having a lot of moments with Lily, Cane, and Neil. It’s important stuff and with my character coming back, there is a lot of information that needs to be disclosed. Peter Bergman (Jack), I call, “My man, Jack.” It’s really funny. I always said I would never call people by their character names, but I am finding myself doing it. Eric is “Victor”, and I call Michelle, “Phyllis.” Yup, I am doing it. I have been watching the show and now I am being sucked in, and I believe these people. I am sucked into Genoa City!

MICHAEL:

Will we know what’s happened to him in short order, during the time Malcolm was away?

DARIUS:

No. You are going to have to continue to watch, ‘cause Malcolm will blow your mind!

For more with Darius make sure to listen starting Friday to The Scott and Melissa Reeves Show on syndicated radio, when he appears as the special weekly soap guest.

  1. davd adam nole says:

    He ain’t Malcolm and I will never accept him. That is that! Y&R is messed up for this casting messed up!

    Reply

    e-trim replied

    your right about one thing,Y&R is messed up, that is for not letting my gurl Vicki Rowell back on the show and for doin the most stupide dicision of firering my other gurl Davetta Sherwood as Lily for that Valley “sista” Chrystel khalil who’s interpretation of lily is sooooooooo terible. man it’s been almost 4 years she’s been gone and I am still scraching my sculp tryin to figuer out wat spell the was under wen they made that decision.

    Reply

  2. Doe says:

    I enjoyed this insight into Darius’s mind and how he appoaches acting. He seems very intelligent and soft spoken. He has a very good background that should carry him far.I believe fans should stop thinking of Shemar Moore and this man will probably knock it out of the park. I look forward to his debut as Malcom. We need some excitement on the show and hopefully he will bring it!

    Reply

  3. waldo doe says:

    wow! i can’t wait to sere this!

    Reply

  4. bessie says:

    I think he will be a great replacement for Malcom…He is a great actor..before you know it every body will forget that Shelmar ever played Malcom…I am looking forward to seeing him…

    Reply

  5. Adrienne says:

    HA! Nothing personal against Darius, but he ain’t Y&R material, and he certainly ain’t an appropriate replacement for Shemar. I suspect they’ll get enough emails at CBS to at least rethink this choice for sure!

    Reply

  6. Lacey says:

    I can’t wait to see Darius as Malcolm….I think he’s going to be great as Malcolm. I’m just wondering who his love interest will be….I think Y&R did a great job casting the new Malcolm. Way to go guys!

    Reply

  7. renae says:

    I think they got him dirt cheap sorry we all know these day’s it’s about the bottom line i see a recast just like tucker or they will try to make us care but in the end like Eva he will go away

    Reply

  8. demita hemphill says:

    yesssssssssss!!! can not wait.i called all my home girls.the ones do not watch soaps will be watch when darius arrive!!!!!!!!!

    Reply

  9. CJK says:

    I AM GLUED TO THE TV RT NOW!!!!! Me & all my girlfriends (about 10 of them) are all taping and watching!!! We haven’t watched soaps in ages!!! But now, it’s on! WE LOVE YOU, DARIUS! I hope he does some kind of Y&R event where we can meet him!!!! <3

    Reply

  10. Tamekia says:

    I love Darius I know you will make a great Malcolm because I have watch your acting skills in family matter and you were great. I wish you much success in your new role.

    Reply

  11. Richelle says:

    Not a good replacement. He doesn’t look old enough to be Lily’s father.

    Reply

  12. samamma says:

    oh my gosh! im way too excited for darius as the new malcolm! i think hes got the talent in hand and he sounds genuinely excited to be part of Y&R. ive been watching Y&R for about 15 years now, and they change actors all the time. I think with darius on board we’re gonna get to see more of malclom for lengthier periods of time, which is great because I really missed the character. now, to get dru back!

    Reply

  13. akmeiners says:

    POOR, POOR CHOICE FOR MALCOLM!!

    Reply

  14. juanita says:

    I think we all should give Mr. McCrary a chance jus like the Y&R.
    It’s tough to step into someone else role when that person ( Mr. Moore)
    is still being seen around and about. Mr. McCrary is a professional. Let him do his best to entertain you. Remember, this is a soap opera.

    Reply

  15. Scotty says:

    This was a bad replacement. He looks nothing like Shemar Moore. Furthermore he is too young. I think they should have gotten Charles Divins( Passions) or Terrrence Howard ( Hustle &Flow).

    Reply

  16. Marissa says:

    I think Darius is a good replacement – he is a good actor and good-looking…I look forward to him being on the show, but people need to understand that it’s just a TV show — if Shemar Moore doesn’t want to come back, then he’s not going to – get over it. There have been many recasts that have been great: Billy Miller, Amelia Heinle, etc…

    Reply

  17. Linda says:

    I think this is a bad replacement. Shemar Moore made an indelible mark on the role of Malcolm Winters. I loved seeing him. Darius was great on Family Ties but doesn’t fit in the role that Shemar vacated. Sorry, but he doesn’t. I think I see a recast as well. Please, oh please, bring back Victoria Rowell. Dru is sorely missed. Please don’t recast her role. I will quit watching Y&R for sure then.

    Reply

  18. Erma Berry says:

    Kudos to Darius for accepting this role. Bah, Bah to Y & R’s directors for offering the role. Too bad Darius wasn’t hired for a new character. He is a consummate, charismatic actor. Shemar was not a good actor when he got the part. He was mediocre at best. He was visually striking, pleasing to the eye, to say the least. That’s all. But that’s what made the role acceptable and exceptional.
    Hopefully Darius can get another more suitable acting job in movies. Or maybe a full role, not replacement, on another Soap.

    Reply

  19. Jen says:

    nothing against Darius, But not casting Shemar Moore is the worst mistake CBS could ever make!!!

    Reply

  20. Pat Smith says:

    Glad to see Young and the Restless finally get a handsome dark skinned brother. Never really cared for Shemar Moore. Darius is a great actor and has a beautiful singing voice.

    Reply

  21. tt says:

    They did a horrible job of casting Malcolm. Darius can not act. And he is not sexy.

    Reply

  22. Casey says:

    Y&R I cant believe how you murdered Malcolms role :( Darius is a poor actor.

    Reply

  23. Joyce says:

    I think that Darius McCrary is a wonderful addition to The Young & The Restless cast. Thank you Darius for taking over this role and putting your own spin to it. You are an exceptionally talented actor, and very handsome & sexy as well. I think you are doing a wonderful job in this role. Make it your own, as you are already doing and I love it!!

    Reply

  24. Connie says:

    he is not a good actor Y&R needs to recast this man bad sure does not fit the part

    Reply

  25. Joni says:

    LET THE MAN DO HIS JOB….GIVE HIM A CHANCE.

    Reply

  26. Andre says:

    I think from the comments stated, that some of the people do not simply want to accept Darius Mcrary due to the fact he is not light skinned, which I believe is the biggest issue. I mean really who says when you recast an actor that they have to look just like the one who vacated the job. I think Darius has and will continue to add more dimensions to the character. The fact that he is also a great singer is something they could not do with Shemar. I think Darius will hold his own for many years.

    Reply

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