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62 July 25th, 2014 Michael Graziadei On Gina Tognoni As Y&R’s New Phyllis: “I Would Love To Get In There And Work With Her At Some Point!”

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

Former The Young and the Restless star Michael Graziadei has been off the number one soap opera since the end of 2012 as Daniel Romalotti, or as many people may also know him as … the son of Phyllis!  Graziadei returned to Y&R in 2013 for a short stint, but these days Michael can be seen starring in Lifetime’s new series, The Lottery!

In a new interview out in this week’s Soap Opera Digest (on newsstands now), the talented young star offers up his thoughts on Gina Tognoni now taking over the role of Phyllis from Michelle Stafford, who Michael worked with for many years.

Graziadei stated: “Gina is awesome! She’s fantastic and will do a great job.  I’d love to get in there and work with her at some point!  But isn’t Gina really young? (Laughs)  It’s not so much me coming back (that would be the problem), it’s if she would want me to come there and say, ‘Hey Mom!’”

So, would you like to see Michael return to Y&R for a visit when Phyllis finally wakes up out of her coma?  What do you think about Michael’s sentiments on Gina Tognoni?  Let us know!

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  1. Mary SF says:

    I know it might look silly, but for the story to fly, one would expect Daniel to be a part of Phyllis’s return — so I hope he can come back for a return engagement — but perhaps they will recast Daniel, since this show can’t seem to go a month without recasting someone. Another Adam reject they want to give a job to no doubt if they did go that route.

    Reply

  2. Mark Y says:

    Michael ie an excellent young actor.

    Reply

  3. Erica says:

    he has a point! he looks too old to play Gina’s son. which is why they should have hired someone older.

    Reply

    Sammie Jo replied

    Ever noticed, the parents never age as fast as the kids do? lol

    Reply

    jimh(leave it to beaver) replied

    If only that was true in real life…lol

    Sammie Jo replied

    No kidding! lol

    michael replied

    he’s 35, Michelle Stafford is 49, so he was too old to be her son as well unless, of course, she had him when she was 14. it’s called suspension of disbelief people! Gina Tognoni is one of the few name actresses in the right age category that will be able to make this part her own. Stafford is an incredibly tough act to follow, but Gina’s gonna rock it! EVEN in scenes with her son

    Reply

  4. su0000 says:

    Gina Tognoni is a bit too young for the role of Phyllis..
    Y&R has a horrible casting dept aha..
    But what can you do .. I’m sure she will be fine ..

    Reply

    Timmm replied

    High School plays are casted better! Heres the thing, Gina is too young to play Daniels mother but for the other characters like Summer, Jack, Nick, and Sharon, she will fit in, age wise.

    Reply

  5. Ricky says:

    I think they ( Grazadei and Tognoni ) are only 6 years apart so I get where he is coming from! Can’t wait until Gina’s first airdate she is going to be a pleasure to watch! Pretty much the only thing I’m looking forward to on Y&R right now, if you don’t count Eileen Davidson returning in September.

    Reply

  6. davlestev1 says:

    LMAO..cuz in the real world this phyllis would have had him when she was 6 years old and Michelle’s Phyllis would have had him when she was 14. He is so right that would be incredibly awkward to play son to an actress who is only 6 years older than you. Makes no sense and now there will most definately be a new younger Daniel to incite fans unhappiness with those show even more. Phyllis wakes up..Daniel MUST be there. Or they’ll do what I suspect and keep on writing as if it makes no difference what so ever and not even bring him back. He’ll call. Oh..glad you woke up gurl!!

    Reply

    davlestev1 replied

    this not those

    Reply

  7. Nicole says:

    On GH the actor who played Trey was only 4 years younger than yge actress who played Connie, his mother.

    Tv shows and movies have always had tons of actors who while that playef parents and the actorswho played their kids were less than 10 years apart in real life. It is no big deal.

    Reply

  8. Lew S. says:

    Graziadei is 34 and Michelle Stafford is 47/48. She was also too young to play his mom. I think Gina Tognoni is talented enough to carry this off.

    Reply

  9. Cinnamon says:

    I love the Y&R but I like all the old cast.. I don’t like that you change the actors so much.. And the story line drags out to much…I am starting to watch Day of our Lives that’s on the same time as Y&R..

    Reply

    su0000 replied

    the now Y&R opening credits- doesn’t even look like Y&R any longer..
    when I see the opening credits I just cringe at the newly appointed stars (newbies..

    Reply

  10. Traci says:

    I love Gina so much, but I scratched my head when they cast her as Phyllis. She is MUCH too young for that role! I didn’t realize that Gina and Michael are only 6 years apart, but um…yeah…having him come back with Phyllis’s return would be awkward. What are they thinking at Y&R casting? The last 2 Billy’s have been horrible and Cady McClain isn’t right for the Kelly role (I love her, by Cynthia Watros was much better. With the re-cast, her sleeping with Billy isn’t realistic.),

    Reply

  11. Darlene says:

    I have never heard of her! Where was she prior to landing the gig on Y&R?

    Reply

    su0000 replied

    put ‘ Gina Tognoni ‘ in your search; google her .. you find all .. :)

    Reply

    jimh(leave it to beaver) replied

    One Life To Live and Guilding Light was some of her previous work…you can always google actors unfamiliar to you and learn about them…

    Reply

    sonniorsolita replied

    She’s a fantastic and charismatic actress who won a Daytime Emmy as Dinah Marler on Guiding Light (a spitfire character who didn’t always do the right thing, much like Phyllis). She also played Kelly Cramer on One Life to Live. She’s one of daytime’s best.

    Reply

    Omar replied

    I agree..She is one of daytime’s best..Every role she takes, she is great..I am sure regardless of the age issue, she will deliver and kick ass as Phyllis…Y&R is back on track!!!

  12. Lawrence says:

    He’s right. Gina is 40 and Michael is 34.

    Reply

  13. Diane A. says:

    Would love to see Michael return at some point. I miss him.

    Reply

  14. mike says:

    Jack Wagner played the son of Lesley Anne Down on B&B and he looked older than she did. Gina is the only good casting choice Y&R has made. New Billy is terrible.

    Reply

    Lew S. replied

    Exactly Jack Wagner is 54 and Lesley Anne Down is 60 and they played mother and son! It was a stretch, but they pulled it off for years.

    Reply

    Timmm replied

    The new Billy looks like Jack Wagner.

    Reply

  15. Scott (ATWT Fan) says:

    I would love to see Michael return as Daniel, even in a guest capacity, and have some scenes with Gina’s Phyllis! I miss Daniel somewhat, and cannot await for Phyllis’ return to Genoa City!

    Reply

  16. su0000 says:

    Gina and Michael would like weird lol
    She would come off as a cougar with a younger stud .. but not mother and son..

    casting has been terrible, both Bill’s=awful..
    hope Gina can pull off being thee Phyllis..

    Reply

  17. Beacon says:

    Gina is an old soul. She will be able to play Phyllis 10-15 years older to her actual age, I have no doubt. Even when she was on OLTL, her character Kelly was like a nutty old lady in a beautiful young woman’s body. Gina can pull it off. I hope Graz comes back!

    Reply

  18. Sue Long says:

    He was always one of my favorites on the show and I was very disappointed when you cut him out! He had his own style, he is adorable and he played his role great. I miss him.

    Reply

    k/kay replied

    It was his choice and it was a good one he is having much success away from Y&R.

    Reply

  19. Timmm says:

    Stay away Daniel! I know Phyliss is his mother but we havent missed the character. You have to ask yourself with people like him, what can he bring to the show to make it better? NOTHING! Think about it, Daniel, Chloe, Ronan, Phillip, Kyle, Fen, none of these characters matter. I would like to see Heather [Eden Riegel] come back now that Paul and his new family are center stage.

    Reply

    Jimmy replied

    Eden Reigel was completely miscast in that role, she looks absolutely nothing like Paul or her new brother, Dylan. Sure, Reigel is a good actress, but not for the role of Heather. The only actress able to pull that role off well was Vail Bloom, the original actress. Jennifer Landon was good, but she was only on for 5 months and has nothing in terms of substantial material to make a lasting impression.

    Reply

    Timmm replied

    Your right Jimmy, Vail Bloom was excellent.

    Janie replied

    Timmm, I totally agree with you. Eden Reigel was TOTALLY MISCAST in the role of Heather….in fact I hated her in that role. She will always be Bianca to me. Same thing with Billy Miller, Michelle Stafford and Michael M.
    They WERE Billy A., Phyliss N. and Adam N. Wish all three would return. It would certainly improve the show. I did not care for David Tom in the role of Billy…he was too young and came across as a whiny kid. I like the actor now playing Billy. Granted, he is not Billy Miller, but he is doing an adequate job. Gina T will never be another Phyliss in my opinion. Loved her on OLTL but just don’t think she can pull off the snark and deviousness. Now to vent: sorry, but have to gripe a little bit. Story lines are way to long…need to complete them a lot quicker than they have been doing. That was one of the best things I liked about this show when I started watching…they resolved things much quicker than they do now. I am sick to death of Victoria and Stitch. I am tired of her constant “poor me” attitude. Billy made one mistake and she has gone to bed with Stitch numerous times. Same with her mother, grow a backbone Nicki and get on with it. Can’t stand Stitch now…he has become obnoxious where she is concerned and so arrogant and so sure that baby is his. Like Cady, but she is not the right age for this role. I won’t get into Nick and Sharon….would take too much time. Thanks for allowing me the time to vent.

  20. Jimmy says:

    Most actors and actresses can play roles 5-10 years younger or older than they actually are – Michael Graziadei is 34 but can easily play 25… Billy Miller is 35 but can play 40-45.

    And the problem isn’t so much Gina T’s casting, its that Daniel was SORASed. He was born originally in 1994, making him 20 in real life. But he’s in his high-twenties because that’s what the writers needed when they were writing story for him. The same thing is happening with Noah right now – he was born in 1997, making him a teenager now, but he’s already in his mid-twenties.

    Gina T is 40 right now… so 20 years ago, she would have been 20, and that’s how old Phyllis said she was when she came to town in 1994, the same year Daniel was born! Which means that everything works out logically. The problem isn’t Gina’s age, its that Daniel was SORASed and now MG looks too old to play GT’s son.

    Reply

    davlestev1 replied

    No amount of number crunching can change the fact they’re only six years apart. Especially on camera and i’m sure she didn’t allow herself to be even slightly aged with make up for the role.

    Reply

    su0000 replied

    they could never pull of being mother and son ((another horrible casting)
    but-
    Daniel and Gina most likely will never be on screen together..

    sonniorsolita replied

    Sorry, but there’s no way to think of landing Gina Tognoni, a breath of fresh air in any role, as horrible casting. Do you think they should have cast the role around an actor who quit the show years ago? Gina is age appropriate to be Phyllis. It’s not her fault, nor the fault of Michael G., that the character of Daniel was aged so drastically. This is the result of SORASing, and it happens all over the soaps.

    Mary SF replied

    Yes, SORASing has wreck havoc with many a soap’s time line– by next summer we should have teenage Reed and Faith to add to that list.

    Reply

  21. Chaz says:

    The problem with bringing Daniel back in part is outside of being there when his mother comes out of her coma, there is little story possibility for him. All the age appropriate characters are matched up to others so what could they tie him into?

    Of course, I think he would be perfect to put together with Kevin if they ever were brave enough to do a gay story with him. They were good friends, both been in tumultuous relationships with women and could end up turning that friendship into more. I am sure many people would go off the rails if they did this, however.

    Reply

    Jimmy replied

    That’s the problem, there are not many late-twenty to early-thirty characters on this show. Other than Lily, Cane, Devon, Kevin and Tyler, the other characters either fall into the late-teen to early-twenties (Summer, Noah, Abby, Mariah), late-thirties to forties (Billy, Victoria, Nick, Sharon, Phyllis, etc) or 50+ (Victor, Nikki, Jack, etc).

    Chance, Ronan, Chloe, Heather, Daniel… all of these well-established characters that fit this age block are off the show, which doesn’t make any sense from a story standpoint because characters this age are the show’s future, and ones like Chance, for example, will one day be the head of one Y&R’s more important, core families.

    Reply

  22. Bill says:

    The MOST laughable re-cast was Jed Allan’s brief stint as Edward Quartermaine. He was but two years older than son Alan!

    Reply

    davlestev1 replied

    And it was a bad idea and showed on camera. Never worked.

    Reply

  23. Linda says:

    This is just another STELLAR (NOT!) casting job by CBS/SONY and JFP! JFP is notorious for getting it wrong–Hunter King (Summer), David Tom (Billy), Melissa Ordway (Abby), Max Ehrich (Fen) …. Getting the appropriate age would have only mattered had the leadership had a brain! They have shown consistently they are only worried about this particular minute. To Hell with the Long Term fit of a character! JFP and Angelica (at CBS) ARE RUINING THIS SHOW! Hire a 30+ or 40+ year-long FAN for the EP job and it could be saved! SMH

    Reply

    su0000 replied

    JFP doesn’t do the casting ..
    The casting dept casts the characters..
    I’m not sure if JFP has much say about it..
    Nonetheless; the casting has been horrible ..

    Reply

    Mary SF replied

    Are you serious? The Executive Producer has final say on every aspect on the show, including casting. The casting people are there to give the EP all the options and their recommendations, they do the interviews and audtions, but in the end it is the EP and Sony who have to sign off on it– no JFP has a lot a say in casting otherwise Steve Burton wouldn’t be on the show.

    sonniorsolita replied

    I have to disagree with you, Linda. Getting Emmy-winner Gina Tognoni is actually a casting coup for Y&R. And as a bonus it’s a nice nod to CBS soaps fans, who have missed her since “Guiding Light” was cancelled. As other posters have eloquently pointed out: These little age discrepancies happen all over daytime, and Gina is actually the correct age for Phyllis. The problem is the character of Daniel was aged too much.

    Reply

    k/kay replied

    JFP has everything to do with the casting!! Who the heck do you think hired Steve Burton and brought him on to totally revamp the history of Nikki. Little Bo Peep?

    k/kay replied

    Other JFP castings Melissa Ordway/Abby, Hunter King/Summer, Robert Adamson/Noah, Burgess Jenkins/nu/nu/Billy and trust me if they ever cast Adam it will be an FOJ.

    Jimmy replied

    Gina T is a great actress and will fit well with the rest of the cast, Phyllis is an important character and Gina’s talents will no doubt shine in the role. Yes, there have been some questionable casting choices recently, but Gina is not one of them.

    Reply

  24. k/kay says:

    He will never share a scene with her he is no longer on the show. All of these kids go up the stairs at age 7 and walk down age 18. The fact that Phyllis was made a grandma under MAB was so stupid that fact will never be mentioned. They will have a phone call or two then no mention of them again if even that. GT is a fine actress sorry she signed on for this mess of a show I guess she needs the pay check.

    Reply

  25. T says:

    He’s absolutely right. Gina is beautiful and talented and now Phyllis will be played by someone who is much younger and looks much younger. Phyllis well looked into middle age when played by Michelle Stafford, who just was no longer convincing–sorry, but some people age well and others don’t, and it was absolutely impossible, and laughable, to see her as possibly being involved with Nick. The de-SORASed Phyllis will have so many new opportunities for storylines and will also look to be in the same decade of age as Sharon. She will look like a young mom if MG comes back to play Daniel, but that will be fine by me. Stafford is now over at GH doing her embarrassing over-the-top acting and YR is lucky to be rid of her and welcoming the much more capable Gina T.

    Reply

    su0000 replied

    Michelle Stafford is knocking it out of the park at GH.. great acting!
    she is doing an excellent performance..
    Y&R loss GH’s gain..

    Michelle Stafford (Nina) GH.. Rocks! .. two thumbs up!
    Gina’s (Phyllis ) to two thumbs down.. .. :)

    MS will always hold Phyllis ..

    Reply

  26. Laurel Twist says:

    What I would like is for Jill Farren Phelps and Angelica McDaniel to be fired. Sweep the writing staff, fire ALL of the newbies, & hire people who truly care about the characters, of the show, who will write a balanced ensemble show, period.

    Reply

    su0000 replied

    ALL the great loved characters are gone..
    Y&R is not recognizable– look at the opening credits!! all newbies or dullards ..

    Looks like they are getting rid of the old and in with younger new..
    they are trying to put the ”young” back into Y&R..

    Reply

    Janie replied

    From your lips to God’s ear su0000. Love your idea. Cannot stand the new Abby. I get so tired of hearing her laugh after every stupid sentence she utters.
    and PLEASE FIRE JILL FARREN PHELPS. She is a total DIASTER as EP. I did read a few months ago that both Michael M and Michelle S were offered their jobs back and both declined. What a shame. Michael should never have been fired…….Billy Miller would have stayed if they had just given him the “outs” he requested to do other things and IMO Michelle and JFP must have clashed big time for her to leave a show that she had been on for 16 years.

    Reply

  27. jo says:

    Let JFP start a new soap online with her Y&R newbies. Get a new EP, rehire what & who made this show so special.
    Bring back the beloved actors- Miller, Muhney;
    Adrienne Franz as Amber with Michael Graz, I loved.
    Gina T should have been hired as Victoria, Amelia did not have a big following.
    Vail Bloom looked like DD Paul, who needs Dylan?
    Back to the topic, MG was so natural as Daniel, he would be lovely with Gina T and as I said, bring Amber back to create a storyline.
    They do need a gay sl. Kevvie is your man, so run with it. Let him out of the closet, this is the 21st century.
    Does anyone listen?! Doubtful.

    Reply

  28. Donna Pifferini says:

    I would love to see Daniel again!!! Anytime!!! Anywhere!!! But as far as this new Phyllis goes… she sucks!!! She could never hold a candle to Michelle Stafford… NO ONE COULD!!!

    Reply

  29. Joseph says:

    Both Michael and Gina are great at their craft and would be a great to each other if Michael would return. Frankly I miss seeing him on Y&R. (hint..hint)

    Reply

  30. Keith says:

    I would love to see Michael Graziadei back on Y&R if only for a short visit. Only he can play Daniel. Phyllis is awake and Daniel should be present.

    Reply

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