For decades, Eric Braeden (Victor) has played the most powerful man on soaps as the ruthless businessman and head of the bickering, in-fighting, and yes, loving in their own way, Newman clan. As The Young and the Restless celebrated its 40th anniversary, Victor’s professional life and personal life face several game-changers and up hill battles. The “moustache” is trying to regain his company and all of his power, his wife is suffering from a disease that will be a difficult battle for her, and his black sheep of a son, took a bullet meant for him! How’s that to usher in the next 40 years of drama for the number one CBS soap?
On-Air On-Soaps caught up with Daytime Emmy winner and soap icon, Eric Braeden to get his thoughts on the latest developments in Victor Newman’s life, as we toasted to the ongoing success of all things Y&R at the recent on set 40th celebration for the daytime drama. Here’s what the always direct and insightful, and a man who always throws in a good joke or two, Mr. Braeden had to say about it all!
The Young and the Restless has turned 40 years old! What do you think of that milestone? Pretty amazing, when you think of it!
ERIC: Isn’t that something? Stunning, isn’t it? Time is so fleeting; you have no sense of chronologically at all. It just goes by so damn fast. I am very lucky and fortunate. I have really had no time to reflect on it, that will come when I retire or whatever. I am just deeply grateful to be doing this show as long as I have.
Where do you see Victor at this point at his life? Reclaiming his power? How does Victor feel about Nikki’s diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis? Will he stand by her now, no matter what?
ERIC: I obviously hope Victor will be there for Nikki. This disease has given him pause to reflect on life. He has had a number of moments where he realizes the damages he has done to his family and vice-versa. We must not forget; that Adam was the one who started gas-lighting the family and all of that. But one thing will never die, and that is Victor is a competitor, as I am. So he will do everything in his power to get that company back … and he will!
Now, Adam was shot protecting Victor, does Victor feel deeply guilty? That is a huge moment in the history of their father/son relationship!
ERIC: Well, obviously this was such an instinctive moment that Adam would have had no way to plan that. Hence, Victor knows that it is well meant and comes from the heart, and he realizes Adam’s love for his father is probably deep. But it has never been reciprocated by the father sufficiently for the son to feel OK about it, and that again has to do with Hope. Hope was not interested in Adam growing up in Genoa City with Victor. So all these things are thrown at Victor, and so I, Eric Braeden, have to go, “Wait a minute. That’s not what happened, historically”, to remind the writers what really happened. What really happened was Victor asked Adam and Hope to grow up with him in town, and she said “No, I want him to grow up on the farm.” So the rest is history.
Since Adam took the bullet meant for Victor, do you see Victor coming around in his feelings towards Adam? Do you think this story beat will permanently change the course of these two characters relationship with each other? Or, will it just be a blip in time and Victor will be back to his old self when relating to Adam?
ERIC: To be frank with you, I don’t know. I know how that experience was about as profound as it gets. Whether that changes his attitude for good, I don’t know I don’t know what the writers have in mind. I personally, wouldn’t have had that kind of strange relationship with my children, in the first place. I am very close to my family and so that would never happen.
Do you think the writers giving Nikki the health battle with MS, makes for good story?
ERIC: It makes for excellent story. It is so full of potential conflict and drama. Look, good times don’t last too long on soaps, as we damn well know. In order to arrive at anything that is positive. you need to arrive at it through a very difficult journey.
How did you feel when you learned that once again, Nikki and Victor were going to get married? Was it, “Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me? Not again!? (Laughs)
ERIC: Well I suggested you call “Dr. Drew”, you know? (Laughs) I think Victor is a Serial-Monogamist, and so is Nikki, obviously. Perhaps, too much booze in the past! (Laughs) Who knows? Victor has so much money he doesn’t really care, but he obviously loves her! So it’s a deep love for Nikki and that is why he embarks upon that adventure over and over again.
Let’s face it; Nikki and Victor have been the main staple couple of Y&R for decades. Many fans feel you can’t have a Y&R without having them in each other’s orbit. Would you agree with that?
ERIC: That I don’t know, I can only let the audience judge that. But I have a feeling that is partly true what you are saying. But again to be frank with you, Victor is basically a loner. I don’t think anyone leaving the show will make a damn difference. I have known actors who are so delusion that say, “Without me, the show will not continue.” That is nonsense. It will continue and it has continued, I firmly always believe that, we have too large of a cast. If you did a nighttime show, with one or two characters that might make a difference, but not here. It would go on.
Alright, soap fans! What do you think of Eric’s comments on the dynamic between the father/son relationship of Victor and Adam? Do you think Adam shielding Victor from a bullet will ultimately change their animosity towards each other, long term? And, what do you think of Victor and Nikki’s marriage? Do you think it will last? Or, fall apart in short order as it has in the past? Let us know your thoughts!