Brotherly Connection

Soap Opera Weekly: The tape’s running boys.
Chistian J. LeBlanc: My favorite color is blue!
Weekly: Earlier, you were talking clothes. Do you really go shopping together?
LeBlanc: He shows it to me. We don’t do anything together. Is the microphone on? No, nothing. We hate each other.
Rikaart: Never. (laughs) No. That’s a lie.
LeBlanc: Actually, I trail him and as he picks something up, I try to grab it out of his hand, because I have no taste and I am trying to cultivate this aging boy-toy look. I’ve pretty much fallen into age inappropriate clothing. This is my goal in life.

Weekly: I know you took boxing lessons for the fight scene. Are you two still taking them?
LeBlanc: I haven’t gone back yet. I was so scarred by the boxing scene and seeing myself on screen! I need a little time. I’ll go back. I found someone near the house that works with
, Sonny, GH) and he was the choreographer of the show.
Rikaart: I need a breather, too. Plus, I have a mortgage now, so I can’t afford boxing class.
LeBlanc: He moved into a mint.
Rikaart: Yeah, my house is in perfect condition. The floors are being done before I move in, but the homeowners were only in there for a few years, so everything’s less than two years old. I have touchups to do, but I have a friend who’s an actor and not working. He paints, so I’ll have him go over the baseboards and fill any holes in the walls.
LeBlanc: It’s beautiful. I was there when they did the inspection.
Rikaart: I made sure big brother came on by to support me.
LeBlanc: During inspection, you need people sitting there saying, ‘It’s okay.’
Rikaart: It was funny. It was like a revolving door of people. Christian came and then left. Thad (Luckinbill, J.T.) was there and then other friends came — for moral support and I think people were excited for me.

Weekly: How will this family start out the new year?
LeBlanc: Everything’s up in the air. Nothing is resolved with John Abbott. I made my little visit to him to say, “Oh, you’re getting remarried. Maybe you’d like to look into some legal ways to protect your assets, because some times some people have nefarious motives.” (laughs)
Rikaart: I loved when I got caught at the pool house by Abbott. This is going back months ago. Gloria was trying to keep the peace and was freaking out. Then I’m like, “Maybe you recognize me from my picture in the paper,” and she’s trying to hold onto any lifeline, so she says, “That’s it! You’re the hero.”
LeBlanc: Joan‘s (Van Ark, soon-to-be ex-Gloria) got great moments and she’ll top things. Like when I’m telling the truth about Kevin, she made the choice to sit on the floor. We’d established in our relationship that I was one of those kids that raises the parent, so she totally became the child.
Rikaart: I’m so curious about Michael’s father.
LeBlanc: Does he have a first name yet? We know he was a hippie and an alcoholic. In the hospital when I was talking with Paul, I said, “He wanted to be a hippie, but I guess hippies aren’t alcoholics, so he had to stop being a hippie.” He seemed to be this very ineffectual pothead. Everything is loosey goosey and the opposite of Terrible Tom. It’s like that line out of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, “If you existed I’d divorce you.” That’s how I see him. He totally let Mommy run all over him and then took off. I’m so grateful I have family on the show, because that’s such a route that can be explored. As they explore that, it makes my life as a character richer.
Rikaart: I sent a note to Jack (Smith, head writer and executive producer) just saying how thankful I was and how much I appreciate this plethora of great writing that’s been thrown our way.
LeBlanc: The way they deal with this family, we just have a ball.
Rikaart: I wouldn’t be able to pick a favorite scene. There are so many that I love. Seriously. I love working with Christian, Joan and Tracey (Bregman, Lauren), partially because they’re all terrific actors, but also because we see such distinctly different parts of Kevin’s personality with each person. He looks to Michael with fraternal love, but also as a patriarch. With his mother, there’s that sense of loss and betrayal completely intertwined with this incredible love for the woman who bore him. What’s so interesting is that in all the other relationships he has — Lauren, Mac, Lily, J.T. — we’ve seen the beginning. That’s not the case with the brothers or with mom. There’s a life there. Weekly: What else would you like to see for your characters?
Rikaart: I would love to see Kevin in therapy.
LeBlanc: Therapy scenes would be genius, but they’d be a challenge to write.
Rikaart: A job, an apartment. I love Ashley Bashioum (Mac) and I hope that will continue. Mac represents hope. In addition to being attracted to her and having feelings for her, Kevin sees her as a safety net, because she’s so grounded and she challenges him.
LeBlanc: They so throw things unexpectedly at me and I enjoy that. His father would be a great thing, but there’s so much still there about the dynamic of family and how Lauren fits in. My character just crosses into so many great stories. It’s like what do you pick up next and look at? Damon and Phyllis and Christine? The dynamic in the office? Is Victoria coming back? How does that complicate Michael’s life? Then there’s the relationship with Victor.

Weekly: I loved Victor’s response when Michael asked permission to have the boxing match at the youth center.
LeBlanc: Eric (Braeden) had a ball. He made up the whole end of the scene and I just bounced where he went. Here in my head, it was an emotional scene. I’m telling him all about you wanting to fight, but he laughed the entire scene! It was a great scene and it ended on an intimate moment when he asked about Victoria. Then he said, “Sometimes talking to your lawyer is like talking to your therapist.” They interviewed me for Eric’s 20th anniversary and I said, “It’s like pulling out nose hairs out one at a time,” and they said, “Can you leave out the nose hair part.” I said, “That would be the key to the whole interview right there!”

Weekly: Christian, what’s something we wouldn’t know about Greg?
LeBlanc: Greg likes to do practical jokes. I had to sit him down. If there is any anti-Christian LeBlanc thing that lives on the polar opposite of where I live, it’s a practical joke. I think it’s a horrible, horrible thing! If there’s one thing that will suck the good humor out me, it’s a practical joke. I get nervous watching those shows where they do those crank phone calls (Crank Yankers). I always feel horrible for the callee.
Rikaart: I know enough not to make him the butt of the joke.