THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS’ Michael Baldwin is expecting his first child, but is he ready?
“Poor Michael couldn’t be more ambivalent,” Christian J. LeBlanc (Michael) empathizes with a laugh. “He loves the fact, but it raises some huge issues. The guilt of abandoning Kevin has never gone away. Now he’s going to be responsible for a tiny, helpless baby when he couldn’t even defend his own brother.”
Those nerves are understandable, but one would think Michael and wifey Lauren would be just as concerned about Sheila! As fans may recall, Sheila’s machinations go back to 1992, when she pulled a baby-swap and almost got away with stealing Lauren’s newborn Scotty. Lauren, meanwhile, watched the baby she believed was hers die, before learning that Scotty was alive. After a recent scare, Lauren did recall that pain, but for some reason she hasn’t addressed the possibility that this could bring Sheila out of hiding.
“That would be Lauren’s issue, and I don’t know that she’s expressing those fears,” LeBlanc considers. “We’re trying to put our best face on it. We’re both happy, but with any unexpected pregnancy the first response is not to do somersaults. It’s, ‘Wow!’ It takes a while to wrap your head around it.”
Now that they’ve had time, the pair does, in fact, seem to be doing…well, somersaults. Perhaps that’s because their marital bliss has meant a slower story than the explosive honeymoon that saw Lauren kidnapped, trapped in a basement and presumed dead. “After the chapel stuff [when Lauren returned ‘from the dead’], they started cranking out the Jabot story. As a couple, it was quiet, because Tracey (E. Bregman, Lauren) was on vacation, so the pregnancy adds a nice layer for us,” LeBlanc agrees. “It will give us some fun storyline. It’s also a commitment by the show to this to the relationship, and it’s nice to see them throw themselves behind it.”
But don’t get LeBlanc wrong — he definitely appreciates the action that has come with the Jabot storyline. “I love working with Jeanne (Cooper, Katherine) and Jess (Walton, Jill) in the boardroom — and Ashley! The complicating factor in that is that Ashley and Jack are my stepbrother and sister,” he laughs. “Every now and then I give Jack a ‘brother dear’ to get him. It’s interesting that everyone has come back to the front. The storylines are well-balanced and you’re seeing a lot of people we haven’t been seeing.”
As a legal eagle and reformed baddie, Michael has crossed paths with many of these folks before, but that doesn’t make it any less fun for LeBlanc or his co-stars. “I’ve never heard of more happy actors,” he continues. “And, as an audience, to see the Nick/Phyllis thing? The Victor/Nikki thing? And, remember, I know about Gloria’s part in the face cream fiasco, but I’m not running to the DA. That’s a serious thing. When Jack finds out? Or Kay, Jill, Lauren or any of these people? Oh, my God!”
The face cream mystery is unsolved for now, but secrets have a way of coming out in Genoa City — even if it takes a few years.