Christian LeBlanc: Family ManBy Janet Di Lauro Posted: Jun 26, 2008
Christian LeBlanc (Michael) started out a virtual orphan when he made his debut on YOUNG AND RESTLESS. But over the years, his family slowly crept onto the Genoa City scene and has emerged as one of most intriguing on daytime. What's it like being part of the wacky Baldwin/Fisher clan? LeBlanc tells all.
Soap Opera Weekly: Was the materialization of Michael's family a tad odd for you, since Michael really was the "man who was an island" when you joined the show?
Christian LeBlanc: Yes. It was fascinating, because it wasn't planned. Michael repeatedly said he had no one. It was such a definitive and devastating thing to say, "I'm alone in this world," especially for me, who has such a huge family. Then you learn he said this, but he was lying. What would make you lie all those years?
Weekly: Well, when you finally met his family, you understood why. Didn't you?
LeBlanc: (Laughs.) Exactly! What pain is there? I still think there's a lot of the story not told. Judith (Chapman, Gloria) and I always discuss what possibly has gone on that has warped them so badly. (Michael's father) Lowell is another piece of the puzzle. It goes all the way back to him. You don't know what set them on these tracks. Then, there's Gloria's past. Where did she come from that she fell for this guy and had a baby at 15?
Weekly: The Baldwin/Fishers truly are one of the most interesting families ever on soaps. Why do you think so?
LeBlanc: Because it's the most human. There's a gray area there. Like most people, they're capable of something really good and something really bad. It ain't sweet and cute, which I love. Who wants that? People know that isn't real life. People know that's not how it is. You are never more vicious than you are to your family. You never are as despicable as when you're dealing with brothers and sisters and mothers and fathers. The ones you love the most, you will attack the hardest.
Weekly: How did the family start to take shape?
LeBlanc: Somebody saw Greg (Rikaart), when he first came on the show to harass Lily, and mentioned how much we looked alike. That's how we got to be brothers.
Weekly: And the family just took off from there?
LeBlanc: Yes. We've been very lucky. Sometimes families just come together on shows, with the casting and stuff. As soon as Greg came on, he was my brother. There was no question about it. Kevin was there, fully realized. Then, Joan Van Ark came on as Gloria, and it was supposed to be a short-term role, because she didn't want long-term. She was wonderful. Then, Judith took over the role and just made it her own. The transition was seamless. She is Gloria. You can't even think of anyone else playing the part.
Weekly: Your scenes with Judith are wonderful, and so is the dynamic between Gloria and Michael. Do you realize how special it is?
LeBlanc: Judith is brilliant, and Gloria and Michael's relationship is special. They never say they love each other. He never calls her Mother. It's always Gloria. When you're on a daytime show, it's like doing a play on Broadway. How do you keep yourself from being bored and make it fresh and new every day? I tell you, when I have scenes opposite those characters, Gloria and Kevin, I just don't know what to expect. I can't tell you what reading Judith or Greg will give, because they're that good. It keeps me interested, and that's such a joy.