Ever wanted to have some private time with your Genoa City faves? Then you should have tuned in to Weekly/Digest’s Y&R set Chat, where Michael Graziadei (Daniel), Michelle Stafford (Phyllis) and Christian J. LeBlanc (Michael) played to an intimate room of fans.
Unlike the jam-packed arena feel of other Chats, this one had the ambiance of being in a small club. With fewer people in attendance, lucky fans who did tune in were able to have a conversation with the stars, instead of being limited to having (maybe) one question answered.
First up was Graziadei, who took questions on who helped him out the most as a newcomer (he pointed out Michael Damian (Danny), and on his new friends on the set (he reports dining with Thad Luckinbill (JT) and Greg Rikaart (Kevin) regularly).
Graziadei almost blushed when the talk turned to Daniel’s budding love life and who’ll he be paired with next. “Any of the girls who are single are a possibility!” he joked. When the questions turned to Kevin and Mackenzie (Ashley Bashioum) possibly getting together and how Daniel would take that, Graziadei replied, “I would hope I would be big enough to see past it and keep my relationship with Kevin. Girls come and go, but friends are forever.”
Graziadei yielded the floor to Michelle Stafford, who was immediately pelted with questions about Phyllis, Jack (Peter Bergman) and Damon (Keith Hamilton Cobb). Does she think Phyllis and Damon will ever be as popular a couple as Phyllis and Jack? “Oh gosh. (Phyllis and Damon) haven’t yet, so I think not. They’ve been together for a year, so my guess is no,” Stafford laughed.
“It doesn’t matter to me who Phyllis is with,” she continued. “I just want to play good story. I have no personal investment in who she’s with.”
When a fan asked how much of Stafford’s personality finds its way into Phyllis, Stafford remarked, “Since I’ve been playing her for six years, sometimes we get scenes that are pretty vanilla, not really filled with context and such. So in those scenes, just to make it pop more, I put some of myself into it.”
And with that Stafford was out the door, ready to start her weekend. “Keep on watching the show, for God’s sake! You’re paying my mortgage,” she quipped as she headed off.
As Stafford moved out, Christian J. LeBlanc pulled up a chair and took some lighthearted ribbing over his long career. “It seems you must have begun acting as a preschooler,” one fan remarked. “What’s your secret to not appearing to age?”
After he stopped laughing, LeBlanc replied, “I started as a preschooler and Greg (Rikaart) and I are the same age. I think it’s genetics and clean living.”
When asked about Michael’s love life, he had nothing but praise for his latest leading lady, Tracey E. Bregman (Lauren). “I love working with Tracy. She’s totally into it. Something happens and a switch goes off. She’s amazing and incredibly sexy,” he gushed.
Fans also asked LeBlanc about his artwork, which he regularly offers up to charity, friends or art galleries in his hometown of New Orleans. “I learned on the streets. I have absolutely no training, so if they don’t like it…it wasn’t supposed to be good and my God I’m making them pay for it,” he chuckled.
Our Weekly editor reported that Christel Khalil (Lily) and Shemar Moore (Malcolm) were still on the set working, but our time was up. The Chat ended with LeBlanc thanking everyone for showing up, and for continuing to support Y&R.