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ICYMI Chad Duell Interview

What do you like most about Michael? “I’m not a big fan of him right now [laughs]. But I feel like he always puts his family first and he’s always had good intentions. He likes to give people the benefit of the doubt; he’s not malicious and he’s very protective and supportive of his family and always wanting to keep the peace. He has a good heart and he’s a good father.”

What do you most dislike about him? “I dislike how naive he can be at times. Someone who always tries to see the good in situations can kind of get walked over or come across as a little bit of an idiot, I guess. I don’t think Michael is very street-smart. A lot of times, there are obvious things happening around him and he’s just oblivious to it. That can be frustrating for me to read. I go, ‘How is he not noticing this?’ And he can be a bit of a broken record with how he feels about his father and Nina and all that kind of stuff. I feel like there’s an easier solution to this instead of going down the path of vengeance. Normally people get upset about something at first, then it fades away and they get logical about it. Michael seems to get really upset with Sonny and Nina and stay at that point for months as opposed to going, ‘You know what? It’s not worth it.’ To try to tear his father’s life apart comes across as malicious and out of character for who Michael has been for so long. He’s been a little over-the-top lately.”

Which family member is Michael closest to? “Probably Josslyn. They have a good rapport with each other and are always on the same page. He used to see her as a little sister and now that she’s older, he just sees her as his sister. I mean, she’s lying to him right now about Dex, but Michael doesn’t know that. I could say Carly, as well. Their relationship has matured over the years and he has a lot of love for her. When I started on the show, Michael was kind of a kid and she kind of saw him as a little boy, and now he and Carly can relate as adults. She respects him.”

Do you think he feels more connected to the Corinthoses or the Quartermaines? “Back in the day, when Sonny killed A.J., Michael changed his name to Quartermaine, but he was raised as a Corinthos. Right now, he’s living at the Quartermaines and he’s interacting with them more, so I would say he’s more connected to them. He’s adapting to the Quartermaine lifestyle. I feel like I haven’t seen much of the Corinthos side lately. I haven’t interacted with Kristina in a while. I do see Dante every now and again. Michael isn’t working for his father anymore and they’re distanced, so he’s more connected to the Quartermaines’ realm in business, as well. Michael’s still working at Aurora, I think. And I don’t know what name I’m going by now; I haven’t said my full name in a while. This conversation is making me think, ‘The next time I’m at work, I’ve got to ask some questions [laughs].’ ”
What life event has had the biggest impact on his evolution? “I think Abby dying. That was his first love and she helped him get through so much. That kind of started his [girlfriends] dying. It’s three, right? Abby, Sabrina and Nelle, who was his ex when she fell off a cliff.”

Kiki is another ex who met a brutal end. “That’s right! Wow! That’s pretty rough. Oh, my gosh. Don’t get involved with Michael — you are most likely going to die!”

Who do you think is the love of Michael’s life? “Here’s the deal. I think when Abby died, Abby and Michael were kind of at their peak and I think that’s something that will probably always stay with him. Willow is right now, yes, but Abby was the first person he really fell for and was taken from him so soon. Michael and Willow have a strong foundation and he loves her very much and they make sense together, but there was something about the connection that Michael had with Abby that was really special.”
What is Michael’s biggest romantic regret, and why is it Nelle? “[Laughs] Yeah, it’s gotta be Nelle, of course. He didn’t think that one through! Even though they made her so crazy and she tried to kill Michael, I’m glad they did that because the actress, Chloe [Lanier], was so good at it.”

Whose advice does Michael trust the most? “It was Jason, but I don’t know where he is now! He’s on DAYS OF OUR LIVES now [laughs]. Dante gives it to him straight, no matter what. He’ll tell him the truth and not just tell Michael what he wants to hear because he’s his brother. He’ll tell him if he’s wrong in the situation. He’s giving him good advice right now about the Sonny situation, but Michael can’t see past his own anger.”

How do you think Michael spends his downtime? “I would hope he’s doing something fun! I hope he and Willow get a babysitter on the weekend and go do something, because he deals with stressful situations all the time! I would say Michael has a room where he keeps his PlayStation5 and lets off some steam. ‘Can you watch Wiley for a bit? I’m going to try to finish this game.’ ”
Which of Michael’s jobs has suited him best? “He’s not really suited for any of them! He was handed a lot of these jobs. He doesn’t even have a college degree. He seemed to be doing good at ELQ at first; it was trending in the right direction. So I guess I would go with that one, whether he deserved [to be CEO] or not. I would like to see him do something cooler than [work as an executive]. I would love to be a police officer. That would be cool.”

Who is your character’s best friend? “Chase and I would be good friends but we don’t talk much anymore. He’s too busy dancing or whatever he’s doing right now [laughs]. I would like for Michael and Chase to kind of rekindle that friendship. Drew is older than Michael and they’re more like business partners, but I guess you could say Drew right now because he’s around him the most. Michael needs more friends. It’s kind of pathetic.”

What do you consider to be Michael’s signature storyline? “When Michael got sent to prison when I first started on the show and what happened to him in prison and dealing with it. It was a major challenge for me and I was really trying to give it my all and I was so crazy-nervous; I thought I was going to get fired because I was so in over my head. That was the first story where I felt like I got really into what I was doing and got out of my head. It was really good stuff.”

How would you summarize how Michael has changed over the years you’ve been playing him? “He has experienced so much crap and it’s hardened him, but not in a bad way. He’s matured, he’s more sure of himself, more assertive, more confident. He’s also gotten more short-tempered, I guess, like with the Sonny stuff.”

Me vs. Him

Who dresses better? “Me. I wear sandals and workout pants and whatever, but when I’m dressing up, I dress up better than Michael. They do put me in nice stuff sometimes, but I think I do better myself.”

Who likes babies more, you or Michael? “Michael!”

Who holds a grudge longer? “Michael. I mean, I don’t like holding grudges because it’s an energy that takes a lot out of you. When you hold a grudge against somebody or hate somebody for a long time and refuse to talk to them or whatever, you’re giving them a lot of power over your life. You’re letting their energy take from yours.”

Who would make a better CEO? “Michael. I would like to have a large part in a company that I’m really passionate about but because he has no idea what he’s doing and it worked out, it seems like he has a knack for it!”

Who is better in a crisis? “I would say it’s kind of even. I say that because when I’m in a crisis, I have a good way of calming the energy down, calming down the people around me, and I try not to be frantic myself, so I do pretty well in that kind of situation. Michael is maybe more resourceful in those situations, but I’m better at making everyone not get all frantic and freaking out. We’re good in a crisis in different ways.”

Who is a bigger prankster? “Well, me! I play pranks on people 24/7. Just recently, I went in Josh’s [Swickard, Chase] room and flipped all the stuff in there upside down, put his shoes on the pegs of his table, weird stuff like that.”