Jason Canela On His Y&R Return

Jason Canela last played Arturo in August 2019 when the character showed up for Lola’s wedding to Kyle. So when Y&R called upon the actor for another reprisal, this time for Rey’s nuptials, Canela wasn’t too surprised. “A lot of people don’t know this, but when I initially came on the show [in 2018], they wanted me to sign on for three years but that seemed like a long time to me,” he reveals. “So, after some back and forth with the people upstairs, we agreed to one year. They said, ‘We’re going to write around the [Rosales] family, so give us a year and we’ll build up this love story [with Abby], then have it come crashing down. After that, whenever it feels right, you can always come back and join the family.’ That was always the plan from the beginning and I’m thankful to Sony and CBS because they have kept their word. It’s always fun to come back and spend time with people who I’ve formed genuine relationships with. It’s so amazing to see all these familiar faces again, not just with the cast but the crew, as well.”

Canela says he feels like he was just in Genoa City. “I come from a really big family and there are times when I go months, sometimes years, without seeing some family members, but when I reconnect with them, it’s like no time has passed,” he explains. “We pick up right where we left off from the last time we’ve seen each other and that’s exactly what it was like seeing Melissa [Ordway, Abby] again; it’s like no time had passed. It was awesome. I like to think that Abby still holds Arturo in a small part of her heart [laughs].”

Canela was also thrilled to reconnect with his TV sibs, Jordi Vilasuso (Rey) and Sasha Calle (Lola). “For me, it’s not easy to form lasting relationships in Los Angeles, but I’ve always stayed in touch with both of them for all of this time,” he smiles. “Jordi and Sasha are truly my family, so to be able to come here and work with them and bring life to Arturo again was definitely fun and a good time.”

One thing that has changed is the way Y&R operates because of coronavirus protocols in place. “As uncomfortable as it seemed, at the end of the day, everyone is following the rules for the right reason,” Canela acknowledges. “It’s as simple as wearing a mask and being socially distanced, so it really isn’t rocket science. Everybody at Y&R has done a great job at doing exactly that. Sometimes it’s uncomfortable, but that’s the reality. It’s not the circumstances we all want to be in but everyone at Y&R is doing a fantastic job at maneuvering through this as safely as possible.”

While away from Genoa City, Canela has been busy working in the world of video gaming. “I voiced one of the new characters for Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, which was recently released,” he shares. “In fact, there are two faces on the cover and one of the faces is my character, DGI Garcia. He’s a super-badass Cuban soldier, the most badass character I have ever brought to life. It was such an awesome ride to collaborate with everyone at Treyarch [game developers]. Right now, I’m working on another game, Far Cry 6, where I play a bio-chemist who is also Cuban. That was a blessing to travel to Toronto to do motion caption up there and now we’re doing voice-over work here in Los Angeles. It’s been an experience like no other and Far Cry will come out probably at the end of 2021. I also took on another video game but I can’t talk too much about it and that I’ll be shooting now until 2022. These are all incredible games that are part of massive platforms and I love being a small part of it.”

During the pandemic, Canela quietly married Brazilian model Janaina Reis. “We were not able to carry out the ceremony that we wanted due to my wife’s family not being able to travel, so we went to the courthouse and tied the knot,” he notes. “Married life has been great! We both have been blessed to come from wonderful, close families and we’ve talked about our future of having kids. What’s great is that we’re both clear-minded on where our focus is and that right now is work.” As far as his future in daytime, Canela smiles, “Whenever Y&R needs me, I’m there. That’s what you do for family.”