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Michael Damian On Y&R Return

“I was surprised to get the call but it was perfect timing,” begins Michael Damian of Y&R reaching out to him to reprise the role of rock star Danny Romalotti. “The last time they wanted me back, I wasn’t available and that really depressed me. This time, I first got the call a few months ago and had been in Ireland shooting a movie, but that’s wrapped, so the timing was perfect and I’m really grateful that it could work out.”

There’s no pressing reason for Danny dropping into Genoa City except to visit loved ones. “Without giving too much away, Danny is on tour and he has a break, so he’s popping in for the holidays and checking on everybody,” relays Damian. “It’s been going really well. In fact, I’m going back in for another episode and I have to say that the writing is exceptional. A lot of emotions and history play out. Even if you’re a new viewer, you’ll still get a good sense of the journey and be able to jump right in. You won’t get lost at all.”

Getting his first script was momentarily daunting once he realized the amount of dialogue he would have to memorize. “I was like, ‘Okay, Michael, you’ve got to wake up and do this,’ ” he chuckles. “I really appreciate the opportunity to do this because it helps me reconnect and understand what actors are going through, that they’re humans and not robots. You kind of assume that all those words are going to come out exactly as scripted, but that’s not always the case. These things should happen organically and that’s what makes it wonderful and fresh. So [going back to Y&R] has helped me a great deal as a filmmaker. The biggest thrill for me was seeing my friends, Lauralee [Bell, Christine], Tracey [E. Bregman, Lauren], Michelle [Stafford, Phyllis] and Michael [Graziadei, Daniel]. We have such special bonds.”

The first day reporting to set was “harmonious; it felt like going to a class reunion,” Damian smiles. “There was a lot of love flowing around that day. The crew and cast are people I’ve known for years, but it was like time stood still in a weird way. It took very little for me to just jump right back in and be back to where it was. It was really wonderful and emotional for me. Of course, I’m very grateful to the fans because really, it’s all about them. They’ve been so amazing and so supportive.” Damian, whose last appearance was in 2013, enjoyed seeing new sets and faces. “The Glam Club and Society are beautiful!” he marvels. “And I met Cait Fairbanks [Tessa], so our characters can talk about their music, and I met Camryn [Grimes, Mariah] again. I haven’t seen her since she was a little girl [when she played Cassie] and she’s all grown up and gorgeous!”

Outside of soaps, Damian is excited that FALLING FOR CHRISTMAS, the Netflix movie that he produced and was directed by his wife, Janeen, has become a monster hit of the holiday season. “We’re kind of blown away by that,” he shares. “That caught us by quite a pleasant surprise. You always hope your movie does well, and then to get the call from the studio saying it’s the number one movie in the world was pretty awesome! I also wrote a song that’s in the movie called ‘Must Be Christmas’.”

Working with lead Lindsay Lohan (ex-Alli, ANOTHER WORLD), who stars with GLEE’s Chord Overstreet and another soap alum (“My buddy, Jack Wagner [ex-Nick, B&B al], plays the dad of Lindsay’s character,”) was a positive experience. “She was fantastic,” Damian praises. “She brought so much to the set every day. She’s very professional, she has this incredible range, from physical comedy to big emotion, and she consistently delivers. She did a great job and we’re so proud of her. This was her highly anticipated return after a long break and she was ready for it. That star sparkle is still there and it’s even brighter. We’re thrilled and really honored that Netflix came to us to make this film with Lindsay. It was her first time working with Netflix and it was a match made in heaven.”

So much so that Netflix signed up the actress and the Damians for another project called IRISH WISH that recently completed filming and will debut in 2023. “It takes place in Ireland and it’s a really fun, romantic comedy with a little bit of magic,” he explains. “We’re actually editing it now and I can say that Lindsay knocks it out of the park. And this will be my fifth movie with Jane Seymour, who is so spectacular.”

As for coming back as Danny in the future, Damian notes, “Absolutely! It might be difficult if I’m in Ireland, Romania or London, but there are airplanes, so I’m sure we can make it work.”