Eric Braeden has played the iconic character of Victor Newman on The Young and the Restless for nearly four decades!
While Braeden has shared that he loves playing the role now, he recently admitted that this wasn’t always the case. Braeden sat down to reflect on his time on the show leading up to its 12,000th episode and shared his past thoughts on the role.
When Braeden was initially asked by his agents if he was interested in taking a meeting with soap opera execs, he recalled his response, “I said, ‘What is that? They have television during the day?’ I didn’t know.”
He revealed that after the meeting, he signed on for only three months and confessed, “I hated it. I couldn’t stand it. Because I played a bad guy, and I had burned out playing bad guys. I’ve played bad guys on over 120 television shows, and I was sick and tired of it.”
It ended up being Y&R’s creator William J. Bell that changed Braeden’s mind about the role. “I asked Bill Bell to imbue this character with a background that explains why he became who he was,” Braeden shared. The result was a touching scene where Victor explains to Nikki how he was left by his parents on the steps of an orphanage at the age of seven.
“Once I played that scene, I walked in my dressing room and I called my wife. I said ‘I’m gonna stay,’” the actor admitted. “Because I could see it open all kinds of possibilities.”
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