After nearly 40 years in the role of Victor Newman on The Young and the Restless, actor Eric Braeden is a daytime drama icon, and has been around for more than his fair share of ups and downs in the show’s production over the years.
In a new interview with Soap Opera Digest the 78-year-old opened up about recent changes to the show, and losing one of his longtime costars, Kristoff St. John earlier this year.
Having recently filmed and aired the final storyline and tribute to Kristoff St. John and Neil Winters, Braeden admitted that the cast was just, “Regurgitating emotions that we’ve all gone through, obviously, in the time of [Kristoff St. John’s] death. It was tough because you realize it was not acting, it was final. He’s gone.” The actor admits that St. John was, “One of the few people I trusted. One of the very few.”
As the entire Y&R cast and crew now moves forward, Braeden candidly admitted that he feels like the show is moving in a much more positive direction than it was before. “I see a change of music. You need to have respect for the show that you do. You can’t come in from the outside and suddenly change direction in so many ways where people say, ‘Wait a minute, that’s not what we’ve been looking at,'” he explained, commenting on the recent change of showrunners on Y&R.
One change that Braeden is very much on board with is the show recently bringing back Adam Newman, this time played by Mark Grossman, who Braeden called “a damn good actor.” When it comes to his character’s troubled relationship with his son, he added, “It must be a disturbing thing for a parent to realize that one of them [your children] is a troublesome seed, to put it mildly. For a parent, it must be heartbreaking and hard to reconcile those differences. And understanding everyone, both Nicholas (Joshua Morrow) and Victoria (Amelia Heinle), will be upset with Adam being reintroduced to the whole fabric. They thought that was gone. So for a father, it’s tough.”
Another return that Braeden is happy with under the new regime is the return of Paul Williams played by Doug Davidson after a very controversial firing.
“Dougie has been here longer than I have been here. To see him sort of disappear or whatever, it just didn’t seem right to me at all. I’m very happy to see him back. We all are.” The actor also revealed that on set, “The atmosphere is so much better. So wonderful. Tony Morina and Josh Griffith [the new Co-Head Writers], I like them both a lot. It’s a family. I’m just happy to be at work. I love coming. I love working with my fellow actors.”