The Young and the Restless is putting both Christian Le Blanc and his TV alter-ego Michael Baldwin in the spotlight as it’s the 30th anniversary for both the actor and his attorney character. Le Blanc first aired on Y&R in late 1991, but the show is acknowledging the milestone now with a Michael-centric episode.
Christian Le Blanc Celebrates 30 Years as Michael Baldwin
“Michael has a rough decision to make,” Christian Le Blanc tells Soap Hub. Watch for Michael to come to realize what choice he’ll decide upon after reflecting on key moments in his life which Y&R viewers will see in flashback.
Le Blanc was a veteran of daytime when he came to Y&R having played youngster Kirk McCall on As the World Turns from 1983-85 however, he didn’t know that Y&R was going to utilize him in a sexual harassment storyline. As viewers may recall, Michael tried to coerce new lawyer Christine Blair Romalotti (Lauralee Bell) into sleeping with him to ensure her position at the law firm.
“The role was never described to me as a harasser,” Le Blanc recalls. “I didn’t know in the beginning that he’d be a bad guy. I met with Bill [Bell, Y&R’s creator, sr. executive producer, head writer] and Ed [Scott, Y&R’s then-executive producer]. My audition wasn’t ‘dark.’ I don’t think I’d ever played a bad guy before.”
Flashbacks Are Happening
As Le Blanc’s anniversary was approaching, he says the show’s current regime, executive producer Tony Morina, and co-executive producer/head writer Josh Griffith, asked him how he felt about a special episode. “It was so beautifully done,” the actor says. He did have one request on the day the flashback-filled episode was taped – that he be allowed to see the scenes so that he’d know how those moments would affect his character’s current state of mind.
“A lot of the episode is dedicated to Michael and Lauren’s [Tracey Bregman] relationship,” Le Blanc previews. “There’s some beautiful stuff.” Watch for Michael’s other relationships to be touched upon including his dynamics with Christine, brother Kevin (Greg Rikaart), and mother Gloria (Judith Chapman).
Le Blanc says he’d take a break between scenes to check out a monitor on the set that would show him the next flashback Michael was about to have. “I got emotional,” he says. “I wasn’t quite prepared for that.”
Y&R Pals Honor Christian Le Blanc
As Michael’s debating a big decision, the episode serves as more than a retrospect – it sets up how he’s going to handle the next part of his life. “It’s done in a very sound way,” Le Blanc says. “I did my own mental play on it as far as what he’s going through and how it’s all going to work. He’s at a time in his life where he’s asking what does he want? Go on being a district attorney? A lawyer? Living here? It was an intelligent argument and the progression really makes sense. It was really fun to share those particular moments with the people I did them with over the years.”
While Michael will be center-stage on-screen, Le Blanc was celebrated by his co-stars and Y&R pals on set with cupcakes (with a suspender-wearing Michael on them) and speeches on the day he taped his special episode. “I didn’t know that was going to happen,” Christian Le Blanc says. “Mel [Thomas Scott, Nikki] and other people came in on their day off. They made speeches. Eric [Braeden, Victor] sang to me. It was a good crowd.”
The Young and the Restless (YR) airs weekdays on CBS. Check your local listings for airtimes. For more about what’s coming up in Genoa City, check out all the latest that’s been posted on Y&R spoilers, and for an in-depth look at the show’s history, click here.
— Young & The Restless (@YRInsider) December 1, 2021