Beloved as Joshua Lewis on Guiding Light, Robert Newman begins a new daytime journey this week as enigmatic Ashland Locke on The Young and the Restless. The fan-favorite chatted with Soap Hub on how he joined the show and where he thinks Ashland might go.
Robert Newman Unlocks Ashland Locke
Producers of Y&R thought of Robert Newman when they needed to find a new Ashland Locke. “Daytime is somewhat incestuous,” Newman tells Soap Hub, who suggests that his new bosses were familiar with him from his work on Guiding Light. “[This] came completely and utterly out of the blue. This wasn’t something I was looking to do. When I spoke to Tony [Morina, executive producer] and Josh [Griffith, head writer/co-executive producer], they said a lot of nice things. I told them I hope I can live up to it!”
From The East Coast To The Midwest
Newman, who is set to become a grandfather once again in April, says that he and his wife Britt Helfer (ex-Lily, Loving) were contemplating a move to Massachusetts to be closer to family. “This throws a monkey wrench into that plan,” Newman says. He isn’t divulging the exact length of his contract but says that short-term and long-term options were discussed. “We settled on a period of time in the middle,” Newman says.
Robert Newman Digs Into Ashland
Newman hopped on a lengthy Zoom chat with his new bosses in order to learn as much as possible about his new TV persona. “I took notes,” he says. “And I’d already had 27 questions based on what I’d read about the character. They filled me in. I really wanted to [find out] about the relationship between Ashland and Victoria [Amelia Heinle]. Is it a true love he has for her or is this part of his machinations?
Ashland may yet prove to have some nefarious goals, but Newman says he doesn’t see him — or frankly, many characters at all — as bad. “In an effort to do the right thing, people often do the wrong thing and then, there are consequences,” Robert Newman says. “Ashland is a solid, strong businessman. To reach his level, he’s had to probably cross some unethical lines to get there.”
What About Tara and Harrison?
Neither Ashland’s ex-wife Tara Locke (Elizabeth Leiner) nor their son Harrison (Kellen Enriquez) are on the canvas right now. Tara’s dealing with legal issues related to her less than ethical business dealings and Harrison is living in Italy with his biological dad Kyle Abbott (Michael Mealor) and his bride Summer Newman Abbott (Hunter King). Newman doesn’t know if either of those characters will make their way back to Genoa City. However, he says he wouldn’t mind seeing those dynamics explored in the future.
“There could be some really fantastic storytelling down the line if they continue to pursue that story,” says Newman, who muses, “Harrison could show up in a month and be 18-years-old. I’ve always been drawn to family dynamics — not just on daytime but in almost every single play or musical I’ve ever done. That’s the sweet spot on daytime television.”
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.