Thom Bierdz Coming Home

Out actor Thom Bierdz returns to The Young and the Restless in a hush-hush story line 20 years after he last appeared on the top-rated soap. Is he playing gay? That's the million-dollar question.

BY Michael Fairman

May 19 2009 12:00 AM ET

Jeanne Cooper (L) and Jess Walton (R) pose with producer-writer Maria Arena Bell x390 (getty) | ADVOCATE.COM

Of course, there is this buzz that she might come back to the show now that you have returned! I have heard that, but I have not heard it from Maria Arena Bell. I would love that to happen!

When you were the young star of Y&R back in the '80s, did it impact your relationships with the men you dated or your boyfriends at the time? Were you able to have boyfriends? I am sure you were worried about it coming out to the viewing audience. Well, I was certainly concerned about it. I did have boyfriends through those years, and at one time I brought my boyfriend to the Young and the Restless Christmas party, around my third year there. I think people got who he was, but I did not make a big deal about it.

What can you tease us with? Because the audience is dying to know. What is going to happen next? I feel pretty confident that the character I am playing will bring about issues that have never been dealt with on The Young and the Restless. When you take a character that had been gone for 20 years, and even besides my character, there seems to be a lot of exciting stuff that is coming up.

Have you seen your on-screen grandmother Jeanne Cooper (Katherine Chancellor) yet? I saw Jeanne Cooper at her 80th birthday party in November, and we spoke on the phone several times since then. I love Jeanne! She is such a giver.

There is an artwork story line that just started on Y&R where Daniel's paintings were mysteriously all bought up by some stranger. Could this be part of your new story? I can't answer that, but I can tell you that I have some beautiful male nudes on my website, www.thombierdz.com . [ Laughs ] Also, in 2004, Scarlett Johansson hosted a gallery opening of mine where I had 250 pieces in conjunction with the Art of Elysium charity, which brings artistic people to hospitalized kids to bring them inspiration. I like being involved in that.

When do you have time to do all of this -- painting, writing a book, and acting? You have no idea, seriously. In my life, here is what I have done: I have written 40 songs, 12 scripts, and four novels. I wrote my memoirs. I spent four years making a film. I have got 500 paintings. I have so many treatments I get every day, and I lie in bed and go, OK, what am I going to do today? I don't get up until I am excited about creating something, and that's what I spend my life doing. Every day I create something. How lucky am I to make a living at that, right? Yeah, that's what I'm talking about!

Did you look back at your old work and footage on Y&R and go, "Oh, yeah! I was really good" or "Oh, boy. I sucked"? Oh, I didn't like my acting much back then. I was very self-conscious. I think I was better at the heavier scenes. That's where growing up with a heavy mind and sensitivity helped, because I could grab at the type of material much easier. This time around, I really want to be a powerhouse. I want to be, this time, a strong man, and that's not easy to do when you are acting opposite Jeanne Cooper! [ Laughs ]

Tags: television

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