The Right Man for the Job

Yani Gellman leads Y&R into its first wave of gay storylines in the show's 36-year history -- and controversy ensues.

BY Michael Fairman

June 01 2009 11:00 PM ET

YANI GELLMAN Y&R (Photo By Aaron Montgomery/JPI)

Are people coming up to you on the street and commenting about your new role on Y&R ?No, that has not really come up at all. People do recognize me on the street from this show or other work I have done, but it's never had anything to do with the sexuality of the character. It just has more to do with "keep up the good work" or "I love the show." Y&R has a loyal fan base. What I have learned from the other actors from the show, who have been around a long time, is how to take your time with your fans, because ultimately they make the show what it is.

What would you love to do with your character if you were writing Y&R ?I always wanted to be a lawyer growing up, so I really enjoy the courtroom scenes. I would love a big, long protracted court battle, like some that we have had already.

Many actors who play lawyers in soaps hate the long monologue-type legalese in courtroom cases. But not you, I suspect?I love it! I did a show where I had to play a scientist, so I am used to those big wordy things. It really helps the character and the reality of the situation to have that kind of text to tackle. I love it. It's a great challenge and it's a lot of fun!

What has your family's response been with you playing the first gay character in Genoa City?They were really excited. First, they were excited I was on the show, and then to see my character develop and where we could go.

Fans are always concerned, in the LGBT community, that the powers that be will wimp out on telling a gay story line. What can you tell us?You can expect to see the story line play out. They are not going to leave us hanging here, I can promise you that.

When other members of the Y&R cast found out that you were playing the first gay character in the 36-year history of the show, what did they say? They were like, "How cool! This is awesome. There has never been a gay character on the show, and we are really excited to see where this goes ... and good for you."

Why do you think Y&R decided to tackle this story now?I have no idea. I am not a writer on the show, so I am not sure what goes into the thought process of the writing of the show. I am just happy it happened when it did, so I get to be the man for the job.

Tags: television

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