Stepping in and Playing It Straight?

Y&R 's soap newbie Michael Muhney steps into the shoes Chris Engen notoriously vacated, seduces a gay man, and stirs up trouble as Adam 2.0.

BY Michael Fairman

July 09 2009 12:00 AM ET

MICHAEL MUHNEY 02 X390 (GRAB) | ADVOCATE.COM

Very well said! How is working with Yani?He is great, and responsive in rehearing. He is a very open guy, and that made me more comfortable in brushing my hands against his lip.

Was there a moment when the two of you said, "Oh, how are we going to do this?"No. That was more on me in the story. I am the aggressor and I am the one making the moves, if you will. Rafe is just being responsive to what Adam is throwing his way. Because Yani made me feel comfortable enough, I felt comfortable enough to make the moves I need to make, and that after it's over and we are done with the take, Yani won't go, "What the heck were you doing?" He is great about it.

How about working with your on-screen dad, soap icon Eric Braeden [Victor]?He is fun. He is a big pussycat. I like that guy. Again, with the German thing. I bonded with him by speaking German with him on the set. Eric is very paternal in a way that I am familiar with. It's been quite enjoyable to work with him and several other people. He is right there at the top of my list of someone who I get to go sparring with, if you will.

And how is working with the woman you are tormenting on a daily basis, like Eileen Davidson [Ashley]?I start all of my workdays by giving Eileen a sweet, nice, soft, genuine hug. I then resort to beating her up emotionally for the rest of the day. She plays someone who is starting to lose her marbles so well. You can go too far with it and it's campy, and you can be too subtle with it and it's not readable. But where she goes with it, and allows my character to go with it, and allowing other story lines to rattle her, she does a phenomenal job. I couldn't be crueler to a nicer person!

At the end of the day, do you ever pinch yourself, saying, "I have this amazing role"?Christian Leblanc [Michael] came up to me on my third day and said, "You know, I told the producers I was willing to quit my part and my character and be reintroduced to Genoa City as Adam! It's a great role to play and I would love to play it!" And to hear other people put it in a way where you realize how lucky you are to get your hands dirty with something like this and really dig into a character is terrific. I do at times say, "Wow, this is a job that I get paid for and I am having so much fun." I am a kid in Willy Wonka's chocolate factory running around going, "All this is edible? Are you kidding me?"

In closing, what can we look forward to from Adam? Dare we dream!Look forward to some unpredictability! As soon as you think Adam is going bad there is some good. As soon as you think Adam is doing some good, he makes a turn for the worse. What I like about the character is that he keeps you on your toes. You are not sure what he has tucked up his sleeve, but the fact that the character is introduced into this story line as a person who is of a higher level of intelligence just sort of underlines the deviousness. So watch out for more games he is playing with people.

Tags: Television

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