Michael Muhney (Nikki Nelson/Wenn.com)
Michael Muhney (Nikki Nelson/Wenn.com)
Adam’s past, present, and future.
In Part II of Soaps.com’s interview with Michael Muhney, we dished about his character on "The Young and the Restless," Adam Newman. Michael spoke effusively about the support he’s received over the past two years from the other 'Newman' men, Josh Morrow (Nick) and Eric Braeden (Victor), and about his co-star Sharon Case (Sharon), whom he refers to as a 'darling'. Keep reading to find out what Michael had to say about the idea of Adam being redeemed, his opinion on some of the things Adam has done, and for a teaser about what may or may not happen in Kansas...
Soaps.com: Going back, Adam did some pretty 'twisted' things. Since then, he seems to go one step forward, and two steps back, or two steps forward and one step back…much like his father, Victor, he does this little dance with redemption. As the actor, how do you feel about the idea of viewers wanting him to be redeemed?
Michael: I remind myself of the old saying, "Be careful what you wish for." In the TV show, "Dexter," if you just really love Dexter so much you want him to stop killing people and be a good guy...well, the day that happens the show ends. In the world of "The Young and the Restless," if you wish for no more conflict, no more drama, just smiling, happy people...the show would be done. I understand wanting a respite from the drama, but you can’t have permanence in happiness. In regard to Adam, I’ve always wanted him to be 'gray', and at times the envelope has been pushed, especially when I was joining the show and having to pick up a storyline that was already in full swing. It was very, very dark, very 'black'. When I came in, my hope was to humanize the storyline as much as I could as an actor and influence the character in ways that you could start to see the remorse and the regret. By definition, a sociopath has no remorse, so when you see that in Adam, you realize you’re not dealing with a sociopath. You’re certainly dealing with a narcissist, absolutely, but not a sociopath.
Soaps.com: The 'gray' area is what keeps viewers yearning for more vulnerability, more love scenes, more acceptance from his family.
Michael: I think if you can live in that world of 'gray', that’s a really good place - that means balancing the dark and the light. I think redemption for Adam will come from within, in the way that he will see the world, and then react to the world. But he’ll still always be Adam Newman – he still has Victor’s blood pumping through him, he still has that competitiveness – he’s a human being, and the last time I checked all human beings are pretty damn flawed. So there will be mistakes and setbacks, but there could also be moments of growth and trying to make a better life. I don’t want to ever see Adam be a completely vanilla human being because it’s not interesting to watch. On the other hand, you don’t want to see him go so dark that he makes Darth Vader look like a saint.
Soaps.com: That’s how some viewers see Adam - they say they’ll never get past some of the things he’s done.
Michael: I’ll be honest, the things that happened before I joined the show, they’re not my responsibility as much. I wasn’t able to play out the scenes the way that I would have chosen, or to have any influence. When Ashley fell down the stairs and the gaslighting story was full blast I had to jump into that and honor that, and take the baby and stuff – that was all written before I even got there. I feel like the only big thing I have to sort of take responsibility for is the memory card, and the issue where Adam threw that away. I didn’t like that he did that. I felt that it was more in Adam’s characterization not to have destroyed the memory card, but maybe to tell everyone he did, and put it in a safety deposit box somewhere to use as collateral somewhere down the line knowing full well that he just wanted Sharon to sit and stew in jail for a few weeks and kind of learn her lesson – because he was very upset with her. All I can do, when Adam has made some rather harsh or rash decision, is try to counter that with some growth. I have to really commend the writers. The truth is, you have a writing staff that has to write sixty-five pages of dialogue every day and keep continually churning out more stories. It’s a big undertaking and I really respect that they have to do that, and then trust me, the actor, to put my spin on it, so that by the time we’re presenting it to the audience and it’s on air, it’s the best it can be that day. They have given Adam a plethora of storylines and things to deal with – his basket is full. I appreciate that.
Soaps.com: Currently, Adam is about to do some inner reflecting back in Kansas, and there may be some reveals about his childhood. Viewers have the impression that Adam had an idyllic childhood with Hope and Cliff, and are a little wary of history being rewritten to explain Adam’s dark side. What can you say about this?
Michael: I have to commend the writers on sticking to their guns and poking a big hole in my own way of thinking, because I had suggested that there be some kind of background where Adam perhaps was abused, and with there being abuse storylines for other characters, they would rather avoid that with Adam. So there is no history being rewritten. There’s just Adam reflecting on his childhood – on who he is, where he came from, the good platform on which he was raised, and how did it all go so wrong. Adam lost his stepfather at a very young age and was essentially raised by just his mother, but his mother was blind, so she had workers around the property. So, in my mind, there is still any number of things that could have happened, or it could have just been very simply that he was overprotected. But nothing is being rewritten, it’s just [Adam] going back and getting in touch with how his mother intended him to be as a grown man and realizing he didn’t become that, and wrestling with those issues. It’s a really interesting journey that doesn’t cheapen the storyline or the history of the show. I’m excited to see the story develop onscreen and to see what people will be saying. It will be fun.
Soaps.com: As a result of Adam’s blindness, we’ve seen a thaw in his relations with Jack (Peter Bergman), Sharon is supporting him, and Nick and Victor have even slightly softened their outlook on him. Can you give us a hint as to what will happen when, or if, it’s revealed that he helped Patty escape from the institution?
Michael: I’d love to, but I can’t. [laughs] I can just reiterate that I’m really excited to see the storyline develop over the next couple of months. I think the writers are outdoing themselves, and I’m proud of it. So at the risk of sounding ridiculous – sit back, relax, enjoy the ride – it’s gonna’ be cool.
If you missed it, be sure to check out Part I of our Michael Muhney interview. Join us on Twitter @soapoperafan and Facebook. Come tweet and Facebook with us about "The Young and the Restless," all the other soap operas, "Glee" "Grey's Anatomy," "Vampire Diaries," and "Venice the Series!"
- Candace Young